Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sundarbans 2009 - Part 4: The Prolonged Ending

The last day on our trip to The Sundarbans started on an island called Dublar Char. This is a place famed for its shutki, a kind of dried fish preparation popular in Bangladesh. Right after daybreak we got out on the land to check out the place. This area is occupied for a certain period of the year by fishermen who catch fish and dry them up to produce the shutki. So almost all the people who live here are seasonal fishermen. Now in our family, we never were fans of shutki, mostly because of its awful stench. I remember back when we were in Elephant Road, our next door neighbors used to cook shutki every now and then, and we all started running this way and that, hurrying to close all the windows. So for a guy like me, this shutki island is not the place to be. If you don’t like the smell as well, you should be glad that you can’t smell them through the photos, cuz otherwise you would have to run away from the monitor. Rows upon rows of bizarre looking dried fish are hung upon strings throughout the place, and they smell much worse than they look. Many of the guys in our group are fans of shutki, so for them this place is the ultimate wholesale market. So when we got back on the launch, our rooms started to stink as well. Only if I could switch off my olfactory nerves.
The last spot that we visited on our trip was Karamjal. There's a farm here particularly for breeding deers and crocodiles. We got a chance to check out these amazing creatures up close. But what I liked most about the place is the Mangrove Arboretum. Through a practical mangrove forest, over its muddy land, they've built an elevated wooden walkway for tourists. Over here we also caught glimpse of some Macaque monkeys out in the open. Time was short so we couldn't spend much time there. And with that, our ‘Places to visit’ list ran out, and so did our time.
There have been moments in my life that made me feel puny and mighty at the same time. I had the feeling back on our Sylhet tour, when we were heading for Jaflong. I was amazed to see the vastness of the mountains on the other side, over in India, and the dense forest covering them. And here again at The Sundarbans, beholding the wide rivers, the endless sea, the narrow canals that spread out like tentacles through the forest, and the mesmerizing and mystifying jungles that even block out the sunlight, I had that feeling all over again. It made me feel small and utterly insignificant as a creation with respect to the seemingly infinite vastness of all the other creations that surround us. And yet again, it made me feel greater than them all, because despite however we may feel, The Almighty Creator has proclaimed us, the humankind, as the greatest of all creations. This is only because He has given a purpose to our lives that none of the others share. It’s important that we find out that purpose before our short trip to Earth runs out, just like our short trip to The Sundarbans.
We were back in Khulna by evening. We left our launch M.V.Kheyapar which has been our home for the last 3 days. A bus was hired to get us back to Dhaka. Before that, the group had dinner at a restaurant in Khulna. Going for a long bus ride with a stuffed stomach didn’t seem like a good idea to me, so I skipped dinner.
The going was smooth until we got to Dauladdia, where we stood in cue to get onto a ferry to cross the river Padma, and get to the Dhaka district. It took us more than an hour and a half to get on the ferry. The ride was supposed to be just for 25 minutes or so. Well, that’s what we humans expected.
The ferry stopped its engines after just 10 minutes, due to fog, and we stood anchored halfway across the river. In this kind of a situation, no one can say how long it would take for the fog to lift. So we had nothing to do but wait. Most of the guys took a nap at their cramped seats, throwing their hands and feet this way and that, making all sorts of awkward positions. Organizers Pulak and Imtiaz got themselves some well deserved sleep. Tanim and I got some time to ourselves to have a good long chat, for which we didn’t find time in the last four years of university, ha ha.
When it was time for the Fajr prayer, I got out of the bus and headed straight for the top floor of the ferry to perform the salaat. After finishing the prayer, I walked over to the railings of the top floor and looked out. It was only then I understood the adversity of the weather around was. Looking down, I couldn’t even see the water below, let alone distant objects. It seemed as if our ship was shrouded in a gloomy and mysterious veil. The visibility was an absolute zero. From then on, I spent most of the time on the top floor. I was expecting the fog would lift once the sun was up with its heat. One hour passed, and another. The sun had risen quite a distance up in the sky. But I was amazed to see that the sun had no effect on the fog whatsoever. In fact, through the dense fog, the sun looked more like the moon in the day sky.
The crew didn’t dare move the ferry an inch, fearing it could get stuck on one of the numerous sandy planes that have risen out of the river bed randomly. The general sense of feeling among the people in the ship was that we had nothing to do now unless Allah helps us out. It’s funny to see how in good times we claim everything is in our hands, while in bad times it doesn’t take much time to admit the truth.
It was almost eleven in the clock when the fog lifted only enough for the crew to move the ship safely to the other side. Ten minutes later, we were finally off the ship. From standing in queue for the ferry to getting out of it, it took was about eight hours! We got off the bus at noon, with the familiar sights and sounds of the jam-packed Dhaka city greeting us. Unfortunately Pulak’s luggage got missing after getting out of the bus, which is like the final signature of the whole tour. From there me, Kanto and Rokon grabbed a taxi and headed home.
Even after more than a week since I came back from the trip, I still dream of adventurous tours to unknown places, with all my friends. The events in the trip are still the hot topics of discussion whenever we get together in the campus. I know soon I’ll stop seeing these dreams, and the chatters about the tour will soon fade away. But the memories will always remain bright, as long as we live (unless we get amnesia of course, Allah save us from that). The nerdy self inside me is urging my hands to type in a huge philosophical ending to this post, so I better finish it up. Thanks to The Almighty Allah for giving us such a great experience, thanks to Pulak, Imtiaz, Tanim and everyone else involved in organizing the tour for working hard and making this possible, thanks to all of my friends who were on the trip, and also thanks to our parents for their kind permission. As long as we live, we can all look back at our days in The Sundarbans and say, “we had an AWESOME time”!

Check out some photos from the tour on my Picasa Album.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Sundarbans 2009 - Part 3: The Very Peaks of Joy and Thrill

The sun was shining bright in the winter morning when we reached Katka. This place offers a whole set of varying experiences. We had to get into our boat again at first and head into a canal for a short distance before we came to a landing spot from where the walk towards the sea beach started. This walk of about 45 minutes is a fun ride by itself. At the beginning the forests were at a pretty fair distance on either side of our path, as our caravan of 63 with the two armed gunmen at the front and back walked deeper into the region. Soon the tree-lines started to close in on us. And then came the spot called Jamtoli, were the path only allowed a single file, and the tree branches and bushes brushed us from the sides. Now, these parts of Katka are famous for spotting tigers and a considerable number of tigers are believed to be living in and around this region. This is the area where the famed tigress ‘Jamtolir Raani’ (The Queen of Jamtoli) was spotted. So passing through this narrow jungle path was a thrilling ordeal. Some of our folks even claimed to have heard the roar of a tiger, which most others refuse to believe due to our reputation for ‘honesty’.

