I have been receiving a lot of automated calls from 2222 that are of no use to me and are very irritating. Also time to time I get calls from other special numbers like 2001, 4848 or 5858. I tried to complain to your customer service but I was told that there is no 'system' to stop such unsolicited calls. This was quite shocking!
I do not know what the Bangladesh government laws regarding spamming are. I suppose that Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission does not have a national Do Not Call Registry. Regardless, as a a multinational company, I expect Banglalink to respect the privacy and communication preferences of its subscribers. Sometimes it might try to get in touch to let me know about a recommended tariff, a new offer or an innovative service that may be of interest to me. But I should have the option to chose whether I want these calls and messages. Above all, I should surely have an option to avoid unsolicited commercial communications including telemarketing calls.
As a company committed to "making a difference" to the lives of its customers, I hope Banglalink will take basic international customer rights practices into its policy considerations, instead of taking advantage of lack of local regulations.
A Valued Subscriber!
An eye for an eye is a basic ape instinct. It may be very likely that one of the key factors that helped human civilization to grow into its modern deluxe state is the formation of a legal system for retribution of wrongs and feuds. The Code of Hammurabi is among the earliest known example of a fundamental law regulating a government. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth". King Hammurabi ruled a prosperous and thriving Babylonia almost four millennia ago. He claimed to have helped protect the weak from oppression, and scholars believe he fostered an atmosphere of justice and righteousness for his people. Qisas is an Islamic term meaning "Equal Retaliation", and follows the principle of an eye for an eye first set forth by Hammurabi.
Firstly, there already exist many videos on social media platforms that range from comical satires to serious criticism of the symbols and scriptures of other religions. There are scientists and atheists deprecating one or more religious ethos, in particular the Pope and the Bible as these are more prevalent in their surrounding. So there are all kinds of media challenging creationism and theism. There are documentaries, un-banned books and un-exiled authors. The God Who Wasn't There, Prisoners of a White God, Religulous, Zeitgeist: The Movie, Monty Python's Life of Brian, Dogma, What Would Jesus Buy? and Saved! are some of such full length feature films. Many of these went on to receive awards.
Thirdly, the acceptability of music and singing has been debated widely in Islam. Depiction of animate beings and hence performing arts are forbidden in many schools of Islamic belief. When viewing a movie is in question for devout adherents, making a video is not a Islamic thing to do.
Last but not the least, the protests in many regions started after the material was blocked by their governments, as is the case in Bangladesh. Foregoing the logic of self-censorship, even if one wanted to watch the movie for the express purpose of refuting it, the full movie is not available anywhere. It is highly doubtful that the whole movie even exists. On free video platforms only a so called trailer is available. This is a 13:50min clip, apparently dubbed in many places, and has too many jump edits without coherence. While there are protests in over 20 countries, it is a safe bet to say that not 20 people in the world have watched the movie. So any content review or coherent argument is not possible.
It is, however, not only the inability of retribution that enrages us. Several other factors have played for the immature mass Muslim behavior. Call it fate, coincidence or intelligent design, the Muslim world by and large seems to be on a back foot when it comes to education and socio-economic stature. The Muslims cannot ignore or boycott the advanced and prospering West. Neither can they understand why the disbelievers are outshining them. Only a handful of Muslim-majority countries have really been able to come out to meet the developed world. It is only natural that the remaining backward Muslims not keep an open mind to humor or criticism.
Added to this harsh reality of unjust distribution of worldly rewards, a Muslim in this day is in a subconscious paradox. He lives in a world where secular constitutional democracy is hailed, which is not really supported form of government in the holy Quraan. On the other hand, polygyny is allowed in the scriptures but can not be practiced in most present societies, in spite of it being male dominated. The feminist and equal rights movement simply can not be aligned with the medieval social reform practices of the timeless ultimate guide for humanity. To juxtapose both his beliefs and his practices in one consciousness, even the 'un-conservative' believer thus has to live either in denial or in confusion. It impedes their ability to deal with the complex times maturely. Psychologists will attest that such conflicting standards, unacknowledged and suppressed, will gnaw at the identity, in this case religious, and moral confidence of any being.
