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The escape

DHAKA Zoo brought 27 animals from South Africa on Thursday” the newspaper headlines read.

“26! They never get the facts right!” yawned Zoobacaba, the monkey.

“Whatever! Right now, that doesn't really matter! The fact is, we're stuck! And that lazy bear is getting on my nerves!” exclaimed a fuming hippo.

Five animals out of the 26 that were brought from South Africa sat grieving their transfer to the Dhaka Zoo under a scorching May sun. They missed their country, and were planning to escape.

“WE WILL GET OUT OF HERE!! And that, my friends, is a promise,” declared a determined sloth.

“B-but…things could get seriously wrong. We could end up in someplace worse. Like, like the WILD!! Hasn't anybody watched Madagascar???” said Jabala, the lion.

“You are a LION, for God's sake! You're supposed to be the king of the forest!” teased the Zebra.

“Loser,” chimed in the Zoobacaba.

“Cut it out, people. We need to make a plan. We're gonna have a leader. OK, who votes for me?” asked Bonkaji, the sloth.

Five hands including his own shot up into the air.

“Right. So you guys are gonna call me commander. You know, I'm a big fan of Karl Marx. Anyway, gang, we need to get to work.” The bossy sloth said. And the five got to work as the other animals snoozed in the lazy afternoon.

Zoobacaba acted like a dumb monkey, according to Bonkaji's orders. It was afternoon, and the only person around was the guard. Zoobacaba climbed up the bars and screeched and made weird noises, trying to attract the guard's attention. It didn't work. So it was time for Jabala to perform.

He let out an ear-splitting roar which woke up the animals in the vicinity. The guard approached the cage where the animals were, a bit cautiously.

And that was the big mistake.

Zoobacaba hit him as hard as he could with a long twig, and he fell to the ground with a dull thud. Still using the twig, the monkey took out the gun from the guard's pocket.

“First mission successful, commander.” Whispered Zoobacaba to Bonkaji in the next cage.

“Great! But we gotta wait till the evening to carry out part B.” Bonkaji replied.

“God! Wish me luck, I'm scared!” said an edgy Jabala.

“Evening will come. Very quickly.” Said Bonkaji.

And so it did.

As the clock chimed 6, a caretaker approached the cage.He unlocked the door and entered, oblivious of what was going to take place inside the closed bars. And as he put down the bowl of food in front of the lion, it roared once more. The cage rattled, and the caretaker managed not to faint, only to come face to face with a monkey poised with a gun. And that was too much for him; he fainted.

The monkey picked up the bunch of keys from the caretaker's pocket and unlocked the other cages.

“Now for the tougher part.” Said commander Bonkaji, after they congratulated each other.

The gang of animals made towards the exit when they met a weird looking boy who claimed himself to be Harry Potter.

“Harry Potter?! Stop kidding, mate!” laughed the Hippo.

“No, I seriously am. Merlin's beard! Don't you see that I'm not afraid of you guys? I can speak animal tongue, which no wizard can!” Harry Potter said.

“Ha-ha, OK. Now get outta the way. We're escaping.” Said Bonkaji, and behind him Zoobacaba whispered to the Zebra, “did he just say 'Merlin's beard'?!”

“I heard that,” said Harry. And then seeing that the five were leaving, he added, “Hey wait, guys! I think I can help you escape! Wait!”

“Fine, how? Hurry up, or we'll miss the train,” said an impatient sloth.

“First, meet my friend Severus Snape, the potion maker.” And the silhouette of a man with a long, hooked nose and greasy hair appeared beside him. “Severus has discovered a potion which is equal to apparating. It can take you from one place to another in a moment.

“Great! You, rock, dude! Give us the potion, Sev!” said Zoobacaba.

“I will, but first, you will have to do something. When you reach South Africa, you have to kill a certain Dark Wizard who is known as Lord Voldemort. He's hiding there.”

“`Course we will. Now give us the potion.”

