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     Volume 4 Issue 13 | September 17, 2004 |

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Five Ominous Rings


The razzmatazz of an Opening Ceremony celebrating the return of the Modern Olympic Movement to Athens got me into thinking about our Olympics. Yes! There will come a time when our Olympic Association will bid, and (kee sharbanash!) we will be awarded the prestigious Games. While the question will remain in which dabbish shaal our dream will transpire into reality, we have to start planning from this very moment including which city will be hosts.

After a protracted national debate and some khoona-khuni among the 64 bidding districts, we will have to settle for the capital if only for sheer numbers. It is likely that by the time we bid for the Games ninety percent of our population shall be residing in Dhaka's vertical slums. That is after all the horizontal ones will have been filled to the brim. However, to keep the district warriors at bay we may opt for staging one event in each district. In that case Khulna is sure to get Shooting.

Let us begin planning with the Olympic flame that is lit at the ancient site of Olympia by natural rays of the sun reflected off a curved mirror. That we can allow. There women dressed in robes, resembling those worn in ancient times, light the flame. Impossible, as things appear now, or disappear, no women. At the all-male Opening we shall have to rely on our increasing pastime smoking. At the stadium the chief guest probably some limbless mastaan shall light a cigarette and pass the end to a selected athlete, who shall pass it on to the next athlete until the torch is lit by a butt (not human) flicked into a cauldron of gas; that's right, we will still be having a plenty because the debate on whether we should export shall continue.

The Games' founding father Pierre de Coubertin said, probably in French, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well."

By that time 'taking part' will not be an issue as 420 officials as against 50 athletes would have joined the Olympic parade carrying the Bangladesh flag. We also don't need any foreign intervention to tell us that it is more important to 'struggle' because that is what we have been doing since our 1971 'triumph'. About 'fighting well'… Well! There is an element of encouragement there for the terrorists who by the present goings-on are sure to be absolute rulers by then.

Considering the trend of our national healthcare, by the time we host the Dhaka Olympics we are unlikely to have anyone healthy left to take part in the competition. But not to worry! At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, American Steven Genter suffered a collapsed lung only a few days before his event. Swimming without the consent of his doctors he went on to finish with silver in the 200metres freestyle and silver in the 400metres freestyle. History is on our side.

The Greeks in 2004 reflected history with some guys and gals emulating flying, but they had to be suspended by a rope. What a load of bull! We will not need any rope to hang from. In Bangladesh we have people whose two feet are never on the ground. They have <>kaacha<> Taka and at least one close relative in every cabinet.

The Athens water display as seen on TV will not be any problem for us. With all the waterways around the City developed by then by developers -- that's their work and sewerage lines clogged by solid wastes, and low-lying areas featuring the biggest air-con shopping centres in the world, we shall be able to sport the event on our streets, perhaps with seagoing vessels. That has never been seen before in the Olympics, so please keep it a secret.

Since we will not be able to decide which singer should be given centre stage, (that is because every singer knows every influential person in every government), we will have to settle for as many chorus songs as we can squeeze.

We will not be in any hurry to finish the Games and shall spread the events over five months to break the 1904 St. Louis (USA) record of four and half. We will ensure that in some events there will be only Bangladeshi athletes to guarantee a clean sweep. DCC may grumble that it means extra work for them, but we will explain. Unfortunately, that will not be a record as in St. Louis there were events with only USA participants.

The only problem left is what history we shall portray at the Games. If you are toying with the line of the Sultanate period, followed by the Mughal rule, the British Raj, the anti-Pakistan movement, the Liberation War… think again. Suddenly I am reminded of what Charles A. Beard said: "… one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence."


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