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     Volume 4 Issue 19 | October 29, 2004 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   A Roman Column
   Straight Talk
   Photo Feature
   On Campus
   Time Out
   Slice of Life
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
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Dhaka Diary

How to harm a Rickshaw 'walla'
I was in Gulshan 2, last week, and saw a rather sad looking rickshaw puller sitting by the side of the road on his rickshaw. What caught my attention was that the man was looking into the distance with tears in his eyes. Out of sheer curiosity, I went up to him and asked him what was wrong. It was almost as if I smacked him back to reality because he looked at me totally dazed. He then told me that he was trying to get home early and in doing so, he had taken the main road, which he was not allowed to take. Rickshaws are not allowed on this main road and if a traffic sergeant caught someone breaking the rules, they would either take bribe, the rickshaw walla would get slapped or one of his tyres would be punctured. Nowadays, some Ansar has also been given traffic duties. Instead of following the regular customs, what the Ansars do is that they take the godi (the seat of the rickshaw) away from the rickshaw pullers. This is the only movable object on the rickshaw and is vital if the rickshaw is to carry passengers. The Ansars take the godi away and don't give it back for about three to four hours. I felt horrified after listening to all this from the poor rickshaw fellow. What better way to get to the rickshaw pullers than by blocking off their income source? Another step backwards for humanity.

IHK, Gulshan 2

A Mushroomy Tale
I was passing by Banani road no 11 when I noticed a big banner in front of Prescription Aid that read Mushrooms. It was on top of an Iftar stall and I went to check out the items. I noticed two young university-going students selling items containing mushrooms. They included mushroom chicken porota, mushroom prawn kabab, mushroom fry, mushroom fish finger, mushroom halim and more. The last item that I took, though I had a hard time comprehending the taste, was mushroom jilapi. It was fun and interesting to see these young people take so much interest in a new venture and promote it through their own innovative ways. Had a mushroom feast that day at iftar and I tell you, it was quite extraordinary.

Emdad, Dhanmondi

A Snatcher's Tale
A few days ago, I was passing by Priyangon Shopping Centre, when a shopkeeper asked me if I would buy a wrist watch from him. The watch was a new, gold plated one and looked very expensive. I asked him where he got it from and he replied saying that it was snatched from a passenger on a bus. It seems this was a regular business of his. I told him that I might just report him to the police for these illegal activities. He burst out laughing at my remark and said that the police was with him in this. It seems the police would also get a good percentage from these illegal activities. I was in a total fix and did not know what to say.

Mars Sohel, BUET, Dhaka


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