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The Cat that Danced with Death

Week One
'Then they summoned me over to join in with them, to the dance of the death
Into the circle of fire I followed them
Into the middle I was led.'

The words from the music wafted, towards my lifeless body. Staring at your own dead form is unsettling, but one gets used to it. If only I could have avoided the middle of the stupid circle. Damn you, radius! Indeed, this is the fifth time I died this week. Well, four more lives to go. And you thought being a cat was easy. It shouldn't take more than 30 seconds to re-incarnate. Why must I always wait seven minutes? Either way, it's almost time to re-join the land of the living. I'll stop dancing now. This unholy place indeed gets tiresome sometime. The stirring in my heart has begun and now the suspended spiritual form is racing into the physical one. Breathe… and you are alive again.

Week Two
And I danced and I pranced and I sang with them, All had death in their eyes
Lifeless figures they were undead all of them. They had ascended from hell

A maniac behind the wheel of a red truck is the sole reason for losing my sixth life. It's a bloody mess indeed. Sure, seven minutes and I'll be right back up, but the disfiguration remains. Death leaves its mark on you. Permanent and indelible. Constantly dying really takes away the fear. Come on now, let's be re-born. I really need to lick myself clean and chase that annoying glass reflection from the sun. It keeps moving like it's still alive. Someone has to put an end to it. Get up useless body. Oh! Here comes my master. Well, of all the nerve! He just sees me and wanders past like it doesn't even matter. Hello, I just died again! Stupid exclamation marks make me sound like a pansy. Ah… seven minutes are up. Okay, figures from hell, we can stop dancing now. And next time, do something about your eyes.

Week Three
As I danced with the dead, my free spirit was laughing and howling down at me.
Until the time came to reunite us both, my spirit came back down to me
I didn't know if I was alive or dead….

No, I am sure I am dead. I'll be alive in a while. Seven minutes to be exact, really. Two more lives left, I really need to be careful. There goes my master, oblivious as usual. When you die on a weekly basis, people stop caring. No more tears or funerals. Cat just died again, big deal. But, it hurts nonetheless. Stupid fish with its big thorn-like bones, choked the life out of me, literally. Stupid free spirit laughing like it's mental. Stop laughing, free spirit and let us re-unite already. I have another week to go.

Week Four
When you're lying in your sleep, when you're lying in your bed
And you wake from your dreams to go dancing with the dead

Not a wonderful idea. Who has ever heard of a cat having a cardiac arrest while sleeping and then going dancing with Death? I cannot believe that happened to me. Only one more life to go. Stupid meat soaked in milk. That must be the cause. Stupid master and his stupid dishes. In the very next line I would have promised never to go dancing with death and now I can't anymore, apparently. One last chance. On the bright side, at least when I don't wake up anymore, they will cry. Finally. Stupid Step Up 3D, influencing me to go dancing. Wonder why I was let go eight times? Keep your cool, Kitty, let's try and not do something retarded for at least another two years.

By Osama Rahman
Excerpts from 'Dance of Death', written and performed by Iron Maiden

Amazing 25 Days

It is amazing to witness the opening ceremony of any World Cup live from the stadium and it is also incredible to be a participant in such an auspicious occasion. I was never really interested in school displays and I was not good at dancing. But when I found out that the ICC World Cup 2011 is taking place in this sub-continent and the Opening Ceremony is happening in Bangladesh I wanted to be a part of this great event, a part of our country's memorable moment.

Choreographers had been sent to each of the selected schools to select the junior performers for the opening ceremony. The choreographer had instructed us to do a few steps of the dances we were going to perform for about half an hour. I along with those who got through were given a form where we had to fill up the information.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) rented buses for each school to pick up and drop students to and from the rehearsals (the number of students going from my school, Dhaka Residential Model College was 150). The first half of rehearsals took place in the Dhaka Army Stadium, under strict secrecy.

We started rehearsals at 7:30 in the morning and finished after six in the evening, with a few breaks in between where we were given food and drinks. The first few days of the rehearsals were kind of exhausting, as we were not used to practicing dance moves under the open sun. Also, the dance moves and formations were kind of hard, and we were frequently scolded by the choreographers for not doing them properly. Afterwards, however, we managed to learn those movements by heart and it began to feel easy.

During the breaks we had, we were allowed to see the preparations for the other segments of the show. I was part of the Indian segment.

There were three segments in all: Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India; the entire three segments combined had 2200 student performers from 14 different schools.

The later rehearsals took place in Bangabandhu National Stadium itself. We, the boys especially, had a fun time in and around the stadium. There, during our breaks; we saw the fireworks being fitted all around the stadium in special cannons, lighting and sound systems having check runs and so much more.

As the opening ceremony drew closer, we were practicing harder and our practice hours grew longer, up to 10 pm. We were given the long awaited costumes, (although we were not able to rehearse in them, due to lack of time) and strangely, make up (to make us all look shiny, I guess).

The choreographers repeatedly kept on reminding us that the whole world would be watching our performance, so we will have to put up our best. Everyone was growing nervous. Nevertheless, we were all excited when the show finally began at 6:30 in the evening, The Indian segment was up first. I had never seen so many people in one stadium. When we finally entered the stage and gave our best performance ever, I was overjoyed.

\A stadium full of cheering, screaming people, fireworks shooting up in the night sky vibrant colours, laser show and sounds... I will never forget those amazing moments. After the show, we were hugging the choreographers, volunteers and ourselves for giving such a wonderful performance.

I was so happy; I could have jumped over the moon. Looking back now, I am very proud and lucky to have been part of such a historic event.

By Muhit Hossain

Cut It Out

How does a rumour start? At which point do the facts twist out of shape and become the gross degeneration that rumours are? And what is there to do when there are rumours circulating about you everywhere?

According to a recent research that has been conducted in several universities, the first person to hear a rumour says to the second person, "I heard a rumour that … happened." The second person, in turn, tells the third person, "I don't know if it's true, but I heard that … happened." And the third person, while passing the bit of news on to the fourth person says, "Did you know that … happened?" Through repetition, a rumour turns into fact. So the most important thing to do is to stop a rumour from being repeated.

And how can we stop a rumour from being repeated?

Denying a rumour is probably the worst thing that can be done. The more you deny it, the stronger it gets. When you deny a rumour, nobody actually remembers the denial; you're just reasserting it.

Suppose there's a rumour going around about you bunking school. As you try to deny and say, "I did not bunk school," the "I did not" fades away from their minds and you become known as the person who bunked school to sneak off somewhere.

After some more time, you become known as the person who bunks school regularly to sneak off and meet up with some punks to engage in sinful activities, as each person adds his own tidbits to the piece of gossip, quite like in the game of Chinese Whispers.

Some rumours are so commonly believed to be facts, that even news channels publish them with nonchalance, like how there will be terrible radioactive rains in Bangladesh because of Fukushima.

Other less serious ones can cause massive amounts of disappointment amongst the masses anyway, like the time when a leading mobile company first launched, and there was a rumour going on that people who subscribe to it get a free cell phone.

Sometimes, rumours are started purposefully to harm a company/person's reputation. There are many such rumours about a soft drink manufacturer and they took the time to create a website listing every one of those rumours, stating how and why they are untrue.

This turns out to be a wrong decision, as those who read the list only remember the rumours, hardly the explanations.

So if rumours are chasing you, the smartest thing you can do is pretend like they don't exist. Remember, these rumours usually last for around a couple of months before it goes stale. Don't give them anything to feed on, and they are bound to die out.

Source : The Economist

By Anashua


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