As I woke up one day from one of the opportune naps I am privileged enough to take during my commute to and from work, I opened my eyes to find a brown horse staring right back at me. Startled, and slightly amused, I sat up to take a proper look. There were two horses, one brown and the other white, turned ash by Dhaka's ever present pollution and soot. To no one's surprise, they were tired, clearly underweight, and suffering from malnutrition, with open wounds at the spots they were whipped to make them go forward.
I was quickly transported to fifteen years back when I would travel to my grandmother's house near old Dhaka, where horse-driven carriages were a lot more common than they are now. I remember feeling incredibly helpless and ashamed then, feelings that echoed as I continued to stare at the horses beside me stuck at the Panthapath signal. All this talk of efficiency and growth, I wonder why we haven't found better alternatives to cruelty.