why i quit facebook…and other short stories

a week ago today, i fought my way through the maze-like account settings on facebook, and clicked on the “deactivate account” button. this was not done by mistake, by any means, but was completely intentional – heck, i even had to go to a second page that asked me, in big bold letters, “ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO DO THIS?”, as if i was commiting some sort of grave affront to humanity. for those of who haven’t been to this dark side of facebook, the page also asks you why you chose to undertake this vile action, and lists some helpful suggestions. i chose the least intimidating, which is “i’m doing this temporarily, but will be back later.”

a week before that fateful day, i announced to the great black void that is my friends list that i was going to quit the site in 7 days. i’m not quite sure anyone believed me, and quite a few (you know who you are) thought i was doing it to get some more attention. like, seriously. do i strike you as the kind of person who craves attention so much that i would have to quit facebook to get it?

anyway. the reason for the 7 day deadline was that i wanted to migrate the features i found useful to some other platform, and craft an explanation for why i was doing such a drastic thing. however, given my addiction to procrastination, i probably should have given myself a period of 2-3 months, since i managed to do none of that. and so, two weeks later, here’s the long explanation for why i did this.

the reason one should be shocked that i quit facebook, if you need a reason for that, is because i used to be their biggest advertiser, at least in mouth-to-mouth terms. i got almost everyone in my office to join, even people who had never tried or considered social networking. within a couple of months, everyone was safely ensconced in everyone else’s friend lists.

i also spread adoption of facebook gaming, thanks to the 20-20 cricket game, which quickly became a whirlwind of activity and the topic of intense discussions and debates during working hours. it got to the point where the office had to ban playing facebook games during office hours altogether, because it “was consuming excessive amounts of bandwidth”. yeah, seriously. as if the use of youtube to watch funny videos by others wasn’t. thankfully, by then i had gotten bored of the game already, and had moved on.

given my amazingly high conversion ratio of people (only 1 colleague refused to join, out of 20-odd others), it was quite surprising to lots of people that i actually did end up quitting. but of course, there’s an explanation. here it is:

i quit facebook because i’m not good at keeping in touch with people.

yes, you did read it right. no, i’m not completely crazy.

you see, the main advertising tag line i used to sell people on facebook in the first place was that it was a fantastic and easy way to keep in touch with people. at the click of a mouse, you could find out what even your most obscure friends were up to, and use the knowledge that you gained about their lives, from their short status message, to make yourself feel that you were still as intimately connected as you were in first grade.

but that’s the problem. for people like me who suck at keeping in touch, that momentary glimpse into someone else’s life, as it scrolls through my news-feed, was as far as i got in terms of keeping in touch with them. i found myself not even bothering to write a sentence on their wall, and although i used to use it to keep tabs on birthdays, i found myself not even wishing people anymore. to me, the whole keeping in touch process had transformed into a very simple process, where just reading people’s statuses was enough, whereas i made no moves to ever drop a line or say something to them in passing.

in reality, keeping in touch with people is much harder, and requires a lot of work, something which i’ve never put in. as a result, i wanted to remove the illusion of appearing to keep in touch with 300-odd people from my life, so that i would make an effort to keep in touch with those people that matter to me. now i have to send emails, and make phone calls, and meet people to know what’s happening in their lives, instead of just reading a one-line status message and thinking i know everything there is to know about them.

of course, i’ll miss the site, because i had no end of talented photographers on my friends list, and so i could see some amazing pictures on an almost daily basis. plus, i also had some of the funniest people on my friends list, so i had no shortage of good humor available. and mob wars is a really addictive game, although it just involves clicking a mouse repeatedly.

but i’m hoping that now, i’ll finally be much better at being a friend, instead of just another profile in your friends list.

dead or alive

most eid-ul-adhas, my father decides to leave the country early, so as to avoid the hassle involved in buying a cow, slaughtering it and then distributing the meat. of course, his travel plans never include me, and so i stay in the country while he visits exotic locations. due to the excitable nature of my neighbors regarding sacrificial cows, and the resultant overflow of blood in the sewers, i generally spend most of my time locked up at home, not even daring to go outside to face the stench and horrifying nature of the entire holiday.

at the same time, i’ve developed an ingenious method of dealing with people who want to send us meat. in general, the holiday coincides with the time my fridge decides to die an untimely death. the day before eid, i go out and buy several dozen plastic bags. once the meat starts pouring in from neighbours and other random well-wishers/ass-kissers, i simply take the meat out of the bag they send it in, stuff it in one of my own bags, and then send it back to the person. this way the people think they’ve sent us meat, and i’ve returned the favour. not too many people have figured this out yet.

