Returning to GOD

“We surely belong to Allah and to Him we shall  return”-Surah Al Baqarah 2: 156.

Finally, fall has started here in Canada at the end of October. Wherever your eyes go, they can only see leaves everywhere. It looks like the streets are  carpeted with different colored leaves. This natural decoration is rare to see. The  backyards and front yards of houses are either filled with leaf piles or flooded with leaves. In such a morning I was walking to school from home. I was walking through the leaves fallen on my way. The fallen leaves always remind me of death. I usually compare my life with leaves and death  with  a fallen leaf. I think my soul is stuck to a tree, and  one day that leaf will fall and I will die. I don’t know why I think that , only my creator knows. But, I know from when I started to think like that. It really started when I got the job at my daughter’s school as a student supervisor. I usually walk to school. So, on the way  I see fallen leaves even if it is not fall season. As I think a fallen leaf is similar to a dead soul I feel scared to step on it. For which is why, I avoid the fallen leaf and find my way without stepping on it. On that day I didn’t have any scope to skip the leaves because it was  like a printed long sari( Bengali traditional dress for women)  up to my destination. And the sari  was all printed with leaves without leaving a single blank spot where I can step. It reminded me that one day all the souls will be dead and will fall like this. We know that plant grows on earth amazingly it finishes its life on earth too. When the leaves fall they perishes on the earth. And leaves are the symbol of life of a tree. Similarly, We know that Allah has created us from dried clay. When we die, our dead body will be placed in grave which is made on earth. And much like the fallen leaves, our body also perishes on earth. That’s why I strongly believe this verse of Quran “We surely belong to Allah and Him we shall  return”.

After I published this post, I spent the whole night thinking about my idea of relating leaves with life. After a long thought, I realized that when I was a 4-5 years old girl I used to think similarly. Basically , one day my Amma (mother) told us that all the souls were created altogether. Then I tried to visualize the fact in my child mind and I could see a huge tree with leaf-shape souls hanging on the tree,and all the leaves are different color and different shade of lights. I carried that thought in my mind for a long time. After I grew up with time this memory faded away. Now it revived back at this time. I am glad that I recalled my memory correctly, Alhamdulillah.

 

Why should we be thankful to Allah?

Following is a chart of cost of human organ transplant

Estimated U.S. Average 2011 Billed Charges Per Transplant

Transplant 30 Days
Pre-
transplant
Procurement Hospital
Transplant Admission
Physician
During Transplant
180 Days
Post-transplant
Admission
Immuno-
suppressants
Total
Heart Only
$47,200
$80,400
$634,300
$67,700
$137,800
$30,300
$997,700
Single Lung
$10,300
$73,100
$302,900
$33,500
$117,700
$23,700
$561,200
Double Lung
$21,400
$90,300
$458,500
$56,300
$142,600
$28,200
$797,300
Heart-Lung
$56,800
$130,500
$777,700
$81,000
$169,100
$33,300
$1,148,400
Liver
$25,400
$71,000
$316,900
$46,600
$93,900
$23,300
$577,100
Kidney
$17,000
$67,200
$91,200
$18,500
$50,800
$18,200
$262,900
Pancreas
$17,000
$65,000
$108,900
$17,800
$61,400
$19,300
$289,400
Intestine
$55,100
$78,500
$787,900
$104,100
$146,600
$34,600
$1,206,800

Source:  https://transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/financing-a-transplant/the-costs/

This graph that I used is just for an example to understand the purpose of my writing. There might be  more references of this kind of information on websites if  I want to browse. But I don’t want to do that. Because, I know from my life that every single piece of organ of a human body is so costly that people even don’t have the ability to bear that cost. But when I realized that my Creator , Allah, Subhanllahu T’aala created me with all these necessary organs for me to live in this earth and gifted me them without any cost, every moment I thank Him.  He even didn’t command us to pay the bill anywhere of our lifetime not in this world and not in the hereafter. Only He asked from us our thankfulness for all His blessings on us. That is also for our well being. If we are not thankful, how should we cherish our presence on this earth. We thank everyone for anything they do for us, then why should we not thank Him who, showered us with His blessings.

