Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is now known as the city of traffic jam, and unhealthy living condition. Among the various problems of this city, traffic jam is the most discussed one which we face every day from dawn to late night. The other day, it took me two and a half hours to reach Dhanmondi from New Market! One of the causes of this traffic jam is illegal parking of vehicles on the roads. Most of the shopping malls in Dhaka city have no parking system. As a result the vehicles are parked by the roads, blocking the movement of other vehicles on the road. Out of 36 metres wide road, about 18 metres are blocked by illegally parked vehicles. Every year Bangladesh loses 200 million taka only because of traffic jam. Although the governments speak for metro rail, fly-over, they do not act to implement the projects. The administration seems to keep quite silent to take action against this illegal parking. Even the authority does not compel the mall authorities to accommodate underground parking system. Do we know the reason why the authority does not take action against them?
On May 27 this year, I was returning home after appearing for the BCS (Bangladesh Civil Service) preliminary exam. I didn't prepare at all for the exam; as a result my performance was below average. I appeared for the examination only because my parents wanted me to. On my way home, a friend of my father's started to explain why I should have been more serious about the exam and how good an opportunity it was. When I told him that I was preparing for moving abroad for my Masters and wanted to settle there, he started the recently talked-about subject- the young generation's reluctance to help the country, lack of patriotism and etc. He told me that I should go into the public services to help the country. Out of courtesy, I remained silent. But I really wanted to tell him that I don't want to be a bribe-taker or become corrupt like many cadre service holders. I don't lack patriotism, I love my country. But I have serious problems with the people who also share this country with me; who give and take bribe, who don't believe in the individuality of people, liberation of women, honesty, civic sense and most of the things I want my fellow countrymen to have. I know I should devote my life to help others, but it's just this one life I have and I have a lot of dreams to fulfill; my way of life just doesn't match with the way of life here. But unfortunately, our uncles and parents do not understand this perspective of ours. They just blame it on the 'lack of depth of our thoughts' and label us as a cult who doesn't love their motherland.
University of Dhaka
It was just after a splash of summer rain that we headed towards Agargaon. What a treat it ended up to be! The avenues near Agargaon were adorned with fresh green trees and as we approached, splendid sheets of summer colours appeared from the fiery red of Krishnac-huras and bright yellow Radhachuras spreading shades of colours for pediatricians against the harsh summer heat, traffic jams and hectic lifestyle of the city dwellers. The sight was simply a joy to the soul and a sparkling pleasure to the eyes. Shonajuri blossoms hung with their burst of flamboyant yellow. Some pink japonicums and mauve jaruls left from the spring colours were peeping as we drove back, and my eyes kept searching for them like a hungry child in search of food. I got carried away into the long past and remembered my university days and the wonderful sights of summer brilliance of our beautiful city. It may not be difficult to transform it back to the garden city it was, as historically described, if we only remain conscious and plant more trees in the roads and avenues and let the city bloom into colours of beauty from nature's gift of its tropical blossoms.
Tahmina C Islam