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Bleep Bleep Bleeeeeep!!!

As we get older, we become more acquainted with cursing. It's a rather complex art, one which requires skill and knowledge, lest you use a wrong word at the wrong time. Your status in any particular social circle, usually composed of the cruder gender, is often proportional to the amount of soap required to cleanse your mouth. This talent promotes creativity and learning, as just one language is hardly enough to express your discontent when you receive a C in your English essay due to 'a lack of innovative thoughts' and feel provoked to show your teacher just how 'innovative' you can get.

Russian makes less sense than Chinese and yet is more pleasant to spew, mostly because the words are so much longer and sound far more insolent. The Japanese versions of the same force you to chew every syllable before uttering it, hence feels good to rage in. Hindi insults are similar to our own Bengali ones, but less offensive and with a narrower range. Spanish and Portuguese adaptations of words used to describe the excretory phenomenon are delightfully crude, though the British have turned certain similar phrases mundane, and hence forgivable.

English, in general, provides a fine vocabulary to express displeasure, and an even wider range of phrases to take 'imagination' to a whole new level. This may be because of our familiarity with this language, but you must admire its class. A total of merely ten words is needed to question an affronter's parentage, heredity, species, sex, innocence, straightness, and surprising lack of gag reflexes. Yet even English cannot compare to the sheer vileness of a Bengali gali.

The Bengali versions of insults are the easiest to learn, and in these cases, you'll discover that the uneducated rickshaw-pullers in a traffic jam are way more educated and creative than you can ever hope to be with your six As or golden GPA-5. You want to learn, just roll down your window on a congested Dhanmondi road. Sometimes you'll want to cover your ears. Sometimes you'll shudder and roll the glass back up. And then, when shoved down the stairs one too many times, you'll use what you've learned.

There's nothing quite like it. If you know the right words, all you're doing is translating from, say, English to Bengali. Same words, same phrase, just a switch of subject, object and verbs, in a different language. The distinction is revolting. Provocative doesn't cover it. Insulting doesn't do it justice. It comes out of your mouth with a vengeance and leaves you gawking at your own bravery, resisting the urge to go wash your mouth out with Lifebuoy liquid hand wash and then take a bath. With Lux beauty soap. Yet there are few things more satisfying than saying those three Bengali words that easily replace all ten English ones. When you get over the awe and shock, you find a sense of deep contentment welling up within, a feeling unlike anything you've ever experienced before.

The Bengali curses derive their success from every other language: the length of their Russian counterparts, force of the Japanese, crudeness of the Spanish, and even the prettiness of the Chinese. They are not mundane in any way or form. They're savage and irrevocably honest, and therefore a rational means of venting when punching the wall just doesn't cut it. Whoever spoke of sticks and stones obviously never encountered the Bengali language.

And so, the next time you're out in Moghbazar traffic, watching two guys yell at each other for no apparent reason, get those headphones off your ears and pay attention. You could learn something useful for once.

By Professor Spork
Illustration: ER Ronny

Dear Men of the World

I am going to get a lot of hate mail for this, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. Having been stuck with hormonal lady from hell during my last psycho-phase has given me an insight on how you men feel while dealing with our homicidal moods during our special time. Sure, our anger is justified what with all the constant pain we have to deal with, but I believe you guys still deserve an apology. People who know me are probably thinking how hypocritical this is because I'm one of the worst offenders. I will explode in anger or tears if you so much as mention anything. If you talk, you're most likely going to get an earful simply because your voice is annoying. While it is not my fault that you irritate me, I realise that you can't help it.

Let's make it clear that I'm only apologising for one thing and one thing only. Yes, sometimes we can be the jerks, liars and cheats and sometimes we do tend to treat you guys like something disgusting we've found under our shoes but you guys have been guilty of that more than we have! So if someone should apologise, it should be you men. Guys can be bigger jerks, so overall, we cancel out. Sort of. Almost.

But then there are the guys who are just the sweetest things. The ones who buy you chocolate, rub your back and get you hot water bottles. The ones who deal with our mood swings in silence and try not to tell us how womanly Robert Pattinson looks during 'that' time for fear of their lives. I know someone who has one of the good guys as a boyfriend but even she wanted to burn him alive merely because he suggested that Grey's Anatomy was written by morons.

Ladies, I'm really not throwing you under the bus, I'm just saying that men don't deserve to be thrown Louboutins at just because they happen to think that McSteamy and McDreamy make a McPerfect couple.

Men are so under-appreciated nowadays. When they get Adam-called, no one bats an eyelash but eve-tease a girl and the world is in uproar. It has also been brought to my attention, by none other than a very disgruntled Tareq Adnan, that one of the world's most notorious serial killers has killed over 300 kills but was never that heard about because he merely killed the more not-so-fairer sex. For all that, I must apologise. I apologise that we have taken all the attention away from you guys when you needed it the most. Next time you are Adam-called, I will testify on your behalf in court against your lady-stalker.

With this apology I end my letter to you, the more emotional sex. We put you through a lot of crazy, irrational behaviour and psychotic mood swings which you are undeserving of most of the time. I realise you are not mind readers. I realise that the best way to communicate with you is to tell you or draw you a picture and not make you guess. From now on, I will try my best.

But no promises.

All my love.

By Musarrat Rahman

Not Just Valentine's

If you're silly enough to think that the only thing to be celebrated in February is Valentine's Day, then allow us to put things into perspective:

4th February National Thank a Mailman Day. Not our nation of course, but does it really matter? Have you ever said thanks to the mailman? No? Then do so.

6th February Lame Duck Day

7th February Wave to your neighbour. Also, “Send a Card to a Friend Day.” No points for guessing who invented that one.

8th February - Kite Flying Day (In the middle of winter?? Good luck!).

9th February Hershey's Chocolate Company was founded on this day. Also, it happens to be known as Toothache Day. Coincidence, much?

11th February Make a Friend Day. White T-shirt Day.

12th February Abraham Lincoln's birthday (probably the only real holiday in this list).

13th February Pohela Falgun, our tradition day of love before Hallmark came along.

14th February If you don't have a valentine, don't wallow in self pity. You can always celebrate Clean Out Your Computer Day, Ferris Wheel Day or Organ Donor's Day.

15th February Surprise! Surprise! It's Singles Awareness Day, right after the 14th.

17th February Random Acts of Kindness Day.

18th February National Battery Day (just how on Earth are we supposed to celebrate this one?).

20th February Say happy birthday to Rihanna and Kurt Cobain. Also, it's Love Your Pet Day.

21st February International Mother Language Day. We know how this one goes. If you'd forgotten, shame on you!

22nd February Put your thinking caps on because it is World Thinking Day. Say happy birthday to Steve Irwin's soul, which is currently busy wrestling crocodiles in heaven. Observe Be Humble Day, then take your dog for a walk because, guess what, things that you do everyday have an annoying tendency of being turned into days.

24th February Steve Jobs' birthday. Refrain from sending hate mail about the iPad from your iPhone.

26th February Go to a carnival and tell a fairy tale. Kill two birds with one stone.

27th February Polar Bear Day.

28th February- Tooth Fairy Day. Or if you are feeling lazy on the bus, Public Sleeping Day. Watch your wallet though.

Besides the daily holidays that are sure to keep you amused, February is also Canned Food Month and National Children's Dental Health Month. And for those who just can't get enough of love, the third week of February is Flirting Week! Happy February, everyone.

By TheAlien4mEarth





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