Monday, November 21, 2005















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Urban Property
city vignette
A weekly pot pouri on urban life by Ershad Khandker

          We are at the throes of heaven. Don't believe it? Just take a step out of your home and go somewhere and you may think that the destination you have in mind is nothing less than Trafalgar Square. Rickshaw's don't ply in London, neither do you have a Trafalgar square in Dhaka, but when there is Eid, you will be forgiven for believing that you are in your dream traffic free city. If you actually have a visa to go to London during the Eid holidays, do not use it next time you are going to England during Eid. Stay in Dhaka and enjoy traffic free Eid! Hassle free traffic is good and when you got no traffic? Trafalgar is just pittance, Traffic free Dhaka is heaven itself! Eid Mubarak to you all! Allow me to take a time-out and catch my breath!
Eid changes in texture for middle aged people but not in context. Eid is not just for youngsters it is for everybody, even for us middle aged gentlemen. Your's truly is aghast at the attitude of some people in Dhaka who "let go" of their lives when they reach middle age .Accompanied by a sickening expression of resignation these people would just say " Amader ar ki ache ? Eid to bachader jonne "! What is there for us in Eid? Eid is for children! That could not be far from the truth. Eid comes with so much joy after a month of fasting and if you do not feel like buying the new cloth, you can never fail to enjoy the highly enjoyable experience of meeting friends and family under one roof or in different places as you go around making the round visiting different areas of the city. How can that not be a thing to consider as a special gift of Eid? This is the mundane answer to a mundane problem. Eid actually is a blessing in so many different ways. We just forget to understand the meaning of this great day. The hardship of Ramazan is followed by Eid. Yours truly thinks that Eid is a challenge in so many ways. Eid may lead you to forget the hardships and all the enjoyment so soon after Ramazan may make you forget the training of Ramazan. Eid is a reward for the faithful and a day of joy. But for those who overdo the celebration and indulge in one-upmanship, Eid would loose its significance and so will the hardships of the holy month of Ramazan. You may become the same old person preoccupied with the activities of temporal life. Eid is designed to test your resolve. You should enjoy but only as a way to relive your body and bring it back to the routine of real life and at the same time as a way to congratulate others for undertaking the teachings of Ramazan with sincerity. And those who followed Ramazan with intent, Life after Eid will be one of peaceful existence.
Dhaka will not be bereft of discipline too soon after Eid. The S.A.A.R.C summit has brought about the toughest regimen of security ever witnessed in Bangladesh. Accompanied by the beautification of Dhaka city, S.A.A.R.C. has already brought some benefits for us. The beautification is a bonus and so is the security drill that would no doubt be a good practice for so many security people. However, the real work will be done by the heads of states and their support staff. The atmosphere in the S.A.A.R.C region is one of gradual improvement of relations. Despite the earthquake tragedy and other problems, the main stumbling block remains the deep suspicion amongst some of the member states of S.A.A.R.C. And a meeting like this will always be the right stage for the heads of states to talk about way of making things better. Many aspiring diplomats will understand the intricacies of hosting a summit like this. In the meantime, other young people will get jobs as companions of delegates. Such experiences go a long way in teaching important lessons of life. Responsibilities involved in working with the summit will teach many new things to young achievers. We can hope that the teeming citizenry will also learn a lesson or two. The temporary traffic restrictions will be a test of patience. And patience is a virtue we all need to learn in Dhaka. All great cities in the world impose traffic systems that make it necessary for pedestrians and vehicles to take longer routes to make u -turns and shortcuts. The summit will make such requirements mandatory but only temporarily. One hopes that we shall be left with a first glimpse of traffic system with a virtue of patience being a part of the traffic system .Patience has so many practical utilities and none more apt then patience in following traffic rule . Will we learn? Yours truly is not holding his breath.


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