Miracles in Daily Life
Arif Sarkar, Eva’s father is a senior bureaucrat. His service is transferable all over the country. Eva had to change her school very often to accompany her father to the new place of posting. To pass her secondary school, she had to change minimum seven schools. Whenever she fostered some intimacy with friends and teachers that was time for her to leave.
Initially Eva used to cry non-stop not to leave her friends. It used to hurt her to leave old school.
-Honey, when you are grown up, you will find your friends all over the country. Once you’ll meet some of old friends after so many years, then you’ll feel as good as a pleasant surprise.
Arif Sarkar used to console his little daughter.
Now when she has a chance meeting with some old friends, she really feels so good and recollects her father.
She recollects her father virtually in every steps of her life. Her life is wholly girt by her father. None else is there and she never needed anyone else in fact.
Eva is the only child of her parents. Her mother, Lisa and her father lived in the same town. They studied in the same university. But was not known to each other before marriage.
Both are masters in English Literature. Lisa was two years junior to Arif. They were married arranged by their family, when Lisa was in her final year of Masters.
One month prior to their marriage, Arif got through in Government Civil Service in Administrative Cadre. They were married just two weeks before Arif joined the service.
Ceremony was held in the village home of Lisa’s maternal Granddad.
As per schedule, after the marriage ceremony was over by about midday, they were to leave for Arif’s house by road that day.
But they had a stroke of bad luck; news came just prior to their journey that a bridge on the main road collapsed disrupting all road communication. All suspected that the communication won’t be restored before minimum a week.
Move for bride and the groom was postponed. All accompanying members made their journey by alternative means like, train and breaking journey etc.
Few days were still left before Arif to join his service. There were no reasons to hurry up from Arif’s side. They planned a quick honeymoon trip to a nearby location.
They arranged the trip over telephone to nearby sea beach resort.
They stayed there for three days.
They had arranged marriage, as such there were so many things to know and share from each other.
During that exclusive period, they tried their best to lessen and erase the relationship gap, by sharing their past lives; weal and woe, memorable events and future plan everything. They tried to make each other known for life. Whatever one can share they exhausted every bit.
They vowed not to cheat each other and not to leave each other before the supreme power takes them away.
During the ceremony, Lisa’s mother Nasima Mondol was in London to visit her elder son living there.
Nasima Mondol is a politically active and dominating type of woman, a clear contrast to her husband. In fact, she arranged the marriage single handed. She liked Arif and his family very much. She blessed the couple over telephone from London.
Having done all important chores in London, Nasima was supposed to come back two weeks after their marriage. But things did not work as per plan. She cancelled all her appointment in London and suddenly fell back home on the fourth day of their marriage.
Arif and Lisa learned about Nasima’s abrupt return from London just after they fell back from Honeymoon tour. The abrupt return of her mother and coming straight to her granddad’s house startled Lisa.
She was dying to meet her mother in the next room along with Arif. But Sarwar Mondol, her father, dissuaded her with a sad visage by telling that her mother was physically unwell and mentally upset.
Lisa and Arif, both were dumbfound.
Lisa pushed her husband to the next room for rest and hurriedly took her father out for discussion.
Lisa didn’t reappear in front of Arif since then.
Arif’s long wait did not end. He got totally shaken when he heard from Lisa’s father that she declined to see him anymore. It was a bolt from the blue. None told him anything in details.
Arif did not know any other person there. Nothing made any sense to him.
Arif was in a fix. He very well comprehended that some life shaking incident has happened to him, but did not know what and why. Which incident of his life might have dashed all faith and confidence of Lisa? He remained shell-shocked.
Though they read in the same university for about five years but they did not know each other. He did not remember whether he saw Lisa or not. They were in the same department but Lisa was two years junior to Arif.
It was very unusual that they did not meet during that period. They discussed the matter during their honeymoon stay and laughed a lot about it.
-May be I’m not pretty enough to attract some one’s attention.
-Nothing like that Lisa. To me girl’s beauty is like tinted glass window. It looks beautiful when there is light glows from within. Darker the night more intense is the beauty. Outside beauty is not real; it’s like dressing one’s window. But inside beauty is like nectar, which has to be explored.
-You want to mean, not a single girl could attract your attention. Lisa wanted to make it light.
-I won’t say no. There were occasions where I felt someone’s eyes or hair or even smile appeared to be attractive.
-Ok, that would be index of whatever inside. But I didn’t get time to explore.
Lisa smiled, did not comment.
Now while recollecting, Arif got suspicious ‘Why didn’t Lisa comment? Didn’t she like that comment?
-Did you love any girl?
Arif was puzzled at the abrupt query of Lisa.
-I’m joking, you already mentioned about that. Lisa laughed a bit loudly.
-I liked Molly Madam. Arif said.
-Our Molly Madam, who taught English poetry.
-She stayed separately from her husband. She lived in University quarter with her six years old daughter.
-Yes, she had a face which spoke many things. If you knew about her problem then the face meant something and if you didn’t know her personal life her face spoke completely different things. I visited her house whenever I got chance.
-Oh, I also visited her quarter many a times. Lisa said.
-Lisa wouldn’t meet you anymore, rest will be intimated in due course of time. The stoic voice of Sarwar Mondol disrupted the thoughts of Arif, while he was trying to rerun all his conversation with Lisa in that three days’ time.
Sarwar Mondol came out after couple of hours with sullen face exuding morose and confided to Arif briefly.
Sarwar Mondol did not tarry a bit to see any expression on Arif’s face.
Whoever he could call his own has already left having done their duty. People there were only his own through the string called Lisa, that very string was no more.
-What will he do! Who is he going to ask!
He could clearly visualize that all back his home were preparing to receive the new bride. Arif phoned his home time to time and kept them posted about everything. That was the time he should inform them about estimated arrival time but what he would inform!
Lisa’s great granddad was Zamindar of that area, marriage took place in that old Zamindar house, a giant complex. Lisa, his wife was in some corner in that giant mansion at that moment. He could only wild guess where Lisa was hiding in which corner of that old mansion.
Everyone gradually went out of his sight and by chance whoever appeared in sight were giving cold shoulder to him. He was totally unwanted there.
It was a clear sunny day. Gentle breeze were fluttering the branches in normal rhythm. Perfect ambience for a car having newlywed placard to ply through. Nature appeared to be mocking at Arif. But what for!
Soothing and unadulterated breeze blew but that appeared to be suffocating to Arif.
Arif cringed inwardly in sorrow and shame and saved himself by escaping unnoticed.
Arif was totally upset. But Lisa’s behavior cut him very sharp.
He returned alone and did not elaborate anything to anybody for not bringing Lisa along.
What would he say, in fact he also didn’t know anything.
Remaining in a labyrinthine maze of confusion, Arif left to join his new job.
He did not try to contact Lisa as against the opposition of his pained heart and an unknown emotional barrier. No one from his in law’s side did also try to contact. The whole episode called marriage was flashed in the pan and elapsed into limbo.
In three days of their honeymoon, Arif and Lisa exhausted themselves what they called their own so far to each other. They realigned all their different ways and sub ways to one highway and vowed to move together then on.
But what really happened in that few minutes that changed Lisa and made her strayed from all her promises.
Arif kept wondering to himself.
Marriage turned into doldrums of cheat and false promises before it started.
But life moved on regardless, counting every tick of clock.
Col. Meher Mohabbat Hossain (Retd.)
I had a long career in Army. I was trained to follow orders, instructions and set rules, taking those as axiomatic. That strayed me a bit from free thinking as happens with all technology users. Basically I am a free thinker always and now in search of some basic truth in my own way. ([email protected]).