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Things to do under 10 taka

So you have spent your month's allowance to buy a ticket for the SRK concert and now you are flat broke. Can't ask for money from your parents and your friends have abandoned you because your idea of a birthday treat was taking a deep breath outside their favourite restaurant. What you have now is a recipe for adventures, because only when you have nothing to lose can you actually enjoy the smaller and less fine things that life has to offer. We at RS have prepared a list of things to do for times like these. Here's our list of things you can enjoy for less than ten taka. (Each of the items mentioned here costs less than ten bucks, not all of them together. This is not the '60s. If it was, then you would not be considered broke and this article would have been pointless.)

1. Food: Dhaka is a very diverse city with its wealth of inexpensive food items. The best part is that this does not necessarily mean that after eating those you'll be bathroom-prone for a week. There are the obvious choices, fuchka, bhelpuri, jhalmuri and chanachur. In this winter season, you can get those delicious bhapa pithas or if you're up for some nutrition: boiled eggs. If you want a whole meal, then you can get breakfast under ten taka in a lot of places around the Dhaka university area. So, don't worry, even if you cannot have pizza, you won't starve.

2. Dessert: You have had your meal and now you want something sweet. Back in the awesome '90s you could get ice creams for less than ten bucks. Now even lollies are expensive! So, you cannot get anything from the reputed companies. What you have to do is find one of those mamas who sell those lollies and malais wrapped in papers that look strikingly like newspapers. Your sense of hygiene will certainly be tingled.

3. Fun things to do: If you have to do anything fun, you can always go people watching in the streets. It's absolutely free and is the hobby of the rest of Dhaka city. You could also go to Rapa Plaza and play Air hockey at the Happy Today food court. Each match is ten bucks and that's certainly the most fun you could have for that amount of money.

4. Places to go: Who says there aren't any places to visit for ten bucks? There are in fact, tons of them. The Shishu Park at Shahbagh, the national zoo, Lalbagh Fort and Botanical Garden are some of the places that let you in for under ten.

5. Things to read: And you guys probably thought we couldn't find things to read! There are obviously the newspapers, but better yet is the collection of old comics and magazines that you can get at Nilkhet or New Market. If you buy in bulk and have very good haggling skills, you can get magazines like MAD from 1980s from Zinat bookstore at New Market.

6. Accessories: As you guys already saw during Bijoy Dibosh, you can get those tiny flags and bandanas for ten taka. You can also get colourful wristbands for ten bucks.

Celebrate the end of 2010 in tens!

By Orin


We met at a convenience store, on a miserable day, dark and gloomy. I just wanted to grab the eggs my mom needed to cook dinner with, hurry home, crawl into bed and sleep till it was nice and sunny again. While I waited in line at the counter, I saw you. How in heaven's name you hid from me till then I don't know, because when I went in for my regular appointment the doctor gave me every assurance that my sight hadn't deteriorated further. You were dressed in the deepest of greens, lighting up the far corner of the store where you stood so, so tall, quietly reveling in the second, third and fourth glances every passer-by threw you. I could call it love at first sight, but the only thing I cared about as I begged your employer to let me take you away with me earlier than he would have liked was finding you a warm fireplace to sit by. You looked awfully cold in that corner.

My mom hated you. Too tall, she said. Far too tall. I didn't care. Yet it wasn't until you nearly took an eye out of my annoying brother that I fell in love with you. It was an accident, I know, and more his fault than yours, yet it was as though you belonged at my house. You fought the battles your own way. When granny swatted at you with her purse, you filled it with needles so she yelped and jumped back. When drunk Uncle Crabb tried to tear at your pretty green dress, you clawed his hand and drew blood. That hand never strayed again. It pains me to remember how hard my family was on you; they were just stressed about the Big Day. I should have apologized before I lost my chance.

