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     Volume 4 Issue 20 | November 5 , 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   A Roman Column
   Straight Talk
   In Retrospect
   Time Out
   Slice of Life
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks
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Dhaka Diary

Ifter time in good old Dhaka
I love iftar time in Dhaka. Everyone seems to have a different and unique way to celebrate it while breaking his or her fast. At home, we all usually get together and seat in the dining table, with our individual plates full of food in front of us while we wait for the maghrib azaan. Outside in the streets, it is a different ambience. Groups of associates and friends, usually five or six in numbers, get iftar items like chhola, muri, boot and payaju and they mix it all together in a big plate. They then help themselves to it, all at the same time. I saw this once and felt a shudder at the thought of everyone foraging for the same food from the same plate. Later, I realised that these people were really living up to the meaning of togetherness during this special month. Bangladesh is such a beautiful place with so many wonderful things going on all around us, but we always tend to notice what is bad. But seldom do we stop to enjoy all the wonders that make this country our motherland...our home.

Faria Islam, Tejkunipara

A city of great surprise
While home bound, I was ambling along the street of Dhanmondi. Suddenly a burka-clad women crossed my path. She was loitering around the corner of a street. It was 11pm, and I thought that she was somebody in distress. As she came closer, I realised hat she was at her teens. She whispered to me something, which was an assortment of obnoxious words. What she really wanted to know was whether I needed her service. This was just out of the blue, as I never imagined that a burka-clad women would solicit out in the street in such a way. Her language was really offensive. However, I regained my countenance, and whipped up the courage to ask her whether she had any family. As she replied in the affirmative, I demanded to know why she walks the street to solicit customers. "To feed my family of course," was her bold reply. I then asked her about her prospective clientele, she replied, "they are of your kind; they even come by fancy cars to pick us up." I was flabbergasted, as I thought that only the lower income-groups solicited their service. Imagine how far we have let Dhaka City to deteriorate, and how the wealthy are also contributing in propagating flesh trade out in the streets.

Masum Rahman, Dhaka University

Fearful Bangladesh
Some days back, my younger sister Joty and I were chatting. Our mother had made it very clear to both of us that we had to keep our hair short and neat, but on that vary day I was telling my sister to have her hair long. What she said next shocked me. She told me that in her opinion, she might become a victim of acid violence if she kept her hair long, because she would look beautiful. She also told me that she would keep her hair long once she went abroad, but not here in Bangladesh. I didn't expect this type of comment from a student of class eight. Later, I thought about the present condition that Bangladesh is in. It is a fearful place for young girls like my sister and it is sad how their mentality has transformed. We have gained 'liberty' in 1971 but we really haven't got 'freedom' yet, even after 33 years of our victory. Can we not hope for a better Bangladesh? Don't we have the right to expect a fearless and peaceful future in our own country?

Jafrin Jahed Jiti, Viqarunnisa Noon College


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