Saturday, July 20, 2024

Restless whirl

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Restless whirl

Mr. Mansoor is not a very rich man, but not financially poor either. He lives in the village with his family, he has a thatched house built by his father, there is a mango-jackfruit vegetable garden in front of the house, he has his own land where cultivation is done, so the little money he earns in mine goes very well. The financial condition of the family is good in one way. Having money can fulfill many wishes of children, while not having much money can also ignore many bad wishes. Children stay inside the circle for this reason. Mansoor Sahib’s father was a well-known man in this village. Was the only school maths teacher, later became headmaster. Because of this their family is still respected by everyone. His father was a very loving person, as you can see by looking around the house.

His father’s habits have infected his own. His hobby is to collect many strange things and decorate his house with strange objects. Some old-fashioned weapons and a double-barrelled gun can be seen hanging on the walls of the living room. Although none of these are now usable, only the appearance remains. And he can’t shoot himself. In their yard and on the balcony her two daughters have planted flower gardens. There is a pond behind the house. Even in summer, the steps of the pond are cold, sometimes he goes and sleeps. Another thing that attracts everyone’s attention is the two-and-a-half-foot-wide and about one-and-a-half-foot-long tiger skin hanging in the living room. Patches of black spots and harsh yellow color on the skin are still visible to everyone. It is said that his father and some of his friends hunted this tiger when he was young.

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Mr. Mansoor sat on the easy chair of the balcony. A very old chair, once used by his father but still very sturdy. He has a book in his hand, he still doesn’t know what book. Brought out from the bookshelf in the living room. He has a habit of reading books. Every morning, he sits on the balcony and closes his eyes with a book, accompanied by hot tea, calm air and sweet sunshine. Besides, if you have time, you can study irregularly. He has a collection of many books. Mr. Mansoor never wanted to have a separate library room at home. He thinks that if you keep books in a separate room at home, the books are kept away from everyone, separated from everyone. It would be better if all the rooms could have books. The books will be integrated with their daily life, the books will be seen by everyone when they go to any room or work. So he has made such arrangements at home, even in the kitchen there is a small bookshelf.

He is probably sitting with a cookbook, the book contains recipes for various dishes. While turning the pages his eyes caught on a dish, unable to pronounce the name of the dish but reading the description got him very interested in the dish. Tell Renu once to see if he can make it. National food of Bhutan. First, fry pepper, onion and a little ginger well in a little oil and on low heat. Then add water to it and after a while add butter and fry it for the second time. Something like pickle is made, which is eaten with rice. A picture of the food is also given, seeing that he really wanted to eat it. Renu should be asked to cook today. Mr. Mansoor closed the book, his little daughter came and gave tea. He needs to think a little about his plans today. It was barely half past eight, he had to leave at twelve. The afternoon is approaching, and if all goes well, the work will probably be finished by evening. Palli has asked people to come from Vidyut, and has stocked all the necessary additional equipment. Perfect fit.

Electricity has been in Bangladesh for many years. But a few days ago, electricity was seen only in the city. Gradually it has now spread to villages. Recently, yellow lights are often seen in some old houses in villages. Mansoor Sahib’s house is one of them. But electric fans are still rare. He went to his friend’s house in Dhaka and ate the fan air, he is comfortable. If you close your eyes, it seems that you are sitting next to a horse. He even smelled the sweet smell of young grass after closing his eyes. It’s totally mental, but enjoyable. Something like that is definitely comforting in the sweltering heat. Machines are making people’s lives very easy and comfortable. It was very hot in their village last year. What is the situation, everyone would be bathed in sweat. Everyone used to wrap wet towels around themselves, and bathed at least twice a day. The problem is compounded by tinned rice. It was very hot inside the house, the weather was supposed to be a bit bearable at night but it was even hotter at night. Her three-year-old son used to cry in the heat at night, he could not sleep at all. Mansoor Saheb would then take Arnav in his arms and go to the garden. Arnav used to fall asleep watching Jonaki and Chand.

She overheard her two daughters talking to their mother about the fan several times. Each time Renu agreed, considering the cost. He decided to arrange a fan anyway. But this year it has been hotter, there has been no storm or rain in a month. The heat engulfs everyone, they are bored and tired. Going out at noon is now almost an adventure. The skin of the body burns. This period of Chaitra is very painful. So for the last one year he has been saving money, reducing expenses. Don’t tell anyone at home about this, a gift for everyone. Buy a fan and make everyone laugh. His two daughters Mihul, Milli and Renu must be very happy. They heard the device nearby, but never saw it. Arnav would only know that something was happening at home today. And will look in surprise at the big Latima put on the head. Children are delighted to see something new, try to understand what is behind it, how the machine works. After some time he will leave for Netrakona Sadar, bring home those who bring fans from Dhaka.

