She remembered her first week. As she was hurrying to get to class, she almost knocked over a tall figure clad in an uncomfortably tight fitting baby pink shirt and some very pointedly high, hot pink boots. When she looked up to apologise, she discovered that the owner of the boots was a very cute looking blond boy. "It's ok honey, I know the feeling," the boy oozed in a sugary voice before he sashayed away.
The memory brought back a smile to Tai's face. God she loved this place. As she tried to focus on her book, she saw two familiar figures talking in front of her. She knew both by their faces but didn't know their names. She grinned looking at the pair. They too were wearing hot pink T-shirts. She heard the tall guy (who she called Frenchie in her mind because of his goatee) ask, "Where's Patrick?" The stubbier one said, "I don't know. But he's wearing white. He's sooooooooo out!" "Why is he wearing white?" asked Frenchie, "I thought we were supposed to wear pink. It's Wednesday. I thought we were supposed to be Mean Girls!"
It was too much. Tai bent over pretending to tie her shoelace. Only her violently shaking shoulders gave away to the fact that she was silently shaking in mirth. Two minutes later, while wiping the tears of mirth from eyes she looked up. Frenchie and Stubby (yes, that's what she'd call him) were gone.
Just as she settled back to read her book, she heard someone call. She didn't need to look up to know that the sugary voice belonged to her friend Tony. "Tai dahling! You are the last person who needs a tan. Babe what I wouldn't do to get that gorgeous, all-natural Asian glow!" said Tony before plopping down next to her and kissing the air around both her cheeks. "Oh Tony, trust me I know hordes of people back home who spend tons of money on things like Fair & Lovely cream to have your pale pink tint!" said Tai.
Tony aptly made an "ugh" face. "So," he said in a conspiratorial voice and a gleam in his eyes, "Did you ever find out who that dishy hunk on the cruise was?" Tai gave him a wide grin and said, "Let's just say he's happy. Happy the way he is. We just have different preferences!" She winked at him broadly. He gave her one of those oh-you-poor-thing looks. "Well honey, no more misses. We're going to Crobar this Friday night. Their having a midnight fashion show, dollar margaritas and free hunks for all!" Tony was all smiles. Tai's dismayed look was answer enough for Tony. "Oh no, no. Na-ah. You're not worming out of this one missy.
No more, I'm not 21 yet, no more I have no clothes, no more I don't know how to do make-up, and no more I don't drink," rattled Tony. "But I don't-" before he cut her off and said "They serve non-alcoholic stuff too." "You sneaky little worm, you've been doing some homework," Tai chastised. Tony's wink was answer enough.
* * *
"One virgin Mary, " Tai shouted over the din. The bartender looked at her suspiciously and demanded her ID. "But I don't want alcohol," she sputtered before showing him her NY State ID. "You're lucky it's eighteen and up tonight," said Joe (that's what his nametag read) the bartender before turning to make her drink. Tai swivelled on the barstool and looked around. Crobar was an awesome place. Usually adorned by rock stars, movie icons and even politicians, tonight the place had been transformed to look like a cross between a runway and a Brazilian Carnival. No surprise there. The night's featured designers were Brazilian. She looked at the dance floor straight in front of her. Three of her friends were dancing. Tony was one of them. He caught her eye and ushered her to join in. She shook her head, pointed to the cloud of smoke blanketing the dance floor and then made a swirling sign that she was dizzy. Tony made a face just as Brin came back from the rest room and joined him.
She swivelled back just as the bartender placed her drink in front of her. "You don't look like the Mary type. I would have guessed a Pinã Colada or Malibu Coke," observed Joe. "And you would have guessed right except I'm hoping this will revive me and help me beat all this smoke. Good thing it's only from the smoke machine and not cigarettes.
I'm so glad they banned smoking from bars and clubs," Tai said already feeling extremely dizzy. "Well then make the next one a Pinã Colada," said a husky voice from behind her. She spun around to see who it was. But it finally did her in. She saw a pair of piercing black eyes before the world around her dimmed and went black.
