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     Volume 5 Issue 112 | September 15, 2006 |

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View from the Bottom

Tale of a parting...

Shahnoor Wahid

It was a relationship of twenty-five years. A friendship based on unequaled bonding, trust and commitment. Two and a half decades of togetherness, spent in each other's company from morning till midnight, finally came to an end one day, and we parted forever, to live the rest of our lives holding the memories close to our hearts. Today, those memories come back in slices whenever I am lonesome…memories of being close to each other...memories of my taking care of her....memories of those winding country roads….gram chhra oi ranga matir poth….far away from the bustle of the city, often getting soaked to the teeth in an untimely downpour, while I sang at the top of my voice... “Country road take me home....”.

I remember going to Chittagong with her on a number of occasions. And to Cox's Bazaar from there. I would often take her to Aricha and there we both would watch river vessels ply on the water. We loved to watch the sun sinking below the horizon spreading psychedelic colours on the water. The evening breeze would cool us off and then we would return to Dhaka. I would sing .... “Eie poth jodi na shesh hoi...” She would just listen quietly.

The day I first met her, the moment I set my eyes on her, the tremor that went through my body.....the desire that swelled within me......seem like it all happened only yesterday. But, before we both knew it, twenty long years have gone by between then and now. Yes, it was love at first sight. It had to be that way. I knew we were made for each other and since the very first day, I never went anywhere without her. She was special in so many ways. She was beautiful...no....she was gorgeous.....she was glamorous.... in the real sense of the word. Even I could feel the appreciative look in the eyes of my enemies in the college. I was a jealous young brat those days. I made sure none of them came near her. She also looked beautiful and proud as a gazelle.

Then, as years began to fall off in the shape of calendar leaves, we both became more mature, my pace began to slow down as well. One day I noticed wrinkles under my eyes. I was getting older! I could also see wrinkles on her body. She groaned a little. Old age was also creeping all over her once smooth skin.

Years went by and we did not go out much, together I mean. At one stage in life, I began to go out alone. She would just sit at home. I would come back late at night. Only on some special occasions I took her out. But something was not there anymore between us, like it used to be in the good old days. That wild craze in me was gone. Real life, real world, kept me busy outside my home most of the time. Strangely enough, now that I look back, she never ever complained about my not being there for her like the good old days. She had all the patience in the world. She just waited and waited....for me to say hello and caress her a little. Her joints were in real bad shape and the wrinkles had multiplied. She needed rest.

Some more years went by and I became more and more busy with my work. I hardly had time to look at her. Then one day I noticed that she was in real bad shape. She needed expert attention immediately. I called up a few friends and soon got the phone number of an expert. He came one afternoon. And after one look he told me that he should take her away without losing time. I felt a pang in my heart. I looked at her for a long time. I could not hold back my tears as some men pushed my 1965 Volkswagen out of my garage. She was limping and moaning. I ran out and touched her old body for the last time. We parted forever.....

(Based on real life experience of the writer)

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