He is the first among six-seven nearby villages to install electric fans in his house. Of course, everyone in the village will flock to the house to watch this action and to enjoy the fan air. There is enough living space in the house, but the trouble is that he has done a job that requires everyone to have something to eat. Food arrangements have not been made yet. She didn’t because Renu would ask a lot of questions if she saw this, the girl being intelligent might even make some guesses. So he decided that the fan will work on one side, and the food will be arranged on the other side. Wondering if he will show the dance of his two daughters to the people of the village on this occasion. Mr. Mansoor never saw the girls dancing, only heard from outside the room the sound of the tabla and the sound of the bell on the old radio. Under this pretext, he will also show his daughters talent a little, what is wrong with that.

Mihul is seventeen. Her younger sister Millie is fifteen. They can be called pithapithi. Mihul realizes that something is going to happen in their house today. His father has been feeling different since morning. But his suspicions were strengthened when his father came to their house and quietly said, “Mom, prepare a little dance, some people will come home, show them dance.” Mihul did not tell this to his mother. Mother must be very angry, why girls of this age are dancing in front of outsiders again. He was also strongly opposed to going to dance lessons. But the father agreed and the mother did not disagree. They have been learning dance for a year, they have mastered the art very well. He talks to Millie about it, but the idiot doesn’t understand. He said, “Father told me to dance, so what’s the problem?”

Sometimes I feel very bad for Milli, she has become so old, but the girl has no brains. Mihul thought he should take Arnav for a little walk around the garden, Arnav is smarter than all of them, he has proved it many times at this age. Then go home and do a little dance practice, she knows her father. Crazy nature, comes up with strange things every now and then. And once something is fixed, it leaves it. After a few days, his father’s strange desires are born. Eito bought a baby turtle from somewhere for Arnav’s third birthday a few days ago. They are so small that they can be kept in a glass jar. The turtle is also given a name, there is a little history behind the naming. One of his father’s favorite artists, he likes the paintings of that artist very much. Suddenly one day he noticed that he could not remember the name of his favorite artist. After seeing the turtle, the name of the artist is remembered after a long time. So the turtle is named after the artist, Picasso. Suddenly one day Picasso disappeared. No one knows how it was lost, when it was lost. At first, the three siblings were very upset, but as time went on, they forgot about Picasso. Mihul knows that he is the only mentally healthy person in this house, no one else.

The fan was supposed to arrive in the afternoon, Mr. Mansoor went out after having breakfast, without telling anyone. But the fan came home just before evening. The road was broken, so everyone had to detour two miles and come back by the opposite road. One of the fan mechanics fell back into the water, covered in mud. In the village, usually everyone goes home soon after evening. But behind the van, half the village came to their homes. Hearing the commotion outside, Renu wondered what had happened, and later came out and saw this incident. Younger boys are more enthusiastic. They entered the house without hesitation. They are roaming all over the house, playing hide and seek in the garden. The women came with veils on their heads, covering their faces. Some are helping Renu with various tasks.

A few are sitting on mats in the courtyard, talking with their mouths pressed and laughing at intervals. It seems that someone has played a very funny joke. There are no women in the living room, as there are men watching the fan. Their excitement is not less, they have raised the house on their heads. Everyone is doing some kind of work. The first fan coming to a house in the village means that the fan is coming to their own house. Mr. Mansoor will certainly not mind this, he will gather people with more enthusiasm. Renud’s house is festive today. The whole house is full of people, lively. It’s like someone’s wedding at home. Renu remembered her own marriage. What a grand affair, her father left no stone unturned in his younger daughter’s marriage.

In the evening, Mihul’s father came in front of the house and started shouting so much that everyone in the house got scared. It seems as if not a fan, he brought his son-in-law with him. Now the whole house is in a mess. A ceiling fan is being installed in the living room, his father has brought two electricians along. Right in the middle of the living room, an electrician stands on a large wooden tool to install a fan, his assistant helping him in various ways. A little boy is assigned to hold the tool so that the man does not fall. The men sat in a circle, all eyes on the electrician standing in the middle. Everyone is watching the work very attentively. And some are offering very strong advice, as if they are the best at this. After listening to the electricians and seeing their work, Renu guesses that it will be too late to finish the fan.

