A sultry summer is a time when we should all lock ourselves inside air conditioned rooms and just forget about going outdoors. Yet that never happens and while you are outdoors, the next best alternative to an air conditioner is an ice cream. Strange as it may seem, in Bangladesh, the ice cream companies have been reluctant to experiment with new flavours, completely ignoring the changing needs of our taste buds. They are probably suffering from a lack of new ideas and as always RS has come forward with four new flavours which ice-cream companies may try out, albeit at their own peril.
Jackfruit flavour: It is the national fruit of Bangladesh and while many people neither like its taste nor smell, there is no denying that this fruit is an integral part of our summer experience. So far it has been underutilised in every respect. As an example, we have still not found an effective way of using it as a cheap source of glue. Similarly, we can easily expect that if this fruit is used as an ice cream flavour it would open a whole new world of great taste. Health conscious ice-cream lovers would not mind an ice cream flavour which not only tastes and smells good but is also nutritious.
Shutki flavour: There is no denying that the stench of shutki would rank as one of the worst odours on the planet. However, shutki lovers have very different opinions on the subject. And it's strange that despite the sizeable population of shutki lovers in Bangladesh, entrepreneurs have not come forward with shutki flavoured ice-creams. But there might be just one problem to such an innovative flavour: non-shutki lovers may demand gas masks if shutki flavoured ice-creams are sold by road side vendors.
Jhalmuri flavour: In Bangladesh, our mamas literally sell everything from muris(puffed rice) to mangoes. And in front of schools it's not uncommon to notice two mamas selling jhalmuri and ice-cream side by side. The ultimate effect is on the parents' purse because they have to pay for both the ice-cream and jhalmuri everyday. That problem should peter out if companies are brave enough to launch jhalmuri flavoured ice-creams. At the end of the day it also has the potential to save your precious time because you no longer need to eat jhalmuri and ice-cream separately.
Korolla flavour: The sweetened taste of ice-cream is something which has not changed over the years. Our taste buds are tired of the same cloying taste and health conscious ice-cream lovers may ask for something with a lower calorific value. Korolla is the one vegetable which has the potential to change ice-creams forever. It can give us an ice-cream which tastes bitter and has a distinct smell. And the nutritious value of such an ice-cream can never be over-emphasised, and you might want to check out the Wikipedia article to get detailed information about the beneficial effects of Korolla on the body.
At the end of the day, it's up to the companies to ensure that these innovative flavours are not confined within the pages of the Rising Stars. If any of these flavours succeed in the market, full credit should be given to the uncanny imagination of yours truly. However, this writer will not be responsible should any of the flavours turn out to be a financial failure or worse!
By Nayeem Islam
Rain is certainly nice and enjoyable when it's water pouring from the sky, but there have been cases when all the scientific theories decided to muck up and it rained frogs and fishes and flesh instead of plain H2O. And these cases didn't even occur once or twice, but quite often, in the history of the world, to carve a nice niche under the phenomenal division.
Frog rain is a common kind of weird rain that has occurred often before. In 1873, Scientific American reported that Kansas City, Missouri was blanketed with frogs that dropped from the sky during a storm. In July, 1901 the same thing happened, only this time it was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. And the city Naflion, in Greece, played guest to some migratory species of North African frogs one early morning in May, 1981 when “a very strong wind” picked them up and dropped them on the streets. Quite a strong wind that was, it seems.
The fishermen of our country would have been quite happy if it had rained fish in Bangladesh. All the boro machh falling from the sky would have saved them from several days' hard work. Instead it happened in Bournemouth, England, when a shoal of herring interrupted one important golf game in 1948. It also rained sardines (yum!) on the front lawn of Harold and Degen in 1989 in Ipswich, England during a light drizzle. And Father Leonard Bourne certainly prayed for the wrong kind of blessing when a heavy, slimy large fish fell upon his shoulders from above in North Sydney, Australia in 1966.
Yes, it also rained blood on Messignadi, Calabria of Italy in 1890 - bird's blood, fortunately. The field workers of a tobacco farm in Lebanon, Tennessee were not so lucky though. The American Journal of Science confirmed a shower of blood, fat and muscle tissue that fell upon them in August 1841. A truly gruesome experience.
Rains like these have also sometimes lasted for a whole period - from 1982 to 1986, kernels of corn have poured down on several houses in Evans, Colorado. The strangest thing was, there wasn't any corn field near the area.
Sea creatures have been sighted dropping from above on numerous occasions. In 1881, a thunderstorm in Worcester, England, brought down tons of periwinkles and hermit crabs. A life-threatening situation arose when a single huge frozen squid fell upon the head of a Korean fisherman and knocked him unconscious.
Lastly, we conclude with two of the most bizarre and unverified incidents where something unusual fell down from the sky. In 1877, several one-foot-long alligators fell on J. L. Smith's farm in South Carolina, as New York Times reported it. As soon as they “landed” safely upon the ground, they went crawling to their hideouts unharmed. And in 1990, a Japanese fishing ship was sunk on the Sea of Okhotsk off the eastern coast of Siberia by nothing other than a cow. Rescued crews talked about not one but several cows crashing around them while one managed to sink their whole ship.
So next time you feel like walking in the rain, be sure to take some sort of protection. You never know, you might be the next victim if it literally rains down cats and dogs someday. It might.
By Shamsil Kamal
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