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     Volume 7 Issue 20 | May 16, 2008 |

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Dhaka Diary

Crow Country
This incident took place when my best friend and I were playing tennis at Dhanmondi Lake early in the morning. Two spectators, a British and a Bangali, were having a loud conversation. Since it was early in the morning, a huge number of crows were cawing which freaked out the Englishman. He said that Bangladesh seemed creepy and haunted to him as he saw more crows than any other birds. According to him, crows were a burden to the country. What bothered me was that the Bangali man added a lot more to what the Englishman had to say about Bangladesh. In a disgusted voice, he exclaimed that Bangladesh has no beauty whatsoever and is a dirty country. He said that the people living here got used to the filthy place for which the vast number of crows seem usual to them. I wondered how he could humiliate Bangladesh being a citizen of the country. More importantly, how would the crows be a burden when they are mostly responsible for cleaning the dirt of our country by having them as food?
Mohua Morshed
Maple Leaf Int. School

Watch Out
Nowadays when I walk on the streets, I not only keep my eyes on the road but also keep an eye above me. A few days ago I came across an interesting incident that compelled me to be that way. Besides my residence there is a small street, which leads to an apartment building. The street is usually silent so sometimes I walk there with my two and a half year old son, Fardeen. On my day off, I was taking a walk along with my son when I saw an elderly person coming towards us from the other side. Suddenly, out of the blue, a polythene bag, filled with vegetable rubbish fell from one of the top floors of the apartment building right beside the elderly person. The man was really shocked and after shouting angrily a few times he got no response. Finally, he walked away grudgingly. I was wondering how people could have no civic sense at all. So now if you see me walking on the roads looking upwards, please don't be surprised!
Mohamed Sohel Hara
Westecs, Gulshan

The Coward's Way Out
The other day, I was hanging out with my friends after classes. One of my friends raised the issue of her brother's wedding. I asked her what kind of a person her brother was looking for as a life partner. She replied that firstly, the girl would have to be beautiful. Secondly, her level of education and intellect would 'obviously' have to be less than my friend's brother. Thirdly, she would have to manage the household chores. Working after marriage would also not be possible, says my friend. I was flabbergasted. Why would her brother develop such a notion? She replied that according to her brother and rest of the family members, if the future wife of her brother turned out to be smarter, more intelligent, ambitious and highly educated, it would be very difficult for her brother to 'handle' the wife. Eventually, the family would break into pieces. I was shocked and was wondering why someone as educated as my friend's brother would have such thoughts in his mind. Do we still have this kind of perception about the girls even today? If this is what families want for their sons and brothers, what is the need for getting them married? These men can have their personal maids. We are educating ourselves, so that we can earn our own living and also help our parents when they get older. Why would we give everything up and stoop so low for the sake of a mere marriage proposal, which would expect women to be nothing more than a housekeeper and required to be 'handled'? I am sure our ambitions are much higher than. In spite of my frustrations, deep in my heart, I still hope that one day women will be able to establish their own identity in our country. They would not be recognised as a 'Mrs.Rahim' or a Mrs.Karim.' I also hope that eventually, men would marry for their own sake, and not only because of what their families want of them. Instead of choosing beautiful and less educated wives, they will focus more on a woman's intelligence, personality and education. Perhaps then, women will gain the honour that every human being is entitled to.
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