Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Random thoughts from random spots

Getting things planned and put into action over here is near impossible, I’ve pretty much been stuck here in Dhaka since I arrived. I’ve had to set back my plans to go to Sylhet because I got struck down with the mandatory bout of Diarrhoea the day before we were suppose to set off the next day, it’s practically a rite of passage when you come here. Once it’s over you’re ok to eat just about any kind of funky food although I still wouldn’t recommend it.

So its been over two weeks since we’ve been here, and my Mom’s sister’s not doing so well back in her hometown of a place called Comilla, it’s a small town about 60 Miles East of Dhaka, so Mom and I went to visit here and keep her company for a few days. A little known fact about Comilla: It was once used as a strategic Airbase by the Indians under the British during World war II to keep the advancing Japanese at bay, otherwise we’d all be speaking (and living like) Japanese by now, which in retrospect isn’t a bad thing given the lack of efficient and incorrupt governance you’ve got here today.

Having nothing to do out here can be a good thing or a bad thing, it’s a good thing when you want to ponder away life’s little intricacies and get some ‘me’ time, it’s a bad thing when you think a little too much about your place in life to the point where you’re left ineffective. I try and find myself somewhere in the middle of the two extremes because I’ve been at both ends and its never a good thing to be at any particular extreme.

So now I find myself lying in bed at night with nothing to read but at least I’ve got my MP3 player handy, its definitely a life-saver when you can’t get to sleep easily. The lyrics from some songs stick longer than others maybe because I guess I can relate to them on some level. So I thought I’d list a few excerpts from my favourite songs in no particular order probably because I’m feeling a little philosophical lately and these lyrics seem to sum up my view on life in general.

‘Someone right now is looking pretty tired staring at a laptop tryin’ to get inspired
Somebody, livin’ right across the street just wrote the best thing that she’s written all week’

- 'Right now' by Fort Minor

Somebody right now is droppin’ his vote inside a box and tryin’ to not get shot in his throat for the act of freedom,
Right now somebody’s stuck in Iraq hoping that he gets shipped back breathing in a war that he’s not really sure the reasons,
So we show our support when the press mislead ‘em’

- 'Right now' by Fort Minor

‘One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do,
Two can be as bad as one it’s the loneliest number since the number one,
No is the saddest experience that you’ll ever know,
Yes is the saddest experience that you’ll ever know’

- 'One is the loneliest number' cover by Filter

‘I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I’ve changed my face I’ve changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose…

…Don’t give up cos’ you have friends
Don’t give up you’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up I know you can make it good’

- 'Don’t give up' by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush (probably one of the most inspiring songs
I’ve heard in a while)

‘I need some time and I want some space, I gotta get away from the human race’

- 'New York New York' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

‘If only I could sleep for ten more minutes I might find the strength to make another day,
If I didn’t have to get up and do my thing I would probably sleep my whole life away’

- 'New York New York' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

‘What you watch on TV tells you what life is suppose to be,
But when you look outside the only thing you see is the poverty-stricken reality’

- 'New York New York' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

‘I dance to the beat and shuffle my feet,
Wear a shirt and tie and run with the creeps cos’ its all about money aint a damn thing funny,
You gotta have con in this land of milk and honey’

- 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

‘A child is born with no state of mind,
Blind to the ways of mankind,
God is smilin’ on you and he’s frowning too because only God knows what you gonna do’

- 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

‘…And now your eyes sing a sad sad song of how you lived so fast and died so young’

- 'The Message' by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

And finally here’s one to mull over…

‘If you knew that you would die today and saw the face of God and love would you change, would you change?
If you knew that love can break your heart when you’re down so low you cannot fall would you change, would you change?
How bad how good does it need to get?
How many losses how much regret?
What chain reaction would cause an effect?’

- 'Change' by Tracy Chapman

Pessimistic and gloomy my choice of lyrics may appear to be but you can’t afford to not acknowledge the fact that these are everyday stories of everyday lives in this world of ours. Don’t worry everyone, Emran hasn’t gone suicidal on you, I just wanted to use this entry to help put my (and maybe your) everyday worries into perspective.

The gap between rich and poor is getting wider than ever, and its ever more apparent in poor developing countries like Bangladesh where the difference is blindingly obvious. Sure there are good people trying to make a difference but they’re usually few and far between. I guess the fact that most of the world’s NGO’s are working in this country must surely have a positive impact but the effects seem to be slow to come to fruition.

As always with societal ills the only suitable method tends to be Education. But it’s a tough battle seeing that you’ll always have some government and/or foreign fat cat official in his shiny chauffeur-driven BMW X5 driving past an old man rummaging around in a heap of rotting garbage on the roadside looking for scraps of food for him and his family.

So the next time you’ve got something to whine about REMEMBER, life’s much bigger than you, your wife (or husband or partner); 2.5 kids; that 25-year mortgage on the 4-bedroom house you just bought in the suburbs and other things we over-caffeinated, insatiable and self-indulgent fools like to gripe about.

1 comment:

"gallavanting gallanda" said...

Yes Emran you certainly pointed out a lot of reality.
Who knows when all of this will come to an END. I think I heard its somewhere in the year 2050's so until such time.....my advice to you is "Don't You Quit"