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The etiquette of failure

Failing is an art form. In the same way that it takes a master artist to create a work of genius, that inspires millions. It takes a master failure to fail. Gracefully. To some of us, failing has become a way of life, a way of protesting the infinite cruelties of life, racism, sexism and many other important issues. But alas, we are stereotyped like the hippies of the past."

The only difference is we are hippies of the present.
But we don't come in floral shirts and long un-shampooed hair. Every March and August, you'll find us in cafes, in front of computers waiting anxiously for our results. And you'll see us in our prime. We fail so spectacularly that people will often lose their ability of speech around us. Example:

Dad: What.... Maths? Ki? Marks? What?
Mom: ... ... Is that good?
Us: NOOOOOO!
Us: I wish this were the Harry Potter world, where grades were according to words. E: EXCELLENT! Woo hoo.
You see.

The fact of the matter is, you _can't_ just fail. As we've said, it's an art form. You've got to follow an acceptable norm on failing. Everybody can simply fail. But, to fail gracefully, to smoothen the transition from loser to master failure... Now, that takes work.

Blubbering incoherently while your Dad grimaces, meeting your friends and then crying on their shoulders, locking yourself up and pretending the world doesn't exist, these are all unacceptable. And quite frankly, disgraceful, you n00bs give us pros a bad name. There has to be style akin to James Bond crashing his Aston, there has to be glamour and glitz and above all, art.

Indeed. Art. It's so Zen; it's very beautiful, you see. The way you fail, it'll be more than enough to set people over the edge, leaving them in awe, a catatonic shocked stage of mind numbing disappointment -- they won't pester you with silly things like excuses and reasons.

But, this doesn't mean you'll ignore it, too. You must make sure that they understand, through the general unfairness of the universe, it's... just not your fault.

And my fellow failures, because we have suffered as you have suffered, because we care and love you, we have come up with a way to deal with it all, to make it not go away, but at least to lessen the impact.

The Code of Failure:
1. No crying. Crying only emphasizes guilt, or that somehow it was your fault and now you're regretting something. Even if it is your fault, keep a stoic face, turn to your parents and tell them it's a conspiracy in the chilliest voice you can manage. That way, they doubt you less.
Note: Adding venom to your tone towards the education boards sometimes has a cushioning effect.

1. The two months in between exams and results, always keep a cheerful face with a happy outlook towards life. As far as you're concerned, you're going to get fudging A's. When the results come and your life suddenly consists of lesser grades, the sudden shock that you're not the best will leave you in a sad stupor. Seeing such a stupor, those around you will feel bad for you, and won't hassle you. Of course. It's all a plot.

2. I'm sure the examiner was drunk! I mean, what? Unit 1: 25 marks? What do they take me for?" - The examiner was drunk when he marked your paper. Tell it to the jury and they'll release you for murder. Tell it your Dad and he'll pay for that recheck. Oh yeah.

3. Never blame yourself. It's never your fault. No matter what happens, don't say, "Damn. It's my fault. What kind of student am I?" That's not right. It goes, "Damn... It's their fault! What kind of unfair world is this!?! My genius is not under-appreciated. It's 'un'-appreciated." Don't blame God either. That's literally calling down lightning on your head. NOR your parents... That's another lightning call. Just blame... everything vaguely in general.

4. The purpose of failing gracefully is not, as some may think, simply failing to prove you're a rebel to the world. But it's failing in such a way that you do not actually fall-- you kind of stumble, or trip on a loose floorboard or rock. And you get back up again, right back where you were. At square one, and once again you can go both ways. Up. Or down.

5. Karma. Que sera sera. Or something. Since you know perfectly well it wasn't you not studying that caused this problem, it's the universe, the Angel of Failings, and the damned Lion in the wardrobe drove you mad. Theology and fantasy are always good ways to divert the attention away from the transcripts and if you're a funny man, make them laugh, telling that old funny joke about the octopus at the bar and the whiskey that was horse piss.

6. Life's a paradox, so blame enough people (other than you) and spiritual beings that after a while, people will take you as a victim of circumstance, a sad collateral statistic due to the vicissitudes of fate. You are the victim. Everybody else is the villain.

7. Failing gracefully has the advantage of setting you up for the next failure, or if need be, the next success... what?! Of course. That's the whole point of the grace. You know that saying, "Failure is the pillar of success"? Well, it's true. Even if you do just a LITTLE better next time, its success, and it's not as bad. Never skyrocket to the top. That's calling for a lifetime of expectations.

8. Sickness. If you happen to be in bed with jaundice when the results come out, or better yet when you were giving your exam, things become less sticky. Even if you aren't sick, the day before the results, go to Old Dhaka and eat all manners of street food so that you get yellows eyes by midmorning.

9. Don't fail. Pass.
There you are, dear failures; the right way to go, not with a bang, but like the purring of a Corvette (a Corvette roars but anyway). Now you know what to do, it's easier dealing with it, so don't become the drama queen (this goes for guys, too. melodramatics suit only females, only barely.)

By Tareq Adnan and Emil


If I could time travel, I would bruise a few inventors

WHY did inventors have so much time? I sincerely wish they were busier, because if they were busy, we would be spared a lot of torture that we must go through now. Let me try to classify some inventions, which led to more inventions, which in turn lead to massive temper flares and an upsurge of blood pressure. No suicide this time, just anger and irritation. I promise.

