Dhaka: Ode to Aluminium - Love It, Live It or Leave It
it outbids, outguns and outruns
every else in the world in its sheer ugliness
a RACE it understands all too well
no other city in the world
gAWD in heaven, have mercy!
is willing to replicate
Dhaka is a city with a hallowed past
the only city – (if me may) ...NOT designed thankfully
by it’s many Colonial Masters.
Indeed unthankfully that ‘holy job’ of desecrating and competing in maniacal obsession
of prolific bad taste to make its ugly pretty 'beautification’ have lain
in the hands of ‘City Masters’ ............
in pontifications that have come and gone
with every shift of sides in political upheavals.
Its denizens the uncomplaining Dhakaites
wishing and harping for more and more of that ‘radical residual effluent’–
of horrific stinks and ‘whack-thoos’
that stick's to your nose and shoes
for days and years on end
with remarkable aplomb
… Dhaka is a time bomb
set to tick off and tickle
every sense of nastiness
..and the ones least pushed…..would be
you guessed right the Dacoits!
Dhaka the ugly pretty or pretty ugly city
can be spared all of its nitty-gritty’s
what it cannot willfully exclude
in its sheer insanity
is this new found obsession to make of it a ‘Mega City’
– a city which no longer have markets – but ‘supermarkets’
no longer has shopping centers – but Shopping Malls
no longer has food shops – but ‘fast food’ joints
….so basically Dhaka’s burgeoning middle-class
have willfully accepted it acceptance
of cheap upper class JUNK
the tragedy …it buys a whole load of this
at prices which may quite surprise many
and the reality if it all……….
Dhakaites have acquired a belated ‘refined taste’
for ‘classy toast’.....a toast for gullibility,
a toast for ‘low life’ corruptibility,
a toast for ignorance and stupidity.
a toast they are ironically willing to throw in millions
as longs as it can be whacked from others
(including a prime time TV ad that teaches you how to
steal credits from a friends cell phone?)
From Yo, Hep, Josh to Kewl –
its stealing the BIG TIME THING –
and you’d be a fool not to join in…
so ‘Cheers’ dear as in Toast?
Dhaka has a sense of playing to and pleasing the gallery
- hazard saying that on the face, as poets sometimes do
and you would not be spared a lashing for Yo ‘ignorance’
and be reminded of the following Improvements?
Dhaka no longer uses bricks but classy ‘toilet tiles’
to build fountains and monuments.
Thus if per chance you ‘chance upon’ the same design and make,
at a friends loo during a ‘politically correct’ URINATION session -
don’t be too surprised that good old buddy had
‘sub-contracted’ and legitimately subtracted the ‘stuff’ off
from a mighty civil construction project…
and heck as if that isn’t enough –
you can still buy the same at ‘sanitary wares’ in good old Green ‘Super’ Market
– so…from ‘sanity to sanitary’ pals don’t be beguiled
….anything and everything can happen in good ole ‘Fanka’ -----sorry Dhaka!
And decades ago Dhaka ‘test marketed’ the concept of aluminium
….the holistic SAARC Fountain
off the Sonargaon Hotel was born
and spewed aqua in great delight
with lower middle class hunks and their damsels,
bored housewives and husbands,
TV drama directors running short on locations
queuing up to gang-rape it as jackground background,
all very ugly pretty pretty -
till somebody had to ask the Poet of Impropriety
what all those aluminium ‘Balls’ in the fountain represented?
“Nothing more than the size and shape, of male testicles
all the way from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan,
Maldives and ‘little Bhutan’ – peeing off all in random”!
Come 2005, Dhaka was again ‘beautified’ for yet another SAARC reunion
….and this time around there are more bathroom tiles and aluminium
and as if ‘uff’ is not enough they also had aluminium flower tubs.
aluminium, aluminium , aluminium
… the chicest thing if you wanna remember Dhaka by or BUY
is well ALUMINIUM
– which is a somewhat improvement
from what it was a few years back
– a PLASTIC CITY,with plastic brains,
as polythene plastic jammed our drains,
to a ‘plastic nation with plastic spine’
a creation of that ‘insane poet’?
Love it, Live it or LEAVE IT, Dhaka has a subtle romance
attached to its very ‘being’ – one of a continuous flirtation
where romances are about sodium light filled nights,
cloned high rises and condominiums, that has just the right
mix of marbles, bathroom tiles
and your guess is as good as mine… ALUMINIUM.
Of plastic flowers, in plastic nightmares
of plastic cards and plastic headgears -
Dhaka’s nights belong to soft and pliable polyvinyl ladies
hawking prophylactics on TV with excuse of the AIDS,
(we havent detected a 'full blown' case yet)
or the more convincing ‘I am prepared -- are you?’
Bengali blurbs on billboards – are the mullahs watching too?
Dhaka would do anything and everything under the sun and MOON
the problem is - the last thing they would do is tell you what its UP TO next.
The unlucky 13th SAARC is due in Dhaka end of 2005 –
Hail to ALUMINIUM …………..
and if it fails once again as it very well may, a louder hail to ALUMINIUM….
(‘Cant hear you folks’?)
From Plastico-Aluminium Dhaka, Wednesday - 20th July 2005
QUOTE: "When you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it." Hugh Newell Jacobsen