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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 130 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

November 14, 2003

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A Conductor's Courtesy

Once, I was on a local bus on my way home from my university . During the journey, the conductor came for the fare and I handed him a Tk10 note. He was supposed to give Tk 2 back to me but he didn't. I asked him for my change and he politely replied, “Sir, the fare now is Tk10, so you are not going to get any money back.” I knew that the fare was not what he claimed, but I decided to let the matter go because he had been polite and had called me 'Sir'. After a while, I noticed that he was taking extra money from all the other passengers by being 'extra' polite and by calling all of them 'Sir'. Perhaps a little flattered, other passenger also did not challenge him regarding the fare. I was quite impressed with the techniques of the conductor who unlike others don't pick up a quarrel, rather he forces out extra bucks by charming them!

Md. Aktaruzzaman Dipu,
Department of Sociology ,Dhaka University

A Fake Beggar

Some days back, I saw a beggar outside a mosque after attending my Magrib prayer at Mirpur. The beggar was shouting and saying, “I'm sick and have a child, but he is going to die for only Tk.820. Please save my child.” I felt sorry for him though I couldn't do anything as I didn't have that much money with me. He was quite loud and noticeable and many pedestrians were giving him money. A few days later, I was coming to my university for my classes when I recognised the same man begging and trying to draw the attention of the people. I knew it was him because he was using the same dialogue and was asking for the same amount of money. I finally understood that this was all a hoax. He was not at all telling the truth and this was just his trick to evoke sympathy in the hearts of people so that they help him. I felt bad because it was for people like him that the really needy ones suffer.

Mominul Hasan Rintu, MBA, Asian University

'Barmy Army' Blues

Sometimes, communication is a big problem. Though English is often considered the universally spoken language, it can land you in trouble. One such troublesome incident took place a couple of weeks back when I went in the VIP Box of our National Stadium. I was there to watch the enthralling 1st Test Match in Dhaka where Bangladesh was playing against England. Incidentally, most of the "Barmy Army" (England supporters who had flown in to support their team) were seated in the VIP Box. At lunchtime, I went to the food court to buy my lunch. There was a queue for lunch, mostly consisting of foreigners. The manager (or maybe the cashier) of the court asked one of the British bloke what he wanted. He replied, "One RC and one wo-u-tta" in a strong British accent. The manager was totally baffled and to find out what the customer had wanted, he replied, "Yes, one RC and one more cha (Tea)"? The foreign customer was continuously trying to explain, but the person didn't have a clue as to what the British person meant. Meanwhile, the hungry queue was getting pretty long. I finally intervened and explained to the manager that the English gentleman was asking for “water”, of course in a non-British accent. The man finally got his water and thanked me for getting him out of the mess.

Aranya Syed, Dhaka


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