This incident took place a few days ago while I was on my way to the coaching centre on my father's bike. It was the first day of Ramadan. We were waiting for the signal to turn green, when suddenly we heard the traffic sergeant shouting at the top of his lungs! We found the sergeant looking at the windows of a local bus and shouting curses! When we asked him the reason for his sudden outburst, he said "Brother, those idiots spat on me!" And sure enough, he was drenched in saliva. The moment the month of Ramadan starts, we start spitting whenever we get the opportunity. We think we will break our fast by swallowing our own saliva. This is a very unhygienic practice and we must do something about it!
Redwan Islam Orittro
Maple Leaf Int. School
My residence is at Mohammedpur and I work in Gulshan. Everyday I commute to Gulshan from Mohammedpur, which gives me a great opportunity to know people and their mentalities. To reach my office at 8.00 am, I start from my residence at 7.00 am. At the Town Hall bus stand, I buy two tickets, one for Taranga and the other for One line. Most of the time, I am standing in the bus. I have no complaints about this. A few days ago, I was trying to get on a bus for more than 40 minutes. Finally I was able to get on the bus and was standing near the door. When about six or seven people got off, I asked one gentleman to go inside so that I could move inside as well. The gentleman replied rudely that he preferred to stand at the door and also asked me what my problem was. I replied that I just wanted to go inside. This is a simple example of what happens everyday. I work to meet my family's needs. I don't want any favour as a woman, but just proper behaviour from others. But I can always see the questions lurking in a man's eyes as to why I am intruding on the bus during office hours. They assume office hours to be only for them as if women are for home decoration pieces and home management. My suggestion to all human beings (especially men), if you treat everyone well, women, we would not need any special favours.
Mahbuba Akter Swaty
In 1986, I was a Lecturer at BUET. One spring morning I was accosted by a bespectacled, nicely dressed teenager in front of the main gate of BUET. He was asking me about how to get in touch with somebody who would tutor him astronomy. Apparently he was an “O-level” student and interested in studying astronomy. I told him about the only person who was into astronomy in our mathematics department, but had retired. I could see the disappointment in his eyes. Recently I was presiding over a final oral examination for a Ph.D. student as a representative of the Post-Graduate School at our university. The subject area was astrophysics. The bespectacled candidate reminded me of the “O-level” student I met a long time ago in Bangladesh. The candidate was set to go to work for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the premier federal research laboratories in the United States. I wonder what happened to that brilliant-eyed teenager. Maybe we lost the next Stephen Hawkins from Bangladesh due to lack of opportunities to pursue a dream.
Kansas State University, USA
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