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     Volume 5 Issue 90 | April 14, 2006 |

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Dhaka Diary

Modern age piyajuwalla
The incident occurred a couple of months back. I had gone on an errand for my mother...On the way back I noticed something interesting on the roadside. The local snack shop (Piyajuwalla) who sells lentil patties (Piyajus) and spicy fried brinjals (Begunis) had added something new to his menu after many (maybe 10-12) years - FRENCH FRIES! On first glance I couldn't recognize what it was...so I asked the vendor what they were and he replied in perfect english "Oiygula french fries Mamu!"(Those are french fries brother). I was pretty amazed and they looked pretty much like Macdonalds' or KFC french fries. I had to take some. Indeed they tasted EXCELLENT, although they were a bit spicy and had a hint of turmeric in them. Nevertheless, I could not help but think about the MODERNISATION of even the most mediocre of things nowadays..."It's funny" I thought, as I made my way home...

A journey by train
It was the time after an exam and we, some friends had decided to visit CU. On the appointed day we went to the CTG rail station and were looking here and there for the shuttle train. Very soon it attracted our eyes by its strange look offered by lots of paintings, name of groups, some strange signs and obviously some political sayings marked on its bogies. Entering into a fixed bogie that had seats captured( dokhol) by our CU friends we found some seats broken, windows without glasses; in fact a miserable condition. Very soon the train started with an unusual slow motion. Some of the students started singing using the wall of the compartment as drum maintaining an extremely good rhythm with the music produced by the train and also by voices. At the Solosohor station it stopped for a while and became jam packed. Many students had to stand till the end in that hot and suffocating weather. But everyone was enjoying the continuous singing. Some of those were brilliant parodies, some were special remix of Bangla, Hindi and English songs. It was nothing less than a live concert. Some times the train was jerking dangerously. But the gossiping was uninterrupted. The train was too slow that even rickshaws on the road near the line were overtaking it. The scenery of near by villages from the train was really charming. It took about an hour to reach the campus. We were sweating a lot. But the journey was really unforgettable. I think CU students are very lucky to have a shuttle train like that and it should be announced a world heritage.

Wise Rickshawpuller
It was quite noon with a terribly hot sun while I was looking for a rickshaw to return home from British Council Library in Fuller road. But no rickshawpuller wanted to come khilgoan, where I live, as it was the time to return their rickshaw to the garage. I stood as helpless. Suddenly, an old rickshaw puller came to me and was agree to carry me without demanding more rent than the usual. I thought that his garage might be near to my area but it wasn't. Being astonished, I asked him for the reason to carry me in such a crucial time. He replied that he knew about the tiredness when a student come from library, class or laboratory. He also knows a large chunk of history of DU, public library and so on in that area. Moreover he was annoyed at the other rickshaw puller and said that if a student can safe time in his/her road it would be better for their study. After returning home, I thought about the rickshaw puller who is concern regarding study despite indicated as an illiterate person while so called literate persons of our society sometimes do just the opposite.
Golam Rosul Maruf
Physics Department, University of Dhaka


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