The other day, I was on my way to work in Banani when suddenly I got stuck in one of the alleys. In the beginning I thought that it was probably one of those everyday traffic jams. Besides, because a couple of well-known private universities were located in that particular area, traffic was always a little slow because of the swarming groups of boys and girls. However, that day it was different. I was stuck for a very long time. Suddenly I heard agitating noises coming from a group of students. Suddenly, all the cars were trying to turn around and go in the opposite direction. Crowds of students were fighting and breaking cars and everything in their way. I was shocked at the scene. I turned around to leave as well. Later on, I got to know that the fighting students belonged to American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) and Southeast University. This was quite unexpected, especially since private universities claim that because students are not allowed to practice politics on campus, they are free from political violence as well. But this incident clearly proves that it does not require only political motivations to create violence amongst students on campus. Aggression of this sort can also be triggered by very petty reasons. It is high time that University authorities, both public and private, look into these problems, before they get worse.
Life Begins at 40
There is a small park near my house and every morning, lots of men and women walk and jog there. It makes one very happy to see so many conscious about their health. In our country, it is very common for men and women (especially women) between the ages of 40-50 years of age to feel 'old' and 'useless'. I have heard many mothers in their mid-40s’ talking about how time is coming to an end for them. Yet, they have so much to do- get their children married off, see their grandchildren etc. I wish this kind of an attitude could be overcome by these women, especially because thinking in this way actually takes away a great chunk of their strength. If we look in other countries, for many women and men, life actually does begin at 40. Many of them are going back to undergraduate and graduate schools, many are enjoying promotions in their respective working places etc. They are doing this alongside looking after their children as well, who are either grown up or are still teenagers. Even a decade ago, the elderly people could never think of going out and 'making it big' on their own in our country. However, today there are plenty of opportunities for women and also men in our country. They can do new courses, go back to school or even start their own small businesses. Even exercising and keeping their bodies and minds fresh and updated is also a great occupation. Life should not end at 40, rather it should open up a whole new world of opportunities where everyone will be able to prove their competence.
Gulshan 2, Dhaka
Last week, I had gone to the Trade Fair with two of my friends. It was a Thursday evening and the place was crowded with visitors. I liked going from one stall to another, checking out the products. There were clothes, rugs, accessories and much more from Thailand, Iran and Pakistan. I stepped inside the Pakistani stall and was looking at the lamps and tables made of marble. An elderly Pakistani man, who owned the shop, saw me looking at the things in his shop. He came up to me to see if I was ready to buy anything. I asked him in English to show me one of the small marble lamps. He showed me a few. I finally selected one and asked him the price. Tk 550, he said. I began to bargain, once again in English. Surprisingly enough, he was speaking with me in broken Bangla. It seems he did not know much English and picked up enough Bangla from the customers around. I was surprised because instead of speaking in Urdu, like the other sales-people, he was communicating in broken Bangla, sign languages and a little bit of Urdu now and then. Since he was finding it very difficult to communicate in a flow, I suggested that I would speak Bangla very slowly and he could speak in Urdu to make things easier. That brought out a smile on his face. My friends watched, as I bargained in Bangla and he retorted in Urdu. It was probably one of the most interesting conversations that I had had in a long time.
Elephant Road, Dhaka
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