|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 7, Tuesday July 15, 2003|
The right way and the other way
Legally you need to be 18 to drive. There are some other prerequisites
as well. For example, you need to know how to drive. But what happens
if you can only jerk the car across short distances and still want a
license? As the saying goes, where there's a will there's a way.
regular, lengthy, legal and hardly used procedure is to apply for you
learner's permit and wait about three months. During this time you LEARN
and take all the tests to prove your ability. That's the right way.
The other way is known as 'The System'. If you are a Matrix fan you
will know that the matrix is all around you. The system is a bit like
that. It is all around you the moment you step through the gate of the
BRTA office in Mirpur. People will come up to and politely ask if you
require any help just like the headwaiter of a ritzy restaurant. If
you are there for your license then they will ask you, "apni
ki system kore kaaj korben?" (Are you going to follow The
rest of the exams are practical ones where you get behind the wheel.
There's the dreaded zigzag test where you basically zig and zag. It
displays your parking and navigating skills. A ramp test checks whether
you can stop on an incline without rolling into the car behind. The
last is a road test where you drive on the road and try not to hit anything.
is the gist of the whole deal. Now comes the actual wheeling and dealing
part. Children take exams in schools and they need pen, eraser, calculator
etc. Here you only need a wallet. The motto is 'money talks'. You really
do not need to know how to drive. More than 90 per cent fail the zigzag.
During my test there was a woman who made a left turn and completely
forgot to turn the wheel right again. She almost ran over the onlookers.
Three people passed that day out of more than 30. A tip is to use a
small car with auto transmission and power steering. Better yet, use
the beat up little junk Toyota Publicas belonging to the driving schools.
These are tricked out so that they run without any input. All you do
is turn the wheel.
it takes not more than 1500 taka to process all your papers the legal
way. It takes about 5-6 months till you get the plastic card with your
funny picture on it. Money makes things move faster. Failed exams can
be passed for a few hundred takas. Exam and card delivery dates can
be moved depending on how fast money moves from your pocket to theirs.
You can even get your license without ever being there. It costs about
5000-7000 Taka. Everything depends on how well you can bargain. Tips
include not going there dressed in designer labels riding a Lexus. Look
cheap and act cheap for a better bargain. If you do not have a car you
can rent someone else's for very little. You might get air con and power
steering as well.
few of the BRTA officials were asked about this rampant
profiteering. You see, you can't call it bribing. They all hemmed and
hawed. One gentleman gently chewed his paan and smiled. That's all the
answer you need. It's great business. Hardly anyone knows how to drive
and someone has to pass them thorough. The result is drivers who do
not know how to control their cars. You see the evidence on all the
damaged bodies of cars. As if that is not enough think of all the drivers
of heavy vehicles. Bus and truck drivers especially drive like maniacs.
lady who almost ran over the people during her test walked out with
a smile and her new license. It's the day I started to become very wary
of all the other drivers on the street. Sure, everyone owns a license
but how many actually know what to do?
the old saying to "where there's money, there's a way."
By Ehsanur Raza Ronny
RECIPES my way
By Mahjabeen Khan
Let's not assume
of mine was relating an amusing story about herself when she was a newly
married woman and struggling with the hazards that came with her current
day she was braving to cook her first "karai chicken", following
a recipe she had borrowed from her much experienced cooking expert,
bhabi. She was quite confident she had done everything according to
the recipe and was understandably taken aback when she realized that
although the chicken was done (in fact the meat was falling apart!)
there was still just too much 'shuruah' left and it didn't look like
'karai chicken' at all!
a state of total panic she called up her bhabi and said, "Bhabi,
the chicken is done but there is too much water left. Should I throw
away the extra 'shuruah'? " Needless to say her bhabi knew exactly
what was to be done and saved the day for my friend.
often when people talk about/on their own field or share their expertise
with others, they assume that the new learners know at least the basic
steps. Goes for cooking too. For example, the simple 'keema' curry.
With little imagination one can make a whole lot of delicious variation
with keema. And yet the preparation differs from one kitchen to another.
I know from experience that some people wash the keema (bought from
the bazar or even supermarkets) before cooking. By doing that you are
throwing away all the juices of the meat and the end result is a tasteless,
rubbery keema curry.
what you are thinking. How can you cook something without washing. The
only way to solve the problem is to have your own keema grinder (the
old fashioned kind or a compact electric one). Buy the meat, wash it
properly, mince it and then cook. I am afraid this little column is
going to carry a few tips. I am sure the experts are already looking
at the next column!
to my topic, the whole world is striving to stay healthy and in shape.
So many of us are changing our eating habits, thus putting a huge responsibility
on the person in charge of the way food is prepared in her/his kitchen.
Cutting down on all kinds of oil and fat (including butter, ghee, margarine
etc.), salt and sugar is the first and most important start. There are
numerous ways of cooking great dishes with very little or no oil (remember
all kinds of meat and fish have their own natural oil).
can marinate chicken/ fish /lamb/beef in a mixture of your choice of
spices, lemon juice with plain fat free yogurt (yogurt made from skimmed
milk) and broil or bake in the oven. Excellent when you are trying to
shed a few kilos! You will soon realize that you do not have to use
oil for all your cooking; nor do you have to swallow insipid, boiled
vegetable or meat when you are on a restricted diet. Instead of frying
eggplant slices in gallons of oil you can rub them with a little oil
and some spice and bake in the oven turning the slices once.
one has to remember a few basic rules about oven cooking. Because gas/electricity
consumption is comparatively higher try to plan and cook more than one
dish at the same time. While following a recipe (the oven remains on
ALL the time until your cooking is done) make sure you use heavily padded
oven mittens to protect your hands from severe burns when you need to
open the oven, pull out the baking tray, do the necessary i.e turn the
food, baste, add sauce or just check. The heat has to be constant unless
or until the recipe tells you to reduce it and then finally switch it
proof dishes/utensils are not microwave proof and vice versa. But we
tend to forget and are sometimes shocked when one of our favourite ceramic
dishes breaks into two, (with all your labour in it!) when we shove
it into an oven! Whereas we put it in the microwave every day and nothing
disastrous happens. Anyway, to end this sermon-like column I would like
to repeat once again that with a little bit of imagination and creativity
we can make sumptuous meals for our families without going overboard
with too much oil.
all the exotic spices that you might be having in your kitchen cabinets
and the aromatic herbs in the market how can you possibly go wrong?
Mix all the ingredients for the basting sauce in a small bowl. Brush over chicken. Set it aside for half an hour. Broil for 15 minutes each side, 2 inches from heat, brushing frequently with the sauce. Allow a few extra minutes if necessary.
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2003 The Daily Star