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The Week in Re(ar)view

News of the week is all about how to stay alive. And who best to tell us than our commerce minister Faruk Khan. After all, in a country where businessmen can become doctors, a commerce minister can surely moonlight as a health minister. He has suggested that we, 'Eat Less' following ruckus over rising prices of essentials and adulteration of food. According to him, 'Everything will be ALRIGHT'. Instead of eating to live, we should nibble on morsels. This is why rats don't die these days from rat poison. They nibble and they are ALRIGHT.

The RS and Re(ar)view team would like to offer some other morsels, morsels of wisdom that is. Complaining about electricity? Use less though it's applied involuntarily. Complaining about availability of water? Bathe less. Complaining about air quality? Breathe less. Worried about population control? See 'complaining about air quality'.

But we must admit he has all his economical theories down strong. “We eat less, prices will fall”. It's solid economic advice based on demand and supply. Can't argue with that. We stop eating altogether, food will be free. Everything will be ALRIGHT.

Legal scuffles and karate
TV makes us think lawyers are cool, fast talking and usually have basic knowledge of karate. In the Bangladeshi reality, lawyers are a little different. While they wear black flowing robes, it 'ain't no Batman cape, dahling'. Most importantly, they don't know karate. Last week a BNP lawmaker, also a lawyer, hurled a 'plastic missile' at the bench after a judge said that Khaleda Zia's recent remarks on the constitutional amendments is tantamount to sedition. The papers wrote 'plastic missile'. We didn't. We say real stuff, like bottle, or pen or projectile.

A High Court on April 3rd banned 13 opposition-backed lawyers. Apparently this is disrespectful to the profession. Arrests have been made. We are sure they wish they'd learned karate instead. No one gets arrested for karate, ask Chuck Norris.

Police (a.k.a Judge Dread)
Re(ar)view this week is about politicians, lawyers and now the other scuff mark of our society, police. Abdul Kader, a Dhaka University student had been picked up by police and tortured in custody for 13 hours back in July 16. Police tortured him to make him confess that he had been involved in a robbery. Evidence? We laugh at evidence. If evidence were a person, we would hang him from a tree without any prior evidence of his wrongdoing whatsoever. In fact, many police stations actually hang evidence on trees or just leave it as fodder for mice.

Because he would not confess, Officer-in-charge of Khilgaon Police Station Helal Uddin picked up a cleaver and chopped Kadar's leg with it. Kadar came to court's notice after the media publicised the matter. Otherwise, he would most likely have joined the 'evidence' outside under some tree. The OC has been suspended. But is that all?

Anything else?
In a different news, the city has been hit by acute shortage of water. But we're thinking, drink less, we'll be alright.

By Mood Dude and Guest (That Rat)
Illustration: E. R. Ronny

TV Guide for Da Foo

A handful of guys - a nerd, a fool, a failure of a comedian. One or two beauties to brighten the area. Some normal, everyday situations. Things going wrong and somehow getting resolved after some quirkiness. Laugh tracks. Hitting 'play' button on the tracks at random.

Just put a video camera somewhere on the set and you have a sitcom. Such an easy formula and yet the wise minds of our television industry can't get it right. The only thing close to sitcoms we see is the person next to a fist-fight picking his nose.

But, rest assured; our brilliant minds will show the aspiring producers the way to sitcoms and other awe-inspiring shows. And remember, the following are purely fictional; any resemblance to real TV shows is purely coincidental [really!].

How I Met Your Khala
Plot: The infuriating Mr. Mojnu is trying to find the perfect girl. His friends - the idiotic couple Shapla and Dildaar, failed-comic-with-an-obsession-for-the-word-fatafati Ershad and the lost beauty from Noakhali, Roksana, try to save the poor girl by disrupting Mojnu's various antics and flashbacks. At the end of season 9, *SPOILER ALERT* Mojnu, tired of everything, marries according to his parents' wishes and meets the beautiful aunt of his kids.

Sample Episode: A 50 year old Mojnu goes straight into flashback mode in front of his kids by mentioning something totally irrelevant to the story (“Do you kids know I used Chinese mobile sets?”). He and his friends meet at the tea stall. They drink tea, make fun of the Noakhali people, crack some wise-ass comments, go into flashback, go into flashback inside the aforementioned flashback, encounter a 'problem' and solve it at the end of the episode by the virtue of friendship. Insert laugh tracks in abundance. Guest star appearance recommended for a good rating, if such a thing exists.

Two and a Half Burgers
Plot: Uptight, homeopath doctor Alam and his brain-dead and malnourished son Ridoy Khan live with his brother, the rich and genius remix-artist Balam in his Dhanmondi apartment. There are occasional appearances of 'kajer beti' Rahima and their mother.

Sample Episode: Balam talks animatedly over the cell-phone to one of his 50 girlfriends and wakes Alam up in the process. Alam rebukes Balam for being such a shameful human being who frauds innocent girls. Balam in turn explains, in some very long sentences, exactly why Alam is a failure. Appearance of the bua to chip in a few choice quips. Appearance of the mother to contribute further to Alam's pain. Alam drowns in misery to the delight of the people in the laugh tracks and the audience. Alam gets a few shots at Balam. They reconcile.

The Chondrobindu Files
Plot: An irritated RAB officer named Mofijul who got extremely fat from sitting around all day suddenly decides that the Mamdo Bhoot is real. Needless to say, all the sugar has gone to his head. He befriends a graduate from Dhaka Medical named Khuli who couldn't make it as a real doctor and voila. A chart topper with the highest rating is born.

Sample Episode: The Shakchunni runs, shots are fired, no one dies. Mofijul wakes up from a dream. He tries to convince Khuli the dream was not a dream and the RAB is trying to hide the great Bhoot conspiracy. The duo goes to a secluded village and look for evidence on top of a Bot Gachh. Oh and spooky music.

The Voyanok Shobdo Theory
Plot: Three nerds from BUET and one from Dhaka University Physics department and the drama queen from Eden College who wants to make it as a Dhaliwood actress all living in the same building. While the BUET people use tube lights to imitate their favourite parts of Khoj: The Search and scour Neelkhet to find that half torn “comic” book, our actress gradually teaches the nerds how to socialise.

Sample Episode: The nerds attend some Physics Olympiad which is only for high school students. Their team wins. Internal conflict. Turns out our actress is in love with one of the students but goes out with this hunky dude from NSU on a date to Jonaki cinema hall. Actress returns, swoons and tells the BUET guy that she has true feelings for him. They realise their mistake, go to the cha stall and talk of the dangers of flying cars in a hypothetical Dhaka. Words like quantum fluctuation, Shwarschild radius and Neutron Stars get thrown into the conversation randomly.

White Panjabi
Plot: The adoptive son of the police commissioner, Neel has a severe urge to eat exquisite sweets. But his type-1 diabetes forbids him to. He must wear off the extra calories if he wants to live. Noticing his psychopathic fondness for sweets and his diabetes, his father taught him the way to chew the fat. And never get caught.

Sample Episode: An art-theft discovered; Neel and the detective investigating, finding clues. The detective depending on Neel to charm some women and/or talk to some guys. Neel finding clues to his missing cell phone; the detective's wife chipping in and solving the mystery, bringing an end to a typical episode. Oops, wrong show.

Of course, they could try for fairly original scripts, but we all know how it'd turn out. Better trust the tried, tested and proven paths.

By Moyukh and Jawad



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