Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


The week in re(ar)view

Looks like a rocket so it must be
Police recovered 29 "rocket projectiles" from Arambagh in the capital on 8 August and arrested three persons. You would be mistaken if you thought these three people were NASA scientists who took a wrong turn 3000 miles past USA.

In a press release, the police said the "rocket projectiles" have likeness to explosives. The likeness was possibly the pointy shape. In that case, students walking around with pointy pencils beware. Police might suspect those to be 'rocket projectiles' too.

A top official of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said, "It seems to us that the projectiles are not so powerful explosives." His deduction was concluded following the fact that there were no black-and-yellow nuclear stickers on the devices.

One way to examine the power of these explosives would be to hit them hard with something. Or light a fire. Or push the red button on the bottom that says “Boom”.

Several teams of intelligence agencies primarily examined the rocket projectiles and posed for photographs. Head scratching continues.

Turn for the worse
Unaccounted land filling means disappearance of water bodies. This in turn confuses the rain water that finds no place to run to. This in turn leads to severe flooding all over the country. This in turn leads to lack of clean drinking water. This in turn means diseases. Currently more than 35,000 people are suffering from diarrhoea or what we in the business like to refer to as “Oh $@#%!” This in turn leads to more land filling albeit with stuff you wouldn't want land to fill up with. And this in turn causes you to turn to the next page.

Voter ID finally
The Election Commission (EC) on August 11 finally started off the voter list (yet again). This time it will have photographs and act as national identity cards. The whole shenanigan starts from Rajshahi

Of course, all this opens up a new avenue for making some mullah or what regular people call 'cash'. Election Commission needs computers for the voter listing job. A tender was floated for 8,000 laptops. Now that's a lot of fancy hardware.

A Singaporean company lodged a complaint that their offer met the specifications and also undercut the winning bid by Tk 7.80 crore. You don't need to be Einstein or even Einstein's distant cousin to figure out that that is a good deal. The technical evaluation committee (TEC) however outright rejected the allegation that anything shady was going on.

Apparently, we have rights
The European Union (EU) on August 8 expressed satisfaction at the "clear indications of improvement" in human rights situation in Bangladesh. We read it with a somber expression. And the we laughed hard. For three days.

The new fox in the old henhouse
M Saifur Rahman, who served as finance minister for 12 years in various terms until October 28, 2006, has legalised more than one crore taka by paying Tk 31 lakh in tax and penalty. This is the man who would launch into tirades against how this country is suffering because people do not pay taxes. Apparently, when his turn came to pay, he forgot. It's forgiveable because when you have a lot of something you may just forget it is really there. Think of space. There is so much you never actively think of it until Star Trek reruns show up.

And funnily enough, NBR is allowing the legalising of his undisclosed money. Former prime minister Khaleda Zia also grabbed the chance and legalised Tk 1.33 crore by paying Tk 33.87 lakh.

By Mood Dude and Gokhra

Give me some thing good!

I sat on my friends' bed and stared at the articles scattered around her room. I asked myself: 'Would I have ever bought these things?' By 'things' I mean that stuffed pink teddy bear (which is NOT at all cute!), the hideous showpiece with two pigeons making a heart shaped something…should I go on? I stared at my friend open-mouthed. She misunderstood my reaction and happily asked, 'Don't you think it's the cutest thing a girl could ever get?' I was too shocked to speak. Poor girl was covering up for her boyfriends dreadful gifts. That was the last straw.

Can't guys get us girls nice things? Fine, I'll stop tearing my hair now and help you out. Yes, that's why I'm writing this article. To tell all you guys out there what to give your girl, that too within that low budget of yours! Well here is a list of things you can get that too within THREE hundred bucks. No kidding!

1. Jewellery: Yes, it may sound lame, but we do like getting jewelleries as gifts! It could be earrings, necklaces, rings, anklets, even jewellery boxes…name it and we love it! But tacky things are a big no no. Well, that can be taken care of. Within a budget of 300 bucks, you can get some nice stuff from Aarong, Jatra, Banglar Mela etc. If you don't want to go for the top notch ones, then even the shopping malls have great stuff.

