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Less is more

Tareq Adnan: So then, what do we have here for our motorheads this week?
Azfarul Islam: Whatever it is, it's not merely any vehicle. It's a symbol of national pride, of unfettered freedom and something that bypasses race, gender, social standing and wealth altogether. It's beautiful.

(TA): Now that most of you have stopped drooling over the pictures and are wondering the hell it is and what the title stands for, it's time you took a deep breath, and sit down, cause what you're witnessing here, my friend, is a revolutionary piece of technology.
(AI): Couldn't have put it better myself! But hey, the specs are irrefutable proof of our claims. Boasting an acceleration of 0 - 60 in about the same time frame and a top speed far surpassing anything you guys can pull off, this is a ludicrously speedy demon. While the mileage is pretty inferior to most vehicles, the proprietary fuel used for the TwP engine is dirt cheap and the tank itself can hold more content than the volume suggests.

(TA): And all that wonderful content is housed in what can only be described as the Picasso of all vehicles. The contemporary chassis can be customised with a high-quality, weather-proof paintjob. The chrome-plated wheels are protected by tempered Aluminium mud-guards. Aficionados of all things 'bling' can outfit these massive wheels with spinners; spokes are standard. There's a retractable hood that can also be painted; when fully spread, the vehicle becomes a stunning work of art.
(AI): Now, if you're going to be travelling at such hazardous speeds, there's no reason to risk such artistic sentiment. The MUV supports an innovative cruise control mechanism once the gears shift from drive to neutral (N/A for slopes) and a fail-safe contingency braking subsystem utilising both standardised rubber and an abundant natural resource called epidermis. The right-left indicators are a groundbreaking device that has a <1% failure rate and are far more visible than standard light-based indicators.

(TA): Furthering the advocacy for safety, the BD3W is extremely stable thanks to the three-point rear-compensated weight distribution oh-so-meticulously designed by some very talented architects. Robust shock-absorbers guarantee that the vehicle will offer supreme comfort over the largest of potholes.
(AI): The BD3W comes equipped with an innovative CFC-CO-conforming Air-Conditioner that does not require refilling. It is designed for utmost efficiency in the distribution of heat (N/A for temperatures under 54F) and cold (N/A for temperatures above 80F). Tree-huggers will be elated to know that the BD3W has a tested 0% Carbon-dioxide emission rate; fuel usage discharge is in the form of organic Methane (25 - 60%). Ever a friend of the environment, the MUV is constructed purely from recycled materials conforming to the highest quality standards of Jinjira Motors. Patients in fear of cardiac arrest, easily distracted school-children and the general public will be able to hear their own sighs of relief when they find out that the BD3W uses a low-decibel mechanical bell in lieu of an ungainly blaring horn. I've yet to see a vehicle that's so utterly philanthropic. Seriously dude, I could cry.

(TA): Don't. I mean it... just don't. Anyway, the love doesn't stop there. It's got the power and looks as well as quite a number of bells-and-whistles that transform an already sweet vehicle into something luxurious. While only the newer foreign cars have been introducing it, the BD3W offers a fantastic panoramic seat view that allows travellers to truly appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the journey. There's a patented 24-Hour sentient security system that has lead to the BD3W having the lowest grand theft auto figures in the World. For adrenaline junkies, the MUV supports NOS intake for those bursts of intoxicating speed. Sadly, the engineers haven't been able to figure out how to enable NOS when there's no traffic.
(AI): Ah, well.

(TA): The BD3W is a wonderful family vehicle as well. Despite being minuscule in size, it can fit in up to five (5) people. This doesn't include the chauffeur, who, by the way, is complimentary as part of Jinjira's customer care scheme. They think of pretty much everything.
(AI): Indeed they do. So there's pretty much one word that can epitomise the accretion of such technical prowess, avant-garde architecture and raw power....

(TA): Not again...
(AI): Together now...
(AI grinning, TA cringing): [Love]able.

By Azfarul Islam and Tareq Adnan

We need heroes…

“Look up in the sky!”
“It's a bird!”
“It's a plane!”
“No it's…”

Superman? No it isn't. It is a bag full of garbage thrown by a person from the balcony of an apartment house with all his might.

We don't have any superheroes in our country. You know why? It's because there aren't many skyscrapers here. And if there are no scrapers, where the supers will perch on? The highest points on Dhaka are usually the mobile towers sitting atop the buildings. Superheroes don't sit on them; the mobile companies might charge them with whatever reason they think of. And you see the superheroes are very noble, they don't ask for money for saving people: they only work at newspapers where the pay is a little less unrespectable. Also we don't have a large comic-book industry here. America has its own set(s) of heroes. Even the neighbouring India has heroes like 'Agniputra', 'Avoy', 'Shaktiman', 'Sabu' etc. We Bangladeshis also need some superheroes, other than Babu and Somo I mean. But they should also be suitable in our perspective. Let's have a look at some potential heroes:

· Zebra-crossing Man: compel the passers-by to use the zebra crossing.
· Manhole-cover Man: you know, to keep people from falling in the holes during the rainy season.
· Garbage Man: to prevent the occurrence of incidents like the one mentioned earlier.
· Car-hopper Man: during traffic jams, they will be put into action.
· Cooler Man: with his special cooling breath he will cool the air, handy during summer.
· CNG Man: will force the CNG drivers to go to the passengers' desired locations without charging extra money.
· Vejal Man: will keep dishonest businessmen from adulteration.

I could go on for another one hour, but I can hear someone shouting for help. I need to change into my suit. Duty calls, you know.

By Jawad


"Mercury”- for people who study science it's the name of a compound and for most others it's the name of a planet from our Solar System. Actually Mercury is the name of a Roman god after whom the planet 'mercury' was named. In Greek mythology he was known as Hermes. In Roman mythology, Mercury was the Roman god of mischief. He was also the god of eloquence, wit and merchandise. He liked to play mischief on others. Mercury was very clever. He could work wonders because he had a magic wand and a bag full of tricks. He wore a winged hat and sandals. So, he could move from one place to another in a flash. He also carried a 'caduceus', a short herald's staff entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix and sometimes surmounted by wings (also used as a symbol for medicine). Because of his quick wit and eloquence, he always knew what to say and when. Due to his unpredictable liveliness the word 'mercurial' is used to denote a character whose moods change very easily. He wrote speeches for other gods and worked as a messenger, conveying messages to other gods at various places. He was also the god of thieves. But he did not steal anything for himself. If at all he did steal, it was only for fun and he would usually return it to the owner. Even when he was a tiny baby, he played tricks on other gods. Though he was mischievous, he was liked by all gods and men alike. His mercurial character makes him more akin to the humans rather than any divine creature who is worshiped for blessings.

By Nishita Aurnab

To a mother

I heard that you sit on the old crackling chairs
by the black drawn white table flowers
staring down my room with glistening eyes
and firm hands up praying for hours.
I heard when you eat you look at the empty table
reach out for water to wet your dry throat
smile and dream of when I'll be back
for you to serve a bowl to that rowdy corner chair.
I wonder whether you still walk in my room
clean the same drawers, dust the same books
and still stop by that picture you framed of you and I.
I heard you don't laugh as much,
nor scream at your high pitched voice,
I hope you will when I lurch back home
though when I am there I am sure I won't.
I wish I was there to make you laugh at my silly jokes
To clean your eyes when tear drops gather
To help keep your hands up and listen to your prayers
To mess up my room for you to clean with laughter
To hug you and see you beam;
and I beg forgiveness for your every tear drop
and smiles that I did not let you smile;
such as it is, to my mother.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir





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