A window to look back…

“Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away… now it looks as though they’re here to stay…ohh I believe in Yesterday…♪…mmm…” The legendary song form the English rock band The Beatles… Yesterday…. Such a wonderful and touchy part of life that always walks with us… it’s something where we never can get back but somewhere we always want to belong… or its a smile that you put yourself by tasting those memories and feeling like stupid when people laugh out that you are smiling without any reason… Yesterday… 1991… Dhaka…Bangladesh Not a very busy place but busy… Roads are very open… You can find enough green wherever you look… You can breathe in by blowing your heart till it gets filled…. You can hear the sweet song of the birds if you come out for a morning walk… One thing that you might never see again that is the “Baby-Taxi” with yellow and black combined which was the only standard vehicle for little long distance journey within Dhaka…

Alliance Française Road 1991

Alliance Française Road 2010

Alliance Francaise Road 2010

What about Alliance Française?? It seemed more like a Myth when I was checking out the pictures of those golden times…. She was beautiful as a term of olden splendor. She had everything in that time like we have today, a glowing Admission Office, A pleasant library, a café full of life, and the jam-packed classes with the latest technology of that time… but that was the Yesterday where everything is so touchy… Since Alliance is in this country from 1959, I’m just starting to look back from time of my birth….

Alliance Francaise Front 1991

Alliance Francaise Front 1991

Alliance Francaise Front 2010 19 years… so many things got changed, updated or may be forgotten… & most important this the time of my belongingness in this earth so far… 19 Years!! I’m Really Thankful to Mr. Faizul Kabir Sir who managed me these Golden time photographs in just an asking. Mr. Zia Hyder Sir who explained me the history and all the photographs very delightfully that drived me in 1991… according to his words I’m just walking through here… I’m just standing on 2010 and looking back to 1991…with these precious photographs… through the smoky time… Photographs section#1 The Reception

Alliance Française Reciption 1991

The admission office was in 2nd floor, Yes!! It was one of the modern receptions of that time. Even then, they used to put all the arts on interior. The big worldmap in backside, historical photographs, colorful books… That place is now the Classical Guitar Class… But I really feel crazy to see the metal window, that gives the real taste of oldies… and I feel wonder to know, in 1991 that place was as busy as today… Now I really feel lucky that whenever I want I can go and take a look… now the admission office is in ground floor straight ahead to the main gate…the place shines with golden illumination, Colorful Catalogs, Different books and the traditional Photography’s. Now the place is much bigger, two PC is there, colorful file folders. But still the touch of oldies. Photographs Section#2 The Café (La Viranda) and Parties

Alliance Française Cafe 1991

Alliance Française Cafe 2010

Alliance Française cafe 1991 (Front)

Alliance Française cafe 2010 (Front)

jazz night 1991

Disco night 2010

This is the place of folklore we often think but can’t draw exactly. The old steel chairs, a café desk made of wood and bamboo, metal cashbox, Millat ceiling fans (Millat was the only one Brand of ceiling fan of that time) and old lightings… even in that time, the magazines and current posters were there… The early 90’s jazz night, Every Thursday night there was Jazz night in Alliance Française, Even the drinks were also made with tradition of Jazz music… Yes!! in 1991, Jazz night with mono speaker, keyboard, guitar, candles, friends and so many things you may mix yourself as you are in folklore. By keeping the tradition of jazz, today we meet 5 photographs of jazz music legends just after entering the café. Now this place is somewhere light and darkness plays hide and seek. You’ll never know when your heart got colorful after entering the café we have today. We have everything new now, new view, new arts, new chairs, new tables, new food items, new architectures. Since we don’t have the jazz night now, but we have the Disco nights. Full of excitements, best sound systems with a great Dj Mr. Faizul Kabir. Everything is new!! Fulfilled!! If something is old, that is Mr. Francis Biswas, who’s the café in charge from uncounted years…really I don’t know… Photographs Section#3 The Library

Library 1991

Library 2010

Librarian 1991, Shirin roja

Librarian 2010, Zia Hyder Khan

Library 1991

Library 2010

Now days, Library is the most stunning place of Alliance Française as I’ve dedicated a solo post on library. Although in 1991, it was one of the best libraries in Dhaka. Even that time, the collection was huge with famous French Books, English books, magazines, video tapes and audio tapes. Even the historical photographs weren’t missing. The wooden bookshelves, long arrangements, pale wall paints, and the old charger light on the desk, gives a real flavor of prehistoric times… wow…how the time was… The lady in the picture of 1991 is Miss. Shirin roja, who was the librarian of that time. Finding this name was so tough today. Do you know who found this name for me?? Mr. Zia Haider Khan, the current librarian of Alliance Française. Even he is working here from 1997 and he was a French student of 1991. Today’s library is the multimedia library; even everything is customized to keep the flavor of the art and conformability. Even the sitting arrangements for the readers are kept in old flavor with new style. That time there was tree tubs around the chairs to feel in a naturalistic theme, now we don’t have that inside. But we sit in a table from where the total garden and lawn view is clear, where the sunshine falls on the page and talks with the alphabets of our book. This is a place ever old like gold and new like glitters. Photographs Section#4 The Gallery

