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Where do you belong?

Burping out loud is legitimate as long as it's not on someone's face. Emotions are meant to be expressed so it's okay to cry, but it cannot be in public. Getting in to trouble in school or with a friend is acceptable but you have to be aware of the consequences and take responsibility.

Are you experiencing all the mentioned above? If yes then congrats you are a 'young adult' now.

While the 'young' bit lets you bring out the child in you and go crazy, the 'adult' part expects you to be more responsible and sensible. This odd phase in your life puts you in some awkward scenarios where you realize you are too old for certain things but at the same time too young.

Here are some of the situations the 'young adults' have to face.

The gazing adult and the overjoyed kid
You go to a dawat with your family and you are nicely seated with all the adults. You participate in 'smart' conversations involving Obama and world peace, then suddenly someone goes off topic and starts talking about bari ghor jomi joma. You begin to feel uncomfortable and an elderly person gives you 'the eye' right away which can be clearly decoded as 'leave the room . .boro der kotha started'.

Stranded in a stranger's house you have nowhere to go and the only person who warmly welcomes you is the overjoyed kid. This kid will insist that you go over her Hannah Montana sticker collection and help her put rhinestones on Princess Barbie's hair. Tying and decorating the doll's hair looks like a lot of fun and you would love to play but hey you are too old for all this and there's no way you can be spotted with a Barbie, so you smile at the little girl saying ami toh boro, tumi khelo.

The career talk and 'been there done that'
An older sibling or cousin plays the 'career guru' and they make it seem like they are trying to 'enlighten' you about the job market but all they do is complain. Complain about how work is nothing like what they expected, salary is poor and so on. You on the other hand have no idea about what they are talking about; you can't even choose proper shoes that would go with your outfit let alone a career.

The older ones were too boring for you so you switch to the younger ones and see what they are up to. Talking to this new breed (ages 5 to 8) is challenging because they ask you innumerable questions that are sometimes very personal. Pre-teens on the contrary 'play cool'. They use code words, giggle and chuckle thinking there is no way you can figure out what they are talking about (it's usually about the boy/girl they like). All you can say is 'been there done that'.

What to choose?
Coping with the changes and trying to figure out where you belong whether in the 'young' group or the 'adult' group can be frustrating at times; but ignoring all the little drawbacks, teen years are by far the best years of your life so enjoy!

By Fariba Rakhsanda

The white and blue

The qualifiers of the 2010 football world cup have been eventful to say the least. With the hopes of millions of fans hanging by a thread, we believe the greatest dangler has been Argentina, at least if you consider Bangladeshi fans in particular. Usually with battle lines drawn across the two South American neighbours and rivals, Brazil and Argentina, the football world cup is a glorified affair over here, with flags, graffiti and banners all over the place and fanatics on both sides. So it sort of became a big issue when it appeared that Argentina might go down without ever reaching the final stage of the world cup.

Argentina, under the charge of the legendary Diego Maradona, has been all over the place. After calling up some 76 players, many with doubtful fitness and form, and fielding a different side almost every game, Maradona has been heavily criticized. He has come under fire for not playing a steady side and for ignoring players such as Lisandro Lopez. His lack of strategy and tactics has been scorned by many. A top heavy team filled of star forwards who were out of sync and a leaky defence, Argentina were thrashed 1-6 by Bolivia on April Fool's Day this year. After a win against Colombia, there were three consecutive losses against Ecuador, archenemies Brazil [this was their second defeat in the history of Argentine qualifiers matches, the last one having taken place in 1993: a 0-5 nightmare against Colombia] and Paraguay. Argentina's world cup hopes seemed to be doomed.

With two must win matches against Peru and Uruguay, a lot of calculations, and a listless team lacking coherent gameplay, Argentina looked to be in serious trouble. Under the pouring rain in Buenos Aires, Argentina faced Peru in one heck of a crazy game. The first half was nothing special, with Argentina making a couple of attempts and Peru standing strong. But after taking the lead in the 48th minute, courtesy of Gonzalo Higuain, Los Albicelestes looked set to take the victory. The game inched towards the end. And then the madness started. Peru came up with a shocker in the 90th minute when Hernan Rengifo headed a goal in and equalised. But speaking of shockers, recalled 35-year old Argentine and Boca Juniors striker Martin Palermo, infamous for his 3 missed penalties in the 1999 Copa America match against Colombia, prodded a deflected shot into the back of the net at the dead-end of the injury time. The ground erupted while Maradona pulled a celebratory stunt that will most certainly be a part of his legend: he took running dives into the slippery ground and went for slides. But oh wait, you think the fun is over? No! Apparently after kick-off, the Peruvians lobbed a shot from their half towards Sergio Romero, and lady luck graced us with a wink as it bounced off the Argentine crossbar.

After a win reminiscent of the Turkish exploits in Euro 2008, Argentina headed over to the home territory of another sworn enemy, Uruguay. A rivalry that has stretched from the 1930 world cup final, where Uruguay beat Argentina, it was clear that there would be no prisoner taken in this match from the start. With eight yellow cards and one red, it wasn't a pretty game. But Argentina was much better organized, with the midfield really coming together. And when Caceres got a red card for pulling Gutierrez down, and Veron's shot deflected and fell to supersub Bolatti who pushed it into the net, Argentines went wild. Of course, after the game was over and Argentina was secure in its place in the world cup, the ever-controversial Maradona went into a tirade against the reporters and pulled a very rude, very macho and very Maradona gesture.

While this is the story of Argentina, situation in Europe looks bleak for the average Bangladeshi world cup watcher as well. While teams such as Croatia and Sweden won't be sorely missed, the world cup future of Portugal and France are still unsure, pending the playoffs. The fact that the runners up of the previous world cup [France] may not play in this world cup at all, is not a happy thought for French supporters. As for Portugal, things look just as bleak, despite the possession of the world's most valuable player. Then again, if Argentina and Messi are to be used as a scale, price of a player doesn't make much of a difference.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique


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