Bangladesh: The Heart of The Labyrinth


I was supposed to be in Bangladesh today. My original plan was to catch a bus from Kolkata and make the long journey overland to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. From there I'd figure out how to catch another bus to Feni—the city my parents lived in during the 70's, before I was born.

I'll spare you all the details, but Bangladesh is not in a good place right now. The upcoming election in January is being boycotted by the major opposition party. All roads in and out of the capital have been blockaded and there are transportation strikes throughout the country. Even worse, buses have been attacked and burned—killing some—while rallies have turned deadly with violence breaking out between police and protestors.

I'm in touch with a number of people living in Bangladesh and everyone is saying the same thing: don't come now.

The only problem is that I feel it is absolutely essential for me to visit this place. I cannot fully explain the pull that exerts itself on me but I know I must go. I have felt a growing sense that Bangladesh is the heart of the labyrinth—the center of my journey. Everything else up to this point has been a prelude to this particular journey, from which everything else will unwind back from the center—propelling me into the rest of my life.

So you can understand a bit of my dilemma. Do I go despite the risks? Do I forego the trip, not knowing when I'll have a chance to return?

pilgrimageRyan Moore