Gallery 1991

zoom gallery 2010

La Gallerie 2010

Most often I make mistake to write ‘Gallery’ as I’m quite habituated with ‘Gallarie’ now days. In 1991, Gallery would rather mean a lot in Dhaka, if cultural institute had its own. I don’t know exact where the gallery was in that time, but it was a place of real social art promotion that I know. In that time, maybe we had only the zoom gallery, though we have today. But today we also got a large gallery with the best lightings I’ve ever seen. This is the place where people loose themselves in silence and depth. Even in the photo of 1991, you can see the best lighting outputs of that time… Photographs Section#5 The Auditorium and movie festivals

Auditorium 1991

auditorium 2010 Yes in that time there was an own auditorium of AFD and movie fastivals were also there. Most exiting even that time, the chairs of the auditorum were customized as they can be moved anytime they needed. Now we got a colorful and latest cutomized auditorium where evey Friday evening students comes to enjoy french movies. I’m really unlucky that I couldn’t magange my time to enjoy a movie there till now for my stupid life schedule. But hope to join there soon. Photographs Section#6 Technologies

CESTI, Ms. Myriam 1991

Assistant Director of Pedagogical, Faizul Kabir 2010 (this picture only realtes the office beauty not the work..lol)

This is really something I’m feeling great to share, in 1991; they had CESTI, Ms. Myriam. Who had a DOS mode computer as we can see on the photograph. Now days, uncounted latest computers are there. But in that time a computer meant a lot here. Now we don’t have CESTI. But at least we have the memories of Ms. Myriam. Today we have TV, VCD; even our teachers enter class with their own laptop where all the lessons are prepared. But that time, they used Video tapes and audio tapes for lessons. But the TV was there. Most exciting thing is I found 1 machine in some pictures I’ve never seen. Later on Mr. Zia said, that is Magnetophone (Barthe Edu). That was the player by which they played the audio and video lesions. Most shocking those things appeared from France in that time. Even we have the same thing today in our class but it’s the 2010 edition. Photographs Section#7 Classes

Alliance Française Class room 1991

Theater Class 1991

Violin Class 2010

latin Dance Class 2010

Often people think Alliance Française is place where they can learn French language. They are right but not exactly. Cause if somewhere, we can get the full lunch with a great number of dishes, we can’t think of only the rice. From that time Alliance teaches different types of creative and cultural courses they offer today. Beside French there were theater class, drawing Class, Photography class and may be more I couldn’t know. Now we got several new courses by the grace of time like Latin Dance, western Classical guitar, Violin, Interior.

photography Class 1991, Mr. Mujubur Rhman

photography Class 1991, Mr. Mujubur Rhman

photography Class 2010, Mr. Mujubur Rhman

photography Class 2010, Mr. Mujubur Rhman How will you feel if you left someone 23 years ago in a class room, after travelling the whole world, doing so many things, when you got back, saw the person still standing there with a smile and teaching your children. How you should feel??? Yes!! The person in this picture of 1991 is Mr. Mujibur rahman who’s teaching photography. And in the Picture of 2010, this is same person sitting over there. Teaching Photography… Generation to Generation… since 1987… People may fall in love with Paris or London or New York… they can call these places by their own given name… so who doesn’t allow me to fall in love with this place and call her “May Queen”… she got history, she got beauty, she got wisdom, Knowledge, loyalty, festivity and so many generous and kind children… Time Changes so many things… Everything is not changed here, cause it’s not possible here. Still when you’ll walk through this place you’ll surely feel the footsteps of your Grandpa beside… walking with you… whispering the tales… This is the belief of here… where dream and life walks together…. Even I feel sometime, the dust I’m carrying on my shoes, It can be some filth of those dust laid on the floor of 1991, who knows? Who cares? I care… I care to think like that… & I feel fantasized to think like that… Alliance Française…May Queen….

Library…Alliance Française…


Alliance Française de Dacca- Library view from lawn

Walking through the seaside, I could feel the whisper of the tidy wind, how strong and beautiful they are, & how tiny I’m, simply a human with a dress named “life”…lolz

Yes, the same way I felt when I entered the library of Alliance Française, her library that not only a library, seems more like an ocean, … it’s a place where people falls in illusion, illusion of knowledge, illusion of art… illusion of Française…

A large place where color runs books to books, whole place is vivid with golden illumination where you could find yourself made of gold. And most special, every area is divided in such way that you could find everything very easily, at a time I won’t find the place divided… Yes, it’s true…

