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Uber has gained much popularity since its foundation back in 2009 a UberCab. Since then it has expanded its operation in different parts of the world. In continuation to that, Uber has started its operation on 22 November 2016 creating a hype among the young generation of the country. People were welcoming Uber and excited to get on a Uber ride.

I was one of persons welcoming Uber expecting that it will be a solution to the current problems with CNG Auto rickshaws and CNG drivers. Ever since Uber started operation in Bangladesh, I have been closely monitoring Uber’s customer feedback. I was getting positive feedback from most of the customers.So I thought of getting a Uber ride myself. I  requested several times but I was unable to get a ride. My rides were either too far from my location or there were too much traffic on the roads.

On the first week of December, I had a business trip to India. I had my first Uber ride in India. During our visit in india, we used Uber for our local transportation in the city. It was way better than getting a traditional taxi cab. Upon having a good experience from our first ride, we used Uber taxi for rest of our local travels. When I returned to Dhaka airport, it wa almost 11 PM at night. I needed a ride to go home. After having Uber experience in India, I was ready to have my first Uber ride in Bangladesh. So I tried once again and requested for a Taxi. My request was responded withing a minute and my ride arived in next 5 minutes. I was extremely happy to get a ride on a such short time. I returned home safely. As it was almost mid night, roads were empty and reached home withing half an hour.

After having a great Uber experience in Bangladesh, my expectation and interest grew higher. I become interested in Uber’ operation and had several other Uber rides. I also referred Uber to some of my colleagues and enjoyed couple of free rides for referring. During my Uber rides, I did some research in Uber operation. Let me share findings of my research on Uber:

  1. Uber is more expensive than traditional CNGs but more comfortable than CNG. You can call it cheaper form of  Yellow Taxi cab.
  2. Almost all of the Uber drivers are decent and friendly. Most of them are ex-driver of different companies. Most of them lives in Gulshan or Nearby areas.
  3. It’s easier to track the driver or the customer from the Uber App. You can complain against the driver if there is any problem. It’s much safer than traditional CNGs or Taxi services. You can actually report and get back any items if you lost it in the Uber Cabs.
  4. Uber charges you for miles you have traveled and the time you occupied Uber cab. Note that traditional CNGs bill you if there is a waiting time. But Uber bills you for time even if there is no waiting time.That means you have to pay for the time you get into a Uber Cab to the point you get down. At present Uber charges you a base fee of BDT 50 Plus BDT 30 for per miles you travel plus BDT 2/minute for the time you occupy a Cab.
  5. Uber sends you a money receipt in you Email so that you can claim reimbursement from your employer when necessary.
  6. You can pay to Uber by cash or Card. If you provide card details to Uber, it will automatically charge on your card when you travel user Uber. You don’t have to pay by cash. In India, Uber also accepts Paytm (a form of mobile banking in India). May be soon Uber will accept bKash or Rocket or any other mobile banking channels available in Bangladesh.
  7. You don’t have to look for ride on the streets. You can call it from anywhere and show a area for pick you up. Furthermore, you don’t have to negotiate the fare amount with the driver. It will be auto determined after your ride.
  8. There are limited Number of Uber Cabs available in Dhaka. Approximately 200 Uber Cabs roam around in Dhaka City. Soon Uber will expand its operation in Chittagong and other major cities.
  9. At present, Uber operates just within Dhaka City and you can get Uber ride up to 12 AM in the night.
  10. As there is a shortage of Uber Cab than the demand, it takes some time to find a Uber car. At present Uber cars takes more than 30 Minutes on an average to reach the pickup point due to heavy traffic in Dhaka City. Uber bill becomes higher due to the traffic too (as the travel time increases).

To me, Uber is very much useful and offers comfortable rides. Primary challenges for uber is the severe traffic of the Dhaka City. If they somehow can overcome this challenges, Uber will become unbeatable. Another challenges for Uber is teh legal framework of Bangladesh. At present, Bangladesh Road Transport  Authority (BRTA) has imposed a restriction on Uber stating that Uber doesn’t have necessary permission to operate a taxi services. Similar restriction was imposed on Uber when it was founded in U.S. It was able to overcome that restriction and hopefully it will be able to overcome the restriction imposed by BRTA. Hopefully, our government will also understand the technological application in real live and allow Uber to operate in Bangladesh as a way out for current traffic problem in Dhaka City.

