They say the best way to experience Bangladesh is on the river and this is absolutely true. Dhaka is built around rivers, coming from India (the Ganges), Nepal, and China. On Friday I was invited to join Ruby Ghuznavi, her husband Farhad and their close family and friends on a river tour. An early start got us to Damra with little traffic, for a whole day boat trip. The fog soon cleared and the day was brilliant and warm. We slowly made our way up the river towards Dhaka, observing life on the river bank and the working boats.
Friday is not a working day in Bangladesh and we saw many people doing their chores, washing clothes, bathing, tending to their animals. We were amazed by the working boats, some resembling submarines, full to the rim with sand or jute. The river side is also home to huge industrial plants, cement factories and textile industrial units. The rivers are badly polluted from industrial waste. The government is addressing this and the Buriganga river which crosses Dhaka is currently being cleaned.
I will remember passing the worker on a sand boat playing his flute. The music filled the air and stayed with us for a short time before it slowly disappeared in the wind. Talking about music, look out for Marcus Plowright, the talented singer and songwriter of alternative band My Preserver! Their debut album, Revolutions in the Head is released next month in the UK. See http://www.mypreserver.com for full details. I was privileged to hear the whole album and I recommend it!!
A big thank you to Ruby and Farhad for inviting me to join them on this magical day.