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Weird Olympics 2008: Dhaka Edition

The recently concluded Olympics showcased the breaking of many records, old and new. It was a chance to break records and make records by sheer determination, athletic ability and the presence of something special. But some records can't be made or broken in any Olympics because of their nature. And such is our fascination with the weird that we have envisioned the Weird Olympics 2008 Dhaka Edition, in which 'athletes' attempt to break weird actual records set by weirdoes from all over the world. Welcome to the Weird Olympics.

1. 100m Cool Race- Our first event will be the 100m race, except competitors would have to run barefoot and on 100m of cold, icy ice and try to wrap up the race before 17.35 seconds. That is the record set by Nico Surings of Netherlands, who completed full 100m on ice, barefoot in just about 17.35 seconds. The record was set on December 28th, 2006 and this is one mark that even Bolt would've difficulty beating. I bet the Tibetans are going to clinch this one.( Dalai Llama on the run, in Tibet, icy mountains. Get the joke for God's sakes!) This first event will definitely test endurance and perseverance levels.

2. Collecting Our Garbage- The next event would be the one where everyone has to collect paper and plastic bags. The current record is held by Heinze Schmidt-Bachem who has collected over 150,000 bags and paper since he started way back in 1975. What made him start we don't know for sure (lunacy?) but this event would surely help clean up our city at minimal cost. Hey, that could be the only reason to stage the Weird Olympics and this could pretty much be the only event. We are betting on a Bangladeshi for this one. This event requires stamina and a belly that doesn't become upset easily.

3. Die Again Die- This event is a tricky one. In this event we will see how many times a person can die. That is correct, you read it right. This event is all about how many times a person can die. The record is held by Derek Jones, who died 31 times, aged 55, during the year 2006. He is still alive and exactly what this record means or how it is possible to die 31 times, still eludes us, we thought it would be a pretty cool event. No clear favorites, but the Japanese are pretty tricky in living long. What ability this event requires, also eludes us, by the way.

4. One Hand Clapping- Don't ask me how its done, but for our fourth event we chose this, as this not only requires manual labor but also a hell lot of mental effort, so as to figure out exactly how this can be done. Of course there is a one minute time limit and you can always peek and see how the Indians are doing it, who always quote the quote(duh) where you can't clap with one hand in all their serials. Ironically the actual record is held by Navneet Singh of India, who clapped 248 times with one hand under one minute during the show 'Shabaash India', taped on 23rd July 2007, in Mumbai. Obviously, we shall root for the Indians in this one, since only they know how it's done. Oh yea…

5. Chat Chat CHAT- For our last event we decided to test the saying about too much of a good thing. In this event participants will be required to sit in front of a computer, isolated from their teams. Each team will have 4 members and they will all be separated from each other. The task is to keep chatting with each other, non stop and those that can do it the longest will be the winners. We have no clear cut favorite in this one, as everyone loves to chat, so this'll be fun. The current record is held by a group of Australians, who chatted for a cool 104:12 hours, from 4 to 8 September 2001. Wonder what they were planning…hmmmm. Anyway, this'll be a blast, a boring one at that.

All those events will conclude the Weird Olympics 2008 Dhaka Edition. Hopefully at the end of the day there will be more records, more joy and more laughter from all over the Asian world. Of course the first edition just can't have countries from outside Asia competing. It's a sort of quota thing, which makes the event managers feel important and stuff. Hopefully everyone's looking forward to our dream of such an event ever materializing because when it does, we guarantee fireworks ( and wide-scale protests, hoping to get us banned). Let the games BEGIN!

By Osama Rahman

Whatever happened to musings?

Since when had it become a taboo to muse in public magazines? Where was I when they made this law? By “they” I obviously mean people in general, not my editors, of course. If I can write all those melodramatics “essays” on my MSN messenger “nick” and leave it for everyone to see, why can't I do it here?

Every few hours, my nicks would change from something like “Clear up this head, right now!” or “One day you realise all of this isn't worth it anymore!” To something like: “Oh I know what you mean, I get it now. I'll remember it next time!” or my recent favourite: “Sometimes you just want go like 'hell with this world! I don't care any more' and then you remember you have to wake up next morning!”, with a little sub-nick “I won't go to sleep anymore!”

I'd have gone on “blogging” like this in the miniature space provided forever if Someone hadn't come up at just the right time and pushed the “pause” button on my forehead and made me realise that I thought “in exclamation marks”. I went back and checked. Someone was right. I DID think in exclamation marks. Everything was just so blown-out-of-proportion for me!

