The headline was the topic of recently ended school essay-writing competition organised by Pledge Harbour School and the International Business Forum of Bangladesh.
Three competition-winning essays were published before. Here are four more essays from the top ten.
Rebonto Haque, SFX Green Herald Int. School
A tourist from the United States visiting Bangladesh for the first time in 2040
A tourist from the United States was visiting Bangladesh for the first time because of all the interesting things he heard about the country. The densely populated country is in a very good state in terms of education, culture and economics. The tourist visits Shahid Minar, among other national monuments of Bangladesh. He is amazed to see the rich and beautiful sights of Bangladesh and astonished to see that Bangladesh is ahead in education, agriculture, economics, finances and politics than many other countries in the world. While visiting the national museum he knew about the liberation war of Bangladesh and what Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did for our freedom.
The tourist then visits the countryside of Bangladesh. There he finds that the villagers could harvest the crops six times a year because a non-toxic and effective fertilizer was created that could allow this to work.
One day while he was out for a jog he notices that there weren’t any beggars or poor people lying on the streets or footpaths. He asks the man accompanying him how this was possible. The person says that the government made special shelters for them where they could get food and stay for the night. The tourist could not believe his ears. He is happy that the government cares so much about the people of the country. The man also said that this was so because there mostly aren’t any poor folks in Bangladesh. The poor people were getting jobs through which they could earn their living.
While travelling, he decides to visit Cox’s Bazar. He is satisfied with the overall arrangements of Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation for the tourists. After staying in Cox’s Bazar he visits Rajshahi because of all the wonderful things he hears about theirfamous mangoes and Rajshahi silk clothes. The transportation good too; People could travel by the subway trains, buses, cars etc. Astonished and satisfied, he decides to go to Sylhet to see the beautiful tea gardens.
The tourist heard of the deadly diseases in Bangladesh. He goes to the hospital where there were AIDS victims and is happy to find a small number of patients. He asks a doctor why this was so and the doctor says Bangladeshi scientist discovered a vaccine that reduces the probabilities of suffering from most diseases, even deadly diseases like AIDS and also makes an almost 0% chance of having CANCER. The tourist is overwhelmed to hear this. This is one of the best achievements of Bangladesh in 2040.
The tourist is satisfied with the overall situation and security and compares the situation of Bangladesh between 2013 and 2040. He realizes that everything is possible with the hardship and patriotismof Bangladesh. He wishes to be a citizen of Bangladesh.
Once again the sun rose, following its ancient ritual. It rendered a shower of blessings, through its lustrous gleams, all over the place and revived the dormant city. I did not spend more time to behold the mesmerizing sight, but immediately left for the conference after bidding farewell to my husband and children.
I was passing by the huge edifices and sky-scrapers, aimed at the sky, I was able to have glimpse of the old streets that I had first known in my earlier days. The gust of stale, smoky air, the dazzling red lights of the numerous vehicles and the shrill cries of the horns are all lost in time. The pavements, too, have an alteration; they are no longer the homes of thousand poverty-struck vagrants neither the market place of the disgraced hawkers. These stones paths are now only used by pedestrians and the roads are no more chock-a-block.
I finally drove across the vast flyover and stepped into the highways that lead to the suburbs. I saw farmers and fishermen working sincerely with their inherited skills and highly specialized machineries as well as tools to harvest the crops and catch fishes. Everything around me is so modernized that these days the labours do no need to shed their sweat in order to earn their livelihood. Furthermore, they now live in better-off conditions and can obtain all the possible necessities.
It barely took me more than three hours to reach the district I intended for. The tall digital billboard, located a yard away, lit up with pleasant words of greetings as I was about to enter that region.
Only a glance of the city has perplexed me, because it looked too similar to the city I left, earlier this morning. I realized that the people, living here, also lead a marvellously lavish life just like the people of Dhaka do. Besides the high-raised buildings and protracted streams of solid road, there were many other establishments – schools, business firms, hypermarkets, etc – which have made life a lot resplendent there. As far as I can recall, this was once a district with the crisis of development, where people combated to survive. But this was the reality about twenty years ago, and now it is completely contradictory. This is not the only district that has upgraded itself, the rest of the other sixty-three districts have also flourished with betterments. It is, indeed, blissful to see people wandering about like free birds on the spotless streets and relishing the freedom they had in their life.
At last I arrived at the venue and hurried towards the conference hall, where the conference has already begun. Before I could even enter the hall, I was dragged by someone and placed at the desk to deliver a brief opinion. My speech had to be concise, because I was inquired to state my opinion in a few minutes, so that they can serve the meal for the hungry-looking audience. I was standing there, being petrified, for a while, and realized that I had made no preparation for my verbal account. But looking at the banner, carved with the words ‘Living in Bangladesh’, I knew exactly what to say.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to share my views with you. Today while I was heading towards this city, I came across a lot of instances that showed how much improved people’s life is now. It was only a few years back, when I saw, with my juvenile eyes, the way people suffered; but now I see them living a happy life, where sufferance had become extinct. Bangladesh, the country which was born with dignity, is now overwhelmed with developments and so are the people and their life. In this modern era, all the Bangladeshi lives their regular life with ease and serenity, though during any festival we get restless with zeal! Now, when I grab a look around myself, I see the people living their lives with the true flavors of independence and freedom that the Bangladesh had triumphed for its people a long time ago. And I believe we will continue to live with this freedom.”