The post 9/11 islamophbia has only added insult to injury. While a Crishtian, Jew or a Hindu can laugh off or ignore media that pokes at his religious beliefs, the already stymied Muslims are deeply offended if they as much as only hear that someone, however insignificant, however far away, has said something, however inane, about Islam. It is a sense of insecurity makes people defensive and may encourage compensatory behaviors such as arrogance and aggression. So they end up protesting violently and killing each other. And unlike wise men, they do it in the name of religion.
This, then, is Darwin at play.
I want to believe that this mysterious Mystery would make perfect sense even in this imperfect world if one were to read the book enough times! I have read it five times in the last three weeks and here is where I have arrived.
Why did the cat cross the road? Err... I mean the following lines seem important, but I have not quite figured them out yet. Help ....anybody?
- [Ch 1] This time there would be no witnesses.
- [Ch 34] We have two minutes in which to decide what we are going to do.
[Ch 35] He's been in there over an hour now.
- [Ch 16, Richard] He looked in at a bookshop, and on an impulse bought an anthology of Coleridge's poems since it was just lying there.
- [Ch 1][Ch 34] The storms of the day before, and of the day before that, and the floods of the previous week, had now abated. ... But as the evening darkened; it became apparent that the tower was not entirely without life. There was a single dim red light guttering deep within it.
(This was just before the explosion, so there ought to be 9 dozen Salaxalans)
- [Ch 28, Reg] As soon as I began to realise that it was something else trying to invade me things got really bad and the furniture began to fly about.
- [Ch 21] It only remained to do a little shopping and then do it. (How did the ghost know that the ancient atmosphere will be poisonous for human Michael?)
- [Ch 33, the spaceship]Occasionally it sent pieces back if it thought they would help, if it thought they might be received....
- [Ch 33, the spaceship] This quiet event, too, was recorded and incorporated in the continual stream of data processing that the ship ceaselessly performed. Not only the arrival of the door, but the arrival of those behind the door, the way they looked, the way they moved, the way they felt about being there. All processed, all recorded, all transformed.
- [Ch 35] I could have sworn you didn't have a beard before you went behind the tree.
- [Ch 5] On a flattish wall of rock nearby, in fact so nearby that the Monk was surprised not to have noticed it before, was a large painting.
(Five paragraphs about this painting just passing scenery, a filler?)
- [Ch 32] All of us were aboard the landing craft. (If the Salaxalans meant to colonize earth, why were they all on the landing craft on way back to the spaceship?)
- [Ch 34] I would not be surprised to discover that the accident your poor tormented soul out there is trying to reverse is the very thing which started life on this planet!"
(What proof is that there that the explosion of the landing craft creates life ...how does Dirk come to this conclusion? )
Lets explore the universe of infinite improbabilities to figure out how the psychosassic Svlad Cjelli saves the human race from extinction. Most of these are taken from the alt.fan.douglas-adams and douglasadams.com.
Take 1: Butterfly memory
"[Ch 35] All the instructions were clearly contained in the piece once you knew what you were looking for." The 'piece' is most likely the 2nd 'altogether strange' part of Kubla Khan that Coleridge had written under the influence of laudanum and hence also the ghost. It is unlikely that it recorded the existence of Reg and his time machine as the ghost already knows about the time machine and has been pestering Reg. Perhaps it contained the ghosts engineering notes of what went wrong in his fixing procedure or the location of the spaceship and landing craft.
BUT why the ghost needed to have its own experience/findings written down? May be it had a bad memory, like Reg. May be in all its 4 million years of existence, the ghost had similarly found some technique or other to keep its mission from being forgotten. Possibly possible, but not quite entirely likely.
Take 2: Laudanum
"[Ch 21] His large soft cowlike eyes returned to the last few lines of "Kubla Khan", which he had just been reading. The match was made, the zip was pulled."
