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Bangladesh became independent long before 26th March. It happened the day the people started to think, plan, act that they COULD be free. We celebrate this special occasion with an exclusive RS story on the night before. We move on to page 3 for anecdotes on the funniest ways independence happened to nations across the globe. And then there's our Big Serious survey where the readers and writers let us know what being independent is all about. As children, we dream of the day when we will hit Independence. It's that greener pasture promising all kinds of fun, excitement and unlimited pizzas. Reality is a little different. First off, unlimited pizzas cause gas.

-- Ehsanur Raza Ronny, RS Editor

The RS Big Serious Survey #2

What does independence mean to you?

What's independence, we asked. More than four decades ago, young people fought and became immortal trying to be free from oppression. Today, in 2012, just when the world is about to end apparently, the young people view independence a little differently. We find out through our Big Serious survey what is the most significant act in their lives that made them feel independent for the first time. It's a big survey because more than 200 people (and one dog) took part in it. And it's serious or as serious as we can be...................................................................................................................................................


In this age of technology, in a young person's life, the major feeling of independence comes from owning the first phone. Not surprisingly, many of the votes came over the phone.


Permission for first sleepover. "The day I got permission to sleepover, which also included winning a fight against the parents - definitely felt very independent then," says Selima Sara Kabir.

Some consider the first step to independence is the day they are allowed to go to school by themselves. All alone against the mad, bad world of thieves, child snatchers and sparkly vampires. According to Bareesh Hasan, "The first time I felt independent was the when I first walked back from school alone. I was 10 maybe. From Mohammedpur to Dhanmondi 9A, it was a pretty big deal, especially in the blistering sun and with an obscenely heavy bag on my shoulders. Got lost in the middle." Of course, that's also when they start bunking classes.

First time you get room privacy. Privacy is a big deal, especially in your own room, where you're planning to take over the world or other stuff we can't discuss here.

Staying out late is a big deal for a teen whether the parents kill him/her afterwards or not. First sign of rebellion as well. And rebellion brings about independence, sometimes. The dog we surveyed disagrees.

Nothing speaks louder than money and the first paycheck doesn't just speak, it shouts INDEPENDENCE. That is till you realise first paycheck does not last long. Back to asking parents for a loan. Jawad Mahmud says, "I am not independent. But I got close to the feeling when I devoured the chicken I bought with my first salary." So we assume independence tastes like chicken. Major purchases also account for some sense of independence. 2% voted major purchases above 5000 taka making people feel free. No.

First time on public transport alone, amidst unknown public, not knowing whether the said transport will transport you all the way, whether the brakes will work. Adrenaline and independence.

First day of university/college orientation. Medha Monjuary says, "Independence was when I received my college acceptance letter in the mail, addressed to me, and I knew I was actually, literally, going off to live in a whole different country, thousands of miles away, alone. It was also when I thought university classes started after 10 am, but then it turned out to be a false notion so that probably doesn't count."

First alien abduction and associated probing. This made some people feel independent? We worry about our readers. This survey also shows that aliens exist, but only 2.5 percent of the time.


Living by myself. Majority of the respondents study and live abroad and nothing quite beats that for the first major experience. Finally doing your own laundry or living with dirty undies? That's independence, albeit smelly.

If you want to participate in future Big Serious Surveys, come over to our Facebook page (link posted at the bottom). You can vote and/or add your thoughts to the polled questions that we will shamelessly use to make our survey sound deeply thoughtful. You'll be famous. Most likely not. But still, it's fun.

Happening this week

What: MUSICon - an event with electronic musical games, organised by 7teen Events in collaboration with Live2 and The Bench.

When: This Friday from 3pm-12am. The event is divided into three sections: “The Jimi Hendrix Experience” from 3-5:30, during which Guitar Hero and Rock Band will be played and there will be guest appearances; “The Groove Stage” is from 5:30pm-8pm, during which Dance Central and Dance Dance Revolution will be played; the last section, 8pm-12am, will feature karaoke.

Where: The Bench at Gulshan-1.

Who else is coming: There will be bands such as Defy, The Manager, Silverlight, Project 1/22. DJ Bishal and Multee will also attend. Additionally, there will be a fire-spinning show by Naur.

For tickets, check out the event page through www.facebook.com/7teenEvents.

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

This week, we got nothing but love:

Rayaan Ibtesham Chowdhury
The cover art. My goodness.

Nifath Karim
No Music. <3. Does writing get any better than that?

Mustabeen Qazi
First 'Relative Paradise' and now this. Safieh you're wonderful! Everything you write becomes memorable.

For some the theme brought sorrow and regret:

Parisa T. Karim
Orin's article especially brought back sad memories. 3 years back. I was having my own battle about whether to follow the life-long dream of being an interior designer or walk on the much-travelled path of a business graduate. Which won? Let's just say, the promise of bags full of money and guarantee of a 9-5 job beat the hell out of a silly childhood dream. :(

For others, it was an inspiration to commit career suicide.

Partho Mostafa
This RS might just change what I'll be in future. I'd stick with Cricket player.

Nusaibah Yunus
Finally an article on epic rap battles of history! Those things deserve their awesomeness.

Alvi Anan Meem Yeah, but I was thinking - they're talking about this NOW?

Shaer Reaz It's Epic Rap Battles of HISTORY. We needed them to be old.

One of our fans delivered some fluid comments about writers and appreciated our review of Discoworld. When asked about it, he said:

Alvi Anan Meem Well, DISCOWORLD is a flat world. It's a rather long series by Terry Pratchett, with more than 30 books. Oh, and it's hilarious.

RS joined in:
The Rising Stars Discoworld is a different series. One where Elton John, Bee Gees and Mithun Chakrabarti act as the main characters. John Travolta does an occasional cameo appearance on Saturday nights to kill off the others.

Alvi realised his mistake, and went on to type “typing” wrong. But we don't judge. Because we make mistakes, too. We just laugh when they happen.




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