It’s Raining ya’ll: Dhaka

View from my patio window last time it rained and I was home, few days ago.
View from my patio window last time it rained and I was home, few days ago.

I used to think rain was crazy in Arizona. The desert state’s monsoon season was nothing to joke about- it was severe and the nightly news was all about which car got stuck, which dry river beds filled up, and what to expect next. People got very, very excited.

The rain in Bangladesh is kind of crazier, especially because unlike Tucson, there’s people everywhere. As I write it is raining absolutely deliriously outside—in my room, even thought my bathroom door is locked, the wind has managed to rattle it. I can feel the wind through the thin cracks of my patio doors. The noise outside is that of the wind that you only read about in books, combined with the shouts of people who don’t have a covered home to go to and line up under the stores. Unlike the U.S., the store keepers here don’t mind that you enter to escape the rain. They get it. They know. The temperature is cooler, which is saying something for this tropical country of sweat and sun. The lightning’s glow is felt in my room, literally (A bright crackling noise, like in the fireplace once in a while, back when I was at Wellesley, studying in the LuLu).  Noise of car honks get louder—as if that solves anything. The crowded city of Dhaka gets a breather and pockets of random people form.

There is a lot of romance around rain in Bangladesh’s culture. Lots of poems and writings that I can barely translate, let alone read. Just Google “Bangladesh rain” and see for yourself. But I see what they mean, after having been caught in the moment now, thrice (the first time while I was on a CNG on my way home, the plastic rolled up covers doing little to help). Last time it was at BICC on my way to events coverage for the Daily Star. This time it was to my home where the desperation was different. A great excuse to stay inside. Not so much for the many who will stress about the leaks in their homes, the roofs of makeshift homes being blown away, what it means for their meals and the night’s sleep for their children. Very, very real problems most of us will never phantom to imagine.

I just got home from getting caught in the rain, again. This time, I had to run through the overpass in Shymoli to get to the other side. Two women in front of me yelled at each other as they ran. And then I had to get a rickshaw which was a battle since no one would go. I am already drenched at this moment (and wearing white of course). I paid 2.5 times the fare to my apartment building. My rickshawallah took a chance on me because he knew that he would earn double tonight with the rain, even if he might be in bed, sick the next morning. Money is now. Money has to be earned fast.

Currently, the prayer’s call is going off, mixed with the noise of the rain, though the voice of my nearest mosque is even more powerful. Nothing wrong with the microphones there. Mosques will be crowded, mostly by people who look on to shelter rather than prayer. Life goes on.

Gabrielle Giffords will and has to return.

The recent declaration of Gabrielle Giffords’ departure from the House of Representatives may not be the end of her political career.

Anyone listening, watching, and observing the politician may view her heartfelt speech as a real goodbye. However, I think that it may just be the beginning of what may be a very interesting few years to follow. Gifford’s emotional recovery from her gun wounds in the last year has captivated Americans and international followers alike, Democrat or Republican- this was the story of a real person struggling with real life consequences. Her story brought a very public politician’s profile down to those of, well, people she serves. It was a sudden backseat for an otherwise rising and thriving Democrat politician- and even further, a young female at that.

I first met Giffords in 2007 when I interned for her Tucson office. It was my first internship after a year at Wellesley College, and at nineteen years of age, I had already found reasons to like her and want to be like her (this is my nineteen year old voice, after all). She attended Scripps, another all-women college, she called Arizona her home, and she was young, good looking politician, and a Democrat in Arizona of all states. She was on one of her short trips to Tucson and she was dressed in a baby blue suit which hugged her very perfect figure, with a very wide smile and blonde, highlighted hair. Very politician-like of course and she thanked me for all my hard work though I am sure she did not exactly know what I did there and what my name was. Either way, her team was energetic and I knew it was where I wanted to get some political exposure right before my sophomore year when I would declare a Political Science major.

The image of Giffords is very different today, but the same political flair still exists. On her Twitter she wrote: “I will return & we will work together for Arizona & this great country.” She never seemed to me like one to give up. She knows her assets, her stories, and she knows how important it is to hold onto a position in a traditionally all-boys club. “She was one of these people, one of the few left in Congress, who could work with people across the aisle and kind of rise above the bitter partisanship that you see in Washington,” said Jeff Rogers, the chairman of the Pima County Democratic Party. That is no surprise given that she comes from a traditionally red state where the last time it voted blue for a president was in 1948 for Truman. Let lone taking on the role of such a figure as a woman is admiring enough.

I hope that she does return to politics and specifically Arizona politics. I could say that she has a responsibility to do so as a female leader who has worked hard to gain the trust of traditionally-Republican constituents in a state struck my bitter debates on immigration and border control. And I do believe that the public will back her up again upon her return, whenever that may be.