The Great Bidesh
Bideshi Mokles has a story to tell. He has traveled the world, he has driven taxis and ferried untold numbers to weirdly named places in cities in the middle of the desert. He has exchanged tearful proclamations of love with his lovely wife-to-be over the phone, which was actually an illegal VOIP setup. He has bought an expensive phone, which he asserts is better than the phones here because his one came from The Bidesh.
Bideshi Mokles has come back home for the vacations. And he has a story to tell.
After landing in Dhaka, Bideshi Mokles is amazed at how much the country has changed, mostly because he thought the airport had a different name. He has been gone for two years but he feels like he doesn't know the people anymore. With his overstuffed suitcase, which he has tied around with red nylon rope (otherwise it would have popped open) at his feet, Bideshi Mokles decides to affect a fake accent. He decides, even though it is blistering hot, to keep wearing the fake leather jacket he has on and his shades because he feels he exhibits the fashion of The Bidesh.
His family picks up Bideshi Mokles from the airport and they hire a taxi to take him home. Mokles comments on the atrocious driving abilities of the cab driver. He then tells the family members present in the cab, about how in The Bidesh, they put cameras in cabs to monitor the driver and how every cab has a little computer in it where the customers can lodge complaints. Bideshi Mokles knows he has lied, but he can see the rapture in the eyes of his family, and he feels that is what is expected of him. As a man of the changed world, he must do his part to spread knowledge, and ignorance, hand in hand. It is expected of him, and he must deliver.
Bideshi Mokles, after days of lounging about in Dhaka, has told many stories to his family about how, in the Bidesh, even the bathrooms had free A/Cs and no one need ever sweat. In this time, out of benevolence, Bideshi Mokles has also given away cosmetics, soaps and what not from The Great Bidesh, things he claims can scrub a man white. He claims white people are white because of their awesome soap. He has also brought back supplies for himself to survive this country, because apparently he has been irrevocably changed. From painkillers and anti-itch cream (because he just can't trust the deshi Napa) to his own supply of nicotine, because he claims the ciggies here are made from dried grass.
Bideshi Mokles attended his sister's wedding, where he was uproariously the heart of the party. He told his peers of the countless Bideshi weddings he has attended, of the sumptuous food he has eaten, of the beautiful but demure brides he has seen. He proceeds to tell his awed audience of how the women in The Bidesh are actually the best looking women in the world, but who are also quite wanton. He fies upon them he does, our Bideshi Mokles. He speaks of how while the "forsha' people might be beautiful, they are in fact quite uncultured, uncouth. The women actually smoke there, something which still freaks Bideshi Mokles out. He proceeds to enlighten them that the only women for him are deshi women. This is a complete lie, as Bideshi Mokles' unspeakable dreams are testament to, but he feels he must comfort his fellow countrymen by saying pleasant things.
Bideshi Mokles, one day while sitting in the dark due to load shedding, recounts stories of how in The Bidesh, the "current" is always there. He says to his followers, that in The Bidesh, the street lampposts have plug sockets in them so everyone can get free "current". He knows he has once again been carried away, but he hears no one disputing his claims, so he decides to let this lie stand as well. He must enlighten them about the awesomeness of Bidesh, after all.
Bideshi Mokles, while at a restaurant with his family, laments about how even the food here isn't as tasty. He claims this is because our cooks don't know how to use a "chula". He regales a story of how, in a restaurant in the Bidesh, they cook whole cows in one pot on one "chula". The impossibility of this lie does not occur to Mokles, he has found that lies, when outrageous are more believable than simple truths. He has used this new insight to paint great images of The Bidesh in the minds of those around him.
Bideshi Mokles took the time to watch a newscast, and he fied upon the state of the country. He talked of how in The Bidesh, the "shistem" was so beautiful. He actually used the word beautiful, "shundor" to be precise. He talked about how they had "shistematic laws" for everything, even vegetable consumption, which is why in The Bidesh, everything is cheap and affordable and no one is poor.
Bideshi Mokles, has finally decided, that he must go back to The Great Bidesh. While he pretends that he can't wait to get back, inwardly he laments having to give up his messiah like status among his family members. And he wonders, if The Bidesh were truly like his lies, would the world be a better place?
By Tareq Adnan
Not For Cricket Lovers (NCL)
NCL, the recently concluded “cricket extravaganza” of crippling domestic cricket in Bangladesh was far below the expectations of the uncountable cricket fanatics in this cricket crazy nation.
