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     Volume 4 Issue 57 | August 5 , 2005 |

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Dhaka Diary

Eating Out
The other day, I took a few of my friends out to lunch at a plush restaurant in Gulshan as a late birthday treat. It felt good to enter a nice eating place, with exquisite interiors, furniture and curtains. I could definitely feel a little bit of pride within me to have my buddies close by, enjoying the luxury of the good food decorated on fancy platters, refreshing drinks and a cool atmosphere. It was almost heaven to be served lunch, right after a tasking morning at university. We returned to our classes after lunch and heard people talking about how investigative teams have begun to pay 'visits' to restaurants and eating places in the city, looking for adulterated food and the kitchen conditions.
The next day, the newspaper had a blown up picture of a platter filled with chemicals and artificial colour used in cooking and next to it a bowl of dry shrimps crawling with cockroaches. I checked the photo caption to find out the name of the restaurant. "The law should take them to court and fine them what they are worth," I was telling myself as I was scanning for the name. To my sickening shock, it was the posh restaurant in Gulshan, where I had treated my friends to lunch the day before.
Ezhar Khan (Lily) Banani

New Army Routine
I was crossing the Farmgate over-bridge when all of a sudden I had an idea. There is much rigorous training that the people in the army must go through such as wall climbing, crawling under nets, climbing nets, running through, lying tires and much more. All these to brave the enemy in any hostile situation. My idea is revolutionary. Why not have the brothers in the army have a day off from all the training and spend it in Farmgate? They can walk against the flow of the people and try and resist them. I know that I'm no expert but that would really give them a good workout in the elbow, chest and shoulders, not to mention that they would also be dealing with a lot of mental trauma. Like they say, practical experience is always better than theory.
Masud Ghani Gaibandha

The Prime Minister's Car
Last week, on my way to the office I got stuck near the MP Hostel. Sweating under a merciless sun, I found myself at the tail end of a traffic jam: From Rangs Crossing to Zia Uddyan there was not any room to manoeuvre since police would not let any vehicle enter the Old Airport road. The reason: The Prime Minister was going to use that road in a few minutes.
The idea that the VIPs can obstruct any other "ordinary" citizens' movement, is undemocratic and a sheer insult to the very people who have voted Khaleda Zia to become what she is now-- the Prime Minister. As I waited for Khaleda's entourage to pass, I noticed that a woman in a cab was crying in labour pains. My prayers must have been answered quickly, for the PM's car, followed by an army of security personnel, entered the scene and evaporated, leaving wisps of fume to her bemused spectators.
Aysha Ansari Karwan Bazaar

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