Snape gave them the potion, and the five gulped it down. Suddenly, the night went very quiet. Even a fly's breath could be heard. And then, swirling dust rose from the ground, engulfing everything. The five were escaping, at last.

In the confusion, the heard Snape and Harry yell, “Don't forget to kill Voldemort!”

“Sure we will, mate! In your dreams!” Commander Bonkaji shouted back as they moved in a circular motion. And in the fraction of a second, the five had set flight across continents and seas on a ray of moonlight.

By The Hooded Figure

History 101: enter the greeks

SO there was the big bang, and through the inexplicable clashing and banging of particles, life began on planet earth. History does repeat itself, because that is still the same process with every newborn baby, but that is a whole different topic. We fast-forward; skipping the club wielding Neanderthals and the big Trojan pony, we come right down to the Greek civilization.

They were probably the most educated of the lot. By this I don't mean that they they could sign their names no the bhootar(voter) list. I mean that they really were smart little chaps. They wore togas, which was quite fashionable if we take the time to look at the equally underdressed barbarians from the neighboring regions.

The Greeks were the leading scholars of the world. We know this because…well we studied Greek text. Thucydides did an awesome job jotting down every little thing that came his way. He probably had nothing better to do. You can't do sports in a toga without revealing some secrets.

The Greeks laid the foundation for education as we know it today. Socrates(pronounced Sock-ray-tiss or sock-rates), one of the greatest philosophers that ever lived, laid the foundation for Western Philosophy. Him and his student Plato, and Plato's student Aristotle (who, in turn, taught Alexander the Great…we all know how that turned out) made large contributions to the fields of music, arts, government, politics, ethics, zoology, biology, physics and metaphysics. This equates to around 90 A levels in our present time. Due to such contributions people thought they deserved having cool statues of their heads in scenic public places. So they delved into architecture just for the heck of it, and now we have 'Greek Architecture'(not a very original thing to call it….Grarchitecture sounds better). They like columns. They like halls. They like statues of men standing around looking for their togas.

The Greek weren't all studies though. All work and no play almost made Socrates a dull…philosopher. So a man in a toga decided to invent the Olympics. It was first held in 776 BC in the Greek city of Olympia. The Olympics then had contests, dances, celebrations, and sacrifices in the name of the Greek god Zeus. There were rigorous sporting events such as javelin throwing and sprinting. Young men from all over the country took part in it, and since the Olympic was primarily an event to celebrate the achievements of the human body, the athletes performed every feat in nothing but their birthday suits. However as the Romans took over, the Olympics began to decline in importance, till it was finally outlawed in 393 BC as a pagan festival that goes against the Catholic Church. (This monumental event had not seen the inside of a coffin yet though, since in 1859 the first modern Olympics was held in Athens.)

We cannot leave the Greek civilization in peace till we dig up one more character, who we all probably picture as a Collin Farrell look-alike: Alexander the Great(born 356 BC). Alexander was one of the greatest kings that ever lived(and he was also Greek, which is kind of the point). He was undefeated in battle, and he was the ruler of most of the known world back then.

Mentored by Aristotle, Alexander had plans to conquer the entire world. He inherited the Macedon after the death of Philip II of Macedon. He proceeded to conquer, burn and pillage, but in the process, unifying almost all of Europe, and even parts of Asia like India and Persia. It is hard to imagine what one did with such wealth in those days. The obvious absence of video games and DVDs should make it hard for them to spend any money. There is only so much that one can do in a palace. And Alexander did realize that eventually. He was so paranoid he killed his best friend in suspicion of conspiracy. Twelve years of constant battle took its toll on him, till he finally died in 323 BC. Reasons of his death is still a matter of debate. But that is really not history's fault. We all know how scholars like to argue amongst themselves. And they've been doing that ever since Alexander died, so there is no chance of the December election resolving that.

So, Alexander the Great, died of unknown causes, and history kept rolling on. Then came the Roman empire. Good old Julius, Coliseum, Russell Crowe and roman candles…

By Naveed C



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