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The week in re(ar)view
The new grapevine (full of sour grapes)

Everybody seems to know whom to blame. Government blames opposition and vice versa. They know everything without solid proof. This country should not be holding SAARC summits. It should host a summit where fortunetellers from all over the world come to participate.

Richest man in most corrupt country
Bill Gates, the richest man on Earth, Mars, Pluto and Mercury combined, came to Bangladesh on December 5. This is a man who is rumoured to be losing several hundred dollars even if he pauses to look at the scenery. Does that mean money would spill out of his pockets as he walks? It almost did but the security men surrounding him scooped up all the money.

The good thing is that Microsoft has decided to train 10,000 teachers and 200,000 students in the field of information technology. Gates has even donated $ 100,000 to this effect. Bad news is that after everyone takes their share of pie there will be approximately $ 1000 left over to send a very expensive thank you card to Bill Gates.

More promises to come
Government is busy making promises now that election time is near. Another recent promise has bee to set up 8 power plants before election. Ummm, problem is that that the technical constraints of these particular type of power plants mean that these cannot be built in such a short time that means we buy it second hand. Also these plants are rather inefficient than other available means, which means the consumer would have to pay a bigger electricity bill.

More hot targets
A report on December 5 continued with more updates on places you need to avoid in fear of being blown to smithereens. New threats on the way include death of eminent cultural personalities, social workers, political leaders and of course journalists. These targets are all situated in Barisal though so people of other districts need not.

Here's where our RCT (Resident Conspiracy Theorist) would like to provide his input: A December 4 news report mentioned IUB (Independent University Bangladesh) to be on the list of bombing places. That's the place where famed Rising Star columnist The Girl Next Door studies in. Is there a link between her column not appearing anymore and the bombings taking place? Could she be the IUB faction of JMB? Could she be covering up her tracks by blowing up the university? Is she really a she? Is it true that the gooey food called halim was made by a guy called Halim? So many questions and so little space to ask them all.

Media is enemy of the state
Any info, interview and what not regarding militancy is not to be given to media. RAB has been asked to refrain from letting the media know who will end up telling people what is going on and thus give rise to militancy (according to some people). All this probably follows on the premise that what you don't know won't hurt you. That didn't stop AIDS in the 70's from wiping out a whole bunch of people who had no idea that it existed. Militancy will still keep killing whether people are told about it or not.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

You know you are Bangladeshi when you can say *$#^@%*!!

We Bangladeshis have this special characteristics that makes us so different from the rest of the world population. Whether it is spitting on the road or just going for a bus ride, our fellow countrymen follow the same trend, no matter how young or old, no matte rhow rich or poor. Read on and see if you can find out about the trends that match you!


  • You can wake up every morning to the sounds of annoying crows.
  • You study all your life in a Science background, a hopeful Doctor or Engineer, but you switch to Computer Science or Business when time comes(hey!).
  • You can cook almost everything in an egg frying pan.
  • You have at least two maids at your home, one for cleaning the house (chuta bua) and other a permanent one.
  • Your relatives alone could populate a small town!
  • Your elders say that honesty is the best way of living, but they can't come up with a suitable example.
  • Your elders can always be the target for Eidis, no matter if they work or not.
  • You have to call your elders 'uncle' or 'auntie' even though you do not know them and they are not your blood relatives.
  • You have special words 'apni' to call elders and 'tumi' to people of same age and your sweetheart, while using 'tui' for any friends.
  • You mother does everything for you if you are a male, while you have to do everything if you are a female.
  • You avoid public places with a member of the opposite sex (!)
  • You complain about reckless Rikshaws when you are in a car and vice versa.
  • You see throngs of people standing and hanging in the bus, although it is written “Gate-Lock Service” on the door of the bus.
  • You have annoying nicknames that stick to you for the rest of your life.
  • You eat kacha marich and salt with everything!
  • There is a thing called 'session jam' in your university. No other university around the world offers this unique trend!
  • At home, people think having a job as waiters, salesmen and bus or taxi drivers are identities of a low status, but they take those jobs themselves with pride, when they are abroad.
  • After some years abroad, you go back home and people treat you as a member of the royal family.
  • While living abroad, your parents always say 'It is cheaper in Bangladesh!'

So have you found the true Bengali you in those words? If yes, then be happy since you are living in a Gunniess Record holding country for the most corrupted country in the world. If no, then either wait for your turn to die in a bomb attack, or fly abroad since this is not your place!

The stereotypical Bengali types expressed in this article are solely the writer's! If anybody wants to differ or add something to it, please drop your line at critico.nino@gmail.com! Since it is the Bengali style to critise others before scrutinising oneself, I would be kind enough to spare those who write in.

By Shamma Manzoor Raghib

Book Review

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

There are personal accounts like Bill Clinton's “My Life”, which drag on and on, and people buy the books to use as weapons or seats, or for anything but reading. Then there are personal accounts disguised as marriage guides (read “Spouse” by Shobhaa De) that go 'me, me, me' ad nauseum. Then you have Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim, an utterly entertaining autobiography of David Sedaris.

This book is about family life, about hopes and disappointments, about the weird, quirky things that can occur within a perfectly mundane domestic life. Sedaris talks about growing up as a fiercely shy Greek-American boy in a house full of sisters, about his father who promised them ice cream and then delivered 'pus coloured frozen milk'. He talks about being gay…and before those eyebrows go up, let me tell you that there's no sleaze in this book…it's far cleaner than most romance novels. He also talks about the fun things he's seen and learned during his career as a writer.

What makes this story an enjoyable read is the wry humour and the keen, witty observation of the absurdities of life. Some of the anecdotes he shares with us are keenly revealing, often painful, but strangely, Sedaris never comes across as being bitter about any of it. He leaves it to the reader to feel and to judge.

If you're looking for a slightly different, thought-provoking and enjoyable read, then I'd definitely recommend Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim. It's yours for Tk 495 + VAT at Etc.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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