this year, however, there was no such drastic escape act from the paternal unit. this year, my sister-in-law, resting comfortably in the u s of a, deemed that a cow should be slaughtered. at this, my father, who seems to be bewitched by my sister-in-law in a manner similar to the president of bangladesh and the immediate past prime minister, decided that he would forego his departure and do her bidding. and so off he went to the birat goru chagoler birat haat to purchase a cow for the purpose. (i, fortunately, had developed one of my new on-demand fevers, thus avoiding the ordeal of purchasing the cow.)

now, i am quite opposed to this entire sadistic practice of purchasing cows and slaughtering them the very next day. this opposition arose the last time we slaughtered a cow at this house, several years ago, when i watched the cow being slaughtered after spending quite some time bonding with it (i was quite young then, you see). right before the knife cut its head off, the cow looked straight at me with an age-old sadness in its eyes and mooed once, and i was thus quite horrified at the resultant massacre.

now, i’m no vegetarian. in fact, i love meat. however, when it comes to such occasions, i’m an arthur dent kind of meat-eater. if you don’t know who arthur dent is, shame on you. dent is the protagonist of the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy. when he goes to eat at the restaurant at the end of the universe, the cow comes up to his table and asks him which part of him he would like for dinner. as a result, dent grows nauseous and foregoes dinner, but the cow eventually runs off to shoot himself in the head anyway for the other diners’ orders.

anyway, the conclusion is, i can eat meat as long as i don’t see the creature it came from living, breathing and crapping in front of me. and crapping is what this year’s fortunate cow did. he crapped a lot. and mooed all night, right outside my window.

given the serenade of our cow, coupled with those of the neighbors’, it’s quite a wonder i was able to wake up in time for the eid prayers. but, once the prayers were done, the slaughtering began post haste. an apartment building one door down from my house, in which 14 families live, decided to sacrifice a sum total of 12 cows and 20 goats. my next door neighbor had his usual stock of two cows and three goats. by the time we made the five minute walk back from the eidgah at 9 am, a sum total of 4 cows and 12 goats had already died painful deaths.

of course, the scent of blood and the dying gargles of the neighboring cows did not do any wonders to the temperament of our own beast. quite agitated, it strained at the ropes tying it, and mooed angrily several hundred times. but, given that the butcher would arrive soon, we waited patiently.

and waited. and waited some more.

the clock struck 10, then 11, then 12. it turns out that the butcher who had been hired for the task had asked for 1000 taka, but my father had, in his infinite wisdom, decided that the task could be done for 800. scandalized, the butcher, who actually is a bricklayer the rest of the year, rushed off to seek alternate employment. and so we sent out for another butcher.

the first pair that showed up asked for 1500 taka. the paternal unit quickly threw them out. the second bunch, who turned out to be painters, asked for 1600, which my father finally decided to pay, given that the cow was mooing incessantly by now in one of his ears, and i was yelling about his penny-pinching in the other.

so, finally, at 12 pm, the cow, who by now was thanking his lucky stars for surviving the ritual slaughter, finally had his throat cut. of course, i was off hiding somewhere in order to not watch the actual slaughter process.

three hours later, we had our meat:

wild things

many many years ago, back even before dhaka was dacca, this land was inhabited by many many different species of wild animals. or so my grandparents told me. i always suspected that they might be on some kind of drug or the other.

anyway, the place that is now this sprawling megacity used to be inhabited by all manner of god’s creatures, big and small. it was said that foxes were very common in this part of the country, as were small game, exotic birds and even the occasional random tiger.

sadly, this was the case eons ago, when trees were plentiful and concrete was rare. throughout my own lifetime, i’ve seen concrete overtake the trees rapidly, to the point where greenery in dhaka has to be part of a beautification campaign.

but enough ranting. nowadays, the little wildlife available consists mainly of crows that insist on sitting outside your windows at the break of dawn, cawing their bloody heads off. there also used to be a sizeable cohort of sparrows around my house, but it seems they have gone extinct, although a few still do exist in other places in the capital. finally, there are the staple stray dogs and cats that adopt me once in a while every few months. other than that, wildlife is pretty rare, but nowhere more so than at the dhaka zoo, where animals go to die horrible, horrible deaths frolic like the happy critters they are. (well, at least the hippos do. every other animal is too exhausted to really frolic).

anyway, now there’s this.

right, let’s get the obvious questions out of the way first.

