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     Volume 7 Issue 17 | April 25, 2008 |

  Cover Story
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First Sincerity Bank


This even a fool will agree that this country is beset with problems. Only the very foolish will disagree. The only people, in my book the most foolish in the garb of experts, cultivating the solutions are some guests on endless television talk shows.

The channel changes, but the images do not. One more new channel… one more talk show… one more set with funny tables… but the same guys and gals, pundits and pals. They give the impression of having all the answers. Not so when they are given the responsibility under oath to implement their big talk on the idiot box.

We have other dimensions to our troubles.

When we are sweating to procure food at the national level and also individually, we begin coining the plight of the poor and the hungry with fictional pronouncements. Hidden famine! Silent hunger! Shy starvation! On the other hand, there is also a lot of commotion, and justifiably so, regarding the high price of rice, and that is because 'empty tummy sounds much'.

So blessed is our soil that soon enough we start having bumper crops potato, watermelon, words. Then a new predicament emerges. Our hardest working farmers have to throw away tons of potato because they are rotting from want of proper storage and marketing. Dogs cannot digest ghee, goes an old Bangla saying.

On another uneven playing field, we are having a daily shortfall of electricity to the tune (don't you dare switch on your radio, television, hi-fi, i-pod, mp3…) of over 1000 megawatts. But the open market policy allows us to have any hot spot of our country air-conditioned. And the entire country is hot. After a lot of sweat, the blessed are advised to lessen the use of ac so that the boxes can become decoration pieces on their walls. One can assume and beg forgiveness for erroneous judgement that even the office from which the counsel was suggested was air-conditioned.

Amazingly the price of these miracle machines is dropping, the temperature is not. Should it not be the other way round? Knowing that only the affluent are benefited, should the government not earn more by levying them heavily? The hitch is that higher price will make the rich hotter and they will need more coolers. It's a bad circle.

To carry us over life's hurdle's, as a nation we have always looked at foreign aid as an instant solution to our constant problems. The ill-tongued say that perks are so attractive for our officials when Jack and Jill give us the dough, that other patriotic options are a 'no'. To add to our woes, foreign expertise and monies have always come tied to the end of strings.

So critical has the dual carriageway of corruption become that we have often been told by well-wishers and loyalists that we do not need any international aid especially in the manner of its present system of delivery at national level.

Therefore, what do we do? The only thing this blue but beloved, bloody but blooming, trampled but thriving country desperately needs is 'sincerity' at all levels private and government, individual and group and community. Be sincere and the rest of the puzzle will come together in harmony without the usual acrimony.

Sincerity can be practised at an individual level. To be effective on a large scale, it should begin there.

-When we are at Bangla Motor, for example, let us not tell the chap on the other side of the mobile that we are in Gulshan. That is insincerity.

-If a food item was dropped on the floor, let us not serve it to someone who has not witnessed the scene. That is insincerity.

-While working as an attendant at a computerised filling station in London, do not tell a suitable bride's parents in Dhaka that you are an IT specialist. That is insincerity.

-Suppose for health reasons you decide not to consume the outdated cake in your fridge, and you offer it to a poor hungry man. That is insincerity.

-It is possible money collected for one's treatment by a public appeal in a newspaper was not needed in full, and the remaining amount is being used for some other unrelated purpose. That is insincerity.

The first thing this country needs to overcome this uncertain political situation, to bring down prices of essentials, to establish rule of law, to rid society of wanton corruption and nepotism, is a bank where we shall deposit our conscience to open a saving account of sincerity. The head office shall be in our respective hearts. The managing director shall be our respective minds. The shareholders shall be the people of this country.

WRITE TO CHINTITO <chintitoforever@gmail.com>

Chintito Letters

Dear Chintito,
I have been reading the Daily Star for a long time. I read your lovely articles every week with great enthusiasm. In my opinion you have the best sense of humour in this country apart from my father. I still can't help but laugh while reading about the announcement of Bangladesh Biman which was delayed for four days, mobile vegetable like SIM, translation of Chinese language, etc. Your column is really important for me to enrich my vocabulary. I wrote down all the adjectives you wrote on Allah in a SWM in the month of Ramadan. But I am a little bit angry on you as some of your jokes go against women such as, between your wife and the dog whom will you let inside the home, where the answer was the dog. Anyway I hope you will write more and more interesting writings in future to entertain us a lot. Take care, all the best.
Nasrin Sultana Ruma, Standard X, Cox's Bazar KG and pre-Cadet Model High School (20 Mar)
Pl accept my sincere apologies for hurting your feelings. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Regards. Chintito

Hi Chintito,
I am a student of class seven, a regular reader of your articles and also your great fan. I have been reading your articles for two years. While reading one of your articles I realised that there was something about your writing that encouraged me to be a great thinker like you. I greatly admire your writing. However, there are a couple of questions which have been puzzling me for the last few weeks. Are you a girl or a boy and why are you always chintito (worried)? There are possibly many other people who are confused and who failed to get the answers from you. Anyway best regards to you and keep up the good work!
Tasneem Khaled
Thank you for your mail Tasneem. Is it not a happy situation that I remain a 'person'? I am not wondering whether you are a man or a woman. People should only do that when they want to start boy-girl relationship. We should look at every human being as just that a human being. The problem is many born a human being lose sight of their origin due to greed, corruption, terrorism, etc.

Dear Chintito,
Shuvo Swadhinata Dibash! I am lucky I was born in a free country. I am proud of my family because all of our family members were linked to the liberation war. We do not celebrate the day differently because every day we recall memories of 1971. My mother used to tell us remarkable stories about our freedom fighters. They are legendary as well as glorified illustration of the time. How could we forget our martyrs' blood! How could we belittle their sacrifices! We cannot live anymore with beasts, which were the killers and rapists of innocent people. They have no mercy. Those who associate with them, they are more heinous. So from this day, let's make a commitment to wipe out the razakars, al-shams and al-badrs, and their friends from our motherland.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman
I admire your spirit, which also assures me that the trial of Liberation War criminals shall take place on this sacred soil. Chintito

Dear Mr Chintito,
I am an SSC candidate and a regular reader of your column. I am also 'chintito' like you, rather more. I am angry. Sometimes I feel like ripping the razakars apart. When I read in the newspaper about the treatment of two 'begums' abroad as a mark of humanity I feel even more angered. Think deeply about what they have done or gave permission to do. Aren't they inhuman? My father says I am a little aggressive in the sense that I don't want them to go abroad but make them suffer much pain here. Is this my problem?
Jawad Mahmud (29 March)
Listen to your father, for they usually think for the welfare of their child. Chintito

Dear Chintito,
I am a regular reader of your article. I need some help from u. I am shocked by hearing from u that u cannot be a friend of someone now. Like others I am also confused whether u are a male or a female. Don't knock me out by not publishing my letter. In fact, I am writing this letter to get some writing tips. I cannot order my sentences properly and I am always in a dilemma whether my sentences are correct or not. Please rescue me!
Tarik, Sylhet
I would like to be a friend to all. In fact, I appreciate friendship very much. My problem is I cannot give time to Facebook and hi5 and similar sites. You are doing fine but I do not like you using 'u' for 'you'. Keep on writing from your heart, and you will be doing just great. Best wishes, friend. Chintito

I really hope that someday you will be able to change your name from Chintito to "nishchinto". With all the best wishes,
Yasmin Zaman
Fat chance, Yasmin, as you have to think about something. Even when everything seems perfect, we think. I am sure you know about the critical relative, who finding no fault in a lady's cooking said, 'had a little more salt been added, it would have been bad!' Thanks for your wishes. Chintito



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