Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Story: I promised

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After spending the night at a hotel in Quebec we headed out for an island tour called Île dOrléans This ancient island is just five kilometers east of Quebec City The length of this island is 33 km and the area is 1928 square km Which creates an area of great beauty in the middle of the St Lawrence River at the foot of the mountain

I have experimented a lot with naming stories/novels. The results of all those experiments are not particularly favorable. I sometimes try to write stories with fancy names, such as: Single Mother, Homeless, Josna Manson, Dream Immigration, etc., in the hope that the readers will easily read my writing with a little hesitation. Sometimes it works. When I post all those stories in some Facebook groups, blogs or on my Facebook page, some enthusiastic readers express their thoughts about my writing. i am happy The best joyous event of my life happened when I saw the results of matric examination posted on the notice board of Bogra Zilla School. Today, after all these years, that joy of that day still makes me happy in the same way when I see that my writings have managed to create a good feeling in the hearts of some people, even if it is just a little.

I was talking about naming my story. I named my today’s story as ‘I promised’. Although the name has a lot of old-fashioned connotations, I chose this name on purpose because I feel that it has some relevance to the content of today’s story. The aptness of the naming can be understood by reading the story till the end.

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A funny thing happens when I write in the first person singular number i.e. ‘I’. Some of my readers think that these events really happened in my life. I was trapped like this once. Last year, I almost created a scandal by writing a story about Rahima Khala in the Eid story. At the end of the story, I wrote somewhere that my wife and two children died in a highway accident. Various readers started comforting me in the comments of the story. Friends from the country started calling friends to know more details about the accident. I counted Pramad.

Keeping that experience in mind, I did not take the least risk in my new series ‘House Husband’ recently. In my story, instead of writing in the first person singular number, I continued with the name of a hero of the story, I named the hero Tutul. There is no escape there, many acquaintances say when they see me, ‘This is the brother house husband, your writing this time is getting busy, but it seems to be very easy to write, isn’t it? What else are you writing about your life?’ I just smiled in response. A kind of fondness works in me. People then still read!!!
I actually started singing Shiva’s song to break the paddy. Without further ado let’s get into my today’s story ‘I promised’. The story is about my recent visit to the province of Quebec. So don’t think again that I am narrating my travel story to you by tricking it into a trap. I have given a name to the age in which we are living now, ‘Timeless Age’. I don’t want to waste your precious time telling my travel story from this time no era. But like Aesop’s fable, I am pretending to tell just two things.

The first one is about Mita ie my wife. Lately I’ve been feeling a bit sleepy on long drives. Mita seemed incredibly worried and concerned about me falling asleep while driving, whether it was for my safety or Mita’s own safety. Mita tied me up and took me to the family doctor and Habijabi did all the tests. Bought multivitamins, vitamin D etc as extra supplements. Despite this dilemma we decided to travel to Quebec, a 6/7 hour drive. The preparations for this long drive lasted for almost a week. Mita bought Chanachur, nuts, chocolates, light snacks etc. from Walmart and filled the bag. The secret is to keep me fed and alert while driving so I don’t fall asleep. But the problem came from another direction.

On the day we start our journey, Mita wakes up early in the morning, prepares breakfast and is ready to go. But the kids i.e. Arnav, Aadhara don’t wake up at all. Meanwhile, we are supposed to leave in the morning. Enraged at the children, Mita declared the cancellation of the trip and lay down on the bed. I was shocked, but did not give up. I started loading the car with immense faith in Mita, took the suitcase in the car, picked up other small luggages of me, Mita and children. By applying various techniques, I woke up the children from their sleep and picked up the luggage. What happened happened. I felt sleepy after driving for an hour. Mita said from the side, ‘Stop the car for a while, I have taken out a packet of Chanachur from the food bag.’ As soon as I stopped the car at the gas station, Mita opened the back trunk of the car and started looking for the Chanachur bag. I also came down to help Mita and noticed with Vishwai that I had left the whole bag of food at home. The car was not picked up due to haste. This time my situation is really like the tutul of my written House Husband. What else to do, bought Tim Hortons snacks and started driving again. I thought to myself that I should keep a cool head before starting a journey somewhere. The incredible thing is that I did not fall asleep during the entire drive.

Now let’s come to the next incident. Basically, my story today is connected with this incident. After spending the night at a hotel in Quebec, we headed out for an island tour called Île d’Orléans. This ancient island is just five kilometers east of Quebec City. The length of this island is 33 km and the area is 192.8 square km. Which creates an area of great beauty in the middle of the St. Lawrence River at the foot of the mountain.

Drove over the St. Lawrence River over the beautifully designed mighty bridge and entered the island and marveled at the picturesque scenery around. After half an hour’s drive inside the island, we found our bathroom. We parked the car next to a nice restaurant and entered. Suddenly entering the bathroom, thinking it looks bad, I said to the working woman in English, give us two regular coffees, and listen, can we use the bathroom?

In most parts of Quebec, English is not spoken, everything has to be said in French. Even the STOP signs on the road are written in French. However, there are two people in the hotel restaurant who communicate with the customers in English. To our surprise the lady said in clear English, ‘Sorry no coffee, our restaurant is closed now, will open at 12 noon. And since the hotel is closed, the bathroom is locked. It’s barely half past eleven in the morning, I’m not disappointed. I explained to them, we have come here for a visit, we will buy coffee from your restaurant on the way back, please let us use the washroom. The woman opened the bathroom. I finished the washroom and started driving again.

Beautiful scenery all around. Sometimes I went live on Facebook with joy, sometimes I just made videos, and the photo session went on and on. In this way, I am going back after wandering around the island for about three hours. We have no time at all when we pass by that restaurant, we have not seen the famous falls of Quebec yet. Had to leave early next morning, not a moment to spare, so stopping at that restaurant was out of the question. I drive past the restaurant. Chin is chinning in the chest. After driving for about ten seconds, the children’s eyes lit up with happiness as they turned the car around and came to the restaurant. Their father kept his word. The children look at me with interest. I walked into the restaurant and got two coffees and returned to the car.

In the country where I live with my family, one of the strange things is that the children who grow up in the light air here set themselves up quite differently. I have seen in them a kind of sense of value which does not teach a man to cheat. I was actually trying to send a message to my kids by showing them the example of me going back to that restaurant and buying coffee despite being so busy, in a rush to visit more beautiful places. Children, the light and air of the country in which I was born has raised me with the moral of not cheating people.

Addendum: Giving and keeping one’s word is a noteworthy part of character. In our society, good character is dying. We can remove that hunger if we wish. We can organize our respective characters well. We can shine the face of Bangladesh at home and abroad. We can give this generation a real golden Bangladesh by thinking about the values of our freedom that we got in exchange for the blood of hundreds of martyrs. I promised

The End

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