Parents prepare everything for an unborn child when they get the news that they are going to be gifted with a baby from their Lord. They start taking care of the mother who will be carrying the baby and through whom the baby will be coming to this world. They prepare clothing, blankets, beds and all other necessary things that the baby might need for its comfort and well being. People got this idea of preparation from their Lord. Because before the souls were sent to this earth Allah Subhanallahu t’aala created this earth for His creation. He created the earth as a bed, He created the sky as a roof. He created seas as a life source for his creation, He created air to provide oxygen supply. He created sun as a light in the day time and moon as a nightlight in the night. He also made them to count time and days of the years. He created the mountains, the trees, birds, flowers to beautify the earth in the eyes of mankind and to also aid them. He also produces fruits and vegetables to provide food for His creation. For all of countless blessings, He didn’t demand anything from people except their thankfulness and obedience. Though we know that we have to spend money for all the things in this earth if we wish to get them. We pay for land, for food, cloths, water. light etc. People even sell their “knowledge” that Allah gave them. So, there is nothing among His bounty that we can deny and it is  true that, over time, we all forget His Ni’mah for us.

My guideline for rest of the life

Oct, 9, 2016

 

Today I received a report card for writing an exam for 20 years about myself.The miracle of this report is, when I received this report card I magically realized that all the answers I wrote on this exam paper were wrong which I though I answered them correctly. Thanks to the Almighty that this report card opened my eyes of thoughts and gave me an opportunity to correct myself.

Right away, I called for an appointment with a very powerful psychiatrist in this earth and in the heaven. Luckily, I got the appointment as an urgent need patient.

Day one: The very first motivational advice that I received from my psychiatrist is : “As you started this life of journey without anyone and the decision of the life that you chose which you took without informing anyone, keeping secret from everyone, today you can decide rest of your life all by yourself by keeping it secret from everyone too. So, start rest of your life journey they way you started the previous one.”   Then, I started my rest of life journey all alone with the help of my guiding psychiatrist. Alhamdulillah! it relieved all my burden that I was feeling after receiving this report card.

Day second: I was thinking to myself that if the decision I took was right or wrong? Confusion was trying to take me away from my path. But my second advice came from my psychiatrist. “Do you think you are right in your eyes and with your creator? If your answer is yes then you are right. if you are wrong with your creator and to yourself then you are wrong.” I answered the question to my psychiatrist, I chose this lone journey to avoid future trouble that I may make in others life or to other mankind.I wanted to avoid any complain or blame that I might put on others. I wanted to keep people safe from my bad deeds. I wanted to make my future life only  serving to my Creator, my Lord. So, I need guidance and strength from my Creator to fulfill my aim.

Day Three: Another motivational point from my psychiatrist: If the psychiatrist solves all my problem and cure me from the disease that I have then why should I go back to someone else for further consideration, not to the psychiatrist after my recovery. So, It was a right decision till to date to chose to be alone.

Day four: I strongly believe that no person in this earth is alone. If someone claims that ,it will be against the creator’s law and assurance. Because He is watching us, He is with us and He beholds us. For why I never feel lonely when I realized that powerful truth in my life. I can feel Him in my life, I  can see His presence every sphere of my life. Then how I will be alone. I am never alone, I am not alone. He is my strength, who is the Almighty of all.

Day five: Today’s important tips from my psychiatrist:” Don’t look for love from lovers or people rather look for the love of your creator. That is amazingly true. If I love someone in return I expect love and only good things from the person, I can’t tolerate any mistakes from that person. As a result we can’t forgive the person.But it is your creators promise that if you return to Him with vast mistakes that you didn’t intent to do then He will forgive you.He knows you better than you and others. Because you are His creation.

Another important point I learned from  my psychiatrist :”Don’t  make any judgment about people since you are not capable to make any judgment.” Because you only see a part of the person or the thing where as it has so many dimensions and issues what you can’t see from your perspective.When you make the judgment you only evaluate one side of the fact ignoring others. Thats why Allah subhanallahu T’aala is called the the greatest judge,”Al Hakam”. Because He knows the future, and the past and  He knows every side of the fact.

To My beloved Daughters

 

Part 1

O my beloved Ma’s ( Ma pakhi’s) the purpose of my writing to you is to share the knowledge that I have learnt and the experiences that I have had on my journey through this world.

Who Am I /Who Are We?

