Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 25, 2006


The flood of prosperity s

By Tawsif Saleheen

If I were the President of Bangladesh for one year, I would not only flood our beloved nation with prosperity, but would in fact drown it! I would make astounding changes through out the whole country so that it's prepared to face the challenge of the twenty-first century, i.e. boot-licking the first world countries and begging for more money. I'd make dozens of oh-so-radical developments all over the nation that would rob you off your speech, and make the whole world respect us a lot more than they already do. Dear Citizens, please vote for me.

To start off with, I'd fight terrorism and corruption. I'd free my beloved country from the cruel grasp of terrorists by killing the terrorists of the opposing parties, and hiding the ones who helped me. Then, I'd re-introduce them to the nation as revered politicians. So, technically there wouldn't be any 'terrorists' any more. There would be just dashing public leaders, who'd smile in front of your face and stab you when you turn around. But then, that's what politics is all about, isn't it? If there were any word such as 'politicianism' it might have as well been a synonym for terrorism!

I'd fight corruption with iron-clad hands. The main causes behind the down fall of our beloved Bangladesh are the corrupt bureaucrats. They make a filthy lot of money by bribing the innocent citizens. In order to cut off their dishonest income I'd charge them a greater share from their bribe. The bureaucrats would obviously try to make up for that by bribing the poor people even more, but that's what's been happening in our country for decades, and we really don't care.

Once I am done fighting terrorism and corruption, I'd divert my erudite vision towards the cultural sphere of my country. Lately, a lot of people have been complaining that the movie sector of sweet old Bangladesh is heading towards extreme perversion. I'd arrange a Press Conference, and comfort these sensible citizens that I'm taking care of the issue personally.

Then, I'd arrange a meeting with such movie makers, threaten the living day light out of them, and tell them that I wouldn't let them shoot such vulgar movies unless they pay me twice than what they had paid to my predecessors! That would be a cultural suicide, of course, but yours truly would be making tons of money. As long as that keeps pouring in I, like every other predecessors of mine, wouldn't care what the movie makers are making. If they want to show grossly oversized heroines dancing around in the rain, I'd even pass a new law saying that before every heroine is signed up for a movie she has to be weighed right next to a fully-matured elephant. She can only make it to the movie if she weighs twice as much!

By then, my one year Presidency would be over. However, I'd have a filthy lot of money, and all the terrorists… I mean 'politicians' of the country would be working under me. So, I'll use these two powers to re-elect myself as the President for the next four years. Then I'll continue with the same old battle of fighting terrorism and corruption, and salvaging our endangered culture!

And, I wouldn't care how much people suffered all around. They have suffered before, and they'd suffer in future. I am a Bangladeshi politician, and we Bangladeshi politicians only care about three things: money, power, and well more money! We really don't care about the citizens, let alone the country, as long as we can siphon some wealth out of them.

To us, the people in this country are mare baits to catch a shark called power. So we use them up, and dispose them off. In the end of the day, the people just complain, cry and eventually die. Then, God probably sends them to heaven because they have already suffered hell in my beloved country! Amen.

(Feel free to cast your vote at http://tawsif.hi5.com. Or, be smart and don't bother.)

Ranting Writer's Column: Weird Shop Names

By Reggie

How many ways you can name a shop? Apparently billions, because Bengalis by nature are both imaginative and copy cats- a queer mixture I tell you. But some names are so hilarious that you can only question their insanity instead. I have been pondering this point ever since passing through Mirpur the other day, when I noticed a shop called Metallica. WoooW! Apparently this shop sells spare metal parts. A few blocks away I came upon another shop, called Iron Maidan!- selling wrought iron furniture. Coincidence? I think you credit the Bangalis less with heavy metal knowledge than they deserve.

Putting aside weird musically inclined shops, lets come upon food joints. Only recently have Dhaka been blessed (?) with high society established franchises the likes of Pizza Hut, Helvetia and A & W. A few years back all we had to be content with was our local Pizza Palace. I have never been to Pizza Palace, but I reckon it was ok. However I did go to many other shops having the word “pizza' in their names. Apparently the word Pizza is very famous and is a must-include when naming a shop, even though the shops have probably never seen or heard or say..EATEN..a pizza. (the shop I went, served me nan roti topped with minced meat, with a huge slice of tomato, cucumber, scrambled egg (yes, scrambled egg) and those deshi cheese. Let me tell you, it was a horrible experience. But I should have known because the shop was called Best Pizza. But to get the most fascinating pizza experience, visit Pizza Water, in Shahbagh. Now you may wonder what on earth is a Pizza Water?

And do you want to know how many XFC's are there, where X could be any letter in the English alphabet. Among the FC's I saw and I swear upon the laptop I own:
1) Fortune Fried Chicken
2) Fresh Fried Chicken (fresh?)
3) Yummy Fried Chicken
4) Family Fried Chicken
5) Southern, Northern, Western and Eastern Fried Chicken.
6) Best Fried Chicken (hehe..good 'ol BFC)
7) Broast, Roast and Toast Fried Chicken! (err..the toast was an exaggeration)
8) California Fried Chicken

Go to the food court in Bashudhara to see more of the fried chicken revolution in full bloom.

Ending it all, you must have realized that there are some names which are so interesting that you must see what it actually is. Names like Baton Rouge (exotic French cuisine?…nah) or say Jimbo (sounds good when you say it: JIIIMBBOOO!) and Café Oz are awesome to the amount of curiosity it induces. Other names like Finger Licking is such a major repellent that the last thing you want to do is visit that shop. I mean no offense to the budding entrepreneurs but seriously who do you think would want to come to a shop named Spicy Fingers or Finger Licking? Names are so important you cannot mess around with them. Look at me; I am stuck with being Reggie, thanks to a (well-meaning?) friend, although I am nothing like Reggie.


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