I Heard, more than 6,000 books there. As mass of the books are in French but there are books in English and in Bangla too. The multimedia collection of the library has more than 1,100 feature films, documentaries as well as popular children’s animation films (available on DVDs and Videocassettes). The Library has around 600 musical CDs (French and International classical, Pop, Jazz, Traditional etc.). The collection has more than 300 recent and old French Pop, Rock, Reggae and Rap music. The collection includes literary books (novels, poetry and plays), books on social sciences (history, religion, philosophy) and a wide range of books on art, photography and architecture. On a more entertaining note, there are also comics, thrillers and science-fiction books. When it comes to current affairs, you can keep yourself updated with 27 magazines and 4 journals from France, the library is subscribed to Beginners (those who have just started learning French) can choose from the variety of children’s books and a series of books of easy French that comes with audiocassettes and CDs. Children will find comics, storybooks (both in French and in English) etc. (from the website: www.afdacca.org)

Alliance Française de Dacca- Library

The thing attracts me much, the reading table of the library is really somewhere you’d feel like a writer more than a reader. Yes, beside the window a small table, a sweet table lamp, a French Dictionary. On the other side of the window there’s a lawn where green trees dance with the wind blow… I’m sure if you sit there with a pen an paper, you would rather come up with a piece of poem…


Alliance Française de Dacca- Study Table

Even in each & every corner of the library, there’s a photograph or something that relates to art…

Adrien Passelande, A French Teaching Artist

Yes, it’s possible to explore the world by sitting in a four walled room… only if we believe those walls can’t bind our souls. When everyone was busy in gossiping, I saw one tall shadow in front of the door getting closer, & then he entered with a charming shout “Bonsoooir’ like everyday, suddenly everyone got charged & eagerly watching to his face… as the sunflowers move their faces with the new sunrise…that charming shout also kills my tiredness of 9 hours working time that I have before every class…

Adrien Passelande

Our French teacher or a teaching artist…

a tall man in t-shirt, jeans and brown snickers… curly hair, little beard and the most striking white glass in eyes… acts, dances, sings and smiles…

Takes us far away of this tiring world where only imagination stays… & we travel…sometimes in a French shopping mall, or a movie premier, or in a French disco or sometimes to find out the thief in a police station. Lolz… exploring through the French Creators and creations… in French

Even we are not allowed to speak in English or native Bengal… though we are in the very 1st course…

Even though we communicate… in French… because we got the belief that how badly we fall he’s always there to pull us and give the power to walk…

That day, He wrote so many numbers in the board and came to me with two erasers. I was confused when he was asking me to choose one, Blue or Green. I took Green. Lolz… it was a game. He divided us into two groups, Blue and Green. He’s goona tell the numbers in French and we have to erase that. The person who can erase 1st gonna get 1 point for his/her group. It was a really interesting game and main thing is we never feel that we are studying something. He made a colorful world here with us… & I won’t say it’s a little world… cause it’s a new world everyday… with new colors… new ways to walk… new taste… with old friends…

Before joining Alliance, some people told me “French is so tough to learn”.

But you know what I got from Adrien’s teaching style?

French is more ‘acquiring’ than learning. Cause it’s more than a language. It’s an emotion or a feeling that really goes or comes from the deepest part of the heart. May be this line is sounding unusual or like a dreamer. But, Yes!! Whatever you think, here dream and life belongs together… French made that… He made that… & we made that…

Got 1 more lesson in life, a teacher is not that person who teaches us the daily lessons; a teacher is someone who puts a mirror in front of us and guides to find our own that was ever sleeping inside us.

Adrien Passelande…

A French teaching Artist…

Yes!! An inspiration…

Acts, dances, sings and smiles… 🙂

Spring Clean for the May Queen…

Those waters weren’t bothering me, they were poking bellow my jeans but I was really enjoying their babbling. The roads were wet and started to reflect uncountable lights over them as if they are really happy to be kissed by the clouds after long days of winter, & I have 5 minutes walking ways to reach her. I was enjoying my road that takes me to see my May Queen in a rainy day. When I arrived Alliance Française was really looking like sleeping baby, those rain waters made her white skin brighter and the red sheds were glowing in the dawn.

Uuuu…. It makes me wonder…

Those violin students were getting out after their classes, students of so many ages, children, teenagers, adults… even saw one old guy, but the strange thing they were talking with each other such way I wasn’t seemed they got a huge age difference… suddenly I was claiming myself as a stupid… COME ON!! In our class we do the same, we also got students of so many different ages… this is the another belief of Alliance…

Reached 3rd floor and saw my French teacher Adrien Passelande trough the glass, he was taking another class. Somehow his eyes glanced at me & spoke something from there with a smile. I felt somewhere in my heart it marked “Bonjour”, I wrote in my heart the same and send again to him with a smile. He took it and focused again to his class. It was a 5 second event, but this is the way of communication here.

Heart to eyes and eyes to heart…

I reached my class room & nobody was there. I sat alone and really enjoying the time to come my friends. The “tick-tuck” sound of the clock was sounding like its going backward as I looked at the black and white photograph outside…