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Custom-Made T-shirt on the Go

The fashion monopoly for many decades has been t-shirts. Who doesn't like a comfortable t-shirt? You can snuggle into one, attend any event of any sort or just be you. Perhaps recognised as the most “politically correct” attire that suits man (and woman) irrespective of age, t-shirts are truly the coolest thing ever. The deal gets sweeter if you can get your t-shirt custom-made, bearing your statement, however awkward it may be. If you had thought that you can only get t-shirts custom-made from abroad for a freakishly fat price, fear not. Dhaka, being the city of everything and anything, has its own array of t-shirt makers.

The first pick is Surly Spyke at Aziz Super Market. Located on the corner of the 1st Floor corridor, the store has some of the most random and outrageous scribbles on the t-shirts. Black, grey, white or any color - the store can do wonders to your demands. Yours truly got one that has a dude with spiked hair khochafying (cleaning) his ear coupled with the words “pure satisfaction”. Another favourite read “the structure inside is stronger than it appears.” T-shirts on store are available at BDT 190. Prices vary when it comes to ordering your own “brand” given the intricacy of the design, but can range from BDT 250 to BDT 500.

Next up, Overture. These guys have a Facebook page (facebook.com/pages/overture) and home deliver your t-shirts, provided you're in one of the “hot spots”. Their t-shirts are bold, and they can be embedded with your favourite cartoon, music or movie icons, and come in three sizes. Each regular t-shirt is priced at BDT 299 while couple t-shirts can go up to BDT 549. If you're a student at IUB, NSU, IBA, EWU, AIUB or BRAC, t-shirts will be handed to you personally; others can collect it from one of the three pick-up points in Gulshan, Mohakhali or Dhanmondi. My favourite from their lot reads “legendary” the way Barney Stinson phrases it, and boy, it looks good!

Of course, if you're looking to buy t-shirts at wholesale prices, just walk inside Bongobazaar. They have every size, colour and formation you can imagine (or not). Close to Bongobazar, the printers' block can embed your statement or logo in whatever way you want at a relatively acceptable price. However, do bear in mind t-shirts might come in awkward sizes and prints may not last for long.

So, what're you waiting for? Make the world's most acceptable attire your personal label. All it takes is a wicked idea and a bit of Dhaka traffic!

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

When the Going Gets Tough

The years like great black oxen treads the world,
And God the herdsman goads them on behind,
And I am broken by their pressing feet.
-W.B. Yeats, The Countess Cathleen

I am the Clock. The Clock that ticks; that rotates its three mismatched hands and declares Time to the world. And the Clock that grins at 10 past 10. I might be just an average wall clock, but I glow in the dark and I ring loudly when an alarm is set. I am in the possession of a very average boy who looks at me and makes improbable plans.

Like he is doing now. Just a few moments earlier he was frantically going through his backpack looking for his text books and other notes. Well, to tell the truth it was more like ploughing through: I could see his eyes bulging and him getting sweaty all the while his heavy breathing sounded more and more like curses. And some moments before, he had been staring long and hard at a piece of paper for ten full minutes with his hands on his head. I know that look. Exams are coming. And I was ticking.

In my usual silence (okay, semi-silence), I watch on as he clears up his desk, which would've been no mean task for Hercules himself. Bits and pieces of paper, detached pages, butts of pencils, cap of pens, half used (eaten) erasers, dead moths and a whole layer of dust: he clears them all. Then he proceeds to erasing the doodling on his desk. I know better. He is just trying to escape the reality by making himself busy doing these chores. Hey buddy! How much time do you think has passed? You only have two weeks before the exams start - I yell. But unlike the loud and cruel alarm bell of mine, it remains unheard to him. Let him be, I say to myself, he knows better. But apparently he doesn't. He takes out an age old diary from the pile he calls bookshelf and starts scribbling. I know what he is doing. The prospect of failing miserably in the exam has apparently shaken him so much that he thinks making a study routine for the next couple of days will help him. That's a lost cause, mate. But I won't try to shout out to him. I will just sit back and relax and watch where the tide turns. Besides, his face all screwed up in concentration as he pulls off his hair amuses me. I just feel like clocking 10 past 10 every time I even think about it. But I can't. The Time forbids me.

10 minutes later...
After ten minutes of very serious studying and a few barks at his mother for disturbing him in his endeavour, he finally puts down his book and decides to respond to the call of nature. Oh, look at him go. He takes two quick sideways peeks at the book he was reading as he puts it upside down and leaves the chair. And can you guess how long he spends conversing with nature? Nature has to have some serious socio-economical issues to discuss with him or no one takes that much time. LOL (What? Can't a clock like me keep up with the current times?). He mutters something about taking a small break as he looks at me. I know how long he will be out. One hour, at least. I'm ready to bet my arms.

Twenty-two and a half hours later...
The puffed up popinjay is here at last! Welcome your honour! Have you had a nice day? How was your bowel movement? Did you get the results of your class tests? And when did you start frowning? Do you want to start studying yet? Or are you so upset at the injustice inflicted upon your answer sheet to try to salvage some better grades on the next test? Oh, I get it. It's been a tiring day. Of course you'd like to have a nice lie down. Take a nap. It's perfectly fine, you king of Idiots.

Thirteen days later...
What can I say about the last 13 days? He tore down his self-made routine, broke down in tears, banged his head on his table, laughed hysterically (at which point his father had to intervene), snarled and cursed at the stupid teachers that set those tough nut questions and finally got some good, healthy sleep. I was pretty scared one day when he got to some serious studying and jotted down a few lessons. But that was for that one day only. Afterwards he let out a ruckus of laughter and gave up studying and took to prayers.

I am patiently waiting for his results to come out. It will be interesting.

By Ero Senin

Cool Adda

The Place: Under a big mango tree.

Equipment: Pocket knife. Salt in a waterproof pouch.

These days, with the heat and the humidity as it is, it is hard to find a place to chill. The places with the A/Cs in them are either too expensive or too pretentious. So the shade of the mango tree will do.

Topics of conversation can be about the heat, the stink of sweat, the price of deodorants, how the deodorant cans always sound half empty, how life is half empty, etc. etc. You can also spend your time carving out curses to the heat on the tree trunk. It'll be your first step to becoming a rich and accomplished sculptor who can afford his own A/C.

In case of a storm, collect the green mangoes that fall from the tree like ripe mangoes and proceed to having a sour-toothed snack after skinning them with the pocket knife. Use the salt liberally.

As blissful as it all sounds, there are certain drawbacks that needs to be kept in mind. Coincidentally or rather conspiratorially, when the idea of such an adda is approved, you will find that none of your friends have a mango tree. In fact most of them may only believe that Mango is a flavour of some juice. In fact the only people who will have mango trees will be old people who are usually extremely grumpy. And they will not allow you to sit and share the mango tree shade in peace. Threats to call the police and names such as 'aam-chor' are sure to greet you when this old person is around.

Now before you start looking for a 'public' mango tree, remember to be careful. Since most of the city dwellers have no idea what trees in general look like, let alone a mango tree, you may fall victim to a case of mistaken identity and may park yourselves beneath a coconut tree. What's the problem, you ask? Well, the problem is coconut trees bear coconuts, which are heavy and liable to fall on your head. Coconuts kill more people every year than sharks, so that explains a lot.

There is of course one more danger. Crows. If you sit beneath a crow's tree not only will they 'litter' on you, they may also bite off your ears. Or maybe bats do that. Either way, Crows are pretty dangerous.

If all that is kept in mind, then an adda under a big mango tree is truly pleasurable. Best of luck finding one.

By Jashim Babu



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