|Photo: Zahedul I Khan
A few weeks ago, one of my friends dropped out of school to give his O' levels from a coaching centre. A couple of days ago I met him, and asked him about quality of the coaching centre. He replied, "Coaching ta joss; saradin free class" (the coaching is cool; there are lots of free classes). His answer forced me to question the worth of the coaching centre. But before I could come to a conclusion about the standard of teaching, my friend blew my mind by giving another piece of information on the coaching! As I asked him about the tuition fees and the timing of the classes held, he replied that he gave Tk 4000 per subject and studied one hour per subject, four days a week. I didn't even feel like calculating trade off between leaving school and joining them, but I figured out that as the pressure is much less in coaching centres, many students are joining coaching centres. This has become a booming business and an addiction for weak students.
MY FUTILE STUDY!
It was mid night, about three O'clock. I had just finished my preparations for the final exam which would take place some hours later, at nine o'clock in the morning. I was looking haggard because I was up all night. When I was about to go to sleep after setting the alarm in my mobile, my brother proposed that we have some snacks and tea. Though I did not want an untimely meal, I realised that both of us were pretty much hungry and I went to have a few bites. When I returned to my room it was about five o'clock and I heard the Azan from the nearby mosques. I went to bed and immediately fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning and was perplexed by the bright sun peeping into my room. Quickly I picked my mobile to see the time and found it switched off. I grasped my brother's mobile, who was soundly asleep. It was almost eleven in the morning and I had missed my exams. After that long night of study and hard work, I failed to do the most important thing- the exam!
Waiting for the green light on the busy Farmgate road, a not so strange spectacle greeted me. A truck loaded with goods was standing at the signal just in front of my car, and there was the familiar sight of a police sergeant asking for bribes from the driver. As this is nothing new in Dhaka, I initially paid no heed to the incident.
But suddenly, I noticed two men, their heads wrapped with mufflers, standing suspiciously behind the truck. Before anyone, except the police sergeant noticed anything amiss, the two men snatched some goods off the truck and walked away. Two other men, standing on the pavement kept watch and they too followed the thieves. Undoubtedly, they were also members of the same gang.
Such incidents are not uncommon. What surprised me was that, the whole time, the sergeant was watching the incident. In fact, it was happening literally in front of his eyes and it would take a tremendous effort on his part to look away! As soon as the thieves got away, the cop suddenly told the bewildered driver that he did not need to pay and made a gesture that he could go. Taking bribes from truck drivers is an accepted part of the cop culture. But how accepted is the fact that a police sergeant in the middle of one of Dhaka's busiest roads leads a gang of thieves?
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