The last time I was at a sea beach was back when I was six, so it’s almost beyond my memory. Walking for several more minutes, I couldn’t yet see the beach but I heard the sound of waves hitting the shores. Few more steps and I saw it. Running into the sand with my shoes off, I looked around in utter amazement. I never expected to find such a beautiful sea beach after a walk through dense forests. The change of view was striking, and yet it blended perfectly into the backdrop of the jungle. No artist but The Almighty Creator could paint such a beautiful picture. I knew I had to throw myself into the waves, so I quickly took some snaps, put away the camera, and ran straight for the sea.
Maybe ‘ecstasy’ is the right word to describe the feeling I had when the waves engulfed me from all around, and I felt the sand quickly shifting away from beneath my feet. I’ve always had a fear of open water. Despite learning to swim about 6 years ago, I could never get comfortable at the sight of deep water bodies. But strangely I found myself giving up my body into the waves. Almost everyone was having a dip in the sea. And those who were trying to avoid getting soaked found no shortage of helping hands. Even the over-cautious Kanto was ambushed, picked up, and dumped into the water. I was almost ready to get out of the water when Aninda called me. He told me it was great fun to dive head on under the water just as the waves hit, face first. So I gave it a try. I was facing the wave, put my head down, the water embraced my head from all sides, and I got up. Yeah, it did really feel good, but I noticed something strange, I wasn’t seeing things right anymore. It took me an instant to figure out I was missing my glasses. I groped uselessly under the water for some time, but to no avail. Dear Bay of Bengal, consider it as a parting gift (it was a little forceful though).

I don’t know how much time we actually spent there on the beach. It made me lose track of time. Before we left Katka, as a bonus we were lucky to see a trail of fresh footsteps of a tiger on the sands, near the line of trees. The walk back towards the boat was a bit of a hurdle for me as I was missing my high powered glasses, without them I’m kinda quarter-blind. But still on my way back I climbed up the 4 storey watch tower to get a view of the area from up above. By noon we were back at the launch.
Probably the most thrilling episode of our entire tour began at the evening. It was the time of low tide in the rivers. It is a common occurrence in the rivers for a boat to get stuck on the uplifted sandy plane on the river bed during these times when the water level gets really low. That’s exactly what happened to us. As our ship’s crew found out that there wasn’t enough water under the hull for the ship to run, they tried to turn the boat around to avoid getting stuck. That made matters much much worse. A portion of the front part of the ship went over the muddy river bank on one side, and our launch was stuck like hell. The position of the launch was so unbelievably weird that anyone (or anything) could just walk into the launch from the river bank. We had nothing to do, no way to move until the high tide comes and the water rises again. At first we all got a bit tensed from the thought of a tiger walking right into the ship. When we asked our guide Tapash bhai about our fears, he said we shouldn’t worry about tigers, but he was afraid of something much worse. Pirates!
The forest is home to about a dozen separate pirate groups. These are not your movie-type pirates with eye-patches who says ‘Arrrr…’ and stuff like that. These pirates are more heavily armed then you would expect, and lives in boats in the numerous canals. We got to know from Tapash bhai that we were stuck in the region of one of these pirate gangs. The forest officials know these pirates by names and know their whereabouts very well, so Tapash bhai himself was acquainted with many of these pirate chiefs. Moreover he told us that the pirates haven’t attacked any tourist group for more than two decades and mostly rob local fishermen. But still he was extremely anxious about our safety, because the pirates, he said, in his own words, “have no religion”.
Probably a writer like my favorite Henry Rider Haggard would find the perfect words to describe the intensity of the next couple of hours. But unfortunately my writing skill is no match for such a situation. Gone was the hum of the engine, the moon was still not up, the darkness around us seemed more black than we had ever seen. Our launch with our group of 63 plus the crew, was stuck on a land with dense jungle at a remote location of The Sundarbans, in the pitch black night with dark water all around us. There was an eerie sense of tension among the people, trying to keep the mood light, yet in tensed anticipation of the unknown. Chatting to ourselves, we had our eyes fixed on the water. Despite simple logic and Tapash Bhai’s word that the pirates would never try to approach by boat, the faint glows of distant lights on the water made us skip a heartbeat.
After a couple of ours, our launch started to move again. It sent a hushed relief through the whole crowd. But it wasn’t over yet. After a few minutes we found ourselves drifting towards the bank on one side, and the launch got stuck, yet again. This time, we got even more confused. We knew our ship was moving down the middle of the river branch, and yet for some reason it got pretty close to one side again. All sorts of conspiracy theories started brewing up in the minds of the guys, fearing if the ship’s crew had something to do with this. But thanks to Allah it was nothing of that sort, and soon afterwards our launch started to move again. Once we got out into the larger river, the suspense of the night was finally over, and we all could breathe a heavy sigh of relief.

Check out some photos from the tour on my Picasa Album.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Sundarbans 2009 - Part 2: First Night & First Light

When we reached the region of Kochikhali, it was already getting dark. So for the rest of the night we had nothing to do but to spend the time by ourselves as our ship lay anchored at some river-branch. From the evening, me, Kanto, our beloved teacher Ferdous sir, Monzur sir, Nobin and several others sat at the very roof of the launch. From before the journey I was very eager to witness the quiet of the night and the sky once we’re inside the forest region. Here in Dhaka, we’re always deprived of the beauty of night sky thanks to the air and light pollution. So there beneath the sky I sat, looking up frequently. At first there was no moon, and the sky was filled with a dazzling collection of distant stars. It was amazing to note that despite the utter randomness of the stars up above, there was a strange sense of order in them that knew no algorithm or pattern. It was a pattern with no patterns that screamed out the Majesty of Allah’s creativity that made a man with the slightest of sight think about the heavens and the Hand that created it.
I’ve witnessed sunrises before, but this was probably the first time I’ve witnessed the moon rise with all its splendor. It took more than an hour into the night for the first glimpse of the orange moon to show in the horizon. As the full moon crept slowly higher in the sky, the stars started to fade away, as if to leave the place to their king.
An incident took place deep in the night that I cannot describe in full, cuz I was in deep sleep then. I don’t know the details, but in short very late at night the ship’s anchor lost its hold and started to move backwards with the flow. And it almost collided with another smaller launch of some sort. For those who were awake at that time it was a pretty thrilling period. With the crew of the ship along with some of our boys putting their hands together to pull up the anchor and place it again, things were back in order after some time.

