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From the editing corner

Halloween comes up on the 31st, the one occasion that celebrates our love affair with fear. While it's not celebrated much here in Bangladesh, we love our ghost stories, we all love a little bit of scare. It would be amazing to see little kids dressed up as spooks, ghosts and vampires (the regular, dark, non sparkly kind) terrorizing the neighbours. We are all for the 'good terror'. So we offer a smattering of the spooky stuff in our pages this week along with an insight into our very own celebration of fear - the upcoming Eid. Blood, gore, it will be there, the streets will be red.

-- Ehsanur Raza Ronny

The week in re(ar)view

Magic in elections
We believe in magic. Well, we don't because we're cynical and sarcastic and flippant and we've seen that show about magic's greatest secrets revealed. But some people in politics do. They think if you remove a opponents poster from the walls, the opponent will vanish. We wish vanish.

With a few days remaining for Narayanganj City Corporation polls, posters of Selina Hayat Ivy, a favourite mayoral contender among many locals, have been disappearing from different parts of the city.

Supporters of Ivy alleged that Ivy's arch-rival Shamim Osman's cadres have torn up her posters. She's confident she's in peoples minds.

Don't open unknown packages
Nishat, Sayem, Ayon -- class VI students of BCIC School and College, Mirpur -- suffered severe injuries as a cocktail exploded in their classroom. Police suspect criminals might have kept the bomb (cocktail) there sometime earlier and the students just fell victim to their curiosity. Question is, what are 'criminals' doing I a school? Getting an education in case crime doesn't pay?

Talking to The Daily Star at Pongu hospital, Sayem said, “We got to our class on the first floor late and hence took our seats in the last row. When I pulled out the drawer of the bench I found something wrapped in black tape. I took it out and it caught the eyes of Nishat and Ayon. They wanted to see it. All of a sudden the 'thing' exploded in our hands.”

Making money
Police arranged a demonstration of fake note making at the DMP media centre where Humayun Kabir, 35, a ring leader, showed his expertise by making four fake Tk 1,000 notes in five minutes. We make that in 6 months, that too seated near the toilet in the underground parking lot because there is no other space for us in the office.

Kabir has it on his CV that he can print fake US dollars and Indian rupees too. Would you hire him as your financial advisor? No, because he got caught. We can bet you are checking your 1000 taka notes right about… NOW!

Role playing
It's all crime this week. And it doesn't pay unless you're really, really rich in the first place. Police arrested a teenaged boy and his friend at Shewrapara in the city's Mirpur yesterday for trying to realise ransom from his father by pretending to be kidnapped. You'd think they were 5 year olds but no, they were both 18 and 20. Just when we start to think that young people these days are becoming smarter than their predecessors, someone levels the evolutionary playing field.

Police arrested Sajal's friend Mohammad Rubel, 20, who came to take the ransom, and then Sajal from a nearby tea stall. Sajal claimed he was abducted and cried to his father for the money. What he really wanted was money for a trip to India. There's no Disneyworld there, you fool. For that, anything goes.

By Mood Dude

Road to Eid: Cow Tales

Mood: Miserable

I had a dream.

Well, not exactly, but I have always wanted to say that. It made me feel important, like, you know, I can change the world or something. And something really needs to change here, up on this chariot; which is also called a 'terrak' by the way. We have been on the road for a whole day and it has become really unhygienic. It was okay when I expelled the undigested portions of my food (dung), but when every other cow started doing it, it got bad. I guess, cows on the same chariot dung together.

I miss Belle. I had just begun to get closer to her.

Mood: Constipated

The way the chariot runs on the road, the way it shakes, and the way it jumps and suddenly screeches to a halt, is very bad for my digestive system. Last night I had a very light grass (with you-ria in it), and I still can't expel any of the bad stuff. Rocky, the cow with black fur and a mean horn sniggered and mooed at me in an insulting kind of way when I was trying to put pressure on my abdomen. I know, the sight of me squinting my eyes and mooing in a low, painful and mournful kind of way was funny; but still he didn't have to do that. What am I? A jo-cow-er?

I miss Belle more. I almost forgot what her eyelashes looked like. I still remember her three-teethed smile though.

Mood: Excited


We reached Dhaka. The place is called Gabtoli and it is a huge open-roofed stable. There are separate rooms for each chariot full of cows. I got a peg facing the long-necked things. They are exotic. I wonder what Belle would think of them. It would be a nice conversation-starter. I wonder if I will ever see her again.

My absent-minded fantasies were interrupted with the arrival of my neighbour, Rocky, the mean cow. He mooed, “I sell higher to you. People buys me more money. You don't get buyed.” How silly! Can't even string a sentence together. I stayed composed until he kicked me. Then I had a minor scuffle from which I emerged victorious. Taught him a lesson, I did. I am not one to cower from bullies. As night fell, my mind got softer. I even cried and sang a bit about love and Belle. Then I ate some thatch and let go of my inner feelings and solid substances.

The 'haat' starts from tomorrow. Nervousness hangs around us like a thick coat of... er, nervousness. I sleep excitedly hoping to see Belle drinking from her bucket in my dreams.

(To be continued)

By Jawad



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