– Sabrina Sharmin Chowdhury
Oh Fairy from the heaven,
My heart is lost
My eyes are burnt
In the flame of your fiery beauty…
When you first hear the name of Dhaka, you recall different types of worst ranking about this. You could, on the first glance, see Dhaka as a terrible traffic city, dirty, crowded, concrete jungle, and worst unliveable city. But the 400 years old city, Dhaka, once used to be called as the Venice in the East.
Dhaka was famous for its natural beauty, healthy weather, rich culture, and the simple life of the people. In course of the time, Dhaka has changed a lot. The face of the whole Dhaka city is completely different from before. But yet, one thing still remained unchanged. That is our love for Dhaka. I do not know about you, but I am in love with Dhaka for many small but incredible things which are tangled with our daily life.
The Rickshaw Ride: On a cool rainy day leave your car and take a rickshaw ride with the hood down on an open road. Keep your eyes closed, let the raindrops drench you, feel Symphony in your heart. You must do it at least once before you die, if you do not, you will miss a great thing on earth!
Dhaka is a city of rickshaw. There are millions of rickshaws in Dhaka. It is comfortable, safe, cheap and of course environment-friendly transport. These rickshaws are having colourful art on the back and decorated cheerfully. When I am stuck in traffic jam, I often enjoy the beautiful art and decoration of other rickshaws, and I just do not know how the time has passed in a terrific traffic.
The Crowd on the Top: Wait! Do not say – uff! What’s the hell! Or do not be scared if you see hundreds of people are travelling by sitting on the rooftop of a train. Just keep your eyes open, hold your breath for a while and watch the incredible journey. People are not only sitting on the roof, also they are walking, running, sleeping, and selling stuff on the roof of a moving train. Be polite and see how skilfully they manage it! Haters will say – Oh! These people! But I will say, this is their skills to adapt. Other than in Dhaka, where else will you see that people are taking such hustle of journey with all smile faces everyday!
The Traffic Jam: If you think that terrific traffic could be the reason to hate Dhaka then you are wrong. You can justify that traffic jam is a bad thing because it wastes our time, but they are actually not. Actually, traffic jam teaches us how to do better use of time. In this hustle and bustle Megacity when you get a very little time to sleep at home, you can comfortably plan for a good sleep while you are in traffic jam. If you are a book lover, but have no free time to read a favourite book – traffic jam is heavenly a perfect time for reading your favourite book. Your presentation for upcoming meeting is yet to be done? – Do it during traffic jam. I can linger this useful list, but I leave it on you now! The traffic Jam also teaches us that no matter how far ahead of time we plan, sometimes it just does not work. Take a good look around when you are stuck in traffic. You will see people, their lives, and their different purposes. In today’s machine-fast life, you will not get chance anywhere in the world to simply stop, do nothing, and only see the people. You can do it every day in Dhaka.
The Horse Cart: Yes! It is not 19th century, it is correctly 2019. But do not be surprised if all of a sudden you see a horse-drawn carriage running on the bustling street of Dhaka. Seeing the cart, a mystery feeling must take you back in 200 years old Dhaka where you may find yourself as a lavishing Princess riding a gorgeous horse carriage!
Horse-drawn carriages also known as Tomtom are a popular means of transportation in Dhaka, especially old part of the city. The horse carriage is a must do part of any big event and occasion in Dhaka. This popular and traditional transport is now rapidly on falling trend because of cost and traffic congestion. However, this old heritage has fought and won, and still surviving in the city leaving our mind sometimes in an ancient beautiful Dhaka.
The Street Food: Damn the doctor’s advice if he advises you not to eat the street food. Give indulgence to your greed and step forward to the van/cart carrying the local fast-food. You must taste the street food in Dhaka. If you do not taste Mama Haleem, Jhalmuri, Ghugni, Chotpoti, or Fuchka standing beside the crowded footpath, you missed the core delicacy of Dhaka! Do not worry. It will not empty your purse! You can find food in Dhaka no matter what the state of your wallet is. Do not be scared to see the hell condition of the food vans. Hygiene is a tiny issue which can be easily addressed.
Dhaka is a foodie paradise. You will be surprised to see how much and how many types of food are offered in Dhaka. Not only Bangladeshi food, but so many international chains, and also mouth watering delicacy from the whole east and the west is easily available. But the street food is unique. So try it anyway.
The Dhakaiya Adda: A very common and popular form of socialization is known as adda (informal conversation among the friends). Sharing tea with friends at home, cafe, or tea stalls anytime of the day or late into the night, chewing on the issues of the day is the main character of an Adda. One can get hooked with Adda in no time. It is spontaneous and you just can sit and got to meet with new flocks. It can happen any time and in any place. The flow of adda ranges over many topics, moods, from light to serious, covering daily affaires, friends, events, politics, religion, art, music, poetry, literature, film, study, work, love, nostalgia, common interest and what not. An adda never ends with the conversation on only one thing or one mood. Topic is just changed in no time in an Adda. Adda is an unparalleled source of getting our mood back.
The Happy People: My favorite part about Dhaka is we – its people. It is hard to find such super friendly people who always go out of their way to help others. Dhaka is unable to offer many citizen facilities to its dwellers. Despite living with thousands of problems, the city people will not forget to give you a heartiest smile. Despite having many ordeals in life, Dhaka people are not shilly-shally to celebrate their life with abundant joys.
Dhaka is not perfect, not by any means. The city seems unable to extract itself from a muddle of poor planning and frail politics. But the Dhakaiyas (dwellers of Dhaka) excitingly are able to find their way around. At any state of life, Dhakaiyas live happily which is surreal creativity and this puts crowded Dhaka out of the crowd and make it incredible abode!