in 2nd grade, when I was told to write a paragraph on Dhaka, I was
taught that Dhaka is the city of mosques and also the city of rickshaws.
Now I'd rather say Dhaka is the city of traffic jams. Traffic jams
are the greatest feature of 21st century Dhaka. Below I've presented
the results I've come up with after carrying out a qualitative analysis
of jams in Dhaka city. For your kind information, the analysis was
conducted while I was stuck in a typical traffic jam of Dhaka.
ajaaira jam: This jam is of the most irritating kind. It is caused
for ajaaira reasons by people who have abundant ajaaira time to waste.
You can fall in such jams almost every day. The jams usually occur
when one vehicle hits another e.g. a rickshaw hits another rickshaw,
a car hits a scooter, a gorur gaari hits a tricycle etc. Whenever
such a collision takes place, the drivers leap out of their seats
and start blaming each other for the damage done. Instantly people
all around gather beside the drivers, who by this time have chosen
to show off their amazing grasp on offensive vocabulary. The onlookers
enjoy this circus show with great fun, as if there's nothing better
to watch back home on TV. Gradually more and more people are attracted
towards the crowd, asking questions like "Ki hoise, bhai?"
or "Ganjaam ken laagse?" and stuff like that. By now some
over enthusiastic people in the crowd start giving slogans like "Haat
thaakte mukhe kii?" (Why bother using your mouths when you have
hands?) or "Oi, gaara gaara!" (Beat 'em up!). The slogans
do work because very soon the drivers do realise that God has blessed
them with hands to wreck havoc upon other fellow beings. The fighting
starts (play Mortal Kombat music in the background) and the open-air
show gets even more interesting and the crowd are even more satisfied.
Suddenly, to spoil all the fun, these peacemakers appear out of nowhere
and stop the fighting, as if they are traffic-controlling messiahs
sent by God as a blessing to mankind. Soon afterwards the traffic
policemen bother to show themselves. Throughout the whole even they
had been missing for some reason; they were probably enjoying a tea
break that never seems to end. As soon as the cops arrive, the entire
crowd disperses since fun's over and finally the vehicles that had
been stuck helplessly on the middle of the road get a chance to go
on along the road. If you're lucky, the ganjaam causing the jam can
end within minutes; otherwise it may waste half an hour of your valuable
time (unless you've been enjoying the ganjaam too).
Minister's Jam: In the worst of conditions, this jam can be the worst
of all jams. You'll fall in this jam when you're in the way or route
the Honourable Prime Minister of The People's Republic of Bangladesh
is about to use. When you're in this particular sort of jam, you'll
be stuck for an indefinite period of time until you see a long line
of cars with blinking lights passing by. It is then when you realise
that you've just been helplessly stuck so long thanks to the Prime
Minister who is supposed to be helping us normal citizens live better
lives. This jam has some sub-divisions, like the Minister's Jam, which
is less harmful and shorter, but it can still drive you mad.
regional jam: This jam occurs in specific areas of the city. Dhanmondi
is one such area. Here schools seem to be springing up like mushrooms
every month. Every oli-goli has different schools or different branches
of the same school. And traffic jams come free along with every school.
Another area is Mohakhali, where the fly-over under construction makes
it one of the worst places in Dhaka city. There are other such places
in the capital that are notorious for their jams.
seasonal jam: These jams are in existence during specific seasons
of the year. One season is the Eid season when everybody's on a month-long
shopping spree. The shopping goes on for hours till late at night
and the jams also live on. Another season is the winter, the season
of getting married in Bangladesh. Every winter you'll find some relative
or acquaintance of yours getting married and with biye comes biyer
bajaar. And with biyer bajaar comes jams along all the roads with
shopping plazas and big markets.
Grand Canyon jam: When people get money, they try to make things better.
In Bangladesh, when the government gets money, it tries to make things
worse. The foreign donors come to Bangladesh and when they go to Hotel
Sheraton or Sonargaon, they feel sorry for us and give us money to
build better roads and highways. And what does the government do?
It builds dividers of various shapes and sizes (triangular, semicircular,
hexagonal, octagonal etc) everywhere and make the roads even smaller
than they actually are. Then they dig up newly-built roads within
months in the name of repairing and reconstruction. All the Grand
Canyons created across the roads cause more jams, in complete irony
to the original objective of building better roads. (Ask a rickshaw-puller
even he'll say the original objective was to steal money from the
you can see, traffic jams are not the ordinary horrendous things you
think they are. There is actually a lot of subtlety and uniqueness
in each and every jam you've ever survived. Had jams not been so regular
and common, we could have even come up with a "Traffic Jam Survivors'
Foundation". What we can do now is wait for the new era of traffic
in Dhaka to begin when the fly-over will be completed: the new era
that will rid us of traffic jams! (But doesn't everything always turn
o be just the opposite in Bangladesh?)
Zombie: Another One For Early Retirement?
NEW YORK (Billboards) Nowadays
a career retrospective rarely marks the retirement of a musician,
but in Rob Zombie's case, the release of Past, Present, & Future
"I don't know what's true, I can't say," Zombie said, addressing
rumors that he is going to leave music to make movies full-time. "I
would like to make more records and do stuff, but it becomes a time
Either way, Zombie is definitely
entering at least a temporary hiatus from recording while he directs
the sequel to "House of 1000 Corpses." "I sort of made
that mistake [by recording while I was directing the] last movie,
so this time I'm going to shut down and just work on the movie,"
The horror connoisseur is currently putting the finishing touches
on the script for the flick, which will take place a week after the
events in the original. Shooting will begin later in the fall.
kind of a different movie, a little more serious, a lot darker, more
violent," Zombie explained. "Horror-movie sequels are by
nature horrible, just terrible movies, because what happens is your
scary characters become likeable, almost funny. So my thought was
to make the scary characters less likable, so they retain some sort
Along with the sequel, Zombie
has "House of 1000 Corpses" masks ready for release in time
for Halloween ("So every little kid can dress up like Dr. Satan!"),
plus a book collecting his favorite horror stories and another film
"It's too early to talk about," he said of the new film.
As for Zombie music, the CD and DVD set Past, Present, & Future
is due September 23 and will feature 19 tracks from the past 20 years,
including two new ones, "Two-Lane Blacktop" and "Girl
“['Two-Lane Blacktop' is] based
on this really cool movie starring James Taylor and [the Beach Boys']
Dennis Wilson, about two guys driving cars," Zombie explained.
The DVD will include eight of
Zombie's memorable videos, plus two previously unavailable clips.