Disclaimer: Contains spoilers if you’ve never watched an episode of GoT.
Life in Dhaka is much more than just incessant traffic and countless restaurants. In fact, if you looked closely you would find that we have more in common with a fictional medieval kingdom than what appears to the naked eye. Yes, I am talking about Westeros.
In both Westeros and Dhaka, weddings get a little out of hand. One minute you are celebrating your beloved pregnant wife, the next minute you and your whole family get stabbed by the bride’s father’s goons because you didn’t keep your promise to the bride’s father to marry her daughter. Well, maybe that’s not EXACTLY how Dhaka weddings go. But surely manning the gate from the groomsmen and violently negotiating the price of their entrance get pretty close to the formidable Red Wedding itself. Even after they have successfully entered the venue, their belongings are not safe from the hawk-eyed bridesmaids. Though in Dhaka, the bride’s family only takes away your shoes, in Westeros they take your unborn child, family, and life.
Just like Westeros, Dhaka has two parts—the North and the South. On one hand you have Mirpur and on the other hand you have Dhanmondi. Traveling between the two parts of Dhaka is essentially as difficult as going from King’s Landing to Winterfell, if not more.
Getting to your destination takes a long while in both Westeros and in Dhaka. While in Westeros, it’s because you are traveling by a horse, in Dhaka it’s because of the dreadful traffic and murir tin buses thinking they are in a Fast and the Furious movie.
There are way too many fires in Dhaka as well as in Westeros. Fires in Westeros are chemically induced wildfire or literally breathed out by dragons to win battles and to destroy the enemies. But fires originate here because we negligently make our city prone to fire, kind of like the Mad King except that he was obsessed with fire due to his deteriorating mental health; in Dhaka, we are merely careless.
Mirpur 10 Circle is Dhaka’s proverbial Wall at the edge of its northern border and the people of Mirpur are the free folk. Surely though the rest of Dhaka has opened its gates for Mirpur and its Free Folk, the south Dhaka kneelers are always scared to cross the wall having heard a lot of frightening myths about that place.
In Westeros, everyone seems to be sort of related to one another. So you cross mountains and rivers and reach a distant land. You want to date the badass girl coming from a rich family, who doesn’t share a name with any other family members, rules the Andals and the First Men, protects the country, doesn’t get burnt, breaks chains as a full-time job and has three dragon kids? Well, too bad because she is your aunt. Quite like the situation in Dhaka where if you go on Tinder, all your matches will be amongst your cousins, friends and friends of friends, and if you are particularly unlucky, your aunt.
My point being, Dhaka is not so different from Westeros after all. Every moment something is trying to kill you, yet you make it to the next season. The whole of Dhaka will survive the Long Night and more, because in all honesty, we have seen EVERYTHING that can possibly go wrong in one lifetime and we are still here. So, hang tight. The road is long and full of traffic.
Anupoma Joyeeta Joyee is a Barrister-at-Law who spends her time devising plots to hold the evil corporations accountable for climate change. Tell her how to do that at firstname.lastname@example.org