For one weak defensive moment, I changed my nick to: “I know it now. It's ALL because of the hormones.” Yes, blame it on the hormone, I thought. A little more frankness from Someone and a few perspective-of-life changing words later, I got to know I was melodramatic; I needed to desperately slow down, and that I got overexcited too easily and de-motivated even easier. I also got to confirm I wasn't handling my last few teen years pretty well and that I really, really, really needed to go to sleep.

“Look at you. You're a mess! You're hiding out in msn and advertising all the melodrama through your nicks' you kids make life so complicated. Will any of this matter 10 years later?' Someone said. She was right. It wouldn't.

It was 4 am in the morning, with me still full-swing-high on the coffee I'd made earlier (which, by the way, I make excellently, thank you very much); and I was made to experience one of those epiphany moments, the ones after which life is never quite the same any more.

Suddenly, the reason why I'd been so melodramatic wasn't so important any longer. The point was, I was being too difficult on myself, and I was loosing sleep over it. I never lost sleep over anything before, but there I was, being stupid. The point was also that I was getting some real candid life-counselling for the first time in my life, even though the person giving it probably wasn't even realising it at that moment.

I had realised my problem, and I wasn't going to let go until I found something to start fixing it with. So I asked “What should I do?”

“Start with getting some sleep; then slow down. Learn to prioritize and then learn to balance, you need balance. And if you're at you're worst, it can only get better from here, Butterfly.” Added Someone affectionately, the way older sisters (the ones who are not really relatives) do. It was a short, simple, and bitter-sweet sentence, having layers of hidden meaning, easily noticeable if one looked close enough. And it was all the answer I needed. I quickly ate my Sehri, and prepared to go to sleep. Even though I had to wake up in a couple of hours, I still got that sleep.

But I didn't forget to change my nick: “Note to self: Slow down and get a life (a normal one)”. No exclamation marks.

By Nuzhat Binte Arif


The elevator was closing inch by inch, and on the other end of the floor, a boy was running like the wind. He had a lift to catch, after all. Can he make it, or can he not? The other occupants of the lift were watching with indifferent curiosity. A lift is a pretty boring place anyway, so any spectacle will do- especially something that has an element of mystery in it. Will the door bang on his face or will he get in? In anticipation, no one bothered to press a button and hold the lift for the boy.

The boy slid into the elevator in the nick of a second. The door closed with a metallic thud, and all was well again. The occupants of the elevator all breathed secret sighs of relief, and went back to their indifferent lives.Said boy (who shall, since he has not yet been introduced, remain unnamed for the rest of the story) was now panting and gulping giant lungfuls of air. You know, lactic acid accumulation, lack of oxygen and all that jazz.

"Hey, how are you?"
Said boy opened and then closed his mouth again midway and looked around to try to find out who was asking him, if she was indeed asking him, the question.You know, it's pretty difficult to talk to thin air. He spotted a girl on the opposite end. She was wearing a rather weary look and he was surprised to find she was asking him the question. They hadn't had a decent conversation in months. He answered her, and returned the question. She answered the question and the lift fell silent again.

Then they both simultaneously tried to grasp at the straws to find a topic of common interest. They exchanged words, sticking to safe topics and having a conversation that skimmed the surface and didn't veer to dangerous territory. At one point he didn't get what she was asking and asked "Pardon me?" She inwardly laughed a sad laugh of realization. He was actually asking her to repeat the question so politely when they had always been used to chafing each other previously? Formalities make you funny.

The lift stopped at the fourth floor. He got down and said goodbye. The lift closed once again with a metallic thud. She was getting down at the sixth floor, you see.

What great friends they had been. The idyllic childhood friends always pulling each other's legs (and sometimes quite literally too). Theirs was the sunset and the "friends forever". Friendship was all they wanted.Then of course things changed, as they do. He became more interested in playing football with the guys while she was confiding in the other girls who had become her friends as they both headed towards adolescence.

And then came minutes like these. The two minutes cooped in a lift with the sometimes-smelly-sometimes-fragrant and silently intruding crowd. Minutes when two people both tried to break the ice that had inevitably crept up between them, for strangers they had become from friends. Minutes that showed a glint of their dissolved world which had forged a bond of "friends forever" and then disappeared again like the mirage.

Silence reigned. The girl wanted to get away from the memories- away from the lift which had, just seconds before, tinkled with the awkward conversation of two friends trying to reforge their friendship;but the ice had only been thawed at the surface when life called. It was too soon and too late.

"Sixth floor"- the mechanical voice in the lift announced. The girl reassembled her belongings and trotted briskly away.

By Anika Tabassum


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