Volume 2 Issue 26 | January 19 , 2008 |


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Behind the Scene

From Laxmipur
Tofazzal Hossain Wins his Bet with Life

Tajul's birth was difficult for not only his mother Tafura Khatun but also for his father Quader Ali. Nevertheless they accepted their child as an unusual creation of God. They tried to hide him from the room where he was born. They hid the baby from everybody's sight. Even they themselves would sometimes be reluctant to see their own child. They only allowed some of their very closest relatives to see the baby. When the news about the baby came out, people of the village caused a lot of commotion; they were judgmental and tried to make things difficult for the family. Tajul grew up pretty much on his own. Nobody accepted this extra load on his body. There was a lot of name-calling. He was deprived of a formal education. His father, however, taught him to read and write. They never dreamt that one day Tajul would grow up and maybe have a family of his own. Tajul's parents are no longer alive. If they were, they would probably be extremely proud.

Haji Tofazzal Hossain aka Tajul is now 49 years old. His parents were from Laxmipur but he currently resides in Chandpur district. For a living, he does whatever job he can get and whenever he can get them. Tajul does not think of himself as disabled. One day he opened up a little store. Currently works at a chicken farm. He makes very little money, but he manages to survive. He has been married for 22 years and is the father of four children. His eldest son is now 20. The rest are daughters. His son is about to finish his SSC. Tajul dreams that his son will finish studies and get some good job.

It is quite astounding that Tajul has been able to live a somewhat 'normal' life. He certainly does not have a regular body. He has three arms, three legs and two stomachs. He never thought of these extra body parts as a burden. His parents had taken him to a lot of doctors after he was born. Doctors said that getting rid of these extra body parts through operation was nearly impossible. Even though technically he has two stomachs, Tajul has only one navel and one intestine. Tajul says he's not really 'sick'. He has never had any serious diseases. Tajul, who is very religious, says all this is thanks to Allah.

Tajul says he wishes for nothing more out of life, he regards his physical deformity as holy. He has amazingly, completed the demanding physical task of Hajj. He said that on his way he was asked a lot of questions even on the plane. People were always suspicious of him. His Hajj expenses were paid, he says, by an extremely benevolent person whose identity he wouldn't disclose. Even though he has no deep regrets, he does have one minor regret: he still has not managed to be recognized as a voter.


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