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The Urban Serengeti

The Discovery Channel exclusive, Mysteries that Don't Need Much Solving but We're Still Doing It for Kicks, sets out today in possibly one of its most ambitious undertakings; to observe and record the myriad and complex courtship rituals that the Human Male and Human Female engage in, in their attempt to secure a mate.

In their natural habitats, watching the Male and Female take part in their rites is a rare treat for the average scientist, shunned as he is from these circles. He does this at a great risk to himself, for if he is discovered, his own chances of ever propagating his own line is reduced because of the claim of Voyeurism that will be brought to bear upon him.

Dear viewers, the images that will now be broadcasted are unique for they are the first of their kind. The Human Mammal is unique in the world of mammals because it is the only one that regularly deploys its courtship rituals, which usually doesn't bear fruit and yet it has somehow managed to overpopulate the planet.

Continuing, the first thing to be noted would be the slight differences that exist in the methods of courtship. To begin with, let us start with the more numerous and less dangerous to observe Human Male:

The Male Routine:
In terms of preparing itself for the long and lengthy process of finding the most compatible Female, the Human Male employs certain cosmetic enhancements, although not as much as the female. For example, in the company of other Males, it would not bother to groom its facial hair to an acceptable degree nor would it bother overmuch about the crumpled-ness of its clothes. For courtship purposes however, the Male pays undue attention to certain aspects of its appearance, such as olfactory hygiene.

Once the Human Male sets out on the quest of finding a willing Human Female, it follows certain tried and tested techniques. One of them is similar to the routine of the lions and wolves, hunting in packs in the hopes of catching… bigger… prey. Numerically speaking, of course. Individually speaking there are three basic approaches every Male engages in. They are:

The Sensitive Approach: This is a lengthy process as the Human Male attempts to paint itself as soft and caring, by performing numerous superficial acts. They might include going to view a musical such as Cats and raving about it, speaking at length about fears and inhibitions the Male invents on the spot, professing a liking for such foods as tofu and green bean salad. Using this approach, the Human Male attempts to fake a feminine side of himself in order to establish a connection with the Female which he can later exploit. It is quite like the possum playing dead but instead of discouraging predators it encourages Females to take an interest.

The Romantic Approach: This approach demands a certain level of melodrama from the Male and only the most confident ever try this. It involves the Male donning a preset persona that has been certified to be appealing to the Females. He engages in long poetic epochs dedicated to the beauty of the Females, practices improvisational flattery and won't stop at merely targeting one Female in any human gathering. This approach requires a certain panache from the Male and is more akin to the angler fish dangling a light to bait its … prey.

The Fake Commitment Approach: Certain Males engage in long and lengthy processes that involve faking commitments to attract Females to them. Where the Romantics use their razzle-dazzle and the Sensitives their vulnerability, the Fakers use their overall charm to convince the Female that she has in fact, found The One. This process is yet to be properly quantified and needs more in-depth study to comprehend its more subtle manouevres. Suffice to say, the Male, through a process of fakery and too-bright smiles, convinces the Female that his expiration date is going to last forever and ever after. Like a space monkey that's only there for the occasional ride but won't really help much.

The Female Routine:
Like the Male, the Female too pays attention to appearances but in the Human Female's case, appearances play a major role. Female scientists claim that this superficial ploy is mostly because of the Male's inability to comprehend the beauty within, but such studies are still unfounded. The Female consequently will spend a sizeable portion of its energies in creating the perfect outlook, from groomed hair to the painted toe nails.

Similar to the Male, the Human Female will enlist the help of its “girlfriends” in its courtship endeavours; however unlike the Male, who uses friends to bolster his chances, the Female uses her friends to discourage the unattractive Males from approaching. Other than that, the Female too has three basic approaches to snagging prey:

The Listening Approach: Once the Human Female has found a likely target, she will approach the Male in question and cunningly engage him in a conversation that lets him do the talking. It is to be noted that while the Male doesn't much care about the intelligence of its preferred partner, it is of paramount importance to the Female. Too little intelligence would mean boring and too much would mean a problem. It is through this act of Listening does the Female determine compatibility. This Listening also serves to bolster the ego of the Human Male because the Female will actively pretend to know nothing about anything. This approach is singularly unique in the whole animal kingdom and when observed is a rare treat for any scientist... and also rather annoying.

The Sultry Approach: This technique relies on razzle-dazzle. The Female will attempt to draw as much attention as physically possible. She will constantly make eye contact with any Male in the vicinity, engage in walk-bys beside the more likely ones to attract their attention and generally attempt to dazzle with her beauty to better convince the Males. This approach is not uncommon in the wild, although in the Human Female's case she will have to whittle through quite a lot of rabble before she finds a matching Male.

