Thursday, May 19, 2005

Bangladesh in Retrospective-II

The Entry

When I reached Barrister Amir-ul-Islam’s place along with Ashraf Bhai, it was already dark. His office was a reflection of the opulent life style he pursued. I started to figure out his stature as I gazed at his larger than life portrait (a painting) which overlooked the office. Very soon, he came out of his office and I got introduced to him as “Debanshu from India”. Before I could ‘accept’ my all new International status, he greeted me saying, “Welcome to Dhaka” and in no uncertain terms, my feet lost all contacts with the Earth for few seconds. It took us roughly two hours to travel from Dhaka to Comilla, a ‘road trip’ through an extremely crowded city (I have been to Banaras in UP which is designated as the most crowded city in India and I thought that driving a car there would be the ultimate test for any driver. But after having seen the traffic in Dhaka, I was convinced that the destination for that test needed to be shifted there) and through a vacant highway which was good enough for our car to speed over 100 k’s an hour (in patches).We finally reached BARD (Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development), the venue for the Summer School around 9:00 PM. I was the last participant to reach the venue and had missed the ceremony wherein all the participants were introduced to each other and the resource persons. However, I was quite hungry by now and was more than happy to share the table with Mr. Islam and hog on Bhat, Dal and Macher Jhol (Bengali for Rice, Lentil Soup, and Fish Curry) in the BARD Dinning Hall.

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