Bangladesh Slideshow

14 April, 2008

Esho he Boishakh

The much awaited day finally dawned. We headed for the festivities in Ramna Park and the Dhaka University area. Properly attired, but of course.

Ramna Park is known for its scenic beauty.
The morning was sunny and cool. Colors were bright. Spirits were high.

Almost everyone wore red and white.

Security personnel, both human and canine, were vigilant.

The songs were melodious. The crowd sang along.
Sending Nobo Borsho greetings via text messages has become a culture. It kept Ranak busy.

There was mouthwatering food. But the prices were outrageous!

Festival-goers ate Paanta-Ilish (the traditional watered rice and hilsha fish).
We ate green coconut and fresh cucumber.

There was sugarcane juice. And green mango.

We had mishti from Barisal and singara at Madhu's Canteen.

We visited the Boishakhi Mela with its hundred colorful wares.
There was entertainment galore for young and old alike. A Tanga ride, anyone?

We bought red and white glass bangles. Must follow tradition, you know. We were also tempted to have face painting done.

The Institute of Fine Arts brought out the Mongol Shobhajatra, a procession with towering figures, masks and dancers.

Pahela Boishakh 1415 was truly a memorable experience.

05 April, 2008

Countdown to Pahela Boishakh

The Bengali New Year is less than two weeks away. It is the country’s biggest cultural festival, the day we shed garbs of caste and creed and unite as Bengalis.

Preparations for celebrating the day in true Bengali style, with riotous color, melodious songs and mouthwatering food - are underway. The most colorful parade of the day is brought out in Dhaka by the students and faculty of the Institute of Fine Arts. Funds for this flamboyant event are raised from the beginning of April through the sale of various art-work, most notably clay pot paintings and watercolors.
Keen to contribute to this noble venture, I visited Charukala (as the Institute is known locally) this afternoon. I was immediately mesmerized by the colors and motifs. The dedication with which the artists worked was a sight to behold. Pot after pot was painted in front of my very eyes and hung on the display wall. There were so many paintings on virtually every subject - boats, rural scenes, people, flowers, storms, birds… you name it, they had it..well, almost. They did not have dogs! The prices were very reasonable too, ranging from Tk. 200 - 1200 for paintings and from Tk. 150 - 500 for clay pots. I was so very tempted to buy, buy, buy… but in the end restrained myself and came away with only two clay pot paintings. But my heart I left on the Charukala porch, amidst the art and the artists.

03 April, 2008

The Birthday Bash

It was April 2nd, the blogging girl’s birthday.

First came the balloons.

The husband had a hard time waking her up at midnight to cut the cake (notice the puffy eyes).

The puppy was agog at the drama. And she wanted cake too.

A floral surprise from the parents awaited the birthday girl at the office.

There was also the handmade card.

And the surprise party.
With a surprise guest (who braved the sudden downpour to attend). He was pleased to see her wearing the dress he had bought.

The birthday girl went home with gifts galore.

The celebrations continued with dinner in a nearby restaurant. She gorged on kebabs.

She went to sleep feeling thankful for all the people who loved and cared about her.

She did not for a minute think of her age.