Our first real introduction to the sights and sounds of The Sundarbans started the next day, right after dawn. We set out in our smaller boat (which is a simple medium sized boat with an engine) and headed into the canals. The greenish water, the dense forests in the muddy banks close at either side seemed almost straight out of the Discovery Channel. We got off on a sandy plane and walked the along the banks of the river, keeping the water at one side and the forest on the other. We were lucky to have Taposh bhai as our guide, who’s the son of a local forest officer, and have spent more than a decade in the area. He has an invaluable experience about Sundarban and also tigers, as he has worked with foreign projects in this region as well. Walking behind him, he showed us dense bushes of a particular kind which he said were the ideal resting places of tigers. And when I looked at those bushes, I couldn’t disagree. It’s over here that he also showed us a tiger’s……well….stool! Doesn’t sound majestic though, but the fact that a tiger has been on this very spot recently to answer nature’s call is pretty significant.
Back to the ship we walked again and had our breakfast, we were starving. Moreover, we needed all the energy we could get for the day that was ahead of us. I knew it was going to be a great day. But little did I know that it was going to be a day of all sorts of different experiences, experiences that I never expected to gain in this trip.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Sundarbans 2009 - Part 1: The Unforgettable Tour

I’ve been in trips before, and Inshallah I’ll be in a lot more in the future, but last week’s trip to The Sundarbans was one that I’ll remember most when I look back at my life. This trip was a lot of things together. Other than being a tour of absolute visual pleasure at the sight of the rivers, the sea and the forest, this trip will probably be more remembered as the trip that brought every one of us together, the students of EEE, AUST, final semester. Our caravan consisted of 61 students from all four seasons…… I mean sections, hehe, and also two of our respected teachers. Doesn’t sound like a big crowd, but I am still amazed that our group has gone through the tour with such a degree of order and unity. There’s a reason why I typed in ‘four seasons’ a little earlier. Every section of our semester and every student in each is so strikingly different and have such diverse ideas that I can’t help thanking The Almighty Allah that our tour was such a pleasant one. I don’t know how the others feel, but I feel like I’ve rediscovered my classmates in the four days of the trip. Sounds nerdy right? Guilty as charged.

Enough of serious talk, let’s look back at the trip. May be we all had a course-ending tour brewing in our minds for a long time, but this tour was the brainchild of Pulak, Imtiaz and Tanim. I can’t give you the details on how everything was planned cuz I wasn’t involved with the planning part. All I can say is, they left no stones unturned. From our transport to food and beverage, every tiny detail was taken care of. These three along with Nobin went to Khulna a day ahead of the rest of the gang, to do all the shopping and other arrangements. Nobin’s the kinda guy who’s more useful for keeping you in a joyous mood than for doing any actual physical work. He sometimes throws gags so irritating that you really wanna hit him hard, but you can’t, cuz you’re already LMAOed. Anyways, The rest of the group got into the train from Dhaka on the night of the 2nd December. Almost one whole car of the train was occupied by us rodents. A ten hour long journey on a train may sound boring at first, but most of the guys were awake for most of the time with the typical gossiping and ‘pochani’ sessions. I enjoyed the train racing through the night, with the full moon shining through the windows. We crossed the famous Hardinge Bridge over the river Padma and the Jamuna Bridge as well.

Our train reached the Khulna station on time. The BIWTA Launch Station was just a 3 minute walk from there, and that’s where our launch was waiting. The whole boat was rented for us only and we got into it at the time of Fajr, on the 3rd of December.
Our journey towards Sundarban started at 9:30 in the morning. Soon after we started, the scene around us started to change. The banks were getting further as we traveled south over the river. We passed the range of the Mongla sea port a couple of hours later. Very soon after that, all we could see ahead was the line between the sky and the water, and the deep green of the forests started to dominate our line of sight on either side. We were heading into The Sundarbans.
Click here to check out some photos from the tour.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Out of the Squeezer

Squeezer, grinder, hydraulic press, call it whatever you like, the month of November has been all that, and may be more. Having to attend non stop classes 6 days a week is a pain by itself. Moreover I've taken part in a training course on PLC at the Institute of Engineers, Bangladesh. The course was for 15 days, 4 days a week and a total of 50 hours. I always knew doing the course in parallel with the classes at the varsity will not be easy. But I went for it anyway cuz I have no intention to do anymore studies after my graduation is complete next March, Inshallah. So, many of the days in the last month or so started at Fajr (that's before dawn), and ended after midnight. Only yesterday my course was complete and the certificates were handed out. Yesterday was also the last day before Eid at the varsity. This gives me a much much much awaited break of about two weeks.We, the students of the last semester have a prettttyyy big plan on how to make great use of this break, I'll talk about it later I guess.
Well no studies or training could stop me from playing games though. I've awaited the month of November for about a year maybe, cuz the most anticipated game of the decade, Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 2 was out on the 10th. I wish to write about that experience in another post soon. That's all for now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Run

The classes of the 4th year 2nd semester are under way. This is it. The very last semester. The home run. 3 and a half years don't seem like much, but looking back at all the courses I've gone through in the last 7 semesters, it indeed feels like I've come a long way.
4 courses, 4 labs, that's all there's left now. Thanks to Allah, all four course teachers this time are the best we could ask for, so that should make things easier. The chief annoying thing this time is the routine. There are plenty of gaps between classes throughout the week that guarantee a huge waste of time. But hey, it's just a matter of three months, right?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Eid, After an Eventful Ramadaan

