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[ALOCHONA] Market Of Failures

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  • Mahmud Farooque
    Market Of Failures This has now become a part of our ritual whenever we visit Dhaka--we stock up on clothes of all kinds and variety, ones that couldn t meet
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 1999
      Market Of Failures

      This has now become a part of our ritual whenever we visit Dhaka--we stock
      up on clothes of all kinds and variety, ones that couldn't meet the quality
      standard requirements for export. The temptations to get a pair of Docker
      slacks for three dollars or a Levis Jacket for five are far too strong and
      the minor defects are easy enough to overlook at first glance.

      Now that only completes one part of the ritual--the other part is to wear
      the clothes couple of times and realize that the minor defects have become
      major annoyances and soon enough most of them migrate to the unused side of
      the closet. The ritual is complete when we would launch our yearly purging
      operation and make a trip to the local drop off point for the Salvation Army.

      It is amazing what you can now get in Dhaka!

      I was taken in by the number of luxury cars with automatic transmissions,
      power windows, power steering etc. that my friends and relatives seem to be
      driving these days. Of course most of the added features don't work and
      all of the cars continue to run on leaded gasoline, but still, you couldn't
      possibly imagine living in exclusive parts of Dhaka and not have a car with
      all those fancy amenities.

      The story is same with all their Pentium PCs with DVD drives and high-speed
      modems. Try connecting to the Internet and you will find that it takes
      half an hour to download one email in the middle of the day. That is when
      you are lucky enough not to get a busy signal from your ISP provider.
      Still, you got to have them.

      Not much different with people--people who must have all these titles and
      never-ending list of company names on their business cards! Try entering
      into a professional arrangement with them and you will be hard pressed to
      find an agreement between their level of competency and their advertised

      It used to be the case that pressures to leave the country would begin
      right after HSC exams. It would intensify with every additional academic
      milestone one could overcome. Now I see that these pressures are being
      extended to even lower levels. Many parents are now pushing their kids
      through the O-Level system just so they could pick up the credentials to
      leave the country a year or two earlier.

      The prevailing social sentiment now is such that if you don't have any
      prospect of leaving the country any time soon, you must have some serious

      One of my closest friends, upon finishing college, decided to go back so he
      could look after his parents and still make his living as an Architect. As
      soon as his fiancé and her parents realized that his trip back home was not
      for the sole purpose of getting married, the wedding negotiations fell apart.

      You constantly keep hearing the phrase "this is Bangladesh", as a warning
      to lower your expectations. I just read a story where officials at Zia
      airport stopped issuing visiting Visa as a part of security arrangement for
      the D-8 summit. They were sending people, mostly businessmen from abroad,
      back in the airline they came in.

      The fact that our political leaders and high-ranking officials are devoid
      of any imagination, commitment, dignity, and perseverance, is not entirely
      their fault. Deep down inside, we in fact expect them to be incompetent,
      unproductive and unethical; after all, if the situations were otherwise,
      wouldn't we expect them to be somewhere else?

      Yes, there are exceptions to this rule and Bangladesh is still blessed with
      some highly accomplished, dedicated, brilliant, decorated, and
      internationally recognized individuals. However, they are in the minority
      and their share and role in the system is gradually diminishing.

      On the other hand, the market of failure is expanding. The markets of
      rejected garments are now creeping up in all major cities. There's even a
      chain in Dhaka that now offers fixed price clothing inside fully
      air-conditioned showrooms, much to the delight of an incompetent bargainer
      like myself.

      Dealerships for reconditioned cars can also be found in most places.

      Many of us are seriously thinking about sending our old PCs back home and a
      booming market for obsolete PCs is not too distant in the horizon.

      What ought to be a temporary stop-gap measure is fast becoming a permanent

      The question that now beckons to be asked is, could a nation be built
      around an overall premise "of the failures, by the failures and for the

      I await an answer in the earnest.

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