Behind the Scenes
What happens during hartal (strikes)? Well other than all the chaos around the city, other exciting things happen too. A lot of people stay home and relax and others go out of the city to meet their family. The fun part is what the university and school students do. Hartal in their mind is the day of sports. Call up some friends and the match is on! The best part about it is that they don't need a field, a good and empty road is enough to have hours of fun. Usually in hartal, cricket is the most played game since roads are empty all the time. A lot play football too (calling it street soccer), just as fun as street cricket is but the chances of getting injured is higher.
Usually in hartal, cricket is the most played game. Photo: Samwan Rob
If it rains on a hartal day, football is undoubtedly the must-play game of the day. And the best part about all this is that all you need is a couple of small bricks to make the goal post a few added rules and you're good to go. Even for cricket, a few bricks to make the stumps and making the pitch lines with a chalk or a brick and you are ready to start the 'gentleman's game' in a more 'not-so-gentle' fashion.
For some people, even wrestling seems to be an amazing sport. Photo: Samwan Rob
Shahab Khan, a student of Monash University, says about his experience of hartal in Dhaka, "I did not know it was hartal the day I landed in Dhaka. A lot of people at the airport were really worried whereas, I was the happiest person around. I knew my friends were playing cricket and that just made my day. It was always a tradition for us to play cricket on hartals, especially on the roads since we get to make new rules and what not." Khan adds, "I know the streets are pretty risky but travelling a bit for that much of fun is totally worthwhile. It is amazing to see so many kids nowadays enjoying the strike by playing cricket and football on the streets, calling friends up and just running around the neighbourhood and cycling all day long with less chances of getting into an accident."
So it's a day of sports unless you have a console at home but even then, playing outside on a hartal day is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. The emptiness of the Dhaka city roads is just staggering. Taking a walk, going out for a jog and playing other street sports are just the things a student needs to do in a hartal day. Another very popular indoor sport is the carrom. A lot of students play carrom on their boards with friends the whole day of hartal betting sodas as prizes.
While some 'workaholics' and 'school addicts', may be upset on the days that the hartal is announced, while some are worried about political situations during times like these, we can worry about that stuff later. For us, hartal brings some good times and good memories with the best of friends. All that are required are some sports equipment and random moments and you're good to go!
DID YOU KNOW?
As a child, John was a prankster and he enjoyed getting in trouble. As a boy and young adult, he enjoyed drawing grotesque figures and cripples. His school master thought that he could go to an art school for college, since he did not get good grades in school, but had artistic talent. At sixteen, Elvis Presley's explosion onto the rock music scene inspired John to create the band called the "Quarry Men," named after his school. Lennon met Paul McCartney at a church fete on July 6, 1957. He soon invited Paul to join the group and they eventually formed the most successful songwriting partnership in musical history.
Information source: Internet.