Bovine fashion week 2009
Cameras clicking at every possible angle, and reporters resorting to sheer stupidity to get a sneak peek. Fashion houses like Gorucci and Pierre Cowdin sparking their never-ending rivalry all over again. Model agencies having a tough time over finding new models; no anorexic half-dead excuses, only the real curvy, sensuously MEATY ones. What's this all for, you ask? It's the Bovine Fashion Week 2009.
Who says fashion doesn't appeal to taste? Well, we don't.
It all started with this- Bangladesh, besides featuring in the list of Corrupt Nations, also tops the Invasions' Priority of Fashion Houses. Gianni Gorucci, for one says, “This Bangladesh you speak of, he is very interesting. Has lots of people, it does, but very difficult to impress. We take it up as a challenge, so we do something very…out of MY book”. Gorucci was not available for further elaboration because he had a soy milk facial therapy scheduled that afternoon.
Thus, Gorucci and rival brands decide to invade Bangladesh with their oh-so fashionable skills. Sure there are local designers like Bushi (pronounced BA-u-SHEE), Cow's Eye, RichCow and Summer Brain, but these designers were aware of the “phoren is good” mentality of the average Mohfiz (Bangladeshi average Joe, dolt). It so happens that this alien invasion coincides with Qurbani Eid, and this is something that people (on a general basis, of course) take very, very seriously. Only something truly ingenious (by which of course, we mean, absolutely crazy) could make their Mission a complete success.
Gorucci and other designers met up with local brands. They decided that Bishal Goru o Chagol-er Haats are so pre-independence era. But it could be capitalized on and attract attention. They did believe in change. So, started the Bovine Fashion Week 2009, a series of shows which would be popular, bold, fashion sense-making, and best of all not mauled over by animal rights groups over the use of leather.
Models were being brought in from all over Bangladesh. Modelling agencies such as Cowper and Ford Goats began a serious search. Models MUST have at least 4 maunds of pure meat, more than two front teeth (you know, legal age for modelling issues), no skin rashes (for that smooth leathery feel), no physical injuries, and of course never been involved in arduous labour of any sort (they are superstars after all). Sure, these are prerequisites for people out to buy for Qurbani Eid, but hey, this is just as important; if not more.
Livestock were flown in on Business Class from all over the country. The Indian ones were not allowed to participate in this event- to make it a truly “deshi” experience and all that stuff that comes in between. Refreshments and all meals were completely vegetarian, courtesy of Bushi. Once landed, Pierre Cowdin pampered their models with mud baths, and later Swiss-imported pasture, complete with audio books on Shaun the Sheep during bedtime in Royal Suites at the seven-star Radish Son's. Gorucci took it one step further- grooming sessions from French experts and providing Escorts. They do need, ahem, companionship.
Meanwhile, our local designers were busy. Again, like the unique corruption performance, they wanted to prove an example in this particular sector as well. This domestic herd was not just ordinary folk, they had to come up with something truly special and be an instant crowd pleaser. No chintzy colourful paper foil excuses for accessories. No annoying ribbons or bells either. Leather, cannot be used as well, due to personal reasons of the models and animal-rights groups. The Perfect Idea: rebrand chintzy paper trinkets as chic AND chintzy paper trinkets! What's more, no one would notice! Not even the smartest of chagols (literally and figuratively)!
D-Day arrived. The ramp was set and venue was to be at Kaduni Masala Headquarters (do we need to tell you why, seriously?), invitations to esteemed guests (some human and some bovine), animal rights activists and journalists were sent, everything was kept hush-hush ahead of this HUGE event. The entire event's power source was “Gifts” from the models, all for the love of the environment. News spread like wildfire. Soon, just 3 hours before the Fashion week officially starts, people of all ages (and sizes) jostled each other to attend the show. To some of them, it was just an excuse to hang around with friends and see the first ever domestic animals' fashion show in Bangladesh. However, to most of them it was a serious business- buying cows at a glorified Haat.
The event was a huge success; the models and their respective designers were celebrated, although for the wrong reasons. Pierre Cowdin was arrested in possession of tablets and cold storage potatoes to make his cows appear plump. Tablets were okay, but cold storage potatoes were the limit. The impunity!
Gorucci's models were met with much praise, and he had huge net sales. No one could beat Kaduni Masala's post-event sales though. Fashion shows or no fashion shows, gorus were gorus and chagols were chagols. Nothing can beat their popularity during Eid and you know it as well. It was official- cheap, chintzy, chic candy wrapper trinkets are so 2009.
Beware, the Fashion Designers have invaded.
By Wahid T. Khan
Cows are people too
The time of cows is upon us. By that I mean the Eid festive feasting is coming up with cows rating high on the menu. That incidentally makes a cow more an 'inside people' type of creature. Yet, the cows we love so tenderly for their tenderness, they live a life of pain to get where we want them which happens to be inside people.
You'd think they live quite carefree lives chewing all day and killing the environment with methane. But when Qurbani Eid comes along, traders bring out their special skills to make any cow more appetizing for prospective buyers.
Firstly, if you press a trader for an answer, he will suggest every other trader is cheating the customer. Law of averages hint that all of them will cheat you of your money. Here's how.
A person buying a bovine is looking for an energetic cow which is a sign of a healthy cow. That's the belief although cows generally like to stand still and chew their way to oblivion. Maybe that's energetic for them as opposed to lying on the side foaming at the mouth. A simple trick used by a trader is to prick the cow with a pin and it will surely jump around for a while. Another crueler trick is to break the tail. When gently twisted, the intense pain makes the cow moo out in agony.
Of course, if the cow is so energetic that it starts dancing and laughing hysterically at you it is probably suffering from mad cow disease. Quickly buy that cow and use it in cultural functions.
Then there is the matter of the teeth. The older a cow gets the more teeth it has. An older the cow, the tougher is its meat. Buyers with weak teeth need not purchase. Generally, cows with four or fewer teeth are considered young with meat tender enough to melt in the mouth. To sell off old cows many traders are known to break off some of the teeth to show the required amount. It's religiously improper to sacrifice such cows. You can check to see if there is any broken root left inside the mouth or if the gum is unusually swollen or infected.
Also, once the cow is selected, it should be paid for and taken home right away. There have been instances when the same cow has been displayed and sold to several buyers. Later on they were presented with a different animal which could very easily be unfit for Qurbani. Worse, it might be a politician wearing a cow skin jacket. Those are the worst types.
As you can see, cows and their associated tasty brethren (goats, lamb etc) often live a life of deception albeit unwillingly. Being meek, they are not spared from being used for trickery. But as the saying goes, the meek shall inherit the earth. I wonder if that's any consolation for them.
By E. R. Ronny
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