Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Max Mystel

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. You hear it a lot and chalk it up to just another one of those old sayings. But if you let the minor speed bumps of life demoralise you from going after what you really want, then where would you be?

Is it worth it, to regret the one life you get to live?

Max Mystel went after what he loved, despite everyone telling him to let it go.

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Fuad Hussain a.k.a Max Mystel, was never really into schoolwork and studying, the young boy was more in to his magic. He loved the world of illusion and yearned to be a part of it. Seeing his first card trick from a school friend, Shafayat, Max begged to be taught the trick that had left him amazed and fascinated with the art of magic and sleight of hand.

Living in Saudi Arabia and not having any resources except a deck of cards, Max used the only tool he had at his disposal the Internet. Online he discovered a site called Ellusionist.com and from there, he learned his very first trick, the 'Ambitious Card' or 'The Shift'. He went on to learn 14 different versions of this trick and to this day, uses it in his professional act.

He struggled when it came to acceptance from his family about his gift for magic. His parents, like a lot of other buzzkills/funsuckers out there, wanted him to focus on his education believing that a good education was the key to a happy life. When they'd discover cards on him, they'd throw it away to discourage his passion. But all that just seemed to make Max more determined, “the more decks they threw away the more decks I bought and still kept on learning and showing it to my friends at school,” he says. During his first show in school, his parents even bribed him by buying him all his props provided that this is his first, and last ever, show.

Max eventually went to London to further his medical education and it was there that he fell in love with London's street theatre.

Being a 'newbie' in the streets of London town, Max went exploring on his days off and came across the heart of street theatre in Covent Garden. The array of different acts from living statues to jugglers and magicians were not only fascinating to watch but it seemed to give him a new lease on life. “It was almost like I found new life and this was a place where I could probably start to live my dream,” he says.

Now Max, who's been practicing his craft for 12 years, is in Bangladesh revolutionising what we call magic. Lets get real, magic for us means guys in shiny suits with doves and rabbits and milk coming out of a kids ears and wands turning into flowers. It's certainly not how Max does it with his hilarious shows. He blends in comedy with his magic and leaves the audience holding their sides in laughter. For him it's all about the showmanship, he believes that a good Showman can even make a bad trick look good.

He's been very popular since he got here, so if you haven't seen a Max Mystel show, then get off your behind and go to the nearest one you hear of. Above all, Max's journey is an inspiration. To those out there who may not be book smart but may excel in other things, don't let the man get you down. Follow your dreams, and remember the Adidas motto 'Impossible is nothing'.

For more information about this talented new act go visit his website http://www.maxmystel.tk or check out his show reel at http://www.youtube.com/user/maxmystel or just Facebook him!

By Musarrat Rahman

Forbes most powerful

FORBES recently published their list of the most powerful celebrities in the world for 2010. Who made the list? Read on.

1. Oprah Winfrey- The largest earner in the entertainment industry, she has her hands in pretty much everything -TV show, magazines, radio channels, movies, books, you name it. Plus, she actually gives back some of her earnings to society to in various charitable donations (her estimated wealth stands at around $315 million). When she announced that her show was in its last season, housewives around the world must have burst into tears. That's how powerful she is.

2. Beyonce Knowles-The gorgeous diva can make the list on looks alone, but it's her astonishing singing prowess that's earned her a place. A pay check of a very cool $87 million and her budding relationship with the ageless JayZ has given her the powaah.

3. James Cameron- One word: Avatar. One huge paycheck: $217 million. Enough said.

4. Lady Gaga-Why oh why? Just because her songs give life to a party doesn't mean she has to be one of the most powerful celebrities, does it? Apparently it does. With dubiously titled songs like “Eh Eh Nothing Else I Can Say” (me neither) and “Poker Face” (poker her face and gouge her eyes out) she managed to earn $62 million.

5. Tiger Woods-A surprise inclusion to say the least. It makes sense though; Tiger hasn't pulled out of anything in the last five years, so why stop now? Props to the manliest man ever to play golf, and may he find the right woman again without sampling too much.

6. Britney Spears-If you don't know who she is, stop reading RS and go back to living under your rock.

7. U2-Probably the longest running band ever. Despite being around forever though, they still haven't lost their unique way of making music. Bono alone could have made the list but it's U2 as a whole that truly defined alternative rock in the late 90's.

