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     Volume 4 Issue 8 | August 13, 2004 |

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Dhaka Diary

The Doctor's Dilemma
I went to a doctor's chamber a couple of days ago with a broken collarbone. Instead of checking the injured part of my shoulder, the physician continued to sip at what it seemed the most invaluable cup of tea on earth. While I was groaning in pain and fuming in anger, the doctor, one of the most famous orthopaedic surgeons in the country, told me how a particular brand of tea that had recently hit the market tasted so good. He went on, and I was enlightened more about tea. His 20-minute-long monologue that ensued was shocking to my ears, and it was of course about nothing other than the evergreen shrub. The doctor threw light on it further: Tea is of Theaceae family, I learnt, and it has toothed leathery leaves, I understood. He did not even spare its Latin name: Camellia sinensis. As the conversation turned from sad to tragic, I interrupted the tea-obsessed physician by telling him that I was feeling really bad and that I felt as if my left arm had been torn apart from my body. It worked. But when I was leaving his chamber I couldn't help wonder how bizarre the incident was. The doctor's behaviour was eerily similar to a person I already know -- my mother.

AMH, Banani

The Scam Network
The phenomenon of legitimising the illegal activities is the symptom of a society, gradually dipping into darkness. On a certain Friday I was on board a truck transporting my household goods from Barisal to Dhaka. At every check post on the highway I paid 20 to 60 taka to the Sergeant in charge there. None of them even either had suspicion nor attempted to check my holdings for illegal goods. I also paid all the legal tolls of bridges and ferry. Aricha ferry ghat is leased by the government to a group of extortionists who never give the ferry ticket without receiving extra money along with the rate fixed by BIWTA for different vehicles. Some truck drivers wait from even dawn to dusk to get their bookings without paying the ransom. Besides all of these, I also received a token from the Motor Worker's Samiti to prevent me from being harassed. That came to no avail. Needless to say everything that occurred that day seemed like a scam and they all worked like a network. How can I call them extortionists when I am getting a coupon? It's hard to decide what's legal and what's illegal nowadays!

Ahmed Eakub, Sher-E-Bangla Hall, BUET

Cheating With Flood
These days everybody has only one motive…to become rich. Flood is a common calamity in Bangladesh and with it follows illness, poverty and suffering. But even at a time like this, there are those who never let an opportunity go by. At my hall yesterday, two young girls asked me for aid as they were collecting for the flood-affected people. They informed me that they were members of a cultural organisation but I was in doubt due to their dress up. Suddenly they seemed familiar. I remembered that a couple of months ago, I saw them selling flowers on the street. I asked them about their profession and they started looking at each other. Finally they marked two men on the opposite side of the street. The girls said that the men had hired them to collect money from the neighbouring houses and they paid the girls Tk 200 for their effort. The two men realised that their scam had been revealed and soon disappeared. It is outrageous that there are some people who will try to profit by playing on people's emotion.

Thowhid Fattah, Mujib Hall, DU







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