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     Volume 6 Issue 29 | July 27, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

On the road
A few days ago, I was going home to Malibagh when I got into a really bad traffic jam. A traffic jam is a very normal phenomenon in our daily life. But this one happened because of two rickshaws pullers, who blocked the road, fighting with each other. They were hardly bothered about the huge line of cars, which had lined up right behind them trying to honk their way through. We can probably overlook the rickshaw pullers' attitude because of their lack of education, but surprisingly enough, the passengers who were sitting on the rickshaws seemed to be enjoying the dispute very much and actually had a sly smile on their faces! They were also laughing at the hostility between the pullers, which were getting worse by the minute. How do we expect something good from the society with these people around us? The first step that we have to take is changing our thinking and ourselves. Only then can we expect something good from the society.
S.M.Sharif (Adnan)
East West University

Playing the Matchmaking Game
The other day I was taking some time out of my busy schedule, relaxing at a café reading magazines and just 'chilling' all by myself. The café situated in Gulshan is a regular hang out place for youngsters and other 'you-know-whos' of Dhaka who come in groups or duos for the food, music and the overall environment of the café. That's why, I was taken aback when I saw a family, a man in his late twenties, his khala (aunt), an elder cousin and a friend enter the dimly lit café. It was apparent that it was the first time that they had stepped inside the particular café since they were looking about in a confused fashion for a place to settle down. It was hilarious to watch the expressions of the elder ones in the group suddenly turn stern, looking at the youngsters in their torn jeans with their coloured hair and pierced eyebrows sitting around. They slowly approached a table where sat a young girl in her twenties reading a book. She smiled sweetly and invited them to join her at the table. It was then that I understood that the family had come to check out a prospective bride for the young man. The girl, who was obviously unwilling to get into this kind of a set up, asked them to meet her at a 'restaurant'. After a while, the brightly dressed family got up politely and left the café while the girl was left behind, with a twinkle in her eyes. It seems she told them all about her hobbies and interests which apparently horrified the family, as they included regularly going to concerts and head banging with the rockers on stage. I could not help laughing when I realised that one does not have to look for family comedies only on television!
Sara Hossain

A Common Dump Area
A few weeks ago, my foreign friends and I were covered with sweat in the scorching heat. I showed them all the beautiful sites of Dhaka, took them to the university area and retold the stories of our liberation movement that commenced in this very area. My friends were immensely pleased and were clearly impressed with the facilities provided to the students of the education institutes as well. We finally decided to escape the heat and get some ice creams. Very casually, like an every day habit, I threw the wrapper on the ground as I finished with my ice cream. My friends were astonished and asked sarcastically, if the city was a garbage dump for just about anybody. Embarrassed at my behaviour, I realised that there are always these little things that have to be done by us to make this country a better place to live in.

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