Sunday, October 5, 2008

Google calendar alerts you via sms!

I am a new user of Google calendar but it continues to impress me, just like any Google product. Primarily I started to use it for the class routine but eventually explored some of its more interesting features.
One of them is that you can set up reminders via SMS. Suppose you have a class at 8.30, you can setup the event in the calendar so that Google will send you a SMS 10 minutes before the class. And the service is completely free! I have set it up in my phone and as far as I saw, network operators in Bangladesh also can be set up.
See for yourself!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

One of the most wonderful days:my first Eid ul-Fitr in abroad



I never imagined this day to be so enjoyable. No one would ever! The first Eid outside Bangladesh, without family, friends, usual treats, polao-korma-chotpoti, Eid jamaat; it could not be worse. Guess what, we had all of those here in Trento, Italy; only four and a half thousand miles away from home. On top of those, we have got Champagne and a Dance party!

The day started like just any other Eid day; being late to get up in the morning, I had a quick shower and got dressed. Though it was quite a cold morning, I felt the warmth inside me. About ten of us (who live in the same residence) got on the bus and went to the largest Eid jamaat of Trento, arranged in an indoor stadium. We were a bit early, the place filled up within half an hour. Muslims from different corners of the world were present. The khutba was in Arabic and Italian. I had some problem in the time of salaat. The salaat of Eid is a special one and as you may know, one have to make six "extra" takbirs in the two rakats. I don't know the exact rule but In Bangladesh, we had always followed it like this: three extra takbirs in first rakat and the other three in the next rakat. Here it was like six extra takbirs in each rakat,making it twelve extra takbirs in total. I was a bit lost, to be honest :(

We have "kola-kuli"ed after the salaat and monajaat and took some pics. We had two invitations- in Bipul vai's house and in Shuja vai's house. We traded off and first went to Bipul vai's place, where we were greeted with various kinds of traditional Eid day sweets- shemai (laccha and normal), dimer halua (sweet scambled egg?!), dorja (i mean jorda :P) and something more, I couldn't even remember. We watched some bangla channels after a long time and discussed about the new ads, which came out in the last month.
I had a feeling that it would be a good day!

We went out from there at around 11.30 and went to Suja vai and Muna apu's house. We had to walk for ten minutes os so, but it was all worth it! Muna apu was waiting with her arsenal of delicious foods. We wasted no time (only as much to say "Eid Mubarak apu"!), started with the special halim, then had the second course with polao and beef vuna, along with fanta and pepsi. We were all full, but the payesh had us all speechless! It was..yummy to the power yummy! Credit goes to Suja vai who had bought so good sugar, milk and rice that it could not go in any other way! (I think Muna apu will agree :P)

We had taken numerous photos and got ready for the next session. I had bunked two classes in the morning but could not miss the class of "Performance Evaluation" in the afternoon. So, me along with two other senior brothers went to the department. All others were persuading us not to go, but we had no way :(

After the class, we went to Dolon vai's home. He is one of the senior students, doing his PhD here. There we felt the cold, as the place is up on the mountains. Some photosessions took place and then comes the food. I heard Dolon vai is a great cook but realized it that day; there was polao, chicken roast, beef, salad and payesh. After that I had realized that I forgot to eat chatpati, but spent no time to dig in to the chatpati. :P
The university organizes "Welcome Party" for the incoming students each year and fortunately this year's party was on the very day, the Eid day. So we got prepared and went to the party. Too bad I could not change my dress as I did not have time to come to my room. The party was good, there were lots of food (though only a few were eatable for us) and drinks (juices, fanta and pepsi were the only eatables anyway!) and music and people. Some of us had the free champagne (and some got drunk). We danced for two hours with music from all around the world with a DJ. Altogether, it was a new experience for us, the newcomers.

The party would continue to midnight but we had another dawat to attend, and we left the party at about 10.30 and went to Bipul vai's place. I was not hungry but could not resist to have some polao with Bipul vai's special beef curry. We got on the bus at 11.45 and reached our residence at 12 midnight.
It was a great Eid, a great day full of fun, laughter, food and festivity. Surely I am lucky!