old saying "an idle mind is the devil's workshop"
does not seem to apply to Ahad Bhai, Omar Bhai and Navidul
Huq, the three administrators of Dhaka's latest internet craze,
Ahad and Omar were back from college for only a few days before
their parents grounded them. Navid, a loyal friend from their
school days at the American International School/Dhaka, faithfully
went to visit his imprisoned friends every day, but there
was only so much entertainment the three of them could provide
for themselves while they were stuck at home. One day out
of sheer boredom they picked up a fashion magazine listing
the 101 top models in Bangladesh, both men and women.
saw the top 100 models and just realised that none of them
were really that good looking," says Ahad, while the
other two grinned. "So we started wondering where all
the good looking people in Dhaka were, and how we could find
them. That's how we started Dhaka Hotties."
a website for the younger generation of Bangladesh allows
its members to rate each other and themselves on a scale of
one to ten. To be a member one just has to go to the website,
fill out a profile, upload a picture and join the community.
shouldn't be afraid to be rated badly," says Navid. "I
had a rating of 2.5 when I first started. And we approve every
picture before it gets posted so there is no nudity or shady
it all sounds a little superficial, right? After all, with
all the other insecurities and problems that young men and
women have, why should we subject ourselves to being rated
by complete strangers just on the basis of our pictures and
the beginning, the superficial purpose was just to get rated,
but the real purpose now is to be a part of the Dhaka Hotties
community," says Ahad. "We don't know that many
people our age in Dhaka, because we went to the American School
so we are kind of not exposed to people outside our school.
We wanted to get to know more people. And we want people to
be a part of the revolution.”
now, Dhaka Hotties is serving as an interactive network for
Bangalis everywhere. People are meeting through the site,
and participating in forums on movies, music and even political
and social issues. They are also planning on organising events,
such as a five-a-side football tournament, a pool tournament,
concerts and a big Dhaka Hotties party. The three young men
are already promoting their website by manufacturing Dhaka
Hotties pens, t-shirts and other such paraphernalia -- an
indication that this is something that means more to them
than the ratings they get.
which is about a month old and took three days to put together,
boasts of over 900 members from around the globe and had a
30 to 40% growth rate per day in the beginning. How did they
manage to reach so many people in such a short time? By advertising
in chat rooms and forums, but mostly, with the help of Bangladesh's
national sport -- the word of mouth.
Hotties serves as a platform for the voice of the young people,"
says Omar. "There are so many interactive sites for desis
but there is really nothing for Bangladeshis, it's more for
Indians and Pakistanis. There have been so many people writing
to us and telling us that this is great for boosting the confidence
of Bangladeshis and that they have met a lot of people through
didn't expect the website to develop the way it did,"
admits Navid. "Now that we see how good a response we
have, we are planning to do even more with it. Right now we
need sponsors to develop further. Now that Dhaka Hotties is
becoming so big both locally and internationally, we want
to make it even better. We are planning on adding a games
section, events list, Because there are so many people meeting
each other Dhaka's young community is becoming more close-knit.”
out as an act of boredom soon turned into a fast growing community
of young Bangladeshis from all over the world. So the next
time you're on the net, click on www.dhakahotties.com, be
it just for surfing or for signing up. Check out the latest
internet revolution in Dhaka and find out once and for all
-- “Are YOU a Dhaka Hottie?”
(R) thedailystar.net 2004