Hang out at the cafe house!


October 24, 2013

Anondo, Labonno, Yasharjo, Shorno, Shaibal and Prema. Six teenagers. Friends since childhood. At teen they became inseparable. If don’t see each other for morning till evening, if they don’t chat with each other feel like the day was useless! Have adda (chat) while coming back from school after whole day, again meet until the dusk. Talk and talk! Till the dusk just talk and talk and laugh! Sometimes play with the younger ones. Or walk on the Green Motihar’s long road and talk! Never ending talk! These good students must sit at the front in the classes of serious teachers, subjects. After finishing studies and class works, they would listen to the teachers lectures very attentively. Whenever the teacher gets distracted, they start giving tiny pieces of papers with funny comments to each other! Nobody would understand what’s going on!

After the school, we caught tiny fishes by hand in pond with friends! Sometimes by hands and sometimes with the lower part of the dress! Then freed those fishes. Got an idea, so dug a hole at the back yard of Shorno’s house. Filled with water and put those fishes. In summer went to the mango garden and climbed up on the mango trees! Stole mangoes. Sometimes the guards came and said, “Apa (sister) please get down. I will lose my job.” Sometimes even stole from other friend’s house! When a bit older started cycling. At that time girls didn’t ride on cycles. Whole high school and college this went on, started from at the end of middle school. In college (11th and 12th grades are college, British system) six were divided in two groups! Anondo, Shoibal and Shorno went to the college at the downtown. Labonno, Yasharjo and Prema stayed at the school which was extended to college in that year, because of their parents’ decision! Sometimes those three waited at the bus stop for the other three. Then the adda (talk) started!

They made up their own version of famous Manna Dey’s (Famous Indian Bengali singer) famous song “Coffee houser addata” (The gathering at the coffee house)! Labonno was Moidul, journalist. Yasharjo could draw beautiful pictures, she was Nikhilesh. Prema was very beautiful in the friends’ eyes, she was Sujata. Even though she didn’t like the beautiful part! Getting a rich husband because of her beauty, hurt her feminist spirit even at that age! Anondo had the attitude of poets but she used to call her Roma Roy. Because Roma became mental patient after ditched for love! She used to think of herself a little bit crazy! Shoibal and Shorno were the quiet ones among those!

After finishing college (11th and 12th grade), Anondo, Labonno and Yashoraj went to abroad for studying. Two went to the same country. Those who stayed in the counter, two of them studied at the same university but in different departments. Prema went to another place but in the same city. Friendship between Prema, Labonno and Shaibal was since their birth, infant ages! With others started at elementary school. So Prema became lonely! She started spending time with Shoibal. Walked in the late afternoons till dusk. And some weekends spend time some time with Shorno. Sometimes got letters or news from other three.

Time goes on. Everybody’s friends list added new names. But deep in mind stays the childhood playmates, teenage friends! Life changed, country changed, many things! Very quiet Shorno got abusive husband. But for short time. She found new path in very short time! She is happy now. But that abusive husband didn’t give her the autistic son! “Will never get married” saying Shorno got married first! She is happy and doing well at her work. But don’t draw pictures! Labonno is very busy with her life, don’t have any time to read anything! The person whom she thought as a gentleman and married turned out to have very ugly mind! She took many years to be brave as Shorno! Didn’t marry again though. She is fighting alone. Shoibal is doing well. But for some unknown reason she is keeping away herself from others. All of them think, did I do anything wrong?! Can all friends do same mistake at the same time? Nobody knows! Very active Anondo is fighting with her inner self! The disease was there for many years, but nobody noticed! Prema didn’t show off her beauty, married her long time love interest. Got everything like Sujata. But she turned out not to be Sujata but Amol! Life didn’t give her break! Amol’s poems never got published anywhere, her life is like that! Often she thinks when she will be turned into De Souza from Amol!

House!

October 21, 2013

Weather is surprisingly different! It’s Fall now. Everywhere seeing the dazzling colors of the leaves! Maroon, dark red, orange, golden, yellow! It should drizzle now. But it’s not here. Temperature is above normal. It’s because of global warming. Even though enjoying the weather, in my mind feeling guilty!

I saw fall for the first time while staying in Canada for short time while my Dad was in his graduate school. I was just seven then. Many years later saw fall again while living in Tokyo. Specially fall in Nikko, was amazing! Then in Indiana! Silicon Valley’s weather is almost same all year round. Fall isn’t that much visible. While living in Massachusetts saw fall there, New Hampshire’s, Vermont’s and other places of the East Coast. Now seeing the West Coast’s. Amazing! It’s mind-blowing! Also same time feeling a bit depressed. After several days leaves will start to fall. Leaves fall and I feel losing time from life! Depression plays hide and seek in a positive minded person like me!

Eight years back we signed for our first house just two weeks after we moved here. Only few houses were left to be built very near of Deepto’s school. We didn’t look for any house. We didn’t buy house anywhere we lived before. I was searching for a child friendly community for my son. Even though according to this place our house is not too big. It’s a medium size, the sales agent told us! In my mind I said it’s big for three of us. The design of the house is European style. This isn’t common in this country. There is a porch to pass through to go to the garage. The porch reminds me of houses in Bangladesh! Inside is also European style. Outside color is similar to the mud colored houses in the villages of Bangladesh!

Those who comes for the first time to our house gets surprised. Thinks, how could I brought so many decorative things from Bangladesh! Some says look like I am in Aarong! Some says it’s a museum of Bangladeshi handicrafts! I buy not only from Aarong but also from so many places including street vendors! Gave gifts from Bangladesh to countless non-­Bangladeshi people. There are very few places to compare with the varieties of hand crafts, art works of Bangladesh. Have some hand crafts, artworks from Japan and also of Native Americans. After my second lung surgery time to time I think what Mizan and Deepto will do with those things! I don’t have a daughter or a sister to help! They will be on great trouble! It will be hard for them to throw those things also to keep! Why did I collect so much?! Once I told to a very close person of mine this. She tried not to cry and said, don’t think this.

Deepto wants to take AP courses in high school. The high school in our area has IB program. We have to change the house! Don’t see other option. I am not in favor of private schools. All are some kind of religion based. And also those who go there know that they are privileged ones of the society. There is a big chance of becoming snobs. I am not saying that everybody is, and will be, like that. But I don’t want to experiment. I have seen some bad examples. Also the person who is being raised by the thought that religion is totally a personal inner thing, it doesn’t go with the ideology to send him to private schools. Must have to change the house! People will be surprised seeing that with my fight how we could think of changing (buying and selling houses) house!

The work isn’t that easy. I am looking for a smaller house. This would be a bit hard. These days new houses are big. May be have to buy old house. It has to be done before the new school year starts. The easiest option is to send him to private school. Or buy a big house. Both don’t go with my ideology. So have to walk on the hard way! Search for a house!