Spreading the Smile!
Photo: Star File
Every neighbourhood in Dhaka goes berserk after Bangladesh wins a cricket match in this ongoing Cricket World Cup. Firecrackers go off along with the trademark 'michil' (procession) joined by people of the locality amid the beats of makeshift drums and incessant jubilations of “Bangladesh! Bangladesh!” There are car/bike processions, water splashing, spraying of colours, paints and what not to go with! This exhibits our passion for the sport and the extent of joy this World Cup brings to us. And if the WC has done anything for the youngsters, it has aroused their sense of belonging to this country. Quite frankly, while many of us are busy finding suitable universities and scholarships abroad with no clear idea about how much of a Bangladeshi we are, this WC definitely changed gears. All of us cheered for the national team and many of us have shed the first tears of joy on our team's success! This is all good for a beginning and as for the celebrations, how about we take it a step further? Just like the 11 players made 160 million people happy, we can take a small step to make at least one person happy. How about presenting the child in rags in front of that fast food joint with a box of chocolates? How about we take a tiny part in spreading the smile too?
Viqarunnisa Noon College, Dhaka
Bribe as Punishment
The other evening, one of my neighbours went to a bar at Mohakhali to purchase Vodka. He usually buys Vodka from there. In that very evening he was spotted and caught red handed by a police sergeant with the help of the latter's personal informer whose job is to spy on drunkards and inform him (the Policeman), so that both of them can make some quick money by taking the advantage of such embarrassing situations. However, my neighbour didn't know about it until he met that police sergeant that night. As my neighbour made his exit from the bar, the informer signalled his venal boss to get started with the process of making money. That policeman then went on as planned. He waylaid my neighbour and started scolding and threatening him to file a case against him as per the rule of law. Afterward the policeman told him to give him taka 10,000 to avoid being sued and getting at least three months of imprisonment. Later when my alcoholic neighbour informed the policeman that currently he had merely taka 500, the policeman held him with his bike for almost an hour and a half. My neighbour was finally rescued by a friend, who came by and handed the policeman a good amount of cash. Being satisfied with the bribe the policeman adviced my neighbour to see the whole bribing thing as a punishment to his alcohol problem and suggested him to get rid of it. One felony to punish a misdemeanor, how ironic!
The Men in Black
A few days ago I was returning home from a comedy show at Baridhara. It was late and the streets were quite empty. Suddenly, one of the officers in a RAB patrol near the Baridhara DOHS entrance, stopped my car and asked me to open the window to talk. I was kind of tensed because I almost regularly read news about RAB punishing common citizen for no reason! Being scared and a bit shaky, I opened my window and enquired the officer what he wanted. I was expecting him to ask me something offensive or suspicious like what I was out so late or to ask me to step outside and check my car for something illegal. Well, this is what the RAB officer asked, “Do you have aerosol in your car, madam?” I was taken aback and relieved at the same time. I felt bad for those poor fellows because I didn't have an aerosol in the car, and I understood that they fell victim to the mighty mosquitoes on the dark streets. I apologetically said that I didn't have and they let my car go. That was one weird question and a strange experience. I felt it was worth sharing!
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