A strange thing has been going around in my head for a few days. That is death. Who will react after death is spinning in the head. Not that death is an uncommon occurrence. Death is natural. Survival is unusual. It’s amazing that I’m still alive. Every day is like a bonus. How many people my age have gone! After 60, the procession started. How many friends, relatives, acquaintances have gone! I see for myself how one reacts after the death of another. See how you react. What will be the reaction after my death? I can’t see it but I can guess. My imagination is very good. So I can imagine how long the life of mourning will be after the death of people like me. Some deaths leave a scar on the mind. Not easily forgotten. Like my mother’s death, my sister Saju’s death, my elder brother’s death, his daughter Maury’s death. In fact, the death of one with whom one has more attachment is more painful. Memories hit. I am a very memorable person. Small events become extraordinary and memorable.
For example, the death of Humayun Ahmed gave me a lot of pain. Why he left so soon! He had much more to give to Bengali literature. Such as Bichitra editor Shahadat Chowdhury. I have never seen a modern editor like him. The death of Vashid Khan Munnu was painful for us. Syed Lutful Haque’s death was painful. I miss his ha ha ha smile when I go to the press club. The death of some of my friends also made me blue with pain. Like playwright Mohan Khan died recently. Makes no sense! My friend Mostak Ahmed, Jalal Mallik, Saeed Bharsa and many others have died in the list. The death of some of my relatives was also painful for me. Like my older brother-in-law. The man loved me a lot. My father-in-law’s death is also painful for me. The death of some elders in our house is also the same. Some of my loved ones died abroad too. Such as the poet Iqbal Hasan. Many have left during covid as well. Since then, death seems to have become more common. I used to see so many deaths every day that I didn’t even get time to mourn. We were all ready for death, when the devil would come and attack. I remember my loved ones every day. I pray for the peace of their souls.
If I die, what will anyone suffer for me! I want to leave quickly without suffering from illness or grief, without hurting anyone. Better in sleep. I will see the face of my beloved two children before death! What I hope will be fulfilled! I want to lie in my father’s grave. I don’t want my grave to be in Canadian soil at all. But I don’t know if my hope will be fulfilled. Nothing is known. Everything is uncertain. Ork, Aritri doesn’t do Facebook, Jasmine is not that active on Facebook, never posts anything so no one will know quickly if I die. Relatives will know. Through them others can know. My facebook friends will write regularly innalillah..rajeun when they know. Sabai will not write. Some will copy and paste. compliance I do too. Those who know me, have met, befriended will suffer a little more. People with whom I have worked at various times will also suffer. Especially my bichitra friends. Those whom I have hurt may judge me. I did not harbor anger towards anyone. I have apologized to everyone for my mistake long ago. Those who used to read my writing regularly will feel a little bad. You will think that the man is gone! I can not read the text!
Relatives will come home if you die in Toronto. Jasmine will cry. They will comfort him. Soon, funeral processions and burials will begin in the mosque. Some would like to see the shrouded face. Who knows what it will look like after death! Brothers and sisters in Barisal, relatives will call and get news. He will sigh that he is gone. Some will shed a couple of tears. One day prayers will be done in the mosques where I used to donate. One or two newspapers of the country may have news in a single column on the middle page. Newspapers I regularly write for in Toronto or America may print news on the front or back page. Maybe tell the news on TV. Guess everything. That may not be the case. One day my friends in this beloved city may hold a memorial service. There will be some memories of me. There will not be much talk about writing. There will be more personal memories. Everyone’s face will be relatively serious, there will be an air of mourning. If Jasmine is present at that event, she will sit quietly with a veil on her head, listening to everyone, women will surround her. At the end of the three-hour ceremony, everyone will go home as usual. Mourning does not last long or long.
Jasmine will not go to work for a day or two. Relatives will send food for the first day or two. The Ark will suffer greatly but will not collapse. The older child says he will be strong, stand by his mother and sister, which he usually does. Khatija and Saad will suffer. We will think that the person loved us a lot. Jasmine will be released from the daily monotonous routine life. No one will worry about food anymore, no need to cook fresh every day. Don’t eat this, don’t eat that. All in all, you will have a kind of comfortable life. Long habits will change. One day everything will be normal. People could not live if they could not forget grief. Jasmine will also forget the grief. He will laugh again, travel, cook his favorite food, sometimes he will suddenly remember that the person has burned a lot throughout his life. Now there is no one to tease. After a few days, my collection of books or the books I wrote will be removed from the shelf. I can guess where they will be. Who else carries the torch! My used clothes, shoes and sandals will be donated to the Salvation Army. Will remove my computer, hard disk, writing table, notebook. Unpublished writings will never see the light of day again.
The death anniversary will come after a year. It will come every year. Until then, will anyone else remember! I don’t think so. People I was with on Facebook will subconsciously hit the unfriend button. Those who had my phone number will delete it. Facebook has been told to delete my account after my death. There will be no more new photo posts on Instagram. Sites where I used to write regularly like BCCB, Pencil, Poem World, Bengali Times, Basbhumi will not have any new posts. The papers in which I regularly write will never be published. One day everyone will forget but Google will never forget. By pressing the search button, name, identity, picture will appear. And one that will never be forgotten is Aritri. Aritri will suffer the most! The chest will burst into tears but will not express. Don’t let anyone see. Restrained nature. He will cry and cry. When you come home, never say, “Dad, make tea.” Who loves daughters more than father!
I conclude with Arunabh Sarkar’s two lines of poem,
There is no such thing as going
All come back