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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 string…

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 j…

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 s…

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 …

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'…

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?

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…

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…

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 ther…

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 sp…

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 experi…

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.

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…

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. …

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 a…

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…

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 on…

'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 volum…

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.

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 bei…

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 …

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.

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…

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 b…