Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dhaka Bombs

In one day Bangladesh has been , reportedly, hit by 48 separate small bomb explosion incidents.
One has been reported within a kilometer radius from where I work, close to US embassy!! The whole city has been gripped by fear, phones were buzzing all around. Everyone asking everyoneelse, rumour mills in full swing. Some 40+ injured are reported and no deaths, but the minds have been stung. It is understood now that some fundamentalist faction wants country to be ruled by Islamic laws and this is the warning bell. This is the day when Baghdad gets hit as well with 40 deaths.. and bangladeshis dont who to sympathize with.

I think we the humans have hit some self destruct code in evolution....the slow death is on!!!

459 blasts in 63 districts in 30 minutes
2 killed; 100 hurt; all explosives were time bombs; Jama'atul Mujahideen leaflets found


Monday, August 15, 2005


It has been more than 15 years since I had attended any independence day functions. Yesterday I received the mailer from Indian high commission informing that a fucntion will be held by high commission with flag hoisting and all that goes with it. I was just toying with the idea to go and see what it would be like as the old school memories had been rekindled. Then in the night another expat friend called up asking if I want to be up at 7 and go for the function( a real big deal these days). Independence for India is a day of mourning for Bangladesh ( at least for one political section these days) in the memory of brutal killing of Sheikh Mujib (fondly known as Bangbandhu). Interestingly his political party had called for half day strike this morning thus making 3 minutes drive to the Indian High Commission ground a 10 minute rickshaw ride ( Dhaka becomes rickshaw paradise on the days of strike as they are the only vehicle with license to ply ).

It was interesting to see national flag hoisting and singing of national anthem, we had just barely made to it after our long winding search for the Indian High Commission grounds ( yes we are not as prominent embassy as some might imagine given our common history). Indian high commissioner then told us that she would read President of India's address to the nation, being a first timer I thought why she cant make her own speech but then it is maybe required for a by the book ceremony. I dont know if people in India still tune to, address to nation by president anymore in this day and age of saas bahu dramas, myself hasnt done that in ages ( boy aged I have ). After listening to the speech I must say that in the history of all the democracies in the world, I dare say first time, we have a president who is so tuned to the modern times and has the right thought arsenal to suggest some reasonable blueprnit for future of the nation. But alas he can only make suggestions and has no power to see them implemented ( maybe I underestimate power of suggestion, I havent had success with it as yet). To say the least his speech was informative and practical and most of all one could say for sure that it was written by himself as well( unlike so many other presidents before).

Amidst all this the thing I remembered most was "Boondi Ke Laddoo"!! ( alas it was missing from the "Alpahaar" offered by Indian Embassy). This was mainstay of almost all my schools' independence day functions. When I was living in school hostel, we were so unsatisfied with the limited quantities on offer that some would take it upon themselves to make the stuff in the room. This was I guess our first steps in learning of entrepreneurship and partnerships. More often than not these endeavours ended up in sour experiences ( not literally). We discovered that after going thru the process of making the stuff one didnt feel the craving as we had imagined or experienced before. Then the sharing of the produce would lead to unhappy endings of partnerships, resulting into tools of the enterprise being literally broken into pieces. Still... those were the best days of my life... ( thanks for to Bryan Adams to make those words so popular).