Distance from Delhi: 1,781 km
Time difference: 30 minutes ahead of India
After Kathmandu and Colombo, Padosi Post turns eastwards to a town that was once the country’s pride for weaving the finest muslin, long before it was distanced from us – to Dhaka, the capital of our riverine neighbour Bangladesh. For a quick look at their event calendar, log on to JeteChao, meaning ‘happenings’.
To Play & To Watch
The joys of pedalling to work, regardless of how awful the traffic is, have been blossoming forth in the minds of many of the subcontinent’s city residents. Dhaka has its own cycling scene picking momentum, and they’ve got the works – night rides, weekend ride-outs, races and active cycling groups. BDCyclists is one of the most popular, and they even have a TV drama called Cycle Walar Shopno inspired by them! They have an Independence Day ride coming up on March 26. Dhaka’s most dedicated cycle repair and accessory shop is called Cyclists’ Cafe run out of a private garage. Oh yes, and it’s a lovely themed little cafe too.
There are many reasons why photography reigns big in the cultural sphere of Dhaka. Rivalling nearby Kolkata, Dhaka is one of those places where taking a picture turns into an act of pure joy, and that explains why Chobi Mela, Asia’s largest photography festival, is held here. It is organised by Drik Picture Library and the famous Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. “A photographer has vast opportunities in Dhaka to capture daily life, the most attractive part being that you don’t need permission while you shoot and the subject is also happy” says Pinu Rahman, a Dhaka-based photographer and contributor at the city’s leading newspaper Dhaka Tribune. There are weekly to monthly photo-walks, annual exhibitions, and a strong reputation of internationally acclaimed local photographers. Pinu was also enrolled into Pathshala for a while, “Pathshala is the place where one can share experiences with others. It’s life a coffee house – go, sit down, listen, share.”
There’s a literary festival in every corner of the educated world now, and Dhaka is no exception. The Dhaka Lit Fest is a resounding success. But what intrigues us more are the young, independent experiments in the realm of words. Like this super-cool comic book publishing house called Dhaka Comics, who produce work in Bangla along with translations. Or the literary journal Bengal Lights, known for promoting powerful young voices and literature that is more cosmopolitan in nature. Also check out Six Seasons Review, which is known for bringing forth some of the best writing from the region.
It’s the underground scene, and it’s all menacingly metal. Even this month, one of the biggest events in the city is the Legacy of Metal Revolt, organised by Radio Dhol at Russian Cultural Centre. We were delighted to know that our fellow black-clad metalhead brothers and sisters are in fact an equally hated lot, and yet the best bands are composing heavy metal lyrics that address the larger social issues that the country faces. A number of alternative bands also do Bangla Rock proud. Lastly, if you find yourself in Dhaka, here’s one adorable music shop you just must visit – Dhaka Music – yep, they have it all.
Image Credit: Click Here