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The week in re(ar)view

Healthful clothes
We have all heard of and used soap enriched with minerals and vitamins. Heck, many of us even tried biting them to see if they taste like lemon though we will never admit.

It seems everything is becoming vitamin, mineral and moisturizer enriched these days. Shampoo, detergents, car wax, toilet paper and whatnot. Apparently our launderers are also in on the act. They try to infuse the clothes given them for washing with all kinds of minerals.

On 11 April there was a nice colour picture of a man beating clothes along the banks of the murky Buriganga River. With all the household and industrial wastes going into that water you can imagine the amount of minerals that are getting soaked up by our clothes. Then there is all the dyes spilled by the factory that can help to give that bluish tint we love so much. So the next time you feel like scratching and notice a rash under your clothes, know that the minerals are doing there job.

Doing business the cheap way
There's been a lot of controversy over the 80MW power plant in Tongi that keeps on shutting down all the time probably to test the skill of the technicians. We say its good training.

Apparently Harbin, manufacturer of the power plant, quoted a very low price by excluding the cost of many essential parts that were later billed as accessories. Our Resident Conspiracy Theorist (RCT) would like to point out that there is nothing wrong with it. In fact Harbin could some day take over and monopolise the entire power supply of the world if they keep doing business this way. Does Bill Gates ring a bell? Microsoft employed similar strategy by selling basic cheap software for which you needed to pay handsomely for regular software as well as hardware upgrades.

On a side note, it makes you wonder why when people pay such disgustingly obscene large amounts of money they call it “paying handsomely”. We admit though that 'paying uglily' does not roll off the tongue so easily.

Kansat. That says it all. Mostly
People in Kansat of Rajshahi feel the spark going out of their life due to the current lack of electricity. They have become all charged up and have staged demonstrations protesting the interrupted power supply.

Opinions have been formed on polar opposites. People want to kill government people. Police want to beat up the people.

Several people died and curfew was imposed. In between some people went and damaged a culvert as a sign of protest though what the sign was we could not understand. This has led to shocking bouts of clashes and a negative atmosphere prevailed until a solution came their way that pacified the agitated crowd.

But we cannot really blame them. We have so much more in the cities. When we have power outages we go to shopping malls and enter air conditioned showrooms pretending to buy things.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Cat laws

If the title sounds familiar that's because it is. Cat Laws was printed several months ago in RS. Then the ministers of The National Cat Parliament got together in front of my house. After several hours of spitting, scratching, snarling, backbiting (as well as back licking) they formulated many new laws. It was a noisy and in the end a pointless affair. Now why does all that sound familiar too?

Law of Obediance Resistance
A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.

First Law of Energy Conservation
Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.

Second Law of Energy Conservation
Cats also know that energy can only be stored, by a lot of napping.

Law of Refrigerator Observation
If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Law of Random Comfort Seeking
A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

Law of Bag / Box Occupancy
All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.

Law of Milk Consumption
A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.

Law of Furniture Replacement
A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.

Law of Cat Disinterest
A cats interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

Law of Cat Obedience
As yet undiscovered.

By Mood Dude


The manholes of Dhaka city, persistently over the period of time, have managed to lure many unknowing pedestrians into their dark, mysterious, acrid aroma filled holes, but for the first time in the history of Dhaka, a young teenage boy has beaten the hole and shown that the destiny of mankind does not involve falling in a puddle of human waste. 1

5 year old Sadi Padi (as his friends call him), was in a state of traumatic gloating all day yesterday, and now that the gloating has decreased a bit, he was able to give the Rising Stars a vivid description of his incredible experience. “One moment it was all good, and suddenly, out of nowhere I was flying! But I was brave, and I knew I had to be very smart to get out of such a sticky situation. I was trying with all my might to maneuver my body in such a way that the stinking manhole wouldn't be able to take me in. And I succeeded, eh?”

According to an onlooker, “the poor boy was so fat that his bum just didn't fit in that manhole and he got stuck. He was wailing at the top of his lungs for his mommy, and when ten of us managed to pull him out, he ran for his life, with his torn pant flying in the wind.” Well, let this be a lesson to all you teenagers out there. Eat if you want to live a manhole free life.

By Fahmina Rahman

Laugh lines

Growing up as a kid, I learned all about capitalism through the board game Monopoly. I mean, what better way to teach a young mind the way our economy functions. I loved this game and still do. Only now, as an adult I have some questions that remain unanswered.

For instance, if I have all this money and own all this real estate...why am I still driving around in a thimble?

"My dad, he's a nuclear physicist, my mom, she's a mathematician, my brother is a chemical engineer--and I like to colour." --Shashi Bhatia

"I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a “learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid." --P. J. O'Rourke

Traveling through Spain, my friend Amy and I soaked up the culture, gorged ourselves on excellent food and, basically, indulged our every whim. One day, we walked into a shop that had the most gorgeous coats.

As we tried a few on, we noticed the odd looks we were getting from the shopkeepers. We didn't know why, until one kind English-speaking patron took pity on us.

"Excuse me," she said, "This is a dry cleaners.”


As I look out of the window I catch the rare sight of a full moon in an overcrowded Dhaka night sky. Mesmerized by its beauty, I am out of words to express my admiration. I had always wondered what was so special about a full moon and now in the last few instances of my life I have found out the reason. Every little object fascinates me. Even the most insignificant ones.

As I look around my room bathed in the soft light from the table lamp, my eyes suddenly fall on the mirror. And I start wondering how many times I had stepped in front of that mirror to try out some new hair-do or to see how a certain coloured dupatta looked on me.

Now that I think about it, I laugh when I remember how my sister used to catch me at it and I used to make up really lame stories. She always used to know and would leave me alone with a smirk forming on her face. Funny how once you start walking down the memory lane you can't seem to stop yourself. No matter how hard you try everything keeps flooding back to you. How many times had my dear mother pulled me from this very bed so that I would get dressed for school? And the way a smile lit up on my parents' faces whenever they would get the news that I had stood first in class.

Speaking of class…all the good times I spent with my friends. Every time we would get scolded, play pranks, get into meaningless squabbles or tease each other about our crushes. That leads me to this certain guy I like. He would catch me ogling at him every time. Realizing I had been caught, I'd run away from there. Ah, the follies of young love.

By now I think he knows I have leukemia. Not only him, probably everybody knows. I remember how my family and close friends broke down at the news. Leukemia-third stage. Nothing can be done. Sounds like something out of a typical Hindi serial but ironically the main character in those serials always end up getting cured. Can't exactly run a serial without the main characters now, can you? At first I had fervently wished for the same. He sympathizes, my friends sympathize. That's not what I wanted. I didn't want him to have feelings of sympathy for me. I didn't want to be the reason to make my family cry. I had cried my heart out in solitude.

Hey, I know it sounds dramatic but that is all that you feel like doing at first. But now I've learned to face the fact that my days are numbered. I'll only be returning to where I came from-back to Him. From up there I'll be able to see what everybody's up to. Sorry, no more secrets from me. I'll be able to see every little thing. And now my eyes are slowly darkening. No, my time hasn't come yet. It is only from weariness.

As I close my eyes lines from a not so moronic song drift into my head. Of all songs-“the Venga boys are coming and everybody's jumping…”weird, right? Not exactly the sort of song that one would think would enter a dying person's mind.

By Sarah Khan


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