  • yes, that’s an elephant.
  • yes, it’s completely and utterly real.
  • yes, it was only a few feet away from me.
  • no, i did not get out of the car and touch/pet/molest it.
  • no, it is not a projection of my own twisted psyche on to a photograph.
  • no, the picture isn’t photoshopped in any way.
  • yes, the elephant is walking on a major road in dhaka.
  • yes, it does seem like the elephant wants to headbutt that “school van” with the horrible blue paint.
  • no, the ears haven’t been chopped off, it’s just fluttering (if that’s what elephant ears do).
  • yes, dhaka streets are extremely dirty.

and before you ask why there’s an elephant walking down a dirty dhaka street and headbutting horrible shades of blue, i have no idea. but yes, it seems to be there for a purpose, but what the purpose is we can only guess.

thank god i have a fertile overly active imagination.

when i was first alerted to the fact that there was an elephant in my near vicinity, i was sitting in one of the regular traffic jams that constitute my daily commute. having nothing better to do, i was engaged in bangladesh’s ultimate pastime – looking at other people. actually, i was quite focused on this one particular interesting person (read: female) who was standing on the side of the road, waiting for a break in the traffic so that she could cross. and just when i was having many happy thoughts about the fact that bangladesh is not ruled by the taliban, so that this particular piece of heaven was not covered from head to toe in an anonymous black burkha, this young lady completed a move i haven’t seen outside of the olympics: she jumped up in the air and ran at the same time. (i’ve been trying that one all evening, but can’t exactly figure out how it works yet.)

she didn’t run far, though – only into a shop nearby, from which she started giving furtive anxious glances out the glass window. naturally, i was quite peeved at the fact that my enjoyable activity had been horribly ruined by some factor that had had the same effect on the woman that britney spears or the backstreet boys has on me. and so i searched for it. but i didn’t have to look far. in approximately 12 seconds, i was staring straight at a huge, dark grey ass. and so i pulled out my phone as fast as i could, and snapped this particular picture as the car pulled away.

now that you know all there is to know about me and my quirks, let’s talk about the elephant.

first and foremost, i’m sure you’re wondering what precisely an elephant is doing in dhaka city. for all intents and purposes, as far as i could tell, it was the newest addition to the dhaka city corporation’s elite street cleaning unit, which is mostly composed of chain-smoking people who are sometimes visible in the early mornings, poking futilely at litter that lies on the sides of the streets. the elephant, frankly, seemed to be interested mostly in all the trash on the streets, sucking up with its trunk any piece of litter it could find. so much so that i for a minute thought that the city corporation had finally been able to afford a decent, albeit living, vacuum cleaner.

second, you may wonder if the elephant is truly wild, because it seems quite tame in the picture, as evinced by the gentleman perched on its back beating it with a strong bamboo stick. frankly, i think it’s heartwarming to see a use for bamboo sticks other than for attacking cars and beating the living crap out of opposition politicians. you see, for the longest time i’ve believed that bangladesh doesn’t have a hockey team because we’ve forgotten that hockey sticks have uses other than breaking people’s bones.

then, you might wonder, how is it that an elephant is able to walk on a street in dhaka without getting hit by the elephants that are already on the streets the many buses that ply the roads? [side note: as you can see, i’ve discovered the strikethrough tag, and will henceforth use it ruthlessly. i truly believe they make my posts funnier. if you don’t agree, too bad.] a more important question in my mind, actually, is whether elephants are subject to the same traffic rules as everyone else. rather, what traffic rights do elephants have in dhaka city? clearly they have the most important one – right of way. not only pedestrians, but even rickshaws were getting out of the way for the creature, which i think is a milestone in that both these groups of creatures think that nothing short of an act of god can stop them acting like idiots and for once actually obeying traffic laws. but it was refreshing to see that, in a country where everyone believes they have a god-given right to drive like maniacs, there are still things that scare them enough to make them actually follow traffic rules. perhaps this is the solution to bangladesh’s traffic problems: import a bunch of elephants to randomly walk up and down streets. i guarantee that in two weeks everyone will be following all traffic laws, even those that haven’t been invented yet.

alas, all good things must come to an end. although i parked the car a little ways down the road and waited for the elephant to come by so that i could take a more intimate and up-close portrait, the elephant did not make an appearance. it turns out the gentleman on its back had ridden it down to his favorite tea stall (which is where all those gawking people in the picture are standing) for a cup of tea and a chat, and had then gone back home with the elephant. which, besides the vacuum cleaner activity detailed above, is possibly the strangest use that i could imagine for a huge, heavy mammal.

i’m sure you never thought that this post would actually turn in to a rant, particularly when you saw the endearing picture of the elephant. but all in all, it was quite pleasant to see this today – after all, it helped to turn what promised to be an otherwise routine day into a completely surreal experience. furthermore, it’s good to see that, in an age when it seems that nothing can surprise us anymore and that we’ve seen it all, there are still things that make people sit up and take notice. i don’t know how many people saw the elephant today, but i hope it gave everyone who saw it a welcome and pleasant change from the monotony of the countless routine that constitutes our lives.