I didn't like the way Ramadaan started this year. 4 out of the 5 semester final exams were scheduled to be held in Ramadaan, who would like that? There is the issue of fasting of course, but I didn't mind about that. But I was really depressed cuz I thought I would not be able to take part in the month long Taraweeh prayers. But thanks to Allah (and a little nudge in the right direction from my sister), I found within me the courage to go for it anyway. I never thought I would find the energy to study after attending the salaat for more than one and a half hours, but Subhanallah, I was surprised to find myself studying deep into the night, staying up till sehri. In times I felt my studies were actually going better in Ramadaan. And the exams went pretty good as well.
After the exams were done with, Allah gave me a much greater reward, to spend some time in the Path of Allah. Last time I went in a Jamaat was back in last year's Ramadaan, so I was feeling the increasing need to go out again. My sister was wanting to go to the Masturat Jamaat, the one that involves the Mahram women, for a long time. So me and my sis went to a 3 day Jamaat. This special kind of movement involving women is particularly important. We men go to the mosque, listen to the speeches, take part in the Taalims and thus strengthen our Imaan, but how many of us convey the messages to our mothers, wives or sisters? In order to make our houses steadfast upon the path of Deen Islam, it is highly important that the women have their Imaan renewed from time to time and are well educated in the requirements of Islam. Our sisters, mothers, wives can then encourage us and prey for us so that we can stay in the Right Path.
After returning home, the rest of the days in Ramadaan were pretty boring indeed. I'm always surprised by myself that I really don't enjoy the times when there is nothing to do, no class, no exams. I feel suffocated in fact, like I'm not doing something I'm supposed to. To pass my time, I did what I always do, sit on my PC, mostly playing games. Recently I've been playing Batman - Arkham Asylum, which is obviously the greatest comic book game ever made. Every ascpect of the game seems to be perfect. Don't wanna get into that here.
Then yesterday came the day of Eid. And yet again, it was yet another Eid, but still there was something different this time, cuz now we have a new member in the family, my bro's wife. Some of her relatives visited us on Eid day. So there are some new relatives to share our joy with.
There's a good couple weeks left till the classes start again. I don't really know what else to do other than play games and stuff. I'll be happy to be Batman for a few days.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An Untitled Semester

It's over in a flash. Seems like it started yesterday, and yet I'm just 3 days away from the finals of the 4th year 1st semester. This has probably been the most dull semester we've ever had. The only spark of fun came from the T-10 cricket tournament that we had. Other than that, this semester's been totally boring.
But I gotta say something about a couple of courses in this semester. First up, Microwave Engineering. For those of us who took up this one instead of VLSI, it has been a decision we've regretted throughout the whole semester. Up until the very last week of the classes, I really didn't know how I would as much as get rid of this subject in the finals. But you know, even the most difficult problems can seem easy if Allah wants. And so within the 1st 3 days of the PL, I went through it like a bullet. And guess what, it doesn't seem that hard anymore, thanks to Allah. And nice to see that most of my friends who were also scared shitless about this one before, also found their ways to get around it.
Pretty much the same could be said about Power System Analysis. The course was totally untouched even when the classes were over. But this one was not like Microwave. Microwave was all theoretical, so it was more about memorizing than really understanding what's going on. But PSA is all about maths. And to solve those I needed to understand the theories behind it. Well, actually you don't necessarily have to understand the theories, if someone shows you how to do the maths, you really could. But the problem with me is, I find it really difficult to do that. Particularly in this subject, which is obviously the most important course for becoming a power system engineer, I really had to make the basics clear, cuz power has always been my first choice. So after dealing with microwave, with the help of Allah, I started digging through the text book and a copy of last semester's class lectures. After 4 days, I'm happy to say I understand the issues dealt in this course and the problems that I'm required to solve. I emphasized on 'understand' cuz that's as far as I've gone so far, I didn't get the chance to practice much. But getting the basics clear made me really happy and confident, cuz I felt this course is one those courses that really made me feel like I'm studying engineering. Thanks to Allah again.
It's really funny how you get used to things with time. Like the exams for instance. I've so become used to these pressure times of the finals, that I don't even feel the tension anymore. Once the exams are really upon me (like now), I just tend to go through the studies reluctantly. Not that I don't take them seriously though, but I just don't feel the pressure anymore. I know that things will go on as they always have, I just hope Allah helps me through it, as He always has.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Night of Rain, and the City Sinks

Water water everywhere. To the left, right, front and back, below you, knee deep, and the rain falling from above. Waves rushing in all directions, made by the passing of the vehicles. I'm not talking about boats on a river, but this has become the scene of the busiest of streets here in Dhaka city, all thanks to just one night of relentless rain, and the horrible drainage system of the capital. Thanks to the damaged climate, this year the rain has come later than usual. Monday night's rain was the first proper rain of the Bangla month of Srabon, which is synonymous to heavy rain. The failure of the drainage system is nothing unknown to the Dhaka dwellers. But it was indeed shocking how much damage just 5-6 hours of rain can cause. The city is virtually in a standstill even after more than 24 hours. The busiest main streets of Dhaka sank under knee deep, and in some places under waist deep water, not to mention the alleys and the lower parts of the city. It is likely that there will be more heavy rain in the upcoming weeks, so things are indeed looking pretty bad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

PC Paint Job

I was never into painting stuff. But those guys on discovery channel doing custom paint jobs on cars and bikes always amazed me. The wonders they make with spray paint and tape are simply fascinating. So for a long time I had it in my mind to try and do something with spray paint, and I wanted to customize my PC's casing! After grooming the idea in my head for a long time, I bought a can of red spray paint and some masking tape about a couple of months ago. But still I couldn't get painting, until recently. Only a few days ago, I finally did my first paint job on my PC, after going through a couple of test runs of course. I had a tough time deciding on the design. I kept drawing different patterns on a pad and finally I made up my mind on one.

The casing taped up and the design cut out. The design shows "A-19".

I did it like the pros. I taped up my PC's side panel, drew my desired pattern, cut out the part where I wanted the paint to be, and then unleashed the spray paint. I did read some important spray painting tips on the net before going for it, and the tips really helped a lot.

When I finally peeled off all the tape from the casing, the finished product was really satisfying. It's just an ordinary single colored design, but for me, who has never painted anything before, it was a good start. Thanks to Allah, I did something new in my one week summer break.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Widescreen Bliss

[I don't know why, but recently I'm feeling a strange reluctance to sit and write here. Not that nothing noticable is happenning, but I just don't feel like putting them in words. Anyway, now that I've finally got myself here, let's get to the topic]

I've always had my eyes on my big bro's LCD monitor. It's nothing extraordinary, but I always knew it would be a great addition to my PC gaming experience, as so far I was playing games on my old 15'' monitor (4:3). A few weeks back, my bro got a Sony Bravia LCD TV as a wedding gift. I couldn't wait any longer. I plugged in his PC to his new TV, and took his monitor for myself!
The monitor is a 19'' widescreen LCD monitor from Philips. It's not high end or anything, but it's 16:10 ratio, 1440X900 display is indeed a fascinating addtion to my rig, and it was probably the upgrade I was missing very much. The change it brought about to, not only my gaming, but also overall PC experience is awesome. The 16:10 ratio looks much better than the 16:9 format of widescreen display (which my Dad's got).It gives you much more desktop space to work in. Browsing in full screen never felt better.
I've always been a collector of cool wallpapers from all over the net, but most of my wallpapers are for the 4:3 resolutions. So now I'm digging for some widescreen walls. And the screens I've got already are pretty amazing indeed. Thanks mostly to the widescreen walls collection at deviantART.
As for the gaming, I don't think I need to say anything. I've been playing Burnout Paradise, Mirror's Edge, and currently X-Men Origins: Wolverine on my new monitor, and all I can call it is pure gaming bliss. A few weeks back I've also got myself a couple of more gigs of RAM, so now the 4GBs of RAM is good enough to back smooth enough gameplay in the higher resolution in the new monitor. Some highly anticipated game titles are gonna hit the shelves within a few weeks, bring 'em on I say!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Best and Worst of Me

