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Some mothers live it up, travelling the globe and stunning the world, with their intelligence, glam and/or breath-taking beauty. Here's a delicious peek at this group of mothers. Boys and girls, this will indeed be quite a treat.

By Osama Rahman

Sushmita Sen- God forgive the sinful thoughts this woman evokes in us all. Ravishingly beautiful, heart-breakingly glamorous, amazingly intelligent and bone-crackingly funny! Sush is the total package, if you ever saw one. Not only is she a Miss Universe, but according to her daughter, she is quite the mother as well. In fact, it is plain for anyone to see that Sushmita's world revolves around her little princess. One of Bollywood's top draws and the face of numerous exclusive brands, Sushmita takes time out from her over-packed life just to find out how her child is doing.

Afeni Shakur- It can not be easy raising a Ghetto King in a War, but Afeni Shakur did just that. Giving birth to Tupac, while she was in jail, Afeni knew right then that she had much to make amends for. Her active part in the infamous Black Panther's political movement led to many problems and her failed marriage must also have had a detrimental affect on Tupac. Growing up in poverty though, Afeni maintained a strict relationship with 'Pac and ensured that he received the best education affordable. Tupac's desire to become a revolutionary was surely instilled by his mother's numerous political motivations. Despite a crack-addiction, she managed to get through and quit, fighting to keep Tupac alive in the harshest ghettos. 'Even as a crack-fiend mama, you always was a black queen, mama. I reminisced on the stress I caused, it was hell. Huggin' on my mama from the jail cell' Tupac rapped on 'Dear Mama', a song he dedicated to his mother. Afeni lived through the tragic death of her son and still continues to fulfil her son's wishes. She remains a force, spurned by the death of her only son, a true ghetto prince raised by a true ghetto queen.


Madonna- So how many children does Madonna actually have? 400 if rumours are to be believed, but apart from that three or four are damn near confirmed. In fact two are her own children and if the grape vine is to be believed, Madonna also famously decided to have a child with Jesus. Of course here we mean Jesus Lu(l)z. Having taken a special liking for Malawi children, Madonna entered a lot of controversy after forcing the only child of Yahone Banda away from him. Some say she used her wealth and star power to get the child she desired. With a questionable background and a $100 million price tag on her, it's not a completely dubious claim. But hey, if Madonna wanted to buy your son, would you say no? Mosdef NOT and therefore Madonna breezes into our list.

Angelina Jolie- Angelina Jolie has to be the finest mother out there. Not that she is the most beautiful, but fine is that sense that her 'children' are not actually always her children. Jolie aka Lara adopts children left and right. Thus it is no surprise that when rumour hit that Lara was on her way to Bangladesh, many children skipped school and crowded the air-port, butt-naked, putting on their most pathetic look in hopes of being adopted. Even her own children are born outside of her country such as Shiloh who was born in Namibia and Knox and Vivienne who were born in France. They all hold passports of their birth countries. In fact, rumour has it that Jolie's house looks like a convention of delegates from developing countries, with representation coming even from Ethopia, Cambodia and Vietnam. Apart from naming her children strangely, Jolie scans the Atlas for obscure places to adopt babies from whilst reading scripts. She is one talented and amazing mother indeed.

Halle Berry- She is an Academy award winner AND a mom. Plus, she does a great job of balancing career, family life and over-powering hotness. So, does she qualify as the uber Hot Mama? Like Lefy would say, 'Forget about it.' There is hardly another dish as delectable as Berry and when she isn't winning awards or breaking-hearts, she is at home, showering her children with love.

So there you have it, the top five moms on fire. Of course Michael Jackson would have entered this list, but then again, why raise undue controversy right? So wish your mother a Happy Mother's Day and when she starts the nagging, show her the list and tell her that she just isn't as good as she thinks she is.

Game Review

The original Mount & Blade was medieval sim at its best despite having some major flaws. The standalone expansion, Mount & Blade: Warband is still laden with some of the past blemishes, but it's even more fun and addictive. No other third person POV game lets you pull off expert marksmanship with deadly arrows while on horseback at full gallop.

Graphically, Warband has some nice improvements from its predecessor, but it still doesn't stand up to any of the current games. The metallic reflection on weapons and armors is welcoming and the depth of field is a beautiful addition, but the model animations still lack realism and resemble those of games released earlier in the decade. However, my favorite graphical overhaul is the inclusion of flare-like beams of sunlight: if you try to attack archers on castle walls with the sun at their back, the flare will prevent you from marking your enemies, essentially blinding you temporarily. Such small touches of realism make Mount & Blade: Warband the brilliant game that it is.

