<%-- Page Title--%> Dhaka Diary <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 116 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

August 01 , 2003

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It was nearing dusk and amidst a sparse civic movement, there arrived a black cab at the entry point of Station Road at Tongi. Out came a middle-aged man from the cab, followed by two burkha-clad women as some friends and I were passing by the scene. While most people were not at all bothered about the parked cab, we suspected something fishy going on. Two young men appeared at the scene and hurriedly received a small packet in exchange of some money from one of the two women, who had so far hidden the package inside her veiled dress. Within minutes, both the parties left. On inquiry from the nearby paanwallah we came to know that we had witnessed a heroin trade. This sort of occurrence of trading a banned narcotic product has become common at the so-called 'spot' since long under 'special protection' from some of the local law-enforcing agencies. One wonders how long we have to witness the painful destruction of our youth while simultaneously, watch the intentional negligence of the concerned authorities in exchange for petty bribe and illegal advantages.

Sabuj ,Uttara

The Death Trap!!

I don't prefer to travel in taxies very much but sometimes, due to unavoidable circumstances, I have to. Just a few days back, when my chauffeur went out to the market for something with my car keys, I had no alternative but to take a taxi. I failed to get an A/C yellow cab which I always prefer in this hot clumsy weather and was had to board a black cab. I had constantly been warned by my family and friends a million times to avoid black cabs even if it's an emergency. They call it a 'death trap'! I had no option but to gamble with my luck. I was really amazed at the taxi driver's recklessness as he was rushing in a manner that was totally uncalled for. When I told him to slow down a little bit, he simply turned to me and gave me a weird devilish look and said, “Apna go moton passenger ami onek choraisee, ami driver naki apne driver, huh? chup thaken, beshee pachal mairen na!" (I have had many passengers like you. Am I the driver or you? Keep your mouth shut.)With all my might, I suppressed my anger as I did not want to resort to violence at that moment. At one stage, he nearly hit a bus from his side while he was in an intense race with it. By the end of my trip, I was lucky to be alive. I did give him a piece of my mind after the journey but I knew very well that it had no effect on him. I'm quite sure that the BRT doesn't issue these drivers a license to drive but a license to kill!

Shahriar-Ud-Daula, Banani

The Vengeful Beggars

Being very wary of muggers, I usually dress quite frugally and never carry more money with me than necessary. Jum'aa prayers are no exception--I carry just enough to pay for my rickshaw fare, make a little contribution to the mosque and finally make a few discreet donations to my “clients”: three old and incapacitated beggar women. One Friday however, while I was wrapping up my donations, a few young beggar women saw me and lost no time in pursuing me. Having no money with me by this time, I ignored them and continued walking. The insistent pleas of the chasing pack soon turned to vengeful curses and I found myself being stoned at with the same fury as if I was "Shaitan" himself! I escaped my ordeal that day with a few minor abrasions, but couldn't help reflecting on the fact that all my precautionary measures may ward off a mugger's ambush, but not a beggar's wrath…

Samir Mainuddin, Dhanmondi R/A


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