The 3rd year 2nd semester has brought out both the best and worst in me, based on results. As I've mentioned earlier, the telecommunication exam was the worst exam I've ever had to attend, for multiple reasons, and the result was an equal match. I got a poor 43 out of 100, which is the worst score I've ever got as far as I remember. I didn't expect any better, all I wanted was to get rid of it. Thankfully I did.
In striking contrast, I got my best ever score in the Power Transmission and Distribution exam, getting a 90. I don't remember hitting the 90 mark ever, so that's my highest mark as far as I can remember. Despite the poor marks in telecomm and semiconductor, thanks to Allah I've still managed to get a respectable GPA, due to the A+ scores in all the three other subjects. And Alhamdulillah I can finally say, 3-2 is behind me, which leaves just one more year to deal with.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sylhet 2009 (Day 3): The Other Side of the Fence

Monday morning we started later than we wanted to. We were actually pretty damn tired from the extended amount of walking on the previous day. We checked out of the hotel and kept our baggage at Nahiyan's place, and took a public transport known as tempo here in our country, towards Jaflong. On our way to Jaflong we feasted our eyes with the sight of the huge mountains that are visible across the border, over in India. Well, "the mountains are always higher on the other side of the fence", hehe. The shear magnitude of the mountain range clicked the inquisitive part of my mind, it made me wonder, what secrets lay hidden in those deep valleys covered with trees. There must be places within those mountains and forests that no one has ever set foot upon. Truly Allah's creation is way wider than our thoughts can be.

Jaflong is a place that combines sand, stone, and crystal clear water in a fascinating way. It is a tourist spot, yet the place is busy with labor, men picking up stone from the river bed. Stones of various dazzling shades and patterns form under the river bed, carried down from the mountains with the stream. The other guys again shed most of their clothing and got themselves in the water, while I was busy taking photos, as usual. But the clearness of water was enticing indeed.

We took a bus from there and got to Tamabil. It's just the very last point of Bangladesh in the east, and you can see the last standing milestone of Bangladesh and the two gates of the neighboring countries. We took some photos there and didn't make much delay, as the place is a little sensitive due to security reasons.
Next up we payed a very short visit to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (R), another great preacher of Islam in the subcontinent. Over here the situation was a bit better than that of Hazrat Shah Jalal's (R). 

Back in Srimangal I was a little disappointed to find the tea gardens flat. Well that disappointment was washed away when we got to the famed Malinichhara Tea Garden in the afternoon. The whole garden was planted over the hills. We got ourselves a guide from the garden, and soon we were on our way to the top. As we were getting higher from ground level, the view kept getting better and better. The vast hills seemed to be wrapped around by the tea plants. Withing a little more than half an hour, we got to the top, feasted our eyes with the view, took photos, and got down again, this is only possible by true adventurers like us!

That pretty much concluded all we wanted to see in our trip. Still, taking a brief but much needed break at Nahiyan's house, we started to walk and reached the shrine of Manik Pir which is 225 steps above the ground level. On both sides of the steps there are graves. From the top we got a view to the whole city in the night.

For dinner we were invited by Nahiyan's father to his own restaurant, and the food was awesome and well needed for our over-night bus ride to Dhaka. Our bus, a Scania  from Green Line service, started on schedule at half past midnight. By dawn, we were back home.

Even days after returning from the trip, in my dreams, I find myself walking through forests, climbing hills, going to places I haven't seen before. Sylhet, with its mesmerizing natural beauty, has cast a spell on me that cannot be undone, and it may remain so for life. The trip made me wonder what amazing places are there in Allah's world, that I haven't seen yet. It made me feel small, and made me understand Allah's power of creation and supervision even more. This has been a remarkable journey for me, and maybe if I was a better writer, I could express it better. This was my first trip without any family members to watch over me, with my friends alone, so indeed is was a milestone for me. Thanks to Allah for everything.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sylhet 2009 (Day 2): Rock and Water

The spot that played the chief role in bringing us to Sylhet was the Madhabkunda water falls. On our second day, we started real early towards there in our rented microbus, right after Fajr prayer. The road to Madhabkunda was a beauty itself. Curving this way and that, climbing uphill and going down again, we wished all of our roads were like that. At about 8:30 in the morning, we reached the gates of the Madhabkunda Eco Park, from there a walk of about half an hour in necessary to reach the falls. While walking towards the fall, we already started to feel that we're really gonna like this place. We could see the water from the fall running over the rocks below, at one point we got down from the path into the water just to get our feet wet and take some photos. We kept walking and admiring the beauty of the place, and then we saw it. The water fall itself. The stream of water running down from the top of the hill is like the grand jewel in the crown that is the whole surrounding. The sight that was in front of my eyes only made me wonder how much more beautiful can paradise be? The wide encircling rocky hills, decorated with green, the sparkling water falling from high above, the pool of water at the base, the stream and the sound of pure nature, this is heaven on earth. I was taking a lot of photos as I was walking towards the fall, but when I saw it for the first time, I just put the camera in my pocket and looked at the whole place for a long time. Then I started taking snaps, and I couldn't stop.

The pleasure got on to a much higher level as soon as we put ourselves in the water. It was cool, and yet it didn't hurt, it was just relaxing, it seemed to carry away all my thoughts away from me. I felt like there's just me and this place, and nothing else. I can swim, but I'm not confident about it, so all I did was sit in shallow water and take a few dips. As we went real early, for more than an hour we had the place totally to ourselves, just the six of us. I was busy taking photos of nature alone, while others where taking there own pictures for their facebook profiles, hehe. After staying there for about two and a half hours, against our heart, we started to head back. There's a watch tower which gives great view of the whole place, we got on top, and it looked as if I'm looking at a piece of art, come alive out of the canvas. Subhanallah. Guess who's the artist?

