Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home

 

Of losers and their likes

This is a story about two very pathetic losers of Dhaka city, who, like most losers world wide, are never up to any good. They're best friends, and although this loser duo has had several noteworthy experiences, this is their best (I mean worst) till date, so happy reading, and if you have any pride, never ever try this at a wedding near you. Oh and one more thing, names haven't been changed, so if you think you know them, you could be right!

So, one fine evening in Dhaka city, Adnan and his best friend cum chala Raju were standing around Dhanmondi Lake smoking their biri with all the attitude they could muster when suddenly, Gold Leaf wasn't fulfilling enough.

Adnan (Mamu, Boss, whatever you say) had an intense lurch in his stomach and a sudden, almost overwhelming desire to have some good old biryani and chicken roast. Noticing his (ahem!) friend's desire, and having no money in his pocket, Raju frantically looked for ideas to come to his friend's aid. Suddenly the solution struck him with sparks of brilliant light from thousands of tiny bulbs. Literally speaking. One of the millions of community centers that embellish this city of ours caught his eyes, and instantly, an idea as brilliant as his non-existent IQ could support came to his brain.

“Dost, let's go into that wedding party! Nobody knows anybody, so we'll just pretend to be from any side! And free food...how cool is that?” Raju could almost feel the chicken in his mouth.

Around five minutes later, Adnan and Raju confidently strode into the beautifully adorned community center with its unique smell of food and over sprayed perfume. They did everything perfectly- the polite nods, the non-stop salaams, the hand shaking, the appraisals of what a perfect couple the bride and bridegroom made, and yet, only when they had finally settled into a group of the couple's friends, disaster struck.

As the poor guy's luck would have it, the bride turned out to be none other than a girl Adnan had dated for a while and got dumped by pretty miserably, to be honest! One look at her sent his heart beating, and brought back memories of a time not far gone, and memories clouded by phrases like, “Addu your breath stinks…Addu don't wear that bandana…Addu shave your head like Vin Diesel!” As her shrill voice echoed in his brain once again, he decided, right then and there, to take revenge. Oh yes. Adnan was going to ruin the one special day of her life, and his ingenious plan to do so was by eating so much in her wedding that everybody else would go home with an empty stomach! Did I forget to mention Adnan's impressive IQ?

Anyways, with a set mind, and a set goal, Adnan joined everybody else in dinner. Unfortunately, for the poor, poor guy, disaster struck again. He almost swallowed a fly (which had to be a giant in fly land), that was inside the biryani, and to make matters worse, he had to run to the bathroom to throw up. Finally, when he came out, tired and worn out, and finally deciding to forgive his ex-girlfriend, the very girl caught sight of him. Very naturally, she went berserk. Only God knows what was going on in her melodramatic, hindi-serial affected brain. Maybe she thought Adnan was going to kidnap her, or marry her forcibly, or do some other far fetched filmy thing, which caused her to call her father and tell him God knows what about the poor, skinny fellow in the white panjabi. From her father's stern looks, it couldn't have been anything good!

Adnan and Raju were taken out of the community center by the father, and once out, the poor, poor guys got two slaps each from the man with the iron hands! They were humiliated for almost 20 minutes, but they still refuse to disclose further details of their amazing humiliation, so unfortunately, that is all the information I can provide about this famous loser duo's most memorable loser adventure! But not to worry, these two people have proven over time that their loser adventures only get more loser, more pathetic with time, so maybe in the next few months, they will create a new record at being losers! Until then, it's goodbye!

By Fahmina Rahman


The coaching culture taking it a step further

Keeping a safe distance of a week in between to allow the truths revealed in 'The Coaching Conundrum', to sink in, I take off from where Tausif Salim left.

When I had started coaching for my O-level exams, I had had a hard time selecting the teachers I wished to go to from the sea of '______ Centers', '_____ Academys', '____ways' infesting Dhanmondi and Lalmatia. I had, before that, promised innumerous times to myself that I would never get into the coaching web, but then found it unavoidable. Even the most brilliant of students needed coaching and it was the effortless demand and supply notion that led to the escalating of the coaching trade (courtesy the negligence of schools, in most cases).

While most people of our age would argue that, we choose our teachers astutely, it is an established truth that somehow or the other we fall prey to their phony promises and tempting advertising. Like I did. The first coaching center I went to, for admission, promised to offer the finest of 'services' possible. While the principal chanted of how difficult it was getting admitted there because of the limited number of seats, and how very lucky I was that I could get the last residual seat left, I had a different story to tell the next day having attended the class. Though the teacher was exceptionally good and there really existed a spill over of students, I could spot no limit to the number of students getting enrollment to the classes. The new faces adorning every class, made it appear like a 'crowd' and not a 'class'. The teachers had a modern trade theory to defend this withnot every student attends every single class and so, the higher the number of students enrolled, the better would be the business (!!!).

