I’m linking this post to Linda’s JusJoJan post for today. The prompt for today was ‘Thank you’. I had to participate because at the moment there’s a lot I’m feeling thankful for. I’m thankful to have a full home again and to have the family reunited for the holiday season.
Despite a hectic 10-day holiday in India, which involved hospital visits, a surgery under general anaesthesia, a minor surgery after, we managed to celebrate Christmas and my father-in-law’s birthday which happened to fall on the 25th of December too (as per the Malayalam calendar).
I also managed to get all the shopping done for our house in Dhaka, so, it looks more like home now. For all those who’ve read my posts on Dhaka, you’re aware of the limited shopping opportunities in Dhaka. It’s funny how two months in Dhaka made us overly grateful for all that India had to offer. I am thankful that I belong to a country that I can go back to anytime I want and for friends who took the trouble of meeting me despite my crazy schedule. There were many I couldn’t meet but I’m thankful to them for calling and messaging me to let me know they were thinking of me. At the end of the day, this is what truly matters- that people care for you enough, to take time out to see you or call you, even when they’re busy with festivities and a whole lot of other things.
I’m also thankful that I got to attend the art exhibition in Dhaka on our return here. The 19th Asian Art Biennale Exhibition is a month-long affair held at Shilpkala Art Academy in Dhaka. I got to know of the exhibition only on my return from India on the 5th of January. The last day of the exhibition was on the 7th of January, just before the exhibition was wrapped up. It would have been a shame to have missed it. My older daughter agreed to accompany me to the exhibition held in Old Dhaka, an hour away from home while my husband and the younger one refused to step out into the cold on the first weekend after returning. It was a good thing I had my older one as I couldn’t have ventured out alone. We had a good time too!
The art exhibition was crowded, which came as a surprise since it had been on for a month. I had heard people from Bangladesh love art but that did not prepare me for the crowds. That art is alive in the country and is popular could be because the country has few other avenues for entertainment. Whatever might be the reason, it was good to see the place teeming with youngsters dressed to the hilt and striking a pose against the paintings on display.
I’m also thankful for the opportunity to attend the 10th Dhaka Litfest. The last date for the festival was the 8th. I went for it with my younger one. I’m glad we went because it was a whole new world that opened for us- we saw a Dhaka very different from the Dhaka that I had seen or heard of during my previous two months here. We managed to attend three sessions- ‘A room of her own’ with speakers, Daisy Rockwell, the translator of Tomb of Sand ( winner of the Booker prize), Denise deCaires Narain who is an expert on Caribbean writers and Sabiha Haq, the author of ‘The Mughal Aviary’. The moderator of the session was Prof. Firdous Azim. An hour of this insightful session was like taking a sip from an ocean of knowledge. The second session was “Is a book worth reading, who decides?’ Again, there was a panel of 4 people- editors,reviewers and academicians- Florence Noivelle from France, Annette Kohn from Germany, Prof. Fakrul Alam and Mashrur Shahid Hossain. The last session was ‘The consolation of food’ with Valentine Warner and Ahsan Akbar.
Last but not the least, I’m thankful to Carol Anne for providing this prompt to Linda, who hosts JustJoJan which encourages bloggers to write one post every single day of Jan. I’ve been meaning to write about the art fest, the lit fest and our ten-day break in India but I had no idea where to begin as so much had happened. This ‘thank you’ prompt helped me do that. I hope you enjoyed reading the post and got to know a little more about Dhaka through the post. I also hope it made you want to visit the litfest or art exhibition in your country. Mostly, I hope it made you think of all the things that you’re grateful for. It’s true when they say, ‘Every cloud has a silver lining.’
Thank you for reading. You’ll keep me going.
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