Old Dhaka

 

Old Dhaka-Belonging
by Munem Wasif

 


Puran Dhaka, or Old Dhaka, was a rather unlikely subject. For it existed all around me. I live here. It was almost trying to find the unseen within the everyday. Old Dhaka had made me appreciate properly cooked greasy food, the sleaziest of slang, and it is where I had come to rediscover the same small town pulse of holding on to things than letting go. My own childhood years in Comilla, a small district town surrounded by mostly rural settings and steep with customs and old world lifestyle, had made me not just appreciate but rather feel at home with relations which emboldened from the duration of time spent and bordered on tradition more than trend. But through the frames, my Old Dhaka started to divulge unseen lives and throw back at me more agonising questions of assimilation, and even worse, deletion.

 

 


As I started to see, the world that was just ordinary and domestic started to unravel in an intricate web of ages-old wisdom and tradition. Festivals, like Holi celebrated with all its grandeur at Shankharibazaar, which had seemed as just fun with throwing colors at one another revealed with all the bonds of belonging, spiritual continuity and rejuvenation. It ceased to be a mere Hindu festivity, but more so of celebrating the joy of being. Old, regal structures which had just seemed as edifices were now symbols of 'living art'.

 

 


The common sight of mothers' bathing their children in the small courtyard and tired, old horses pulling carriages, which had long ceased to be any 'real' form of transport, were becoming dots in a matrix where living meant progressively building on what you have and not deleting structures, customs, ways of life which had come into place over centuries. It took time, but with every passing, I realised why Sumitra Debi of Bonogram wants her own house and those surrounding it to retain their own place. They were not houses, they represented her sixty hears in this world. It is time and the lives. Lives lived within the confines of walls breath with those structures and their collective consciousness makes the fragments into a whole.

 

 


Words such as family, tradition, belonging mean a lot here. In fact, they are what bind. The ether filled with collective growth is one that cannot be touched or seen. It is lived. Old Dhaka ceases to exist as just an area, and the streets I have called my own become one singular space which I call home.

 

 

"Old Dhaka" by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Copyright © 2010 by Zonezero
Web design: Ehekatl Hernández . Picture Editor: Nadia Baram. Webmaster: Alejandro Malo

 


 

Comments (10)
  • Kazi Riasat Alve  - Great!
    Amazing series, inspirational stuff!
  • Kazi Riasat Alve  - Really great!
    I loved the use of decisive moment and i guess this is a series that successfully visualized all the aspects of old dhaka,
  • Prabhat  - Wonderful Images
    It is wonderful to know old Dhaka through these images. They make you understand the people, their life and rituals and they make you nostalgic too.
    My compliments!!!
  • salvir
    hey bro....its a wonderful album really loved the idea and the drama u created thru ur lens!! i seek ur permission to use ur images in my work....thnx a ton for d wonderful experience!!
  • samiul rizo
    khubi shundor....eto simple jinish eto shundor lagte pare age bujhi nai...thnx man!!
  • Diego  - IMPRESIONANTE
    MIS MAS HUMILDES Y GRANDES FELICITACIONES POR ESTE TRABAJO. ME DIO MUCHA PLACER VERLO UNA Y OTRA VEZ. ME REAVIVO MUCHAS GANS DE RETOMAR EL B&N EN MIS NUEVAS HISTORIAS. REALMENTE CREO QUE ESTO DEBERIA SER PRESENTADO EN MUCHOS CONCURSOS.

    MUCHAS FELICITACIONES
  • Anonymous
    I've said this before and I'll say it again - This is an "Incredible series!!"

    I just found this out online and couldn't resist to have one more look Wasif bhai.

    Shihan
  • Robi Ganguli
    A wonderful collection of photographs! They combine the strength and poetic elegance of Eugene Smith and Cartier Bresson. The harsh lighting, bright highlights and deep shadows, reveal the realities of life. These pictures are as living as the real people depicted in them. Not only the decisive moments, but the captured compositions in motion, reveal the creative genius of this great photographer. Indeed, the work of a great artist.

    Robi Ganguli
    an Indian photographer, 79 years old, living in Pondicherry, India. Originally from Calcutta.
  • shayan  - i want help regarding my old relative in dhaka
    i am sending you some information of my old relative please help me mehar tarafdar in 1955
    in moulvi bazaar near shah mustafa mazaar
    childrens name are ali raza daughter rooba, reba

    2nd
    qazi enul qabeer qumilla professor of victoria college
    north east rani daki victoria college srimangal

    3rd
    irfan ali maneger of state bank

    4rt
    athar ali behani bazaar

    5th
    dr. mutahir ali mirpur srimangal purana bazaar

    6th
    noor ul islam tarafdar srimangal

    please send me numbers of my relative

    plz plz plz plz
    plz plz plz plz


  • ladislav  - breathtaking!
    really strong serie. unique photos. thanks and congratulation, Munem!
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