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     Volume 6 Issue 41 | October 26, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

Of Hypocrites and Ramadan

I went to a government bank to open a savings account. As expected, the bank was over crowded with people as Eid was drawing near. The bank officials were doing their jobs hastily. They were too busy to hear any query that any new client, such as me, might have had. The weather was extremely unpleasant and the sweltering heat of the sun was making me exhausted, not to mention the fact that I, like many others around, was fasting. Finally I walked towards a banker sitting at a nearby desk. He was an old man who was skimming through some papers clumsily. I felt unsure as to whether he would be the right person to assist me. As I approached him, I got a closer look at the man. He was in his late 40's; wearing a white panjabi and his forehead had a blackened spot at the centre. He seemed to be a pious man. Just as I was about to ask him about my problem, I was interrupted by the presence of another man. I thought that I might let the “special” client talk to him first for the banker's fervent look gave me the feeling that these two men knew each other very well. I watched the two men. After a few minutes of cordial interaction and warm handshakes, the client gave him a 100-taka note and told him to keep it as a “tip”. The old man without any hesitation took the money and put it in his trousers' pocket.

I was flabbergasted and by that time my impression about the banker changed completely. Although accepting bribes is common practice in banks I could not bear to witness such a corrupt act being done by a pious man which he apparently portrayed to be. The man was simply being a hypocrite in the name of religion. It was very ironic for the day was that of Ramadan.

Naome Syed

Making Choices

One day an old beggar came over to our doorstep and asked for alms. "Maaf koren," I said, asking him to move on since I did not have anything for him. However, the beggar would not budge and kept on nagging for some money. I finally gave him a Tk 2 note and asked him to move on. The beggar, in turn, refused to take it, especially since it was torn and all dusty. I changed the note and gave him a fresh note and practically begged him to go away. Now I realise, that beggars can certainly be choosers sometimes.

Safiqul Raihan
Rajshahi University

Partners in Crime

The other day I was returning home from my coaching centre on a bus when the following occurred. The bus came to a stop and some of the passengers were getting off, when I noticed a man following another very closely while getting off. The man put his hand into the passenger's pocket and took out a cell phone. The owner suddenly understood what was going on and caught hold of the mugger's hand. Naturally, a huge chaos followed and the passenger started to drag the mugger to the police station. Just then, another gentleman from the same bus offered to take him to the police station. As soon as he took hold of the mugger's hand, they sped away together. They were obviously working in a group. Mugging sure has come a long way today.

Salman Ali Chowdhury
A Level candidate

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