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     Volume 6 Issue 12| March 30, 2007 |

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Dhaka Diary

Little Things that Matter
A few days ago, a very good friend of mine, Imran, came to Dhaka from the United States after 10 long years. So it was a jubilant moment for us, his childhood friends. We were sitting in a restaurant near Maghbazar and spending some time together. Then Imran started a conversation with the boy who was serving us food. The boy was about 15 years old and had a very pleasant smile. My friend asked his name and how much he earned working at the restaurant. He was very surprised when he learnt that the boy earned only a meagre amount of Tk 700 per month for which he had to work day and night. When my friend became pensive I told him not to be sorry for the boy because he was very happy and thankful for the job. I told him it would be wrong to feel pity for him. Rather, we should salute his spirit and hard - working nature. In our country, the common man is happy with the little that he gets. My friend gave me a thoughtful look and was probably wondering as to what I was talking about!

Md Sohel Hara
Topkhana Road

Relationship Police
Some friends of mine were recently stopped in their car by officials and asked what their relationship was. They were hugely disappointed to hear that they were husband and wife. There have been other incidents like this when two young people of the opposite sex were stopped and if they were not married or siblings they were forced to phone their parents and subjected to all kinds of humiliation. Young people need to practice the following phrase "we are brother and sister" regardless of what they are. This way, the officials that are thinking that they are the relationship/morality police cannot terrorise them. Personally, I think that their minds are dirty and they are a little jealous. They cannot fathom a young man and young woman being in a platonic relationship and women probably avoid them at all costs. They should know that maybe THEY only have one thing on their minds, but some of us were brought up freely and are not that repressed or filthy- minded. Many of my prettier female friends have also noticed that their cars are stopped by the officials a lot more than other people, also, instead of one official questioning them, they get a group of them hovering around their window like bees to honey. I guess that some of these hard-up guys will do anything to ogle a pretty girl. Maybe the girls should make them call their own parents and complain about them!


Great Weekend in Dhaka
I had the most amazing weekend. First, I went to Fantasy Kingdom on Friday with my friends. The sun was shining, it was quite cool, and I watched all my favourite artists sing one after another during their fifth anniversary concert. We all sang along and danced, the atmosphere was electrifying! We then rode all the rides and took photos and cooled off at Water Kingdom. On Saturday I got together with a bunch of people and watched the cricket match and we screamed with delight as Bangladesh was winning against the world cup favourites! There is peace in Dhaka--people are making time for entertainment, we are not stuck at home due to constant hartals, the traffic problem has gotten better, we are safe from most of our politicians and their thugs, and even our cricket team is doing so well. Why can't it always be like this?

Quayum Ahmed

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