Death At Ten Kilobytes per Second
Ever felt that being on the internet was killing you? And it did? Here's a homage to such martyrs.
Act 01: The Judge
“Guilty!” The jury roared in unison. The huge crowd gathered in the impressive courtyard nodded vigorously in approval.
“Guilty,” the judge nodded, his hands shaking in apprehension: never before in his 40 years tenure as Judge had he presided over the trials for a crime of this huge magnitude. The verdict would have to be an equally remarkable one. He looked at the young man surrounded by the Law Enforcers. He looked confident, even smug at times. The Judge's lips curled. “So young,” he thought. But it won't change his decision; his crimes are unforgivable. Justice must prevail. He cleared his throat.
“In lights of the evidence presented in the court, the jury and the panel of Judges are of the opinion that your crimes against your nation, your country and humanity itself is beyond any sympathy. This atrocity ought to be punished such that no one ever has the audacity to repeat your actions.” The crowd was becoming restless. The Judge paused and took a deep breath.
“We hereby sentence you to 50 years of Outrageously Slow Internet Connection.” The smile vanished from the young man's lips; he looked horrified. The crowd started to clap and stomp their feet on the floor. The noise drowned the young criminal's whimper for mercy.
“Take him away. The court is dismissed,” the judge finished with a final blow of the hammer.
Act 02: The Jailer
In his whole life, the jailer had never heard of someone being punished to Outrageously Slow Internet. It is something he had heard only in his infancy when his mother tried to scare him to sleep. As he grew up, he deemed it to be just another myth, like growing horns when two heads collide once or growing trees in your stomach if you swallow seeds. He looked at the prisoner in wonder as he walked through the corridor to his cell.
He felt no sympathy: just disgust. How grave a crime he had done to deserve this punishment, he can only wonder.
The first few days the prisoner just sat brooding on his bed, never touching his Web Interface. The jailer watched his special inmate with interest: he could never comprehend how anyone could live even one day without browsing the Infinite Wide Web.
On the seventh day of his imprisonment, the prisoner poked around the Interface. Whatever information he was looking for, took nearly an hour to begin loading. He cursed and turned it off and slouched to his corner. But not for long. One cannot simply deny using the Infinite Wide Web.
The jailer took a bite off his sandwich.
Act 03: The Prisoner
The agony! The blinding pain! The horror!
The white in the empty loading bar on the down-left of the browser scorched the prisoner like a convex lens under the sun would do to an ant. The blank page felt like millions of sharp blades cutting through his skin in slow, deliberate movement. The soft humming sound of the processor felt like thousands of nails scratching the blackboard making the painful screech. His own breath felt like salt on his scratched skin; until he couldn't almost breathe. The white of the page stabbed him in the eyes. The tiny blue pointer that goes round and round signifying the 'busy' state, low-kicked him in its every cycle.
He is filled with rage. He presses on his lips. His face muscles move dangerously. A vein on his temple starts throbbing as he watches on. His hands start shaking. He clenches and unclenches his fist. But his rage isn't subsiding at all. It is increasing.
He tries the old method of counting backwards to calm himself as the loading bar displays slowness rivalling the slowest of the snails.
“10…9…” he begins. By the time he finishes at zero, only the name of the webpage had loaded. He closes his eyes in frustration. He starts counting down from infinity.
“Infinity….infinity minus one….infinity minus two….”
Act 04: The Loading Bar
The loading bar laughed silently as it watched the prisoner pulling on his hair. Blood trickled down the side of his mouth. Froth began forming. The prisoner looked like an ugly beast. The loading bar decided to play another prank on him.
Final Act: The End
The Jailer rushed to his special inmate, his scream still ringing in his ears. But it is the silence that followed which worried him.
The Jailer found his very special prisoner sprawled in front of the Interface that said,
“Network Connection timed out because the server stopped responding.”
The humourless prank of the God of the Information Age. And the buffering never stopped.
(Dedicated to the broken souls of the internet users trampled by the very Unfair Usage Policy of our ISPs. We feel ya, bro.)
RS street-smart guide
Introduction to creepiness
Let's face it. It has happened to every one of us. One moment you are minding your own business walking on the road dodging manholes and crow-poo, the next moment you notice a Mofiz serenely staring at you with a smile like you just landed here from Mars. In another scenario, you just went to the veranda to inhale some 'fresh air' at midnight, and your eye catches your neighbour who seems to be observing you with great intent, maybe a little too much. Dhaka is the most densely populated city in the world by a long margin, and people are EVERYWHERE. There are so many people that we even turn people into bus sits whenever we get the chance. Look closer to the tree outside and you find a guy sitting there. He probably knows when you sleep.
The Ultimate Creep: 'cause you know how spiders walk
Creepiness runs through our veins. Surprisingly enough, a lot of us still can't deal with the nosy bunch around us and countering creepiness with acting even weirder doesn't always come to our mind. RS brings street-smart in small doses.
In case of those who just cannot stop staring at you, we got a solution. We should give them a reason to stare at us. Start singing a Hridoy Khan classic or a song from the new Shakib Khan blockbuster. If you don't know any of them, start with 'Aguner gola', which never fails. Sing aloud, make eye-contact, and try the monkey dance if you can. Best results acquired if you are a guy and your audience is a guy as well.
Kids. In the streets they look at you funny and cry, making you look like the bad guy. They are strange and scary, and the best defence is to scare them before they attack you. If you are a girl, cover almost half your face (except the eyes) with a scarf, try to depict the cheledhora you were terrified about, and just roll your eyes a couple of times. It doesn't matter whether the kid thinks you are crazy or not, it has the scary effect either way. Try to keep the interaction at a minimum, this way the kid will be too shocked to react, tear-wise.
Facebook-hunters, people who dig up five year old photos should be dealt with by commenting on their old photos, and 3 year old comments. Comment on everything they do. Use block letters and exclamation marks. LOTS OF THEM.
On the over bridges people poking you to go faster? Stop. Turn around, let them go and then poke them to move faster.
Practice these from our street-smart guides, and maybe you'll learn something. If the accidental 'dholai' from the public gets to you, you'll still learn something new. Please tell us what that is.
Good luck embracing your inner creepiness.
Kusum-kumari Losing Weight
Film-buffs worried sick
Entertainment correspondent (Jawad)
Humongous star of the Bangladesh Film Industry, Kusum-kumari, has been losing a lot of weight recently. Once the elephant in the industry, Kusum-kumari now is just a shadow of her former self. “For a cow of her size, I will ask for 1.5 lakh but will settle for only 1.2,” informed experienced film-critic and hardcore fan of Kusum-kumari Mr. Latif Byapari, also an expert at selling cows on and off during the Kurbani season.
The sudden weight loss of the big star came as a surprise to many. Diet specialist Mr. Beshi Khan said that this is just an effect called Short-term Weight Loss. On the other hand, renowned philosopher Fakir Kala Mia sees this as an aggression of foreign culture on our own. “Those skinny foreign models in the television are influencing the women in Bangladesh to lose weight. This is in absolute divergence of our culture,” he expressed indignantly. Hero Piaz expressed his joy at this occasion saying how he won't have to lift that much weight up anymore. The latest news from the director's den is that they are thinking of banning Piaz until he apologises for his atrocity.
Kusum-kumari's contribution to film has been huge and his most recent “Red Dot” attracted critical acclamation. We from the entertainment desk wish for the full recovery of her stature.