SO, how was the weekend?” That's the first thing we say on manic Friday, as we finally sync up with the rest of the world on this day, squeezing in meetings, work, school, kids, office, overseas correspondences, Jumma, groceries, visits to hospital burn units, four weddings and a funeral. Throw in Saturday, and we finish the shortest work week on the planet while proving to the world that we can accomplish in two days for which the rest of the world needs a whole five day work week.
Let me be greedy. How about a third working day, say, Sunday please, at least for the sake of secularism?
So, that leaves us with four days of hartal and oborodh, unless otherwise stated -- rain or shine, or should I say, slain or dyin'. Did I say rain? Hmm…Ever seen hartal/oborodh in Monsoon? Take a C-130 Hercules and spray some silver iodide on to the clouds. The artificial rain will cause massive de-agitation. After all, making the agitation movement costly has not worked by not lowering fuel prices (despite the global downturn in oil prices) with no lull in petrol bombs.
Ok, till the rains come in to wash everything away, let's work with a three day work week and four days of weekend. Now, that's for the plebes. For the fate-makers, it's three days of rest to gear up for four days of anti SSC/O'Levels stance/movements. Not a bad happy medium. Good enough for the kids to come up with the highest scoring yet shortest essay on 'A Journey by Bus' entering the Guinness Book: “I get on the bus. I reach my destination. No petrol bombs.” Meantime, teachers finally and deservedly enter the highest salary bracket, considering the wage per working hour.
Profiteering aplenty too. After Canada and Australia, Syria is now beckoning Bangladeshis to migrate there with the slogan: “Hey, it's safer here!” Bangladesh goes live on Google Street View well ahead of many other countries -- though all we see is fire.
We may think that both camps remain terminally indifferent. Quite the contrary. There IS dialogue. There are two fixed monologues used interchangeably by the incumbent and the (effective) opposition, regardless of which party is the incumbent and which is the opposition at whichever time. And two monologues make a dialogue -- a dialogue with the candle burning from both ends.
But don't forget that the TV is on, more so now with longer hours indoors. Like Bollywood, Hindi serials, cows, saris and five o'clock shadows, the concept of Aam Aadmi Party may seep into Bangladesh from India. This may be a major paradigm shift from the current worldwide TPM -- Tea Party Movement in the US, Trinamool Party's Mamata in West Bengal and Torchings Per Minute in Bangladesh. Sure, the AAP here can be Ami and Ami Party, an AL leaning AAP, a BNP leaning AAP,…., but nevertheless, a force to reckon with. After all, stability sometimes comes with a triangular balance. And the Bangladeshi aam aadmi took five years to endure, another five years to endure more, another five years to endure even further and then took the final five years to attain an un-godly level of endurance. It is now poised for the long haul.
So is this like a packet of biriyani that everyone will be pleased with? No, and even some complain when given the greasy packet: “I prefer white rice.” But it just may be an alternative to trying to put our noses in our ears and then trying to blow our brains out for the silver bullet (and please, that's a figurative bullet!) as there is no point in trying to apply formalin to an already rotten situation.
These are my passing thoughts, not my solutions. Remember, I'm a comedian and not a proctologist. But if I say anything to offend anyone, please believe me. And then, forgive and forget.
The writer is an engineer & CEO turned comedian (by choice), the host of NTV's The Naveed Mahbub Show and the founder of Naveed's Comedy Club.
E-mail: [email protected]