Ah yes, the Big Day. Your Day. That day they couldn't take from you. My sisters giggled as they dressed you up, with ribbons in your hair and stones glittering on your fingers. They veiled you with lace, still tall, shining so bright it hurt to look at you. I remember being speechless; I didn't know what to do. Then a little cousin came forward and handed me something that was all shimmer and sharp edges. Even mother and granny cheered as I walked down the aisle and climbed the stool to crown you.

The days passed, as did the season. When your head started drooping I knew you were homesick, missing the brown soil of your own land. I did my best to take care of you, yet you grew thinner and thinner, until one morning I discovered your body near the fireplace where you spent all your time, stiff and cold and hard. For a long time I remained by your side, grieving for all that we'd lost. My family burned you, but I couldn't stand the smell. I didn't watch. I wanted to ask your forgiveness for that, too.

You were special. Not like all the others I'd brought home, loved, and tossed back straight into the cold. You didn't leave in the winter, but stayed all through spring, until it was warm again, until I had no need of you anymore. It's almost the same time we met, last year, has it already been that long? I only want you to know, if you can hear, that I will love you forever. I want you to know that when I replace you, my heart will break just that little bit more. But replace you I must. After all, another Christmas is almost here, and we need another tree.

By Professor Spork

Muktijuddho O Tarpor -
Oggro Celebrates Victory Day

Oggro Agamir Bangladesh is a non-government, non-profit youth organisation run by active youths. OGGRO was founded with the belief that the youths of our nation could lead local and national community development through voluntary social work. As such, OGGRO works as a think tank geared towards developing and implementing youth-led policies in various sectors, such as education, disability, environment and youth empowerment. On the occasion of 16th December, Victory Day, Oggro organised an event christened Muktijuddho O Tarpor.

The event kicked off early morning on the 17th of December and was held throughout the day, countrywide. Symbolically divided into 11 sectors, just like in our Liberation War, over 1000 volunteers turned up to participate. Within Dhaka, the sectors were Dhanmondi, Gulshan 1 and 2, Kawran Bazaar, and Uttara. Oggro was forced to expand their scope of the event to areas outside Dhaka such as Khulna, Rangpur, Barisal and Munshiganj due to the overwhelming response they received from rural youth volunteers.

Turning key locations in each sector into a makeshift base of operations, the volunteers worked on issues plaguing society in urban and rural areas. In Dhanmondi, Oggro members cleaned the streets armed with gloves and polythene bags, while elsewhere the volunteers took a stand on issues such as eve teasing, corruption, climate change and trials of war criminals. Wearing blue Oggro t-shirts and unified under one banner, Oggro members worked throughout the day till lunch was served. Then they marched to the National Parliament Building from Dhanmondi, while those from other areas in Dhaka and outside Dhaka travelled there by bus. Honourable deputy speaker of Parliament Mr Shawkat Ali MP gave a speech as chief guest to the eager crowd of teens gathered there. The president of Oggro Bangladesh, Farzeen Ferdous Alam, and the head of Marketing at Assurance Developments also had an inspiring speech ready. Afterwards the gathered youth took an oath to build a better tomorrow for Bangladesh and upholding the honour of the freedom fighters and countless innocent civilians who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of our country. Overall, the large turnout of volunteers across the country and good co-ordination among the sector commanders and organisers ensured success of the event. Proper time management is crucial for events of this type, and thankfully the organisers were on the mark in terms of sticking to the schedule.

Oggro plans to cover more areas of Bangladesh for its projects, such as 'Youth in Action' the goal of which is empowerment of rural youth. They are currently developing an agenda of activities that addresses climate change.

The organisers would like to thank Assurance Developments, Mercantile Bank, Robi, and media partner Radio Today for their support in putting together this event. A big shout out goes to all the volunteers who helped make it all happen. Look out for more Oggro events in the future.

Thanks to:
Farzeen Ferdous Alam, President of Oggro Bangladesh
Farhan Nur Shabab and Shafin Fattah

By Shaer Duita Phish Reaz



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