The Adolescent City

Like people, cities have phases of life: childhood, youth, old age. New York, for example, is an old man of a city: a dirty, cranky old man smelling of stale beer and cigars. Dhaka, on the other hand, wears its youth like a banner, unfurled for all to see. It is the ultimate, the quintessential adolescent city: awkward, insecure, lanky, with a breaking voice and a day's growth of beard.

Dhaka is a city full of reckless energy and vitality, a city of unbounded, planless growth. Most importantly, it is a city which is hardly a city at all, most of it having only just risen from the paddy fields a generation ago, and still carrying with it the raw provincial mindset of the village. We compare this with its erstwhile sister city, Calcutta. Though in the measure of years

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Himal Southasian