Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, March 23, 2006


By Adnan M. S. Fakir

Beggars have a very good sixth sense no joke! I really mean it. Over the past few years I have observed that beggars come to me whenever I have money in my pocket, whereas they rarely or never come when I am broke. I do not know the case with the rest of you, but that happens with me a lot. In case you are wondering the likelihood of me staying broke… well, I am a fakir too you know!

Anyways, I believe many of you by now know about the Bashundhara Baluchor. Well, it did make an excellent replacement (and in many ways better) for Ashulia. For those of you who don't know about it, it is in Bashundhara (like duh!) past block B. For easier directions, just keep on going straight from the main gate and you'll eventually come to an end of roads with the entire surrounding deserted and sand-filled (you will have to cross the Masjid and power plant). Although the sand remains, this picture is constantly evolving along with the expanding Bashundhara.

The first time I had 'discovered' the place, it was like an 'out of place' artificial beach; nonetheless with remarkable beauty. Just by the end of the road and with a mere five minutes walk you came by a long riverside and with all the sand deposited it was just like a beach. Of course, it did not take much time for other people to find it, and the place became sort of a free tourist spot with RAB patrolling it from time to time. With the coming of the afternoon and early evening, kopoth kopoties and families clustered in the place like a drive-in beach spot as everyone had their share of romanticism. The so-called beach being quite long had enough space for everyone. Despite, people cramming in, the place was very nice and provided a short relief from the entire urbanization to all who went there.

However Bashundhara had its own sack of sinister plans of ruining the place. Within just a year's time they made almost the entire river disappear! How you ask? Well, they deposited sand in the riverbed during the dry season expanding Bashundhara. You really can't blame them though, their target is to expand. Nonetheless, I was really shocked when I last went there there is no longer any beach by the road but instead a humongous desert in its place. However, the number of people going there still has not decreased it is still a great dating spot but with less beauty. My question is, during the next year's flood (if it happens) where the hell is the water going to go with the riverbed vaporized? I do not know whether Bashundhara has taken any special precautions, but if they have not, Bashundhara is most likely going to become a water-city again, just like last year.

A few days ago, I set off to find the end of the 'desert' that has replaced the river. After around a 30 minute walk I finally came to the end of the sand deposits and what I saw there was worth it. The river being dry, a little further away the land was being cultivated; and in between the cultivated land and the sand deposits, a small swamp-like place has developed. With colorful fungus and bacteria and algae growing and covering the little amount of water that is present; kuchuripanas cloistered all over, and sudden patches of green after the long stretch of white sand, the place was like an oasis (with no palm trees)! The time when I want there was evening, the sun was blood red and setting, the sky painted in soft maroon; the colorful land flickered in the sun's rays and with not a single soul around, it was simply amazing! For any couple, if anyone of them were there alone at that time, it would be a grave punishment.

So, if any of you duplets are adventurous enough and are ready to walk 30 minutes over sand, you will find a place worth being (possibly alone) and have the romantic time of well… not your life but for a long time. Other people, who can walk, why not just take a hike and look at the place it won't bite you know? Just go there around six in the evening to experience the romantic semi-swampland of Dhaka, you'll not forget it!


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