By Anika Ali & Adnan M. S. Fakir
Photos courtesy of Finding Bangladesh
What's there to see in Italy? There's all of Rome, some great looking men, the golden spaghetti and then there's the grand, old Leaning Tower of Pisa.
While travelling in Barisal our crew experienced quite the lack of the “golden” spaghetti. They discovered hunger, toil, bumpy back breaking roads, and a great lacking of good looking chicks. However, their efforts met their reward when out of the blue they saw a pointy brick thingy sticking it's nose out of the surrounding palm trees, leaning, getting ready to fall on some unfortunate fellow. They stumbled upon the leaning tower of Mahilara better known as, Mahilara Math [read: moth not mathematics].
Rumour has it if you enter this temple of love,,
you can still hear the designer giggling
Given that this structure is our national response to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we tried to give it some Bengali nick-names. The top contenders were “beka” math, “tera” math and “oi dhor, poira gelo” math, but we didn't think that the authorities would approve.
The tilting of the temple is possibly due to all the blows that this temple has endured over the decades. It was attacked several times, during the 1971 liberation war and then some more by local anti-Hindu terrorists. Even after all the exploding ammunition, the beaten temple kept standing albeit tilted at an awkward angle of roughly 5.5 degrees. Compare that to the Pisa which now leans about 3.99 degrees, our one definitely wins the lean competition.
After all the smacks, whacks and ka-booms on the temple, the Department of Archeology arrived at the scene. They restored the temple and was well on the way to becoming the temple's hero. But then the department decided to give it their favorite finishing touch: they painted the structure pink.
Despite the girly outer layer, the interior of the temple is adorned with images of Radha-Krishna, immortalised in appraisal of eternal love. Rohini Kumar Sen, a respected philanthropist and a Zamindar, however isn't very happy about this. According to his book 'Bakla' the math was not originally built to hold immortalisations of Radha-Krishna but to house Shiva, who is locally perceived as the symbol of love. We'll just remember it as a culturally inclined (pun intended) site to take our significant others to, on the next Valentine's Day.
In case you need help finding this leaning beast, it is located in Gournodi, Barisal, in a village called Mahilara. Head to Barisal first, then make a trip to the Nothullah bus stand. From there head towards Gournodi and get dropped off at Mahilara. A rickshaw from there can take you there in a day.
The Math is also known as the helano math or the Radha-Krishna math or the Sarkar-bari math. It is a good 100 feet shorter than the Tower of Pisa, but we don't care. In fact, now that we think about it, Mahilara Math doesn't resemble the Leaning Tower of Pisa at all! It actually looks somewhat like a small rocket about to launch to infinity (and beyond).
Catch exclusive photos and more of the Radha-Krishna lovin' at www.facebook.com/ findingbangladesh.
The tedious process of decision making - calculating the time and the opportunity costs take up half the time when you could be doing something awesome and seizing the day. For the Carpe Diem people comes flip a coin day. Celebrated on the first of June, flip a coin day is a day where - well you flip a coin for all your decisions. Want to go out on a date - flip a coin, not sure if you want Coke or Pepsi - flip a coin, not sure if you want to celebrate this day - well you get the idea. RS follows this more often than we like to admit, seeing that the writer was probably hired based on a coin flip. Given that the politicians here probably take all decisions based on coin flips this might not be all that special for them. Alas, this day we missed.
We like to do stupid stuff. Dare anyone to do anything from trying to jaywalk on the streets here while juggling three crows and he will agree. Dare day is to celebrate them. Again on the first of June, on Dare day you get to cherish the Evel Knievel in you. Again, the day has already passed, but living in Dhaka, we probably did something badass anyway.
For Mojo Jojo and others who like to repeat everything, we had repeat day on the third of June. We repeat - third of June.
For the fans of Disney there is Donald Duck Day on June 9th. To celebrate this day talk in the weird Donald Duck accent, quack duck jokes and try not to get your feathers ruffled too much. Wake up at the quack of dawn drink blood like Count Duckula, watch the news for the feather forecast. Yeah, I should probably save some of these for the 9th.
Next on the 10th we have the Ball Point Pen day. Celebrating the invention of the ball point pen more than half a century ago - on this day try not to loose a dozen pens. Yes we know it's hard and they mysteriously keep disappearing. Maybe in honour of all the pens that were, who didn't make it, we should have a minute of mourning? Use pens to joust and prove the adage of the pen being mightier? Or just to give the pens a break, not write anything in schools for the day. I sense approval for the last idea.