Our microbus took us to a bus stand in Maulavibazaar, where we took a bus and reached Sylhet City by the after noon, where our friend from AUST, Nahiyan picked us up. He helped us getting a hotel room in the viscinity of the Dargah of Hazrat Shah Jalal (R), the most visited shrine in the country I guess. We visited the shrine later that night.

After filling our starving stomachs with some food, we headed out to look around the Sylhet city, guided by Nahiyan. We saw the Keen Bridge, and the famous Amjad Uncles's Clock.

Before the Isha prayer we perfomed the Ziarat of the grave sight of Hazrat Shah Jalal (R), who was one of the key preachers of Islam in the subcontinent, and has been the medium of Hidayat of a large number of people. After coming to Sylhet, it was an unavoidable duty to pay a visit to his shrine. I knew the the dargah was full of Bidaats and non-islamic rituals, but I never imagined it to be so bad. The things that people are doing in the name of this noble person, was absolutely unacceptable according to Shariah. I don't wanna get into details here, but the scene inside the dargah cannot be fitted into any particular religion, as if these so called Khadems had invented a whole new religion using the name of this mighty hero of Islam. May Allah give these people Hidayat, and May Allah give peace to the grave of Hazrat Shah Jalal (R).

Me and Pulak stayed up late, walking in the streets and gossiping, while others went to bed early. A very eventful second day of our trip had come to an end.

Read about Day 3 of this trip!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sylhet 2009 (Day 1): Wake Up and Smell the Tea !

Me, Pulak and Rumman have been calling each other constantly, planning a trip to Sylhet. We all needed a big break, a breath of fresh air after the turmoil that we went through last month. We planned to go to Srimangal directly, instead of going to the city of Sylhet first. We wanted to have some fun on the way, so we booked train tickets. On the night of April 10, Friday, the six of us, me, Pulak, Rumman, Imran, Kanon and Rocky all gathered at the Kamlapur Rail Station in time. As scheduled, our train started for Srimangal at 10:00 p.m.

Our seat arrangement was the best we could ask for, six of us facing each other. The whole night we spent awake, gossiping, laughing and constantly hitting on each other. We had some great laughs while playing chor-pulish, a famous pen-and-paper game in our country. It was a moonlit night, so as the train passed beyond the urban areas, the surroundings got more and more spectacular. I spent a lot of time just looking out from my window into the hills and forests that lay beyond. We reached Srimangal well before dawn, and we went straight to the rest house which we had already booked.

The first morning at Srimangal we gave for Lauachhara National Park, it's a semi-evergreen forest 'supervised' by an organization called Nishorgo Support Project. The 'park' was more like a forest than we expected it to be. After walking about half an hour into the heart of it, the environment became pretty amazing indeed, with dense trees on both sides and typical forest like silence. But our timing wasn't ideal to catch the sight of any wild animals. All we got to see was some monkeys and lizards. Nonetheless the walk inside Lauachhara was pretty enjoyable.

Back from the forest, we had lunch and got ourselves a quick nap. In the afternoon, we got out again to look around some of the tea gardens at Srimangal. I was a little disappointed to see that the tea gardens here are mostly flat. Then in the evening we went to the Nilkantha Tea Cabin to taste the famous multi-layered tea. After waiting for a long time, the tea arrived, and indeed it looked out of the ordinary, with six layers of tea visible separately. It didn't taste as good as it looked, but the change in taste from one layer to another was evident.

At the night, we all walked about the Srimangal town by ourselves. It was pretty amazing to see that even at 10:30 p.m. the town was still alive, with people moving around and shops still open, whereas Dhaka becomes a ghost town after 10.

So came the end of the first day of our Sylhet trip. And from the looks of things, we were expecting a great couple of days ahead of us.

Read on about Day 2 of this trip!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Barisal 2009 : Revisiting My Roots

It really came out of nowhere. On the noon of April 1, the day my exams ended, I was peacefully playing Burnout Paradise on my PC, when my uncle Shapanku (Shapan + uncle = Shapanku!) gave me a call, telling me that he was going to our village at Barisal the next day for a very short trip, and he asked if I wanted to go. I was looking for whatever chance I could get to refresh myself from the stress that I was in for the last month, so I jumped at it. Our trip was already planned, so the next day, April 2, I left home with my uncle in the afternoon, towards Sadarghat, where we were supposed to board the launch Sundarban-7.

Night at the river: My uncle had booked a VIP cabin for us, and the room was pretty nice indeed with air conditioning, double bed, sofa, impressive decorations, a separate veranda and toilet. It was as cozy as it could get. The ship started at 8:45 p.m. After some time, when the ship had left behind the city lights and was deep into the river, the sight that unfolded was beyond my ability to describe. The dark water all around, the star filled black sky up above, the thin black line showing the land on both sides, and as the jewel on top of it all, the glowing half moon, lighting up the whole place, and its mesmerizing reflection on the water. The dark flowing river was lighted up here and there by the lights of the small fishing boats. Sometimes there was absolutely nothing around, nothing to break your sight. The scene without anything to see is a sight you can't forget!
One thing that I noticed with great interest was the class difference that's visible within the launch. There we were in the nice and cozy VIP cabin. Then I saw the first class cabins, which have barely enough space to fit in a bed and a TV. And then I saw the lower class deck. A floor running from end to end, people lying on floor as they wish. Some sleeping, some gossiping, some watching the common TV. The contrast was quite stark.

Dawn at Barisal: The sleep was quiet indeed, with the slight vibration of the boat helping the cause. At dawn I woke up to the sight of the famous Kirtankhola river of Barisal, our launch had already reached the docks. Right out of our window I saw a Rocket for the first time. It's actually a steamer with two large pedal wheels on both sides. These have been running since the British rule in the country, and they have the amazing reputation of never sinking.
We got off the launch after having a brief breakfast. A microbus was already waiting for us to take us to our village. After 2 more hours, we finally reached our destination, Fuljhury.

Morning at Fakir-Bari: There I was again, at our village at Fuljhury, Mathbaria. Last time I've been here, I was probably two years old, so it's pretty obvious that I wouldn't remember much. Fakir is our family title, and the area that consitute our places or estates is called Fakir-Bari. This was the place that my family has come out of. My father, uncles and aunts have all grown up here, before they moved to Dhaka. Fuljhury is village in its purest possible sense. It is a kind of a village that comes to our mind when you read stories based on rural Bangladesh. The beauty of it is something else totally. The closest things to modern life here are the few solar panels I saw over the tin sheds on some houses, which just provide enough power to run a light, a fan and a TV occasionally. The relatives who live there are supposed to be well known to me, but unfortunatly they're not. So I was trying my best within the short time to get acquainted. It was nice to see their reactions when they got to know who's son I am, hehe.

