Bangladesh is in the labyrinth of an autocratic rule. Some call it Bangladesh Krishak Sramik…..
This story is part of a series:
The phrase ‘It is too late’ itself shakes our egoism, reveals our insecurity, the lack of confidence. We reconcile ourselves in our understanding. We forget the journey to a new path to success, never too late. At least for me.
I was born in a cultured family and society. It is difficult for people growing up in these families and cultures, especially girls, to be open-minded. There is a limit to their progressive thinking, construction, thinking, change, creativity from birth. A strong wall is build up in front of them. Many cannot go beyond the top of the wall. Others have criticized those who did or do.
It is a matter of courage to be exceptional; confidence and morale to reach specific goals are needed. I think it was in me. Travel in a new way, never ‘too late.’ I was born, I saw what it was, but I did not leave any new creation, construction, change, what it is?
People are changeable; everyone knows. But how can society, culture, history be change?
That day, I was a young woman who was trampling on a century of family values, socio-cultures to come out, leaving all the responsibilities of the world. I threw away all the love, hate, compromise of the world behind infatuation. Gambling was enough. I lost every move. Why should I hold the unhappy relationship or adapt it where there is no love, no faith?
Kevin Carter also died one day in a famine in Sudan, unable to save the poor skeletal child, but what a surprise! I had no remorse for not being able to keep my family that day. It is because I wanted to change.
I told him one last time, ‘Why are you hitting? Love me. That is what was in the document agreement. ‘
Did he realize? Who doesn’t know how to create sexual hissing sounds in cold midnight, how he will understand the definition of love?
I made a lot of compromises. Yet why did the man never come to terms with me? I do not know. No matter how carefully I tied the needle threads in survival materials, he was only familiar with my sick-index finger that is useless today.
That day I was a unique young teenager. Just a newly blooming red rose. No! Roses cannot be called; roses have no fragrance of their own. It can be called Gardenia. It looks apparent. Yes! I was a gardenia. I did not even fly with the wings like free birds. I had no throbbing in my heart for someone, the trembling of holding someone’s hands, the rotation of gravity in the eyes, and the sharing of red velvet cake on the lips; I did not get anything. On the contrary, not seeing love in the open sky, instead kite flying, how much can a girl understand the definition of love?
I remember when I would go out to play a folk game called ‘Iching-biching’ with my friends in an open field next to the house, Grandma would come running. She would call my mother and say, ‘look! What your daughter is doing with two leg gaps in the stupid game! Take care of your daughter; else you can’t get her married to any man.’
My innocent mother used to blacken her face when she heard my grandmother’s words. I didn’t understand that time the reason for Grandma’s warning, but I would have accumulated both legs, as well, without realizing it.
Today, when I understand what my grandmother used to say, why, or what she used to say, I get angry. Not to mention Grandma; she was my favorite woman. My anger is about planting the seeds of dirty culture in the brains of millions of teenage young women before they even started life. As soon as they gave birth to a daughter, they would be taking in an attempt to keep the vagina of the daughter carefully for an unknown man. What a disgrace!
On that day, I was the first girl to break the rules of the family. I was alone that day. I was burning alone with extreme heat; eventually, I was soaking my feet in the rainwater.
My mother said, think again. The mighty brothers bowed their heads in the society because of my decision. Neighbors said I would have accepted! Ah! What a headache for the community!
The girl who didn’t know how to catch the Queens Seven trains that day fell at the wrong station several times. Next to her were two innocent children. Surprisingly, they grabbed their mother’s hand and found their assurance of survival. I was sob and crying, holding my two children tightly in my chest. It just seemed like a long way to go alone, ensures their safety. I was getting ready for it. I have to be able to.
‘Mom! Where is Dad? Why doesn’t Dad come?’
They grabbed my hand and returned in panic. I never told my kids that the irresponsible father had run away from them.
I used to say, ‘Dad went for a walk.’
At one point, he wanted to come back. By that time, I have learned how to stand with my own feet. It doesn’t seem very meaningful to me. It is foolish to believe the man who once threw his wife and two little boys with lots of debt!
As we know, stunned, helpless people still fight. They fight on their morale. So did I. My children’s four arms were my most potent weapons. I fought with that weapon, sometimes tied around my waist, sometimes wrapped around my chest. It was painful, but I resisted.
The sun rises in the eastern sky every morning due to the rotation of the earth. It illuminates the world. Again, in the evening, as usual, the sun covers the ground in darkness and leaves. In the gloomy twilight, sometimes, it seemed that would not see the light again. But there is no way to deny the eternal truth. As the sun goes on, it informs the world that I am forever young.
So, no days was the last day of my life. Every day I start anew, not to illuminate the earth in the light of the sun, but to enlighten myself and my family.
The fact is, with the rotation of the earth, people are also running wherever they can. As soon as our dream breaks, we assume that there is no such thing as tomorrow. Wherever it ends, there is a beginning, and that’s how I started. On the way to the destination, many times, my legs shattered with pain. However, then I found a different path. That path was not clear, transparent, not easy for my children and me. Obstacles have tried to block the way many times. I still stood up.
Finally, my mother said, there is a long way to go! Can you?
I said I must be able to.
Today, after so many years, I still see my mother upset. Having unbearable pain crawling on my body made me feel like a stranger to my mother. She cries. Then the same question, can you make it dear?
This time also, I say, ‘I must be able to.’
I decided to go on a long way that day with my two baby and my mother,
You might think, Oh! It’s ok; many women do that!
No! It was not ok for me or in my community where I live with various obstacles. First, in an expensive city like New York 12 years ago, it was not easy for a Bengali woman to afford a family of four. Then, getting a divorce and being a single mom is still not ok for our community. They talk shit.
I have mentioned ‘Bengali women’ because I have a lot to say about Bengali women’s rights, independence, establishment, success, and achievement. Some of us may move ahead as single mothers because we are in a foreign country. After all, we have the opportunity to make a living here, and our social conflict here is a little less than others. Here we can move on with freedom, but for those who still live in Bangladesh, survival as a single mother is challenging in all aspects, family, social, financial, emotional. Yet, the financial crisis as a single mother exists everywhere.
Even for those who work in New York City at the minimum wage, managing a family as a single mother is very difficult. There are very few women here who have completed higher education and got advanced jobs in foreign lands. But I was one of them. I finished school in New York, so I didn’t have to suffer because of the financial crisis. I was ok, and I would say it was also a powerful weapon for me to make decisions or fight.
I will discuss this in the next episode why many women in our society cannot make decisions, why still women do not dare to fight.
Stay tuned and happy reading.