Unspoken Saga (Part-5)

HB Rita
Art & Literature
Unspoken Saga (Part-5)

This story is part of a series:

Unspoken Saga (Part-4)

Unspoken Saga (Part-3)

Unspoken Saga (Part-2)

Unspoken Saga (Part-1)

The story will never end if I talk about my family. In particular, my father, who was the head of the family, had a routine of drinking alcohol. That’s why he died of kidney failure at the age of 59.

However, he did something while he was alive, for which everyone in my birthplace (Narsingdi, Dhaka, Bangladesh) still remembers him.

My father was a Bangladesh Nationalist Party politician, labor leader, lyricist, writer, composer, author, poet, and four times Member of Parliament for Narsingdi-1 constituency. He won the National Award for Song.

There was no arrogance in this simple-minded man who relied on the realities of life. He was accustomed to living a normal life. Possessing exceptional psychological knowledge, my father saw life differently.

Today, I think, without spending money on cakes or expensive restaurants on my birthday, the way I feel comfortable spending time with the homeless and buying their food, these traits I inherited from my father at birth. From a young age, I saw my father feels comfortable spending time with the homeless, day laborers, farmers, and rickshaw pullers than the famous people. He did not leave the country to come to America for advanced treatment even with terminal illness kidney failure. He loved his country very much.

Although I live in America, I love my homeland. Even from afar, I cannot forget Bangladesh, an emerging country. Bangladesh is a country of class, inequality, segregation, abuse of power, corruption, anarchy are all happening in this country. Some live a luxurious life, and some die without food. The medical crisis is intense. So I  try to do something even a little bit. I run a non-profit organization called Thinking the Humanity for the country’s poor people. There we distribute clothes, food, winter blankets, medical expenses for the needy through the organization as much as possible.

All this is I do for my peace, which my father used to do. I also have one more artistic quality of my father. That is the practice of literature and the rule of writing. During his lifetime, he wrote many poems, stories, musical plays, essays, plays, and songs in different styles. Information poetry and mystic music were my father’s favorite. He was a listed lyricist and composer of Bangladesh Television and Radio. He founded the Talent Artists Group. Towards the end of his life, my father established the ‘Shamsuddin Ahmed Ishaq Music Academy.’ However, my father was a man who loved politics. Yet spiritual pursuits and literary pursuits were the objects of his heart.

He is one of the people who have crossed the path of life with justice—never compromised with injustice. His policy was strict.

I should share an incident! Many years ago. One day my martyred brother Masud and my living brother Nasir went to have fun and stole coconuts from another tree. For that crime, my father tied their hands and left them in the courtyard on a summer day for few hours. Their bodies were burning with intense heat. He still did not forgive. Eventually, my grandmother pleaded to save her grandchildren. The punishment for stealing coconuts for two children was tragic. But after that miserable punishment, those brothers never touched the property of others.

Needless to say, although my father was a high-profile popular political leader in the city, he never corrupted the opportunity for power. One bottle of foreign liquor was enough to bribe him to give any job to others. Although some people used to pay for the signing of a big project, he went from house to house in the area and distributed the money to the needy older people.

Today I see that people do not make a mistake to take advantage of power. My father had a red passport. He could have taken our twelve brothers and sisters to any developed country in the world and settled them at any time. But he did not.

By the way, where I live today is the Queen’s Bureau in New York. And there is a world of social media for Bengali(from Bangladesh), where they struggle to make the best of themselves. Some people do not hesitate to verbally and emotionally torture others to strengthen their position if necessary. And one such Queens, I was also a victim of the persecution of a Bengali poet in New York. He tried to humiliate me in the community by calling my father a Razakar, in other words, a war criminal and a grocer, as he could not accept my wanderings in the literary world. He was accompanied by another colleague of mine, a writer from the same newspaper where I am also a journalist and columnist outside of my professional life.

One of the traditional traits of a class of people in our Bengali society or community is that they suffer from inferiority due to the success of others. They believe that only they should have all the achievements and have success in life. No one else can climb them to the high peak of success. It is essential to appreciate, encourage and help others reach their destination, which we rarely see in our community or society. Citizens of different world countries came to America and reached the pinnacle of success with unity with equality. But in this case, we are far behind.

We try to belittle others as the only way to elevate ourselves is what defines our inferiority complex. Although experimentally, it has not yet been identified as a mental illness, it is undoubtedly an unhealthy mental disorder.

Psychologists today believe that inferiority complex includes childhood experiences, adult experiences, personality traits, and cultural perceptions. Inferiority not only harms us but also harms everyone around us. The development of this problem can lead us to mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. So we need to think about it seriously.

From my perspective, many people suffer from this problem, but they do not understand it. Or it can be said that even if we know, we don’t take it seriously. But by doing so, others are mentally damaged. I think it is better to stay away from such people to keep them mentally healthy.

Anyway, I was talking about my father. My father taught me a lot. I have learned from him the art of fighting with courage even in various adversities. At the same time, I have learned the importance of living with freedom and rights.

I remember my father often used to wake us up in the middle of the night. All our brothers, sisters, and family members were forced to wake up with the delicious food and cakes of the restaurant, and he used to feed us with sleepy eyes. My father used to say, “You need to eat. No one will feed you like that without me.”

There is no father for me today. In this way, no one cares and feeds me with love. When I went to the country at the last moment of my father, I gave up hope that I would listen to his voice. But he spoke. He said a lot in broken words.

In 2005 I was in Bangladesh for 19 days. I was hugging my father all the time. I used to scratch his back with nails and massage his feet. I used to walk in the yard of the garage holding him.

I had eight months baby on my lap at that time.

I used to see tears in my father’s eyes. He couldn’t say anything, but he realized that he was leaving. How pathetic!

Towards the end, my father used to look at me with helpless eyes. The man who once had the violin harmony in his hand, the melody of Lalon in his voice, the whole brain of politics, human rights, the leader of the city in the establishment of rule, the head of the family, suddenly became lifeless. He would rush for water, but He was forbidden to drink too much water.

When I go to Bangladesh, I go to my father’s museum. I clean his dusty chair, bed, cradle, musical instruments, his writing pen, thousands of music-poetry-drama diaries with my hands. I think my father is here. I can smell his skin everywhere; I can feel his existence around in that room.

My father also had the wrong side. As a family person, he was arrogant and outraged. He loved to make all the family decisions, and everyone had to obey. Being a political leader, he could not spend much time in the family. Not the family; he was more focused on his political life and art-music, literary life. My mothers had no complaint about this. ‘Mothers?’ I will tell you why I said ‘Mothers’ at another time.

The departure of some people cannot be accepted. They leave, but somewhere in life, ideally, they keep a subtle impression before leaving. Every moment, it seems, there is a great emptiness in the heart. A painful leak has formed. And with that leak, in the middle of the heart, in the space, sadness enters at a strange moment. Life then became more poisonous. Helplessness pervades all feelings.

I think if the man could wait a few more days! If the beloved man would come back because of some miraculous power!

Life has never lost me. Only in this one place, I am helpless. I’m devastated.

I miss my father. He is a massive void in my life and ours!

Stay tuned and happy reading.

HB Rita. Poet and Journalist.

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