As you know, we are the creation  of Allah ( Subhanallahu T’aala) and like His other creations in this earth and heaven, over the time our identity changes from our original creation. First, when Allah created us in heaven our identity was called “Ruh”. When Allah gives this Ruh in the womb of our mother by His angel Jibreel Alayhis Salam we are then called “Fetus”. From the fetus we are developed in our mother’s womb  for nine months, though this duration varies  from one to another. After the nine months journey we come into the world by the will of Allah (Subhanallahu T’aala) as babies. As soon as we are born we forget about everything of our life cycle in our mother’s womb. From a baby  we turn into toddler, then to an adult, then to an elder. And one day we will return to Allah (Subhanallahu T’aala) from where we came from. At that time our physical identity is “a dead body”, but, while our body is dead and lifeless on Earth, our Ruh returns to Allah, where it stays until the Day of Judgement.

Beyond our physical identity, I also believe in a spiritual identity too. I believe that I am a believer and testifier of  one and only God Subhanallahu T’aala, all His creation in the Earth and in the Heavens, all the Messengers, Prophets, Angels and the Holy Books that He sent down for the guidance of mankind. I am not Shia nor am I Sunni, nor Bahai nor Ahmadi nor Salafi nor Wahabi. I don’t want to take any label that people put on themselves. I am only a noble creation of my Lord, Allah Subhanallahu T’aala. My aim is to be the true servant of Him for the rest of my life.

 

Socially conscious films of Bangladesh

Film is the reflections of life captured in celluloid.  It is a strong and powerful medium to represent society to mass. Bangladeshi films from inception, in 1956, have been in most cases successful in maintaining this theme. From the date it is evident that Bangladeshi cinema has started its journey 15 years before the independence of the country. Thus, the film makers not only had to take on the responsibility to depict the social life, the sadness and happiness of the regular people but also presented the collective aspirations as a nation as well as work as a source of inspiration for the struggle for freedom. So, the Bangladeshi films in most part were not only socially conscious of the time, environment (both cultural and political), and the people but also worked as a beckon of hope for a better, free and prosperous future.

Bangladeshi cinema always has been close to Bengali Art and Literature. The fact that many of the powerful film makers, story writers, and lyricists were also successful and accomplished novelists and/or poets are a strong marker of this close bond. The film-makers were also have been fond of making films on popular and famous novels. This close relation of art, culture and literature has ensured that the films reflect the true life stories and thus can create a close affinity with its audience. Many of the famous and awarded films, which were also based on equally popular novels, illustrated the struggle of the poor, the homeless and also the struggle of morality of the middle class. ‘Surjo Dighal Bari’ (The Ominous House, 1979)a novel by Abu Ishaque is an example of such a film.

The pre-liberation Bangla films manifest the great language movement, fight against the oppressive and autocratic military rule and ultimately the fight for independence. These films were not only meant to be depicting the contemporary socio-political scenario but also used as a vehicle for provoking the emotions of the mass. Other than the storyline itself the songs used in these films where also very significant. In fact several of the films had the Bangladeshi National Anthem incorporated into the storyline, e.g. ‘Jibon Theke Neya’. Most of the films that came out after the liberation war and independence had subject-line related to the war, the independence, massacre of three million people and huge violation and harassment of womenfolk and loss of property.  Stop Genocide (1971),Ora Egaro Jon, Aguner poroshmoni, Orunodoyer ognishaksi, Matir Moyna (The Clay Bird, 2002), Muktir Gaan are the example of films those are based on our liberation war.

Village life was the core theme of a huge number of films. Bangladesh being a country mostly made up of villages (approximately 66 thousand), this is quite understandable and correctly reflected. Sometimes it centered the superstitious village mind or the oppression by the influential groups on the common people, some other times depressed womanhood took this place. Love between men and women in pastoral context were also a subject of many films. As middle class society began to evolve along with urban life, a good number of films started to portray the arising problems and complexities, uprising middle class people, their social context and the human emotions in their life. Lal salu (Tree Without Root 2001), by Tanvir Mokammel ,Kittonkhola (200), by Abu Sayeed are example of  more social conscious movies of this region those highlight the identity struggle especially the gender, religion and ethnic identity of the village people.