This is purely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any character or place, living, dead or yet to be born is purely coincidental, so don't bug me with complaints about plagiarism!
After a lot of experimenting, I think its time for another good old fashioned run of the mill SportsWatch!! Do I hear a hallelujah?
Most of you might have had it with my comments on the columns for the past few weeks as a few scathing remarks dropped into my ever voluminous inbox revealed. I thank all of you for sharing your views with me, many in some intensely colorful language, be it at that. To those who wrote in appreciating my efforts what more can I say but thank you? Sheesh! This is sounding too much like an Oscar speech, and I know when to stop. So, onwards with SportsWatch.
If you are an ardent cricket fan (as the gadzillions across this country are) then the proceedings of the past few weeks in the country which our people commonly refer to as Bilat, will have no doubt left you banging your head in misery! The all to common story of our Bangladeshi batting cracking like the biscuits in the Brittol Biscuit ad (minus the cheesy music ofcourse) will have left you more than a trifle disappointed. But hey, it wasn't unexpected was it? Did you honestly believe that Habibul Bashar with his unique technique and company could stand up and be counted against Steve Harmison and company? Hey I didn't, and its not because I was being pessimistic. I wasn't, I was looking at it from a very realist point of view. However that didn't stop me from bemoaning the loss of every other wicket.
Anyways, the one bright spot from a disastrous England tour is the emergence of Aftab Ahmad. The pocket rocket of a right-hander spanked the England bowling all over the park on the way to making decent scores in all the matches. And as ever, Khaled Mashud was his reliable self. As for Aftab, it remains to be seen whether he can stand the test of time. Every other series, it seems that one or another batsman threatens to establish himself, making some big scores but then falling back ever into the relative obscurity of mediocrity. Lets hope the same fate does not befall Aftab.
Well, our Bengal Tigers (or cats) are in line for another stern examination (to say the very least) when the line up in the NatWest series against Australia and England. Getting spanked by the local counties does not bode well in the form of preparations, so the outlook is as bleak as ever. By the time you read this Bangladesh will have played their first game and if they manage to pull of a victory, then we will be dancing our way into the night (not likely!). However lets at least hope for a decent showing from Whatmore's boys!
Moving on to tennis. After the drama of the French Open at Roland Garros, where a returning Justin Henin-Hardenne made a mockery of the competition, not least in the finals, where she thumped local Mary Pierce, tennis now moves to the greener pastures of the All England club in Wimbledon. The tournament kicks off from the 20th of June and last years winners Swiss, Roger Federer and Russian, Maria Sharapova will be amongst the favorites this time around as well. Spanish sensation Rafel Nadal who produced some stirring matches in Roland Garros will look to show the form that propelled him to the Grand Slam title a few days back. Also competing will the usual suspects of the Williams sisters, Lindsay Davenport in the female game while Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Aggassi will look to try and upturn a hattrick of titles for Federer.
Finally we move to football where all roads lead to Germany. Just about a year before Deutscheland 2006 all eyes will be on Germany as they host the FIFA Confederations Cup. Champions from the six regions- Tunisia, Australia, Japan, Mexico, Argentina (as Olympic winners) and Greece along with hosts Germany and World Cup/Copa America champions Brazil all fight for the right to become champions.
On paper it doesn't get any bigger than this. The tournament kicks off on the 15th of June with matches for both Argentina and Germany. As usual Brazil, will be firm favorites to win, even in the absence of El Phenomenon Ronaldo. It gives a chance to the younger players like Robinho and Adriano to establish themselves and it is a chance they will be looking to grasp with both hands. Aside Brazil's plethora of talents other stars to watch out for in the tournament will be Juan Roman Riquelme of Argentina, Shunsuke Nakamura for Japan and Michael Ballack of Germany. Let us hope it lives up to all the hype.
That's all folks!
As usual mails/debates should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2005 The Daily Star