although it probably won’t be very pleasant for the street cleaners when they encounter the mountains of elephant dung tomorrow morning.


the Elder Sister called a few evenings ago in a huff. having sorted through the usual general greetings and felicitations, we got down to the business of why precisely she was in a huff this week. i mentally ran over the things i’ve done this week, to figure out if i was the reason behind the huff, but came to the conclusion that i was completely blameless for this week’s episode of huffiness. having raised my mobile phone bill to levels beyond my income level, she proceeded to inform me that the Niece had come home that day and informed her that she had gotten a boyfriend.

which, generally, would have been happy news, except for the fact that the Niece is 10 years younger than me. i remember feeding this kid, changing her diapers and babysitting her while her mother studied for exams. i remember times when i carried her around on my lap at parties and other social events. apparently, unbeknownst to me, she had actually grown up.

more importantly, she had a boyfriend, whereas her very eligible, rich, intelligent and good looking (not to mention modest) uncle was still single. no fucking fair!

having found my own personal moment of misery within the happiness of my niece, i proceeded to heap congratulations upon the elder sister. “your kids are growing up,” “today a boyfriend, tomorrow a husband,” etc. etc. ad nauseum. however, it turns out that congratulations were not what was desired by the Elder Sister at that time. instead, she was furious about the fact that the Niece had a lovelife (not, may i just mention, that her brother lacked one). apparently, the Niece was too young to talk to guys. such a revelation took me back to my own puberty talk from my father, delivered when i was only a tender 18 BLOODY YEARS OLD.

while i tried to explain that times had changed from 30-odd years ago when the Elder Sister was the age of the Niece, and that such behaviors are now considered acceptable among the youth of this country, the Elder Sister was having none of it. rather, she proceeded to inform me that my duty now as the loving caring uncle that i am was to find this guy and beat the living crap out of him.

right. just the start i need to another week.

having slightly calmed down the Elder Sister, to the point where she no longer insisted on ritual sacrifice but just a good whacking for the boy, i proceeded to inform her that i would have no part of the beating up of an innocent teenage boy who was having his first relationship. moreover, i expressed my distaste at the Elder Sister’s attempted interference into the Niece’s personal life. more importantly, i wasn’t beating up any teenage kid without at least seeing him first – what if he worked out and had muscles and ended up beating the crap out of me? some of the teenagers in this country scare the living crap out of me.

hence the Elder Sister and i agreed that the best way for all parties to proceed in this extremely strange and unforeseen situation would be for me to have a chat with the kid. actually, i didn’t actually agree to anything – rather my intervention was volunteered in this case.

and so it turned out that i would be taking the young boy out for a chat. why i couldn’t talk to the guy on the phone or in a place that did not involve me spending my hard-earned meager salaray is beyond me. but, apparently, as i was informed by the Elder Sister, it was my duty as an uncle to spend money on the Niece and the apples of her eye. i swear, she better marry this kid – i’m not taking out any other boyfriends she may develop.

so this evening, i sat at my favorite cafe waiting for this young romeo to appear.

now we all know that i end up in situations that have no previous precedent whatsoever – just look at how i ended up taking my foricbly betrothed’s cousins out for ice cream. so obviously, i had no idea how to react or behave in this particular situation. do i act tough and angry and ask him his intentions with the Niece? do i crack jokes about making out with girls that will leave him scarred and emotionally deficient for the rest of his life? do i just act like myself and hope that he doesn’t dump the Niece for having such eccentric relatives? in the end, however, i opted for a slightly angry but yet willing to negotiate state of mind.

i should have known i was in trouble when this kid walked in with one pierced ear, a black half-sleeve t-shirt with the name of some obscure death metal band and a pair of the baggiest jeans i have ever seen in my life. i should have been concerned when he came up to me and said, “hey man, what’s up?” i should have run for the hills when he sat down, leafed through the menu and ordered half the menu – the expensive half. but no. being the understanding and caring uncle that i am, i decided to withstand the painful assault on my eyes and my wallet and figure out what this kid was really like.

in retrospect, i don’t know exactly what i was expecting. i was hoping for a slightly bookish kid who would order the vegetarian dish, would dissect schopenhauer over the main course and show me on a napkin how waste products could be recycled into energy over dessert. instead, what i got was “the coolest kid in school” who proceeded to explain to me how the same angst-filled kill-me-now lyrics of every single death metal song ever written inspired passion in his soul, and how every single piece of music that i listened to was crap. by the time dessert rolled around, i realized that death was a more welcome eventuality than having to hear again how the rich guitar chords of children of bodom could inspire delight in the kid’s soul.

