About three weeks ago, I went to visit the holy place Shree Shree Loknath Brohamachari Ashram located at Bardi, Narayanganj. I started from my hometown Ishwardi while my uncle, aunt and two of my cousins joined the trip from Dhaka.
After staying at the ashram for two days, we rushed off to Dhaka in order to board a train for Ishwardi. It is comparatively easy to reach our home town Ishwardi by train from stations near Dhaka. So we went to a station adjacent to Dhaka and asked for tickets. The ticket-seller replied that no tickets were available for Ishwardi. I humbly requested him to manage the tickets somehow. Following a long negotiation, he agreed to sell me two tickets, which were reserved for the next station. Finding no other alternative, I had to give extra money to buy the tickets.
Since the train was yet to come, we decided to meet one of our relatives living near the station. When we came back to the station, the train had already arrived and was ready to set off within few minutes. As I was yet to buy a ticket for myself, I rushed to the ticket counter and urged the ticket-seller to give me another ticket beside the first two. To my utter surprise, the ticket, serially next to the other two tickets he had sold me earlier, was destined for our exact destination, Ishwardi! Yet he whisperingly demanded that I should pay an extra amount above the regular fare to get a ticket for Ishwardi. As the train was set on to leave, I gave in under his illegitimate stipulation. We were all very disturbed by the reprehensible practice of the railway clerk and lost our festive mood.
Ashim Kumar Paul
Edward College, Pabna
A few days ago, I needed to go to Gulshan from Dhanmondi and started looking for a suitable transport. Even after walking for about twenty minutes in the scorching heat of the late autumn sun burning up the dusty Dhaka footpaths, I failed to find a suitable public transport. I soon began to worry whether I would make it to my destination in time. Looking at my watch, I saw that I had only 40 minutes to reach Gulshan. Panicking I started looking for a CNG desperately. I soon found one but there was another passenger hailing it. She seemed be in a hurry. Judging her from her decent appearance, I decided to share the transport with her. Before going up to the CNG driver to negotiate the fare, I told her what was on my mind. She immediately agreed and although our destinations were not same, she decided to get down at some point on the way, near her destination. Usually, when I travel a long distance alone, I listen to songs on my mp3 to prevent myself from getting bored. However, that day with the stranger on board, the boredom of the distance, the traffic, the hubbub of the city seemed to dilute as we talked the entire way about various topics starting from availability of public transport to global warming and what not. Even the CNG driver participated in the conversation from time to time. The whole ride became fun and the weariness of the previous twenty minutes and the worry of reaching my appointment on time was totally forgotten.
The Attitudes Towards Women
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Afew days ago, I was going to my coaching centre by rickshaw when a motorbike overtook my rickshaw. I saw that the rider of the bike was a middle-aged woman. I was happy to see that women are improving their lifestyles by becoming self-reliant. Then I noticed that some passer-bys were staring at her and some were laughing as if it was a funny matter. Some people went to the extent of urging others to take notice of the motorbike and its rider, by pointing fingers at her. I was really shocked and upset. Instead of praising her bravery, people were making fun of her. I think it is very embarrassing. Shouldn't we inspire women to move forward instead of demoralising them?
Viqarunnessa Noon School, Dhaka
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