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Indoor Football Tournament at Abahani Gym
By Tahmida Zaman


SO what do football-crazed guys do after the FIFA World Cup is over? They go out and play their own football, of course! And that is exactly what they were doing this Friday, 30th of August. The Abahani Indoor Gymnasium was host to the daylong under-21 tournament, where 24 teams participated.

Rakib of Rush Hour Events, who had organised the tournament, informs that around 40 teams had originally signed up to play. But because the gym was only available for a day, many teams had to be sent home. What was different, albeit slightly weird, about this tournament, was that it was played indoors on a basketball court. The players wore sneakers rather than their usual football boots. Match times were shortened to 20 minutes each, with half-time being called after 10 minutes.

“It's great playing indoors,” says one enthusiastic player. “For one thing, there's no sun. But it's a smaller court so the passing has to be tighter. And of course, the surface is different.”

Will this new breed of football take off? Rakib is hopeful. “You've seen how much of a success T20 has been for cricket,” he points out. “And already we're getting a huge response from football-lovers all over.” It was true. Even on a Friday, the gym was full of activity.

The matches kicked off at around 12 noon, and went on till 10 p.m. at night. In a power-packed final match, 7 Nation Army faced off against Partisan. It eventually led to a penalty shootout that ended 3-2, Partisan emerging as Champions, with 7 Nation Army left to collect the consolation cash prize. Here's to the new football, and all those working hard to get it out there. That includes Computer Source, the main sponsor of the event, and media partners BanglaVision and ATN Bangla.

Building Bridges
By Monoshita Ayruani

"PERMIT yourself to fail" said Md. Ejaj Ahmad, Founder and President of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), to the BBLT Junior students on their first class with him. He explained to the students that because people fear failure, they do not want to take risks. But to bring change, one has to step out of one's comfort zone and take risks, for which, one has to permit oneself to fail, and learn from it.

Most of the large class sessions throughout the BBLT program were intense. Several times, an instructor came into the class and wrote 'let's start the work' on the board, and stood aside without providing any further instructions. The confused students shifted in their seats, avoided eye contact with the instructors, doodled, wondered, and looked around for seemingly constructive things that they could pretend to do. At some point someone would try to raise a discussion over some topic, which led to arguments over the subject. This was how the classes started. The instructors played the role of silent authority and all these were done to demonstrate that people should not always depend on authority, and leadership requires the courage to make impactful interventions.

BBLT Junior is a condensed form of the BBLT program, which is available for students who have already finished class 10 school leaving exams. From over a hundred applicants, the best ten were selected for the first BBLT Junior program. Both programs have the same main three components: Building Bridges, Leadership Training and Community Service.

Building Bridges is a component unique to BBLT and not practiced in any other club in Bangladesh. Only in BBLT do the three different educational mediums in Bangladesh: English Medium, Bangla Medium and Madrassa come together to work in the same team.

Leadership training is the second component of the program. The fact that practising leadership has nothing to do with having authority was a point repeated so frequently throughout the course that it is arguably the most important takeaway of the program. The large classes equipped the students with important tools to practise leadership. They were taught how one should observe a situation and try to diagnose the real issue instead of jumping to conclusions and administering quick fixes, which exacerbate the situation in the long run.

As part of the training, the program also had a session to remind us of our roots. Colonel Q. Sajjad A. Zahir (Bir Protik), a renowned freedom fighter and a Professor of Dhaka University, visited the Juniors and delivered an excellent interactive lecture session about the liberation war. Besides this review of our history, the leadership training component had several workshops on the art of leadership, public speaking and community service.

On the third and final part of the program, the community service campaign was launched. The students observed and surveyed the school of underprivileged kids they were going to work with, isolated some issues and split into two groups. Each group was allowed 20 minutes for presentation. The students collected data and resources from the Internet and other sources and worked out a plan. The presentations were interactive, with dramas, stories, posters and placards carrying colourful pictures, slogans, quotes etc. The children responded enthusiastically, and thus the community service campaigns ended.

After the community service component, the participants had to make posters that covered their projects, and write reports. The posters were presented during the graduation ceremony, in front of Chief Guest Shireen Manzoor, Brother James S. Sarker, Vice Principal of Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School, and Md. Ejaj Ahmad, Founder and President of BYLC. The Graduation Ceremony was held in Saint Joseph, on the 22nd of July, 2010. The participants received certificates, and exchanged heavyhearted goodbyes after three incredible and wonderful weeks.

By Kokoro

ARE you sick and tired of everybody calling you an idiot because they think you can't do anything by yourself? Do you think everything in life should be as fast and easy as making Maggi 2 minute noodles? Are 'sloth' and 'lazybones' your favourite two words out of the entire Oxford dictionary?

If your answer to all these questions is yes, this article is just for you! Behold, the ultimate slacker's list of the world's quickest and easiest DIY. Nothing can get any simpler than this, trust us.

The 'Edward Cullen' Hairdo (because it sparkles)
Take a pair of scissors and chop off chunks of hair randomly from your head. Now look closely at the mirror, take a razor and give yourself a thorough stadium-shave to the point of gleaming perfection (doesn't matter if you miss a spot or two though, you can always pass it off as 'ishtyle'). Voila! You now have the most fashionable hairdo in the world: the 'Chaandi-chhila' cut. Pretty easy, wasn't it?

Caution: The hairdo can be a deadly crow-poop magnet. Birds just can't seem to resist a head that shines.

Wear the World
Take today's Daily Star, pick a folded centre page, place an old T-shirt on it with the neckline aligned with the fold and cut out the shape. Now slip your head through the paper-neck and tape off the side slits. There you have it, your revolutionary debut into the fashion world! It's cheap, it's easy and it makes people stop dead in their tracks just to have a look at you (and read the paper, of course). Global warming would probably take a hike, but hey at least those cute little furry animals would be happy for a change!

Caution: Paper-wares are extremely popular with a certain group of fashion pioneers who like to call themselves the 'Nengta Fokirs'. So, if you happen to get a call from their lawyer regarding copyright issues, this writer is in no way to blame.

Because Mother Nature Loves Football
Take a big, ripe Jambura (if you don't know what a Jambura is, go to the local fruit-store and ask them to smash one on your head), rub a little mustard oil on it to give a glossy sheen and take it with you to the football field. You now have your very own customised 'Jamburani' ball! Yay you!!

Caution: The age old Bangali tradition of substituting a football with Jambura usually demands heavily muddy fields and bootless playing of the game. Therefore, good luck losing all your toe-nails with your 'Jamburani'. Heh.

Wavin' What?
This one's for the ladies. Bored of all your regular-patterned saris? Take up a noble mission and go from door to door collecting all the different WC flags. You can even go hunting for the foot-long ones now haplessly hanging over the Nilkhet/Hawker's market zone. Now that the World Cup's over they'll be pretty glad to get rid of them, seriously. Join the different flags by sewing/taping and there you have it, the most unique, hand-made, sari in the whole wide world. With this, the 'talli-mara' genre will make its debut into the fashion world and who knows, you might even get selected as FIFA's 'Say No To Racism' ambassador for next WC! Lucky you!!

To wrap it up, here's the wackiest (and lamest) in the history of DIY: take a pair of full pants and cut off the legs around the knees. You now have a pair of shorts. Haha!

Until next time.




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