I No English!
As an attribute to our colonial mentality, speaking fluent English has always been considered a sign of smartness or elegance in Bangladesh. I myself have faced the pressure of being good at communicating in English in my family, with friends, in my academic arena and of course in my office. Being fluent in a language is definitely a quality but showing it off has always disgusted me. The other day, I was at this boutique fair, where I went for checking out some trendy designs. I started talking to one of the saleswomen about the clothes and their prices. She greeted me with a polite “good afternoon ma'm, how can I help you?” So, I started speaking in English with her. But within a few minutes I understood that she was not as fluent or as comfortable with communicating in English. So, for her convenience, I started asking questions in Bangla. But she kept on speaking in her own undecipherable English. Poor girl! She was thinking she was being smart but all she really did was make herself look rather funny. No offense there but I really think we should be able to speak proudly in our mother tongue and accept the fact that not being able to communicate in a foreign language is not a fault at all!
Doesn't Always Win
A few days ago, I with some of my friends went to Ashulia for a long drive. It was a Friday and the highway was pretty empty in comparison to weekdays. So my friends and I decided to go for a car race on the airport road. I admit it was a stupid idea but which young boy can resist the adrenaline rush? So we started racing. There were three cars racing and we were flaunting our driving skills with loud music playing in our sound systems. Suddenly a police car signaled us to stop. We were all a bit scared because those were our parents' cars, not ours. We could not afford to get them tolled or fined. Two of the cars increased their speed and ran away. But I decided to face the policemen and the consequences. I dared to abide by the law. And as a result, those policemen asked me about my whereabouts, fined me for racing, called my parents and I lost my access to drive my mom's car. While being grilled by those policemen, I simply asked them why they did not follow the other two cars and they smiled and answered that had I done the same, I would have been spared of the misery. So…I dared but I didn't win.
SPY IN ACTION
Since I study in IUT (Islamic University of Technology), during the weekdays I live in the university hall in Gazipur, and every weekend I come home. I always take the bus. This Thursday, the journey was an interesting one. I never give much attention to the passengers; I rather sit quietly, listening to my i'pod. After sometime, I suddenly realised that the elderly man sitting beside me was taking photographs of someone in the bus with his cell-phone. My first reaction was that he was one of those people who took pleasure in harassing women in buses. I politely asked him what he was doing. The man smiled, and said it was a business. I was quite annoyed, as he was still taking photographs with his cell-phone. At this point, I really felt irritated, and sternly told the man not to take photographs of women. The man gave me a card instead. To my surprise, I found out that the man was a “Private Investigator”. Not being totally convinced, and quite frankly believing that the man was running some kind of scam, I asked him what he was really up to. The story the man told me intrigued me. The detective was hired by a businessman to run background checks on the man his daughter was going to marry. He showed me the photographs of the man, and also showed me the notes he was taking. I observed him doing his detective work, with amazement and awe, as I had never met a real life private investigator before. After a few stops, he got down, following his 'mark'. It was a strange encounter indeed!