On the occasion of Eid, we go crazy buying things for ourselves and for our loved ones. The two Eids are the only two occasions that we celebrate with such big happy hearts. Both the rich and poor celebrate the days, erasing away their painful memories, making room for the happy moments. But today when we see thousands of people around us starving under the cold open sky, can we really enjoy the Eid the way we always did? Deep in our hearts we do feel the pain of the ones made homeless by the Sidr cyclones. Let us all come forward to help them. We should think about moving a step forward and sacrificing the nice clothes and the good food this year, and donating the money to the ones who really need it. That would define true Eid spirit.
I am doing my undergraduate degree in Melbourne, and this incident took place in one of my lecture sessions. I was very curious to know where one of my lecturers was from, as he appeared and sounded like a fellow countryman. So one day I went up to him and asked about his homeland. I got a remarkable reply from him: "I came to Australia before you were even born." Unsatisfied by his response, I inquired about him in the faculty office and I came to know that he is actually an expatriate from Bangladesh. The reason of my eagerness was simple. I just wanted to know and feel proud that a Bangladeshi lecturer was amongst the elite in my university. The most probable reason for his reply was that he isn't proud to say that he is from Bangladesh and claims to be an "Australian".
We, as the generation coming up, should learn from our elders and senior statesmen. Unfortunately if our mentors feel this way about our roots then I seriously doubt our learning curve.
Mohammed Ulfat Toaha
This happened in the Institute of Modern languages, Shahbagh. I heard about the announcement that short courses on French, German and Spanish are going to take place in the Institute. Being interested I thought of making a visit. I had always wanted to learn French and so the choice of joining for the course seemed very exciting. Upon arrival, I was a little bewildered. There was a crowd encircling a notice board. Believing that may be I could get some answers, I headed towards the crowd. There were many pamphlets and I had trouble tracing the right information about the French course. A peon was sitting on a chair in the vicinity smoking a cigarette. Puzzled, I walked towards him. He gave me an enthusiastic look as if I was probably the first person to ever confide to him about a problem. I was pleased with his over-exaggerated courtesy. He queued me to a room at the far end of the corner, mentioning that there was an administrative staff, who would be of some assistance.
The room was actually spacious although it did not appear so, as it was crammed with heaps of office files in addition to the several cabinets. A man was sitting beside a table talking over the phone. Two people were standing opposite to his table, looking at him angrily. As I had approached him, I could hear his one-sided conversation clearly. It was his brother-in-law on the other end of the phone and the man was discussing his plans for Eid-Ul-Azha.
He was laughing at the top of his lungs drawing the attention of some of his colleagues nearby. One of the two men mumbled to his companion that they had been standing for an hour to submit a form for a course but the man on duty was not at all responsive.
After waiting for a few more minutes the men thought of leaving when finally the man on the desk finally hung up. The jovial expression that he bore earlier disappeared instantly and he gave an irritating glance at the men. However, their matter was later solved. I finally posed my question to him about the French course, rather uncertain whether he could give me the right guidance, but to my surprise, he did prove to be 'efficient'. He had directed me to the place where I had started initially -the same confusing notice board!
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