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     Volume 5 Issue 117| October 20, 2006 |

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Dhaka Diary

Walking in Dhaka City

It started to rain very hard when I was walking on the pavement in Banani. No umbrella, I cried to myself. The weather looked fine when I had gone out in the morning. What surprises me the most is the fact that we don't have a lot of raincoats being sold on the roads like umbrellas. We live in a country, which gets splashed away with rainwater most of the year! Feeling dejected and frustrated within, I went on walking through Banani. None of the rickshaws wanted to take me to the others side. To make things worse, two private cars swished past me, drenching me along with the other pedestrians. I knew it would be of no use crying or running after the car, hauling out the driver and beat him to a pulp, though the scene felt good in my mind.

I don't know what made me think that walking to nearby places would be better and healthier for us in Dhaka, instead of joining expensive gymnasiums and swimming complexes. A swish of water probably did me some good.

Durdana Islam

The CNG fight

I had just finished my night classes and needed to go home. Unfortunately, none of the CNG s would take me and going home on a rickshaw at 9:30 at night did not seem like a good idea. Finally, a CNG stopped and wanted Tk. 30. "I wont turn the metre on, ma'am," he said. What he did not know was that it would actually end up to more than Tk. 35 at least, if he had his metre turned on. I said fine. I would pay him Tk. 30, not more, not less, provided that he kept the metre switched on, just to see how much it would really come to. The CNG driver agreed. Upon reaching my home, the metre read Tk. 36. I turned towards the driver's sheepish looking face, and took out Tk. 40 and gave it to him. I don't mind paying Tk. 5 more to CNG drivers, but what bugs me sometimes is the fact that they start making a fuss, especially at night, when we tend to need transport the most.

Ruhan Khan


For the love of Ganja!

I was heading for Karwan Bazaar the other day. After spending half an hour finding a rickshaw from Mohakhali, I finally got myself a good bargain and started off. Half way all of a sudden it started raining cats and dogs, and I asked the rickshwa walla to bring out the plastic. All through out the ride I couldn't help but feel bad about the old man getting soaked in the rain. But every two minutes he was checking his pocket, sometimes halting in the middle of the road. I finally asked him what was wrong. He turned to face me and gave me a nervous smile while parking the rickshaw aside. Then he got down and brought out 7 sticks of ganja and asked me to keep it behind me since they were getting soaked as well. I hesitated for a second, but then changed my mind and shielded his precious belonging all the way to my stop.

Nazia Ahmed
Kawran Bazaar

30 minutes of drama

The other night I went though an experience to remember. I took a black cab home from Dhanmondi and it must have been past 11 when I reached home. I got out of the cab, paid the cab driver and walked inside the front gate. I made my way inside and put my bag down in my room. Just as a matter of habit I felt my trouser pockets for my mobile. It felt like the carpet had been pulled beneath me, my heart literally stopped. For the life of me I could not find my phone, I quickly looked through my bag and it wasn't there either. I must have left it in the cab! I went running out of my house as my night guard said the cab went left. I ran as fast as I could to the end of the road, by the time I got there I was panting and out of breath. Now it was make or break time, which way should I go, left to Gulshan-1 or right to Gulsanh-2 to look for the cab? For no real reason I picked left to Gulshan-1, I took a rickshaw and told him I would pay him as much as he wanted if he helped me find that cab. The roads were quite empty and we were speeding along, the entire time I was on the lookout for a black taxi. Then right in front of Shoppers World there was a considerable amount of traffic, I thought that the chase was up, there was no way I could find the cab now. Much to my delight I saw three black cabs parked together trying to pick up passengers coming out of the shopping complex. I got down and ran to them, I waved my arms and screamed "stop". The bemused cabbies laughed and I went around asking if any of them just dropped me off from Dhanmondi. One man said he was the one that dropped me off, I explained my situation to both him and the passengers in his cab. They were all most helpful, they took down my number and called it. Yet they still could not find it. Finally I sheepishly asked them if they could get out of the cab so that I look for it. I was grovelling around the bottom of the cab, when I saw my cell ringing. It was a supreme feeling of relief. I thanked everyone for their time and effort. By now my rickshaw puller was frantically looking for me and I told him that I found my mobile. He took me home and I was more than happy to pay him anything he asked for. To cap off a remarkable half our all he asked was for Tk 10, I offered him more but he refused. He said he would only take the real fare. I smiled and gave him the money. That was a half hour to remember!

N. Rahman
Gulshan 2

A Tricky Ad

A couple of months back there was an advertisement in a newspaper recruiting teachers for an English Medium School in the Middle East. As a result, innumerable candidates applied. One of my friends, who was a single woman applied as well. Her written examination was good and she also noticed that a few single women had responded to that advertisement as well.

After the written test, when my friend was called for an interview, she got to know from some of the candidates that the interview board, instead of asking any important question, were asking whether the single women had any relative(s) living in the Middle East. When my friend's turn came, she was asked the same question and on knowing her marital status, the authority told her that they could not take her. My friend said that no such thing was written in the ad or if they could have simply written that single women are not preferred, she would not have applied. Surprisingly the General Manager told my friend that actually 'it was a tricky ad'. She was flabbergasted; decency made her not to argue with them or try to reason with them. After coming out of the interview board, she told this to her family members and every one was ruminating about the meaning of the words "tricky ad".



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