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     Volume 6 Issue 32 | August 17, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

Learning a Language
A few days ago I was on my way to office by bus. Since the bus was crowded, I was standing in the middle of the bus. Beside me there was a passenger sitting with a book in his hand. At first glance, it seemed to me that he was reading Chinese or something and to be certain I asked him about what he was reading. He said that he had been studying Korean for a while and was always trying to read it during his spare time to keep up the practice. Eventually, he would try to go to Korea as well. I have always wanted to learn a foreign language other than English but have I never got around to it. The passenger and I suddenly struck a conversation about the significance of learning a foreign language. There are so many coaching centres offering foreign language courses nowadays. It is always wise to learn the language of a country before travelling. It surely would be an added advantage. As we were conversing, I noticed that the bus conductor was listening to our conversation along with a few other passengers with great interest. When it was time to pay the fare, the conductor came over to us and said to the passenger next to me, "O amar Korean bhai akhon bharata den!" (O my Korean brother, now pay the fare!) We burst out laughing at this comical remark.
Md. Sohel Hara
Baridhara DOHS

Getting Run Down
This happened on my way back home from university. I had to walk for a long time in search of a rickshaw. The scorching rays of the sun were piercing through my skin and drops of sweat were trickling down my forehead. I was gasping for breath when suddenly a CNG auto-rickshaw swept by me. After a few seconds, I saw the glimpse of a man lying flat on the ground. I was bewildered but rather frightened at the same time and wondered what had happened to the man. As I tentatively walked forward I saw that the poor man was on crutches! He was in his late 50s and was trying to stand on his feet unsteadily. While he was brushing off the mud from his sleeves, I figured, he could barely stand with the support of his crutches. He bore the look of regret on his face as he slowly limped by. The unfortunate man must have accidentally blocked the way of the merciless CNG driver, who instead of coming to a halt, almost ran on him. The crippled man was lucky to be alive. I felt very sad for the man, who, by that time, was far away from my sight. His carelessness on the street might have cost his life, but who was he to blame? Could he accuse the inhuman CNG driver for not showing the least respect for a disabled person or himself, for his own fate?
Naome Syed

Soaring Prices
One Friday morning I read in the newspaper that a KG of green chillies has risen to Tk 200. Almost immediately I sent my younger brother to the kitchen market to do some shopping as well as check out the price of chillies. Just the day before, I had bought chillies at Tk 90 per KG. Having come back home, he informed me that in the kitchen market it was already Tk 200 as the sellers were quoting all the newspapers that reported the price hike. Then he went to Family World at Mirpur Road, where chillies cost around Tk150 per kg!
Sometimes I think newspapers unknowingly play a role in this vicious price spiral. They don't of course do it on purpose but it helps the sellers to come up with the excuse that the newspapers have certified the price.
Zia Hasan
Fahmida Akram

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