Dhaka Diaries, photo essay by Akib Abdullah.
[T]raffic, tailbacks, people. That’s how we usually picture Dhaka. Structures, buildings just rambling upwards. Streets of not so fine quality reeking of garbage and wastes of who-knows-what. Ever expanding northwards, this city deprives its inhabitants of almost every possible humane benefits. And yet the city grows. It grows on the fossils of the people. It expands on the very barren soil of its grave.
The city houses (or doesn’t) almost 20 million people on an area of about 300 square kilometers. Needless to say the city isn’t capable of housing this ever so increasing number of people, coming in from every part of the country.
It’s like the people can hear the city talking to them, promising them, helping them achieve. With a lot of promises and more disappointments the city stands still. Brutal and insensitive. Merely a jungle of concrete and bricks.
But that is not what Dhaka is about. The bustling city has its own unique grandeur. The petrichor will always mesmerize you even from the pitch riddled streets and pavements. Amidst this rambling mega city you are bound to find warmth and feel connected. For this city is not about what you see, it’s about the people; their emotions, passion, hopes. In the middle of this pile of bricks, metal and concrete, the city breathes. Where you will never feel desolated. Where every struggle and hardship seems inconsequential in contrast to the aspiration and optimism you witness amongst the seemingly insignificant people. This is where the fascination lies. This is the city of splendor. The incredulous city. (Akib Abdullah)