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i-Phoney Products

Apple's product development team always gets it right. MP3 players, phones, laptops, anything Apple makes seems to be a hit. The Chinese, influenced by Apple's success, has come up with “replicas” of popular Apple products and it's about time our very own Jinjira got some of that action. I-deas anyone (pun intended)?

i-Rickshaw: Not to be confused with someone hailing a rickshaw (as in “ai, rickshaw!”), this innovative Apple product is going to be loaded with apps that makes rickshaw rides more enjoyable than they already are. It shall look like an iPod, only The Circular Disc That Controls Everything on regular Apple products will be replaced by a rotating rickshaw wheel, complete with spokes and all. One app will measure the g-forces experienced while on the rickshaw, and another will determine the correct rickshaw fare by measuring time after the rocking and heaving starts, along with input from how tightly the device is squeezed as the rickshaw puller navigates the potholed streets of Dhaka while throwing the passenger into panic attacks.

i-CNG: Essentially, the product will be the same as the i-Rickshaw, only it'll have a touch screen (thus mimicking Apple's brilliant strategy of differentiating the i-Pod, i-Touch and i-Phone) and will be coloured green instead of the usual pearly white. It will also have an additional app that will scream and shout at the CNG drivers and leave you the supreme master of i-CNG, at peace when it's time to pay the exorbitant fares. It will NOT, however, play music. Look to the next i-Dea for that.

i-Pirate tunes: It's not necessary for the owner to actually be involved in MP3 piracy, but it will help in better synchronisation with this extremely useful product. It will look exactly like an i-Pod, but will have a black patch covering half of The Circular Disc That Controls Everything. It will have an alert service that will go beep whenever a newly released (pirated) MP3 hits the World Wide Web-which is to say, it will have to go on beeping forever if its current location is in Bangladesh. Users can download and play music as much as they like, and we can promise you it will be just as confusing and messed up as i-Tunes.

Mac-doc Pro: This extremely thin and very handy netbook sized full laptop will be a god-send for doctors in Bangladesh. It will have apps detailing every single weird, messed up sicknesses ever to befall a Bangali, and will have a very complicated algorithm built in that predicts what “new” disease our slum-dwelling, filth loving Dhakaites will gift the medical world. Who made up that quote again - “an Apple a day keeps the doctors away”? Hell, an Apple probably saved your life and all the doctors did was diagnose you with what our Mac-doc Pro read out.

i-Tab: Not very similar to Apple's actual Tab, but a useful (!) product nonetheless. It will record all your dues and put it on your “Tab”. Whether you have Bakis at your local Mamu'r dokan or own an alarming number of credit cards, the i-Tab shall record all. It will put Chartered Accountants to shame with its accounting prowess while managing to look hip and cool. It may teach you would-be accounting students something too.

By Shaer Duita Phish Reaz

A Graveyard Tan

Today, I looked upon the sun and was blinded. Today, I plucked up the courage to stand before a mirror, but not before I had resolutely closed my eyes. There, before the glass, I imagined my face, its contours, and its colour. I imagined the face I was born with. Then, without once looking, I wept.

Day One: Eye for an Eye
The experiment left behind a viscous paste on the Petri dish. It sizzled slightly and I smelled burnt milk. For a second I felt like Jekyll in his lab, poised on the brink of immense possibilities. So I did what Jekyll did. I used the cream.

They told me later, when I finally came to, that the neighbours on the ground floor had heard my screaming. The medic left my face covered in gauze, with one eye open. I entertained thoughts of the One Eyed King, then gave in to the pain and slept.

Day Two: Surface Wounds
I woke up itchy. The sensation was of innumerable ants tracking their paths across my face. The gauze I think was disagreeing with my face. I looked in the mirror and slowly began to peel off the temporary skin the medic had given me.

What I was greeted by was a patchwork of whites and darker shades of brown. The experiment it seemed, had worked, relatively. I decided to add a few new things to the formula. To make it burn less.

