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New Year is a strange time of the year. For some it's a fresh start. Then we all find out, we can start next year. Others feel it's a time to party. Which in case of our Bangla New Year, the parties are all on the street. Colours, people, music, food, what can be better? And then there are a few who can't care less. But how can we not care? It's a marker, a waypoint, a milestone that helps us define all we've done and all we will do. A New Year is the celebration of the promise that our lives hold. And without promise, there's really no point in a life. We wish you a happy new year.

In the meantime, enjoy this artwork to the right sent in by Malifa Nowshin Nova, Viqarunnisa Noon School, Class 9.

-- Ehsanur Raza Ronny, RS Editor

The gamchha

shall set you free

By Anashua

The world is a big place and there are many places and islands in the nooks and crannies of Earth. So one day, fate decides to slam you down into one such backwoods. You are stuck in a deserted island. And because it is cruel and likes to play jokes, life decided to throw a gamchha in the mix. Then it sat back with a bowl of popcorn and a large coke to watch the show. But little did it understand the power of the gamchha. Here's the RS guide to survival.

Step 1: Realisation

You are not in the Truman Show. Don't kid yourself thinking there are beach houses on the other side. You're in a deserted island and you can only get out of here when you accept the fact that you're stranded. So weep. Bawl like a baby because no one within a hundred miles can hear you.

And use your gamchha to wipe your tears.

Step 2: Depression

After you realise that you're stranded and alone, it's time for some severe depression. All those episodes of Gossip Girl and Big Bang Theory? Missed. You give up on life. You lie down for hours and hours just hoping for death. But remember, the sun is still in the sky. And it's burning you. Unless you want to get skin cancer while you're far away from humanity and chemotherapy, protect yourself.

Use your gamchha Arabian style and cover your face against the sun.

Step 3: Action

By now you're sure to get hungry. You find a variety of wild turnips growing on the island, but you remember that you hate vegetables. If your mom's smacks couldn't make you eat them, neither can a deserted island. So remember amader choto nodi chole baake baake, where kids catch fish in gamchhas.

Enjoy the sushi.

If you cannot relate with the Japanese at all, try lighting a fire using two rocks and some shreds of your gamchha. Barbecue.

Step 4: Intense Survival

It's been a while on the island. You hair is flowing past your shoulders as you strut around the place like you are the king of the island, which you are. But those pesky locks keep getting in your eye while you are chilling on the beach.

Use a strip of your gamchha to make a badass ponytail.

Step 5: Entertainment

At this point, you will probably get bored of all the hard work. You need some entertainment, so capture a turtle or baby walrus. In an island there are no cages available.

Use your gamchha to tie your pet to a tree.

Step 6: Getaway

Your turtle doesn't do much, you're tired of eating fish and there's sand in your unmentionables. It's time to leave the island. Hoist you gamchha as a flag, seeking help from nearby ships. Chances are they will mistake your island for the sovereign Gamchha Republic and leave you alone. So we have an alternative.

Gather all the logs you can find, and tie them up with strips of your fraying gamchha to make a raft. Ride the waves, laugh maniacally like a Viking, roar at the storms and come back to civilisation like a boss.

Try not to cry when you miss your turtle while you are grinding away at your boring deskjob.

New Year, everywhere

By Selima Kabir

Ah, Pohela Boishakh - that festival on 14th April that makes us uniquely Bengali. A day that is not significant to any other culture but ours. Well, actually it seems others around the world are celebrating as we speak.

Remember how one of the significances of Pohela Boishakh is the end of harvesting season? Turns out Cambodia had a similar idea. Due to this, Cambodian New Year coincides exactly with ours, falling on the 13th and 14th of April.

Then Myanmar didn't want to be left out, so they joined in too. Mid April is their Burmese New Year Water Festival. The Burmese thought that calling it New Year is too mainstream, so they call it the New Year Water Festival. (See what I did there? Water and Main Stream?) It used to be determined by the lunar calendar - but they decided making it fall on the same day as Cambodia, Laos, parts of Assam and Kerala (yes, parts of India too!) and Bangladesh was cooler, so they shifted to the Roman Calendar.

So guys, have fun this Pohela Boishakh and if you have any friends across borders - be sure to wish them too!

Take some time to rant. Feel better? Go to our Facebook page for more. Link below.

Ramisa Nawar Promee
Every Thursday, the Editor's Note turns into my Facebook Status and it achieves too many likes as well! :-P
P.S.: The tag "Editor's note, The Rising Stars" is also included underneath the status! So, no obligation of copying, please! XD

Phiba Mondal
Ehsanur Raza Ronny " Life- an incomplete game".
A thank you for a stabbing truth.

Tahseen Nur
Guys, won't there be any articles about pohela baishakh? u know, the heat, couples, the fun...

The heat is there, the fun is there. But no couples, sorry. RS

Taiseer Ahsan
I just LOVED the centre page! It's epic as always! Thanks to Shaer bhaiya and Munawar bhaiya. Keep 'em coming boys!

Arif Khan Nabil
The Hunger Games is a rip-off of the Japanese movie called Battle Royale which was adapted from Koushin Takami's novel. In an interview in 2008, Suzanne Collins said that she didn't know that Battle Royale even existed until the novel was finished, my point is even I saw the movie in 2007, how come she didn't know about it.

Dhrubo Saif
Riding a bus, like a baws... nice article but I have a question. Which bus it was? I also want to ride that!

Neko Naf
Honestly, I highly respect Anonymous and regularly follow their FB page and The Hacker News. While it's true they've done a lot in the name of freedom of speech and against corruption, people must ask themselves - has it really changed anything? Corruption is still slapping us in the face every waking moment of our lives. I'm not saying Anonymous isn't making a difference, but it isn't making enough of a difference either.



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