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How they scream

As I grew older, and as I grow older still, there is one thing I have taught myself to do the least of: hope. A pessimistic notion perhaps, but I felt it proved useful as life progressed for me, as I found newer ways to disappoint myself and the people around me. As more suns set, and as bleak days went bleaker, carrying with them the fiery blaze of expectations unfulfilled, this very notion, this idea, this concept which seemed nothing more than a fleeting thought at first, bloomed, and echoed, inside the walls which encompassed my mind.

Lighthearted and cowardly, I trained myself, wisely, to cling to the ground. I did not like the fall that came as a consequence of being let down, the soaring which ended up with the eventual drop. The temporary feeling of vigor and optimism, of glee and joy, maybe even happiness, just did not seem worth it.

That is why, with this, this thing which I cannot yet define, and cannot yet comprehend, its grip like that of an iron fist on my heart, when it happened, I could not understand. I could not understand, why, and how, when I have taught myself throughout my life, through experience and perseverance, to not hope and wish for better things to happen, I did.

Fool! Idiot! Who knows what other derogatory term I called myself to convince my heart with my brain otherwise? It didn't work. I was intentionally, and yet, somehow, with a certain loss of control, headed straight for a train wreck I could see was coming. And I cursed my memory the most. Or rather, my inability to forget certain details.

When we had our fingers interlaced, clasped together in moments of passion, I would see my fingers settle over traces of someone else's imprint, left some time ago, in the midst of a past not unforgotten. And when I would swoop in, I'd see the indentation of lips which were not mine reflected off of hers. And how as I heard the words of her love escape her mouth, I'd imagine them, once, being said and meant for someone else.

I remember the silent thunder which discharged through me when she told me about the tiniest, yet most significant, lapse in what seemed to be an unblemished past. And I observed her, as she spoke of it, as her lips moved, her eyes intermittently twitched, and she ruffled her hair. I watched her, I watched her constantly; I observed each diminutive detail that fleeted across her face, each infinitesimal tick that shuddered across her body. I saw how, with eyes watering and a wry smile, a smile which resonated sorrow at happiness lost, unwillingly, and a hidden want for it, she told the tale of her dream. Her breaths got shorter and her eyes watered. Her tone carried a sense of nostalgia, and it also carried, of all things, hope. It was obvious from the way her mouth moved to the flow of those words, each a misaimed perforating arrow through my now fervently beating heart, and how her hands slithered through her waist-long hair, in tiny acts of bittersweet reminiscence.

And the smile. A smile so heavy with meaning, that it told me everything. So, even when she told me about it, about how outrageous and foolish and lunatic she had felt with him, and how liberating she had felt, it galloped towards me and collided with me as though I had been expecting it. I started heading towards the train right about then. I could see how magical it had been for her; I could see the sparkles in her eyes, the twinkling that left behind the remnants of a love earned and let go.

What about me?
That's what I wanted to ask her. That's what I wanted to know. I wanted to know if I had the same effect on her. If I drove her wild. Or if I ever could. The way he had done. But I found myself more selfish than that; I didn't want it to be the way it had been with him. I wanted more. I wanted to be the most in everything.

I could see memories of him charcoaled in every pore spread across her body. And every word she uttered became stained with love that did not belong to me. Every atom of her skin seemed to sizzle with the memories of his touch, and echoed his every breath. And all of it, combined, recollected, with the soft hand of time, burned like acid on my skin.

And these little things: how they screamed. They screamed of a better life, of better memories, of a better love. They screamed of him. Oh, how they screamed.

This is when that old foe returned, when hope smeared itself on my heart. I wished for myself to be what he was to her, and what he had been. I hoped for even more than that.

Does he drive you wild? Or just mildly free?
What about me?

By S. N. Rasul

Love me or kill me

PEOPLE just don't understand the true meaning of love. Of how pure, intoxicating, cuter than kittens with over 13 millions views (in youtube) and stronger than even Scan cement (which built our indestructible Mohakhali flyover) love is. Most people are concerned with relationships as a time-pass born out of boredom, peer pressure and often times, frustration over that integration problem or the first reproduction class in Biology (maybe causing a surge in hormonal activity), or for property inheritance (bhalobasha for bhalo basha) and the sorts. Honestly, it is really all because of lack of ambition and dedication, but that's a separate issue. What I am here to point out is how we always tend to underestimate the power of love in our daily lives; and especially in Bangla cinemas. Dhishumai to all you love discriminating scoundrels!

With much grace and tenderness I introduce to you, “Bhalobasha Dibi Ki Na Bol,” which was translated to “Love Me or Kill Me” in the poster of the movie itself. Fabulous translation but we are not here to appreciate that. We are here to appreciate the pure art of love that is being engraved into our society by our dear mainstream movie makers (from here on referred to as MMM). Clearly, we all have right to love; and the movie title pretty much disposes that we also have the right to threaten if not snatch love from the beloved, despite her consent or not. Oops, did I just become gender biased? Sorry about that; must have been the poster. The movie title almost sounds familiar to Kyrgyzstan's bride kidnapping culture (where a man of marriage age goes out on the street, chooses a girl, then kidnaps her takes her home where the women of his family tries to convince the kidnapped girl to marry the man. There are even special cars available for hire for the kidnapping. If you don't know about it I suggest you Google it for a quick scare). Trust me we do not want that in our country.

So why is this aggressiveness necessary in finding true love? Well, our dear MMM have provided an answer to the audience for that question as well; watch, “Mone Boro Kosto.” Ahh, this reminds me of the song “dukho dukho dukho pelam, ami hai” by the band Subconscious. Truly a marvelous creation; made my heart tremble with Juliet's sorrow every time I used to hear it playing on the streets. As the title suggests, in this movie you will find out what happens to you if you cannot find or steal or take with force your true love. Hence to make sure one does not plummet into this vicious cycle of grief and make the society a better place, our MMM made these two movies playing them side by side on the various cinema halls, enlightening the common people while filling their pockets with shiny notes. Who said our Bangla movies were defunct in practical information.

So you see, these movies are perfectly sane and justified and not to be made fun of. The next question is, then what about “Kajer Manush” or “Baba keno Chakor” or “Shami keno Ashami”? You see, love is spawned from the clutches of society and no love can exist without interacting with the social mesh. Every time you fall in love (which from these movies you will learn, are almost always once - the first and last pure love) you will undoubtedly face social class struggles and criminal activities with your girl being kidnapped by the bad guy, who ironically follows the motto of the first movie we talked about. We could of course roam into a whole discussion about that but let's not. But still hey, love is always like that, isn't it? You save your girl from enemy bondage riding a white painted donkey and the girl falls for you and you two do smoochy smoochy while we see flowers clashing in slow motion.

And if you think, love and social class struggles are getting too much for you emotionally and you can't bear it anymore, instead of falling into depression and ecstasy or cheap beer, watch “Machine Man” or “Halka Pagla;” our very own terminator (I wish we had one for our politicians) and incredible hulk. This should calm you down. Our MMM has us covered all way, I tell you; 24/7 entertainment and free classes on love. Development is underway and our MMM are the pioneers. Hail Kuddus, Morjina, Julekha and RS! Love to all.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir


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