Monday, April 14, 2008

From Dhaka to Calcutta, We Go

The Moitree, or Maitreyi, Express in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Photo by Subir Bhaimuk from the BBC.

Today marks the first official run of the Moitree Express (Friendship Express) from Dhaka, Bangladesh to Calcutta, India. This train used to run back when Bangladesh was still Pakistan, but it was shut down during the 1965 war between India and Pakistan (which eventually led to the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War from Pakistan). Fittingly, today is also Bengali New Year's.

My dad said it was a shame we weren't in Bangladesh now so that we might've taken the train. The cheapest tickets are around $8 U.S., which probably means that first class tickets would be around $20 U.S. Looking at the BBC's pictures, it seems like the interior of the train resembles the train we took from Chittagong to Dhaka--the fans on the ceilings, the seats, the doors. Though, our train wasn't decorated with flowers.

My dad recalled his father's stories about taking the bus from Dhaka to Calcutta to his first job when Bangladesh was still part of India. His father, my grandfather, was part of three countries: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; my mother and father were part of the latter two.

I hope, the next time I'm in Bangladesh, I get to take this train.


.x said...

Fakt time: rabindranath tagore, the famous bengali writer, poet and Nobel Prize winner, wrote the national anthem for India and Bangladesh. He's the only person to have written the national anthem for two countries (i think).

Samia said...

Thanks for sharing.
See more at: Population of Bangladesh