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The most boring sports on TV

Will you rather watch CNBC than watching two guys endlessly hoiking a ball, towards a hole, while the crowd grunts in approval?

Or would you rather torment yourself by watching the cholesterol enriched BTV news, instead of following a car that does nothing but go round and round in its track?

If the above answers are an emphatic 'yes', then you KNOW what we are talking about. This week, we spent some time finding out the most boring sports on TV. And yes, if you happen to love watching any of them, we do express our sorrow for your pathetic lives... The ranking below has been made from our very own in house weekly pachal, plus some external views & opinions.

5th position: Test matches in the early 90's (and earlier): I still wonder how anyone could have had the patience to watch a test match back in the 90's. Sure there were great players at that time too, but then again, there were people like Gavaskar who made the record of the slowest innings ever. The matches were generally played in the spirit of 'occupying the crease', and so more often than not, they ended in a draw. Add to that the droning commentary that would make the most desperate of insomniacs start snoring in a minute (you will know if you've played EA Sports' Cricket 2002).

4th position: Track and field events: Most of the people we talked to have only learn about such sports if they make newspaper headlines, but till now we could not find anyone who actually follows these on TV. For example how many of you have actually followed the Olympics, all events... and how many of you saw it live on TV when Bangladesh won a gold at the Commonwealth, (or when the athletes ran away). After all, watching people jumping onto sand pits, or lifting weights heavier than Dhalywood heroines, should not be very interesting.

3rd position: Table tennis: Sure it's quite an addicting game when you are actually playing it, but watching people play on TV? No Way! I once came across a table tennis game while skipping channels, and trust me those incessant clip-clopping is enough to send your brain flopping for hours. Not to mention the accompanying eyestrain from following the ping-pong ball.
2nd position: NASCAR racing: We at RS had a heated debate if NASCAR racing should actually take the first position, but one of the dudes actually stood up for it, and so we put it in the 2nd place. If you compare it with other types of racing, say F1, this basically lacks everything that makes racing interesting. According to the response we got from most people, it's all about some colourful cars going around in endless circles.

1st position: Golf : I believe many of the readers have been seeing this coming. In fact, every single person that we asked has agreed that golf is unparalleled, as far as inducing boredom is concerned. Where else would you find two people struggling to put a ball in a hole which is kms away, while the crowd needs to run after every shot is made. The only time ever something interesting happened is when a bird swooped down on the ball, and disposed it into the water.

In addition to the above, we should mention baseball and Tour De France for nearly making it to the list. Last but not the least, the views expressed on this column are of the writers' alone, and RS should not be held responsible for a golfers' strike or anything of that sort.

By Tausif Salim

Book review
Going Postal

After all that heavy-duty spiritualism and scientific autobiographies and what not, it was nice to be able to curl up with a tome of my favourite genre: fantasy. And since all this rain, as beautiful as it is, can get a bit depressing, I was in need of a few laughs. That's why Terry Pratchett was a natural choice.

Going Postal is the 33rd book in Pratchett's famed Discworld series, but stands well on its own. The hero of this piece has the unlikely name of Moist von Lipwig, and happens to be a convicted criminal who narrowly misses a hanging. The Patrician of Ankh-Morpok has him freed and offers him the choice between certain death, and a job at the now-obsolete Post

Office, which this friendly despot wishes to revive.
This not being much of a choice, Lipwig finds his way to the office, with his golem (a living clay gingerbread man with fire inside, go figure) parole officer Mr Pump in tow. He meets up with the three remaining employees: an old Junior Postman who is a bit of a hypochondriac, a young gopher who is obsessed with pins, and an ancient cat, who has…ahem…very fixed habits.

A reluctant Lipwig resigns to the ludicrous duty of restoring this antiquated institution to its former glory, and gradually finds himself caught up in it. Remember how Chandler (of F.R.I.E.N.D.S fame) suddenly discovers his job matters to him? Well, Lipwig has a similar sort of epiphany, and the swindler in him also discovers an opportunity to make some profit out of it. He also develops an interest in a lady by the interesting name of Adora Belle Dearheart.

While he's trying to get the impossible done, there are unseen forces who are trying to undermine him. Will the Post Office make a comeback? Will Lipwig end up like the five other postmasters who died under 'mysterious' circumstances? Read the book and find out!

There's nothing I can say about Pratchett that fantasy fans worth their salt don't already know. The man's a genius, and has a way of marrying suspense and magic to a droll sense of humour that keeps you flipping pages till the very end! Drama, action, laughs, romance…Going Postal has mailbags full of the stuff.

As usual, this book happened to be a gift, so I'm not sure about prices, but I did see a lot of Pratchett titles at Words n Pages, so it should be available there.

Sabrina F Ahmad

Ekattor-er Diinguli

I've rarely read good novels by Bangladeshi female writers. It's probably the vast lack of publicity or my 'shortcomings' in taste that I ended up reading so little by local female authors. Among those very few books, one that has made an imprint in my thoughts is Jahanara Imam's Ekattor-er Diinguli.

This book is a recollection of the Liberation War of 1971. It revives all the pain, sacrifices, miseries, tension and small details of the war. It is basically her personal diary, which she wrote during a period of 1st March 1971 to 17th December 1971. Although it focuses on her personal life and family to a great extent, readers get a deeper insight of the emotions that a mother, a wife and a woman had to suffer during those times of struggle. Jahanara Imam's family was actively involved in the war her son, being a freedom fighter and her husband, a selfless patriot and herself, who sacrificed her son for the freedom of a country and tirelessly helped all freedom fighters. This is the story of courage, of a woman that all of us can look upto with great respect.

The beauty of this book lies in the simple fact that all of it is true. That every incident, every situation described and every emotion put in words have actually been seen and felt by individuals 'real' people who lived in 'real' times. It is indeed a walk down the memory lane of our fight for freedom, and readers are enlightened about both the political, individual and emotional aspects of the war. The smallest of details that is described in the book (never to be found on any ordinary book about the Liberation War) makes this read an extra-ordinary and captivating one. The expressive language and vivid imagery of 'real' situations gives every reader an opportunity to relive the harshness of our struggles in the past and realize how much some people had to sacrifice for what we call 'independence'.

After reading this, my ideas about our glorious past not only were clearer, but my respect for our martyrs and freedom fighters were also considerably increased. I realized that we, as today's generation have a lot of responsibilities that we owe to these 'real-life heroes' and make Bangladesh into a country that these people dreamt of it to be. It's the least we could do, for all the sacrifices and blood they have shed.

Ekattor-er Diinguli is available at most local bookstores for about Tk.130-150.

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya


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