Until recently Bangladeshi films have not clearly followed the distinctions of genres such as Action, Comedy, Romance, War, Thriller, etc. Almost all of them could be classified as social-family movie. All the films had little bit of all human emotions such as sorrow, laughter, love, drama and conflicts. Other than the liberation war movies most of the Bangladeshi movies are mostly void of Action or War. There is not any clear instance of scary movie as well. So, most of the movies reflected the socio-cultural realities of time and straggle of human life.

Some Socially conscious Bangladeshi movies :

Jibon Theke Neya

Screenplay: Zahir Raihan
Director of Photography: Afzal Choudhury
Editor: Enamul Huq
Music: Khan Ataur Rahman
Producer & Director: Zahir Raihan
Release Year: 1970
Genre: Drama

Cast:
Khan Ataur Rahman, Rowshan Jamil, Anwar Hossain, Rosy Samad, Razzak, Suchanda etc…

Story plot:

Jibon Theke Neya is one of the most eminent Bangla movies directed by  Zahir Raihan. The movie is a political satire based on the Bengali Language Movement of 1952. The main roles are portrayed by Khan Ataur Rahman, Rowshan Jamil, Anwar Hossain, Rosy Samad, Razzak, and Suchanda. Zahir Raihan used the metaphor of a family dominated by an autocratic woman which symbolize the political dictatorship of Ayub Khan in the then East Pakistan . Both  stories run in parallel where  the people rise in political protest outside and inside, the family members gather courage to rebel the dictatorial woman. At the end of the movie the director showed  the release of political workers and  the punishment of the autocratic woman which is also a metaphor. Zahir Raihan took  a bold step  to portray the contemporary political turmoil in the then East Pakistan with this movie . In this movie the National Anthem of Bangladesh, Amar Shonar Bangla Ami Tomae Bhalobashi was played for the first time which is first in  a  Bangla movie. The song was not only used as the National Anthem but also was able to  generate the  sense of Bengali nationalism among the masses. So,Jibon Theke Neya was not only a movie to be depict the contemporary socio-political scenario but also used as a vehicle for provoking the emotional upsurge of the mass.

Ora Egaro Jon ora Egaro Jon

The first and most famous movie released on our Independence War is  ‘Ora Egaro Jon’, directed by Chashi Nazrul Islam. The movie is considered to be one of the best feature films based on the Liberation War. Khasru, Sumita Devi, and Shabana were in  the leading roles in the film.The film was made with a genuine feeling of the liberation war because people involved in this movie were involved in the Liberation war. Hence, Ora Egaro Jon was able to create the actual  feeling and emotion during the war among the audience at that time which we notice is  missing in today’s movies. So,the movie Ora Egaro Jon , is considered  a socially conscious movie from Bangladesh that portrayed the geopolitical struggle of this nation.

Shurjodighal Bari (1979):












Directors: Mashihuddin Shaker and

Sheikh Niamat Ali

Director of Photography: Answar Hosen

Rawshan Jamil in Shurjo Dighal Bari (left) and Anwar Hossain (right). Photo: Mumit M. Source: The Daily Star

Release Year: 1979

Review:

The first  Bangla movie financed by the Bangladesh government is Surjodighal Bari (The Ominous House),portrayed in a rural setting, Jointly directed by Mashihuddin Shaker and Sheikh Niamat Ali. In the film the practicality of life was depicted in  a very natural way. Surjodhighal Bari another socially conscious movie of Bangladesh that portrays the eternal struggles of the subjugated poor of this country. Rowshan Jamil, Dolly Anwar, Keramat Moula, and Elora Gohar played the major characters in the movie. The movie  received several National Awards.

Festivity in Bangladesh – Part Eleven

Pohela Falgun:

Bangladesh is the country of six seasons and Spring is the last of them. With new leaves in the trees, various known and unknown colorful flowers, and the coos of cuckoos, the spring comes to Bangladesh. ‘Pohela Falgun’ is the first day of spring and eleventh month in the Bengali Calendar. Falgun announces the coming of Spring with its glamorous color. The festival lover Bengalis welcome and celebrate this day with great respect, love and in a colorful manner.

