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Special day specials- special pains

This sort of special programs specified for some special days are quite sappy. Sappy in the sense that: they seldom carry new ideas and sometimes repeat the same things, which sap our enthusiasm. Large numbers of such segments for TV programs, talk shows and special discussions 'break out' in national days like today- the 26th of March, the day of independence.

You flick the TV to some discussion program. All of them, and really all, involves basically the same things. Some guests will get to sit on the chairs on the stage. They are given separate titles. One will be chief, one will be special and some will just be guests. The common thing is: they all give speeches, maybe the chief will be allotted some minutes more than the rest. You will hear the same things said successively, somehow soporific. And yes, the main attraction of such shows: the TV cameras. If there are one or two higher ups of the government present, you will obviously see cameras swarming here and there. The cameramen will surely be in a smug mood, like not even looking at you while you are trying your hardest to get taped by the camera.

Next let's turn the TV on. Switch to any 'deshi' channel, any of them, at around 7 to 9 and you will be a spectator to a talk show. Here again, some guest will be present while the host, or hostess, asks them of their views on the day. Yet again they say the same things, but in different sentences and with different frequencies of voices. They will have a big mug of coffee and will occasionally sip some. One of the things you may learn from here is how to drink from a cup without making a sound, or how to not drink at all while pretending to. Oh yes, you can also learn how to give an answer without giving an answer, if you get what I mean.

Today some films on liberation war will also be telecasted. You should watch them. But as the number of such films are quite low, you may see what you saw the previous year. You can also enjoy the special plays in between the special ads on the Independence Day.

The sizes of these ads are so big that watching the plays between the gaps of them is quite an achievement. Time passes though, and that's the main thing. You will occasionally get some entertainment too. Only you have to set your eyes out for them.

By Jawad Mahmud

Coinage heritage

We’re all familiar with these stories from our parents, grandparents and other family members about how in their day they used to buy numerous things with just a 25-poisha coin.

But when we hear these stories, very rarely do we understand just how far we've come along from that era. And how far back from these stories, the history of Bangladesh's monetary system goes.

The history of Bangladesh's currency goes back to as far as the second century BC. But there is not much evidence to support this. Bangladesh's monetary history is similar to the course taken by India. During the 1190s, Muhammad Bakhtyar Khilji invaded Bangladesh and issued gold coins with Arabic inscriptions. In 1576, Bangladesh became a part of the Mughal Empire and under Akbar, gold mohur and silver rupees became Bangladesh's currency until the British invasion. During the British period, the British government issued pound sterling, which followed being the currency used in Bangladesh, then a part of Pakistan. After the British reign ended in the 1940s, civil war led to Bangladesh declaring independence from Pakistan on March 26, 1971 and emerged victorious on December 16, 1971. The Bangladesh Taka was made on January 1, 1972 and replaced usage of Pakistan currency but the notes were not circulated until March 4, 1972 and coins on September 15, 1973.

It's worth a look to see the history of our independence marked clearly on these old notes and coins, but a chance for such is now very rare. Although Bangladesh is a young independent country, after 38 years of independence, a lot of history has been made, turning those little coins that were once in everyday use to our previous generation into priceless antiques.

By Tanzia Amreen Haq

Playlist for Freedom

In the days of the Liberation War, music united the whole nation. As people clung to the radio, songs inspired them, gave them hope of freedom. 38 years later, music still inspires us; it instigates patriotic zeal in our hearts.
The new generation of musicians, very much like their predecessors, have excelled in creating songs of patriotism. Here is a list that blends the new with the old.

01. Cryptic Fate Cholo Bangladesh
02. James Bangladesh
03. Shironamhiin Bullet Kingba Kobita
04. Mac Haque Bangladesh '95
05. Germantown Amra Shadhin
06. Aurthohin - Bijoyer Gaan
07. Hyder Husyn Tirish Bochhor
08. Joan Baez - Bangladesh
09. Ravi Shankar- Bangla dhun
10. Mahmuduzzaman Babu- Ami banglae gaan gai

Compiled by:
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

Up on the bench

Here I am standing on the bench; my ears are warm because I keep fingering them; also because of the boxing my teacher gave them. You may wonder how am I writing this in the present tense, it's because we writer's have a wide range of imagination. Let's leave it like that and talk about my situation.

