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Most Welcome
A movie so awesome it needed it’s own page for a review.You’re most welcome.

By Ero Senin

“It's time. It's about time.”

Play “Back in black” in high volume. Squint at that spot on your floor. Grimace. Think about someone slipping on a banana skin. Don't laugh.

Position yourself in the very middle of the theatre. Place your hands on the hand-rests. Take several deep breathes. Switch off your phone. Scrutinise the advertisements to their finest details. Stand when the national flag is shown.

Brace yourself. Awesomeness Anantaness is coming. And he is Most Welcome at it.

In the city of dreams where time and space collide furiously, linking Dhaka, Bangkok and Malaysia together in an incredible wormhole, and where gravity is just another word, you shall see a majar. There is a magic box in that majar, called “poblem box”. You drop your 'poblems' and it shalt be solved.

Feast your eyes on the hero on the motor-cycle. It is Mr. M. A. Jalil Ananta, wearing a mask which does not belong to Krrish, India's own rip-off of the western superheroes. He shall gather the ransom to free your father, like Robin Hood and his Merry Men, except he'll do it alone, after swerving left, right, up and down, dodging bullets that can blow up trucks, leaves and entire mountains, like the Matrix and the Expendables in one brilliant package. Enemies of the fair, beware.

“Zara bhalo hote chay, tader Most Welcome. Ar jara chay na, tader goodbye.”

If you are not from Ghana, or if your mother is not from Russia, then you know about the Anti Corruption Commission here. Aryan, the alter-ego of the superhero, is a brilliant officer of the commission. He raids the house of the villain ABC (Abul Baker Chowdhury) to confiscate black money. Being 'chistir sera jib', the very best of creation, he decodes the barks of a dog to uncover stashes of stolen money (10 crore 33 lacs of it).

Suddenly there is a phone call. Aryan picks up. It's a girl. It's ABC's girl, Odhora. She is pretty, and crazy. She is pretty crazy. But her voice makes Anonto's heart melt. Is this the first sign of love?

(If you are underage, I suggest you leave the theatre right now. There are some intense scenes to follow.)

Odhora (Borsha) wants to frame Aryan. She starts “eve-teasing” him. She *ehem* tears (the sleeves of) her clothes in his office room. She jumps on his motor cycle (in the most memorable flirting sequence this reporter has ever seen in his entire life) and... Okay. Some pretty hot stuff in there.

If you have a cast on your hand and/or are wincing in pain every 10 seconds, please ignore it. Start clapping with all your might. This is absolutely important.

Aryan and Odhora are in love. With his mere touch Aryan sends electricity through Odhora while she lights Aryan's fire with hers. Quite literally. And to save themselves, in the most fascinating dance sequence ever, Aryan and Odhora jump into the ocean.

Now you shall see why Toy Story 3 should have been made in Bangladesh. Watch Aryan and Odhora sort of flying in the water and start typing a hate mail to Pixar and Disney.

Sit through the entire film. Fondly recall Rambo when you watch Anonto jumping into a helicopter. Give your senses a treat with every camera work. Start loving the full-breasted superhero in long, black, leather overcoat and sando genji.

A Very Serious Verdict:
We say a lot of negative things about Mr. Ananta. But does he really deserve it? We call his films bad, because we are so accustomed to the Hollywood ones. But how many of us have actually watched the regular Bangla movies? Compared to those, Ananta's movies are like... The Dark Knight on Titanic pirating on the seas of Pandora. That's how good they are.

And with every movie, the actual quality is improving. The acting was better than the previous movies. Ananta doesn't speak too much English. The camera work was better. The plot had promise. All in all, it was a better movie than most other Bangla films. Worth watching.

The blues after the break

By Mastura Tasnim

This country changes before Eid. It takes on a new shape, trying to look thinner and fatter at the same time - like an old lady clutching onto her years. It decides to dress up for the event, and like any teenage girl, doesn't realise when enough is enough. So it dons on the brightest colours, the rarest fabrics and the craziest hues. It slinks into kitchens and reminds mothers of what's due: pitha, shemai, and lots and lots of biriyani, too. It makes sure everyone's there and everyone knows. There is a silent hum of anticipation that can be heard by the rich and the poor, the able and the not-so-able, the young and the old.