The ghost has only slight control over people depending on their state of mind. Micheal slides over the edge into complete control after reading Kubla Khan (with the 2nd part) into full control. Dirk surmises that the ghost is acting in accordance with Kubla Khan when Michael bids them goodbye by waving three circles (as mentioned in the poem) and the Coleridge anthology falls out of Micheal's pocket. Dirk goes back, stops Coleridge from writing the 2nd part which stops Micheal from being possessed fully. So the ghost continues to roam the earth in search of a being it can possess. This allows for the Electronic Monk to be still here on earth. Also the ghost was already in the past with Michael's body, but now it does not fully possess Michael or anyone else. So it cannot effect any change. The explosion recurs and there are now two ghosts.
The mention of 'instructions' by Reg is figurative only.
Take 3: Finding Out About The Time Machine
The ghost leaves Coleridge on Dirk's interruption and so it does not find out about the time machine. At least not during that peak. It may have in the current or future peaks which is why Reg destroys the mother ship. It is not mentioned though at which time frame Coleridge visits Reg or how Coleridge has a hunch about the time machine.
BUT the electronic monk is present when Dirk and co return. So in the new timeline too the ghost must have known about the time machine and influenced the Monk to come to earth with Reg. Or was it here simply because it too had time traveled so did not follow the new natural course of events. Also, Michael is already in the past and this does not in any way interrupt his plans of preventing life on earth.
Take 4: Alternate Timeline
Time travel is dicey. Since they couldn't stop the ghost from going back in time (he had already done so), they had to break the chain of events elsewhere, and they chose to do it by preventing the completion of the poem. Dirk & co. thus created an alternate timeline in which there is no such thing as a time machine, and where Coleridge never finished his poem. So the professor could easily travel for as long as he wanted where and when he wanted - as long as he never returned home. For as soon as he materialized his dorm back where it rightfully belonged, the timeline he helped create would grab hold of him and promptly erase all traces of any time-travel technology in a valiant attempt to restore sanity to the universe once more. Which is why the professor's time machine no longer worked at the very end of the book, and why his phone did.
BUT if an alternate timeline was created simply by travelling to past, the professor could not have pulled off the conjuring trick at the dinner. Or would not visit Mauritius just to see a dodo. Or would he?
Take 5: Time Loop
[Ch 25, Reg] I bumped into myseIf in the ante-room.
Somehow, Reg and Dirk create a time loop between 1798 and 198* which forever eradicates the ghost's ability to correct its mistake. The ghost lives on but is powerless to change things. There are a trilogy of indications of this, which may or ma not be intentional red herrings :
- This explains the albatross in Rime of the Ancient Mariner: The ghost inspired Coleridge to write Rime. In the ghost's story a meteorite struck the ship. It doesn't have the Albatross. The joke here is that Richard didn't understand Rime so he asked Dirk to question Coleridge on the meaning of The Albatross. Coleridge wrote Rime after Khan, so he didn't understand the question but that's how he got the idea about albatross. Richard's non-understanding of the albatross was what created it.
When the ghost as Wenton-Weakes reads the poem he doesn't like the bit about the bird since it messes up his own story.
However, it may well be that something else inspired Coleridge to replace the metorite with albatross in the original time line.
- The beginning of the Rime describes a man possessed by the ghost telling his tale to three guests at a wedding procession, as Michael does on the train to Cambridge. Also he waves goodbye in a peculiar fashion mentioned in Kubla Khan.
However, it could also be that Michael is so possessed that he is re-enacting the ghosts past deeds aka acting in accordance with Rime and Kubla Khan.
- Explains how Richard's sofa had got stuck in the first place.
However, it is not mentioned whether Dirk's opening of the door three weeks ago is how the sofa got stuck or how it is not stuck in the after time travel scenario. The sofa being inexplicably stuck could be Richards limitation in knowledge about the moving sofa problem, or just as easily be one of the many paradoxes that makes our universe what it is (as Reg explains paradoxes).
- The time machine does not work at the end. A consequence of breaking the time loop.
However, this may just be Reg's own doing to prevent further time travel, since now there are two ghosts who wanted to colonize the earth.
- The book ends with "...to be continued". This could be a clue to endless loop.
However, if Douglas Adams did not finish the story, his ghost could be roaming about...
