to Comilla Friday morning in two hours and later in the evening
came back in four hours; by the same vehicle, by the same road,
with the same persons. It took us a little over one-and-half
hours to reach Dhaka Gate and much of the rest was due to the
manthar pace up to Jatrabari.
days it is absolutely no point getting worked up about a traffic
jam. Take it as an inevitable aspect of life. Enjoy the scenery,
i.e. if you are not driving. Keep your eyes open. You are sure
to see some interesting faces in adjoining vehicles. Try to
make your face interesting too for mutual benefit. Nothing is
free these days, you know.
you want a free amputation do not extend a handshake. If you
are not interested in human beings under the inhuman conditions,
smack a mosquito, wipe your sweaty forehead and cover your nose
while reading the wayside signboards. If you are in an AC vehicle,
pretend you are doing likewise. It's good manners with every
one else watching.
perusing you may find gold; for instance which leader is holy
as a flower or the ahonkar of the wall writer. In fact
you could collect the ones you like and share them with your
friends the next time you get caught in a jam. That predictably
is the next time you are on the road. You need not have to go
as far as Comilla, although it is more fun.
are some collected by voyeurs over the years. I did have a say
in some of them, and indeed some are from my notebook.
of a laundry called 'Suchitra' somewhere in Mymensingh: "Clothes
are washed here in uttam manner." Those who have
not seen any of them B/W masterpieces, do it now.
on a petrol tank: “Janmo thekey jolchi" (Burning
child who had just learnt to read insisted on stopping the car
and doing as was said on the back of a CNG baby taxi: "Poo.
plumbing company in the USA advertised thus: "Don't sleep
with a drip. Call your plumber." On a plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed." You can't say
that to a plumber's wife.
the wall of a college: "Politics, cheating and smoking
free zone". Smoking is injurious to health, cheating is
injurious to the society, but politics? Imagine to where our
politicians have driven it to.
restaurant have unfathomable names. But not this one in Dhaka:
"Yean Tun Kai Jan". If you can't decipher that you
have either never had Chinese food, or spoken in Bangla.
shop slogan: "Seven days without pizza makes one weak."
Three-sixty five days with a guy makes a yaar.
a shop that repairs vehicle silencers: "No appointment
necessary. We hear you coming."
who thought it was fine to pick flowers read this on a garden
signpost: "Fine for picking flowers".
a veterinarian's front door: "Be back in five minutes.
Sit! Stay!" Woof!
the wall of a library for deep-sea divers: "Place to sink."
a gynaecologist's office: "Doctor at your cervix."
outside a political party's office: "The Dream Team --
We dream for dead people."
of a plastic surgeon's office: "We can help you pick your
over the exit door of a Kazi Office: "Please visit us again".
What some people would not do for good business.
an electrician's truck: "Let us remove your shorts".
a minister's office: "Visiting hours, by prior appointment,
only on Wednesdays from 3-3.30 PM".
an ex-minister's house: "An experienced representative
of the people. All are welcome. Open 24 hours. Time unlimited.
Please bring along your friends and relatives."
sitting arrangement at an SSC Examination centre was spelt thus
in Bangla: "Cheat No: 511, Cheat No. 512..."
a maternity room door: "Push. Push. Push."
the dress of a fashion page editor: "Deadline -- Cross
this line and your dead."
an optician's chamber: "If you don't see what you're looking
for, you've come to the right place."
dentist promises thus: "The whole tooth and nothing but
the whole tooth."
the front yard of a sesh beedaye store: "Drive
carefully. We'll wait."
the back of a massive truck: "I am innocent. Please don't
of a civil servant caught in a traffic jam to his mother: “Baba
you all happy hunting!