Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Memorable day of my life

First Published

Few months ago, I went to my native village to see my sick mother. My mother was very much happy to see me. She forgot that she was sick. She was asking me about every body in Dhaka. I told her that all are ok over there. Then she again asked me what I would like to have for dinner. I told her that nothing special is needed for dinner. I then wanted to know from her whether she would like to have something like; fruits or anything. My mother told me that her heart is filled to see me. She needs nothing else.

Any way, I was going to nearby Bazaar to buy some fruits, fish and some other essential commodities. On the way to the bazaar I heard a voice behind me. Some one was calling me. I looked behind and saw an old man whose hair and beard were almost white. He looked like an old man of sixty. He asked me “Kemon acho Rafiq?” (How are you Rafiq?). I said, “Bhalo achi” (I am ok) and I also asked him, “Apni kemon achen?” (How are you?). He said ‘Bhalo’ (ok) in reply. And then he asked me, “Why I am calling him Apni (you).” Actually there is a difference between Apni and Tumi in Bengali; though it is same in English. In Bengali we use “Apni” for some one who are elder and “Tumi” for those who are younger. “Amare chinte paro nai?” (“Couldn’t you recognize me?” he said”). I said, “Na (no), I am sorry.” Then he told that his name is Selim. Still I could not recognize him. After that he told me that I must recognize him if he tell me a story of my childhood. I said, “Please tell me”. He told me, “Just try to remember we used to climb a Rain tree and jump down into the canal water.” Hearing it I remembered a terrific memory of my childhood and also could recognize him. I exclaimed with joy, “Oh my God! You are that Selim who saved my life?” He then said “khushi hoilam je tumi amare chinte percho. Ami tomare bachai nai. Allah tomare bachaiche”. (I am very glad to hear that you have recognized me. I did not save you. The almighty saved you.). I said “Please forgive me, I could not recognize you”. I also said “Shame on me, I forgot you who saved my life.” Then he said, “Eta hotei pare (it can be happen), onek din aager kotha (it was the event of many years ago).”

I remembered what happened that day. I, Selim (my play mate at my childhood) and some others (I can not remember their names) were playing a nice game. We were climbing a Rain tree (beside a canal, in front of our village house) and were jumping down from the high branch of the tree into the canal water. It was my turn, so I was about to jump. But suddenly Selim caught me tightly and said “Laph dis na, niche nouka” (Do not jump; there is a boat down in the canal). I did not see when a boat came under the tree, where we used to jump. I stopped jumping and looked down and was trembling in fear. If I would jump I must got injured seriously or die. Selim saved me from a great danger that day. I embraced him and thanked once again. I then asked him “What happened to you? You look like an old man.” He told me “It’s a long history, I will tell you about it sometimes later”. He told me “Let’s go to a tea stall, I will be happy to have tea with you”. We went to a tea stall and were having tea. At that time a young man of 20/25 years old came to him and said, “Baba (Father), some people are cutting our paddy; we must go to the field”. Then Selim told me “Rafiq kichu mone koris na, Amar ekhon dhan khete jawa dorkar, Ami pore toke shob bolbo (Rafiq never mind, I need to go to my paddy field. I will tell you my story later”. Ami bollam, “Accha jao, Allah Hafez” (I said, ‘ok’ go, God be with you). The next day he came to our house and told about his life. I will tell his story sometimes later.

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