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

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 149 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

April 9, 2004

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Rickshawpullers and women passengers

I was on my way home from Panthopath. I always fix the fare with the rickshaw puller before getting on. That day the fare had been fixed at Tk. 8 and I paid accordingly. But the rickshaw puller was asking for Tk. 10. Sometimes, because the rickshaw puller is nice or because of unbearable heat, rainfall or traffic jams, I pay more than the fixed fare. But that day there was no such reason. I asked him why he had agreed to the fare in the first place and he got mad at me and said he didn't need my money and I should just take it back. I was astonished. However, I put the money on the seat and turned away. But he was uttering something. I was feeling ashamed seeing a smart boy passing me. I used to feel bad when I saw anyone slapping rickshaw pullers. But now I feel they might have their reasons.

Maria Ahmed, Dhaka

A friend of mine

If you enter into the greatest place, your heart will be greater; you will be generous." This is what one of my classmates told me on my very first day at Dhaka University. I am now in my Third Year in the English department. A few days ago, I asked this friend for some notes. But he refused to give it to me saying he had no such notes. I know he lied because I later caught him red-handed with them. This time he said the notes weren't his but belonged to someone else. Both of us study at this great educational institute known as "the Oxford of the East". Has his mind changed at all since coming here? I think his heart has only grown narrower.

Bichitra Roy
Jagannath Hall, Dhaka University

The mute rickshawpuller

A few days ago, my friend and I were looking for a rickshaw on Indira Road on our way to Dhanmondi. We found one with a rickshaw puller who was mute and dressed in dirty clothes. Through sign language, he showed us that the fare would be Tk. 15. Though we knew the fare was high, we agreed, feeling sympathy for the dumb rickshaw puller. When we reached Dhanmondi, he signalled again with his hand, this time showing Tk. 20 as the fare. We paid him Tk. 15 as was agreed but he demanded more and began to get aggressive. We asked other rickshaw pullers what the regular fare was and they said it was usually Tk. 12. In the end, because of the rickshaw puller's agitated mental state, we paid him Tk. 20. He did not value our sympathy and affection and obviously cheated us. But later once we too had cooled down, we thought of the circumstances under which this man lived and realise why he would be so aggressive.

A reader, Dhaka


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