 

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I’m not a movie critic and I don’t usually write the movie review.To tell the truth, I don’t watch movies that much and among them Bangladeshi movies are rarest. But I could not resist myself from writing this review after watching the movie Aynabaji, a bangladeshi movie by Amitabd Reza Chowdhury.

Aynabaji has been released on 30th September 2016 but I have been hearing positive news regarding the movie for a while. After the release, I have seen people putting Facebook status regarding how awesome the movie is. I have not seen this much positive reviews for a Bangladeshi movie for a long time. This made me curious and interested me to see the movie. So I made a sudden plan with my colleagues to watch the movie. As far I know, both Star Ceneplex and blockbuster is showing the movie but still it was hard to collect the tickets.

Enough with prologues. Let me go to the review part. But if you are for the story or spoilers, you will be disappointed. I’m not telling the movie story. If you have already seen it, then you already know. If you have not yet seen the movie, may be you should watch the movie.

Plot Summary:

Mr. Amitabh Reza himself wrote summary of plot in IMDB.

Ayna is an actor and the prison is his stage. He slips into the characters of the powerful convicted in exchange of money and take their place in prison. This strange profession is borne out of a society that doesn’t give him a chance to follow his passion of acting, but forces him to act in the real life. Falling in love with the girl next door changes his life equation and he decides to end this career with one last performance. But this one takes him too deep in the rabbit hole. The story unfolds on how an underdog survives in a society that is merciless and struggles his way out from the clutch of crime game which he is a part too.

Review of the Story:

Aynabaji has a great story for a movie.This is different from a traditional love story. Here, a person hide his true self and changes characteristics in different situations to take place of others in exchange of money. Need of money led him to switch places but he got used to it. He enjoyed becoming a different person. But this is not random. In reality people are switching characteristics, hiding their true self.

The hero of the story, Aayna, changes characteristics but when tries to stop changing, external forces makes him keep changing. He becomes helpless and plays along. Just like a regular person who can’t come out of light after staying in dark for so long.

After switching characteristics several times, Aaayna suddenly finds himself stuck in that characteristics. He can’t switch back even if he wants to. His ego does not allow him to switch back even in the risk of his own life. There are some people who takes unnecessary risks because of ego and ends up loosing. However, Aayna was able to avoid the life threat switching into another characteristics. There are people who lives entire life switching to characteristics to characteristics.

Producers and directors have excellently portrayed the movie plot. In reality, there are people who are switching places for money. They forgets their own life and lives in the shadow of others.But this story put a focus on their lives showing their achievements, their sorrows, theirs hardships and sacrifices they make. Although there are some loopholes in the story but we can ignore that and enjoy a great story. All famous and successful movies has plot hole but we don’t care for those. So I will not indicate the plot holes and undermine the story.

Review of Shooting and casts:

Screenplay of the movie is so much superior that most of the Bangladeshi movies in recent years. People in Bangladesh missed a good movie and shifted to Indians movies (Mumbai or Kolkakta). But this movie played in the same level like those indian movies, may be better.

Chanchal Chowdhury who portrayed Aaayna, the main character, did an awesome acting. He became Aayna  to show his life of acting. No other actor, other than Chanchal Chowdhury, could have acted this awesome and go with the character. Same Goes for Masuma Nabila. She is pretty but she looked prettier in the movie as well as her acting. All other casts were awesome too. Their combined effort created an overwhelming movie.

The movie has introduced Dhaka especially the old Dhaka from different angles. We always think of Dhaka as busy city with lots of traffic. But the movie have shown beautiful side of the movie. The Burigonga river has become polluted and stinky. But this movie have reminded us the beauty of the river. May be it’s time for us to revive the old river.

Movie has greats sound track. The last one “laag velki laag” is just epic. I’m sure it will become trending in few days.

Epilogue:

As I said earlier, I’m not a movie critic or a reviewer. I just wrote about it because I thought the movie is great and I should encourage others to watch the movie. If you want to know how great is the movie, go to IMDB and see the rating. It got IMDB rating of 9.9 out of 10 in just 5 days.You may read many other review but it’s hard to put it in words. You will not get whole picture unless you see the movie for yourself.

