Posts Tagged ‘Society


The bubble boys, the Green Zone and the 99%

Published in FORUM


What is wrong with the privileged elite of Bangladesh, asks Asif Saleh, that they can be so indifferent to the misery and hardship that surrounds them.

Photo: Amirul Rajiv

We recently sent an intern from our organization to work for Ain O Shalish Kendro. Before she left, I met her in London — a very excited twenty-something girl out to change the world.

The zeal, however, soon turned into grief on October 28. Her Glasgow-residing father went to visit her in Dhaka. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time on that day. She didn’t hear from him all day and night after he went shopping at Baitul Mukarram, the scene of the chaos that broke out in the aftermath of the power handover.

Continue reading ‘The bubble boys, the Green Zone and the 99%’


Ode to Dhaka on the Homecoming Day


Today I landed in Dhaka after quite some time. Here is a brief run down of my initial reactions. Take the reactions with a grain of salt as they may not seem rational and all emotional.

After a brief unexpected stop over in Berlin, I arrived this morning 5 hours delayed. Berlin stopover was due to a pregnant passenger having complications. I told that story to the curious immigration officer in Bangladesh and guess what his reply was….not feigning any concern for that woman he says…that lucky kid will be born with a German passport. Welcome to Dhaka the city of the passport fetishers! Zia airport was better organised than the Heathrow terminal of British Airways. I am finishing off some shopping for Eeshita (shutir shari) and Anahita(she wanted lal churi 😉 ) today and then want to jump into business. Dhaka is supposed to be vacation but ever since Drishtipat, the social organisation that I run on my free time, it has never felt like one. But it never feels like work either.

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The American Deshis

So when are you coming to see us?”, said my sister anxiously. Why not celebrate Anahita’s (my daughter) first birthday over here in North Carolina?” I replied reluctantly in the negative, “I have made other plans”. “What plans?”, she asked. I said with more hesitation, “We are going to Florida for a vacation. We need a break.” My sister replied with surprise, “Coming to our place is not a break?” Detecting the disappointment in her tone, I did not say that going to meet family has its own charm but it is not really a vacation. I calmed her down by saying that we would come soon. She hung up by saying “Khub Americander moto kotha bolo ajkal”(talking like a true American these days).

That made me wonder, when did we stop being Bangladeshi and start becoming Americans (hint: note the negative connotation of the last word)?

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