I felt attached to the place somehow, I took the liberty to walk around the place all by myself, with my camera off course. The human brain works in amazing ways. I don't remember seeing anything of that place, but when I walked into one of the rooms of a house, some part of my brain suddenly clicked, and I thought I remembered that smell, that smell of inside a house on the village.
My uncle is actually conducting the construction of a new mosque at our place, and also the work a new building that we're planning to make around our house. If that's done we'll get ourselves a permanent picnic spot, and Inshallah a constant coming and going will start again.
After the Jumma prayer we had our lunch, and quite a feast was prepared for us. After filling up our stomaches we sat for some time in the porch of our school, which is a primary school within a few paces to our houses. This place was my favorite because of the constant cool breeze that makes you forget anything else.Time flew by, and it was after noon, and my short trip to Fuljhury was almost over.

Racing through the night: We were supposed to catch the launch at 8:00 pm that very day to head back to Dhaka. We left our place behind schedule. On the road, our microbus started to give some trouble and we got scared of missing our boat. The road to the dock was a scary ride indeed. As we were getting late, our driver was tearing through the rural roads, and all the light there was, was that of our own headlight. Fortunately we reached in time, and gladly we all got on to our cabin. The launch started at half passed eight towards Dhaka again. The journey back was pretty similar to that of the previous night. And moreover, this time we were too tired ourselves to enjoy much. So we slept earlier this time. By 4:30 in the morning, we were back at Sadarghat.

My short trip to our village cannot be measured by the short length of 8 hours that I've spent there, it was far more significant. This was my trip to revisit my roots. A trip by a new generation Fakir to the place of his origin. And I'm confident it's going to be the first of many. Thanks to Allah for this amazing trip.

Check out some photos from the trip in my web album.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Those 9 Days (March 24 - April 1)

March 24 was the day before my brother's wedding, the day of his 'Gaye Holud' ceremony at our place. Should've been a great day for me, but it was also the day before my Semiconductor Devices semester final exam. So up till the evening I was switching between studies and arrangements. But after evening I had no chance to study. The program went pretty good thankfully. I was free to study at almost 1 o'clock at the night. I did my best to prepare for the exams, studying for a little more than an hour that night, and after the Fafr prayer the next day. So the preparations weren't so good, and the exam was nothing better. The exam didn't go any better than I was prepared for, but at least I wasn't scared of failing.
That very day after the evening, our whole family left for my Bhaiya's wedding together. But things took a turn again, at least for me. My sister was feeling sick from the morning, she was constantly vomiting for some reason. When me and one of my aunts were on our way to the community centre, we got to know that her condition was not good at all, and she must be taken to a hospital immediately. So we turned our car towards Elephant Road, while the rest of the party went on. Long story short, we reached our sister's place, took her to the nearest hospital and she was given saline. After staying there for some time as her condition became stable, me and others left her to the care of my brother in law, and went to attend the wedding at the very last moment. I reached there a little before midnight, and most of the guests were gone. Nothing much was left to be done except for taking our new Bhaabi with us and getting home. So went the all important day of my bro's wedding, So much for celebrations, hehe.
The next two days went like a flash. 26 March our house was full of people, as usual, and I didn't even try to study for my next exam. 27 March was the day of Walima. The party was great, a lot of known faces gathered there, many of those I haven't seen for a long time. Particularly our neighbours from Elephant Road, it was great to see them all together. Five of my friends from AUST Nobin, Pulak, Kanto, Rumman and Farhan went as well. We had a good time indeed.
So that leaves only one day for me to prepare for my Telecommunication Engineering exam. I tried, but I knew it wouldn't be enough to get anything respectable. Moreover, this time the question was prepared by Monzoor sir, and all the students knew it was gonna be a nightmare. Little did I know that it would be worse. When I saw the question next day, I felt as if I was looking at a question from a totally unknown course. Never did a see a set of questions I'm so unfamiliar with. Most of the examinees who studied all 3 days, were also shocked with the question, so it's pretty obvious that I would feel much more horrified as I couldn't study anymore than one full day. That day's exam was probably the worst exam I've ever attended (so far), and I'm actually not sure if I'll pass or not. May Allah save me.
Then it was back to the easy ways again. The last exam was scheduled for April 1 and I was able to prepare for it pretty well, and the exam went better than I expected. It was finally all over.
Those 9 days were few of the most mentally straining days I've had to endure. When you take a lot of things and put them all in a blender, the juice that comes out doesn't necessarily taste good. I'm just glad it's down my throat. Thanks to Allah.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

'Sandwich' Time !

It's time. Two events of greatest importance of our family, my bro's wedding ceremony and Walima, sandwiched between two of the most difficult exams in this semester, Semiconductor Devices and Telecommunication Engineering. Despite our attempt to fix the dates of my bro's events to avoid the exams, it has all come down to this awkward pickle. I know the sandwich won't taste good, I just hope it doesn't leave a taste too bad in my mouth.
Recently our home is buzzing with reletives doing all sorts of pre-wedding stuff. So the environment has become quite uncomfortable for studies. Even if I'm locked up in my room, the sound of all those hihi-hahas is impossible to keep out of my mind. So from today I've started to implement an old idea of mine, which I haven't had a chance to put to the test so far. I've got myself a headphone some weeks back, with a microphone connected to it. I've plugged in the headphone, plugged in the mic, turned up the volume of headphone and mic all the way up, and I wear the headphone with the mic in front of my mouth, and read everything aloud. Now almost all I hear is my own boosted up voice reading aloud all the studies. Guess what, so far it has worked pretty well! So, trying to adapt to the current situation in my house, I'm trying my best to swallow this 'Sandwich' in the least painful way. Allah help me.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Exams Finally Rescheduled

Today's post could've been titled "Exams Finally Over", but instead it's what you've just read. After the exams got postponed following the clashes on our campus, our semester finals have been finally rescheduled to start on the 15th of March, one month after the original date. The painfull part is that the wedding of my bro will be between my exams, and the most difficult exam, that of Semiconductor Devices, is scheduled for the 25th, the day of my brother's wedding ceremony. How ironic is the fact that it's for my exams that my bro's wedding got dated this way, so that I can take part in the programs without any problem, otherwise it all could've been arranged last month. No complaints though, cuz I still believe that Allah is giving me whatever is best for me.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Speechless We Seek for Answers......Deeply We Mourne