Gameplay is the area where Mount & Blade: Warband truly shines and surpasses many of today's modern games. Combat is smartly designed, timing and reflexes playing a very important role. Players can choose polearms, one-handed or two-handed weapons, bows or crossbows, or throwing axes. You can't dual wield, sadly, but shields are a very essential part of the game, especially when you are facing a barrage of arrows. While parrying is simple enough with a mere right-click, the timing makes it challenging. Of course, true to the name, fighting on horseback is the attraction of the game. Slaying enemies after enemies on horseback by delivering couched damage with lances, swinging your swords, firing arrows with adept precision, or simply running them over is more than satisfying. Always dreamt of jousting? Wait no more and enter the tournament arena to take on smart AI to fulfill your dreams. Castle sieges can get really intense, the game being able to render 100 characters at once. My only regret is the lack of siege weapons.

You don't always fight in Mount & Blade: Warband, but spend a good portion of your time roaming the lands of the five nations, building relationship with lords and kings, or making enemies. Most quests are very generic, like assassinating a deserter, delivering letters, collecting taxes for lords, fending off bandits, or fetching food supplies for villages. There are also some major quests when you give your oath of allegiance to a King, like rescuing spies, retrieving information from informants, or simply aiding the royal army in their campaign. However bland they may seem, these quests are true to the feel of the game and create an enhanced medieval experience. In Warband, you can even choose to marry a lady or lord for political gain or romance, which is a brilliant addition.

Building an army in Warband is as fun as ever. Start with cheap recruits and revel as they become hardened veterans with experience; experience comes in two ways, by winning battles or simply having heroes with the “Trainer” skill. Once you have your army of Knights, you become a force to be truly reckoned with. But make sure your army has enough food and a constant stream of battles, or else their morale will decrease and they will scatter. When you are strong enough, start conquering castles and expanding your domain, either under a faction or as your own master. Aspects like this make Warband addictive.

The best improvement in Warband is the addition of multiplayer. Up to 64 players can engage in a battle, and it's outrageously glorifying. You have your regular Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Conquest, and Battle. Sieges are unique to this game and the best mode. Taking down human opponents is sure to make veteran Mount & Blade players giddy, and new players pleased.

Mount & Blade: Warband is not much different from its predecessor, but the additions are fresh and major improvements. Old players are encouraged to try this game, and new players are strongly urged to get lost in this medieval setting filled with small touches of realism that immerses players in a beautiful world. Here's a warning though once you get into the game, expect to lose a lot of sleep.

By Faizul Khan Tanim

When I was listening to a recently released CD of Upol, the album title Miracle-1 reminded me of a Bon Jovi quote - “Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you.”

Upol's songs are contemporary - a luminous mix of emotional-vocals-in-tune, electronic pop, righteous rock sound, red-hot lyrics and the whole compilation sends a message to believe in the beauty of miracles, which weaves stories in our head.

Thus, the stories begin…the stories of real life ordeals and enticing memories molded in memorable music compositions, lyrics and the album is declaring this - the phenomenon miracle is fascinating. Be it incredible achievements, sudden realizations or morbid fall downs all these extreme emotions seem miraculous as every human being gets affected by them…and most importantly, on a positive note. The events actually trigger us to change for the better. A good example could be the songs Prologue, The Miracle and Nacho Nacho.

In his songs, he features plenty of rage, truth, molten emotions, burning passion and all those elements synonymous with steam and red-hot chili flakes.

And anger got the due respect. The song Pola Toh Noy Shey toh Agun er Gola Re is the loudest, bone crushing song we all were waiting for. It surpassed the lyrical talent of his own written, composed, voiced song Tor Jonno Ami Bonno and Pola Toh Noy music video is a testament of the popular saying Anger is a gift!

One of the most ardently made aggressive music video, completely produced in the United States, which of course cannot be broadcast from our local TV stations due to its explosive and parental advisory contents, but it does shout aloud plenty of wild cReAtIvItY, so 18+ readers might try and look for it online.

Since a good album has a good variation of different tempo songs, his slower ones Ami Chai Haratey and Dewaler Oi are good songs to feel mellow and oh well! miss a heart beat or two.

The album was released on Pahela Baishakh on april 14 from Bengal Music Company Ltd at the TexMex restaurant Moo's Barn, Banani road 11 and the high quality mp3s are legally available from www.amaderGaan.com. And since we are all fighting for a good cause here, Upol requests everyone to stop piracy and help him achieve the Miracle-2.



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