কবে জাহাজে চেপেছি ঠিক মনে করতে পারছি না। কয়েক ঘণ্টা হতে পারে অথবা কয়েক দিন কিংবা কয়েক বছর। এখানে আসলে দিনক্ষণ ঠাহর করা যায় না। এখানে সময় থেকে থাকে। শুধু জাহাজটাই চলতে থাকে। জাহাজ কবে গন্তব্যে পৌছাবে আমি সে অপেক্ষা করছি।

হঠাৎ কে যেন দূরে চেঁচিয়ে জানাল কিছুক্ষণের পরেই জাহাজ গন্তব্যে পৌছাবে। গন্তব্যে পৌছানোর খবর শুনে যাত্রীদের মধ্যে একটা চাঞ্চল্য সৃষ্টি হল। চাপা একটা উত্তেজনা দেখা দিল সবার মধ্যে। কেউ কেউ অবিশ্বাসের আওয়াজ করতে লাগল। আমার কেন যেন বিশ্বাস হতে চাইল না। তবুও আগ্রহ নিয়ে জাহাজের বাইরের দিকে তাকালাম। কিন্তু চারপাশে শুধুই পানি। আমাদের গন্তব্যের কোন চিহ্নও দেখলাম না। পাশে একজন বয়স্ক লোক দাঁড়িয়ে সিগারেট ফুঁকছিলেন। ভাবলেশহীন চেহারা করে জাহাজেত বাইরের দিকে তাকিয়ে আছেন। আমি তারদিকে তাকিয়ে বললাম “এখনও তো পৌছানোর কোন লক্ষণ দেখছি না”। ভদ্রলোক আমার দিকে তাকিয়ে মুচকি হেসে বললেন “এইতো চলে আসেছি। সামনের বাঁকটা পেড়োলেই পৌছে যাব আমরা”।

আশেপাশে লোকজনের ব্যস্ততা বেড়েছে ইতিমধ্যে। সবাই নিজের জিনিসপত্র গুছিয়ে নিচ্ছে। আমার অবশ্য এসবের ঝামেলা নেই। শুন্য হাতেই বেরিয়েছি আমি। আমি চারপাশের সবার ব্যস্ততা দেখছি আর আগ্রহ নিয়ে অপেক্ষা করছি জাহাজ থামার। কিছু অতি উৎসাহী লোক ভিড় করছে জাহাজের দরজার সামনে। ওদের দেখে মনে হচ্ছে জাহাজ ভিড়লে সবার প্রথমে ওদেরকেই নামতে হবে। আমিও এগিয়ে গেলাম তাদের সাথে। আগ্রহ নিয়ে অপেক্ষা করছি জাহাজ ভেড়বার। ধীরেধীরে আরও অনেক লোক এসে দাঁড়াল দরজার সামনে। সবার লক্ষ্য একটাই, যত দ্রুত সম্ভব এই জাহাজ থেকে নামার। দীর্ঘ যাত্রা তাদের মধ্যে ক্লান্তি এনে দিয়েছে। সময় পার হয়ে যাচ্ছে। যাত্রীরা একটু একটু করে বিচলিত হতে শুরু করেছে। সবাই অপেক্ষা করছে এই উদ্দেশহীন জাহাজটির গন্তব্যে পৌছার। কিন্তু জাহাজ চলছেই। 
বি.দ্র.: ইহা একটি ছোট ও কাল্পনিক গল্প!

মধ্যরাতে মাঝ নদী বরাবর জাহাজ চলছে। আমি জাহাজের বারান্দায় একা বসে আছি। প্রচন্ড বাতাস বইছে। মনে হচ্ছে সব উড়িয়ে নিয়ে যাবে। খুব সতর্ক হয়ে বসা দরকার। কিন্তু আমার ইচ্ছে করছে না। বাতাসের সাথে সাথে দু এক ফোটা বৃষ্টি পরছে। আমার কেন জানি খুব ভিজতে ইচ্ছে করছে। দু এক ফোটা বৃষ্টিতেই ভেজার চেষ্টায় রেলিং এর কাছে ঝুকে বসলাম। নিচের দিকে তাকিয়ে দেখি নদীর পানিতে জাহাজের আলো পড়ছে। সামান্য সেই আলো কিন্তু সেই সামান্য আলোতেই নদীর প্রমত্তা রুপ দেখা যাচ্ছে। বেশ বড় বড় ঢেউ আছড়ে পরছে জাহাজের গায়ে। ঢেউয়ের আঘাতে মাঝে মাঝেই দুলে উঠছে জাহাজ।