Even if the loop was created by chance, how did they get out of the loop? Or did they? Reg did make some minor 'adjustments' when they were waiting outside Coleridge's house but there are no clues given it had to do anything with a time loop.
Take 6: Que sera, sera
We don't have to bother what happened when the ghost tried to stop life to begin, because in the present universe it just didn't happen. And its not likely to either if you think about it: Michael could be killed by the atmosphere (would the scuba diver suit really protect him?) leaving the ghost medium less, the ghost or Michael could change his mind and walk away, the ghost could be killed by his original self as Michael would appear an alien to Salaxalans, he could simply not be believed, or even if he succeeded, the ship could be blown away by something else. It is actually impossible to do something that contradicts the future, which more or less says, that in the moment anyone travels from the future to the past, everything is predestined. So the ship blows up again and we have 2 ghosts. This is just another inadvertent feather in the hat for the clairvoyant Dirk.
BUT in answer to King George's question, Reg does say that it may be possible to change the past, and repeats this when Richard raises the point of paradoxes. He could be wrong of course, giving his believing nature ( he believes the ghosts and Dirks solution).
Take 7: Schrödinger’s Cat
Kubla Khan may have played some other role but as we do not have the "second" part, we can't know.
What we do know from King Georges three questions is that there is no particular reason why one thing appears another. So may be we are asking the wrong question again. Just as well.
III. AND EVERYTHING ELSE
- Kubla Khan, as interpreted by Douglas Adams, describes the ancient dead earth, or more specifically the site of the exploded landing craft with its valleys and rivers. It is even tied in with Bach's music as quoted by Richard.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, written after Kubla Khan, tells the woes of the ghost as it roams around on earth and witnesses the evolution of life.
- The ghost/Michael kills Al(bert) Ross, while in Rime the mariner kills the albatross.
- Inexperienced human ghost of Gordon can press phone buttons and leave a voice message where as the billion year old Salaxalan ghost needs a body to communicate and act.
- [Ch 33, the spaceship]Occasionally it sent pieces back if it thought they would help, if it thought they might be received...
It is implied that the spaceship in orbit recorded all data and converted it to music, and time to time 'inspired' artistes.
- Electric Monks exist in both Salaxala and Pleiades. Are the two monks and the two planets the same or have some relation?
- One or more of the monks on the Salaxalan landing craft may well not have been destroyed when the landing craft blew up. Could Reg be an electric monk? He does seem to be eager to believe...the ghosts story as well as Dirk's solution.
- No valiant hero willing to risk his life to save the human race. Surely it was possible to simply blow up the landing craft the same way Reg blew up the spaceship.
- The monk was made this "strange" way merely for the humor of blending in with the human race, or, The Electric Monk that was with the spaceship somehow influenced the human evolution. Not only in the physical sense, but also in the human struggle to believe in all kinds of things. Also, The music from the spaceship of the Monk is the 'score of life'.
- References to H2G2: chesterfield sofa, towel in Dirk's bag.
- The horse that the Monk from Pleiades could be a reference to the song 'A Horse with No Name" which is said to be inspired by one of Dali's paintings.
- Richard's feelings when he faints in the spaceship could be a description of Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory.
- The landing craft had landed in Bermuda. The mother spaceship trying to communicate with it may be the cause of the myths of Bermuda triangle.
- Reg invented the time machine as part of his job for the Mad King. And as far as Reg not understanding how it works, I'd imagine that he did understand how it works at one point, but, with the state of his memory, doesn't remember now.
- King George the third, who appointed him as the regius professor of chronology, died in 1820, where as the phone was invented in 1876, so the time machine may actually have predated the phone.
- When Richard discovers the horse in the bathroom, there are two references to Beatles songs "Let it be, it won't be long" and "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"
- Pleiades is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. Some ufology believers describe Nordic extraterrestrials as originating from this system.
- The idea behind the new software Anthem that Richard is working on - it is called Algorithmic Composition.
- Douglas Adams seems to lean towards the Primordial Soup theory of Abiogenesis, that life started on Earth by natural processes where living matter evolved from self-replicating but nonliving molecules. The Salaxalans keep the option for panspermia hypothesis just open.
