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Made in Bangladesh

Leave the fake iPhones to the Chinese. We're going for the Seven Wonders.

People travel all over the world to get a glimpse of the Seven Wonders of the World. But because we're Bangladeshis, we're a) way too poor, and b) way too awesome to do that. Heck, if we want to see a wonder, it'll just have to come to us. And that's exactly what happened… er, sort of.

After a two-hour bouncing drive out of Dhaka, you'll meet our very own version of the Taj Mahal. The noble guy who built this wonder is a Dhalliwood filmmaker who wanted to give his countrymen a taste of the real thing. Talk about patriotism, huh? He supposedly flew in jewels and marble from Belgium and Italy to build what was dubbed as a 'full-scale replica' of the actual Taj, all for the love of his people. Closer inspection (okay, not really) reveals sickly pink bathroom tiles inlaid with sparkly blue God-knows-what. Thank heavens it's not really life-size.

So our Dhalliwood-style Taj Mahal has its imperfections. But what does that matter? Our jeans, our Ray Bans, and even our birth certificates have their 'flaws'. But sometimes, those little deviations are what give them their own unique character. Our Taj, for instance, has a mini-Chinese restaurant next to it, where you can eat authentic Mughal-style beef burgers with a perfect view of the Taj. What's more, this mini-Chinese also doubles as a mini photo and film studio.

The Taj was built as a monument of love. And our Mofizes and Rozinas have not disappointed. They have kept the spirit of the original Taj Mahal very much alive through their… ahem, romance. Our Bangladeshi Taj was built to accommodate our own special interests, and so we have convenient little enclaves built into the structure where couples can sit and talk in (relative) privacy. Definitely an improvement on the real thing, we'd say.

There are gardens and fountains in front of the building, just like the one in Agra. Unlike the original, however, they're ten feet and not ten metres long. And to our pleasant surprise, they're quite devoid of crumpled tissues, empty crisp packets, and other garbage. In other words, the place is more or less clean.

So now for the million dollar question - is it worth it to go there? Yeah, why not? It might just give you the inspiration you need to become a celebrated Dhalliwood script writer, as this writer is planning on doing. Other than that, it's a good laugh if you can manage to drag some friends along. The drive there is also pretty scenic if you don't bump into any cows. As a few last words of wisdom - DON'T attempt to eat anything there. DO carry your iPod unless you want to revel in the melodies of the latest Dhalliwood item numbers.

And did we mention that you can get married at the Taj? Yeah, they have that facility as well.

By TheAlien4mEarth

One Shot

The sounds of gunshot pierced his ears. The unrelenting fire wore down his spirit. The enemy had them cornered. A machine-gunner, protected in his little makeshift nest, rained fire upon the Bangalis. Their only protection, a small trench, dug recently.

The soldier was fighting two battles - one with the Pakistanis, and one with himself. He struggled to keep himself together. He glanced at his companion, another Bangali. He did not know him personally, but shared the bond all fellow soldiers share. He saw the desperation in his eyes.

Leaning against the trench was not a comfortable experience. The sharp rocks in the trench felt as if they were digging into his skin. He rolled over, hoping to find a smoother spot of slope, only to be pierced by more stones. The enemy was still firing. He knew that if he tried to look out, the gunfire would kill him instantly. Even when the machine gun reloaded, there were other shooters ready to pick off those who tried to flee. There was nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.

He gripped his .303 hard. They lacked the proper equipment, the proper guns. And spirit can only take you so far. He saw the hopelessness of the situation. The machine gun had to be silenced if they were to have a chance of escaping the trench. He grabbed one of the few grenades they had and passed whispered instructions down the line. And then they waited.

At last the machine gun spluttered to a stop, clip empty. His brothers in arms stuck out their guns over the lip of the trench and fired blindly in the direction of the enemy, suppressing the machine gun's cover. In this tiny little gap, he jumped out of the trench, took out the pin of the grenade and ran pell-mell towards the machine gun nest. He could see the gunner desperately trying to finish his reload and shoot. With a yell, the soldier lobbed the grenade at the nest and it exploded in a burst of shrapnel and debris.

As he ran back to his retreating comrades, now out of the trench and still firing at the woods where the enemy was holed up, one of the enemy shooters took careful aim and shot him in the back of the head.

By Warish Zaman



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