Alvi Alveen Khan, Sunnydale
I am woken on a beautiful Monday morning just as the sun begins to shine through my bedroom’s open window by the sound of a hybrid car flying past. I smile to myself as I recognise the strong likeness between this and my childhood’s favourite show ‘The Jetsons’. I stretch wondering why it seems so quiet. The air-conditioner had apparently turned itself off when the room had become sufficiently cold, while I was asleep. I look up at my clock. It’s 9 AM already. This does not worry me since there is absolutely no traffic in the skies, so I can still get to my office in time.
I have a quick breakfast, get ready and get into my Transition. It was one of the first flying cars ever built. It may be old but at least it’s a hybrid. Almost everyone owns one of these hybrids now and for the ones who do not there is still the wide range of improved public transport.
I park in my office garage 5 minutes later to be greeted by a gliding screen flashing an attractive little advertisement for home insurance. I push it aside and it glides away to find someone who will hear out the whole message. The automated parking meter turns on with a small click beside me. These machines can be seen in several places nowadays. They are like little timers keeping track of how long a car has been parked. I have to pay the money when I’m leaving so there is no problem of the timer expiring.
I walk into my cabin just as my phone rings. I receive the call with a shake of my hand. The reason for me being such a show-off is that this device only came out last week. It is made completely of glass and has such a thick covering that even if it fell from a great height there would not be a scratch, something which has been proved on several occasions (I have already managed to drop it three times).
I sit in front of my desktop to find 182 emails waiting for me. ‘Sort by importance’, I call out to me computer and after a second I open the top email from my CTO. It says something about thievery at one of the offices. I shake my head wondering why anyone would do such a thing. Crime rates have been dropping drastically for the past 20 years. The streets and also the skies have become a lot safer. However thievery has not yet completely stopped.
I go to lunch at around 2pm . The cafeteria doors slide open as I come within the sensor’s range and a menu pops out of a counter beside the door. I walk into the shorter of two lines. Food is nowadays offered in two ways, manual and machine service. Of the two machines service is way faster but it fails to meet to taste satisfaction which a human cook can give and today, I feel like a good tasty meal made by a fellow human. I see Jake, a co-worker, in the other line. He shakes his head in a way which clearly shows that he disapproves of my choice of food service. I ignore him and spend the next fifteen minutes enjoying a delicious meal.
I came out of my office at around 5pm that day to find that the Parking metre read thirty-five dollars. Well, that’s cheap, I think to myself. Nothing costs too much anymore. Food, petrol, even gold costs very little. I return home within minutes and park my car on my rooftop garage. Not every house has this but I cleverly designed mine according to my preference. I approach my roof door and place my eye against the retina scanner. This security measure was taken by our country’s government a few years ago and has proved very effective. Not a single burglary has taken place in our neighbourhood since.
I go to sleep that night after a pizza for supper thinking about my past life. It was not like this. It was very different. None of the peace, quiet, safety and pleasure I enjoy now was there, but now there is. Maybe good things do happen. Maybe, good things have happened.
Anika Jannat, Scholastica
Me in 2040!
The usual splash of water made me jump out of my bed. I was wondering why my mother has to set up this automatic water splash alarm clock every day. It was February 16, 2040. I looked at the clock and saw it was 10 o’clock. I was terrified when I saw it because my History exam was going to start at 10:05, which means I had only 5 minutes left before my O level exam to begin.
I immediately pressed my bell and ordered Tintin my new robot maid to bring my laptop. He turned on the automatic freshening up machine and left my room. Within 2 minutes, I was completely ready and fresh to appear for my exam. I turned on my web cam and projector. A tall, handsome human like robot appeared as my invigilator. At 10:04, a mail popped into my computer screen. The invigilator smiled at me and told me to start the exam.
The paper seemed easy. It was all about the stories my grandma used to tell me. The stories about the Bangladesh civil war that held in 2013. My grandma was a teenager at that time. She was also appearing for her O level exam that year. She told me how scared they were at that time thinking that they might end up not being able to appear for the exam because of those strikes.
The exam took 45 minutes to end. I sent the mail to CIE and turned off my web cam. I was extremely tired after giving the exam. Once again, I pressed the bell and ordered Tintin to bring my breakfast. My father called me and told me to get ready. The National Scientific Invention and Discovery (NSID) had discovered a green island on a bearing of 57-degree and 11 kilometres from Chittagong port. He told me to be in the head office within 10 minutes. Tintin entered my room with my breakfast in put the meal in the automatic feeding machine. Within 3 minutes, I was done with my breakfast.
I unplugged my wings from the socket and put on my lead suit and oxygen mask. When I was a kid none of us had to wear either lead suit or oxygen mask but now the toxic fumes and gamma radiation has increased so much that one can die within a second of inhaling the atmospheric air. It took only 5 minutes to reach the NSID office. My father was waiting outside for me to come. As soon as I reached my father came up and we started to fly towards Chittagong port.
When we reached the island, I was mesmerized by what I saw below. It was all green and dark and it seemed so beautiful. My father said the last time he saw such a beautiful place was when he was 6/7 years old. We got down and removed the lead suit and oxygen mask. I had never felt this fresh or happy before. The fresh air went through my nose to my lungs and touched my heart. The aroma of fresh leaves and many unknown flowers made me feel good.
I felt ashamed of my government. How could they turn such a beautiful country into a graveyard? Why did they let it happen? Yeah, it is late. We cannot change what had happened to us and perhaps we all deserved it. The over consumption of all the natural resources had made our lives so miserable that we cannot even inhale the atmospheric air. I wish our ancestors could see what this over consumption had led to us and how we failed to protect the beauty of our country!