Planning for Eid is a momentous operation, requiring anyone wishing to leave the city to book bus and train tickets two or three weeks in advance. My original plan to visit the beach resort of Cox’s Bazar was scuppered by leaving only 12 days advance to book the bus (in normal times, a day or two is sufficient), so instead I managed to grab a last minute ticket to visit Khagachuri.
Sometime around 3.30 we finally had lunch, eating rice, chicken, pork and fish from huge deep green banana leaves spread out on the ground before we finally moved off the platform and staggered back to the main town, drinking some green coconut water on one stop, and waiting for Diman, a vivacious programme co-ordinator at Zabarang, to eat again at another house. With the rice wine, the falling light, constant food stops and the broken boat, it was a while before we got back to the flat. But, it was absolutely worth it. Though a Bangladeshi picnic is a troublesome affair, the trouble is worth it; the views and the food, the company and even the rice wine were elements of a very memorable, and special day.