Just installing the fan in the living room, after that there are many more things to do including making the connections, starting the fan. Also, Mihul’s father has already proposed two working people to spend the night at their house. Renu is circling the whole house, once this house and again that house. He doesn’t know what to do. He is happy in his heart, which he does not let anyone understand. Pretending to be very busy and bored. Mihul and Milli stand cross-legged at the door of the living room, not knowing what to do. Renu threatened them several times and asked them to go inside. The vimruti of the father is also seen in the girls, dancing at night or with the feet, what a big courage. But Mihul and Milli didn’t go inside, they didn’t want to miss the opportunity to witness this grand event. Arnav in Mihul’s lap, he also looks up with surprised eyes and makes unintelligible noises with his mouth for a while.

It’s late at night, I don’t know what time it is. The fan is finished. It will be switched on shortly. Much to everyone’s shock, in the middle of the work it was noticed that the fan regulator had not been brought. It is not possible to go to Sadar at night. So for the time being, the work has been declared complete without a regulator. The women with their babies are gone, but there are still a few men. Everyone is very tired as if it has been too much pressure on everyone. Renu thought to give everyone something to eat. But as it was getting late Mr. Mansoor decided to have dinner only. There was no equipment to feed everyone at home. At that time some were sent to the market. Shops don’t open until late at night, luckily a shop was found open today. Everything necessary is bought and brought home, chickens are slaughtered, banana leaves are arranged. Then the cooking started, it would have been impossible for Renu alone to do so much without the help of the rest of the women.

Big bones, patil, dekchi are all taken out. Then the cooking started, although it didn’t take much time to cook but in the farming area no one eats dinner at that time. The sodium lamp in the yard has been useless for a long time, it was fixed today. People are seated in rows in the courtyard under yellow light, everyone is allowed to eat on banana leaves. The arrangement is very small, but everyone ate to their heart’s content. Mr. Mansoor went to the inner room with two electricians. They are fed with whole fish heads. He is overseeing it now. In the end, Mihul and Milli did not dance. Arnav Mihul has done what kids usually like to do. And Mihul said that he will not dance without that dress. Since Mihul won’t dance, neither will Mili. Lightning flashes in the sky, everyone is very surprised and happy. Let their days of suffering end, if it rains today after many days of heat, it will be the first rain of monsoon. The smell of flowers is coming from their garden. There is a strange atmosphere in the whole house now.

All work done, Mr. Mansoor came to the living room. Some guests are still there. The fan will be switched on shortly. All eyes are on it now. Renu is standing behind the door with her two daughters. Mr. Mansoor went to the switch, took a look at everyone from there, everyone was standing in silence, gasping. As if the last mystery of a detective story is about to be revealed. The fan is switched on. As soon as the fan started, the wind started blowing outside. The fan and the cold air outside have all become monotonous.

An old man stared at the fan for a long time. It is very likely that his head was turned to see the three-pronged rotation of the fan. He put it on the person next to him. Fortunately, he was buried in time. Everyone in the room laughed at this situation. Mihul felt that for some time their house had come up in the sky. The overhead fan is spinning very loudly. Everyone looked up in amazement and saw the whimsical machine. His father seems to be the happiest man in the world right now. A smile of satisfaction on the face, tears of joy in the eyes. It was one of his father’s many vices, bringing tears to his eyes. What an impossible achievement they have done. Suddenly the electricity went out, everything was dark in an instant. Mihul noticed for the first time that today is the full moon. The moonlight through the window grills painted a faint pattern on the floor of the paved house.

The fan stopped, but that’s no problem. The outside wind is so high that it doesn’t even notice the lack of air from the fan for a short period of time. Mihul saw his father walking towards his mother who was standing beside him. He heard his parents saying, “Renu, let’s get wet in the rain.” At first, the mother disagreed very much, what is this abdar in front of a house full of people. But in the end, no one escapes from the hands of the father. Mihul saw his parents come down to the garden in the rain. As if their age has decreased by forty years, now they look ten years old and young.

Arnav has a habit of falling asleep early. The boy has been very stressed all day today. He is also very tired from jumping around with the little kids. Even though his eyes are closed in sleep, he is looking with his eyes wide open, trying to understand what is happening. As if closing his eyes is a great loss. Arnav, who had learned to walk a few days ago, also expressed his desire to get off the lap and go outside. Getting wet in the rain will make the boy’s body worse. So Mihul did not leave Arnav. When Arnav realized that his hopes would not be fulfilled after several failed attempts, he wept bitterly. He could not be calmed down. Storm, wind, rain, full moon, tears have created a strange chaos. There are not many people in the village, some of them are worried about going back to their homes, some are upset and some are laughing like children. But who listens to whom? Mihul, Milli and Arnav watched a pair of human beings with their eyes full of joy and the joy of being alone in the rain.

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