Faces in Places

poker

For the last couple of weeks, observing personally the way people are pulling strings to get favors has been quite amusing. It’s shouldn’t be surprising to me, as one can expect living in a densely populated city, but having it done against you has been shocking for me.

This is a city, where ‘connections’ are everything, bribery and favors go hand in hand. If one needs a passport, national identification card, police, even a train ticket, you need to know people in the right places. One can look the other way around, and try to go forth about their business, but it won’t do any good. Where money is to be made, either the one who has the money, or knows the faces can get things to work.

Where money is to be made, either the one who has the money, or knows the faces can get things to work.

As the british have introduced liberalism to our part of the world, more bureaucracy meant more corruption. Legislation, are good to have, but it only favors people who have the means to benefit and manipulate the law on their behalf. Democracy sounds great, if people can actually ‘elect’ someone rather than ‘select’ a predetermined party.

Democracy only gives the illusion of power to the people.

Even in Europe, which boasts itself as a ‘democracy’, yes getting access to some public services are much better than our country, one doesn’t need to bribe officials just to get a passport. However, if one looks at the legal system, it’s only catered to people who have the resources to benefit the legal system.

This dog-eat-dog world, will require people to either pony up, or to have faces at places to get you favors. The later, seems to make ordinary people get cheaper access, but a favor also means giving one, and there lies the complexity of power.

Red City

It’s not a war zone, and it’s not global warming ! This is the day we celebrate eid, by sacrificing cattle. People believe in mythology, stories, and that’s what you get when you combine myths & stories: religion.

It’s already one of the most densely populated city in the world, combine with inadequate infrastructure, people not following hygienic practices. Massive rainfall and you get a city filled with red blood. Imagine if any of the animal activists from ‘peta’ see this, they will most likely faint.

From early morning, I hear thunderous sounds from the clouds to be awaken by people and cattle. I am glad in rained, because the cleaning was much easier, despite the road blockage. I like to ‘occasionally’ eat meat, nothing wrong with that, but yesterday I probably ate 10 lbs of it, now heading for a long walk.

Deserted land

silentctyy

The streets are empty, the shops, offices closed, apartments are like standing trees, hollow inside. Gas stations look like abandoned war zones, and the sidewalks don’t have people ! This is what happens to a city, the country that’s on a holiday.

As the people of this nation are celebrating eid, the city with the most densely populated area suddenly looks like a ghost town. Majority of the people that live and work here, are from small towns and villages, almost all of them go back to their home town, to celebrate eid with their dear ones. One might think that this is a good time for people to rest and enjoy the peace, but in a strange way the sudden silence is bothering me.

The energy of the crowd, the sound that I felt just last week, turns into a deserted land, void of no life, energy, chaos, which I got so accustomed to. This is what I feel inside, as this has been the way of celebrating eid for me, as most people visit their family and friends, enjoying each other’s company, visiting different parts of the country, I am stuck in a empty vessel, devoid of any energy, lost in this deserted land.

 

 

 

Crowd surfing in city

shoppinged

It’s almost near the end of the ramadan, and the one thing which is common across every continent, nation, race, religion, is economics. Until the last couple of months, I never put the two together religion and capitalism.

It’s the market that has broken down all the barriers within different tribes,  for the need to exchange goods and services, with people’s trust in money. Religion has played a major part for the development and maintenance of capitalism. If you look at the major religions of today, all of them have holidays, and these holidays are a driving force for economic growth.

If you look at the major religions of today, all of them have holidays, and these holidays are a driving force for economic growth.

As I was passing along the market shown above, what usually takes me a short time to pass, literally took me hours to move. When the holiday begins, everything shuts down completely, so people do their shopping early on, because most of them then travel to their homes outside of the city. Living in the city, where it’s already overpopulated, combine with the fact, people from different parts of the country come here for shopping adds to the dilemma.

surfwveWhenever I witness these large consumption herds, I always tried to avoid it; but not for the last couple of years, in fact I embraced it. If you don’t, trust me you can barely walk on the streets ! I looked it as a way to ride the wave of crowds, similar to surfing on oceans. I didn’t understand, why surfers risked their lives surfing gigantic waves; until I embraced being in mammoth crowds. Just being in the energy of so many people, the sound,  the chaos, the unpredictability, the synchronous movement is what makes it a thrilling experience.

 

 

 

Dust and Steel

The sheer weight, the unbearable humidity, the constant noise, expending all the strength and energy to pull the cargo, especially at this time of the year, is excruciating. People of the city want to build a modern civilization, a civilization that produces dust and needs steel.

Walking at the outskirts of the city, where there is some greenery left, but not for long ! Not for the people in our culture, who think they are born in this world to build civilization, but alas they can’t do it with proper planning, infrastructure, vision, because they are flawed. Civilization is not for every culture in this world, certainly not for people who are disorganized, uncoordinated, lack vision. The west have done their bid to build it further, even though they are more organized, professional and have vision, they too are reeling from it’s effects, the complex societies they have built is falling apart, social destabilization is causing plenty of people to abandon their developed empires to developing empires across the world.

the complex societies they have built is falling apart, social destabilization is causing plenty of people to abandon their developed empires to developing empires across the world

IMG_20160614_154748Looking at the way the man was pulling the cargo, made me think of the way our culture is heading towards. It also made me think of my personal hurdles in life, with such sheer weight he could barely pull it, that’s why he had made a belt across his waist so he could ease the load on his body, with miles to go he stopped to take a breath and then kept marching. With people who faced childhood abuse, that’s what it feels like, pulling this sheer weight of mental anguish, in a unforgiving environment, with miles to go yet somehow we keep marching.

 

Plenty of foreigners, stop what they are doing and take pictures of this kind of site, but rarely do they question the bigger picture, they push for modernization here, but without fully understanding and comprehending the complexity of the issue, the environmental damage, the social destabilization, the hunger for endless growth and consumption, that would ultimately turn the world in a bowl of dust and steel.

 

 

 

Dating: Women in Dhaka

It is one of the most densely populated city in the world, it is also a developing country, trying to catch up to developed nations. Competition is fierce, in the context of the market economy, people will lie, cheat and steal to make a living.

People will behave in different ways depending upon the environment, the system that our current market operates under causes severe stress not only to the people, but also to the community of biological life around us. On an individual level, there are sponges, someone that squeezes the fruits of another person’s labor.

While browsing on dating apps, I came upon plenty of profiles of women, who either want someone who will aid them financially, or someone who is financially secure to be able to marry them. In a developing city like Dhaka, with rapid urbanization, women will look to get the man who is more financially secure, as living in poverty is extremely difficult here.

 

dating_bd_meetHowever, there will always be ones, who are playing the victim, this is called munchausen syndrome they fake or cause harm to their loved ones to get attention. In the case of the women shown here, I saw her post regularly on several dating apps, that she wants someone to financially support her, it’s just money she is interested in. Considering the fact that she is also married, which shows she wants attention. Especially in dating sites/apps there are women, who look for men to take care of them, what is known as ‘sugardaddy’, this can also be found across the globe in the west. Even though many of the women in the city are educated, they still look for someone who is more financially wealthier than them, as it is still the men’s responsibility to take care of women.

People are still living under traditional ideology, which is a patriarchal system, so women stay in houses and men are breadwinners, this can be seen villages, far away from the city. In Dhaka, the story is changing due to the market, as capitalism crawls into every corner of the globe, and rapid urbanization is occurring, where money is worshiped, women will look for more wealthy men in a competitive world.