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By Confused Vegetable

You know that feeling when your car has been sitting in the same position for the past 30 minutes or so, and you're looking out your window at an overtly active piece of world, where just nearby a tremendously anxious driver has hit a nearby car whose owner happens to have lost his mind at the moment when suddenly a kid who can barely make it to the window because of her short height (or just malnutrition) is cajoling you to buy her dying roses, and you look into her features and think how beautiful the dust-covered street kid is and force yourself to look away because it's too much to take and look in another direction only to ponder upon the stacks of garbage here and there, the broken footpaths with large manholes still open, and you look up from the depressing infrastructure and hygiene management only to find a rastar chokra wearing an intensely bright orange shirt, leaning over the wall where it says “ekhane poster lagano nishedh (sticking posters here is banned)”, with tonnes of “Bhalobashar Rong” posters on it nevertheless, and Mr. Rastar Chokra (a.k.a. eve teaser) checking out every single girl that walks past and you finally decide it's an awfully chaotic piece of world out there, but still - unknown to your own self - you smile, and think - however it is, this piece of the world is called Bangladesh, it's where I belong, and there's no other place I'd rather be.

It's almost like your mother, you see. Not in that poetic sense where your own country is referred to as your mother, but in the sense that even though your mother annoys the hell out of you - bossing around when she knows nothing about bossing around, making things unpleasantly awkward in public especially when you're with your friends, and making a big scene out of your low grades - you still happen to love her, not for the sake of it being the work of fate (cause obviously, God didn't let you choose your very own mother) - but, you really do love her and wouldn't want to exchange another lady with her.

What if, 41 years ago, some young bloods, much like you and me, didn't have the blatant intrepidness - not to mention glaring courage - to move up to the front line by will and make their lives come second? What if they ran away in search of somewhere safe, had become intimidated as the natural outcome should've been, after seeing 100s of people lying dead on the streets in the 25th March massacare, after hearing the sounds of gunshots, bombs and people screaming all night long right outside - what if they gave up and said: okay, do whatever you want to do, just don't hurt us? What if? Well, take a good long look at the state of Pakistan.

Thank God I'm a Bangladeshi; thank God. But the onus is on us again. Things aren't well. And if we don't fix it, who will? You think we'd have won in '71 if we sat at home complaining over Facebook? One man can change the face of a nation. Don't take my word for it; read up on a little history. YOU can change the state of Bangladesh. All you have to do is lead the way.


This story was, well, weird. And while it leaves you thinking, "Whaaat?!", it was well written. For next week we have 'Farewell Waltz' as our topic. All submissions need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.


By Nadira Tasnim

People are sometimes not what they seem to be. A boy who you would think has a passion for singing could suddenly come and snatch your purse. There is, indeed, no lack of this type of people. Perhaps everyone you see around is like this. The simple looking could turn out to be weird ones.

I walked slowly, in case the strong current of air spoiled the delicate flower seedlings that I bought for my sister, a nature lover. I slowed down my walking when I saw a young girl about the age of five or six playing with something on the road. She was wearing a faded pink frock and the thing in her hand looked like something I have never seen. I felt curious and walked over to her. At a closer look I saw it was some kind of a battery that you use for cell phones but it was the size of a book. Strange. It had the same shape and structure of a normal battery but it was bigger.

I asked her if I could take a look at it but she refused and covered it with her hands. 'It's mine,' she said in a childish tone.

'I know it's yours but can I have a look at it?' I asked. 'Just once?'

'No.' she said in a calm voice.

I understood it was no use forcing her to give me the thing, so I began a small conversation with her. Most of what she said made no sense to me. When I asked her what her name was she suddenly said, 'Do you know what charge means?'

'Yes,' I hesitated. 'It's some positive or negative part of something.' It was difficult to explain such things to a child. But she laughed and said, 'You are right. I am charged.' She laughed mysteriously. I was feeling ridiculous at the strange things she said.

After about ten minutes her voice became weaker and softer till she couldn't speak at all. Then she went to a corner of the footpath and pulled out a wire from no where. What she did later on shocked me. She put one end of the wire on one end of the battery and the other end inside her mouth. She looked as if she was eating something delicious. When she came to me, leaving the wire on the footpath I asked her what she just did.

'I just got myself charged.' She laughed energetically and walked away.

Take Five, Dave.

By Ibrahim

The 5th of December saw the passing of Dave Brubeck, arguably the most loved and famed jazz pianist and composer of all time. Although not the Purist's cup of tea, who always wanted jazz to be a niche for a cultured few, Brubeck almost single-handedly increased the popularity of the genre and coined the term 'progressive jazz' with his extraordinary use of time signatures.

Brubeck discovered he was one of 'those' people very early in his life, when he found that he could play the piano by 'faking it' and not reading sheet music, which he didn't understand too well when he was young. His music was unconventional like that, too, as he explored many avenues in and around jazz which arguably led to its connection with people who weren't all that fond of it.

For me, jazz music had always been synonymous to the Miles Davis, John Coltrane and the likes. But music is always about connection and peace and the beautiful unity of different kinds of people. Brubeck did just that and he leaves this world, at the age of 91, having made it a far more beautiful place. We at RS say farewell to this great man.

Tracks to
listen to:

Take Five
What Is This Thing Called Love
Strange Meadow Lark
Camptown Races


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