Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 7 Issue 10 | March 7, 2008 |

  Cover Story
  Straight Talk
  Special Feature
  Human Rights
  Writing the Wrong
  A Roman Column
  View from the   Bottom
  Dhaka Diary
  Book Review

   SWM Home


Sanglap ends in fiasco


We had a sanglap. We had to, despite knowing fully well that they most often lead to frightening consequences, such as the violent and tragic night of 26 March (remember Bangabandhu-Yahya Khan), or to an unfortunate end to prospective ballot voting before1/11 (remember Abdul Jalil-Mannan Bhuiyan). On a lighter note, it is pertinent to ask, which sanglap has been able to keep together the ma and baap?

This dialogue-fayalog is not in our Bangalee culture. This is a Western concept. Our system is somewhat like this: one party will hit the other with shoes, and the other will say: “They beat us up but we were not insulted”, and then wait for years, if necessary, to hit back. But hit back they will. We always have.

The entire nation was now concerned and gradually getting rather jittery. How can we go on like this? Several months have passed and we have been asked to wait and be patient, and advised nationally, even via SMS, that sufficient heat makes the alarming situation safe.

So this long talked-about sanglap began at a local hotel where they served beef and potatoes, rice and daal, fish and salad. It was a meeting of 'chickens', those who had no heart to face the grievous situation.

Life without a chicken has become unbearable for so many of us? That reminds me of a comedian, the fourteenth of his parents' sixteen children, who said: “I was almost twelve years old before I found out that a chicken had other parts than gravy.” That is true for many of our families with even two children today. How times have changed?

The meeting began in earnest with someone opining: “This flu thing is an international conspiracy. Chickens are perfectly safe.”

“Of course they are safe. Are we not? We are talking about eating them, you moron,” roared a man as he tore a piece of ghosto from a bone.

Another said: “This is definitely the work of our politicians. They want to tarnish the image of the government and keep away the tourists. The foreigners, you know, are dying to come to the land of the emerging tiger.”

“To die, you mean,” was a sarcastic comment from the back row.

“In fact,” blurted another, “when the tiger will really emerge, we will all die”.

A tall man stood up, no sorry, he was actually sitting. He yelled: “The tiger emerged in Malaysia, and no one died”.

Sixth person: “There is no tiger in Malaysia. They have big buildings.”

“No one is dying. No one is dead. No one will die,” shouted a middle-aged man sporting a pouch under his shirt.

Seventh lady: “Their leader was a tiger.”
Sixth person: “He was a man.”
Eighth man: “Was?! The tiger should be in the jungle. Man should emerge.”

At this confusing stage of total digression from the original agenda, a real chicken mustered up enough courage and spoke up: “Murubbi, should you not listen to our point of view?”

Waiting for an answer, the fowl made some klik-klok sounds to make its presence felt. Before any one from among the discussants could say 'aanda' a sentry growled: “One more foul word from you murgi, and you will be sent to the cross-fire. How much sahosh! Talking over sir!”

“What happened?” inquired a boss. “Any problem?”

“Nothing, Chaar!” said the dutiful sentry with a muchki smile held from where he makes his klik-klok sounds. He was a right chicken.

The edible chicken's dilemma was understandable. Everyone was abandoning them, the real ones that mattered. No one was taking them. Their life was useless. They are born to be slaughtered, which they don't mind because in that supreme sacrifice lie the justification of their very being. But things have changed for the worse.

Some stupid bird flew in. Someone misspelled it as “bird flu in”, and the mayhem began. They were being killed in their thousands, but sadly not eaten. And that Sir, in chicken kingdom is simply not on. The humans call it “culled” to make it sound gentler. Typical, isn't it? There is no gentleness in killing, crossfire, Bush fire or straight.

It was akin to the condition of human beings, where although it is known that there will be not much good for the mass after the elections and that most of the poor will perhaps end up worse than where they are, but a “no-election” is not an option. It is sure death. But that sort of death is more welcome than being culled and buried.

