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How we can actually do it

By Nayeem Islam

Currently two teams are preparing in Bangladesh ahead of the cricket World Cup. While the team that will play in the field faces the challenge of winning against stronger teams; the team that will play off it, faces the monumental task of hosting the World Cup in a city which simply lacks the infrastructure required for successfully hosting such a global event. However, the following steps might enhance our reputation as a successful host:

Coaching: The Tigers have coaches to help them in every department like bowling, fielding and batting but the other team is devoid of any such assistance. Relying on Dhaka City Corporation might turn out to be a mistake because they can only guarantee that this World Cup will not be mosquito free. To protect fans from mosquitoes, clothing made of mosquito nets should be sold outside the stadium.

Electricity: By the time the World Cup will kick off electricity will become a rarity. And the day-night matches will further compound people's miseries. But while we are used to load-shedding, the foreigners who will be coming to watch matches aren't. Thus to ensure foreigners do not have problems while travelling due to load-shedding, each of them should be provided with a lantern, matchbox and night vision goggles free of cost with their tickets.

Accommodation: There aren't enough hotel rooms in Dhaka to accommodate all visiting fans. So how do we accommodate all our visiting fans? We can make new five star hotels but like the Eden Gardens they won't be ready on time. The ultimate accommodation solution comes from the slums. There are already lots of slums in Dhaka and potentially lots of free rooms for accommodating guests. Slums can be built very quickly so even if we start making slums now, they will be ready before the World Cup. Thus the slums have the potential to solve the accommodation problem and because our guests never had the experience of living in slums before, they will be attracted by the unique slum life of Dhaka city.

Transport: So how will all the fans get back to their homes or hotels after watching a match? CNGs and taxi cabs will charge exorbitant fares and the buses will be rare and overloaded. To solve this problem, roller skates should be sold outside the stadiums and instead of waiting for bus, taxi or CNG a lot of people will find this as a very convenient and cheap form of transportation. Moreover, tents should be sold outside the stadium premises so people who cannot return home at night can spend the night inside a tent on the pavements.

Security: For muggers and pickpockets the World Cup will provide the peak season they have been waiting for so long. And it wouldn't be possible to provide security to all fans so the only way to reduce the suffering of the fans is to request the muggers to provide 'discounts' whenever they rob a cricket fan.

Food: The problem of adulterated food being served in hotels throughout the city unfortunately cannot be solved before the World Cup and it is debatable whether the problem is solvable at all. Foreigners must be advised in the airports to fast whenever possible and this will reduce the intake of adulterated food. Orsaline must be distributed free of cost to the foreign fans whenever they buy tickets and mobile toilets should be set up at different places throughout the city to ensure foreigners can enjoy adulterated food without spoiling their clothes.

A Colour Called Orange

By Madhubonti Anashua

I have heard you talk about her, in silent nights when our neighbourhood was knee deep in a puddle of darkness. From your stories I fabricated her; an arrogant, explosive persona. The stories hovered in the night air and made furrows into my mind, solidifying her essence.

I felt her presence in the faltering heat of the candle, for I knew you saw her there. She was the colour of the light you recited your poems by, in the hours after dinner when the electricity played hooky with us. You told me how her scorching beauty attracted the velvety moths whose flutters I only felt. In that hounding darkness, the only things real were the light of the candle, and the words you read from that book. All other things were only hazy outlines, effacing the boundaries between earthly and ethereal for a while.

"Where else do you see her?" I asked you.

That was when you told me about the weddings. As the ornately done henna dried during the night, bits of it wore off, and she revealed glimpses of herself from behind the murky green. Then she became, for me, the smell of henna not the chemical tang of recent years, but the earthy one that reminded me of caterpillars and things like that.

Sometimes I felt you growing irritable as I asked you whether she was the sari you were wearing, or whether the curtains threw dancing shadows of her on our walls, and yet at other times you told me that she was the colour of the tea that I was sipping. Then I thought of her as the unsweetened chai in my cup, the hard, round feel of the tealeaves between my thumb and index.

When I felt the cool monsoon wind on my face and shoulders, I asked you to describe the tangerine sky at sunset. I could hear about it over and over again, until it darkened to deep purple and the lights switched on with a click.

Reminiscing about your schooldays, you spoke of the mud and 'butter buns'. I waited patiently until you came to the part where you would describe grandma's betel-stained lips, or the marigold wreaths that left yolk-coloured marks on your black and white saris on the twenty-first of February. You would take me to magic places with your words, but I would inevitably get stuck in the marshy swamps of Sundarbans, and make you retell the stories of the dwindling Bengal tigers. Sometimes I would hear about the rolling orange county of California, where you learnt to love music for the first time.

Mournful afternoons would find me lying on my bed by the open window, absorbed in reverie. I would be fixated by her she was Orange; a colour. A concept I would never understand. To me, she would always be the wail of a wedding shanai, the taste of tea on my buds. A rare privilege it would be, to see with my eyes. To perceive her, catch a coveted glimpse of her with my unseeing eyes.


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