I love participating in Dan’s Thursday doors. ‘This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world.’
This week, I have just one door- actually, it’s a gate- the gate to the Gulshan lake park which is a kilometre away from home- I hope it qualifies for the challenge.
The park serves as a horticultural garden and boasts of a large variety of greens; the names of trees are mentioned in Bangla on yellow boards affixed to the trunks. It’s different from the park close to home as this one has kiosks for ice cream, tea and vending machines, selling bottled juices and water. Other than the regular wooden benches, there are also seating areas adjacent to the lake, which allow for social gatherings. It’s nice to see a culture that still believes in simple socializing- meeting as a group in the park to sit around and talk or exercise. It’s open to anyone who wishes to join. And so, it’s not surprising to see men and women of different ages in the exercise group.
As we hadn’t been to the park for over a fortnight, we were in for a pleasant surprise. With the advent of Spring, rows of daisies, lavenders, marigolds and other flowers whose names I do not know, welcomed us in.
The walking track around the park goes around the lake. The walking area is higher and provides one with an aerial view of the shallow, green waters. An arched bridge is built over the water. Gardeners were handing pots with tiny flowers over the bridge adding to the natural beauty of the gardens. Saplings had been planted along the embankment- they showed early signs of spring in the form of red and yellow buds.
We were surprised to see lanterns hanging over branches of trees on one side of the park. Rows of chairs had been arranged in front of stage under a blue canopy. A signboard said, ‘Nasrul Festival’ and everything else was in Bangla. Once home, I googled about the festival. There was a newspaper article that said, the festival would be held at the park on February 3rd and 4th from 5 p.m. onwards and entrance was free; all we needed was passes which could be collected from a club close to home. We got the passes for the next day and reached the park at around 6.00 p.m. The sun had already set and it was dark except for the yellow glow of the lanterns. Seeing that it was in the park, we wore casuals and were surprised to see people dressed formally for the event- men in tweed jackets or kurta-pyjamas with a waist coat and a shawl hanging elegantly over one shoulder and gorgeous-looking women in Dhaka cotton sarees and chunky jewelry to match (we didn’t feel underdressed because nobody looked at us like we were and because we know nobody here).
I learnt from visiting the festival, that it was held in honor of Kazi Nasrul Islam, national poet of Bangladesh. His poems are inspiring ( I read those that had been displayed on banners in the park) and his music, enthralling. It came as a surprise that the songs sung at the park were to the Hindu Gods, Shankara (Shiva) and Murali (Krishna). On reading further about Kazi Nasrul Islam, I got to know that he had not had any formal education beyond grade 10, but he had read and been greatly influenced by Hindu mythology (as India and Bangladesh were one nation before the partition). He was extremely close to Rabindranath Tagore and became depressed after the latter’s death. Nasrul Islam fell ill in the early 1940’s and was put into a mental asylum in 1942. He was treated for 10 years with no improvement. Then he was taken to London for treatment where the doctor said, he suffered from Pick’s disease and it couldn’t be treated because it was already too late. Nazrul Islam wrote all his poetry until the age of 43, after which he slowly lost his ability to communicate and think coherently. He died in 1976, at the age of 77, soon after the death of his youngest son. You can read more about this great poet here.
Here are a few videos I recorded of the music.
I end this post by sharing these verses from Kazi Nazrul’s poems
I hope you enjoyed walking through the gates of Gulshan Lake Park with me. Until next week, bye. I leave all poets reading this post with this quote by the National poetof Bangladesh, Kazi Nasrul Islam.
Copyright@smithavishwanathsblog.com. All Rights Reserved.
Leave a Reply. I love comments.