Krishna Chura, Flowers of Spring in Bangladesh

Pohela Falgun brings joys and colors in the life of Bangladeshi people. After the dryness of winter, new leaves start to come out again and the nature adorns the brunches with new colorful flowers. Especially the Krishnachuras (gold mohar) bring the news of spring first. Cuckoos start singing from trees to trees. Nature becomes magnificent with coming of Spring. Everything in nature gives an impression of youthfulness or freshness as if the nature takes a new birth. Falgun represents ‘rebirth’ for all these reasons.

Various types of festivals take place on Pohela Falgun. The blazing red and yellow are the representative colors of Pohela Falgun. Bengali people embellish themselves with these two primary colors. On this occasion we see an example of secularism. Everyone enjoys and celebrates together. The slogan of this day is- ‘‘Esho mili Pran er utshobe’’ (Come mingle in the festival of Life). Many cultural organizations like ‘Jatiya Boshonto Utshab Udjapan Parishad’ arrange programs. Besides  the fine art institutes celebrate the day with special attention all over the country . The festivals start with traditional musical and dance shows performed by the artists of Chayanat and Shishu Academy. People play with colorful paints. Some fabricate their faces with Bengali Alpanas. After the musical and dance shows a rally takes place. This is also a ‘Mangal Yatra’. The Bengali nation welcomes the day with humble respect, love and care.

Girls performing dances at "Bokultola" in the institute of fine art

Girls performing dances at "Bokultola" in the Institute of Fine Art on Spring Festival

Festivity in Bangladesh- Part Ten

Idols and masks used on pohela boishakh

Idols and masks used on pohela boishakh

Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year, is the most special day for every Bengali national. Bengalis are usually a festival lover nation. Their every special occasions are full of festivities and they celebrate their new year with most love, care and excitement. This is the biggest public festival of Bangladesh. The most glorious side of this occasion is on this day each and every Bengali, regardless of their religion; creed or clan welcomes the New Year and celebrates the day together. This unity makes the day more significant. On this day forgetting all dissensions everyone gets absorbed deeply into the one nationality feeling.

The Bengalis start preparing for the festival at least one month before the New Year. The biggest preparations are taken especially by the fine art institutes all over the country. The most colorful New Year’s Day festival takes place in Dhaka. Large numbers of people gather early in the morning under the Banyan Tree at Ramna Park ( Ramna botomul) where Chhayanat artistes open the day with a famous Tagore song, Esho he Boishakh esho esho (Come O Boishakh, come), welcoming Boishakh (April-May). A similar ceremony welcoming the New Year is also held at the Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka. Students and teachers of the institute take out a colorful procession and parade round the campus. In the rural areas farmers’ wives prepare ‘amani’ by soaking green mango and rice in a large earthen vessel on the last day of Chaitra (March-April). A leafy mango twig is also placed in the vessel. At dawn everybody eats the soaked rice while the water in the vessel is sprinkled on the bodies with the help of the mango twig. This keeps the body cool in the hot summer. Families prepare special dishes in the belief that a good meal at the start of the year will set the trend for the whole year.

To observe the day young women wear white saris with red borders and adorn themselves with bangles,flowers, and bindis. Men wear white pajamas or dhoti and kurta. In cities people starts the day with the traditional breakfast of panta bhat (cooked rice soaked with water), green chilies, onion, and fried hilsa fish.

One of the main feature of celebrating Pohela Boishakh and welcome the new day is with the procession called ‘‘Mangal Yatra”. This ”Mangal yatra” is believed to be an auspicious starting for New Year. On every New Year bengali people uses different auspicious symbolic idols for the ”Mangal yatra”. Such as Owl (symbol of Laksmi), Elephant (symbol of strength), Horse (symbol of energy and progress), Tiger (symbol of power), Peacock (symbol of beauty), Dove (symbol of peace) etc. One or two idols are taken as the leading icon of ”Mangal Yatra” and the followers behind hold various types of masks in their hands. Those masks also symbolize many aspects of human and nature. The total ”Yatra” looks very meaningful with the long round walk of people with masks and idols.

Festivity in Bangladesh-Part Nine

Festival of Buddhists

Buddha Purnima:

The main festival of the Buddhists is Buddha Purnima or Baishakhi Purnima. It is celebrated on the day of the full moon in Bengali month Baishakh (April-May). It is believed by the Buddhists that three important events occurred in the life of Buddha on this day; his birth, his gaining enlightenment, and his death. On this day Buddhists arrange collective prayers and other religious ceremonies, recite stories of The Buddha and his disciples, organize socials and cultural events. The day is observed as a public holiday. Fairs are also held on the day at different villages in Bangladesh.