having paid an exorbitant amount that would have been enough for my own personal sustenance over a three-month period, i resolved to leave as quickly as possible. however, i was yet to experience the magic of death metal for myself, as the kid hopped into my car, threw my beloved ben harper cd into the nether regions of the backseat and put on what i swear was the simultaneous death rattle of several million banshees. i had to endure this cacophony for the duration of the forty minute ride to his home, by which time i was certain that my sense of hearing had completely abandoned me for eternity.

the minute i got home, the phone began to ring incessantly – the Elder Sister, calling to find out how the “getting to know you” session had been. at this point, every single injustice committed by my entire family upon me welled up, and i lied to the Elder Sister that the boy was akin to an angel descended from the heavens. let her deal with the pants falling off the ass and the pierced ear when she finds out about it, i figured.

late this evening, the phone rang again – the Niece, this time. debating on whether i should embark on a “what the hell is wrong with you?” speech, i tentatively picked up the phone, to be greeted with her giggles.

at which point she informed me that the apple of her eye had passed his own judgement upon me – for an “old dude”, i was still quite “cool”. she hung up thanking me profusely for my positive review of the guy to her mother.

now i’m in a quandary. i don’t know whether to be pissed off at the Niece’s awful taste in guys, or to be ecstatic that teenagers still think i’m cool.



spiderman often states, “with great power comes great responsibility”. thanks to google analytics, i finally know how that feels.

here at eLeCtRiKbLuEs we care a lot about your interests and tastes, and so we keep a keen eye on what grabs your interest. part of this is to determine what brings you to eLeCtRiKbLuEs in the first place, and in a timely manner providing you with what you need. that’s where google analytics comes in handy – to wit, it helps us to determine how you found us, and gives us an idea of how we can serve you better.

thus, with this noble venture in mind, i set out to check the keywords logs for the site, to figure out how exactly people end up at my blog, and which aspects of this blog stimulate the minds of visitors the most.

the results are shocking. very shocking, even.

here’s the top 15 search terms used by visitors to find eLeCtRiKbLuEs:

  1. electrikblues
  2. bangladeshi job
  3. bangladeshi khanki magi
  4. arrange marriage bio data
  5. freshmen fucking
  6. freshman orientation pointless
  7. new holland lied
  8. instructions blow job
  9. what is objective study
  10. khanki chudir story in bengali
  11. first blow job stories
  12. blow job
  13. “what home means”
  14. grandad fucking
  15. khanki magi

clearly, therefore, there is some sort of problem with the product being offered to you by us here at eLeCtRiKbLuEs. contrary to popular opinion, this blog isn’t just about how much i wish i having sex right now. however, out of the top 15 search terms for this blog, 8 are somehow or the other related to sex. the rest are motivational in nature – writing a bio data for an arranged marriage, how to do an objective study, and how pointless freshman orientation is. all of which, theoretically, are covered in this blog somewhere.

however, just so all you are aware, i haven’t given anyone instructions on how to give a blow job. aside from my usual bit of wisdom on this topic – “often”.

i will admit that all the words searched for and found are used in this blog at some point or the other. however, what i don’t get is how the entire gamut of perverts the world over managed to search for incongruous terms and ended up on my blog. everything from fucking freshmen to fucking grandad.

it’s also disturbing to note that a lot of people are quite obsessed with blow jobs. 20% of the people who found this website with the help of a search engine searched for something or the other related to blow jobs. almost as many people found this site through their obsession with bangladeshi prostitutes. is this what my fellow countrymen do on the internet these days?

in conclusion, if you’ve stumbled across eLeCtRiKbLuEs while searching for ways to get your jollies through blow jobs and bangladeshi prostitutes, please accept our deepest apologies. we at eLeCtRiKbLuEs are committed to bringing you the finest non-blow job and non-bengali khanki magi entertainment available.

p.s. to our regular readers, we apologize for the delay in transmissions. regular transmissions should begin again shortly.

p.p.s. welcome back, tom!

blow job

recently i posted an advertisement on a popular bangladeshi job search website, seeking an assistant to support me on my projects at work. the ad was posted three weeks ago and expired today, and in the meantime i received 261 applications. the requirements of the job were as follows:

  • bachelors of business administration or bachelors in economics from a reputable organization
  • age: 20 to 30 years
  • some experience with the private sector
  • some experience with development partners (donors in politically correct language)
  • excellent knowledge of the english language
  • proficient in using various totalitarian microsoft products

for this purpose, i stole some cool-sounding things from the job description i was issued when i worked for a certain development partner:

  • must develop an encouraging innovative approach and create, together with other staff, an open, team-based environment.
  • must create a work atmosphere conducive to teamwork, continuous learning and innovation; building alliances and promoting open communication and collaboration to achieve joint objectives;
  • must maintain high standards of personal integrity; establishing straightforward, productive relationships; treating all individuals with fairness and respect. Influencing and resolving differences across organizational boundaries.

which is basically a fancy way of saying that, even though the rest of us incessantly bitch about everyone else, the accepted candidate would avoid doing so, at least to our faces.

personally, i was of the opinion that the job requirements were quite simple and easy to understand, and would lead to only qualified people applying.

if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, i’m sure you know by now that i’m always wrong about everything.

so, of the 261 applicants:

  • almost 100 had majored in something other than business administration or economics, preferring to study subjects like geography, sociology, islamic studies, and, in one case, something called “peace and conflict studies”. as for the first three, i didn’t realize people still studied this crap. whereas the last one: wow, what the fuck?! what in the name of all that is sweet and holy is peace and conflict studies? what precisely does it involve studying? if i were to study peace and conflict studies, i would expect to learn about war strategies, or about the different types of tanks and fighters that have been used to fight in wars. come to think of it, that would actually have been pretty cool. fuck you, economics!
  • 74 were age 30 or more: the reason i asked for someone between the ages of 20 and 30 was so that i could boss this person around without any serious ethical and emotional issues about mistreating the elderly. one applicant was actually 57 years old!
  • 127 had completed their MBAs, but had no jobs: now this is actually a frightening statistic. it just goes to show that, in this country at least, an MBA is no longer valued as highly as it once was.
  • 183 were not proficient in english at all: this is best exemplified by this one resume i got which i could not, for the life of me, figure out. i mean, i understood the random word, mostly conjunctions and some verbs, but the rest of it was pure gunk and the word order had severe problems. to this day, i have no idea what “to study more well i want fine works in government anti organ baby since” means. if you know what this person meant to say, please let me know as i would love to find out. personally i think he was just drunk.
  • at least 130 do not check their email frequently: now, if you were applying online for a job, and gave your email address as the contact method, you’d theoretically check the account for replies more frequently than, say, once a month only, right? WRONG. i’ve received emails late in the process from people i shortlisted at the beginning and called for interviews. needless to say they were rejected. of course, this does not include the 12% who do not know their email address: i’ve had to deal with my fair share of hotmil.com (i agree, a million is hot), yaho.com (sounds like a pimp’s website) and mailg.com (or its younger brother mgail.com, which i wouldn’t know how to pronounce). of course the best was this enterprising fellow who deciding his email address was a website: his email was www.[username].yahoo.com. and speaking of email addresses, i was severely annoyed by the fact that people use emails that were theoretically supposed to be for personal use as their job application emails: daddymommy@gmail.com, loveme_143@yahoo.com and coolmanXXXXXXXXXXXXXX@hotmail.com (where the Xs represent his entire bloody mobile number) were probably the highlights.

but the absolute corker of it all, of course, was the fact that i had built a small test into the advertisement, and, at the absolute bottom of the ad, i placed some application instructions, basically asking the applicants not to apply through the website, but rather to email me directly.

guess how many out of the 261 actually followed the instructions or bothered to read what it said?

come on, guess!

give up?

okay i’ll tell you.

only 16 out of the 261 actually followed instructions and emailed me directly. the remaining ones were either too lazy to follow instructions, or simply did not read what the ad said.

therefore, given this cornucopia of entertainment and joy that arose out of the fact that people in this country cannot read, not to mention the constant calls on my phone with really stupid questions (“what is a recommendation letter?”, for example), you won’t think i’ve been hasty when i tell you that i ended up shortlisting only 11 out of the 261 applicants.

only thing is, now i wish i had shortlisted less.


there’s a new air conditioner in my room.

while this may not sound too exciting, perhaps you are not aware of the rules governing our household. they are as follows:

1. the youngest son may not own anything that has been produced in the last decade.
2. the youngest son may not own anything that was produced in the decade in which he was born.
3. in case the youngest son requires some infrastructure, he will receive items that were produced over a decade before he was born.

this would explain why, until recently, i had a bookshelf from 1954, a desk from 1962 and a wardrobe from what, according to my best estimates, is from 1941. the old air conditioner itself was made in 1967, and i believe was one of the first 10 of these machines to be exported to bangladesh.

in response to this embargo on new furniture and fittings, i decided late last year that i would start purchasing new (i.e. produced in the 21st century) fittings for my room. hence, thanks to the wonder of mass-produced cheap furniture, i was able to replace the desk, wardrobe and bookshelf. however, my meager income did not stretch far enough to enable me to purchase a new air conditioner, so both myself and the ac struggled to keep my room cool every night.