The beginning of the tournament was fairly good with a beautiful opening ceremony of music, dancing, cultural events etc. But here's the catch- people don't like cultural dances, prehistoric songs and yada yada yada. What they like is nice plain entertainment rather than activities, which put you to sleep faster than a lecture on “bad sides on mobile phones” does. They would like to see displays like fire spinning, rock bands etc. if the tournament organisers would like to attract real cricket fanatics rather than people who sit in an air-conditioned room and say how the game should be played when they have never lifted a cricket bat themselves, they should provide more entertainment. The only positive side of the ceremony was the performance of the evergreen, LRB.
The boring opening ceremony was followed by a “more effective than sleeping pills” test match, sorry, a “Twenty20” match. It was played between Rajshahi Rangers and Cyclones of Chittagong, Tamim Iqbal being the only player who at least tried to play T20 style. This match was followed by an equally boring chain of matches with one or two going down to the wire, not because the teams played exceptionally well but because they played equally badly.
The other disadvantage of the NCL was its timing. Most of the matches played were in the morning or in the afternoon, both being inconvenient for cricket fanatics as most of them would be in school, colleges, universities, offices etc. at the time of different matches. Most of the matches being on weekdays rather than on weekends was also a great factor. The clash of the NCL with the IPL also led to the lack of viewers for the NCL.
The so-called “broadcasters” did their level best to make the NCL a failure as well. The respected TV channel kept interrupting the matches because of Gram Gonjer Songbaad etc. Whenever they did show the matches, it seemed like the match was being played at midnight because of the horrible picture quality. If we are a cricket “crazy” nation, then why don't we have a specialised sports channel? All in all, NCL is not up to the mark but it is a great format for young and raw talent and if improved, NCL could be a great attraction for cricket fanatics all over the world. At the end, I would like to wish the organisers best of luck and hope they come up with a better and bigger tournament next year. PLEASE DO.
By Ahnaf Zarif Rahman
Pigeons and Cricket
As our disciples may have already realised, we like being verbose, and we like being verbose, passionately. And we're verbose, passionately about things that we either care about very much (like games) or things that tick us off (like Eric Segal). And nothing ticks us off as much as Cricket (except for Eric Segal).
Now, some of you may have already tagged us as prime examples of Generation Nerd, people to who sports is akin to crossing The Styx on a stick. Well, you're right, we don't normally go into swinging pieces of wood, unless it's animated on a Wii (which thankfully hasn't happened yet). But, we do have a healthy appreciation of sports, ones that don't terminally bore you into pathological sickness. For example, tennis. Cricket on the other hand, tends to make you want to become an alcoholic.
We live in the age of instant gratification; everything is close to hand and is possible to obtain with the press of a button. Too long in the serving, and we get bored. And nothing takes longer to serve than cricket. Sure, they're making headway with the whole Twenty20 thing (or something like that), but then again being bored with cricket is so far ingrained into our bones that, that it's impossible to like the game now. The long hours of waiting around for the game to finish has left us disheartened, and apathetic towards the games, and we'd not watch it even if it were only one over long.
We remember the days when people still thought that Cricket was better sustenance than actual tangible food, when people would constantly talk about "Test" matches. If a game, any game, takes five full days to come to fruition, how can one be expected to give a fudge? And in the case of Eric Segal's book, the dude got to be a lawyer but the girl gave up her dreams and died. WHERE IS THE LOVE STORY IN THAT?
The world of cricket has long dominated sports channels, which could have been better utilised by broadcasting billiard trick shots (it's like they know magic!). No, give us any other sport, ANY other sport (except Golf and Hockey, and… well a lot more sports, but Cricket takes the cake, really). Football. Now, Football. That's a game. That's a man's game. Heck, that's a woman's game, too. All hail Football.
Ninja Murgi: You do know we've just alienated what little fans we managed to acquire?
Captain Kauwa: Fans come and fans go. We'll have won new ones over with our hate messages. Plenty of people dislike Cricket. Wait a minute… you read LOVE STORY?
NM: *mumble mumble mumble*.
NM: Of course! And I haven't forgotten the pigeon incident! What have you got to say about that?
NM: What, you mean pigeons?
[Note: The rest of this conversation, and this article, was once again cut out for the sake of brevity, and in this case, for the sake of pigeons.]
By Ninja Murgi and Captain Kauwa
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2010 The Daily Star