January 8, 2024
DHAKA – There were barely any cars in or around Dhanmondi when I set off for work this afternoon.
Voters were seen getting in and out of polling centres, as the country took part in the parliamentary polls. While the air hung heavy with political discussions and the seriousness of candidates and voters, the atmosphere was quite different for the children.
To them, the election was almost like Eid. Street after street, I saw children so delighted that it seemed like the country was only theirs for this day.
One particular child, around 12, was convincing his elder brother to teach him how to ride a bike in Dhanmondi Road 30. I waited at a corner to see if he could. His brother, finally convinced, propped him up on the bike and gently took a seat behind him to make sure the little one is unharmed. And there they went, zooming across the street with cheers of joy and freedom.
Another young girl, perhaps 16, was learning from her elder sister how to drive near Sobhanbagh. With the road so empty, it was an easy feat for them to go from road to road, slowly and carefully, but with utmost glee.
When I got onto the main road in Farmgate area, there was a rush of young skaters, each showing the other the new tricks they learned. They laughed and played while relishing this moment, when all the adults are busy with the polls.
While elections are supposed to be a festivity for all, the past few, including this year’s, have seen controversary, violence and more – ultimately killing the spirit of voting for many.
However, the spirit of joy remained unharmed for the innocent souls, who knew how to make the best of the situation in their own innocent ways.
Perhaps, it is only through them we can always find a silver lining, no matter how dark the cloud.