Even more preposterous is the fact that, certain coaching centers implement dress-codes for their students. While girls must stick to Salwar Kamiz (sleeveless is an absolute no-no), boys are forbidden to sport three-quarters and baggies. But just how much of these rules are followed--- you ask!!! Some coaching centers believe in 'personal touch' (regardless of the extent to which they teach), so don't be surprised to find them calling up your mom and telling them of the guys in class you talk to and how much you're being fined for that. Trust me, one such institution I went to, fined girls and boys for exercising the main trait they learnt at a 'co-ed' schoolbeing friendly with each other, not considering gender.

Though some coaching centers reimburse for the chunks of admission, tuition and what-not other fees that they charge, by employing reputed 'branded' teachers, whether these teachers are engrossed in spreading knowledge or too pre-occupied with themselves, depends on a student's fate (no way out). Regular at the start, but when irregularity takes over in the form of not taking classes, going for vacations, being too busy to take a class, the responsibility of teaching is shifted onto the shoulders of some struggling, juvenile, fresh-out-of-college/university teacher. S/he may be impressive and good at teaching, but s/he is in no way, the 'brand name' you are paying for. And this DOES matter, when it comes to the guarantee of 'A' grades that you were promised!!!

Then again, coaching centers have the eerie habit of 'holding' students. How, you ask? Teachers are firmly instructed never to give out the 'exam-suggestions' before the last half month left for the exams. The reason so that they can then wring out the fees for the exam month (January and May) when classes would not be held by teachers nor attended by students.

Gone are the days when teachers and educational institutions were revered and at times, considered sanctified. Some of our modern day 'GURU-GRIHA's indulge in all sorts of unethical activities. An RS buddy recollects how, when the dire need of a transcript had risen for admission to some university (my friend being a private student) they had gone to a school cum coaching center, where after a lot of financial bargaining, finally acquired a transcript. Though it helped my friend to a great extent, there is simply no way in which anyone can deny that giving out transcripts to people other than your students in return for money is insensible.

Even with faults, these coaching centers and teachers take over where schools fail. Had these coaching centers assumed a more positive and promising approach to real teaching, I would now have had been writing on how good they are.

By The Renegade


Jazz up your room

Underestimating one's room is the biggest mistake ever! Regardless of how small or big it is or whether it has the latest model of furniture or not, it's a real space where you can express yourself without any limitations. The colours prints patterns and make of the bed sheets and curtains can be things that you decide and you might as well take up this opportunity to reflect your taste with some style!

However varying patterns of sheets and curtain are not exactly sufficient to bring any real difference to the outlook of the space. For some real jazzing up you have to be creative and daring. Since curtains are not something that one gets to change regularly, here's something that you can try out to bring some long awaited change to your room…

Exciting windows
Select two of your mom's very old sarees (I emphasize on the word VERY OLD and ones that are no longer in use, so that your mother does not end up sewing the RS) of different colours that go with your bedcover. I always like double colours since it brings out variations but too many colours tend to make the outlook clumsy. Combinations can be according to taste, violet and mauve or orange and red (sounds freaky but looks great!) Take one saree and hang it on the curtain rail starting from one end and then making two loops in the center, hang out the rest of it at the other end. The same can be repeated with the other saree, only spacing them out so that both are equally visible. On each end a different colour can be hung lower than the other and arrangement can be changed according to your liking. The basic idea is to bring out a bit variety and flair. To hold the setting in place you can use pins and when using silk or shiffon sarees these pins are a must.

Problem with this arrangement is that you cannot draw your 'curtains' and this is a real problem if your window overlooks another house. To maintain privacy you can go for a layer of lace curtains that are exactly the length of the window underneath your saree hangings. Along with solving the dilemma they also enhance the look. But keep in mind that the shade (white or off-white) that is being used for the lace complements the colour combo of the sarees.

Paintings
This really cool thing that my friend did was create her own abstract art! It was a family activity that her mom came up with. They all took brushes and colour and painted away on a canvas merging patterns and splashes and a few shapes here and there and the end result was a masterpiece! So you don't always HAVE to have the extra expensive Aarong wall hangings to add colour to your room, same effect, or even better can be achieved by adopting the above method and creating something truly your own!

Another technique that can be used is buying wooden canvas and simply attaching fabric of thick texture and rich designs onto it using nails to attach them firmly to the edges of the frame. Of course you can use an old saree again ( can't leave those old sarees to themselves!) and the achol part probably be the best part to use.

What is important when putting up a painting or hanging, is the
shape in relation to its setting and position. For the wall which the bad is against, shapes that are horizontally longer are best. For a thinner wall, for instance space between your bedroom doors and bathroom doors use decorative of vertical length.

Utilizing floor spaces
During a get-together it's rather tiresome accommodating your entire friend circle on your single bed and at the same time dragging in chairs seems to spoil the setting. In this case, if your bed is like mine and has multiple mattresses you can put one of them against another wall and throw around some colourful cushions to transform your floor space into a comfortable and stylish lounging spot. Mats and satrangis can also be used but my friends always seem to find the mattresses way more comfortable.
This is it for today…until I get more ideas to sure with you……

By Midnight Maiden

 


 
 

home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2005 The Daily Star