that is, until about a week ago, when it decided to spontaneously stop working. not only that, it decided to take out the electrical infrastructure of the entire neighborhood, on what turned out to be the hottest night of the year. since it was 11 pm at night, the electric authority felt no urgency to repair it, and so the entire neighborhood spent the night sweating profusely.

anyway, being the eternal optimist/sadist/glutton for punishment that i am, i decided to try and make it work three nights in a row after this, with pretty much the same result. as a result, my entire neighborhood spent four days in a row sweltering in extreme heat, with no electricity to run their cooling equipment.

now you know why i don’t post my real name on this site. i’d probably be dead by now, if people figured out i was the cause for the electrical failure.

after four days of this, the paternal unit finally acceded to my request, and sent for a mechanic, who promptly informed me that there was no hope of the machine ever working again. mercifully, the ancient ac was removed and laid to eternal rest.

in its place was placed yet another ac. however, in keeping with the rules of the household, the replacement itself was from 1986. i actually remember when it was bought, and this in itself is quite amazing, since i barely remember much else from the same period.

this ac, however, while not exactly 40 years old, has its own set of problems. for instance, it makes the same noise as a mating female cricket, and since it is now spring, this means that the machine attracts almost all the horny male crickets in the country. i discovered this last night when i stepped outside on to the verandah for a cigarette and was immediately engulfed in a cloud of extremely excited and horny male crickets. and that, boys and girls, is why smoking is bad for the health.

if that wasn’t bad enough, the ac has nine temperature settings, from 1-9, where 9 is supposed to be the coolest. however, having experimented with all 9 settings, i’ve realized that the temperature settings are as follows:

1: really fucking hot
2: kinda hot
3: lukewarm
4: fucking freezing
5: fucking freezing
6: fucking freezing
7: fucking freezing
8: fucking freezing
9: fucking freezing

since complaining about this to the parental unit would probably result in the ac being replaced by a hulking, menacing creature from the 1970s, i’ve decided to knuckle up and try to live with it. hence, every night finds me wrapped up tight in 2 sweaters, 3 blankets and the thickest comforter i can lay my hands on.

guess who’s back?

yes, it’s true. i’m back, once again, after an extremely long hiatus.

this hiatus was born out of necessity, not out of a conscious choice on my part. i’ve been extremely busy these past two months, through no fault of my own. well, no conscious fault.

but seriously, i’ve been extremely busy. what with working for two organizations, starting up my own firm, doing university classes, studying arabic and chinese on the side, jamming with my new band, and keeping up with my own rigorous personal fitness schedule, i’ve had little time for anything else, especially to maintain a blog. and besides, it’s not like anybody reads this anymore. i get about 10 visits a day from spammers, but that’s about it. however, since prufrock has expressed his dissatisfaction with my updating frequency, or lack thereof, i felt obligated to let you all know i’m still alive.

however, i feel it only fair to let you know how my schedule turned from simple corporate whore into involving all the crap above. so here goes.

personal fitness: in the interval between december 1 and february 1, i gained an approximate 32 pounds. now, i used to be a fat kid. and i hated it. hence i’ve started jogging and weight training in earnest. it’s been quite amusing – mainly how out of shape i am. i used to have to take up to three different breaks while jogging around a part of the arc of the dhanmondi lake. now, through some miracle, or perhaps because god grew bored of laughing at my lumbering around, i am able to jog all the way around the lake, which i presume is about 2-3 miles. which, given the couch potato i was slowly morphing into, is a big achievement. so stop laughing, damn it.

academia: after one year worth of corporate whoredom, i decided to make a partial return to academia. of course, as usual, given my luck, today, after one month of pointless classes on crap i learned 11 years ago, i’m offered a two-year young professional associate position with the world bank group. which would mean that i would have to forego classes, and work full-time for two years. damn you all. i spend one year working for peanuts for you, but you didn’t bother to offer me the position then, now did you? oh well. i have also begun taking classes in chinese and arabic. this of course brings up the very justified questions:

1. why?
2. why chinese?
3. why arabic?
4. why chinese and arabic?

to which i really have no answer, really. just thought it would be fun. and besides, these two will be the languages of the world soon. so i’m hoping it’s going to be useful in the future. if nothing else, it just inflates my already bloated resume even further.

the band: yes, that’s right. i now have a band. i realize it’s very impromptu, but then so was the formation of this band. about six months ago, i did some recording work for a friend of mine, and he brought along a friend who wanted to be a vocalist, and who claimed to be in to coldplay, u2 and the like. now, if you’ve ever met the youth of bangladesh, you’ll realize how rare this is. most young people who listen to english music (i’m leaving out the billions who don’t) generally turn their snotty little noses at the prospect of singing coldplay or u2. instead, they can sing you any verse or two from any hard rock/metal band that has ever walked this earth. i auditioned the guy, and he turned out to be quite good.

