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Lizard tales

A friend of mine, a girl, once said, 'if a good-looking girl dares a boy to do something totally crazy, he'll do it. You can bet on that.' What I will bet on is that, many of you know that lizards drop their tails when they are attacked, as a diversion. I wonder if the same thing holds true for their second-cousin-twice-removed, the dinosaurs? Well, I can't envision a brontosaurus or a T-rex dropping their tails; then again, my knowledge of the dinosaurs is limited to the names of either very huge or very vicious dinosaurs. But who cares? They and their problems can go…correction, have gone and taken a hike a long time ago; 65 million years ago if I'm not mistaken. But I'm not here to talk about dinosaurs. The Jurassic Park series is good enough to satisfy the appetite of the average Bangali. I'm here to tell the tale of a lizard and what happened to its tail, thanks to me.

It began with a couple of my young cousins from England, who were extremely enthusiastic about getting hold of a gecko lizard [read: tickticky]. As I'm not much of a tickticky catcher [I doubt many of us are], they conveniently asked another cousin of mine, Ekhlas, to catch it for them, when we went to their riverside village called Fulbory [yeah, I know how the name reminds you of goat crap more than flowers]. As much as I'd love to tell you how much fun it was to swim in Rokti nodi and jump from the back of moving engine boats, I can't, because that isn't relevant. What's relevant is that, there was this very pretty sister-in-law of another cousin of mine and I took, well, kind of a liking to her.

So, back to the story. Acting upon the request, Ekhlas got a broom [actually it was more like a jharu than a broomstick before you start thinking about Harry Potter] and swept one down from the walls. Mustaquim, the elder of my English cousins got hold of it and put it in an audiotape case. Then they were sitting on the sofa, admiring it from every angle. Mustaquim was showing off, almost putting the whole tickticky in his mouth. My cousins as well as the girl, who temporarily had my heart, were laughing and retching at the same time. I said, as I laughed, 'don't eat the whole thing; you don't want it squelching in your mouth. Eat its tail.' I meant it as a joke. But then the girl goes to me, 'eat the tail then.' Utter shock turned into a matter of ego. I wasn't going to back down from a challenge like that. When I told the story to my best friend, she rolled her eyes at this point and said 'how stupid can you guys be?' 'A lot more stupid. I'm sitting here with you, aren't I?' I replied. A heavy notebook crashed on my head and I saw stars.

Anyway, there I was, with a lizard tail and the smiling face of a beautiful girl in front of me. So what could I do? I took the tail and pulled it into two pieces. Then I took the unwashed, raw, smaller piece of tail and, feeling utterly disgusted inside but with a smiling face on the outside, I ate it. It was rubbery and chewy but didn't have any taste. I think it tasted kind of like Gillyweed [if you are not a Potter fan, ignore this sentence]. But the spectators didn't believe that I ate it. They said I dropped it from my hand and pretended. So I took the second tail and showed them as I put it in. My original disgust had evaporated. It wasn't too bad. No sooner had I swallowed, people started running from the room for the bathroom. You know why. My English cousins were laughing their heads off. They, after all, had grown up watching fear factor. My best friend, however, looked at me with total disgust and said, 'there goes your chance of kissing me, ever.'

My best friend then asked me what happened later. She said, sarcastically, of course, 'did the girl come running into your arms thinking you are so braaaave?' 'Nope. She kept vomiting for fifteen minutes,' was my prompt reply.

Anyway, all you people who want to send me lectures about dinosaurs, hygiene, animal cruelty [did you know that lizard tails regenerate?], howlers about how disgusting you think I am or how not all guys are like me [that makes me unique, see] or agree with me that men are sick, gross, etc, well, you can forget about mailing me, cause my boss doesn't think I should publish my email address just yet.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique

Recipe for a movie, a.k.a. Bangla cinema

1. 50 kg of impoverished “Hero” with dark skin and fake blonde hair, and chest hair more than that of a sheep.

2. 120 kg of affluent “Heroine” (as in a female), with multiple rings of cellulite around her waist.

3. One part mother of “Hero”, not older than 20 years of age, with multiple streaks of white colour on her hair.

4. One part of Villain (father of “Heroine”) with eyes bulging out, shoulder length hair, and “paan” in his mouth and teeth.

