Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home |  Volume 6, Issue 10, Tuesday, March 08, 2011



No country for road etiquette

What do you do when you rear end someone's car? If you have an ounce of common courtesy in you, you get down immediately, apologise profusely, hand over your business card, try to calm down the hit driver and the owner, and promise to compensate for the damage done. And you sincerely do pay the bill. Irrespective of the fact that it includes other minor or major scratches and dents that were already there before your unfortunate car touched its rear end and inlaid that dreaded microscopic scratch.

You do all this because you are a responsible, smart, modern citizen. At least that's what I think you do in reality, because I think very highly of you. But as always my high regard for my fellow citizens is squashed to death in any real time scenario.

Just to narrate my ordeal to you, last week I was in the thick of three hit and run, hit and caught and hit and justice denied situations. I was carpooling with a friend and out of the blue this car zooms out of a lane without the obligatory horn and hits my friend's car; the driver's door was seriously damaged. In an instant scores of busy Bangladeshis scurry to the scene and you know how that happens or what follows.

Strangely the car's owner was a detective police officer but his wife, ranked I guess next after the police IG, starts screaming and randomly threatens to put us all in jail, and literally orders us to take the compensation money from her driver and drives away.

If only I could write the obscenity of the situation you would understand why the two of us, both working journalists, stood mum all the time and let her bully us. Her car hit us but it was our fault. Obviously might is right and she doesn't understand what right of way means. My poor friend shaking with fear for two straight days never bothered to call her or the DB police, who by the way remained silent all the while, to pay the garage bill.

The next day my car was similarly hit by a school teacher's car and this time I expected something positive to happen because headmasters are the epitome of ethics, but I was miserably bullied and cornered and I had to let go. I dreaded the gridlock I was creating for a few bank notes. I decided dents look good on my car; look cool in fact and I will not bother as long as it runs.

However my dreams were shattered in a matter of hours; my car was hit again, this time rear ended by an armed police car supposedly taking VIP criminals to court. Thus the question did not arise for them to stop and listen to my woes or my placid claims; instead I was told to take pity on the poor driver whose department won't pay a cent. So I got ready to pay a thirty grand garage bill unless my insurance wallas take my side.

I don't understand the irony here; if I hit I pay, if some else hits I pay; while everyone else's driver is a poor man mine is a rich one, while everyone else goes scot free, I am caught. I think it is foolish to be courteous. What do you say; shall I become a paan chewing, swearing, and fist fighting bully? Sounds quite appealing to me under the circumstances.

--Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo: LS Archive


Aarong Celebrates Int'l Women's Day

The International Women's Day is a golden opportunity to show our appreciation for the women in our lives who have blessed us with their silent but unwavering support and love. This Women's Day, Aarong makes giving gifts to the women in our lives even easier by including a very special gift for women which will be offered with the purchase of any women's product. The amazing gift is sure to enhance the grace of a woman. The gift awaits you at all the outlets of Aarong. So hurry and grab your gift and unveil the wonderful surprise before the collection ends.


Paintings with a panache

One was totally surprised at the vision and talent of the young artists seen at Shilpangan under the banner 'Colour of Dream', organised by “Young Society of Art”. It began on the weekend and included what appeared to be painters picked form the cream of the army, as in the case of Masudul Hayder.

The subjects went hand in hand with the timing of the show, very near February 21. The oil paintings on canvas were angular ones that contained muscular, jumping, fierce fighting figures, spear in hand, or stuck on to the waterfall at the back with a sword.

The eye-catching fighters, done in brown and black or gray and black, were in-vogue in appearance, like many shapes that one sees in magazine illustrations today or in bill boards. The quick strokes that presented the figures and the minimum use of colours was admirable indeed.

The other two paintings by Masud, “Survival For the Fittest” and “Lalon” also had bold and moving strokes and choice of colours. The backdrop, placed diagonally and horizontally, were moving and promising, to say the least. The play of light and shadow was also done in an admirable way.

Rumman Mahmud's works were also remarkable and moving. The writing in blood, the rubber slippers left behind and the green and red, blood-soaked flag and words written in Bangla calligraphy, in eye-catching vermilion along with “Let there be light”, “Struggle” and “Awaiting” were mature and remarkable for their experimental shapes, lines and colours.

The tiny bird sitting atop a white pole, and seen against a horizontal strip of cloud, done in royal-blue, cobalt-blue, and white was dramatic and poignant. So was the portrayal of the one-legged brown chick with its wavy beak, perched on the wall; and the melange of images: houses, people, fluttering vermilion flags, with a neat fledgling bird outlined atop these was also a fine piece of painting with patriotism in mind.

Partho Protim Saha, another army painter, was also bursting with emotional zeal. His oil on canvas creations were more stylised and conventional than the other earlier two painters but were also carefully thought out and skilfully done. The green, gold and vermilion creation in “Shekhor”, the artist explained, referred to his father's birthday on 21st February.

Farida Sultana's acrylics on canvas ushered in themes, with their colours and lines, which were mature and thought-provoking. Bronzed, angular faces with traces of overgrown stubbles, in the shape of a goatee, set against a dark, dramatic background entitled “Portrait Study” was just as good as the collection of green bottles and red fruit on the scarlet tablecloth. “Vetor Bahir” brought in different aspects of a meditating old man with flowing a beard and layers of apparel. “Bondon” trees with overgrown trunks and barren, stark branches in their poised shapes was again a fairly good creation.

It is the casual painting exhibits that one drops into that make weekends memorable.

By Fayza Haq



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