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Ye Olde Cup

THE World Cup inspires immense levels of mass hysteria, mass paranoia, mass nutcase-ism and a lot of other mass things. Mass being the operative word. Everything happens en masse. Why, you might ask, do people go mass crazy for a single ball? This writer can't say. He considers himself to be not part of the mass… mostly because he supports Arsenal. Mass happens in churches too. Why??!?!

Anyway, since, the opinions of the masses matter, such as Chelsea fans claiming rights to awesome, which this writer knows for a fact to be pure drivel, awesome cannot be quantified in terms of Chelsea, if you were wondering, (this is a long sentence, and I'm still writing it), the RS decided that the things that egg the masses on must be worth perusing.

Like World Cup commercials, or any football commercial to be precise.

Nike: Write the Future
Nike is known for making great shoes, over expensive T-shirts, and paying Michael Jordan more than Malaysia's consolidated GDP.

The ad starts of with Drogba speeding along with the ball while hapless Italian defenders watch from the background. If one were intelligent, one would question why no one seems to be properly defending against Drogba. Well, the answer comes soon. In the form of Cannavaro, who executes of those awesome reverse back kicks that only happen in the Nike universe (this kick is always executed in every football ad every filmed).

What ensues next is a series of football stars coming along and showing off their respective skills. That's not what makes this commercial awesome. What makes this ad awesome is that right after the said player plays his two cents worth, they show a clip of him imagining what would happen if he were to help his country win the Cup. A very artistic, whimsical commercial, and it has Homer Simpson.

For an in depth review, one that actually bothers to look at such things as cinematography, direction, lights and other such things, we suggest you take it up with Ronaldinho. We figure that's probably why he was included in the ad. We mean he's not in the final 23, but he is in the commercial… we can't really explain why.

The Magic Time
The Magic Time is one very cool commercial. Why? Because it's a montage, an amalgamation of all the best things to ever happen in the World Cup, set to some very zulu warbeats, which also happens to be the theme song of the World Cup this time around.

This ad is awesome, mostly because it doesn't allude to Federer losing to Rooney at table tennis (like the Nike ad did). Depicting Federer as the loser is wrong and against the rules of time, gravity and the universe in general. Federer cannot lose.

Other than that, it's a great commercial if you want a four-minute summary to the colourful history of the World Cup.

History of Celebration
Coca Cola brews an awesome drink and with their penchant to making people feel good, they've come up with a commercial that is surely bound to make you feel good too. And it would probably make you want to drink Coke, as well.

The History of Celebration shows a series of goal scoring heroes, dancing to their own rhythm, right after scoring a goal. While watching men in shorts getting jiggy with it is undoubtedly fun, this ad is unique because it shows how the whole dancing celebration started. It started with one Cameroonian Roger Milla, a very courageous man who decided that the only way to truly celebrate a goal was to get down and swing his three left feet.

World Cup 2010
It's one those ads. Yes, the ones that have a lot of people, probably a whole city's population, who decide to dance. A lot.

And I realise that I may not be doing justice to this commercial. While it sounds to be another song and dance musical with a few balls thrown in to connect it to the World Cup, it's not. It's pretty exhilarating and actually makes you wish you were in South Africa to watch them kick it to K'Naan (that's not the song featured in this commercial by the way).

While Youtube is hosting such great videos, ones that make you want to emigrate, Bangladesh hasn't exactly been quiet. We may not have come up with our own commercials depicting streets kids in Puran Dhaka doing the Joga Bonito, we have done a few things to make Drogba look better. The new Pepsi ads which feature Kaka, Messi, Henry and Drogba with some awesome war paint on, are somewhat disturbing. For one, why are they so angry, and why do they seem to be looking at me? Especially Drogba. What's he want?

We still have a week to go before we can watch Slovenia take out England, we can at least sate ourselves and watch Kobe Bryant copying Ronaldinho. Oh wait, that's not gonna help.

By Tareq Adnan



Book Review

The Sari Shop

BUYING a sari is almost like a sacred ritual for people in this Subcontinent. If you're a female, and this is your first time, it is a rite of passage that separates the girl from the woman. If you're a man buying one for that special woman in your life, your very relationship may hang in the balance. The sari vendors can help you make or break the deal; if you get one who takes his trade seriously, he, like those armourers of fantasy will find one that is perfectly suited to your needs and preferences. If you're unlucky enough to fall in the clutches of the common mercenary, he will make off with a steep profit, while you're left with buyer's regret.

Rupa Bajwa takes us deep into the colourful, sensuous world of the sari shop, where hopes and dreams, the mundane and the magical are tucked into the pleats of the sari.

Set in Amritsar, it follows the life of Ramchand, an assistant in the Sevak Sari shop. Every day for him, is like the one before, featuring demanding customers, the same old dynamics between his boss and his colleagues, the odd fantasy about his landlord's wife, and the utter feeling of listlessness that sets in his bones when evening falls. The wedding of the daughter of a prominent businessman comes with a large order for the Sevak Sari store, and in going to make the deliveries, Ramchand is bitten by the bug of ambition.

Eager to throw off the shackles of his humble existence, he embarks on a mission to educate himself and pull himself out of the drudgery of the ordinary. Fate has a few other things in mind, and suddenly, his life, and those of others around him, turn horribly awry. To find out how it all ends, you must, of course, read the book.

Bajwa makes a departure from the masala reads that many of her contemporaries seem to favour. You won't find the redundant recipes, the odd raunchy scene, and the plunge into magical realism that is commonplace in many stories of this genre. Although the novel deals with different strata of the Amritsar society, with a reflection on the clash of the classes, it doesn't get excessively political. The Sari Shop is at once uncomplicated and thought provoking, and will keep you turning pages throughout.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



Nano Tales

There lay the Green and Blue, so serene a combination. The Green, ever so lively, reaches far beyond sight, trying to blend with the Blue. But in vain does it attempt. And then the Blue itself comes down, letting the Green touch it, finally. And there they lay: the majestic line; the far horizon; the fusion of field and sky…
By Umama Akhtar Turna

A distant buzz paves its way into my ears through the stale morning air. I hear voices beyond the depths of my silent consciousness, annoyed of what it was doing to my poor ears. The telephone rings, I groan, I struggle to get it. The telephone line crosses my way and as always... I trip. And there goes my morning.
By Noha and Razi

Chips? Check. Cola? Check. The cell-phone was charged and ready, for bragging pleasure. The pizza steamed in its cardboard box. The girlfriend had been sufficiently stocked with sweet nothings and earnest promises, and wasn't likely to call. Time to enjoy the match.

The figures on the television screen were replaced by static as Electricity decided to take another break.
By Sabrina F Ahmad



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