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The V.I.P area of Dhaka

Eskaton is the “V.I.P” area of Dhaka, thanks to the number of top government officials and parliament members living here. There are government quarters strewn all over Eskaton. With all the top people of Bangladesh gathered like bees in a beehive, you would think this place would have fewer problems or extra advantages; but nothing could be more misleading.

Starting from the unavailability of useful transport to a lack of nearby bazaars and markets, Eskaton has problems regarding almost everything, especially for middle class families. If you don't own a car, good luck finding a CNG. For the day-to-day necessary kachabajar shopping you'll have to travel to Kawran Bazaar. Any other shopping, be it food, stationery or clothing, will have to be done in Bailey Road. One of the only good things of Eskaton are the houses. Eskaton, truly, is a completely residential area.

By Shamsil Kamal

Over the Hills and Far Away…

Wait, does this one even count? I mean, Uttara isn't even in Dhaka! Living in that wretched place is like living on Mars. There's absolutely nothing to do and no place to eat. And if you're looking for a decent pair of shoes, then honey, you've so come to the wrong place. No matter how hard Uttara tries to pretend it's not a graam, the fact is that it is, and will be so for the next twenty years.

What's worse is how it's so far away from civilisation. It's literally a day trip if you want to go anywhere. It also rains here, oh yes. That's when Uttara shows its true colours, looking like a dhankhet and smelling like a sewer. It's also a great place for concerts. The symphony of frogs will make sure that you'll never miss your iPod again. Yup, it's that great.

This alien, who goes to school in Uttara, once had a teacher who aptly summed it up with just one question on the first day of class:

“Tomra ki shobai Dhaka theke school korte asho?”

By TheAlien4mEarth
Illustration: E. R. Ronny

Sleepless (frustrated and tired) in Gulshan

The most appropriate phrase to describe anyplace in Dhaka would be 'the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side'. Here in Gulshan, you wouldn't dare say the same, for there is not a sliver of real grass anywhere in sight for miles. No, this place is the painting by a mad man given free space, a few neon signs and lots of concrete. And paint he did, for Gulshan is full of high rise buildings, not like the ones in New York or Toronto though; no, much more like the fun-loving architecturally disastrous Lego cities your two year old cousin builds. Where there are tall buildings, there are shopping malls, and when there are shopping malls, hell ensues. The greatest, best attributes of Gulshan Avenue are the consistency in its vehicle-clogged streets, lakes which smell worse than Korbani Eid mornings and wonderfully insufficient drainage system. Yes, we the people of Gulshan do indeed live in utopia; so much so that even when we want to take a break or travel somewhere, say outside Gulshan, we're too afraid to leave our homes in fear of being stranded on the roads and force-fed sights and smells of perpetual “beauty”.

By Munawar

The Streets of the Mughals (literally)

Streets cut up every few blocks, constantly muddy and virtually exactly alike to anybody but a pro navigator - a one sentence description of Mohammadpur. You hail a Rickshaw and want to go to Shahjahan Road? Which one is that again - the one before or after Iqbal Road? Yes even the Rickshaw pullers get confused. Navigating the roads with names of the Mughal emperors which all sound kind of alike would not have been half as confusing if there weren't endless alleys which lead to still more alleys everywhere and before you know it you are back to where you started. Beware of the perpetual broken roads which are cut up half the year for 'repair'. The only thing redeeming quality about the place has to be the more than usual number of fields that you find to play in.

By Moyukh

Here's to banana

Having such a ridiculously high concentration of lounges in a single area should be a sin on its own. Or perhaps it isn't such a bad thing at all, since Banani kind of tends to make the very concept of owning cars seem pretty redundant at times. Unless you find the idea of waiting for an hour to cover a two-minute walking distance to your house in the comfort of four wheels very enchanting and delightful, you're better off getting out and utilising your legs. Later you can always boast about how you bravely trekked through roads with flooded garbage dumps and still made it faster than your car! Pfft, we're even used to blaring sirens and shootouts every now and then. What's life without a few stolen cars and stabbed taxi drivers, right?

By Neshmeen Faatimah

Ye Olde Treacherous

Wanush the Wise was on his way home through the wicked terrain of Lalmatia, carrying with him the Prized Fruit, which the Queen required to cure her Almost Incurable Disease, as the sun slipped behind the monstrous trees. Wanush's heartbeat quickened, though his footsteps couldn't, owing to the number of years piled on his shoulders. For this was the Land of Lalmatia, where the roads were jarred and potholed, infested with devious Kappas, and boggy marshes of dancing will o' the wisps. It was 7 o'clock, but the Land of Lalmatia had gone to sleep for the night. Just when Wanush let out his breath and thought he was saved, he heard the sound of hooves through the evening's thick air. Before he knew it, he was surrounded by hooded figures in their Horses of Darkness. His lantern fell, and in its flickering light unsheathed swords flashed in his dark, gaunt eyes.

“Long Live the Queen!” he said, as the cold metal entered his heart and he felt the Fruit slip over to the hands of the hooded figures.

The light of his lantern blew out, and he perished in the Wicked Terrain of Lalmatia, where the roads are dangerous, and evening is silent, and muggers take possessions and the lives of innocent travellers.

By Anashua
Illustration: E. R. Ronny

School of School

Dhanmondi is what you get when you take all the things that are bad about Dhaka city and put them into one tiny place. Firstly, traffic jams are all over the place. Mainly because Dhanmondi hosts 90 percent of the schools in this city and thousands of apartments. Every where you look you are bound to see a school or apartment, or a school inside an apartment. You think with all the traffic and everything, Dhanmondi should be safer than other places in this lawless city. Nope. Walk around Abahani field after 7pm and nine times out of ten, you will get mugged. On top of that, chances of getting run over by a car in this place are very high. This is because Dhanmondi is home to the K3wl-est kids in Dhaka city. These kids with their dad's “modified” cars and little or no driving skills, run over people like there's no tomorrow. Mostly accidentally, but we are not so sure these days. So if you want your life span decreased by a few decades, you are more than welcome to buy a ridiculously over priced apartment and move to Dhanmondi.

By Alvi Ahmed
Illustration: E. R. Ronny


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