A Pet Rock: The most useful pet in the world
By Munawar Mobin and Bareesh Chowdhury
Let's start with some honesty here. We are not well loved. Girls sneer at us, kids run from us; dogs howl like they've seen the devil. Or devils. Whichever. Since there's such lack of love and unjust hostility, we decided to take refuge in Mother Earth, who loves us no matter what. Unfortunately, she only has rocks to give. So it was rocks we took. If you are one of us with a pet rock, then you know how we feel. If you are not, then here's why our rock is better than your scratching cat.
You might wonder how a pet rock might actually be of any use in terms of a friendship. Think about it this way, we don't have sane/normal/any friends. In cases like ours, a person and a pet rock can become great friends as most not sadistic/evil/suicidal pets eventually become! It never complains, is a great listener and never tells us how stupid we look talking to a rock. Rocks are immensely caring. They're always there, unless you throw it away, in which case it will wait patiently for you to come back and retrieve them. Also, you can open up a Facebook account for the pet rock. This is why we have one more friend than zero.
Activities made interesting
Remember in Spongebob, Patrick had a pet rock which he entered in the snail race? It was called Rocky. It won the race. No? Well, the point is that games become more fun when your opponent/ teammate is a rock. From board games to games played on grass, rocks can really be challenging. Football with a rock is tough, they tend to trip you and hurt you when you are barefoot.
They prefer two things out of all of the things you love to do. Go to rock concerts and play tag. Playing tag with a rock is especially fun when it's your pet rock playing. If someone tags him/her, pick him/her up and aim at the nearest player. That's how we lost the only other guy who hung out with us.
Rocks are silent, harmless creatures who love everything and everybody (except playing sports which they excel at). They can get away with anything which other animals generally cannot do. You can thus manipulate your way through life by using your rock as an excuse when you screw up. And it will never hate on you for using it and sending all the blame its way. Where's your homework? My rock ate it. Why are you late to class? My rock went to play outside in the backyard and I was looking for it for half an hour. Why did I find cigarettes in your drawer? My rock thought it was cool to smoke, mom! What happened to your eye, young man? My rock and I were watching Rocky last night and we got a little excited. Tried and tested, folks.
Cheap and Easy to take care of
Want to get a dog or a cat or a turkey? Those things cost a fortune at Katabon, and the wild ones are never as cute and near impossible to train. Rocks on the other hand, are free, abundant in the wild, equally cute and always very well behaved. They don't need much in terms of caring, just a bit of your love, some water for a bath now and then and some grooming objects like a brush. They don't eat much, they don't poo on your furniture, and they're perfect pets. Much easier to convince mom and dad to get a rock than an Alsatian.
No emotional breakdown at death
Dogs die. One of the writers suffered the tragic loss of his 12-year-old dog about two years ago. You never have to worry about that if you have a pet rock. Rocks live far longer than humans, and chances are the pet can stay in your family until your lineage dies out when the aliens attack.
No rocks were hurt in the writing of this article. However, the same cannot be said about the sanity of these writers. Good day. Rock on.
First taste of independence
What our regular writers had to say
They do say a lot.
When I was about ten, my mother had a car accident and as it happens with these things, she began hating public transport. Thus, when I was first allowed to take the bus to Dhanmondi seven years later, I was eager to be off. In that moment, sitting in the bus amidst the odour of sweat and the pungent smell of petrol, I felt truly independent.
Independence is when I woke up using the alarm clock instead of having my mum yell at me in the morning and the first time I made breakfast by myself (it was just deem bhaji, but still). Other than that, I live in a bubble.
Independence was when my parents refused me the car and told me to take the bus instead. During Ramadan.
Independence was doing the most retarded thing Shaer suggested and coming out alive.
I have not, as of yet, ever felt independent. Except for may be when my mom agreed to let me dye all of my hair red with bright pink highlights.
The roads were unlovely, long and filled with creeps. But when I managed to reach a house, all by myself, harried and waving a page that had a useless address written on it, I knew I was ready to take on the world.
When I asked my parents if I could put the pet cat in the microwave and they said yes. I didn't though. That's how independence works.
The first time riding my bike without training wheels was independence
The first time I went far enough out to sea so that the shore was a distant horizon - the feeling of independence was overwhelming, as well as the amount of energy required to get back to aforementioned shore.
Also when I got my first mail; made me realise I was a different entity.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
"No one who can rise before dawn three hundred and sixty days a year fails to make his family rich."-Chinese Proverb
How are some people so much more successful than regular folks? What makes Bill Gates, you know, Bill Gates? Why do some people live for a century and what do good sportsmen do that takes them up among the all-time greats? We've all asked these questions at least once in our lives. Sure these people work hard, but so do a lot of others. There must be something that sets them apart; helps them achieve their goals. In his second book, 'Outliers', Malcolm Gladwell seeks to find the story behind their success.
Gladwell starts his book with the Roseto Mystery, where Italian immigrants of the turn of the century go on to live a much longer and healthier life than their European counterparts. Further into the book he talks about the now famous 10,000 hour rule, the adversities that geniuses face and the pivotal role that one's ancestry plays in success. We are made to think that hard-work and willingness to accomplish dreams along with a teeny bit of luck are the things we need to achieve a goal, but there are many other forces that predetermine an individual's success.
In telling the back story of Canada's best hockey players, Gladwell focuses on how critically important their birth-months are [don't worry, it's got nothing to do with horoscopes], in the stories of the Silicon Valley geniuses (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Joy) we learn how they were given opportunities that people rarely ever got in their early years. It's not that those people were not driven and hard-working, but they've also had exceptional luck.
Outliers is one of the most talked-about books in recent years, for different reasons. It's one of those books that make your head explode with information, but it also draws some pretty rash conclusions. The statistical evidence and the writer's crystal-clear writing method adds to the list of pros; but sometimes it feels like he's rationalising failure by making success look like a coincidence.
Whatever you choose to believe, there's no denying that Outliers makes for an excellent read. Highly recommended.