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So you have seen 'Inside Man', the Ocean trilogy and 'The Italian Job' and now want to get the thrill of pulling off a daring, kolagaach-making venture? Do you want to see the face of the authority when they suddenly realise they have been conned? What you learned from Ocean won't help you here in Dhaka, so we bring you the basics to pulling off a heist, deshi style.

The Team
There's a reason Clyde worked with Bonnie and Ocean had at least eleven other people: a good team is absolutely essential to a successful heist. While that is true, in Bangladesh you should stick to the bare minimum, because we Bangladeshis love to talk. And it doesn't really help if your friends' mom's bua's little kid knows about your master plan. You'll be needing:

The Genius - Usually he is the one to deactivate the lock and sensors, hack into the system, reroute traffic for the getaway etc. But in Bangladesh a locksmith from the streets should do just fine.

The Ballistic expert - This is the tricky part. As the only ballistic experts we have heard of are hardcore people with whom we would rather not meet, we recommend a highly skilled chemistry teacher pissed at his job for the task. Now that shouldn't be too hard to find.

The Driver - It really doesn't help if the getaway driver panics and drives the car into a tree. More so if the streets have cars going wherever they want without any conventional traffic rules. The best man for the job should be one of those crazy bus drivers who take your breath away with their insanely cool overtakes on the highway and put the fear of God in the hardest of men.

Other choices for the team may include one of those 'genjam' people as the strongman and the kid who takes the tea into the place you want to rob as the inside man.

The Attire
Expensive tailored suits, perfectly groomed hair and expensive cigars come to mind when you think of a heist. But mafia-like hairstyle and suits of the same colour will only get you the attention you don't want here in Bangladesh. So dress as you would normally do and lay off the sunglasses.

The Plan
When we think of a heist we expect a plan nothing short of a perfect con. While that works in movies, here the old John Dillinger way of robbing a bank will work best. Storm into the bank and shout 'Jome jao! Eita ekta dakati!' This is the most important part of the heist. You have to get the bank employees attention, because if you can't make a good entry, they will pay no heed to you while they go on talking on their phones. And remember, things will go wrong. You will be late for R-Day or someone else will. Your vehicle may get flats or the bomb guy may be stuck teaching a class.

The Getaway
The coolest getaway vehicle has to be a speed boat - featuring a jump over some other boat to escape the police maybe - which, when you think about it isn't very feasible here in Dhaka. Because Gulshan Lake doesn't lead to the ocean. Now that we think about it, even the mighty Driver might not be able to get you through the jam. In that case, it's best if you just use motorbikes; police cars can't follow and there's one less person to divide the share between. See, always be ready to adapt.

Now all that is left to do is lock and load.

NB: Do NOT, we repeat, do NOT, be dumb enough to attempt an actual robbery. If you get caught, just before you lose consciousness from the mother of all beatings, remember that we were not being serious and are not to blame in any way.

By Moyukh

Who's afraid of Shakespeare? I am

No, this is not a rant about the evils of Shakespeare. This is merely a review of a play.

Scholastica held their annual play on the 29th of July at STM hall at their senior section branch in Uttara. It was organised by the Scholastica Alumni Association. The play was titled “Who's afraid of William Shakespeare?” and it was essentially a sort of spoof montage of edited-to-be-funny scenes from a number of Shakespeare's plays, with the ultimate aim of showing students who feel tortured by Shakespeare in English Literature class that it can be fun and how Shakespeare's writing and themes are timeless. Not too much wrong with that.

The plot starts with two students meeting three witches to ask them to summon Shakespeare so they can confront him about how he has plagued generations of high school students. Cue chanting and smoke machines, Shakespeare appears like Bram Stroker's Dracula wearing a matador uniform.

This cuts to a scene where one random person promised another random person (who was owed money from the first random person) a play by Shakespeare titled “Romeo and Ethel, the pirate's daughter”. This play apparently had everything including “mistaken identities, a shipwreck, pirates, a bit with a dog and love triumphant”. To be honest, that sounds far more interesting than the original Romeo and Juliet.

This moved to a musical “rap” number about the hardships of understanding Elizabethan English. Now this part is slightly ironic, because the actors, in an attempt to imitate a British accent, made sure hardly anybody understood anything they were saying. The people surrounding me in the audience were all scratching their heads in confusion.

And so, came scene after scene of Shakespearean plays and one that slightly resembled a mash-up of Grease, Michael Jackson's Beat It and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The actor that played Shakespeare himself seemed to be trying too hard, constantly bellowing his lines.

As I mentioned before, Shakespeare seemed as if he was dressed as a Spanish bullfighter. The other costume that made you go “Huh?” was Othello who looked like an Indian maharaja wearing a purple turban. And he was in blackface. Yes.

This production, though not a Tony-winner had plus points. The script seemed funny; the execution, however, was wanting in places. The dance fight scene was entertaining. There was also a big LARP fight at the end which was amusing.

In essence, it could have been a wonderful play. And full points for the effort. Anyone daring enough to go out on stage and play multiple roles and dance and jump and still not forget their lines is worthy of some praise.

By That Guy
Photo: Adnan M.S. Fakir



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