Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Vote

The national election that took place yesterday, was the most anticipated event in the history of Bangladesh in many years. I'm not a columnist or a political analyst so I'm not going to write anything about it. If you're a Bangladeshi, you already know too much. But what I'm writing about here is my first voting experience. Several months back the work started to create the country's first national ID cards and the national voter list. From that point on right to the moment I casted my vote yesterday, the whole process seemed so systematic that it was almost unbelievable to many that it was happening in Bangladesh. Particularly yesterday, from going to the vote center and casting my vote, it didn't take me any more than 10 minutes, amazing huh? I went there, the whole center, which was a local school, was divided into several booths and lines so that the process gets faster. I only had to stand in my line for a couple of minutes or so. Then when I was called in, they asked me my voter serial number, which was provided earlier, they matched the number with my name, I went on to the second desk, a guy there checked my name against my photo which they had in their books, and another guy took my signature, marked my finger with an ink and handed me the all important ballot paper. I took it, went behind a curtain, took no time and cast my vote, folded the paper, got out, put it in the transparent ballot box, and there you go, it was done. No confusion whatsoever. Felt great to have exercised my right without any problem at all.
As for the results of this election, it definitely has been a silent revolution, against corruption, against crime, against economic unstability, against the war criminals and so on. Now all we hope is the winning party keeps up to the huge expectations of the people, that they learn something from the events that took place during the last two years, that they respond to the call for change that's being echoed throughout the country. May Allah help us all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Different Eid

Usually my Eids are all the same, they don't vary much from year to year. But this Eid-ul Azha was indeed a bit different due to the fact that this time we've spent the Eid without my father and big bro, as they're spending the Eid in London. They went there about ten days ago, just for visiting purposes. My family members (other than me) have many golden memories in the UK, they had spent a considerable period in London for the post graduate studies of my dad and mom. Dad wished to revisit his old connections there so, quite out of the blue, he took my brother and set off.
Usually both of them play important roles during the Eid ul Azha, in coordinating the tasks of Qurbani. This time my brother in law, Dr. Helal replaced them. On the day of Eid I was busy the whole day with him. I don't know why, but I always enjoy one part of this Eid every year, getting my hands dirty with the meat! Yup, I just love it. Sorting out all the meat, putting them in plastic bags, storing them in the freezer, distributing them to a few of my relatives and neighbors. And that's what kept me busy that day.
It's too late to say Eid Mubarak, but still I hope that this Eid has brought happiness to our hearts. May Allah accept the Qurbani of us all, and give us the gift of Imaan in return.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Electrical Day: Milestones - Good and Bad

The AUST EEE Society's Electrical Day '08, held on November 27 on AUST campus, will always be unforgettable. It marked several milestones for AUST, our EEE department and also for me personally. For the last month or so, the students of our department have been working relentlessly to stage this event. For me, this event brought many 'firsts'. As I've written earlier, I've never participated in a project fair. This time, me along with four other pals (naming ourselves "gEEEks", i.e, EEE geeks), have tried really hard to put forward a solid project. But the project we took turned out to be a little too complicated for us, and unfortunately we couldn't take part in the competition. I felt really sorry for Pulak and Fahad in particular, as those two really worked hard for the project. But on the positive side, we have indeed gained a great deal of experience while working for the project. I'll never forget the trip to Patuatuli, (the IC Heaven, as I'd like to call it) to buy the various electronic components we required.
Another debut for me was in the photography exhibition. This is the first time that such an event is being held at AUST. Five of my photos were selected for the exhibition which showcased 29 photos in total. It was indeed a delightful experience to see your own work being displayed, while others are watching them, making comments, taking photos. It was really inspiring. (I didn't win any prizes though, hehe)
Again, I've never written articles for any magazine before, but this time around I also submitted an article on Green Energy for publication on the mazazine of the Electrical Day event. I haven't got a copy of it yet, but hopefully my article has been published.
The project fair and photography exhibition started from the noon of the 26th. The 27th was the day set for the huge cultural event, the main attraction of the whole programme. The cultural show made a huge bang. The stage was enormous and awesome in design. The perfomances were mostly good, all by students of our department. The show ended with a rocking perfomance from Artcell, one of the most popular bands of the country. There's one thing that I'd like to say about the cultural show, which is my personal opinion of course. Some of the perfomances, mostly dances, were excessively vulgar, containing body languages which are not appropriate for performing in front of our respected teachers, who were sitting in the very front row. The blatant immitation of Bollywood even raised eyebrows of those who are used to such displays, and many of my friends, during the perfomances, agreed that such performances shouldn't have got clearance to be brought on stage.
Maybe it was because of this particular reason, we've crossed the limit of Allah's patience. Because, what followed after the event, was yet another milestone, only on the negative side. The show was on Thursday, and we were back on the varsity on Saturday. Based on some small issues which took place during the show on Thursday, students of another department were staging protest against the EEE dept. That part was almost calmed down, when another separate occurance initated the spark, the brought about a situation unlike any we have seen on our campus so far. The students of that rival department attacked our boys full on, with whatever they had in their hands. The square at the center of our campus became pandemonium, everyone throwning punches in every direction. Many were seriously injured. It was horrifying, shocking and disturbing to see the meaningless hatred the was displayed between students of the same university. When the situation got severe, I took no risk and quickly left campus for home (go on and call me a coward). Later I got to know that the situation was finally brought under control by the police. In the wake of the clash, the authority did what they had to do, they suspended classes until December 13th.
The 3rd year 2nd semester so far has been simply unique in every possible sense. This semester, I really felt like a varsity student. Dumping classes and sipping tea in the canteen with friends instead, working late in the labs for the project, running here and there, participating in events, long sessions of gossip on the campus and over the phone about various important (and unimportant) issues, and finally watching the clash of the students, all these elements come together to make 3-2 the most memorable semester so far, and the semester's not over yet !!