Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 03, 2011




Lemons and Rust

By Shaer Reaz

When life gives you lemons, drive them hard and fast. Before you go “huh?!” read on.

According to Urban Dictionary, a “lemon” can mean many things. One of those things includes “A term used to describe an ugly, dilapidated beat-up car.” Any old rustbucket bought from a junkyard for a sum of $500 or less is a lemon. Please note that the value is given in dollars and not taka, because in Bangladesh, lemons are regular cars driven by regular people, thus they are called “Toyota Corollas” instead of just “lemons”.

Most people will not see the value of a lemon. The truth lies herein: the fact that a lemon has NO value to speak of IS what makes owning one fun. Imagine this: a guy buys a lemon for $200 by saving up lunch money and working extra hard at wringing extra money from his parents. For $200 he could take his pick from the local junkyard: a 28 year old Buick with a rotting floor but a small block V8 under the hood, a Nissan 240 SX with body panels and dashboard missing but a more or less potent KA24DE engine, or even a 35 year old Mercedes with seats missing and no brakes; the options are endless. As long as it starts and moves with its own power, it's good to go. Anything with charm and character would be better. Need a pointer? Google Alfa Romeo 164. It's the car the Proton Saga is based on, but the original Alfa was an incredible machine, with factory spec turbocharged and V6 engines available. It had a huge appetite for rust and mechanical failures, but the “soul” the car permeated was above rebuke. Jeremy Clarkson claims "nobody can call themselves a true petrolhead" until they have owned one.

Now comes the best part. Since your lemon is already rusting away and half broken, it doesn't matter if you bump into other things. Or roll it over completely. Maybe even light the whole thing on fire and watch it burn with a sense of pyromaniacal glee. Unless you're a bum living in your lemon car, you'll agree the concept is incredibly appealing.

Teens old enough to drive in the UK are especially fond of lemons. Buying a lemon as a project car and making a decent car out of it with a minimum amount of money is sort of a challenge to them. Some even use lemons as a four wheeled and steel bodied skateboard or as obstacles in skate parks.

The most popular application of lemons are as rally cars. There have been loads of “banger rallies” held over the last few years, with the only restriction to entry being the cost of the car: the cheaper the car, the better your chances of getting into such an event. So if you have a valid driver's license and own a lemon/banger car, you can drive it to exotic places, like across the Sahara desert or the Italian Alps, alongside like-minded people driving similar cars. There's nothing like a driving adventure where your only mode of transportation stands the risk of breaking down and crumbling to pieces any second.

Lemons and banger cars received quite a lot of exposure through shows like Top Gear and magazines like Intersection. Top Gear's trio of hosts is notorious at buying lemons with incredible character and charm, eventually wrecking most of them. If it weren't for Jeremy Clarkson and co., some incredible cars like Alfa Romeos and old Volvos would have been turned into lifeless scrap metal. At least they got their half hour of fame on the most watched motoring TV show, and had the opportunity to provide some entertainment to the drivers and audience alike.

So instead of getting useless stuff like Macbooks and iPhones, get a lemon. A rusted Toyota Publica would set you back roughly 80,000 taka. Grab one and start living!

Top Ten Classic Movies to Watch
Before You Die

By Munawar Mobin

We live in a time where a new movie is released every other week and people crowd movie theaters, fill up their hard disks with these movies, or go out to Fahim to get them on DVD. It's as naturally occurring in this life as the electricity leaving every hour in summer. Thus to think that most people do not know what they're talking about when they say that they watch “classic movies” isn't so wrong. So, here is a list of classics (the actual ones) which one needs to watch before he/she dies:

10. Some Like It Hot(1959)
Before you get ideas, this is a Marilyn Monroe movie about how two men experience a mob massacre and run off with a female band. Of course, they disguise themselves as women but they both fall for Monroe's beautiful character and they try to woo her while maintaining their disguises, when other complications fall through. If you liked Ms. Doubtfire, or even if you're normal and you didn't then do watch this one.

9. Schindler's list (1993)
This is before Steven Spielberg got his hands on sci-fi movies. Set in Poland during World War II, this movie is about an industrialist (read: factory owner) Oskar Schindler and how he saves Jewish refugees from Nazis by employing them in his factory. Liam Neeson stars as Schindler with Ben Kingsley as his accountant. If those two or the story isn't enough reason to watch this, I don't know what could be.

8. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
One of Stanley Kubrick's best films. Set in futuristic Britain, this one is about how a young man is jailed and experimented on by the government in an attempt to lower the city's crime level. You know how Tarantino's a bit messed up? Well, this dude is two levels above our friend Quentin. Go out get this movie.

7. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
It was released in the year 2000 and is possibly one of the best films to be made ever since. This movie is a perfect example of why drugs are bad. The message is sent quite nicely as the movie revolves around four drug-users in Coney Island and how they progressively get worse due to their addictions. Oh, and Jared Leto stars in this film along with Jennifer Connelly; also, the soundtrack is known to be nothing short of pure brilliance.

