A Bizarre Compliment
A few months back while making a class presentation for a certain batch at a private university, I found that many students couldn't say what they wanted to say clearly out of fear or nervousness. At the private university, there is a system of making class presentations on a given topic based on the text that the students have read, and most students fail to perform well as they have to present the whole thing in English for five minutes or so. That day, it just so happened that in one of my classes, a student of Honours in English came to present his topic, and he was feeling so nervous that he started speaking in Bangla! Many times, I reminded him gently that he would lose marks for presenting in Bangla. However, the student couldn't help himself and started speaking in a muddled way. It seemed that he understood his topic and could present it in Bangla but not in English. So the once disastrous presentation was over, when I asked the student why he couldn't present properly, he replied: “Madam, can I tell you the reason honestly? You know, you looked like Azrail (the angel, who comes to take our souls before our death) and that's why I had problem in speaking clearly”. I was certainly really stunned to hear his bizarre compliment.
1/6 Eskaton Garden
A Cheating Restauranteur
At the end of the very first month I had lived in Dhaka, I had discovered that I had no money except a hundred taka note folded in my moneybag's hidden pocket. Still, I went to a restaurant for breakfast, though I ordered the cheapest items, which ended up costing Tk 22 Once I had finished my meal, I put the only note that I had on the counter. The manager was gossiping with another person sitting beside him, so he was delayed in attending to me. After a few minutes, he asked me how much the bill was. I replied Tk 22 but became astonished upon seeing the amount he returned to me. It was only Tk 28 against my poor hundred's note! I asked for the rest of my money. Then he said that I gave him a Tk 50 note and pulled out a Tk 50 note from his cash-box. I saw the four-folded note that I gave him, and pointed to it. When he opposed strongly, I argued that my note had been folded in my moneybag and that was the same piece. The sign of four-folding was clearly visible. I also added that as I had no money left in my pocket, there was no chance to mistake from my side. At that time, the man with whom the manager was gossiping, loudly said that he had noticed a Tk 50. note in my hand. I was infuriated! How could a man tell such a serious lie so carelessly! Everyone was looking at me as though I were a liar. And I couldn't give any more evidence since there was already a so-called witness. So I came out with only Tk 28, wondering why I had been cheated by this man when I hadn't done anything to him before.
Since I am a member of the "Sandhani" at Chittagong Medical College, I joined the mobile programme that administers blood tests to determine one's blood group. My mission was to travel across all of Chittagong and do the blood grouping of any willing pedestrians, especially if they were poor. During one such blood grouping, there was an interesting turn of events. Before I jabbed the man's arm with my needle, he turned and said, "Apa, I had my blood test done last year and it came out A-positive. One year has passed, but I still have the same blood group! Do I have a disease?" I tried to make him understand that one's blood group never changes, but I was laughing all the while at his earnest fear.
Jafrin Jahed Ali
Chittagong Medical College
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