everything else anti productive that we copy from our neighbours,
such as Hindi-style Bangla songs and khullam khulla
attire (right fabric over wrong flesh) imitating the hugely
successful Star TV's Indian Idol should be a welcome relief.
no self-respecting nation can imitate hoo-boo-hoo
particularly from a country which some of our political parties
have been grinding teeta as a potion to power since they accorded
us welcome relief in 1971. And so in imitating the spirit
of Polac, Pelar and Polab, who were damn inspired by Polar
ice-cream, we may, reluctantly though, twist the 'idol' bit
a bit and name it
'That suits us fine,' drawled an organiser from his bed. It
was 11.30AM on Saturday morning.
from the public have been sought but not all designated newspapers
could carry the advertisement because the man-in-charge could
not find time to send the matter to the press, yet. Competitors
however can rest in peace (idea not to be taken too seriously)
because in-house employees are barred from the race. Oops!
Apologies for wrong choice of word for no true 'idle' worth
his or her sugar level would for the whole world race anybody.
that this is yet another Bangladeshi first, predictably the
one and only and last of its kind, we went around asking a
few applicants why they believe they stand a chance to be
voted as Bangladeshi Idle.
many of the more serious participants were too indolent to
even talk, some who were in it to gain experience (like the
Bangladeshi cricketers match after match) made some wonderful
said Shawpon Saha from Ghatail, Tangail.
'But what is the use of such empty contemplation?' he is prodded.
years later when that project comes into being, I can claim
credit for having dreamt of it,' was the casual reply.
may be long gone.'
'I have no intention of going anywhere.'
'I mean the hereafter!'
I have some friends and well-wishers who can profit from my
absence. Going by history they can even claim some that I
have never dreamt of.'
Miah is from Galachipa, Barisal. He is confident about his
success in the search for talent.
'And pray why,' we ask him.
Says he with a face as straight as a wooden plank, 'Whenever
I need to laugh or cry I never do it myself, but hire people
to do that'.
'Isn't that expensive?'
'Well,' (he pays the guy sitting next to him some money and
the guy gives a smirk) 'it was not so, but nowadays with so
much to laugh at and so many things make me cry that it is
hard on the pocket. In fact, I entered the competition because
I need the prize money.'
'But suppose you do not win?'
'Don't worry about that. We shall survive.'
'We, who is we?'
Now the guy next to him tips him some money and our guy laughs
gently. 'My friend here and I are good buddies. He is also
an ideal idle and he pays me to laugh and cry for him.'
were leaving the odd couple the two were trying to push each
other some money but remained expressionless. We never got
to see who managed to pay and who had the last laugh.
Beg has come from Srimangal. He believes he will get a lot
of votes from the male population because he was late by a
day for his own marriage. What courage!
'What happened?' was our obvious query.
Only after we promised we will not divulge this to his wife
did he agree to talk further.
I have always taken life easily. Since everything was finalised
about my marriage, shopping, invitations and all, and I knew
my would-be bride was not going to go anywhere else, I took
the situation in my natural stride, that is relaxed; the world
was going nowhere, so why should I?'
'But what did you tell everybody, including our Bhabi, when
you arrived the next day?'
'I think I said something like there was a short circuit and
the bus flew off the road and all the passengers went in search
of the bus driver. Only after reading the newspaper the following
morning we discovered that although the bus was seized the
driver had actually fled.'
'But our buses do not run on electricity...'
'Bhai, in this country everything is forgiven if you can just
boldly say it was caused by short circuit. Have you not heard
the committee's report about the latest Bangabazaar fire?'
next contestant we approached was a genuine candidate. He
would do any country proud. He merely indicated the next guy
with his old aangool over his shoulder when we set
the microphone in front of him.
moment we were interrupted by a little commotion. The cause
of it were protests by the public who were chanting slogans
to bar government officers from the competition because they
said the civil administration were too well trained and experienced
for the title and the common man was no match. 'Exclude the
professionals, we are amateur idles', read one poster written
in a very lazy handwriting.
end of our going about we were convinced that this nation
has no dearth of talent when it comes to being inactive. The
judges should have a tough time. But they can get into the
groove and not announce the results, ever.
That again reminds me of that story about a lazy angler who
is the envy of all idles.
fishing by the bank of a pond, the angler asked a passer-by
if he would be so kind as to fix the bait to the hook of his
fishing line. The kindly passer-by picked up a wriggly worm,
which made one final squirm of a protest, before being transformed
into fish feed.
the passer-by of the angler, 'Why don't you get married so
that you could have children who could help you fix the bait?'
of all idles thought for a few moments and then asked of the
passer-by: 'Bhai, do you know of any prospective girl who
is already expecting?'
Organisers only concern is that the public may get into the
spirit and be too lazy to phone in their vote.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004