All the houses in the city have it—an empty patch under the sky. Some nourish it, some abandon it.
The plants in the abandoned bathtub, the giant antenna, the broken Ludo board, the graffiti-stained walls—when I started taking photographs on rooftops in Dhaka city, I never thought I would collect so many memories.
Every rooftop has its own story. It is place that makes you feel lost. It is a place that makes you feel at home.
The buildings in the old part of town stand shoulder to shoulder. People here spend their evenings on the rooftop. I ask them for water, as I climb five to six rooftops a day. But in new Dhaka, I don't have to—there are elevators! And even if I had to, I couldn't, because there are hardly any people on the roofs there.
Growing up in a joint family, my cousins and I had a secret place where we would meet, play hide and seek. My uncle would make kites for us to fly. When there were no kites, we would fly plastic bags tied to strings. Sometimes we'd climb the little guava tree that my father had planted.
When the power went out, the whole neighbourhood would come alive. It was time to ditch studies and meet on the rooftop, sing, tell ghost stories and count stars.
The face of the city has changed quite a lot since then. Buildings started to grow taller, people got busy trying to afford apartments. No one has a moment to spare. But when I see a little kid flying a kite, I am taken back to the days when every evening, the blue birds flew back to their favourite place.