8. Sandra Bullock-She bullied her way into the list (har har har) with her Oscar win for “The Blind Side.” The highest paid actress with $56 million in earnings, she also has the class factor that tramps like Megan Fox lack.

9. Johnny Depp-The swashbuckling pirate of Hollywood looted the treasure chest containing his $75 million paycheck. Let's just hope he doesn't go into Edward Scissor-hands mode when picking it up.

10. Madonna-Another mega star in the music world and the highest paid one at that. Again, if you don't know who she is, go live under a rock.

By Shaer Duita Fish Reaz

Chanachur: A Review
(Or more like an 'Honest Introduction to Quality Chanachur')

BANGLADESHIS love chanachur. It's THE snack food for us. In fact, as far as national foodstuffs go, we should vote chanachur ass our national snack. And why not? Our chanachur is special. It isn't the weird sweetened type you get in India (so much for Bombay Sweets), it's exactly how we like it- spicy, crispy and nutty. Some people would think our love towards chanachur as off, but we can always point towards the English and their tea mania.

While getting your chanachur has evolved from roadside jhalmuriwallahs to large and flashy convenience stores; there are only a few brands of chanachur that are worth talking about:

Ruchi Jhal Chanachur/ Ruchi BBQ Style Chanachur:
Despite the horrible advertising, Ruchi is the face of modern chanachur everywhere (you read that right, 'modern chanachur'). It is easily available and cheap sizeable Mini Pack comes at only 6 taka. Spicing is proper- you don't see people with eyes watering and holding Ruchi packets. Probably the best thing to comment about Ruchi Jhal Chanachur is their generous amount of roasted peanuts. If you are the nutty kind, then this is your chanachur dream come true. Every handful of Ruchi Jhal Chanachur has a noticeable amount of peanuts and make munching away a whole lot better. However, this also means bad news for those who think that chanachur should be devoid of peanuts. This writer does wish to point out that those people aren't true chanachur fans to boot.

A new flavour offered by Ruchi is their Barbeque flavoured chanachur. It's the same Ruchi chanachur, but with a whole new zing, or as Ruchi proclaims, “a brand new smoky, BBQ flavoring for the perfect BBQ party”. While most of this writer's fans and fellow chanachur fans would disagree over Ruchi's flavour choicing; but hey, you got to admit that the idea's pretty smart.

Pran Chanachur:
For people who are bored of Ruchi chanachur and looking for a break in flavour, opening Pran packets would not be a very bad idea. Pran's just as easily available, but their flavour needs some serious work. You would think that chanachur from a food giant like Pran would be spectacular- sadly it misses the spot. The taste is very unique, but perhaps only a bit too much.

The spicing is amiss too. You are left with this flaky and hot feeling on your tongue after every mouthful, and this thing has a mixed opinion, so it's risky to answer definitively. Not to whip this off on such a negative note, Pran chanachur is not without its pros: as mentioned earlier, it offers a decent (if not too decent) break from Ruchi and so provides ample time to munch away and compare flavours for you to find whether Ruchi should really be there or not.

Jamai Bou Chanachur:
If we ever had a Best Buy award for each of our reviews printed in the Rising Stars, then yours truly would have been inclined to give it to Jamai Bou chanachur. Sure the naming is very unconventional, but the marketing gimmick is great, what with Jamai Bou songs blaring from loudspeakers. Jamai Bou is the chanachur that every self-respecting jhalmuriwallah uses with his jhalmuri. It's simple, but the very simplicity of the flavour and spicing complements the jhalmuri and is great even without the jhalmuri. What really is surprising is that hardly most people know how awesome Jamai Bou really is. Spicing is great, and so is the generous amount of crunchies you get for your buck. Most jhalmuriwallahs are not very open about what chanachur they use, but Afsar, who sells jhalmuri at Dhanmondi Road No. 8, right outside Dhanmondi Tutorial and Viquarrunisa School, helped us answer this question about their chanachur.

So there you have it, three of the best chanchur available, reviewed. Sure, you might think that what possibly could be the difference between any chanachur brand at all, but just don't be caught saying that to an aficionado. You will regret your decision.

By Wahid T Khan



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star