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     Volume 4 Issue 70 | November 11, 2005 |

   News Notes
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Dhaka Diary


Slapping a Rickshaw Puller
THE other day, I was returning home from West Zinda Bazar on a rickshaw, when the rickshaw puller absentmindedly touched a car, scraping off a bit of paint. What happened next was something I would never forget. The gentleman got down from the car and almost immediately began to slap and abuse the rickshaw puller. Almost as a sign of beckoning of help by the gentleman, around 8-10 people rushed to the scene and began to beat up the rickshaw puller. It was like they were letting out their pent up anger and frustration on the poor man. The poor rickshaw puller in turn was silent and bore with the torture for about 15 minutes. Even I could not say anything, since I knew quite well that they would not pay any heed to my words or protests. I finally reached my destination in complete shock. It is a common scene in the cities where rickshaw pullers get slapped, beaten and abused for petty reasons. I wonder if the rickshaw pullers are merely there on the streets to receive these pent up frustrations from people.
Pradip Kumar Roy
Dept. of English
Shah jalal University of Science &Technology

Extra cash
IT was quite a gloomy day and I was on my way home from the private tutor's house. As I got half way there, it started to drizzle, and in no time it started to pour real hard, so I had to take a rickshaw. After a while the rickshaw puller asked for directions. While giving him directions, I asked him if he was new to the city and his answer turned out to be a really amazing story. It seems that he had completed his HSC examinations two months earlier in Gazipur, and was doing a little business. He needs to spend half the month in Dhaka for business purposes. He finished his business dealings by noon and had the rest of the day free. So he made good use of his time by earning some extra money by pulling rickshaw. It seems that he even wished to do his BA and MA with this extra income. By this time I had reached home. As I got off the rickshaw, I thought that if we all thought like him then our country would have been a much better place to live in.
Sadat Shams
Maple Leaf Int. School

The Eid Frenzy
IT was that part of the year last week, when the Eid shopping frenzy got worse and seemed to run at a very fast pace. The last two weeks before Eid whizzed past by me. The daily routine began at around 12:00 pm, followed by shopping which would go on till iftar. The last few days, iftar was a sandwich and coke either within the crowded Chandnichawk or Basundhara City Complex. And as the story goes, my nephew would either not fit into the pants that I would get for him, or my niece would suddenly think of exchanging the green kameez that I gave her for a maroon one which would be a beautiful contrast to her blue contact lenses. Sometimes, the family meetings regarding what to buy and 'what in the world have you bought for me?' would end up in emotional family quarrels and ancient family squabbles dug up to justify the arguments. The day would ironically, end with an early seheri at around 2:00 am and once again start with shopping the very next day.
Silly as it sounds, these are probably the little things that matter in life that everyone should live for.

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