Random Dhaka ramblings 2

Posted in society by jrahman on February 6, 2009

I intended to write weekly posts during my time in Dhaka.  Obviously that didn’t happen.  Over the fold, mainly for archival purposes, some random thoughts that I could have blogged. 

1. FM radio girls are completely changing Bangla.  My friends tend to hate this — bhoyaboho, bhashar baro-ta bajachche era!  I see where they are coming from, but I have to admit, part of me finds the FM accent kinda hot, especially when you hear people in real life talk like that.  No, change that.  It irritates me to hear it from people who are old enough to speak in a pre-FM accent.

2. It was my first Qurbani in Dhaka in two decades.  From a cultural perspective, I much prefer Ramadan.  Whatever the theologists say, there is something spiritual about fasting for a month and then having a feast that is simply not captured by slaughtering an animal. 

3. Dec 8-10 were the best time in Dhaka trafficwise.  Uttara-Gulshan Aarong-Assad Gate-Uttara was done in less than half an hour.  Did you know that Bijoy Sarani is a 4-lane road? 

4. Okay, the election day was better trafficwise, but this hardly counts as motor vehicles were banned.  The thing is, rickshaw trips around Uttara were not all that much slower than what one would get in a car.  So, what good is a car other than the aspirational folks’ status symbol?  The green communitarian leftie in me says ‘put punitive taxes on cars and heavily invest on public transport’.  Well, AL did promise us subway.  Let’s see what happens.  Prediction: corruption-fest 2012!

(To be added as notes are found)


2 Responses

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  1. DS said, on February 12, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    “So, what good is a car other than the aspirational folks’ status symbol?”

    I’d agree with you as far as daytime is concerned. But in the last 3-4 years, there have been way too many muggings in rickshas and CNGs amongst my close circle of friends for my liking. Security is a factor in the choice of transport, and yes that factor would be tremendously mitigated if there was a working public transport system.

    A far better question is why sedans and not smaller cars? Counting the number of empty seats in a Dhaka jaam could drive any “green communitarian leftie” mad.:)

  2. Saif said, on February 17, 2009 at 8:35 am

    It’s not just a green communitarian leftie thing. Congestion pricing makes economic sense too.

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