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|Volume 11 |Issue 38| September 28, 2012 ||
A few years ago, I was going to work from Kazipara, Mirpur. Since I preferred buses to other means of transportation, I often came across people who conned sympathetic commuters into giving them money.
One day, a middle aged woman sat beside me. She appeared to be a well-brought-up person, and after a while, I noticed that she was sobbing. I wanted to ask her what happened but I didn't want to pry. After a while, a man sitting next to us asked her why she was crying. The woman said that her daughter passed away that morning and that she needed to take her daughter to her hometown in Chittagong. But she did not have enough cash on her to pay for the ambulance fare.
The man, who talked to her first, gave her a hundred taka note and told her to accept the money. Other people also began to chip in soon. I guessed that people gave her around Tk 1,000 in a few minutes.
After a couple of months, I saw the woman again on my way to work. She was sitting near me. Soon she started to sob. I saw the episode that I just recounted happen again. I was shocked at first, but then I realised what a skillful con artist she was. I mentally admired her panache and got down from the bus at Farmgate.
The Ananta Effect
Just after watching a recent Ananta film in a TV channel, my sister and I went out shopping. On the road, we saw a man riding a scooter with a woman sitting behind him. The man attracted our attention because he had Ananta's hairstyle. We started talking about how Ananta's hairdo inspired people. After a while, I saw that the woman's dopatta was about to get entangled in the rear wheel of the scooter. I asked my sister to warn the woman and she shouted out: "Leiidy, Leiidy!! Please lift your orna." I was thunderstruck by my sister's English. It took me a moment to realise that my sister had just pulled an Ananta and I burst out in laughter.
The Kafka Headache
Where I work, the place is crowded with literature students who carry names of big tongues authors on the tips of their tongues. At tea-breaks they talk about them as if they just had a rendezvous with those long dead people. With my literary love limited to comic books, I find it hard to participate in their chats. I sometimes feel that the talk-show hosts get more chances to talk than I do. In an attempt to change my situation, I decided to read something by one of the names they dropped. I picked it because it sounded more like Kafco (Karnaphuli Fertiliser Company Limited), an organisation that reminded me of my sophomore years in business school, when we had to study a case on that company. Though I did not expect the author to write business cases, the story I chose to read --- Verdict--- talked about a businessman. That made me happy. However, as I progressed the story got more and more confusing. I had hoped that the story would give me something to discuss, like we used to discuss cases with our teammates. Though it was much shorter than the Kafco case I read years ago, I could not find any problem, or benchmark or even how a problem can be approached in it. All the minutes I spent reading the story went in vain. All it gave me was a reason to drench my system with more caffeine, because it gave me a Kafka headache.
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