A Campaign for Change
Campaigning before elections is an everyday sight on the streets of Dhaka. The screams of the supporters through speakers and phones, after a while, fade in with the daily street sounds, giving one a feeling of numbness. Sounds and screams, one can deal with, but what about processions on the streets? This year, the campaigners were forbidden to block streets and the free flow of the traffic (not that there is much of a free flow otherwise). Even then, the other day while going back home from office at around 6 pm, the traffic slowed down a little because of a procession going on in front. Besides the screaming campaigners, the procession also included dhols, little colourful flags, people dancing and jumping and what not. From way behind, however, I could hear the wails of an ambulance, blending in with the screams in front. For a moment, I got nervous. What if there was a patient inside the ambulance who needed immediate medical attention? Or what if the ambulance had to reach someone critically ill? The traffic finally began to move normally. Even then, the cars in front would not move to let the ambulance pass by. I was disgusted to realise that even though we speak of changes in our infrastructure and politics, we fail to realise that the only way to have a better nation is when we change our attitude towards our own country-people.
Afew days ago I was going to Mirpur from Malibagh on a bus paribahan, which was filled with passengers. On one of the stops, a few women got on and immediately began to scream with the men who were sitting on the reserved seats. The men got angry and started to scream back. At one point, the situation turned worse. No one would stop screaming at each other. Then we finally politely requested the male passengers to move from the reserved seats. The men moved away willingly and the quarrel died down. My earnest request to everyone, kindly try to resolve your problems in a civilised manner rather than screaming and showing your rudeness everywhere.
Stamford University Bangladesh, Dhaka
Match Made in Heaven
The other day, I had gone to a Chinese restaurant with a friend. Both of us were very hungry and as soon as we reached the restaurant, we gave our orders. As we waited, we saw a group enter the restaurant - father, mother, uncle, aunt, grandmother and an ever-smiling, stout lady - along with a girl dressed in an orange shelwar kameez. She wore a lot of make-up and gold ornaments. They walked to a table reserved for at least 20 people. A little later, another group of people - parents, uncles, aunts and grandmothers - this time with a boy dressed in his best clothes, entered the restaurant. It was fun watching the two gangs of people trying to fix a match between the boy and girl. When the boy and girl were made to sit together and asked to ask each other questions, the boy was chattering away with a huge smile on his face, while the girl seemed bored, nodding to everything the boy was saying. As our food arrived on our table, I wondered to myself while taking spoonfuls of soup into my bowl, there sits another match made in heaven, about to be tied to each other by their families, in the hopes that they will be perfect for each other. However, what if one turns out to be a square peg and the other a round circle?
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