Found this on the web (after a friend's facebook status) and for some really liked it. I think its Mexican: La vida no vale nada si cuatro caen por minuto y al final por el abuso se decide la jornada. Life is worth nothing if four fall every minute and through the abuse, in the end, all the journey is at stake.
A 'gamchha', I reckon, is about the most massively useful thing a terrestrial Bangladeshi gentleman can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can use it to pat dry frequent sweats or wrap it around you in case of sudden showers, and if it gets too wet you can easily squeeze it to near dry as it is made of lightweight cotton; you can use it to mask off the dust and pollution as you go about your activities in the heady streets of Dhaka; you can cover your face with it if you are caught red-handed on camera as well as when you have time for a quick outdoorsy nap between errands; use it as a fly swatter or as a substitute seat belt when approaching a police check point in case your seat belt has just malfunctioned; wrap it round your head to avoid the scorching sun rays from frying your brains, as a designer bandanna, turban or a scarf; you can drape it around a cut in bleeding emergencies, and of course wipe your body with it as its name গা মোছা (gā mochha) suggests.
The gamchha is indeed used by froods from all walks of life in this tropical humid delta. It is often thrown on one shoulder or just tied around the waist, by the Bede to the rickshaw puller to the billionaire 'dhakaiya' businessman. The poorest mad beggar uses it as a loincloth, laborers cushion their heads with it when carrying heavy loads on their heads, it is used by fishermen to sift out fish larva, farmers holster their tools in it, and the boatmen, thought they may not particularly use it as a sail, their attire is unimaginable without one. It can be, according to the Wikipedia, turned it into an effective weapon against wolfs, leopards, wild dogs or feral dogs or even dacoits, by knotting a large stone pebble into one end and using it like a sling. It is the local cheese cloth when making many a luscious delicatessen like the yogurt drink 'borhani', the curd cheese known as 'chhana' and its derivatives like the fresh farmer cheese 'paneer'. With its colorful cross stripe pattern, this coarse piece of cloth has found many uses inside the household as well - a newborn's head will shape up nice and round if you use a pillow with a hole, made by circling the gamchha into several rounds; and if your window pane is broken, the gamchha can serve as a makeshift curtain or, in a similar functionality, is at times worn during outdoor bathing by the deep tube well. In a budget traveler's baggage, it occupies less space and dries easily. If you are a feisty designer like Bibi Russel, you can get Antonio Banderas to use it to promote craftsmanship.
More importantly, a gamchha has immense psychological value. For some reason, if an ordinary civilian discovers that a government official has a towel (a thick western version of the gamchha, symbolizing upper class-ness) laid on the back of his mighty office chair, he will automatically assume that the official is also in possession of the connotative sponge damper, an Econo ball pen, 14 types of seals, a stamp pad whose ink has almost dried, a box of metal thumbtacks, a desktop diary cum note paper with pen holder, time to chat about his accomplishments, interest in your family matters, misplaced morale, etc., etc. Furthermore, the common man will then happily make a deal under the table that the official may need to get the sense of duty working that he might accidentally have "lost". What the civilian will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the corruption ladder, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Now it is a well known fact, for those who keep TED on tabs, that if all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year. So it may be pointed out that, not that we like to make a point unless pointing four fingers at ourselves, our visceral attachment to the gamchha has curtailed our disposition to disposable paper towels, hence saving the nation a lot of trees, bucks and disposal efforts.
There is a theory that cleanliness is next to godliness. There is another theory that ignorance is bliss. Irrespective of these theories, for theories are merely conjectures that have survived the space time continuum or been theorized by the theoreticians, it is worthy of note that the Bangladeshi humanoid can sail nonchalantly through the harshest of times and situations. The phrase from 'opar' Bangla's Anjan Dutt's song "golae gamchcha bedhe korlam fele biye" perhaps best describes how we manage to feel secure and be prepared for what’s coming, or going for that matter. We perhaps have governed ourselves in to an inglorious corner in the world stage, not a corner with no possibilities, but a corner with endless possibilities. It is now only a matter of removing the gamchha from around the neck and tying it tightly around the waist.