When I walked into Bahadursha Park it was almost three o'clock in the afternoon. It was built in 1858 at the initiative of Nawab Khwaja Abdul Ghani, in the Sadarghat area of Old Dhaka. It was called Victoria Park until 1947 (It was also the year in which the British finally left the Indian Sub-continent). After that, it was renamed after Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor. However, people still call the place Victoria Park, and not the other way around. Maybe it is easy for them to pronounce the word 'Victoria' than the word 'bahadursha' or it could simply be that people got used to call the place Victoria Park. Well, I will also stick to people's preference.
It has been years since I actually went to a place in Old Dhaka. I sat in front of the tall memorial at the eastern side of the park. The afternoon was very hot and humid and I had this feeling that I needed to drink something very badly. I had a small bottle of 'mineral water' with me; so I drank from my small bottle as I looked at the tall memorial, which commemorates the ascending of the throne of Queen Victoria as Empress of India and British Empire.
Tall trees with green, vibrating leaves pervaded through its high and wide arc-like opening on the eastern side (there are four such openings on four sides, facing four different directions) as their long and entangled branches moved gently in the afternoon breeze. Bits and pieces of blue sky could be seen through the branches and the leaves. I kept looking at the enchanting scene and started to feel as though I had been transported back to the Victorian Era. The scene really looked like Victorian to me; as though a piece of Victorian England was peering through the opening.
I spent at least an hour, sitting at the same place and enjoying the magnificent scene. A very cool and soothing breeze blew from time to time, only God knows from where, in the midst of unbearable heat of yet another dry and rainless monsoon afternoon.
From ancient time, people travelled far and wide from the places of their origin. Many among them settled down in distant and faraway lands, doing trade and commerce; and eventually took control over the locals. In the process, they left remnants of their own cultures and times. So, there could be bits and pieces of history and cultures of distant lands, waiting to be discovered by us - not so far away from the places we live in. It's that we never cared to take the time and trouble to get there. When we get there, an entirely new world may open up right in front of us with its origin from the past of a distant land.