May 25, 2013 | 12:04 PM (BD Time)
25 May, 2013 Saturday
Poet and lady
Abu Bakar Siddique:
The telephone rang. A female voice could be heard enquiring,
'Is Mr. M.D. here?'
'You have made a mistake. It's not a number of any offices. This is a home.'
'Is this located at the model town of city?
'Sorry, please don't mind. The dialling was wrong.'
'It's all right. Sometimes it happens like that.'
Novelist Mr. Iraj hanged off the telephone and concentrated his mind on writing. Mr. Iraj also composes poems. People like his poetic verses. Today he has composed a new one, but the last two lines are not coming down to his satisfaction. He is trying again and again for the appropriate finishing.
The telephone rang again. Mr. Iraj answered; the same female voice could be heard. Uttering a number she asked,
'Is this the number?'
Her asked number is almost same as that of Mr. Iraj; only the middle digit is different.
'Whom do you want to talk with?' Mr. Iraj wanted to know.
'Please dial your number correctly,' he said, 'this is a wrong number'.
'Sorry to bother you, if you don't mind can I talk to you?' Came the reply.
'What do you like to talk?' Mr. Iraj could not resist questioning.
'Say, what's your profession? Service or business?'
No, I do nothing of that sort.'
Then how do you meet the expense for your livinghood?'
'Creator is very kind to me.'
'May be that you have properties, which earn you a lot sitting almost idle.'
'I have no such properties. Without hard work I don't earn also.'
'That means you do something.'
'Actually I do something to earn money. Why do you insist me to tell all those? What's your identity? Who are you?' Mr. Iraj wanted to know.
'I reside in a posh area of the city. Everyone here knows me by my name. My husband is a renowned rich person. If I say his name you may recognise him. But 1 don't want that.'
Mr. Iraj became perplexed at her answer. He was thinking what to say.
'Are you bored with me?' The voice came from other end.
'I suffer from depression, I feel better talking with somebody. I think you can understand me.' She said.
Silence fall on both the sides of the phone.
'What are you doing now?' Again the female voice asked.
'Trying to compose.' Mr. Iraj uttered.
'Are you a journalist? An editor?'
'No, I often compose poem.'
'Don't you do anything else?'
'What type of?'
'Some work from where money comes to meet the normal expenditure of life.'
'It is almost mid-day now. You have already heard that I am trying to compose a poem. Doesn't this prove that if I had a regular job or profession I would have been in the office or in the working place at this hour?' Mr. Iraj became agitated to some extent.
'In that case you depend indirectly on your wife's income? She must be doing a job, otherwise how can you bear the expenses of your children's education? Nowadays, education has become very expensive; minimum fifteen thousand taka is required per month for a child of nursery group.'
'I don't require so much of money for my children. Whatever I have to spend is within my reach.'
The people of our country doesn't speak truth, but people of other countries never lies; and if they have to lie, that's very minimal, only in real requirements.'
'Is it so?'
'Yes. I have observed people of both country, ours as well as of West.'
That means Bangladesh, United Kingdom, or States; in other words, east and west?'
'Exactly so. The people of western country don't criticise anybody unnecessarily. But people of our country find pleasure in interfering with other people's life, they make mouth watering gossip even with a trifling affair of others.' She exerted.
'The western people also criticise. They also indulge in all types of talks admixing truth and falsehood. In fact the basic character of mankind is same in the whole world.' Poet Iraj emphasised.
'Never. The people of those countries are better than mine. They never cheat anybody; they don't make treachery with wife. People of our country does all these.'
'Will you disclose to your wife that you have talked to an unknown woman over telephone for a long time, keeping away your writings?'
'Of course! If such moment or reference comes I shall definitely tell her.'
'Would you say to her? But my husband never tells me the truth. Rather very cleverly he keeps it in secret. It happened that if I incidentally come to know of such a matter and ask him why has he kept it secret, what he replies you know?'
'What does he reply?'
'He thinks that it is better to keep them in secret to avoid dissention. Not only that, telling lies to avoid danger is no guilt to him and he does not count those as a sin or an offence.'
'Your husband is wrong. Lying is not permissible in any situation; only to save life from endanger one can tell lie, there is some controversy about this statement also.'
'My husband's words and deeds are not in conform. This goes against my nature. That's why I am distressed. Sometimes his complex nature and his fiendish attitude maddens me to a great extent. I fail to understand what to do! I suffer from mental pressure, become depressed. It seems that I got nothing meaningful in life.'
She broke off.
Mr. Iraj became embarrassed. This unknown woman keeping her identity concealed, conversing in an easy mood; it makes no sense to think her of a sound mind. Does the woman lack mental balance! Does she take intoxicating drugs? Is she a drug addict?'
He changed the topic. He asked,
'Doesn't your children go to school?'
'Yes, they do.'
'In that case I think it's time for you to bring the children back from school or you should be in the kitchen to check the lunch preparation.'
(To be continued)
'A maid brings the children from school and a separate car is there for their transportation. I don't have to be in the kitchen. Whatever is cooked there is no lack of any item in the routine menu.'
'Even then, in such a rainy cloudy weather you could make a special dish like 'bhuna-khichury', 'beef-curry', or 'mustard-hilsha' for your husband.'
'My husband is not that fancied. He does not have any leisure time to look through the window and to enjoy the cloudy sky or rainy street. One can't feel the nature sitting in a closed air-conditioned room. Whatever you have asked me is completely a poetic affair.'
'Perhaps your husband expects that you will enquire about his health over telephone before lunch. May be he likes that you will ask him to take his meal in time. Isn't it your duty to see that he doesn't get overworked and harm his health?'
'My husband is lucky enough to have many female attendants to look after him. The boss doesn't feel any inconvenience. Do you know I desired a life that you are talking of! And I'm yet longing for that.'
Her voice was desperate. The heavy sigh heard from the other end of the phone tells that she is very tired and depressed.
Now Mr. Iraj began an optimistic conversation. He said,
'It's true that we can't achieve all of our desires in a go; but whatever small things we achieve throughout our joumey of life, if linked together appear in an articulated form and give the totality of life. Does it ever came to your realisation?'
'I do realise. But now nothing is normal in my life. My education, intelligence, energy, love, affection, everything remained incomplete. I could not reach any destination in time.'
'Is it possible for a person to arrive at all destinations in due time? It seems that you have travelled a lot by air.
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