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     Volume 4 Issue 18 | October 22, 2004 |

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Tittle-tattle Tilts to a Tale


In jest I had jotted down the following on October 14, hoping that after additions and deletions, if necessary total negation, I would post that or something totally different on the evening of 17th, my ultimate deadline.

Never ever in my wildest of thoughts had I imagined that the authorities concerned would actually be in the same frame of slapstick mind while formulating an official document, as reported by Janakantha on October 17. The work of officials is so much more admirable when they are blessed with humour.

My notes of the 14th:
People seem to have lost all sense of rationality, common sense and wisdom. They fail to understand that the only reason why a passenger can find himself in the cockpit of an aeroplane is because his seatbelt had suddenly snapped when the pilot pressed hard on the brakes. I have reasons to believe they have a brake and only rely on an earthen wall when all else fails. Oh! How I miss Newton! In Physics they explain the phenomenon as inertia.

As further evidence of the poor passenger's unintended propulsion into the cockpit, take note of the fact that he was hit so hard on the head that he now claims himself to be the ex-MD of an airlines company. Cor! What some guys will not say on TV! In the medical world they explain it as amnesia.

It is not only the seats that turned, but tables too. So obvious was the seatbelt malfunction that the oblivious passenger involved in the obligatory involuntary forward motion is now seriously considering suing the seatbelt manufacturer, the cheat, sorry seat manufacturer. In the insurance world they call it a claim. The least one can do is give him a buck up. If you would all join in then the plurality could mean bucks for him.

It is unfortunate (as per reports) that the appointed insurance companies, taking advantage of a two-forked Bangladesh, are looking for silly excuses in a bid to evade their fiscal responsibility. They are working on the hypothesis that here if you say even the most bizarre and brainless thing on earth (or even in flight) there are some who will believe you and some who will oppose, whatever the rationality of either. The British called it 'divide and rule'.

Anyway, now that the facts have been laid bare, the companies are requested to please pay up our due. They will of course receive a formal letter from the concerned ministry who must be congratulated for not forgetting to insure the vessel, I hope. In Bangladesh, that too is possible. And yes! Had that happened, some would have hailed the non-insurance of the aircraft as a momentous moment in our go-low-rious history and some would have opposed it; rationality here is unimportant, because our nationality is Bangladeshi. In politics in this part of the world it is called five-year democracy.

However, one cannot but feel immensely relieved at the near-zero casualties (minus the unfortunate injuries and the trauma that all must have suffered) after the recent skid-off at MAGO International Airport, Sylhet. And, despite the huge financial loss of an aircraft from an already depleted national fleet of a poor country it is reassuring to learn that the F-28s that have been prone to technical faults since its purchase are thus being made non-operational. In religion it is called divine intervention.

I am still pondering on the half-done piece when on the 17th morning I find the following in Janakantha (page 2). I have to give it in original Bangla so that its spirit is not lost in translation.

'Biman has told Lloyds a story about Muyeed Choudhury's presence in the cockpit. That story is that Muyeed Choudhury was indeed sitting in his seat. After the aircraft met with the accident Muyeed Choudhury flung from his seat to the cockpit. He was trapped there in that position. The people of Lloyds Company have accepted this story as true.'

Perhaps the only positive aspect in the episode is that some government machineries have begun to think (if that is the right word) like Chintito. That can't be all that bad, even it is rather eerie!


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