Prabarana Purnima:

Probarana Purnima is another Buddhist festival, also known as Ashshini Purnima. Prabarana means both adopting wholly and forbidding. Prabarana is observed on the day of the full moon in the month of Ashshin (September-October). At the end of Prabarana, every Buddhist monasteries celebrates the festival of Kathin Chibar DanKathin Chibar Dan means difficult (Kathin) cloth (Chibar: used by monks) donation (Dan). On this day, it usually takes 24 hours to prepare Kathin Chibar from thread processed by spinning jum cotton  It is the biggest religious festival of the Buddhist people. The festival  is celebrated with great enthusiasm and religious fervour. Millions of Buddhist devotees from the  hill districts and other parts of the country gather during the occasion at  Bana Bihar, an internationaly famous  buddhists temple in Bangladesh in Rangamati Hill District  . Moreover, Ministers, MPs and high officials also attend the festival. To enjoy the festival  many people  along with the Buddhists  crowd at Bana Bihar . Devotees bring various gifts  on this occasion and robes are given to the monks .  Buddhists believe that on Probarana Purnima  day Lord Buddha went to the abode of the gods, and, after blessing his mother, returned to earth.

Buddhists send fanus (hot air ballon) in the sky on the day of Prabarana Purnima

The most attractive event on Probarana Purnima is making spacial hot-air balloons called ‘Fanush’  and send them in the sky as a symbol of lighting up the sky.

Festivity in Bangladesh-Part Eight

Children performing folk dance during pre-Christmas program held on Dec 19, 2008, at Bottomely School’s ground in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Festival of Christians:

Christmas Day ( Bara Din):

Apart from the Hindus, Christians also observe the religious festivals of their own. Islam is the state religion in Bangladesh, but the country’s constitution and secular laws guarantee religious freedom for the nearly 350,000 Christians in this nation of 140 million. The main festival of Christians is Christmas Day or birthday of Jesus Christ (PBUH), is celebrated on 25th December. In Bangladesh Christmas is referred as Bara Din (Big Day).

Local lay, religious and clergies gathered at pre-Christmas programme held on Dec 19, 2008, at Bottomely School’s ground in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Local lay, religious and clergies gathered at pre-Christmas programme held on Dec 19, 2008, at Bottomely School’s ground in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The main characteristics of this day are special prayer in churches, arrangements of feasts, sharing gifts among families and friends. Like all other countries Bangladeshi Christians also decorate trees, branches and lights up their houses. Some churches host religious gatherings while other churches invite the community to join them in decorating Christmas tree and singing carols. Some churches also organize feasts after the services.

The Christian village men cut down scores of banana trees and replant them in pairs along the paths to churches and outside their homes, for Christmas in Bangladesh.  They bend over the huge leaves to make an arch, and then make small holes in the bamboo poles, fill them with oil and tie them across the arches.  When the oil is lit the way to church is bright.

The festival is celebrated throughout the country with due religious enthusiasm, love, joy and sharing in tune with the celebrations all across the world.

Festivity in Bangladesh- Part Seven

Hindu Festivals

Janmastami:

Two Hindu Kids dressed up as Lord Krishna and Radha

Janmastami is an old festival in Bangladesh. Janmstami or the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna is celebrated in this region with great devotion and festivity. Colorful processions, gatherings, Geeta Jaggyam (special prayers), Kirtan (devotional songs) and Puja (worship) at Hindu temples are the main features of Janmastami. Most attractive aspect of Janmastami procession is the tradition of dressing up as Krishna, Radha and other characters from the life of Krishna in Bangladesh. Devotees gather at the temple from morning to offer their prayers to Lord Krishna.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna, the embodiment of God, descended to this world with a promise to establish love, truth and justice. It is said that Shrikrishna (Lord Krishna) was born on the eighth lunar day of the dark fortnight in the Bengali month of Bhadra (August-September). So this day is a very sacred day to the Hindus. In almost all the regions of the subcontinent, this day is observed in some way or the other as a religious festival. It is a public holiday in Bangladesh.

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