1+1 is Fine, Sin Cos, Tan, Crosses The Line
Noticed how as we grew, math became more and more complex? Granted math does help us in our everyday lives but then some of the mathematic hoo-ha doesn't help at all. Take trigonometry for example. When I grow up I bet I would have better work to do than spend time discovering hidden and secretive angles. And if I have the need to find the length of a side, I would use a ruler. If I don't have a large enough ruler, I shall make one. But I will not use Sin, Cos or Tan ever. We wouldn't have been forced to use these too, but someone had to come up with a fancy electronic, full of crap features, calculator. Though it was made in order to simplify our problem solving process, other geniuses came up with harder problems. In the end, math became more difficult and mortal students suffered from nervous breakdowns and other brain/stress related diseases. And if no one had been useless enough to think up of geometry boxes for the children, we would have been spared trigonometry as a whole. They help us very much, yes don't get me wrong, they aided in making the world what it is today, but that is no reason for me to not think much of it.

Great Work Doctors, Thanks For Predicting My Death
Has it ever occurred to someone, how most life threatening diseases only emerged during the last few centuries? This is largely because of the doctors and people who helped the doctors by inventing things like the X-Ray and other doctor stuff, which are hard to spell and pronounce. Had the doctor's not emphasized a person's problems it would not have been a big deal, because there truly is bliss in ignorance. People die and even doctors can't help that, but knowing you are going to die because the doctor discovered your disease is the pits. Most of the time they can't cure you so they feel it's their “duty” to inform you that you have “6 months to live”. If it hadn't been for inventors who kept on inventing such stuff that aided the doctor's in discovering diseases, people would be dying normal peaceful deaths. But no, people now think, it's good to know how terrible your condition is and how you are going to die soon. Annoying is what it is. Though it is true that with some of the instruments invented we can lead a more healthy life, which really is no excuse. And have you seen the meds? I mean keep the names simple, we all aren't Florence Nightingale; we need names that we can pronounce.

“Let There Be Light” Edison Said and A Generation Later, The Ice Caps Melted Granted that the light bulb did not lead to global warming, but then it did lead to more electrical appliances, which contributed in melting the ice caps. Ok, so we can blame the guy with the kite and the iron key, but then naturally anyone that old flying a kite with something that conducts electricity, in the middle of an electrical storm, is not very stable. He may have been brilliant, but he certainly didn't use much common sense. In reality, it is more about how a few generations later there would be no fossil fuels and all that stuff. All because of electricity and how its use was enforced. And if it hadn't been for Edison, we could all live normally when a black out (no light, no black-outs) occurred and our government wouldn't face so many problems. I feel sorry for them and I am sure they don't like Edison, like me. Actually, I don't dislike Edison; I just don't “dig” the whole light bulb thing. Plus with all the global warming, all that wouldn't have been possible if people couldn't see things properly at night, right? So, less destruction of environment, no fancy labs and cars couldn't be driven all the time without head-lights. See, it can all be traced down to that one light bulb.

Gee Let's Link All the Terrorists In The World, Steal Millions And Corrupt Kids
That may not have been what the inventors of the computer or what Bill Gates thought, but that is something that they didn't think and thus didn't really consider it. And due to computers, we had yet another subject in school to deal with (as if life wasn't complicated, already) and teachers had another way to take the fun out of our free gaming time by adding computer related assignments. Then came the Internet, which linked the world instantly and everyone could chat secretly. Bin Laden could be “Mecca Bunny911” and Bush could be “Gangsta4Prez” for that matter and they could chat and plan ways to destroy the world. Plus, bank robberies are now simplified, as all you have to do now is hack into some bank's online network and steal millions. No bloodshed, you see? Obviously the kids can now access unlimited porn and just click the “I am above 18” as if the computer has eyes and they can also do another dumb stuff, like buy dumb second-hand crap for an astounding price, play Rockstar rejected games and download homework and thus retard the learning process whilst complicating their homework. Yeah, thanks for all that help you geniuses!

In all honesty, the inventions, all of them help and their inventors are people who deserve a lot of respect and endless applauds. That however, doesn't mean that we cannot pick on such people and it also in no way means that such inventions cannot help in making us mad. While you think about it, I take your leave and go back to inventing the time machine, which will be for my personal use. I hate to corrupt people further. Till next time.

By Osama Rahman


…..and I walk

Walking with an earphone in the ear
Put in out as there was something more to hear
They were chatting in loud
At the footpath shop making crowd
I took a peep being curious
Found them having snacks delicious
Talking light..talking serious...
Warm smell in the wind
Made me awake from absent mind
An evening bright...
Flooded with settling sunlight..
Walking slowly paying look
Searching for a secondhand book
Footpath stall I usually took
To buy books from technology to how to cook
Kids roaming around here and there
With bunch of flowers they come near
To buy one they ask
Thats their daily task
Walking...walking hearing young voice
Makes me feel away from noise
one with a guitar sitting on a wall
other one is playing vocal
I walk through..I walk by..
I wish to walk till I die
Home city Dhaka..no where else
My short story only it tells

By Bohemian Tithi

 


 

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