Every year, I come back to Dhaka for the holidays and find a city that is somehow changing constantly while simultaneously never really moving forward. What stands out to me is the vigorous pace this evolution of lifestyle exclusively applies to the 'elite' of our country. In a conversation I had with one of my old high school friends I ran into at a café, she was casually joking about how her two-year-old nephew refused to get into any other cars in their house except his Nana's (a former BGMEA tycoon) S-class Benz.
Even though everybody else found this story very entertaining, it failed to humour me. Was I being judgmental towards a tiny toddler's naivety? Or was I simply worried about how this illustrated very clearly how far removed members of our upper class are getting from the reality in which we live? We are spiralling out of control into a culture of materialism that will surely isolate us further from the mass population. It gives a glimpse into a future that horrifies me, one where the leaders and the rich will be even more irresponsible. I hope my pessimism remains a fear that does not have to be confronted.
Ugly Scenes from the Beautiful Game
World Cup football is undoubtedly the most popular sports event in this globe. All over the world, from Fiji to Alaska, from Timbuktu to the Bermuda triangle, where ever there is human habitat on this planet, and a television set to go with that, this sports event is being enjoyed, the sounds of the now familiar vuvuzela vibrating from the TV screen. Bangladesh is no exception to this worldwide trend. The World Cup endows in many of us, a unique carnival mood that we get to enjoy once every four years.
But that day in my neighbourhood I witnessed an unfortunate scene that tarnishes “the beautiful game”. A group of youths tried to bring down the flag of a particular nation whose team is very popular in Bangladesh. This was protested by another group of youth, and two youngsters got involved in a fistfight that could have resulted in something bloody had not elders from the neighbourhood intervened and calmed the situation down. In other parts of the country, there have been bloodier and somewhat fatal incidents involving football. Football fans need to control their emotions and enjoy the game in the spirit it is intended.
Songs of Innocence
Nowadays, playgrounds are rare in urban areas. Beside our house there is an open space, where our neighbours' children play. The other day, while I was watching them play happily, running around in what is the only open space in the neighbourhood, the landlord, who usually doesn't even notice them passed by and started shouting at them and asking them to go home. The children looked broken hearted as they left to go home. This left me thinking, is it fair for our future generations not to have a space where they can enjoy nature and breathe fresh air?
(R) thedailystar.net 2010