I'm just 23, so I haven't seen the murders by the Pakistani forces back in '71. And I was glad I hadn't been born then. But I am living and well here in 2009, and I had to be witness to a brutality the likes of which our country, and the whole world has never seen. By the time I'm writing this post, the bodies of 64 military personnel have been discovered who were killed by the latest massacre at the BDR headquarters in Dhaka, and 71 are still missing, who are most likely to have borne the same fate. The so-called 'jawaans' of the BDR killed all these assets of our country, stashed their bodies in ditches and manholes, like those of some mere street animals. I'm no political analyst, but it is pretty sure that these ruthless murders weren't committed just to claim some demand of the BDR men. And it is also evident that all this had been pre-planned by the murderers.
Looking at the images of the disfigured bodies of these elite military personnel being brought out from these holes in the ground, the people around holding their noses in the stench, the heart-breaking cries of those who lossed their loved ones, the whole nation asks, and struggles to find the answer to one simple question; why did all this happen? What's the reason behind this inhumanity? Why were our brothers killed with such barbarity in the hands of our own countrymen? What made them do it?
There have been all sorts of speculation going around in the air. Some say it's the work of some political party, some claim that there must be some foreign nation involved in this, some have other theories as well. But the general people actually don't have a clue about the true reason behind these atrocities.
One thing that we must notice from seeing the fate of those who lost their lives, is that we never know what future lies ahead of us. When these army officers were promoted to the ranks of Lt.Colonel, Major, Colonel, how proud they must have been, how happy must their families have been. Because we all think that positions, ranks, money assures our future, guarentees our peace. And yet, what future did these people meet? Did they or their family ever imagine this? Pretty sure they haven't. So in every stage of life, we must always pray to the Almighty Allah for the barkat in our future, we must ask for peace and prosperity from Him and Him only, and not depend upon our wordly belongings.
After three days of national mourning, people are still searching for the missing bodies in and around the BDR headquarters. The families of the army officers know that their husbands, fathers or brothers won't return to them alive, but they still want to see their bodies, to pay respect, and to give them a proper burial. The whole nation is in shock, speechless in despair, and it will stay this way for a long time. The wounds made in just one day, are not to be healed in many many years. Deeply we mourne the loss of so many of our brave brothers. May Allah bestow his mercy on their souls. May their final resting places become pieces of Heaven. May Allah give their families the strength to endure. May Allah show us The Right Path.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Exams Blown Away...Indefinitely

By today 2 of our semester final exams should've been over, but actually we don't even know when our exams are gonna even start. The semester finals have been postponed for indefinite period following the recent clashes that took place in our varsity campus. Last Thursday, students of the civil department hosted a strike protesting the suspension of three of their students. The students put the whole campus under siege including all the teachers and staff for more than ten hours! Then the police took action and used brute force to get them cleared. Exams of some of the semesters were scheduled to start Saturday, but the students of all the departments (actually it's the 'senior elite' who take these decisions all the time) decided not to sit in the exams to protest the way they had been treated. The authority had nothing to do but to postpone the exams.
So instead of being fixed in my table, plunged into the books and notes, I'm sitting on my PC, playing games and stuff. The thing that bothers me most about this delaying of the exams is now I fear that I might just have to be studying for my exams during the time of my brothers wedding ceremony coming next month. But hey, what do I know? I'm just hoping for the best, as always.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bhaia Ties the Knot !!!

Alhamdulillah, all praise to the Almighty Allah, my sweet dear elder bro has officially tied the knot today. Now he can change his marital status to "Married". I've just returned from the Akth ceremony, which is the actual marriage. The programme was restricted to close reletives only, and was held at a restaurant. But it's a pity that my one and only new Bhaabi has not come with us to our home, yet. That has to wait for the final wedding ceremony on the 25th of March Inshallah. The very best wishes for Bhaia and Bhaabi from the depth of my heart. May Allah grant them happiness for the rest of their lives. May Allah be pleased with them, and may they be pleased with Allah.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An Incomparable Joy

Has it ever happened to you that you wait for a day for so long, that when the day finally arrives, you can’t believe that the day has come? Last Thursday was such a day for me, and for my whole family, as my dear elder brother has finally got engaged! The whole family has been trying to get my brother married for a very very long time indeed. But the problem is, my brother, in case of choosing a bride for himself, has a band pass filter which allows a very narrow bandwidth. And so far, we couldn’t tune the perfect frequency. But thanks to Allah, we’ve finally got the perfect combination, and Bhaiya at last found someone who he thinks is worthy of spending his life with. I was there at the engagement program last Thursday, and I really liked my brother’s soon-to-be in-laws. They were all very much friendly and cordial. My mom put the ring on the finger of my future sister-in-law. Instead of the girl, it was my mom who was crying, as she has been waiting for this moment for a very long time.
My brother’s Akth (actual marriage) is going to take place on February 5 inshallah. And the marriage ceremony and wedding reception will take place inshallah in March. My elder bro is the eldest son of the eldest son of the family (my father is the eldest son of my grandma). So, he is extremely popular and most beloved to all the family members. So the joy his marriage is bringing about in the family is incomparable. I pray for Allah’s help and guidance throughout the whole process of Bhaiya’s marriage.

At the End of 'Power Stroke'

I remember back in the very first semester, our Basic Mechanical Engineering course was taken by Ashiqur Rahman sir from BUET. He explained an analogy between the 4 years of our course, with the 4 strokes of an engine. The first year is the ‘Intake Stroke’, where the new students are taken in into the varsity for processing. The second year is the ‘Compression Stroke’, as the second year is said to be the most difficult, where the student really feel the pressure of studying engineering. The third year is the ‘Power Stroke’, as this is said to be the year when the students start to feel like engineers, they take over the most active roles in all sorts of campus activities. And the fourth year is the ‘Exhaust Stroke’, when it’s almost done, the soon to be engineers are already planning what to do when they get out.
Today at the last day of my third year, I really find this analogy perfect in every sense. The third year, particularly the second semester, was simply unforgettable. It’s been the most eventful semester so far, and the most enjoyable in every way, except for studies (who cares about that anymore?). The classes have just finished, and I’m already missing the third year. I know there’s one more year ahead, but I feel like the fourth year is not gonna be as fun as the one I’m leaving behind. My semester final exams are gonna start in a couple of weeks time, so for now I must start thinking about my studies a little bit. Hope that Allah helps me out this time as He has done so far.