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     Volume 4 Issue 29 | January 14, 2005 |

   Cover Story
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Dhaka Diary

A Civil Service
My uncle's wallet had been stolen a few days ago, which had his international credit card. As if that was not enough, a telephone call to the bank revealed that goods worth Tk. 50,000 were bought using the credit card on the same day. My uncle was wondering as to when he made these transactions. Upon understanding the illegal activities involved, we went to the local police station, which was jampacked with all sorts of people. It took some time to get any kind of attention from these men of law and further delay in getting the attention of the officer-in-charge (OC). If my uncle had not called his friend, a superintendent of police, we would not have had the OC's complete attention. He listened to what we had to say and then arranged a man to help us write the GD. We handed it over to the officer-in-charge after completing the process. However, the process of filing the complaint was not finished. After filing the piece of paper the OC giggled and asked my uncle very casually to buy him a GP pre-paid card of Tk 600/-. My uncle hesitated for a moment and then took out six fresh 100 taka notes and handed it over to the constable, asking him to get a card for the OC rewarding him for his very 'generous' service to us. I couldn't help laughing at the bizarre yet very usual habits of these people who might have a conscience worth exploring.

Saifur Rahman Dhanmondi, Dhaka

Beware the Red Light!
With everyday developments in technology, traffic control has it's own share of developments as well in Dhaka City. For some unknown reason, the roundabout-circles in Gulshan 1 and Gulshan 2 were broken away to introduce a newer and a better way of controlling traffic and to lessen the number of traffic jams. However, every time I have to go to my classes or simply visit friends, it takes more time than it did during the Gulshan chokkor days, with the new traffic system of computerised signals controlling the traffic on each lane. Unlike in other countries, the green lights here do not stay lit for more than 4 seconds at most, getting all the vehicles ever eager to drive by, shoving and glaring at the 'next-door' driver. Although the introduction of this new system is highly appreciable, maybe we should think about how to actually use it, instead of using it as a means to make people's lives even worse than it already is.

DK Baridhara

Child Scavengers
As I was walking towards home, my eyes caught sight of two poor children fighting over something. I stopped to discover what they were fighting for and to my utter despair, I saw a box full of old and inedible sweets that the kids were fighting over.
It seems that the kids had discovered the box from the dustbin and were now arguing over who had actually found it first. It was sad to realise that there exist people who are rich enough to throw around boxes full of sweets, and then there are others who are bound to scavenge for food in the dustbins.

Naome Syed Mohammadpur


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