to introduce myself. I am, what was once known as the Gulshan
2 Circle. Like many other roundabout rings of Dhaka, I no longer
exist. I have to wait and watch how I will be renamed in future,
but so far I remain the Gulshan - II Circle. Ironic, because
I have ceased to exist.
whose names I shall withhold from you, visited me from a Government
office a few days ago. It was an unplanned visit, of sorts.
They had a meeting to attend in Banani. Though they came from
the same office, started at the same time, and knew that all
three were headed to the same destination, they got into three
different cars. None of them wanted to be the one to be seated
next to the driver in the front, so they opted for the safe
way out. Besides, A was B and C's boss, so they couldn't have
sat with the big man in the same car.
traffic time, they tried to beat the traffic mess in Gulshan.
So instead of following the usual two string of crawling cars,
they created their third, fourth and fifth lines. The boss'
car was slightly ahead of the other two. Mind you, it was imperative
that these two remain aligned; being officers of equal ranking,
neither could afford being spotted trailing behind the other.
Following a resultant traffic gridlock, the boss spoke into
his mobile to one of them, "Something needs to be done
here, why aren't the cars moving today?"
my driver says that the situation is similar everyday"
"Hmmm, we'll have to do something".
"Sir, how about stopping the further sale of cars to…"
"Don't even think of that. My son plans to buy a new one
soon", the big boss roared.
"No, no, sir, you didn't let me finish. I meant sale of
cars to people with three previous cars, or a steep fee on buying
a fifth car, something."
"Oh, a car-planning kind of scheme for families, I see.
But no, I shall have to pay heavily myself".
"Don't worry sir, we'll make the government officials exempt
from this law"
sounds better. But no, why do we have to touch the cars. Cars
are man's best friends the more, the better". In the middle
of this animated discussion, the big boss' driver suggested
that few designated car parks, or mandatory parking space in
all buildings would perhaps ease the situation on the roads
a bit, but he was shooed shut. By which time, they have crawled
up to me, when suddenly the big boss' eyes lit up. He immediately
called up the other officer this time.
C, what do we have here?"
"Sir, Gulshan 2 Circle"
"What do we need this roundabout for?"
"Can't say, sir. It's been like this forever".
you see? This is the root cause of all our traffic woes. Break
it down". Thus decreed the big man in all his might, and
so these bulldozers razed me.
as it will be for you to recall, but I used to be a dense green
patch of land those days. There were so many trees on me that
I often wondered if I existed because of the trees, or they
because of me. For a while, when only the trees were felled
and dug out from here, I thought I reigned supreme. But my illusions
were short lived, of course. The next day, they came back for
afternoon, once the officials set foot upon me, I heard them
discuss my, and the other circles' future status. Transforming
Dhaka from being a city of circles to being a city of small
circles was one, or city of squares was another.
square sounds like a modern idea. There is the Trafalgar Square
and Piccadily Square, and then there'll be the Gulshan Square."
"No, no, that's Piccadily Circus."
"Okay, but there is a Times Square, I remember having seen
it in somewhere in the US".
"Yes, yes, we can do that. But what do we do with this
"Hmmm, perhaps make it into a parking lot for cars"
"What! And waste such precious land! No, no, we'll have
to think of something else".
"Maybe a park for children."
" What? In the middle of the road? And what do kids need
parks for, they have their televisions".
"Yeah, that's true. In the west, they have statues".
"That's worth thinking over. But then, statues are passé".
for more ideas. One of them wanted a new mall to be built there,
the other suggested a 7-Star hotel, both of which were shot
down when realised that several of these already exist around
the roundabout. Falling short on ideas, the big boss suddenly
remembered the original intent behind planning to exterminate
me- the unmanageable traffic. Which was when it was decided
that I be reduced to a point, and be called Gulshan2 Point henceforth.
I saw that eccentric man, The Hubby, go overboard clicking photographs
of all trees in Gulshan and Baridhara. I heard the bewildered
looking Wifey reason with him, but he said he was doing so for
their child's sake. "Who knows when the rest of them will
also be chopped, and before we know it, this little fellow won't
even know what actual trees looked like. These snaps are for
posterity". He may have a point, and excuse my deliberate
pun there. Dead entities develop a wry sense of humour.
same time, I received a distress signal from my slain counterpart
at Gulshan1. It said that vehicular traffic had come to a complete
standstill around it because, now, with no circle to regulate
the flow of motors, the drivers misread it as a 'free-for-all-in-any-direction'
sign. It is easy to imagine what followed next.