Chariots of fire
Readers may well be familiar with the term "chariots of fire" fondly used by the famous French writer Dominique Lapierre in his novel "City of Joy." Dominique Lapierre used this term to describe the rickshaws of Kolkata.
These chariots of fire have infested every nook and corner of Dhaka. There is hardly any place in the capital where it does not ply. It is a thing of wonder that even at this age of time rickshaws still ply the streets of a capital city.
The only place rickshaws do not ply is the sky, thanks heaven or else they would make the lives of the airplane pilots miserable. As depicted in the "City of Joy," these rickshaw pullers mostly live in slums scattered all over the city. These slums are also a safe heaven for the drug peddlers, addicts and other notorious criminals. No doubt rickshaws cater to the needs of the people from all walks of life, but then again it is not hassle-free. To speak the truth, nothing is hassle-free, but the degree of hassle is much more higher and injurious in case with the rickshaws.
It is now the end of 2010, in my opinion rickshaws ought to have been made off limits all over the country back in 1971 with the emergence of an independent country. The museum ought to have been its final resting place. It is already too late to say good bye to these chariots of fire, they are likely to stay for good and make things worse in the days to come.