A snowy day in Dhaka | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 03, 2019

A snowy day in Dhaka

Unlike Elsa, the cold did bother me. And unlike the 'Night's Watch' from Game of Thrones, I didn't sign up for this 'sheet'. But sadly, Mother Nature had other plans for me and the rest of Dhaka as snow had descended on this mega city for the first time in forever. Take a chaotic city like Dhaka and put a blanket of snow over it. As insane as it sounds, it was now part of my reality turned misery.

The morning was anything but normal. It was unbearably cold. I didn't feel like getting up but I had to, thanks to 8 AM classes. Most of the other universities were closed on account of winter holidays and the unexpected snowfall. And then there are private universities, who couldn't care any less about the weather. So, I got up from my bed, trembling as I did so, freshened up, had a quick breakfast and went on to cover myself with a few layers of wool to keep me warm as I stepped out of my house and into the snowy wilderness of Dhaka.

Five feet of snow. It was almost the same height as me. As I couldn't get out of our front gate, I had to jump off our balcony from the third floor. Thankfully, the snow was there to cushion my fall and reduce its impact on my body. I then stood up and began to plough my way through the snow with my feet as I hurried towards my university. As I dragged my body through the snow as fast as I could in an effort to catch my first class, I saw a sight of Dhaka that I had never seen before.

The snow had taken its greatest toll on the roads of the capital. In fact, you couldn't see any of the roads thanks to the white snow. Cars, trucks and buses fitted large ploughs in front of them to do away with the snow blocking the roads. Even then, it was almost impossible to get past a stretch of road in a car. Rickshaws were nowhere to be seen and you couldn't blame them. They had to think twice before going out on a monsoon day and this was negative temperature with snow all over. The few rickshaws which were willing to take you to your destination were asking for a fare which was too steep even for a round trip to Uzbekistan via air.

At times, I could see a few kids playing in the snow. Despite the fact that they were on vacation, it still amused me as to how they managed to wake up so early just to have some fun. They were building snowmen, having snow ball fights and were just casually lying on the snow. Well, at least they were making the best out of it. I, on the other hand, was now tired of all the walking and dragging. The cold weather was also wearing me out. I decided to take a small break as I sat down at a nearby tong for a cup of hot tea. Sadly, it just wasn't my day as the tong mama told me that hot tea was not possible in such a weather. In fact, he couldn't even light a fire no matter how hard he tried. And so, with my expectations mixed with the snow, I left for my destination once again, singing 'Let It Go' along the way.

Near the University of Dhaka, I noticed a large crowd encircling a perimeter overlooking the open fields. Curious as to what made so many people tolerate the cold weather and stand out there, I made my way towards the crowd and was baffled to see what stood before me.

In front of us there were hundreds of people, cameras, trailers and a part of the cast of Game of Thrones. Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams and many others were all pacing beside their trailers and reading their scripts. They were also trembling from the cold which was becoming more and more unbearable as the seconds ticked by. Apparently, the crew was filming some of the scenes from the final season of Game of Thrones. They initially had the plans to film the scenes in Northern Ireland but then changed their location to Dhaka since it was colder here. Interestingly, they also hired some local university students to play the part of the 'White Walkers'; probably because we usually communicate by grunting and are dead inside for most of the time.

Leaving the shooting spot, I made the final approach to my university with little time to spare. I had like fifteen minutes before my professor decided that I no longer deserved a tick on my attendance sheet. But once again, nature had to play another cruel trick on me. The skies grew darker in the blink of an eye and the gentle snowfall had turned into a blizzard. But I was determined to reach class on time. I plodded through the blizzard with no regrets and was soon within the vicinity of my campus. I had made it. I felt like crying but I held on to my tears knowing that they were just going to freeze on my cheeks. I then quickly hurried to my classroom and made an entry like the storm outside and was surprised to find it empty.

The class had been cancelled.

 

Faisal wants to be the very best, like no one ever was. To survive university is his real test, to graduate is his cause. Send him memes and motivation at abir.afc@gmail.com

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