In the end all the chickens, the very purpose of the sanglap may die.

The sanglap went on.

WRITE TO CHINTITO <chintitoforever@gmail.com>

Chintito Letters

Dear Chintito,
Thank you for your nice writings. By reading your columns, we realize we have many things in our surroundings which make us really chintito. We live in such a country that is full of problems, accidents, natural calamities, corruptions and so many. But after all that we love our country. We think about our country. I am a man of twenty eight. I didn't see the liberation war but I am proud of being a Bangalee because of our valiant sons and daughters who fought for us and achieved a free country. Now I feel ashamed of our dishonest politicians, corrupted officials, greedy businessmen, opportunist teachers and the disloyal society. I am not happy in my personal life because of so many no's. My father was a petty but honest officer in a private firm. He has sacrificed his whole life for our education and he advised us not to earn illegal money. We are the typical low middle-class family. Wants are our other family member for all times, but we want to do something for betterment of our country. We want to think about our country. We need some great leaders who will show us the right path. We want jobs. We want food. We want medicine. We want security. Who will hear our wants? Who will heed our voices? Living with so many hurdles, I want to be optimistic. I hope someday we will be able to see so many smiling faces and good cheers from our people who live with miseries now. I am waiting for those days! Thanking you.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman (14 Feb 2008)

I am so proud of you. Had you been a youth in 1971 I am certain with your zeal you would have been an armed freedom fighter. The war goes on Anis. No one will gift us the goodies. We have to earn them. And the first trait of a nation to be eligible for that is 'honesty'. Your father is a freedom fighter. Let us salute such glorious sons of this soil. Take care. Be good. Best regards. Ch!

Dear Mr Chintito,
You do a wonderful job of being the chintito soul of the nation. I enjoyed your earlier musings as those were a sincere reflection of the 'chintaklishto mons' of the society. Now you do 'dayeshara chinta', much to our agony. We do understand your restrictions or limitations under the present situation. Earlier you also had given reasons for your laziness and absences. We did understand that too. See, we are a compliant nation! But, who can stop 'chintas' from visiting our lazy heads? I am chintito about women labourers working throughout the nights; about why their male counterparts or family murubbis do not provide food and clothing for them, but point fingers at them for the little mistakes they make. I am chintito at seeing an old man or woman sitting above piles of sacks of vegetable in a rickshaw early in the morning, as they leave Kawran Bazaar; at buses that looked so new a few months back while layers of coverings are peeling off exposing their age and status, yet no one is stopping them. We wonder why rows of transports are kept waiting even if the signal is cleared; chintito why so many transports are allowed to run amuck while one (in which you may be sweating for not being able to keep an appointment) is stopped and is kept waiting, as it is at the mercy of the uniformed controller. The list will go on....prices...dacoits in uniform....social and family injustices...of repeatedly seeing old wine in new bottles... Do tell us what calms you down. That anecdote is what many of us are hungrily looking for. Hope your next piece of creation will calm our restless minds...
Khaleda Sajjad Apa (12 Feb 2008)

I did not get the APA thing, but can understand your frustration. Thanks for being so understanding. You almost read my mind. You speak for all of us, sister. Please keep in touch. Best regards.C

Dear Mr Chintito,
Thanks for your immediate response. I had so many thoughts to pen down initially but decided to restrain from doing so. Would like to see your 'chintas' in black and white in days of our frustration.... Most of your thoughts are actually a shadow of our thoughts.... I am a lady and a teacher. I wasn't able to open the Hotmail account years back. So, a young colleague opened this account for me in my absence, keeping the surname (I take my husband's last name). I was grateful to him and did not change my account name. I am widely known (by friends, family and students) by this name. That explains the APA bit I hope. Regards, KMS

Yup! That explains it all. What a sweet story! I admire the work of dedicated teachers. They are the silent shapers of the world. Best regards. C.

Thanks for appreciating the work of teachers. Regards, kms


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2008