আমার মন এমনিতেই ভাল নেই কিছুদিন ধরে। তার উপর এই আবহাওয়া আরও নাজেহাল করে দিচ্ছে আমাকে। অনেকদিন হল ওর সাথে দেখা হয় না। শেষ কবে দেখছি ঠিক মনে পরছে না। বছর দুয়েকের বেশি হবে। আগে নিয়মিতই ফোনে কথা হত। ক্রমশ কমে আসছিল কথাবার্তা। ইদানীং ও কথা বলা বন্ধ করে দিয়েছে আমার সাথে। আমার সাথে কথা বললে নাকি ওর মন খারাপ হয়ে যায়। আমি নাকি ওর জন্য কিছুই করার চেষ্টা করিনি। আসলে চেষ্টা করিনি তা নয়। সফলতা আসেনি। ভুল সময়ে ভুল মানুষের কাছে ভুল ভাবে চেষ্টা করেছি।

হঠাৎ করেই জোরে একটা দমকা হাওয়া বয়ে গেল। জাহাজটা একটু কেপে উঠল। আমিও সম্বিৎ ফিরে পেলাম। আশেপাশে কিছু লোক হাটাহাটি করছে। একটু দুরেই কয়েকজন জটলা পাকিয়ে বসে কথা বলছে। পাশে কয়েকজন ফোন নিয়ে ব্যস্ত। একজন গান শুনছিল কিছুক্ষণ আগে। কলকাতার কোন সিনেমার গান সম্ভবত। ফোনের গান থামিয়ে এখন সে নিজেই গান ধরল। সেই কলকাতার গান। গানের গলা খারাপ না। বেশ রোমান্টিক একটা গান, এই আবহাওয়াতে খারাপ না। অন্যসময় হলে ভাল লাগত কিন্তু এখন ঠিক ভাল লাগছে না। ভাঙা মনে রোমান্টিক গান ভাল লাগে না। ইচ্ছে হচ্ছিল গিয়ে ঝাড়ি দিয়ে গান বন্ধ করতে বলি। পড়ে ভাবলাম তার কি দোষ। তার মনে ভালবাসার রংধনু উঠেছে, সাত রং মাখানো গান সে গাইতেই পারে।

আমি উঠে পড়লাম। কিছুক্ষণ হাটাহাটি করে বুঝলাম জাহাজটায় যাত্রী তেমন নেই। যেদিকে বসেছিলাম ঐদিকে না যেয়ে উল্টোপাশের বারান্দার রেলিঙ এর ধারে বসে পড়লাম। এইদিকটা বেশ অন্ধকার। জাহাজের লাইটগুলোও বন্ধ হয়ে গেল। দূরে কিছু আলো দেখা যাচ্ছে। হয়ত ছোট কোন মাছধরা নৌকা অথবা নদীপাড়ের কোন বাড়ির আলো। হঠাৎই হারিয়ে যায় আলোগুলো। নেমে আসে গভীর অন্ধকার। অদ্ভুত এক শুন্যতার সৃষ্টি হয়। এই অন্ধকারে জাহাজ কোনদিকে যাচ্ছে ঠিক বোঝা যাচ্ছে না। কিন্তু ছুটে চলছে জাহাজ। আর শুন্য বুকে আমিও চলছি সেই উদ্দেশহীন জাহাজে।

বি.দ্র.: এটি একটি ছোট গল্প ও একটি কাল্পনিক ঘটনা।

 

Few days earlier I lost my smart phone. After that I have shifted to my spare old dumb phone. To be honest it took a while to get used to the old dumb phone. Although I need another smart phone and will buy one soon, I learned first hand that there are some benefits of having dumb phone.

  1. Forget charging you phone once everyday. I have not charged my phone in last 3 days. And when I put the phone for charge it does not take long to full charge the battery.
  2. Without a smart phone, you can’t take selfies and post them in social medias. People will be better off.
  3. You can actually enjoy the beauty of the places instead of uploading them in social media.
  4. You can taste the foods when they are still hot. You don’t have to take thousands of pictures before eating them.
  5. You can’t pretend you are doing something important when you want to avoid talking to unknown persons in the party. In order to avoid being awkward, you have to start a conversation.
  6. You can’t spend time on checking in or posting live events. So you have to sit around or you could just get along with the crowd.
  7. You don’t have to buy internet packages so you can save some money.

Although there are these and more benefits, but we still need smart phones to do many other things. I’m planning to treat the smart phone which I’m going to purchase as a dumb phone. I’ll not let my smart phone to in-socialize me.

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