The Beautification of Dhaka
There is a huge structure boasting 'Unilever' at the junction of the hotel Shonargaon. Advertisements of such mammoth proportions were unheard of just some years back but the current government has decided to let private companies take charge of the 'beautification' of certain areas of the country, provided that they can post their ads there. Certain areas of the city are already being advertised, say Bashundhara. Tournaments and sporting events, which used to have very little marketing implications, are now getting a lot of sponsorship. But the whole tournament has to be entitled under the sponsoring company, say Partex Cricket Cup 2007. I am sure that soon, these large companies will be buying off streets. Maybe we will be going to Ashulia through GP junction. My question is, 'What is the government doing with all our tax money?' I am pretty sure that they are saving, if not earning, from these multinational companies.
Green Road, Dhaka
The Wheel Keeps Rolling
I was highly impressed with the fiction 'On the wheel of life' by Tulip Chowdhury which was published on November 11, 2005 in the Star Weekend Magazine. The story was an extraordinary description of an ordinary woman, Mamoona. The writer composed it very carefully, thinking of certain details regarding the character, like how the woman gets on a bus and how during the journey the chain of events interrupts her train of thought. At the end of the tale, one realises how the common men and women struggle through each day to save every penny they can. Their life is epitomised in their journey on a bus. Thanks to the writer who brought the everyday travails of common human beings to the fore.
On 'Love: An asymmetry
Reading Rubaiyat Hossain's article, I realised the many dimensions in life that women actually have to experience yet they hardly get a chance to realise it themselves and explain it to their counterparts.
It is true when Rubaiyat says that 'Girls learn from a very early age that they have to be physically appealing in order to attract men, and they also learn that finding a man to build a family around is their mission in human life.' As a teenager in the early 90's, I was constantly made to be aware of my femininity as something to be taken care of and groomed under well-trained eyes and minds. As a 17-year-old, I was made to go to every family gathering and every wedding ceremony my parents were invited to, all dressed up like a doll. I was shamelessly introduced to every elderly lady in the party who would take their time scrutinising my every move.
This is something that every girl has to go through. As Rubaiyat mentions, young girls, especially, are still brought up within an invisible wall, defining certain limits and the do's and don'ts, making their horizons smaller.
Changing people's attitudes and views is like moving mountains. We simply cannot wait around for the society to pave a way for us and realise our dreams. As women and an integral part of this society, we have to do it ourselves.
More on "Congratulations to Bangladesh!"
I write this letter to thank and congratulate Mirka Kristina Rahman for writing her straightforward opinion about Bangladesh (Congratulations to Bangladesh! Better luck next time Finland!) in Star Weekend Magazine, November 11, 2005), telling us, at the same time, how things stand in her motherland Finland. I also want to tell Mr Karim A Sajwani that his bitterness against Mirka Kristina Rahman (On "Congratulations to Bangladesh" SWM November 18 2005) is ill-founded. We have enough of glib talks about our patriotism. His pious hope, 'One day, if Allah wishes and through our sincere efforts, our golden land will set an example' etc sounds absolutely hollow. We better listen carefully to such criticism and rectify ourselves soon instead of waiting for Allah's wishes.
A Z M Abdul Ali
The 13th Saarc summit
The Saarc summit held in Dhaka was supposed to be a regional annual meeting with great jubilation and funfair. Roads, highways, footpaths were cleaned, decorated and even illuminated. However, public movement was banned along these beautifully decorated paths. The only human presence was of the police, the RAB, and Army personnels. Dog squads were also doing their bit. For more than two days, the country didn't seem to have any flicker of democracy and freedom that we boast of. The general public was forced to stay home.
Many of the Dhakaites cancelled their social plans, including receiving family members, friends and passengers at the Zia International Airport, the train stations and bus stands because of the security measures. Quite frankly, the Saarc summit days proved to be a virtual blackout for the inhabitants of Dhaka city and clearly we do not wish to witness yet another Saarc summit in Bangladesh anytime in future.
The only pleasure that I could feel was upon watching the illuminated and decorated streets of Dhaka on the television, just like the thousands of Bangladeshi expatriates watching eagerly on TV a city that would never be after the summit. However, I wish that the government could explore methods to keep the city as clean as they did during those particular days. Surely, it would be a blessing for all of us, the citizens of this country, who actually deserve them more, rather than the honourable guests who got to witness a Bangladesh so different than what they had expected it to be.
On the Dhaka Diary, 'The doctor attack'
This is in response to the Dhaka Diary 'The doctor attack' that was published on November 18. It is indeed a very serious problem that many of us face. It is not only with ENT specialists, but dentists as well. These MD holders open up chambers of their own and prescribe medicine with no serious thoughts whatsoever on their reactions on the patients. Sometimes, these doctors have the patients wait for hours on end in their chambers, while they finish up with their chats and other business deals within the closed walls.
The government should actually look into the medical sector where the MD holders should be given a chance to prove their worth in government run hospitals and with patients coming from all walks of life. In this way, the need to establish private chambers can be minimised.
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