On 14th of April, this country, Bangladesh, celebrated its 1412th New Year as per the Bangla calendar. The occasion is called 'Poila Boishak' in local lingo and means the first day of the month of 'Boishak'. I had to return early from work and couldn't help notice the fantastic change in appearance of the entire city. There was colour everywhere. Colourful banners, colourful decorations, colourful flags in the playgrounds of college campuses. Everyone was out there in the streets, oblivious of the sunny and humid afternoon climate. Everybody looked happy. The best attires were out on display. Young men seemed to prefer traditional 'kurtas'. The young girls and ladies wore 'sarees' and preferred a traditional red and white combination. Functions had been organised at every community hall and public stage. School and college students performed a variety of dramas, skits, dances and songs and collectively added to the merry atmosphere.
Words would always be inadequate to describe this ambience which has to be felt through the senses of vision and hearing. All the more so in a place where the veil and 'black burkha' are like compulsory ladies uniform on any other day!
And our darling daughter, now all of six years, also participated in the celebrations. She looked absolutely fabulous in a red saree and gorgeous ornaments. We parents, me in particular, tried our best not to infect her with our nervousness before she went on stage for the first time in her life. I tried to freeze the moment for posterity, but the camera was bad and the cameraman (yours truly) even more so in that dark crowded hall. I, however, managed to capture some splash of colour as an indication of the ambience of the occasion.