Finding Winter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 14, 2019

Finding Winter

I woke up, sweating profusely. My mother's voice had once again successfully played the part of my morning alarm, unlike the alarm on my phone. Even though I was still tired, I was also too uncomfortable to return to my slumber.

The comforter I had kept on through the night had little purpose to serve, not when winter was nowhere to be seen. Everyone would always say, “Winter is coming to an end”, yet it felt like winter never really arrived to begin with. I mean,  is the sole criteria of winter in Bangladesh that it is not summer?

I am pretty sure someone from Canada vacationing in Dhaka right now is enjoying a pretty good summer.

Finally having got the energy to push the comforter off and get on my feet for the journey to the bathroom, I was ready for my mission. I'm sure winter was somewhere in Dhaka, and I would find it.

Having freshened up and filled up on a hearty breakfast of ruti and bhaji, I set out. I took with me my cycle and a jacket, just in case I did manage to find the cool icy winds I was craving.

I knew to find winter I would have to go north, Game of Thrones had taught me that much. Starting from Dhanmondi, I began cycling with no knowledge of where I would eventually end up.

Today was my day. I would find winter, elusive as he/she may be.

It wasn't long before I found myself in Lalmatia. The roads were broken, and every alley seemed darker than a piece of burnt eggplant. And it was only 11 AM.

Things grew even more ominous as I entered Mohammadpur. The stares I received from inside each dark alley I passed almost paralyzed my heart with fear. And yet winter wasn't any closer. Very soon I found myself riding through Geneva Camp; attempting to leave Mohammadpur unscathed, I found myself face to face with heavy traffic.

Seeing as it was a weekend, traffic wasn't supposed to be my most formidable adversary. Yet here I was, face to face with lines of cars, rickshaws and buses.

A few minutes into daydreaming with my elbows on the handlebars, I realised why I was stuck in gridlock. The trade fair was in town.

After half an hour of waiting, I was on my way again, northward. The journey was getting harsher; the scorching sun seemed to spare no one, made apparent by everyone entering the mela with their arms on their foreheads.

Taking a left at Begum Rokeya Avenue; the next place on my journey was slowly becoming obvious. Mirpur beckoned to me, and even though the wisest of people would've told one to stay as far away from Mirpur as possible, that it was a place which would not yield anything close to winter, I chose to persevere.

Soon I was greeted by a sandstorm to the face, just as I neared the Mirpur-10 bus stop. It was as if I had entered a dessert, and there would be no mercy. Reeling my bike back, I closed my eyes which were now filled with sand. There was no other choice.

I turned around, heading off home before encountering an evening worth of trade fair traffic; dismayed with the fact that I had not been reunited with the Januaries of my childhood.

But if winter was really northward, across the barren desert land that is Mirpur; then maybe winter was better left alone.

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