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     Volume 6 Issue 17 | May 4, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

On the Bus

In Dhaka, bus rides have become smoother and much more disciplined in the last few years. Today, bus passengers travel relatively more comfortably than they did at one time. A few days ago, I was going towards Uttara by bus; our bus conductor was a very jovial man. He was singing, dancing and talking non-stop. I was enjoying his eccentric behaviour. Beside me, an elderly man was sitting who was a bit irritated with the conductor's erratic behaviour. I heard him mumbling to himself about how silly the conductor could be! When the bus got stuck in the Mohakhali signal, the conductor tried to sneak a betel leaf from a cyclist who was carrying bundles of betel leaves on his back-carrier and everything fell down on the road. The cyclist, who seemed to be a cigarette vender, was furious and a heated argument began between him and the conductor. Later on I, along with a few other passengers intervened and compelled the conductor to pay the cyclist Tk 100 as a penalty. The conductor reluctantly obliged and finally we resumed our journey. Obviously, my fellow elderly passenger was now very happy with the monetary punishment of the conductor and said loudly, "The right punishment for being so silly!"

Md Sohel Hara
Olympia Palace restaurant

Disturbing the Peace

was walking through Dhanmondi on Road no. 32 one afternoon. It was right after a heavy rainfall, so the roads and the roadside trees looked wonderful. Everything was peaceful and the people around were clearly enjoying the peace and the heavenly weather. However, the peace could not last for lang. Two cars sped by at a deadly speed, competing with each other. The rap music including abusive lyrics played at a very high volume, destroying the peace completely. The passengers inside were well dressed and good-looking. Wandering about the streets increasing noise pollution and driving in a reckless manner, probably give them a lot of enjoyment. These so-called 'high class' members of the society are not always very well mannered. Their foolhardy actions often disgust others around. We have people wandering around the city begging with no shelter while the so-called upper class going about in a rash manner about the city and not giving a thought for anyone else around them. What an awful disparity!

Omar Nasif Abdullah


A few days ago, our O Level exams in January, we were sitting in our Physics class waiting for the class to begin. Our teacher was late and the students were engaged in gossiping. A little later, a girl wearing a hijab entered the class and sat down in front. She was a new student who had probably joined our class for the question paper session. As soon as she entered the class, a group of boys cried out from behind, ''Be careful, she might detonate a bomb'' and the whole class erupted into laughter. The girl sat down quietly without responding. We accuse people belonging to other religions terming us Muslims as terrorists and extremists. I pose a question to the Muslim community. What kind of an example are we showing? If we want others to respect us we should try to be respectful towards others as well ourselves.

Md Shahanur Rashid


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