so anyway, being the proactive person i was back then, i did absolutely nothing about forming a band with him for several months. back in late december, this guy calls me, out of the blue, and tells me that he wants to form a band with another friend of his, who’s a rhythm guitarist, and would like me to be the lead guitarist. so anyway, i invite the two of them over for a sampling of their music. the rhythm guitarist, while quite talented, plays and sings the most happy, sunny, joyous pop song you have ever heard. and that pretty much ensured that i had no interest whatsoever in continuing with this new band.

but then, over the next two weeks, the vocalist and i sat down, and started putting words to my own compositions (all of which are on the music page, to which there is a link on the right). and pretty soon, we became quite productive, and started finalizing and recording demos of our own songs (some of which you can also find on the music page). right now, we have about seven or eight of our own songs done. i will post more demos of these songs here over the next few weeks, or whenever i can actually get several hours of internet connection free from the scourge of the power outages.

if you’re thinking of listening to the songs, be warned: they are all in bangla. and you may not like them. our fastest number (which i finished mixing a few nights ago) recorded so far blends punk rock guitar rhythm, funk basslines, pop guitar riffs, and metal vocals. our slowest number (which we still have to record the vocals of) blends a hard rock riff, a metal tapping, a funk bass line, a soft beat and a hindi movie-esque lead guitar into the sweetest, most emotion-dripping piece of music i have ever composed.

oh, and by the way, the band’s name is violet smoke. yes, i know. we’re really cool and shit.

anyway, that’s the update.

i was going to post something funny about bangladesh. but then i ran into two different quandaries:

1. what should i post about? the power situation, the increasingly maniac drivers, the traffic? so many choices…
2. actually, none of this shit is funny any more. it’s grown quite desperately pathetic. i can’t find humor in any of it anymore.

but anyway. i guess it’s time to do away with the funny, anyway. after all, quality blogs aren’t all based on humor. and if you really want something funny, check out some of the blogs on the bar on the right. i recommend gawker and blog ho.

so what new direction will electrikblues take? we’re going to have to see. with the upcoming elections, i might have to take some much deserved potshots at the wonderful politicians. or i might go into my allmighty reviewer mode, and start posting reviews of shit that you have to agree with me on. or it might become full time funny. or i might start writing stories again (yes, you can stop shuddering with fear at that prospect now). i’ll probably rip off the styles of quite a few of my frequent reads (e.g. prufrock, gawker, rezwan etc.) but remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

but i guess we’ll have to see, now won’t we?

and as for reviews, listen to ben harper. now. specifically the song amen omen. i’ve heard this song somewhere before but i can’t recall. anyway, this song is amazing. awesome. simple greatness. download it now. or be a good boy and buy it or something.



that’s it. i quit. i utterly give up now.

i come back home early this evening – new year’s eve for those of you who’ve spent the last millennium hibernating in a hole – because a) my father is sick and b) it’s not the time for me to be away all night partying, just so that he doesn’t have to be alone. i know. i’m such an awesome son.

one hour later, he informs me that he’s going to go drinking with his buddies. and he has the balls to say he’s going out to “dinner”. at 10 pm. to the trendiest party spot in the country. right.

what the fuck?

oh, and happy new year, fuckers.

wild thing

steak girl told me yesterday that, in spite of her undying love for steak, she would henceforth be unable to partake of any more in my company.

while my wallet rejoiced at this news, i ventured to ask why she had a sudden change of heart regarding the source of financing of her culinary addiction. to which she told me that i wasn’t as wild as she had thought i was at first.

well, duh.

i could have told her that, had she inquired as to my wildness, prior to spending my hard-earned money on a steak that she only ate about one fifth of.

but this led to some intense soul-searching, although it didn’t last long, since my wallet’s celebrations were becoming more and more riotous. apparently the only aspect of my character that attracts women nowadays is the potential wildness that may exist inside me. true, i do play guitar, and true, i do have two tattoos, but those aren’t direct proof of a current wildness. rather, they are remnants from a point in life when i truly was wild.

however, as i have quickly learned, working three jobs everyday does not lend itself to wildness much. my idea of a wild night is staying up late doing something other than work. the last wild thing i did was two weeks ago when i accidentally forgot to take my keys with me to work. the last party i attended was this evening, and it was the second birthday party of a nephew of mine.

therefore, for all the millions of women who have fallen in love with me after reading my blog, please know that i am the epitome of tame.

but, on the bright side, i’m really good in bed. so at least i’m still wild in some sense of the term, even if it is only in bed.

too bad steak girl will never find out.