to harm a Rickshaw 'walla'
was in Gulshan 2, last week, and saw a rather sad looking
rickshaw puller sitting by the side of the road on his rickshaw.
What caught my attention was that the man was looking into
the distance with tears in his eyes. Out of sheer curiosity,
I went up to him and asked him what was wrong. It was almost
as if I smacked him back to reality because he looked at me
totally dazed. He then told me that he was trying to get home
early and in doing so, he had taken the main road, which he
was not allowed to take. Rickshaws are not allowed on this
main road and if a traffic sergeant caught someone breaking
the rules, they would either take bribe, the rickshaw walla
would get slapped or one of his tyres would be punctured.
Nowadays, some Ansar has also been given traffic duties. Instead
of following the regular customs, what the Ansars do is that
they take the godi (the seat of the rickshaw) away
from the rickshaw pullers. This is the only movable object
on the rickshaw and is vital if the rickshaw is to carry passengers.
The Ansars take the godi away and don't give it back
for about three to four hours. I felt horrified after listening
to all this from the poor rickshaw fellow. What better way
to get to the rickshaw pullers than by blocking off their
income source? Another step backwards for humanity.
was passing by Banani road no 11 when I noticed a big banner
in front of Prescription Aid that read Mushrooms. It was on
top of an Iftar stall and I went to check out the items. I
noticed two young university-going students selling items
containing mushrooms. They included mushroom chicken porota,
mushroom prawn kabab, mushroom fry, mushroom fish finger,
mushroom halim and more. The last item that I took,
though I had a hard time comprehending the taste, was mushroom
jilapi. It was fun and interesting to see these young people
take so much interest in a new venture and promote it through
their own innovative ways. Had a mushroom feast that day at
iftar and I tell you, it was quite extraordinary.
few days ago, I was passing by Priyangon Shopping Centre,
when a shopkeeper asked me if I would buy a wrist watch from
him. The watch was a new, gold plated one and looked very
expensive. I asked him where he got it from and he replied
saying that it was snatched from a passenger on a bus. It
seems this was a regular business of his. I told him that
I might just report him to the police for these illegal activities.
He burst out laughing at my remark and said that the police
was with him in this. It seems the police would also get a
good percentage from these illegal activities. I was in a
total fix and did not know what to say.
Sohel, BUET, Dhaka
(R) thedailystar.net 2004