2. Sandals and Bags: I would love it if someone gave me a pair of nice sandals! Bags would be great too. It could be purses or even school bags. It's not bad really because looking at the bag would remind me of my guy every time I went to classes. Where to get them? Well you can get some gorgeous sandals at Elephant road that too within 250 taka. You can get the same sandals in shopping malls, but at a higher price. And about bags and purses, if you have the energy, take a trip to Chandnichawk/New Market and you'll get plenty of choices.

3. Books and Stationary: If your girl is a book lover…then bingo! You've got an amazing place to buy her a present: Nilkhet. If she really is crazy for books and crazy about you too (hehehe), then she'll not mind getting second hand books as a present. But if that hurts your ego too much, then you can still buy loads of first hand novels within your budget.

Other than books, different types of paint (if she's the artistic type) or diaries are some other options you can go for.

4. Stuffed animals: Yes, I know I mentioned before that giving away stuffed pink teddies are awful gifts. But if it is a really cute cuddly stuffed puppy, then whoever will say no to that? You can check out places like Archies and Hallmark, but I'm afraid you won't get too far with the budget.

5. Toiletries and make-up: Shampoo's, body spray's/body mist, face wash are all things we girls use. We buy them every month anyway. So it would be really great if someone bought them for us instead. As for make-up, eye shadows, lip gloss, mascara- are all good. Most girls love make-up. And within 300, you can purchase any one of these things from Almas, Priyo etc.

6. DVD'S and CD'S: You could get your girl DVD's of the television series she loves (The O.C, Simpsons, Friends…or even movies). If not that, if you are a really devoted boyfriend, make a list of all her favourite all time tracks and burn them into a CD. You might think it's cheap, but she'll find it to be a very sweet and thoughtful gift.

There you go!

By Nayeema Reza

Laff lines

A Missouri farmer passed away and left 17 mules to his three sons. The instructions left in the will said that the oldest boy was to get one-half, the second oldest one-third, and the
youngest one-ninth. The three sons, recognizing the difficulty of dividing 17 mules into these fractions, began to argue.

Their uncle heard about the argument, hitched up his mule and drove out to settle the matter. He added his mule to the 17, making 18. The oldest therefore got one-half, or nine, the second oldest got one-third, or six, and the youngest son got one-ninth, or two. Adding up 9, 6 and 2 equals 17. The uncle, having settled the argument, hitched up his mule and drove home.

The lady rules
My Dad and I were talking the other night about love and marriage. He told me that he knew as early as their wedding what marriage to my Mom would be like. It seems the minister asked my Mom, "Do you take this man to be your husband."

And she said, "I do." Then the minister asked my Dad, "Do you take this woman to be your wife," and my Mom said, "He does.”

"Mom," said the little girl, "Is it alright to say you are going to water the horse when you are giving him a drink of water?”

“Yes," said her mother, "that is the correct thing to say.”
"Well then, I'm going to milk the cat.”

On the Streets

It was 9:45pm. The end of an extremely hot day. After running all over Dhaka all day, I was glad that my final journey from Banani to my home in Uttara would be at the back of my Mum's freezing, yet comfortable car.

Stuck in the usual traffic jam at Kemal Ataturk Avenue, the usual beggars came up and banged at my Mum's window. After about one minute, however, something outside caught my eye. It was a dirty, be-ragged woman who, nevertheless, still seemed quite young. She had a tiny, equally dirty baby in one arm. In the other arm, to my amazement, she was carrying three copies of a very familiar book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I stared. Those copies were obviously illegally photocopied versions, which could (after some bargaining) be bought for 200 taka if not less. But to see a starving mother with a starving child trying to sell the book which I myself bought for 1,545 taka was, until then, beyond my imagination.

I did not know what to think. As the car moved onto the main road, my mother said, “See? Even beggars know the value of that book.”

By Iftikhar Azam



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star