“Hey there, this Eid will work out just the way you want it to. It's this day you look forward to when you toil all day long; this day you hope will light up your home. This one day for all the other days of your year.”

And so we wait. We wait patiently, sometimes eagerly and often we can't stand to wait at all. Chad raat comes and goes way too fast for our liking. The children crane their necks to catch a glimpse of that sliver of moon, the women pile up stacks of fragrant food, the men exchange quick embraces and awkward murmurs, while the girls lay out intricate mehendi decorations on their soft, slender hands. There are games to be played, jokes to be laughed at, people to be scolded and things to be ordered out for the next day. The air itself comes to life.

The very next morning, there's a flurry of movement. Where did you put my new toupee? Have you seen the coloured glass bangles? No, do I look like I want breakfast?! Fine, pass me the naru.

As the prayers end, the kolakoli ensues. So does the salam-e. There are hoards of guests - some we like, and some we don't know. In the midst of all the chaos, we find ourselves a lively tune and hum it beneath our breath - this day for all other days of the year!

And then somehow it ends. It doesn't matter that TV channels proclaim there are five days of Eid. There's just one - okay, maybe two, as Eid doesn't seem to end till we've gone and watched Ittayadi with the rest of the family. It's the perfect ending, if not the only ending, to the celebration. We shrug off the new clothes (or the semi-new ones), we box up the left-overs and shove them in a corner of the fridge, we count up the salam-e (or the lack of it) and we tuck our tired selves to bed.

Then a week goes by. Then two. A month passes by and we still stay bemused. There is a feeling of anti-climax, of emptiness - as if life lost a little meaning somewhere. We're back in the familiar groove, the hustle and bustle of daily life and all the responsibilities that come with it. Just perhaps though, the monotony of the ordinary helps define the extraordinary. And when it all gets too overwhelming, we can always look to the horizon and find that another Eid is due.

Vacation Unwanted

By Jawad

It's rather unthinkable that vacations can be unwanted. The student kind has always considered the weekends, summer vacations, winter breaks and even the occasional strikes and hartals as a direct blessing from the Heavens. But there are times when much greater things are at stake. The students of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) are “suffering” such a vacation spanning out over two months. It started off as a strike of protest by the teachers and now has escalated to a whole-hearted effort from nearly everyone concerned about the leading engineering university in the country. The demands are quite simple: the removal of the Vice Chancellor and the Pro Vice Chancellor, the last post being an invalid one, according to the constitution. Despite the overwhelming pressure placed on the two teachers occupying the aforementioned positions, they are not yet resigning.

So what we are getting is about two months without any sort of academic activities. Keep in mind that there was another one month off during April-May. If the original calendar was followed, by the time this article was being written, another semester would have ended. Even if the classes start from next week, the lag will ensure that it will be at least January till the next semester starts. One full year to complete a six month semester. Then there is the admission test for the next batch. Keep in mind that election season is coming and those will be hectic times.

“We were already behind when we started. We also had a one-year long semester. So with all this going on, we might be looking at more than 5 years for the completion of our B.Sc,” said Shihab (batch '09). This is creating the gap of at least a year between two students of the same batch but in different universities. So while one is working in a job and being all corporate, his former classmate is still a student.

“Previously my friends at IUT (Islamic University of Technology) would have graduated at least 6 months before me, but now the gap will be at least a year. Jobs will be scarcer for us,” Imon (BUET, Chemical Engineering) says. While other public engineering universities may suffer similar fate as BUET, the private ones, outside the political influence are getting farther ahead.

The senior most batch at BUET, the ones who started in 2007, have already missed a scholarship window, and are in danger of missing another one. They might fall behind but the others won't wait for them. Another new batch (the ones who took H.S.C. this April) is supposed to take the admission test by September and should start as soon as February, like the previous years. But if that happens there would be 5 different batches in their four year studies. We are looking at a great session jam.

This grave situation should not be allowed to continue any further. Pulok might have joked, “My marriage will be delayed,” but his smile was a tired one. We want a healthy resolution.


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