After Squid Game, real-life Ilish Game grips nation
For weeks, the Squid Game has been the most watched show on Netflix in the country, and the wildly popular South Korean series has birthed an actual game called Ilish Game in the riverine country.
This correspondent went deep under cover in lungi and sendu and unearthed the phenomenon that is known as the Ilish Game, and it is going viral in the chars, haors and coasts across the country.
The number of fishermen in rural areas being detained for catching brood hilsa during a ban on the activity caught the attention of the well-to-dos and ne'er-do-wells of the capital, so much so that they actually paused the Squid Game and called each other up.
Apart from giggling uncontrollably after cracking the timeless joke "jele ra jail e jay", they found a much more lasting form of entertainment.
"For this we joined hands with local administration all over the country... I mean we didn't actually join hands, eww, but let's just say we guided them," said Osama Bin Wassama, a very rich man of the capital's Gulmari area and one of the founders of Ilish Game.
"You see, during the ban on catching mother ilish [he pronounced it Ai-Leesh], local administration is supposed to provide food support to fishermen who depend on catching ilish for their livelihood. We just instructed the local administration to withhold the support, and the game started."
A local administration official in Moonpara, who preferred anonymity for obvious reasons, said, "Well, the rich organisers didn't really have to tell us to withhold the support, because we have been doing that for ages – a man's gotta eat, you know. But they didn't know we were always doing this, because they don't read the papers."
HOW THE ILISH GAME WORKS
This correspondent's deep undercover reporting revealed that the fishermen were given a card by local administration that they thought would let them catch hilsa during the ban. But they were told that they must not get caught.
"But we had been doing that for ages anyway," said a fisherman whose name this correspondent forgot.
Every day, a patrol of law enforcement agents trawled through the rivers to catch anyone illegally catching fish. Those who got caught were eliminated, but unlike the Squid Game, the sole earners of their families were not killed -- just sent to jail.
Those who were not caught were allowed to sell their hilsa catch at city markets at exorbitant prices to be bought mostly by the rich financiers, who enjoyed a breakfast of panta ilish, as per the tradition of rural Chapasthan folk.
"This helps the desperately poor of the country improve their station in life," Osama Bin Wassama said. "The eventual winner, the last jele not in jail [snickers], will get to join the local administration for the next edition of the Ilish Game."
Email your satire pieces, cartoons, comic strips or whatever tickles your funny bone to firstname.lastname@example.org and you too may have something to show for wasting your time