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|Volume 11 |Issue 31| August 03, 2012 ||
Cricket on the Street
I was walking home with a bag full of groceries the other day. The time of iftar had drawn near and I was in a hurry. A group of youngsters were playing cricket in a narrow alleyway. They were engrossed in the game. An elderly man was also walking with quite a few things in his hands. The man was perspiring and panting–the afternoon toil must have been hard on him. While bowling, one of the boys accidentally threw the ball towards the man, which only brushed his shoulders. The boys were startled as they saw the expression on the man's face. The man dropped his bag and began to run to catch the boy who was bowling. It looked as if the man was going to beat up the boy.
The grumpy old man held the poor lanky boy's collar and kept yelling at him. Some people passing by stopped to see what was happening. They asked the old man to calm down. After a while the man went on his way. The boys also stopped playing their game. They were looking at each other sadly as they packed their cricket equipment. It was evident that they could not continue the game after what had happened. I felt sorry for both the man and the boys. What are the children supposed to do when they have nowhere to play but the streets?
Crimes in Broad Day Light
A few days ago, I was going to Gabtali Bus station to receive a guest from the Sadarghat-Gabtali road, the embankment of the once mighty Buriganga. In the human holler, I was sitting next to the driver. It was running smoothly towards Gabtali. All of a sudden, the driver stopped, seeing a young man standing with his right hand raised. I thought that he was a passenger. But he approached the driver and demanded 70 takas. Our driver paid the money instantly. The driver must have owed the money, I assumed.
On my way back, the same young man again stropped the vehicle I was in. This time, out of curiosity, I looked at the matter more carefully. The same thing happened again. I asked the driver to tell me what was going on. At first, the driver seemed reluctant to talk. But after a while, he said that all the drivers of commercial vehicles on the rout have to pay extortionists. I also noticed that a couple of policemen wandering by, turning a blind eye to what was going on. Isn't there anybody to stop such crimes taking place in front of our eyes?
Md Abir Hossain,
Going Abroad, Dead or Alive
Last week, I met a man who has returned to Bangladesh after staying five years in Cyprus. Out of curiosity, I asked him how he went there. He said that after passing BA, he couldn't get a job. Since his family is not very well off, he gradually became very frustrated and finally decided to leave the country.
As it took a huge amount to get a European visa, he and four of his friends decided to take a desperate step. With tourists' visas valid for one month, they went to Turkey at first. After staying a week there, they attempted to enter Cyprus by crossing the Turkish border. But the men, who were supposed to help them cross the border vanished with their money. Seeing no way to stay in Turkey, one night they attempted to cross the border. While they were about to cross the border, Turkish soldiers began to open fire on them. One of them died with a bullet in his chest. Another was hit in the leg. They rest of them crossed the border.
He said, as they were running, they heard their injured friends screaming for help. He still doesn't know what happened to them. After that and many other struggles, those who made it across the border finally were able to earn a decent living.
But the memory of that day still haunts the man. Many Bangladeshi youth are dying in different borders and are rotting in prisons of different states.
I wonder how their families are; how they pass days without having any news of their beloved son or husband. I hope our government will take steps through diplomatic means to make sure there are more legitimate jobs abroad for our youth.
Md Azam Khan
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