I love Christmas time, a great opportunity for me to travel home for a stay-worthy duration. It is just so nice to be here with the rents, friends and family for however short a period. It makes me even more envious of all the people whose family are a few hours away from wherever they are, because who can deny the difference it makes. From a professional standpoint, having a solid familial and local network base do not hurt either. But okay, enough whining - below are some musings:
Can I have some more novelty please?
Not going to lie - I am impressed with the startup scene that is emerging in the country. This documentaryactually demonstrates it well. However, although Bangladesh is doing stellar in the “1 - n” model (globalization), it is lacking in the “0 - 1” (innovation). A lot of mobile / online businesses are emerging - mobile banking / seamless / Alibaba / digital marketing type websites are a few examples. Interestingly, some of them are only compatible with mobile, skipping the “web version” overall (yes I am internalizing the trillion dollar global mobile market). What upsets me is while all these businesses are jumping to what has worked and what is “working” in the western world previously and now, they are ignoring what would help the country be more efficient as a nation. It is interesting to see a certain % of the population, extremely minimal by the way, have all the amenities of the developed world. In a paradox, areas of agricultural automation, transportation systems, construction, industrial technology and other processes that eliminate manual labor - those that would propel Bangladesh towards sustainable development - are currently lacking.
If we are asking, can I also get some environmentalist anger?
There was a recent oil spill in the Sundarbans, home to the largest natural mangrove forest, tigers and indigenous dolphins. To my dismay, the Bangladeshi government is doing nothing about it. I mean I guess they hired local residents to clean out the oil from the water using pots and pans, but that is about it. Irony is that these local residents are trying to find ways to make money by selling the spilled oil in black markets, but I suppose when one lives on less than a dollar a day, you end up thinking there is nothing abnormal about that. The shipping minister and the forestry minister are at quarreling odds surrounding their own personal interests, as the environment surrounding the river continues to deteriorate. But thank you Mark Ruffalo and Scott Smith.
“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” ― James Baldwin