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The Path of Abstinence

THE month of Ramadan is a holy month, one where we take the time to think about the little things in life, like food, the more important things in life, like food and how all these "things", big, small and food come together to make life what it is for us privileged few. Food.

During this month, we are forced to contemplate things outside the sphere of our normal thoughts, like fried food in the evening. We make sacrifices in the hopes of bounteous rewards, like oily food. Why do we do it? Because abstinence, in the end, is just about food except seen from the other side.

But there are other things to consider, right?

NM: Like food?
CK: No… like other things
Things that don't necessarily figure into the general scheme of Ramadan.

We have found ourselves playing way too many games.

NM: Wait, do you mean too many games during food time? Or just in general?
CK: … Okay, both, I guess.
And so we have decided to test ourselves and our willpower, which has yet to crumble under the soul-crushing annoyance of countless game bugs and glitches that make even the good (we, being the best) gamers cringe and let lose the floodgates. We're looking at you, Fallout and Arcanum.

NM: We aren't going to play anymore while eating?
CK: Possibly worse, brother.
NM: What's worse than not playing while eating?
While that beguiling excerpt leaves much to be understood, lets move on. What we meant to say, often times in circular motion while remain tangential to the radius (we flunked maths on account of not knowing what 3.142 meant), is that during Ramadan, just staying away from food and that questionable stack of CDs in that secret drawer does not constitute abstinence.

One must take measures to strike away every pleasure. Since for the two of us, pleasure these days equal Starcraft II, we have decided to take measures to finally abstain. When you're us, such abstinence does not come easy, and said measures must be taken to ensure integrity.

Step 1: Save files. They are our treasures, and we hold them so dear, keep back ups ten years after we've finished the game, just so that perhaps someday we might wish to view our all-powerful omnipotent avatars in all their butt-kicking glory. Or on some occasions, butt of good inclinations. We proceeded to wake our younger siblings, told them that their dream has finally come true. We directed them to the hidden directory, password entered and said without a single tear in our eye, “Go on, kid. Delete them files.” And they went, one by one, folder by folder, save screenshot by oh, you get the deal. It's hard enough recounting the event in narration, make us not recount every detail lest we break our other (some would argue more important) abstinence.

Step 2: Installation files and DVDs. Once the earth-shattering act of deleting the save files have taken place, we now engage in generosity. Isn't Ramadan about generosity as well? We, take out that lovingly kept CD case, and take out the DVDs one by one. None of them have a scratch on them, all of them work, (we checked… just to make sure… and to give those save files one last run.) and all of them are now the property of that unearthly kid from downstairs.

CK: The one with the Mac.
NM: … I assume you know they won't work.
CK: Precisely. It's the generosity of spirit that counts.
NM: And the installation files?
CK: Die, infidels!
We felt that since he has a below par operating system, the least we could do would be to give him old games that don't run on Mac.

NM: Ah, try to bring him to our side of the river.
CK: Exactly!

Step 3: RROD.

NM: Surely, you jest, brother.
CK: Go check your console, brother. It's already over.

You read correct, dear disciples. Such madness are we stricken by this year, such religiousity have taken hold of our faith that we mean to see this through, thick and thin. How could we not press that cool little button on our controllers and log on to Xbox live and kick some n00b butt? How could we not play Mass Effect 2 a second time around, as a more badass renegade? No, it had to be done. May this month bless us for our supreme sacrifice.

NM: Food?
CK: That, too.

Step 4: Run Crysis + Run GTA + Render a 20GB video on After Effects + Reduce fan speed down to 10% = Meltdown and tears aplenty.

For reward requires sacrifice. Abstinence cannot be achieved by merely getting rid of the parts out while the whole remains. We sound all cool and everything. We know. There is a certain ritualistic appeal in giving up.

By doing the above, you will be delivering the metaphorical coup de grace on your computer. A veritable thrust straight to the hilt. And why is this necessary? Because a part of Ramadan is about fighting temptation and coming out on top.

And what better way to fight temptation than to assassinate it outright in a solemn ceremony under the stars (well, we have those glow in the dark stick-ons but they'll do)? Granted there will be a lot of tears, a lot of pain but the end result would be that you would come out of it all prepared and armed (or rather, disarmed). To walk down the path of abstinence, unfettered, shorn of all chains.

NM: My… how… why?!
CK: It had to be done. There is no other path to salvation. We must hold true in our convictions, brother!
NM: I had Convictions installed on that… no.
CK: Look at it this way. It was a very short game anyway.

NM: Food now?
CK: Aren't we fasting?

By Ninja Murgi and Captain Kauwa

Uncanny Umbrellas

AN umbrella is like a parachute, it works only when open- if you come back home sodden by the rain you have just corroborated the truth in this statement. Surely you have that hand-held folded canopy somewhere in your house yet you think its burden to carry around. This article explores three umbrellas that would rank highly on your shopping list, provided you are foolish enough to pay for them.

Senz Umbrellas
Price: €49.95

What good is an umbrella if you have to run after it and that too under incessant rain? Well your respite to umbrellas flying out of your hands comes in the form of Senz aerodynamic umbrellas! If you are the owner of a Senz umbrella you will be toying with the wind instead of struggling against it. That's because your umbrella is smart enough to turns itself into the best position in the wind and its handle guarantees a perfect grip. Its patented frame can withstand up to 100 km/h gales! With dimensions 93 cm by 89 cm, the canopy is an adequate protection from rain plus its eye savers mean respite from rain doesn't have to be synonymous with poked eyes. Take a Senz umbrella into the street and even if it literally rains cats and dogs- you guaranteed to be the absolute head turner on the streets!

Numbrella Umbrellas
Price: $49.99

One disturbing aspect of using umbrellas is that in order for you to be under its protection, you have to hold it in your hand. At least one company in the world understands your plight! The new-style umbrella from Numbrella may look like something out of a bad science fiction movie but it provides you with the ultimate hands free outdoor protection. Unlike other umbrellas, Nubrella keeps its promise: your umbrella can not and will not invert in any wind. Nubrella blocks wind-chill and its more extended coverage keeps you dry all the time. Meanwhile it is a far safer and more reliable product! No more sharp points, poles or rods to poke your eyes. It is time you changed your old concept of umbrellas and added Nubrella to your arsenal of weather protection gear.

Full body umbrellas (manufacturer unknown)
Price: unknown

Umbrellas are meant to keep you dry. Years have passed since the invention of umbrellas and yet no umbrella has fully succeeded in keeping you dry under its canopy. Total protection from rain comes in the form of a full body umbrella. For day long all over dryness, full body umbrellas protect you by a 360 degree sheet of clear vinyl so you are safe from even those sneaky, low-flying horizontal rain drops.

By Nayeem Islam
(Sources: www.senzumbrellas.com, www.nubrella.com)


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