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|Volume 11 |Issue 35| September 07, 2012 ||
The Launch Epiphany
Last week I went to Jhalkathi for an errand of mercy. On my way back, I was really exhausted, and was reluctant to leave my cabin on the launch. After spending a couple of sleepless hours on the bed, I felt famished and went downstairs to see if I could get something to eat.
In my search for food, I was approached by two young girls who asked me if I was a Dhakaite. I always detested the nosiness of Bangladeshi people, but I didn't want to appear rude to the teen girls either. So I made an effort to hide my unwillingness to talk and provided brief answers to satisfy their curiosity. However, after a while, the girls asked me to meet their mother in their cabin and taste some of their homemade cookies. I usually consider this as an intrusion into other people's privacy, but I don't know why I agreed to meet their mother.
The woman, very much like her daughters, was a great conversationalist. On her insistence, I had a lot of their homemade delicacies. After about an hour of chatting with them, I admitted to myself that I had a relaxed and jolly time with the family. On my way back to my cabin, I came to the realisation that the hospitability that is ingrained in our culture is something that needs to be cherished, because not all the peoples of the world are this welcoming to strangers.
Few days back in the holy month of Ramadhan, I was stuck was in a traffic gridlock. As I heard the Azaan of Magrib I ended my fast with water. Then I passed the water to the other bike riders who were also stuck in traffic. I took a look around me and saw that everyone was doing what I had done: they were sharing water and snacks with the people around them. I saw a man offering water to bike riders around his microbus. I was really touched by the scene, because I see people fight or scream at each other on the street almost everyday. I hope people will continue to be good natured even after Ramadan.
Mohammed Mahbubur Rahman
Values of Snobbery
I heard this story from a colleague. When he studied at BM College in Barisal, he was residing in a student mess near the college. A physically challenged man often came to their mess to beg. Eventually, the beggar became familiar with the students in the mess. Instead of going to beg he spent much of his time with the students. On some pretext or other, he would spend hours chatting with the students. On one weekend, when the man appeared at their house, the boys asked him why he passed so much of his time with them.
The man became very depressed and told them that his father left their family when he was very young. After some time, his mother also remarried. But soon his stepfather drove him and his younger brother away from home. The two homeless brothers took to begging soon afterwards. However, he noticed that his younger brother was eager to learn. Then he decided to earn the livelihood and give his brother a chance to try studying. Finally, his brother became a diploma engineer and got a job at Chittagong shipyard. After some days, his brother became very busy with his work and stopped coming home. Finding no other way to contact him, he went to Chittagong to meet his brother one day. At the shipyard, he spotted his brother wielding a walkie talkie. He tried but failed to get his attention several times. Then he asked a man to tell him that his brother was here. But the man with the walkie talkie said that he had no brother. The beggar man said that he still missed his brother a lot and that he was looking for his brother's reflection among the students.
After that day, the man never came to the students' mess. I wonder, how people can disown their family and roots once they become rich?
Md Azam Khan
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