On the bench, I feel taller than everyone in the class. The fans and lights are all nearby. I can unfalteringly say, “I can see the light”. The teacher is still going on with his boring lectures. The other students are continuing their respective duties; but they are becoming a little more reckless. You may think they are doing so with utmost sympathy for their dear comrade i.e. me, but it's not like that. Our teacher hands out punishment for one guy each class. Since he has filled his quota, there is no reason to be afraid now. I can see two friends playing Sudoku on the magazine. I...er… dislike those nerds. Person behind me is utilizing my shadow to play games on his mobile. It's a great opportunity to show off his brand new mobile set and its motion sensing stuff, or something like that. He is always doing this sort of things actually.

Now the thing that is irritating me: my rival is taking snaps of me from two benches forward. I am showing him my teeth and making faces, making it look like I am enjoying this. But hell knows how I am burning inside.

Just a few minutes to go. The buzzing sound in class is growing. The teacher then speaks out “I wish you had paid a little more attention to my class” I retort (within my mind, of course) “I am trying to give as little as I can”. He then tells us he is going to give some suggestions for the upcoming exam. But before that he asks me to leave the class and forbids everyone to share them with me. Darn it.

By Jawad Mahmud

Kid stars

A pirate's treasure

The sight of the cave was enough to scare me but it didn't affect Jeff at all. He made no attempts to return. He looked excited all our way and now he looked excited as ever.

“Here we are finally” he announced “the treasure is all ours”

“Great” I replied sarcastically. I had no interest in the treasure but it was all because of Jeff I had to come. He wanted some one to come along, so he brought me because there was no one else he trusted. You might be thinking why I didn't want to come along. Here is the reason-people believe the cave is haunted.

The legend was dated long back. It was said that a pirate hid all his treasure in a cave the one I am standing before right now. His treasure was worth million pounds. Only his closest fellow mate Matt knew his secret. As the treasure was all safely hidden and the two friends were coming out, the idea of getting all the treasure danced around Matt's head until he could no longer hold his greed. Matt turned out to be treacherous. He killed the pirate for the sake of the treasure. But then the ghost of the pirate returned. It killed Matt and people say that till today he guards his treasure.

But Jeff wouldn't believe it. I am not sure whether I believe it myself but I think I do. So I didn't want to come. But how can you not agree when your friend begs you, promises you nothing would go wrong? So here I am, standing I front of the creepy cave begging to return.

“But Jeff if the story isn't true, then the treasure would have been taken away long back” I argued.

“That is not true” said Jeff. “People are too scared of the legend that they didn't even try! But you and I are going to make a record by proving them wrong.”

We entered the dark cave and gasped. The cave was filled with gold coins, swords, crowns and rings. This turned Jeff greedier. He ran to them.

“Just look at all these” he cried “we are rich”
“Let's take a handful and go” I said hurriedly. Jeff laughed.

“You are mad!” he sneered. “We are going to take the whole thing then share it equally. Now just don't stand there, come and help. This box is heavy.”

Before I could make a move a sound approached us. I stopped. Jeff raised his lantern and shouted, “Who's there?” I gasped as I recognized who was coming.

With the help of the flickering light from Jeff's lantern I saw a man in pirate's dress approaching or rather limping. It was the ghost! I turned to Jeff expecting him to be terrified or even fainting but instead he pulled out his own sword and cried out loud

“Nothing on earth can stop me from reaching my treasure. Nothing at all”

Without a word then pirate pulled out his own sword. The ghost missed the first shot. Jeff ducked then plunged the sword into his stomach but the sword went right through the pirate's stomach. Next the pirate attacked him. I knew Jeff could no fight him. I found my legs pulling me towards our ship. The pirate by the time finished Jeff and turned to me, but I ran to the ship and sailed away quickly. I sat down thanking my stars. Then I thought about Jeff. I thought about where greed took him. Something in my foot interrupted my thoughts. It was a gold coin dried with blood.

By Kasfia Parvez





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