The conversation was interrupted when a truck hit our CNG as we were sitting in traffic. The truck driver jolted us forward slightly when he became too eager to move forward. Our driver gets out to confront the other driver. Mind you, I was told at orientation, at my security debriefing, by veteran foreigners and locals alike: if you find yourself in a traffic accident, get away as soon as possible. It’s quite frequent that a mob will beat the driver who caused the accident. Luckily, this wasn’t a huge accident, only a dent, and we weren’t the cause. But our driver caused a scene as he shouts to the other driver.
Remember, we are in the middle of traffic, and it’s starting to move. It comes to a halt not only because we are blocking the flow of vehicles, but because now every driver, passenger, pedestrian must watch. This isn’t the rubbernecking I’m used to, where drivers slow down to crane their neck to witness an accident: this is dead stop, wide-eyed and mouth-agape at the two men grab each other’s shirt collar and flail their arms around in menial jabs. Gia steps out of the CNG along with other drivers to break apart the fight as Sumor yells at the driver to get a move on.
Finally, we enter at Bashundhara City, the eight-floor mall. It’s claimed to be the biggest in South Asia and the 12th largest in Asia. There are 2500 retail stores and food kiosks of both traditional and Western-style alike. The movie doesn’t start for another 2 ½ hours so we wander around a bit. Gia and Sumor were uber-big brothers and didn’t let me out of their sight. We entered into a Western clothing outlet called Esctasy and there were little cocktail dresses that I have never seen a Bangladeshi woman wear. I don’t know who buys those clothes. Certainly not me because I don’t need to get anymore attention.
We sat at a table to chat and we talked about the dating scene in Bangladesh. American pre-teen dates are much more audacious than standard Bangla dating. Each of them have had a ‘lady friend,’ but ‘many communication problems’ ended it. Each question I asked, they became more red in the face, but I’m a nosey Nelly. I asked Sumor how serious it was, and he said, “I touch her.” He read the confusion on my face, and asked Gia in Bangle how to say what he meant. He meant, “I was touched by her emotionally, he really liked her.” After that was cleared up, I asked if they will choose their own wife. Gia said his father would let him choose for love, while Sumor said that his father wants to pick his wife.
After a few hours of bumming around the mall, we bought our tickets and some snacks for the movie. The seats are assigned as we sat in the middle of one of the higher rows. Soon the movie began. It was called Monpura. In short, the main character Sonai is sent to live on a deserted island, Monpura, because his uncle framed him for a murder that his mentally ill cousin committed. Sonai meets Pori, a beautiful island girl in the rivers of Bangladesh and they fall in love, which consists of holding hands, no kissing. However, Sonai’s uncle finds Pori beautiful and arranges with Pori’s father to have her married to the mentally ill cousin/murderer. The police arrest Sonai for the murder he didn’t commit, but is released. He gets to his uncle's house to rescue Pori to find that she poisioned herself because the family lied that Sonai was killed in prision. Sonai and his broken heart row to the middle of the river, drop the oar and drift to starvation...
I almost cried. Women’s rights, man! Gia and Sumor helped translate though most of the time I could understand from the acting and the few words I know. I thought the cinematography was well done, it certainly made me want to visit a river village. After the movie ended, we jumped on a bus back to Bonani. My first time on a bus. But, for 15 minutes, it was stuck in traffic – at 9:50pm. So Sumor hailed a taxi and we sped through the streets home. Gia assured me as we left the theatre, “Do not worry about your security, we will make sure you get home safely!” And they did :)