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He grew tired of the cacophony of parodies of sincere lives.

He sat there every morning, afternoon, evening and night
silently observing and remaining appropriately powerless
to the motions as the deities had condemned.

He grew timid of the sun having to swivel its rays
around the endless dusts gnawing with the wind
from the sand makers of Ashulia to his bosom.

He watched the desperate struggle and work in hideous conditions
soaking raw skin and processed cotton and cocoons ignorantly,
and neither could he blame nor protect them.

He grew restless of the ever insatiable land grabbers
and Hajaribag tanneries and industries dumping dyes and
untreated effluents seeping into the waters of Buriganga;
he grew intolerant with the stench of the increasing filth and
human waste thickening to black gel.

He saw the boat rowers acclimatize their smell and strength
to the murky grime waters rowing incessantly and thoughtlessly.

He grew familiarity with negligence.

He sneered as livid garment workers laid down their bodies
on gravel roads, clashed with the naïve police and
suffered municipal fury while the employers slithered
hidden on black notes and indulged on the finest Kiedricher Gräfenberg wine.

He squinted as rowdy politicians and the shrewd “literate” corporate
dug deep their canines into the labor of the commons
and the calculated fickleness of the Bangladesh Bank.
He snickered as the media maintained its timely silence to the
misdeeds of the haves as the social construct forced people to dormancy.

He stared as opportunity given talents wasted their minds
in “creative” rushes of work, drooling and transforming to leeches of money,
ignorant of guilt by delving in lustful materialistic “society”.
He glared as we harbored and celebrated such foolishness
as we made them the kings of this “democratic” oligo-monarchy.

He snickered at our distorted sense of development, law and freedom.

He scoffed at the economic system and the
schemed allocation of “nation’s” resources for the affluent
as the civil society tampered with righteous development
and others exploited the name of it.

He displayed amusement at how the wealthy became inhuman
due to money and the deprived due to lack of it;
he cried as street children got ragged and beaten by the police
and the neglected became slaves of the moneyed.

He grew impatient as people lost in ambivalence
forgot respect, accountability and dignity.
He grew silent as we repeated our mistakes willing kept blind.

That is when he, our “beloved” Dhaka, went to sleep.
It is long past time to wake him up; patiently and slowly.

Dated 16.01.10