Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 22, Tuesday January 3, 2006




Cell phone operated zombies

What would the ruthlessly effective conqueror Genghis Khan have done if he had cell phones? He would have sat in the comfort of his own pigskin covered, pig-scented tent and directed his troops much like generals do these days. He could have remotely directed thousands of troops across the world and taken over the planet as supreme ruler. Or could he have? More likely he would have been busy looting and plundering nations to pay for the phone bills. Unless of course, he had free talk-time.

Wondering where cell phone operated zombies mentioned in the title come from? Hang on! Free air time is all the rage right now. Everyone is talking about it and many people are raging because it is not as good a newsflash as it sounds. First of all, most service providers are offering free air time at times when people do not really use cell phones. It is usually after midnight when people generally sleep, watch TV, chat, browse the net, break into other people's houses etc. Okay, so people perform a lot of activities after midnight and chatting on the cell phone is adding another activity to the list.

Typical businesses are hardly conducted during the wee hours of the night so that just leaves businesses of a different kind. Lovebirds benefit greatly from this free talk-time. New love has so much to discover about each other that they need hours if nothing else. That has a very telltale effect on students. Grameen's Djuice package has aforementioned free air time along with annoyingly catchy name. One university professor used to call all his sleepy students 'Djuice students' because they used to stay up all night whispering sweet promises. As a result we have young people walking around in the daytime with glazed and sleepy expressions thus presenting you the cell phone operated zombies.

Other service providers are offering similar packages. Aktel is offering special packages for lovebirds to talk throughout the day even. Citycell has it's free call to other Citycell numbers albeit at night and couple of hours in the day. Would Genghis Khan really have benefited from all this free stuff? Not really because the biggest complaint is that it is extremely difficult to get a connection at these specified free times. Officials at the respective service providing companies explain that all these calls start jamming the network. Genghis Khan would have given up conquering out of frustration to get through the cell phone network.

Free air time is also a source of annoyance for many. Acquaintances/relatives wait to call others at the late hours to take advantage of the free time. Just imagine being woken up at 3 AM and being asked the classic question “Did I wake you up?”

Pranksters are having a ball as they can now call without busting their wallets especially on Citycell lines where there is no charge for calling other Citycell numbers. A barrage of callers end up looking for the sexy voice of the opposite sex. In the end, free air time seems to be all about couples in love, wanting to be in love or falling out of love. They can chat or argue to their hearts content.

Women love to have “talks”. These are the “talks” bracketed in huge blinking and chiming apostrophes. Men are not generally very good at this activity. That is why prehistoric man would walk out of the smelly cave with a grunt and do what he did best; that is to destroy petty wildlife. Cavewoman on the other hand wanted to have long talks as to why the cave needed an interior decorator. Alas, she could only grunt but her diligent grunting ended up forming words with which she could communicate. Man of course remained a grunting animal too busy hunting other animals to extinction.

Fast forward to this day and age when interior decorators exist. Women still like to have “talks” unfortunately men have no animals to hunt. Thanks to the cell phone operators offering free air time men have to sit through these “talks” grunting in agreement whether they like it or not.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Cheesy Egg Rolls
4 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
¾ cup grated cheese
½ finely crushed vermicelli
3 eggs, hardboiled and chopped
1 medium sized onion chopped finely
2 bread slices, soaked in milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 finely chopped green chillies
salt and pepper to taste oil for frying
Mix bread slices, cheese, mashed potatoes, salt and pepper well. Separately mix hard boiled eggs, green chillies, mint and coriander leaves well. Take a little potato mixture. Place a little egg mixture in the centre and roll it into a ball to cover the filling completely. Dip in beaten eggs and roll in vermicelli. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Drain on paper before serving.

250 g flour
200 g green gram
1tsp garam masala powder
10-15 raisins
1tsp poppy seds
1” piece ginger (paste)
A few sprigs fresh saunf
salt to taste
1 tbsp ghee
oil for frying
Soak and boil green gram with a little salt till cooked. When cool, grind to fine paste. Add ginger paste, garam masala powder, salt and saunf to the gram paste and mix well.
Add ghee to the flour and knead it to a smooth dough, adding water as required . Divide the dough into marble sized balls. Make a small depression in the centre of each ball and stuff it with a little of the prepared gram mixture. Close the ball and shape into a round kachori. Deep fry in hot oil till done.
Serve hot with tomato sauce or pudina chutney.

