"I to die, you to live, which is better only God knows."
Dear friends and colleagues of Cafe Mango, I am sad to announce that Cafe Mango will remain close until further notice. The recent incident at Holey Artisan Bakery and Restaurant, has pushed all neighborhood based cafes and restaurants to be shut down on days notice. As an architect and citizen of this city, I find the decision is premature and not rational. In a city like Dhaka, places like Cafe Mango and others act as public living rooms. They offer refuge to those who wish to take a break from the the immensely disturbed urban Dhaka. To take such rare and few spaces from the city dwellers, does more harm than not. I may get by for the privilege that I have as an architect but I cannot stop thinking of those who have been working hard to run places like Mango and others. To snatch their livelihoods on a snap is unbearable. Where do they go and how do they support, not only themselves but also their families? My manager, the young father to be has yet to figure out what lays ahead of him in August, the month his new born is scheduled to be a part of our world, a crazy world for now. Also the other members at Mango and alike, how do they put together their loose ends, which are already difficult to begin with.
16 years ago, year 2000, I have opened my very first Cafe Mango in this city with one primary objective on my mind and that is, there are all these left over corners in this city, which could be turned into something we can all be proud of and be a part of but truth must prevail, they are not required in the end. As if we the city dwellers can do without any of these civil acts and pursue our individual gains with out a moment to ponder. If we do not take the time to find out what is right for Dhaka and her public life or pay no attention to all the wrong doings, then I rest my case. If the journey stops here for Cafe Mango, I would like to say, it was a great ride.