Almost Useful Life Hacks | The Daily Star
  • How to survive mosquitoes even if it seems impossible

    If you know your enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. - Sun Tzu

  • How we survive Dhaka without really thinking about it (as told by bideshis)

    Every day, us Dhaka residents (and from every other Bangladeshi city) do not realise how close we come to death, mutilation and further death. Only when you hang out with a bideshi do you take in the magnitude of the possibility that the end is so near. We are

  • How to be an almost okay dad

    Life is tough. There is so much to worry about that you worry which one to worry about first. Global warming, US-China trade wars

  • How to become viral

    In this day and age of memes, may-mays and monthiversarries, going viral is as important as having water in the hand shower during Number 2. Apologies to my western friends not getting the last reference because you still use dry, coarse paper.

  • How to decipher seemingly innocent Bangladeshi sale posts

    It is the weekend and you sit back hoping to satisfy your greedy capitalist inner demon—but within reason. (You do not want to anger the wife by buying a Honda manual transmission because, hey, it seems like a good deal even though you are driving a Nissan.

  • How to talk about politics without losing friends, family and job

    When I was a confused high school kid, a friend's dad sat us down and told us one of those great secrets of life. He told us to avoid three topics of discussion among friends: women, religion and politics.

  • It's hard work being lazy

    People say—and it is always people and not a lion or a cat or a cockroach that says things. People are lazy. They use words to get away without actually doing anything.

  • How to survive the least romantic day of the year

    That's right. This article contains two very difficult to digest morsels of truth. One, Chris Hemsworth was NOT in Dhaka to shoot scenes for a movie called Dhaka. Instead, he was in India which is almost like Dhaka what with all the pollution, traffic and inappropriate groping of women. Two, February 14 is quite possibly the least romantic day of the year.

  • How not to die from your New Year's resolutions

    At least 80 percent of New Year's resolutions fail by February. Next Friday will be February. Most of you reading this will soon be tasting the soggy, remorse-filled aftertaste of failure.

  • How to become rich from comics

    My first comic book was an act of negotiation at the age of five. A distant, teenage cousin had come to live in our house and he held a copy of an Archie comic.

  • How I tamed an unruly, attention seeking washing machine

    A washing machine is the fifth most important invention man has ever invented or stolen from an alien spaceship. Its illustriousness stems from having car, paracetamol, toilet flush and toilet hand-shower.

  • Are you boring people to death and beyond?

    Boring? You? No way. I am talking about the other person. We all know who that is. But just in case it IS you, you may not know it. This is much like being a dead zombie vampire. You may not know it until you look at your gross yet unreflecting self in the mirror. This list is just such a mirror. And it reflects if you really want to see.

  • How to stay married without killing yourself

    I just celebrated 11 years of being married. That too, to the same woman. And this year we both remembered the day, a day late. Which is okay because now we are even. Last year, she forgot, which was hilarious for me. Earlier, I had forgotten. But this balance did not come easily. Here's what we learned over the years.

  • Buy the perfect smartphone without appearing like a complete douche

    A recent statistic states an average person checks their cell phone 110 times a day. 50 percent of young people admit cellphone addiction. The other 50 percent do not admit.

  • How to use the wrong tool for the right job

    I am a Master Of Improvisation. That is a title I have imposed upon myself alongside Masterchef and Coffee Bae. No one artfully sprinkles chocolate dust over coffee like I do. That is a how-to for another day.

  • Are you or a loved one a technology failure?

    There are some of you here who are suspicious of tech without necessarily being grandparents. You look at tech as you would look at an albino cockroach. It is vaguely familiar yet you wonder, 'What if it flies? Can I handle it or will I be able to run fast enough?'

  • 4 great ways to chill when you'd rather give up

    Any moment now, you could be hit by a bus, and die. It seems to be the most unpopular way to say goodbye as you live and breathe in Bangladesh. Even as I type inside my room, there is a chance that a passing bus comes crashing through my wall.

  • How to be macho without being macho

    I get asked this question many times. Correction: I got asked this question once when I grabbed a huge, menacing, barking dog and pushed him to the ground. And he whimpered and licked my hands.

  • Be a social superstar by pretending to know football

    You might be one of those people who know that a current football player is David Beckham. And that too because you followed Spice Girls back in school and still have a few songs stashed in your secret playlist.

  • Being a dad is harder than being a murdering, pillaging warlord

    Being a dad used to be simple. You had one job to do early on and that involved something similar to that pirate movie line, 'Release the Kraken'. If you know what I mean. Nine months later you were a dad. In the meantime you were running about conquering the world, pillaging the villages and looting gold because that is how

  • How to appear charitable and cool

    Charity is becoming an urban verb much like the word Google. We Google. We Uber. And in a similar vein, many of us Charity. It is such a cool thing to do. And it is such a cool tool for paving our way to social acceptance. Just like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

  • How to appear stinking rich and successful

    Appearances can be deceiving. Which incidentally is the mantra for social media success. If your Facebook doesn't have a hundred likes on each phase of your hairstyle change, you have failed. Life is rather simple like that. That blue thumbs up is all you need to be successful. Monks, Brad Pitt and Batman have spent years meditating on mountain tops. All that work done just to attain the much desired dose of social media likes.

  • How to become a superhero or heroine

    Not so easy to become capital 'S' Super unless you follow through four steps.

  • How to be a MasterChef when you're not

    Being a MasterChef takes hard work and maybe even losing a finger or two. Every chef has harrowing tales of losing a bit of forefinger or pinkie at least once. I would not know. But I believe I could have been a superb chef. As do many other men and women. As the saying goes, believing is half the, er, achievement? Are you a believer? Here's how you can believe more authentically.

  • How to get rich super quick

    How to get rich super quick

    There is no denying the fact that money really can buy happiness. Beggars smile on receiving 15 taka. A mistress smiles when given a 1500-taka box of chocolates. A public official smiles after receiving a 15,000-taka gift of cold hard bank notes. A genuine, crinkly-eyed smile denotes happiness. Money buys that happiness. In this day of instant like-fuelled gratification, we want it now. But the quick way is almost always a scam. Take another person's misery and turn it into money.