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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 117 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

August 08 , 2003

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What defines class?

A few days back, I was in a Mohakhali-bound Rider on my way to office. After the vehicle started out from Farmgate, the helper started to hurry about for the fare. While everybody paid in silence, a large guy beside me snarled at the helper, holding out a fifty-Taka note. I was astounded because he started to use abusive language without any reason whatsoever. He must already have had a spat with the helper before I got in. The helper asked the passenger for change in a polite and quiet manner. To my sheer astonishment, the rude man erupted and started to bombard the innocent helper with more abuse. His shouting left the air acrid. I was about to request him to calm down when the helper snarled back, “lagbona apner taka, apner bhasha huinai shanty” (I don't need your fare, your language is soothing enough!). Why would a gentleman dressed so well, looking somewhat well educated use such coarse language in a vehicle crammed with men and women? Could it be his way of being smart or macho? Anyway, it was delightful to see the helper outsmart this macho man. So what really defines class?

Shahriar,Green Road

The Ghotok-cum-rickshawallah

It was a sweltering day when I was returning home from the university last week. The time was around 1:30 PM. I was tired and hungry and definitely not in a talkative mood. But the rickshaw puller decided to start a conversation with me just a few minutes before taking me to my home. It started innocently at first. He wanted to know my home district. I obliged him and in return he told me where he came from. He told me that his home town was close to mine, and that made us practically neighbours. Fair enough. Then, he started asking me whether I worked or not, and how long I had been living in the area where he had brought me etc. I got a bit irritated. When I took out my wallet to pay the fare, he asked me whether there were any nice, unmarried women in my neighbourhood. I was taken aback. Now this kind of query did not fall under polite curiosity! But the rickshawallah explained that he does part time 'ghotkali' (matchmaking) and he thought that I might know of single women with whom he could set up 'eligible' bachelors! “It's very difficult to survive by only pulling rickshaws,” he grinned at me. Just in case you're wondering, I couldn't provide him with a bio-data of a prospective bride!

N.K., DU

Finders are not always keepers

One day on my way to my university campus in a congested bus, I firmly held onto the rod to keep my balance. Nearly half my body was on the outside. At one point, I lost my wallet and my search for it turned out to be futile. I was really sad but not too much as I only had Tk.50 inside it. I started to think about this letter that I had once kept inside my wallet. It stated, “It's a sin to steal and I despise the man who steals. Thank you.” Strangely, one day, after that incident, I got a parcel that contained my wallet. Attached to it was a note, “I found it at the bus station.” There was no name or address of the person who had returned my wallet. It was as if that 'one line' was a good enough explanation.
Tamim Yusuf, A.F Rahman Hall


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