The Friend Approach: Using this approach, the Females that require a long term commitment from their partners seek out likely Males and attempt to strike up a friendship with them. It might require extensive preparation from the Female in terms of getting acquainted with sports and cars in order to get cozy with the Male. She does this in an attempt to slowly mind-bend the Male in liking her over a long period of time. This fake platonic approach is unique in the animal kingdom as well.

Observing the Human Species living its strange life and in its strange ways, one has to wonder if his predecessors struggled this much for love, back when humanity still had bigger brains. For this episode though, we end this exclusive here, even though the voyeur in you was expecting something… um… more.

By The Frog Formerly Known As… Frog.

Deutsche Welle

Germany's international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle (DW-RADIO), has been broadcasting in Bangladesh since 1975, but it was in 2010 that it signed a partnership with Bangladesh Betar to transmit over the national FM network. A countrywide promotional contest was held in conjunction with the launch of the Bengali FM service, where a few questions were asked over the radio. Answers were accepted via SMS, e-mail, as well as online, and the contest ran till December 10th, 2010.

On the 31st of January, DW announced the winners of the contest. Farhan Khaled from Dhaka won the grand prize of a BDT 121,000 motorised scooter, and the three runners-up each received a BDT 8,000 iPod Nano. Despite it being a nationwide contest, all winners were from Dhaka. The prize-giving ceremony was held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon. The Coordinating Editor of the South Asia Department was present, and the event ended with a short speech thanking Bangladesh Betar and some excellent refreshments.

Talking to the winners revealed a surprising amount of interest by young adults in DW-RADIO. One runner-up, who rents a small apartment in the city with two friends, states the obvious: “When there is no electricity, as happens very often in Bangladesh, there's not much to do other than sit back with the radio. Sometimes the songs on other channels get boring, and tuning in to some international news is a welcome change.” This BBA student from City College has an interesting story of misplaced luck. He couldn't tell yours truly what question he answered, or even what answer he gave, for the prize. The news of the contest spread through his friend circle, and the majority of them just typed in the answer they were told was correct (C) and sent it in via SMS. Farhan Khaled, on the other hand, actually knew the answer. He is now planning on going on a romantic rendezvous with his wife, as soon as he gets his license for the motorbike.

On a more relevant note, DW-RADIO broadcasts international and local news, current affairs, interactive quizzes and other small features relating to youth and campus, health, women, culture, music, science, environment and lifestyle trends in Europe. DW-RADIO/Bengali can be heard daily between 8:00 to 8:30 am and pm via Bangladesh Betar's FM network: 97.6 MHz in Dhaka, 105.4 MHz in Chittagong, 105.0 MHz in Sylhel, 102.0 MHz in Khulna, 105.0 MHz in Rajshahi and 105.4 MHz in Rangpur. Online content in Bengali can be found at www.dw-world.de/bengali along with a range of audio and video streams and downloads. DW-RADIO can also be followed on Facebook (facebook.com/dwbengali) and Twitter (twitter.come/dw_bengali).

Considering radio reaches a large percentage of the urban and rural population in this country, Deutsche Welle chose the perfect service to promote German culture in Bangladesh.

By Medha

“Chorer Opor Batpari”

Mugging. It's not a new thing but now-a-days it's kind of in-trend (if you know what I mean). Whether it's a cheap watch or an IPhone to simply cold hard cash; sooner or later everyone gets mugged (unless of course you're one of those Mamma's boys who always has a parent around). So when or before you become a mug-magnet it's always good to have some kind of escape plan or excuse to wiggle yourself out of a tight position.

1) Be Sympathetic: If you're a really good debater or chapabaj or fall under a similar category it's worth trying to act and hopefully your assailant may even be sympathetic towards you. If he demands your cell tell him that your dad's a cancer patient lying on his death-bed in the hospital and the phone is your only mean of communication with him. Try adding that your dad is only a 'government official' and act all poor and desperate (government officials aren't poor these days, ha!). The interesting fact is it worked for my friend while both of us got mugged by a group of seven!

2) Be Silent: You know they often come from behind you and the first thing they say is not a 'Hi' or a “How are you?” but they simply tell you to keep your mouth shut. Well once some random dude came up to me from behind and said, “Keep quiet and give me all you got.” This was my response “Tora amake khali dhoros kan! Ar kaoke khuije pas na!” In the midst of my assailant's confusion I made a run for it. This is actually quite handy.

3) World Cup Fever: Since the World Cup is practically a few days away simply tell your attacker that you have extra World Cup tickets to be spared. Trust me they'll be on their knees begging for them.

4) Turn Religious: It is very diplomatic to go for a religious view. Show him the light of the Almighty and pray that it works! Preach him that it is a sinful deed.

5) Suicidal: This is generally taken as a last measure but none the less it often works! Other times you either end up in a hospital or go straight up to heaven. But take your chance! What's life without a few risks and even then a life without a phone is nearly dead anyway.

BTW: This is to inform all readers that the author does not take liability for any moron actually trying these out!

NB: The article based on true experience.

By Abrar Faiyaz Rashid





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