6.12 Angry Men (1957)
This one's about how a disagreeing juror manages to change the minds of the 11 others in a murder trial. This movie is great in the sense that it captures the significance of opinion of a person in just one shot, meaning that other than three minutes, the ninety six minutes of the film was done in a jury room. Also, in 2007, this movie was selected for preservation in the United States as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Tarantino makes the cut here; at no. 5 we have one of his classics. Remember that Black Eyed Peas song “Pump It”, with the really fast and catchy guitar riff? Well, the original's from this movie. So imagine that soundtrack with people like John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Wills, Uma Thurman playing out a story about how the lives of two hit men, a wife and two robbers come together in one big clash. And now, go watch it.

4. The Godfather (1972)
If you haven't seen this, God have mercy on your soul. That's all.

3. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Jack Nicholson never looked as good as he did here. He plays a man charged with rape who is brought into a mental asylum and the entire film is about how he goes around to making tiny changes in his wing, like messing with the head nurse, which gets the other patients to smile and feel better. It's a beautiful film about how simple tasks can liberate people on such great levels.

2. Scent of a Woman (1972)
The movie is about a prep school boy who takes the job of assisting an old blind retired Army Officer. Al Pacino plays the old man who makes the movie worthwhile with his quick remarks and guidelines to life; being blind does not leave him useless as he teaches the kid how to live life to its fullest.

1. Shawshank Redemption (1994)
To this writer, this film is the best in the world and always will be. Tim Robbins's character is wrongly accused of murder and joins hands with the Morgan Freeman, a fellow prisoner. The whole movie goes on in the span of a few years and it's about the bond between the two and how they find redemption through simple human acts throughout their stay behind bars. This will make you cry and get goose bumps simultaneously, every time you watch it. It's that good.

By Shaer Reaz

Q. How did the band name come up?
The name Defy was proposed by our ex guitarist and one of the founder members, Himu. Back then we didn't really bother a lot about the meaning of it, it just sounded nice to everyone. But later we discovered that the name itself foreshadowed things to come and was sort of a self fulfilling prophecy.

Q. Introduce yourselves. What do each of you play?
The current line-up has four members, five including the manager. Rezaie is the vocalist of the band. He also plays guitars at concerts. Rafsan is the regular guitarist of the band. Tawfique plays bass and Bijoy is on drums. As for Sajib, he is the one who manages the band, and he does it very well.

Q. What got you into music in the first place?
Well everyone has a different story for getting into music. For example, for Rafsan, it has been his brother Rana Bhaiya (ex- Nogor Baul, ex-Triloy member) who has inspired him all along. He grew up in an environment that was conducive to doing music. He aspired to emulate his brother's successes and started learning guitar with his brother's old acoustic. Although the stories for the rest of the band members varies to a great extent, the mutual thing that got them into music in the first place can be described by a single word, "passion”.

Q. How'd you guys meet?
Rezaie was the common friend or acquaintance of everyone in the line-up that Defy started with back in 2007. Guitarist Himu was a school friend of Rezaie. Bassist Tawfique and Rezaie grew up in the same neighbourhood and were best friends since their childhood.

In 2010, the band decided to take a break since things didn't seem to be going well with the band. Both the guitarists (Himu and Nahiyan) left the band prolonging the break to a 10 month period. Later that year Rezaie met Bijoy and Rafsan through his guest performance with Minerva (the other band Rafsan and Bijoy played for). Rafsan and Bijoy persuaded Rezaie to revive Defy and joined the band in early 2011. After a few jams the band started to develop chemistry and style.

Q. Who writes your songs? What type of music do you prefer to cover?
More or less everyone in the band has the ability to create and write mature compositions. But so far the tracks that we recorded have been written by Rezaie. Rafsan, Tawfique and Bijoy were responsible for the guitar solos, drum patterns and basslines respectively.

Unanimously, Defy covers classic rock! We prefer covering rock songs people know very well. This actually means that we have to cover them perfectly in order to be appreciated and this motivates us to prepare for the concerts in the best possible way.

Q. Tell us a bit about what you think your biggest successes have been.
In terms of success in the tangible form, we haven't had much. In that sense the biggest success would be releasing our first single in Rock 707. But our definition of success is when we defy the odds and achieve what we want to achieve. From that perspective, continuing and creating the kind of music that satisfies us is the success that we have savoured.

Q. What are your future plans?
We plan to do music that satisfies our tastes and caters to our aspirations. Basically, the main plan is to stick to the kind of music that we love and create music for our own satisfaction and create a unique identifiable sound. If we can continue doing that, we would consider ourselves to be successful.

Q. Any last words of wisdom…
If you relentlessly pursue something, you are bound to achieve it as long as you have the strength to Defy the odds. That has been the motto of our band and that's what gets us going every day. Through our musical endeavours we have learned that the biggest music lesson one can have is to "keep listening to good music." And finally don't forget to visit our Facebook and Reverbnation pages. www.reverbnation.com/defybd and www.facebook.com/defybd


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2011 The Daily Star