At the best of times, the Bangladeshi public is known to be reactionary. What fury then, will a defeat to India, that too in an Asia Cup final, unleash? If reports from Dhaka are to be believed, nature's fury prior to the final pales in comparison. The by-now-infamous photoshopped image of Bangladeshi bowler Taskin Ahmad holding aloft a severed head of Indian skipper, MS Dhoni, is now being blamed for the defeat.
Ironically, before the Asia Cup final, the same image was lauded by both the Bangladeshi media and people. Bangladeshi Facebook users didn't just stop at making the image their cover photo, they even made it their profile photo before the final. Since the defeat however, its online footprint has greatly diminished with users not just deleting the image but issuing clarifications that they strongly condemn such repugnant image manipulations. One particular user went so far as saying that everyone can see this is the devil at work, and since the design software is from the West, it is easy to put two and two together.
But that was the least of it. Design firms and ad agencies that use such software are being forced to shut down. At least 11 such offices are known to have been attacked and vandalised in Dhaka. The leader of the mob said they did not want to cause any harm to anyone.
"We just want to make sure they uninstall Adobe photoshop, Corel Draw etc and terminate their subscriptions. By doing so, they will ensure that such a third rate photoshop as the one of Dhoni's head in Taskin's hand will never be created on Bangladeshi soil again. It is hard to say which software it was that created the despicable design, so we are being impartial and uninstalling all these demons from the machines. One day they will thank us for ushering in a new era of creativity where we see images for what they are and not what we want people to think they are. Why couldn't they have made a poster of Taskin looking Dhoni in the eye and saying, 'I mean business'. I'm sure there are many such real images available in the archives."
Dhoni refused to comment on the image saying that he had not seen it and his head was firmly on his shoulders. Asked if the image had inspired him, he said the net connections in Bangladesh weren't good enough to surf images, so the players stuck to texting. When asked if the first six was inspired by anything in particular, he smiled in the affirmative, "Yes, you can say it was inspired by an over-pitched ball that was begging to be hit."
The rowdy mob though is having none of this. They feel a player of Dhoni's stature will have an excellent roaming plan and will have definitely seen the image. "How else do you explain this sudden burst of form and fury? Till now he had faced hardly any balls in the tournament scoring hardly any runs to be precise. But if you see what he did to us in the final... OMG that first six didn't come out of nowhere... it was in direct reaction to that photoshopped image... I could see it in his eyes... captain cool was captain angry cool... we woke up a sleeping giant, Dhoni's super demons to be precise... and are now paying the ultimate price... If I could just get my hands on the assho*le bastard fu*ker, I would separate his head from his body via hardware not software..."
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the person who created the Dhoni-head graphic has gone into hiding and is looking for a way to reach the Ecuador embassy in London. "If it's good enough for Mr Julian Assange, I'm sure it's a nice and safe place for me too... oh no, what was that noise... sh*t that sounds like Dhoni coming after me..."
(However plausible this might sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)
First published here