The detachment I feel from cultural events | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 09, 2020

The detachment I feel from cultural events

A red and white saree, a wrist full of bangles and a bucketload of excitement. I had it all. I was not yet four when my dad had been assigned to duty on Pahela Baishakh at Ramna Park. The entire house was in a state of hullabaloo as its residents donned themselves in new clothes to celebrate the auspicious day with him. I spent all of that day inspecting the world from a king's viewpoint, sitting atop my father's shoulders. And oh! The things I saw. In my book, nothing will ever trump the new year celebrations of 2005. Over the next few years, dad was posted all over the country while mom travelled the world. Orchestras in Ramna were taken over by nagordolas in the neighbourhood park before finally being replaced by processions on the television. The television remains turned off now, cultural festivals have blended into my regular days, leaving me feeling monochrome while the world showers in vibrant colours.

Pahela Baishakh isn't the only victim of my indifference. You could throw heaps of marigold at my head during Pahela Falgun or drown me in a pool of flour during Nobanno, I doubt I will do anything but cough a little. The perpetrators?  


My parents tried their best to introduce us to our culture. But there's only so much you can do when you're physically unavailable and paranoid about the wrongs of the world. After 12 years of complaining, God pulled an UNO reverse card on me. Suddenly, I was the family member to be swamped with work from all those yearly board exams.


You wake up, put on some makeup, do your hair, get into a nice outfit and set out for an amazing day. When I was four, I was excited to go to my first ever festival. For me, the great unknown lay ahead. After a while, it became more of a hassle. You do the same things every year just to experience the same things you did last year. Granted, these only happen once a year, but they're still the same things. 


One of the things my mother has in common with my friends is their mutual hatred for crowds. Most of my friends prefer trendy restaurants to Ramna Park. Me? I love crowds. Where there's a crowd, there's life. Younger me thought I would thrive on Mangal Shobhajatras but I never thought I would have to do it by myself. Have you ever been to a procession alone? If so, my contact details are below, let's figure out what's wrong with you.  


Lately, melas are more of a marathon. The first person to get a profile picture worthy photo taken of themselves wins. Listen, I get it. You got all dressed up, it'd be stupid not to. But it's annoying when that is all you do. Why can't we also sit and experience the music while munching on some sugar candies? Why not do both?


Nusaiba secretly wonders if she's pronouncing her name wrong. Set her straight at


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