It beats and throbs like an adrenaline-soaked sprinter racing through the heart of Dhaka’s old city.
Hindu Street, a long, narrow road with cracked sidewalks where bicycle rickshaws and pedestrians jostle for space on its narrow throughway while women in day-glow saris with bindi-dotted foreheads pass by lugging scuffed tin water jugs.
Dhaka’s Hindu minority makes up 9% of the city’s population and concentrate along Old Dhaka’s Hindu Street. Some say the city’s name comes from the Hindu goddess Dhakeshwari (which translates to “Goddess of Dhaka”) whose 12th century temple is the holiest Hindu sight in the country.
As I explored the street’s clutter, buying a few souvenirs and checking out Hindu idols and relics, I slipped down a narrow alleyway that opened into a courtyard scorched by the afternoon sun.
3 or 4 story homes surrounded the 20-foot by 50-foot paved space, populated by generations of families living together.
We shared smiles.
Life seemed to slow down.
And with a traveler’s patience, I watched the silence of the mundane while 30 feet away, through a crumbling doorway and dark corridor, Dhaka’s hyper energy blew by in clouds of exhaust and dust and rickshaw horns unending drone.