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The icy green-yellow pair of asymmetrical eyes inched just above the black, almost opaque water and remained hauntingly fixed on to him. The grey rigid plates glistened under the morning sun as the beast teased its large reptilian body round the curve of the lake shore. Its unhurried movements mocked him into an air of suspense as it approached the skinny human figure at a snail's pace. A set of distasteful uneven teeth jutted out of its irregular crooked jaws and a long scaly tail leisurely slapped the surface of the water.

A pair of brave, brilliant eyes, masked under a façade of apprehension timidly stared at the advancing outline. Suddenly, with an unexpected change of pace, the beast extended its mouth to almost a grin and lunged upwards to knock him down into the splashing water. He could feel the huge slimy, armoured torso rasping against the skin of his bare chest. A numbing pain spread across his body as his knees dragged through the spiky weeds on the sandy bottom of the lake. Predicting its next move, he chanced a large gulp of air before his head submerged under the black water. Quickly recovering from the attack, with deft agile movements, he slid over the ridged underside of the beast's torso and groped for a strong hold on to its back, leaving a pair of webbed claws clouting the water in a sloppy, surprised motion.

Bracing himself onto its head and back, he clamped the iron-clad jaws together with his hands and hung on for dear life. A thick leathery body thrust itself in and out of the water, trying to throw the boy off its back. Each time, his head went under and his nostrils burned as bubbles of oxygen boiled up to the surface. A final mechanical swing of the animal's maw hurled a weary figure into the air and a graceful smack of the tail sent him flying head-first into the deep ends of the black water.

The jaws opened again to the same evil grin and headed for its lovely defeated prey with a burst of speed. The menacing blow hit him right in the

“Rahiel! Dinner is ready!” A tiny face looked up from the sensational world of his thoughts and ran down to his mother, carefully returning his wooden crocodile to where it belonged next to his batman action figure. The battle would have to wait.

By Neshmeen Faatimah


Ministerial Transport

Held up by ministers on the road? Waited for a few days to get moving again?
Here's our awesome alternate fund-gobbling suggestions.

At present, the writer is sitting in her stationary car staring at the vast expanse of empty road in front of her. Wait, vast expanse of empty road in Dhaka? And it's not even Eid; sounds impossible right? The only other possibility is... yes, the writer is staring gloomily at the empty road waiting for the VVIP to appear so that she can get home after a strenuous day.

Right now it seems extremely unfair that these VVIPs are allowed to block the road for obscene amounts of time just so that they can pass through in comfort (and safety?). Sitting in the sweltering traffic, it's hard to not launch a vendetta against them. Maybe if the government were able to use money efficiently, they would be able to prevent this atrocity. And we don't mean by increasing the number of roads and better traffic control - we mean by getting to the heart of the problem.

Maybe our VVIPs shouldn't be travelling by car (and completely inconveniencing the public in the process) any more. Maybe they should spend the exorbitant amounts of wasted money on other methods of transport.

 

Can't you easily imagine a network of zip lines being constructed all over Dhaka? (With the flyover construction actually being carried out, it shouldn't be that hard.) All our VVIPs would have to do is strap themselves to the wire, hold on for dear life and zoom through the city, over the traffic. Their journey would be faster and we wouldn't have to suffer the prolonged wait. Of course, they might object to this method of transport (since it's uncomfortable, too much exposure, unsafe, etc, etc.) and therefore harnesses could be substituted with: Cable Cars. Everyone loves cable cars, they're extremely fun to ride in, probably safe since our government could make them bulletproof, provide less chances of getting stuck than the zip lines, and have cute little windows through which the VVIPs could look down at the underprivileged public and laugh. It's a win-win situation.

However, there are always more enjoyable methods of transport, namely ballooning. I'm sure the VVIPs could benefit from a good old excursion in a hot air balloon or... a Zeppelin. Enjoying the sights while drifting over Dhaka in an enormous balloon bearing the face of your political idol of choice, choking, eyes watering from the smog, and being in constant fear that the 'gadha maintenance lok je kichui pare na' (stupid maintenance guy that can't do anything right) might burn down the entire balloon and leave them parachuting to the ground. I suppose the VVIPs wouldn't want a more dramatic, less calamitous version of the Hindenburg episode occurring in Dhaka.

If they were considering proper air transport though - the options are infinite. Convertiplanes could be employed, which can take off and land vertically (a must in Dhaka, really) and have standard wings for use during flight. Most of them tend to be kind of huge, so we might have to fall back on the rotor kite. It's a one-seater, which saves space and it even looks pretty cute. It's easy to imagine our VVIPs buying one of these are hovering in the smog, waving at enthusiastic supporters before zooming away into the distance.

Zooming... if we wanted them to zoom away, we could just stuff them into a network of pipelines and let them slide to their destination. But maybe that's too Perry-the-Platypus-like for reality. And if they REALLY wanted to break the boundaries between reality and awesome fantasy, they could buy each of the VVIPs the supremely cool, unaffordable, inefficient and impractical jetpacks for a whooping 50, 000 New Zealand Pounds. It's huge and it doesn't look very comfortable but then again, I'm sure they'd prefer a jetpack to the jeeps they drive around.

Or maybe we should just invest on some of these ourselves.

By Sifana Sohail


Distilled wisdom

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.

 

 

 

 

 

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