Dahi Baras
250 g black gram dal without skin
500 g curd well beaten
1” ginger (finely shredded)
½ tsp salt for baras
1tsp salt
10 to 12 tablespoons oil
Soak dal in two cups of water for 8 hours Drain and discard water and grind to a fine paste. Beat well until it becomes light and fluffy. Mix all ingredients, add salt just before frying.
Make a ball the size of a large lime. with wet right hand finger tips, flatten by placing the ball on the most-eved left palm and shaping to a 3” round shape. Make the other baras the same way and fry three to four at a time until uniformly golden on both sides. Put them in 2 cups of water, keep for 10 to 15 minutes Meanwhile mix salt in curd. Squeeze the baras dry, put in the salted curd and sprinkle with a big pinch of black pepper , ½ tsp of toasted crushed cumin seeds , ¼ tsp red chilli powder, 2 chopped green chillies. Serve with well chilled sweet tamarind chutney.
For tamarind chutney
1 cup tamarind extract (thick)
½ cup molasses, 1tsp rock salt, 1tsp salt
1 tbsp cumin (roasted and powdered), 1tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp raisins, 1 tbsp Ginger Juice.
Mix all the ingredients and refrigerate.

News flash

This Eid, Aarong is all the rage!
In keeping with the spirit of Eid and the holiday season, Aarong has an exquisite collection of Sarees, trendy Kameezes, and Indo-western styled Punjabis. The Sarees range from intricately woven jamdanis embellished with zardozi and hand embroidery with block prints, beads and sequins in enchanting colours, timeless kantha embroidery on silks, and appliquéd and cutwork muslin. Traditional kantha, Kashmiri stitch, and hand embroidery decorated with sequins, stones and beads dominates the look in Shalwar Kameez line which come in subtle and bold shades and modern cuts. The fabrics used are mainly muslin, silk, cotton and handloom. Apart from the traditional Punjabis, this season, Aarong has a fusion Punjabi line, which has a flash of tradition with a dash of contemporariness. These Punjabis come in different hues of natural vegetable dyes; from indigo blues, gray, brown to charcoal black. They are embellished with kantha stitch, cord embroidery, and comes with interesting buttons in wood, metal and horn.

Whatever the pick, from traditional classics, urban styled day wear to evening sophisticates, rest assured, anyone adorned in Aarong attires will exude the perfect blend of fashion and charm. Catch the rage in your next visit to Aarong!

The fashion scenario is welcoming the uprising of a new shop, Dopatta in Kamal Ataturk Avenue in Banani with another outlet in Uttara, near Mascot Plaza. This shop is unique for its' own set of fashion designers practicing their creativity under the theme of seasons as their main inspiration. The production is in the hands of skilled workers in their own personal factory.

The store is proud to exhibit its' excusive collection of three-pieces (in embroidery or karchuppi) ranging within Tk. 2000 to Tk 3000 , its' block three-pieces within Tk.900 to Tk.1500, its' fatuas within Tk. 900 to Tk. 2000 and its' party wears (including saris). around Tk.3000.

Baskin Robbins now in Banani
Banani just got sweeter, people. Joining the league with Hot Breads and Club Gelato and other sweet eateries on the hip and happening Road 11, is Baskin Robbins' newest branch.

In a bold, bright look, with their usual white-and-hot pink colour theme complemented by vibrant, colourful posters, the place is small, cosy, and inviting. Featuring their 31 cool flavours, including “Fruit Overload” or “Gold Ribbon”, and my personal favourite, the Mint Milk-Chocolate, as well as a host of yummy toppings and scrumptious sundaes, this joint is definitely worth a trip.

Baskin Robbins' newest baby is located on Banani Road 11, next to Trendz.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2006 The Daily Star