Flight Nightmares

~ Mahvish Qureshi ’10

Have you ever found yourself waiting around at airports, flights delayed because of bad weather, or because of delayed arrival of the plane. Maybe you are waiting around because you missed a connecting flight. Well that would be a best case scenario for the passengers of a Biman Bangladesh airline flight from Dhaka to London a few weeks ago. The flight was delayed for ten hours, despite the clear weather, and the functioning air plane. The flight was delayed because of a toilet problem.

Passengers aboard the aircraft seemed to have neglected the importance of the sign above the toilets that are present in most airplane bathrooms which states that paper cups etc. are not to be flushed down the toilet but are to be disposed of in the trashcan. This misuse of the toilet caused the toilets to be blocked.

While the toilet problem was quickly fixed in only two hours, it seems the plane still could not take off due to transportation bans at night at Heathrow airport, so the passengers were made to wait and extra eight hours. The manager of Biman airline insists that there was nothing wrong with the aircraft and that this was not an engineering problem but simply a problem created by passengers.

It seems as if times may be bad for Biman Airlines in general. A few days before this delay, it had come to light that the airlines was having a few problems with its finances and being unable to pay its employees, there was also a recent article questioning the safety of travel with Biman airlines. Either way the Airlines manager denys these claims and states that there will be three new aircrafts added to the airlines collections and this should boost ticket sales and much more.


~ Annafi Wahed ’12

I was born in Bangladesh, and lived there until I was eight years old. Then I moved to New York, and have been living in the States ever since. Surprisingly enough for a NYC public school, my high school did not have a very large South Asian population. Neither does Bryn Mawr, and so the majority of my friends happen to not be South Asian. And even though I am and always have been involved in the South Asian clubs, I have been accused of being “whitewashed” or “not cultural enough” on numerous occasions. I’m sorry to break anyone’s bubble, but watching Bollywood movies does not make one “cultural,” especially the movies coming out these days. When was the last time you watched a Bollywood movie with your parents without getting embarrassed? If I want to see girls shaking their boobs and butts I can just turn on MTV. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of quality Bollywood movies, and I do watch the ones recommended to me by friends and family, but my point is that there is a lot more to South Asian culture than Bollywood. There is literature, for instance. Many of those judging me cannot read and write in their native tongue. I do not criticize them for this since I had the advantage of living in Bangladesh in early childhood and they did not; however, I do criticize them for being completely ignorant about South Asian literature and history. I may not know the names of some Bollywood stars, but I know the names of famous writers and poets in Bangladesh. I may not know the lyrics to Maa Da Laadla, but I know the lyrics to the Bengali national anthem. How many South Asians living in the States can tell me the name of the person who wrote the Bengali national anthem? Hint: it’s the same person who wrote the Indian national anthem, and won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913 (Rabindranath Tagore). How many Bengali Americans can tell me in what year Bangladesh became independent (1971)? I do not claim to know much, but I do know I am not whitewashed.