Thursday, May 25, 2017 | ePaper

Dacca then and Dhaka now

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Rummana Chowdhury :
(From the  prvious issue)
Inside the cage is an unknown bird how does he come and go? The world consists of how many ways when the call comes the unknown birds in the cage will fly away. This World is a fake prison. No one belongs to the other. Everything is false is false".  
We discover Lalon Shah more and more with each passing day.
It was the age of Calligraphy then. It is the finest form of art even now. The gap is of 400 years. The dreams of 400 years ago has turned to reality now.
The shadows of grey and white have now been converted to black and darker black. There are no holes in the net of the present for the minutes being to squeeze out.
Dhaka is very dear to us. It is an immobile statue standing between life and death. Our long age, our culture, our costumes evolved through hundreds of years. Such progressions have gilded Dhaka with permanent glory and pride. Etched are the lines of poetry. Then you see the starting point of prose. Which will predominate? The poetry and prose of the past have created a fairy tale of the present. Dhaka is our roots. Dhaka will be there for our future generations. And for the generations to come.
Our National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in the East and the eminent singer Bob Dylon in the West had a common bond : Rebellion. One wrote the other song but both of them stood up against injustice, oppression, inequality, imprisonment, racism, fanaticism, casteism etc. and various such subjects which divided and created mountains between humans, societies and countries in their day-to-day living. Nazrul Islam wrote : ''You lived for so long, Now once put your life on the line. The same hands you use for only prayers with weapons let once those shine. " On the other hand, Bob Dylon wrote : "You who philosophise disgrace and criticise all fears'; Take the rag away from your face now ain't the time for your tears." Kazi Nazrul Islam's poem Bidrohi was one of our basics, which gave us strength to revolt against the British regime in India. Its beauty, rhythm and blood-curdling inspiration will forever be our strength: "I grind all to  pieces .... I trample under my feet all bonds, rules and disciplines .... I am destruction, I am grave-yard, I am the end, the end of night."
Dhaka has survived more than 400 years. She has many centuries more to come to survive, protest, fight and achieve her best. Today's 'Dhaka' with her highrise apartments and offices, festivals and celebrations of 21st February, Pohela Falgun, Pohela Boishakh, 26th March, Valentines Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Victory Day, Bengali and English New years, Eid, Puja, Christmas and Buddha Purnima etc. are all part of the glitz and glamour of a new city whose roots and foundation go back 400 years of mental, physical, intellectual and conscious, unconscious human and mechanical efforts. Millions of trials and efforts, accepting and discarding, adopting and re-adopting are the basic tenants of this new city. Globalisation, technical development of Science and discoveries and the psychological spirit all together have created this magical city. Bangladeshis are immigrating outside but the internal magnetic charm is often bringing them back to their motherland. Dhaka was, is, and will always reserve a very special position in each and every Bangladeshi's heart. I salute Dhaka.
(Concluded)

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