5. 20 to 25 Muscular “Side Kicks” of the Villain

6. 50 to 80 back up Dancers in eye sizzling fluorescent clothes

7. Two kg of Foundation

8. One kg of lipstick in shades like purple, blue, red, silver and gold

9. “Whiskey”, a.k.a. a mixture of coke and sprite

10. A hand full of Sand

11. A Garden full of fake plastic flowers

12. An empty warehouse

13. Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Cover the Heroine with 2 kg of foundation, and lipstick in a mixture of blue and silver. Place her in her affluent home's terrace with the sun facing her face to melt the foundation and lipstick and bring her out in sweat.

2. Dress the “Hero” in tattered clothes and place him by the roadside opposite to the Heroine's house where both can get a clear view of each other.

3. Make both the Hero and the Heroine wink at each other by gently blowing sand in their eyes, thus creating a connection.

4. Make them mime out their cell phone numbers and make a date.

5. Dress the Heroine in an eye popping magenta flouncy dress with a puffed up sleeve and the Hero in an Elvis inspired white jumpsuit with chest open to show off his sheep-like chest hair. Place numerous amounts of fake gold chains around his neck for best results.

6. Place both of them in the fake plastic garden and make them play hide and seek between them. In a jiffy, throw in the backup dancers and make all of them perform an energetic dance routine of throwing themselves in the air and waving their hands and legs like they're swimming in mid air.

7. Make the Hero pick up the Heroine and spin her around like crazy. The recipe does not work without this step.

8. Make the father of the Heroine, a.k.a. Villain see them dancing around, thus popping his eyes out further.

9. Command the “Side Kicks” to kidnap the Mother of the Hero and leave a note behind, instructing the Hero to rescue his mother from the empty warehouse.

10. Make the Mother scream out, “ Choudhury Shaheb! You killed my husband twenty years before, and my son will seek revenge!” Make the Villain whip the mother after making him drink the “Whiskey.”

11. Bring the Hero and the Heroine over to the warehouse, making the Heroine scream out “Baba!” when she sees the Villain.

12. Engage 20 of the sidekicks in a fight with the Hero who single-handedly beats all of them, throwing them in the air with a “Bhishwaiip” sound effect.

13. Make the Hero beat up the Villain with the Heroine cheering him on. Once he is half dead, make the Hero introduce the Heroine as his wife to the Mother.

14. Start up a song and make all of them dance, including the sidekicks and backup dancers.

15. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

By Sumaiya T Ahmed

One moment more

I have come to anticipate the aroma of freshly ground coffee mingling with the buttery fragrance of oven-fresh cinnamon rolls the moment I walk in through the swinging doors. It's the usual 11 o'clock crowd. A mother-daughter duo sits by the door with a collection of shopping bags at their feet. A man lounges at one of the carrels at the back of the café, head phones and laptop all ready. No one looks up when I walk in.

I walk up to the counter and order my usual cappuccino. Then I snag the nearest table for three. I feel no guilt; the café isn't going to fill up until the after-school crowd hits the streets, so for the next couple of hours I'm safe. But I can't relax. Something jars my thoughts.

I say 'something', but I know very well what it is. It's not the velvety quiet, the muted tones of the other patrons and the serene whirring of the coffee machines. It's not the soft strains of Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' playing over the loudspeakers. It's the fact that I'm sitting in a coffee shop and it's a lovely September day outside and it is uncannily like the first time we met.

The café here doesn't serve crushed cookie frappes, but I can still remember the taste of them. That's the first thing that you and I ordered. We sat at the back and talked at the top of our lungs, and we didn't get up until we ordered seconds and thirds. The bill was more than anything you and I could comfortably afford, but I doled out my share without a word. So maybe I came down with a sore throat that day, but I didn't regret it one bit.

It's funny how we always came back to the same place-the same table, the same chairs, the same drink. The one time you ordered a freshly-squeezed orange juice I didn't forgive you for a whole hour. That was the vilest orange juice I'd ever had the misfortune to taste in my life, but the fact you were there to laugh as I blanched and gagged on the pulp made it bearable. That was the day you ordered sugar and napkins just to get on the waiter's nerves. I was appalled. You were amused. Together, I'm surprised the manager didn't deem it necessary to make us leave.

And now it's been a year and then some. The crushed cookie frappes and afternoons spent holed up in that one corner of our favorite haunt are long gone. The cappuccino that is growing cold by my elbow tastes infinitely better than the ice laced with coffee we were used to. The air conditioning is better, too. There isn't a lot of noise, and I'm pretty sure we could spend the whole day here without raising a single eyebrow. An overly excited young couple hardly stirs local gossip. Here, it's a different world.



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