When sun took its leave, I felt like Jekyll again. The leftovers on the Petri dish this time smelled vaguely herbal. Vaguely alluring. Did Hyde do this to Jekyll too? Speak through tubes and chemicals, whisper nuances, egging him on?

Jekyll pulled a monster out of himself. What is the worst I could do after all? I smeared the cream across my face, ear to ear.

Day Three: Over the Hills
Boils! There were boils over the bleached, stark map of my face. Like snow capped mountains across an expanse of pristine white. But I wasn't angry. My face was white.

A minor complication, boils. Compared to the burns, this is more easily remedied. My landlord took a step away from me at the stairwell and nearly fell. His cringing aura was the first of many to follow. Later on, he came to my door and told me to leave. He thought I was catching. As if. Beauty is never so easy.

The chemical smell of my lab soothed my mind. A few added drugs would balance the formula. I would have my Hyde at last. But not a Beast. There would only be Beauty in this story.

Nightfall found me tinkering with the beakers and the experiment. The texture had changed, it was now more orange than white, nearly medicinal. It was cold to the touch and colder still on my face.

Day Four: Purgatory
All day, all day and I still haven't managed to balance this new complication. Bleeding. As if the blood underneath were rebelling and refusing to accept the change. Beauty it appears is not skin deep.

I ignored the feeling of needles violating my skin. I told myself it was only the mind that was playing tricks. Somewhere, outside, a dog barked and to me, it sounded like Hyde, laughing at me and my failures.

I took to the shelves, looking for answers, taking out book after book. I went through the pages with my bloodstained fingers and left pieces of me behind. I wonder if the writers had bled as much to put those words on paper.

The dog barked exactly twelve times at midnight. I took it as an omen. I stepped away from the table and mopped up the seeping blood from my face. No more experiments, no more trials and no more research. Que sera sera.

Hyde laughed.

Day Five: Blood Will Tell
Leper. I entertained images of lepers. Out of necessity I had covered my face in gauze; bandages that had red blooms like fresh spring flowers, ready to be plucked. Sometimes beauty is in the ill. Why else would the feverish possess such beautifully flushed faces?

I have to focus. The lab now smelled of sweat and failure. Almost asking for reprieve. The bench groaned as I sat down, the weight of my ambition apparently too much for it. But I'm too close to give up now.

I worked through the day, and outside the women talked of Michelangelo. I worked through the night and the barking dogs, ignoring Hyde's laughter. What had Jekyll done?

Putrid green paste formed through mixing blood thickeners. Would even Jekyll do this? I know I am going to. This will have to do.

This time, I am truly afraid. This time, I feel like a coward.

Day Six: The Centre Cannot Hold
The bleeding has stopped. My face in the mirror is now one web of veined lines, refusing to heal. Like ice floes broken by some giant beast; floating on dried blood. I can't feel my face.

This is the one last step, but I feel that I am not up to it. It has cost too much. I ventured outside, my first foray in days. Thankfully I met no one on the stairwell.

The uncaring multitudes on the streets, those who ignored me because they had lives, they comforted me somewhat. But I noticed the children. Curious children who look, who stare, who cringe. A little one ran from me, screaming of demons.

I came back to the lab. It is time.

Day Seven: Ascension
Today, I looked upon the sun and was blinded. Today, I plucked up the courage to stand before a mirror, but not before I had resolutely closed my eyes. There, before the glass, I imagined my face, its contours, and its colour. I imagined the face I was born with. Then, without once looking, I wept.

In my hands I hold the last tube of the fairness cream. My courage has left me. This time, I can't bear to try it on myself.

Hyde is perfected, but not for me. I am Jekyll, I am the Beast. I have wounds enough. Let Beauty be someone else's.

By The Gruesome Statistic and The Awful Fact
(Title taken from the lyrics of Audioslave)



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