Dhaka     Sunday   29 November 2020

Story: Independence after a bloodbath

Aishwarjyo Roy || risingbd.com

Published: 15:40, 4 October 2020  
Story: Independence after a bloodbath

Aishwarjyo Roy

They say, ‘We are not worthy. We are the victims.’ I say, ‘No more. Maybe it’s time we should brace ourselves. It’s time to forget what happened. It’s high time we should raise our voice.’

I just started walking on the busy road. The road was quite noisy, a little bit uncomfortable but it was okay for me. I am looking for Rahim bhai (brother).

He is not my biological brother. I guess he is more than that. I used to play with him when I was too young. He used to be my best friend too. I heard the news of his death today.

It didn’t shake me. It’s in 1971. Death became frequent news for us. They were taking everyone they had been looking for. Everyone was panicked. Agitated!

Everything is pretty obvious now. Either you will survive or you will die. My ma (mother) says, ‘Before quit, try. Before dying, live’. I won’t let her down. So, finally, I have provoked Jashim to join me. Jashim is dumb, weird but at least he is loyal. I and Jashim started to work together secretly. Yes! We started executing. At first, Jashim was terrified with my aggression. Then he became used to it. Gradually he is becoming like me.

A little girl was there, standing behind the pole. She was frightened. Jashim was talking with the girl. He was trying to make the situation normal. But eventually, it is 1971. Nothing is normal. The girl seemed so beautiful. She was wearing a green frock with a red scarf. She looked just like my ma.

They torture us, they break us down. We are the victims now. 1971 is a tragedy which is irremovable. It won’t erase. The stains will remain. Independence is gone now. Voices are muted. Jashim and I was never supposed to work together, but now we all are at the same place. I am not sure whether this will work. I don’t know whether good times will come. But I dream. I dream about something so cheerful. I dream of a day when the conquest of happiness will be much easier.

I am swallowing, choking. It’s six-thirty. Where is Jashim? I can’t find him. The mission has gone in vain. They have found us. I guess I am injured. But I am worried about something else. Where is he? He was supposed to be with me. And where is the little girl? I can’t find her. Oh! Mother! There is a flag there. Its’ a green-red flag! My ma has given it to me. I have kept it in my trunk.

I guess Jashim have found it. He is holding the flag. The girl snatched the flag from him and ran to me. She put my head on her lap. I am happy. I am free from today. I kissed on the forehead of the girl.

‘You are my love, Ma. I couldn’t save you. But I tried. I kept your words Ma. You will be free very soon. My mates will do it. I love you’. And hence Independence is achieved after a bloodbath.

The writer is currently studying Computer Science and Engineering at American International University- Bangladesh

Dhaka/Mahfuz/AI


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