An open Letter
How is your health? How is Abba doing? Heard he has changed a lot. Also doing great at his new business. Are big brothers coming to visit this year? I made you cry a lot. Didn’t I Amma? When I ran away from Narail. Don’t worry. Your little son is on his feet now. My boss is the kindest person on Earth. I hope to visit you this Eid with my fiancé.
It is over 16 years now last time I saw your faces. Only met Selim while he was leaving for Malaysia from Dhaka airport 5 years ago. Did not even know when Iasir went to Singapore until then. Selim seemed afraid. Said, labor work is very hard. Iasir is doing inhumane work for some little money. I hope their hard work pays off one day. Funny thing. I barely remember Abba’s face. Still Amma, I miss you the most. I remember that caring face every night before going to bed. Amma, I still remember your sweet smile and your frowns. Heard you got very old. Your sweet cheeks have fallen low. But know that, you will always be the most beautiful lady to me.
I was just a 13 years old boy when I ran away. Abba recently went to Singapore as construction labor. With the little money Abba sent, we could barely afford our lively hood. Sometimes it took over 2-3 months to get the money. You were still ambitious. Never seen the fake smile to ware off your face. Not even when were hurt. You often ate only once day. But you were always worried whether one of us had two proper meals or not. You worked at almost every houses in the village. So, you could afford our tuition fees and uniforms. To tell the truth, I only liked math and science to impress you. Not for the subjects itself. To see your beautiful smile, I gave my all to come first in my classes. Amma, why did you never share your sorrow with me? Why you only cried by the pond, under the Neem tree at south after we have fallen asleep? Amma, trust me. I never heard you cry. But watching your tears fall down your cheek in the moonlight used to surge up tides in my heart.
It was year 2000. Abba had not sent money for 6 months. My 8th grade final exam was near. Teachers were expecting I would get the education stipend as the first student from that village. You were also excited when you heard the news first time. But as the days passed by, times got harder with no money. You couldn’t buy me the books. Also, how could I ask for the money? When no food in our bellies and your health condition. You couldn’t work. So, Iasir and Selim both dropped out of school to provide for the family. My exam was within 2 weeks. With a feeling shame, I asked you for some money for the exam registration and books. Something got into you and you snapped like never before. “Go earn your own if you need it so bad!” I could see, a cloud of regret suddenly covered your face. But my ego! I couldn’t take it. I was so foolish! I just ran to the train station and took the first train to Dhaka with the little money I had. I never even looked back, when you were calling my name. You were too sick to run after foolish boy. Amma, I am feeling so guilty while writing this.
I was lost in Dhaka. Didn’t know what to do. Wondering here and there for odd jobs. Living on the streets. Educational knowledge got me into better jobs at industries. Amma, I gave my best at every place. Just like, I never forgot smile back even when times were hard. One day, I met Hossain sir on the bus. My manner and adequate impressed him. Offered me to work for him at his house. Even he was rich, he seemed a very nice person. I started working at his house. I was only 16. So, he asked if I could count. Then, he promoted me as Pion. I would buy groceries for their family. Amma, I never misplaced a single taka. My honesty and integrity son Hossain sir’s trust. One day, he took me to his office in his car. Told me, “Arafat, watch me closely. Soon, I want you to drive me to work every day. I trust you as my own son.” Amma, I teared up. I promised to put my heart into it. Right after I took my license from BRTC. Sir, took me to the car shop and choice a car of my own! It was the best day of my life! I chose Toyota X-Corrolla. It costed 27 lacs and was the best car of that time! Till that day, I worked for his as his driver. When asked to know how much salary I wanted. I replied as always, just food and shelter is enough for me. He still gives 200 taka gas money every day to take a drive alone with the car anywhere I want. I respect this man with my life. He fed me with what he had and raised me as one of his own. Sir’s Ammajan is looking for a suitable for me now.
Amma, I can never thank you enough for everything you taught me. Always encouraging to think positive. You have built me as the virtuous man I am now. Your doya was always with me. Please forgive me for what I have done in the past. I wish to bring you Dhaka to live with me. Please grant my request. Take care.
Your choto khoka