Whether we have actually achieved or not, we have no dearth of records.
The latest record is of the largest hand-painted portrait of Bangabandhu, recently unveiled at Dhaka University. Whether the lion-hearted legend is in our hearts and actions or not, the city is replete with his image emblazoned on posters, festoons and more.
And what do the posters show? They depict images of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman accompanied by smiling faces of the local leaders supposedly commemorating national mourning day. There is little care in arranging the pictures in any sort of order. Couldn't the 'mourners' pay homage in a more befitting manner? South Africans are a good example to follow.
People of South Africa pay tribute to Mandela on his birthday by constructing school buildings, repairing roads, clearing away garbage and so on. (Netaji, Bangabandhu, Mandela)
In recent times the country saw peaceful protests by students seeking safe roads. A recent Prothom Alo report says more than 25,000 lives were claimed over the past three years in road accidents. Many in the social media praised the emergency lane maintained by the students at the time. They said, it was the first ever since our independence.
Later a traffic week was declared. But numerous rules continued to be broken, unabated. Even the police were assaulted for asking certain persons to respect the law during the week!
A bride being killed by bombs in Syria makes the headlines, but wedding guests killed on Bangladesh roads is such a mundane incident, it can't claim even a few inches in our newspapers.
And this Syrian city of Damascus beat Dhaka as the worst livable city in the world. The Economist, too, a few years back listed us 77th among the 80 where-should-be born countries.
But, wait, we held the biggest cleaning drive of the world--Guinness Book of World Records says so. We 15000 people, on the last day of the Bangla year 1424, with broomsticks in our hand have set the record. Our brooms swept away India's cleaning record!
If sewerage water, dust and every kind of waste possible for the 364 days make you angry, go to Osmani Udyan. The anger management park is there.
In another bid, we beat Pakistan, forming the largest human flag. After all, it’s a manmade flag and we do not lack in population.
We had voiced the national anthem together in 2,54,681 voices, setting another Guinness recognition. There is no parametre to estimate the actual love suggested in the lyrics to be translated in our works.
There is the largest ship breaking yard in Chattogram. A Bangladeshi movie was made on the site that won world recognition. The Hollywood movie Avengers was shot in this exotic site, though tourists are not allowed there for health issues. The real life superhuman workers work there for their bread.
For years, we have been best in exporting garments. Thanks to the population again. And more thankfully, to their poverty. No one dies here for want of food. Don't ask about the chemicals and pesticides. We are self-sufficient in food.
And there is more--the largest shopping mall, bridge, flyovers and so on. No matter whether we can produce goods, do business, have efficient communications or decrease jams, we have our records.
And the huge earning export sector also earned the unfortunate record of huge deaths in the 2nd worst manmade disaster ever at Rana Plaza.
In sports, we have the youngest batsman scoring 114 in his debut Test match. In shooting, Commonwealth and SAFF, we have gold medalists.
We are for holding extravagant receptions for them with cheques, gold and garlands. But we don't chalk out long-term strategies to prepare the next sports generations. We forget that the likes of Ashraful, Shakib, Mashrafe, Asif, Sabina and Linu are not born in a day.
Almost all the TV channels are coming up with record number of new stars in every sector: dancing, singing, recitation, acting in the talent hunt and reality shows. In the last decade, a handful of artistes survived these shows. The rest were lost in oblivion.
Nor even our religious practice been free of this. Simplicity, modesty, and tolerance--the basic spirit of religion is not found. Death by stampede in such programmes in Chattogram is unforgettable.
How much one can donate at the mosque? Records of how much poor-quality zakat clothes we have brought from Babu Bazar pervades the real spirit.
Our mosques are increasing in number and in aesthetics, though it is said to be not an auspicious sign. Perhaps that explains why people so easily relieve their bladders just outside the mosque wall! The same people had just donated in the charity box placed in the sacred house.
We even brag about the number of items we serve at the death anniversary of our parents. And before their death, who among the siblings bought the highest number of outfits or paid the medical bills are the measurements.
“See, how big I am,
Says the fake diamond.
And that makes me doubt
You are not original.”
However, the trend is not to fade soon. But the recent teaching by the young ones can show us the real path to win hearts rather than records--be it at home and in politics, or society.
Records may get re-defined through us.