Sunday, January 27, 2008


Cold Spell

So the cold spell shut everyone up about the unusually warm winter. It seems to have lifted over Dhaka - no rain today or yesterday - but the weather's back to what I remember January to be like. Topu and I agreed as we headed out to tea: "This is winter."

The reports came in about people dying of cold-related diseases. Stay back everyone! Old people and children first. And those without the back-up jackets and shawls. Cold is one thing, but cold with rain?

Rajiv and I came out of Coffee World cursing at the weather. He was already having the flu, and the jacket wasn't doing much to keep out the wind. The cold comes in through your ears, someone once said to me. We waited to see if the rain would let up.

The boy came round to us soon enough, trying to sell sweets. Rajiv gave away some chocolate instead. Didn't seem like he preferred it over money.

Some time later, another boy with sweets joined him. The two were unbelievably cold. Hunched over, wet clothes as a second skin, rain drops glistening off their hair. Too cold to even pester us in the way they usually do. They stood there silently, with their sweets in their hands. Maybe we misunderstood. Maybe they were just seeking shelter like the rest of us. The crowd streamed by.

I clumsily took my camera out and started to shoot. No one seemed to care. Rajiv kept whispering tips and advice from the side. Keep it wide. Don't go in too close.

It was an obvious picture. So obvious that I don't even try to get these anymore. The poor and the rich, the cold and the warm, the skinny and the fat. I once said that I don't trust fat people in this country. It's means something to have the ability to be obese in this country. Well, it means something to me and my mind anyway.

Maybe I should save my judgments for myself.

Cold Spell

I'd like to keep this pic at 800px wide, but then again we'd all like a lot of things and life just doesn't work that way, does it?

At one point, the boys from two worlds started to talk. "Shoot now now now now now," Rajiv said. I didn't get the shot, but I saw the scene. I wondered what they talked about.

I would like to say how it broke my heart etc etc, but it didn't. We stepped out into the rain and walked home. The two boys sprang to life, and tried to chase after us with the sweets. Their voices cried out from behind while we looked ahead.

I stuffed a 10 taka note into the palm of one before running off with my guilt into the rain, my cappuccino still warm in my stomach.