The day after my birthday I caught a CNG early in the morning to meet my friend and colleague Kanika at an intercity bus stand We had a mission in mind - visiting the far flung district of Birishiri, on the border with India. Around five to six hours in a bumpy and jammed back bus (to go 170km) finally yielded fruits when we arrived in a place of complete beauty and splendour, far away from the Dhaka dust and horns. An atmospheric rickshaw journey and walk took us to the border of India, where the golden light from the west lit up the paddy fields like a lantern of the god's.
We stayed at the local YMCA that evening, and the next morning set out early on a rickshaw, trundling with a slow grace along the banks of the Shomeshwari River as the sun languidly climbed in the sky. In afternoon we headed for ‘Karshban’ the school, now led by the famous Bangladeshi poet Nirmalendu Goon. The primary school was established by his grandfather as the first in the Upazilla over 100 years ago, and now the secondary school teaches a creative curriculum with music, dance and visual art. Regular performances by the students draw in the local villagers and families who can learn more about the school and by extension the importance of education. Nirmalendu Goon led us proudly around the school, which was a rare example of creativity in education in Bangladesh. Apparently I was the first foreigner to visit, but I'm sure I won't be the last.