Saturday, December 16, 2006
I am so proud to be a Bangladeshi
I am a lucky person indeed. I have a loving family, supportive friends, a rewarding career, and most of the luxuries I might need (… well almost!). From my office desk I have a view that is an object of envy to many who see it. The site that I see everyday fascinates me. I see so much from just that one view. Banani-Gulshan Lake, tall buildings of posh Dhaka, big green open field, people boating. Quite breathe taking at times.
But then there is another way of looking at it. I also see a bosti, open sewer emptying into the lake, children bathing in it, dingies made of thermocal boards that ferry essentials. The ugliness of the city that we have grown immune to.
Every now and then someone comes along and breaks up this bosti. At times it are the wealthy landowners whose views they block. At times it are the cops who try to bust up a vice den or another. At times it is the sever rain or flooding. But then slowly but surely they come back up. I don’t know if it is the same group of people every time or not but like ants, one dhue tin, two bamboo pole at a time, the slum like the phoenix rises again and again.
I am not judging if they are right or wrong to “grab” this sliver of land on the lake. I think it is metaphoric to the struggle of everyday life in Bangladesh. We have a lot of hardship and struggle. At times when we think everything is over, we find the strength to give it one more push. That spirit is so great.
Another interesting fact: the neighbours to the bosti are fascinating as well. On one side on land “reclaimed” from the lake is the monstrous house of an ex-AL mayor of Dhaka. And on the other side, the coldly efficient office of a man whose name is taken as the mastermind behind the BNP’s “Bhaban” based business and politics. Caught in the middle the struggling plebeians!
And irony does not end here. To celebrate Bijoy Dibosh, guess who are the only ones flying the national flag?
There is hope for our nation. You can remove one person. End one life. Break one soul. But behind us there are 140 million more flags that will fly proudly.
I am a lucky person indeed!