Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home






Lounge on This

I find this specimen lounging on a back-lit faux leather sectional sofa, skinny jeans-clad legs extended before him and ostentatiously blocking the pathway for the patrons looking to park their posteriors on the rest of the seating arrangement. His face is shrouded by a mist of blue fluorescent lighting, gelled hair oddly glistening, and I steer towards him in the hopes that his affected air of boredom will yield something useful for me. “Excuse me,” I say, nervously, and he tips his head back at me in lieu of an acknowledgement.

“How you doin'?” he asks me, in thickly accented English, and I look around me to see if he isn't possibly addressing someone else. Would a switch to Bengali be apt at this moment? But my companion seems adamant to continue in his Netspeak-inspired English, so I humour him.

“You are new here.” It is an observation, not a question.

I slide a coaster under my overpriced banana smoothie and nod my confirmation. He nods back, careful not to disturb his elaborately teased hair. “Very happening, this place is,” he tells me, inclining his head appreciatively at the frosted glass doors. Beyond the constant stream of perfumed, teased and sprayed younglings the Dhaka traffic rumbles on.

“It's like, totally cool,” he continues.

“It is a tad chilly, actually…”

“Very cool, all the cool people hang out here, you know.” He drops his voice conspiratorially, and I look around to see who these cool people might be. A stream of Banglish rises and falls around me. Somewhere in the next booth two girls plump their lips as their friend angles a camera in their general direction.

“I can see that,” I say.

“At the back they have sheesha,” and he gestures at the cramped blue-lit space. Behind bead curtains satchels lie discarded by doors and shoulders huddle around pipes, blowing smoke rings into the darkened air.

“"Yes, flavoured lung cancer, so exciting?"
My companion nods approvingly. “It's very cool.”

“I wasn't serious…never mind.”

“The babes, they are hot here.” I momentarily ponder over his juxtaposition of hot and cold, and wonder if all his talk is some extended literary device that I am yet unaware of, and then it dawns on me that the variations of “cool” and “hot” are by and large the extent of his arsenal of descriptive words. “I am looking for a hawtie atm. I am single, you see.”

“Are you now? I am quite surprised.”

“Too many fish, not enough pond,” he says sagely, and digs into his soggy fries. A girl with heavily outlined eyes in the booth next to us turns to drink in his words of wisdom. He pretends not to notice and runs a nonchalant hand through his hair. When she turns back to consult her friend in breathless giggles he surreptitiously wipes off hair gel on his faux Levi jeans.

“Why do you need to come here to look for a fish anyhow?” I ask. “Are the fish elsewhere any less cool?”

“Here the fish is the coolest.” He seems momentarily confused. “The babes, I mean, here they are cooler. See her over there,” and he angles his head at Ms. Giggles. “She is single. If not single then why come to lounge?”
I glance in the person in question's general direction, but she is intently slurping on her straw and flipping a strand of flat-ironed hair over her shoulder. Her friend catches my eye and hides her giggle behind the mirror of her face powder.

“Maybe she just wanted to hang out with her girlfriends,” I suggest.

A homophobic snort escapes his lips. “Girlfriends, why would babes have girlfriends? That is what we are for, for finding the girlfriends. We have maaskels, we have the sex appeal. We,” and he preens himself slightly, and puts on his mirrored shades despite the relative darkness of the lounge, “are what the babes are looking for.”

So he has added another word to his vernacular.

“Ye hai zindagi,” he says, hitching his voice up a decibel or two, and Ms. Giggle Pants next door positively collapses under the sheer weight of his wisdom.

I sip my blended yoghurt masquerading as a smoothie and nod. “Bilkul.”

By Shehtaz Huq

…Did I Just Say That?

Double meanings and puns are transforming verbal communication into an ordeal. It will be an astounding feat if one can have a conversation without perverse alternate meanings poking their heads in; every expression, every word, seems to have its not-so-decent counterpart.

Almost all of us have fallen prey to this filthy word-web, but some of us poor folks are just more vulnerable than others. Relatively speaking, the naïve ones are in a somewhat better position than the…uh…more 'worldly' ones. The former kind's…um…'suggestive' words are often overpowered by a myriad of other words of the 'uninteresting' variety. On the other hand, the latter kind keeps drowning in humiliation. Being too smart for their own good makes the error of halting after uttering anything even remotely suggestive, with a what-the-hell did-I-just-say expression plastered on their faces. With five or six consecutive verbal faux pas (and no actual obscenity or x-rated content being uttered) the lucky individual is bound to be dubbed the 'perv' of the group.

Once those fateful words come out of their big mouths, there is no turning back. The 'poor' souls will find their friends keeping a tag on anything and everything uttered by the newfound 'perv', and jotting it down on a notepad just to make the whole situation even more traumatising.

Of course, one can always accuse those at the receiving end of such verbal mishaps; they never meant to say anything wrong, it's just the listener's dirty minds merrily skipping hither thither. Eventually, there will come a time when they realise that resisting the allegations is futile - no one is interested in listening to such boring stuff anyways. Especially since the 'perv' generally has much more entertaining things to say. However, that friend's notepad might come in handy; it can be used to publish a much needed 'Dictionary of Indecent Alternate Meanings of Words in the English Language'.

By Sarwat Yunus

Best and Worst Transfers This Summer

This summer the footballing world went into frenzy once again, as the transfer window opened. Now that the window has officially been closed, it is time to assess the transfers and see whether the players and the clubs have made the right decision or not.

David Villa (Valencia to Barcelona, 48 million euros) - Villa proved to the entire world that he made the right decision by joining Catalan giants Barcelona, after rounding off a brilliant debut against Racing Santander. However, Villa has to maintain his consistency if he wants to be a regular choice for the star studded Barcelona starting line up.

Rafael Van der Vaart (Real Madrid to Tottenham Hotspur, 10 million euros) - This clearly was the bargain of the summer and even Harry Redknapp himself couldn't believe that Real Madrid would let him go so cheaply. However, for Van der Vaart the move was a bad one. A player of his calibre, creativity and experience at the highest level deserves to play for clubs who are serious title contenders. His wealth of talent should be used to win the Champion's League, not just qualifying for them. A move to Arsenal or Liverpool would have been a better option for the Dutchman.

Yossi Benayoun (Liverpool to Chelsea, 6.6 million euros) - Nobody knows what in the world possessed Carlo Ancelotti to let Joe Cole leave Stamford Bridge, and sign Benayoun as his replacement. The 30-year-old midfielder doesn't even look fit to sit on the Chelsea bench, let alone play regularly. This does not even solve Chelsea's problems of an aging squad and the move also ended Benayoun's career, who would have been better off at Liverpool. Just when Chelsea were trying to cut down costs, this is nothing but a waste of money. Carlo got this one wrong.

Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux to Arsenal, free transfer) - A classic Arsene Wenger signing, and this one has the potential to be the best signing of the season for the Gunners. Chamakh along with his wealth of trickery will provide the Gunners with much needed aerial support up front. A brilliant signing for both the club and the player.
Reference: Google and Goal.com

By Alvi Ahmed



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star