Monday, May 27, 2024

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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Rainy Reverie

Struggling to draw a steady breath in the midst of the storm, I reached the riverbank, finding it deserted save for the churning waters of the Mahananda

Update : 16 Apr 2024, 07:17 PM

Taking shelter under a rickshaw at Daroga Mor, I struggled to catch my breath after wrapping myself in polythene to shield against the relentless rain. Glancing behind me, I saw the familiar face of Shafique, the rickshaw puller, and he asked, “Where do you want to go, son?” I replied, “Uncle, take me to the bank of the river.”

In this small town, everyone was a known face. I addressed them all as “Apni” with respect, and those older than me, I called uncle. It wasn’t customary to use “Tumi,” as it might be considered too familiar, reminiscent of how I addressed rickshaw pullers in Dhaka. Such a slip would be a serious breach of etiquette.

The rain had been relentless for two days, hindering all my plans. Trapped indoors, I had spent the entire day idle, unable to venture out. Suddenly, my eyes caught sight of bold Bengali script on the wall of the college: “Struggle for a beautiful morning” - Roni Rahman’s handiwork. His words, written with determination in tar, adorned many walls across the city. Roni and I shared dreams of transforming our town, engaging in endless discussions on politics, economics, literature, and society. Rain or shine, Roni was always filled with energy, his infectious enthusiasm urging others to join his cause.

Startled by his voice cutting through the downpour, I turned to see Roni beckoning me. Despite the suffocating humidity, I lifted the hood of my jacket and let the rain cascade over my face, seeking solace in its cool embrace. Memories flooded back: the tin shed building on the corner, Bokul’s tea stall, the banks of the Mahananda River, and Roni, ever vibrant and alive.

Yes, it was a day much like this, rain saturating every inch of the landscape, much like the day I gifted Roni a book by Sunil on his birthday. What followed was eleven days of intense discussion, his sharp insights leaving me in awe and envy. Yet, the words of our Bengali professor lingered, questioning my ability to navigate life without Roni’s innate qualities.

Struggling to draw a steady breath in the midst of the storm, I reached the riverbank, finding it deserted save for the churning waters of the Mahananda. Clutching a pole for support, my body trembled uncontrollably, on the verge of collapse. Memories flooded back of that fateful day when I held Roni’s head beneath the flooded waters of the college field, his eyes wide with disbelief. Despite everything, he had believed I wouldn’t harm him.

As the storm intensified, the river surged, its roar drowning out all other sound. I could bear it no longer. With each step towards the water’s edge, Roni’s voice seemed to echo from within the tumultuous waves, beckoning me into their embrace.

“Come, come, come.”

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