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Remembering those days

Through the tattered, almost transparent, worn-out curtains (which could hardly be called one anymore) a tiny portion of the cracked window glass could be seen. The heavy rain yesterday made the narrow gloomy lane in front of our house look shabbier. The gloominess around us reminded me my unforgettable bitter childhood memories. I felt very fortunate to manage to escape into my present condition.

Back then, I never had the opportunity to know anything about my parents and accepted the fact that I was a "born orphan". As far as I can remember I lived or rather bore my uncle until I was eight, when he sold me to somebody whom I never saw before. I can only remember my uncle forcing me into that unknown man's hands and taking a bundle in return. I can still feel the cold shivers running up and down my spine remembering how scared I was to go somewhere all alone with that rough looking man

The long, hard days in unknown people's kitchen and the shower of stiff hands if the vegetable was over salted or the rice melted, were certainly the bitterest part of my childhood memories. After four years of suppression it was time to fight back. With strong unshakeable intentions I decided to run away. The torture was becoming unbearable. But fortunately I was not alone "barkat-er-ma khala" was with me, she was the one who could feel my difficulties more than anyone as she herself went through the same kind of struggle. She was another bearer who worked with me under the same roof.
In other words she was my last hope. She promised me that when she would go to her village this Eid she would consult with her son and try to manage me a work in the garments industry.

Eid for me usually was something which I dreaded the most, because it meant longer days more hard work without any helping hand as at that time "barkat-er-ma khala" goes to her village. I can't even go to my village like her, as I have no one to whom I could go and with whom I could spend my Eid.

Thus, I used to end up doing all the works alone. I had to prepare special meals not only for the family members in the house but also for their relatives and other guests. The food that day had to be perfect or else I got much harder punishment than other days. With this fear in mind I also had to clean the whole house alone.

But this Eid was way different it brought new hopes and dreams. This time I didn't really mind doing double the work and surprisingly seemed to enjoy it as I had the hope of doing all these works for the last time.

Finally "khala" came back with good news and managed me a job in the garments industry as she had promised. With her support and my efforts I managed to escape the old, cracked roof and lay my head under the soothing, blue sky.

Now remembering those days I think that it really was worth it. Here in the garments industry I agree that I have to work as hard as I used to being a maid in people's houses but there is a big difference because now I work for myself not for others. Now, I can at least hope to have a future which I could never dream of, previously. This really did make a big difference in my life. Now, no matter how small the one and a half room (including the toilet) house is, which I share with three other girls, I do have the basic human rights, which all human beings in the world deserve.

By Maliha Chowdhury

Light headed stranger

He used to be a fragment of my imagination. I would talk to him in the middle of the night… imagine him consoling me when I cried. I would make myself believe that he was beside me wherever I went- it always made me feel confident. He was there, yet he wasn't. It felt really bad when I couldn't hug him, or even see him. I so wished I could, but I knew I had to be patient enough to wait for that day when I could finally meet him.

I never realized that I was falling in love with him so badly. He was in my thoughts; in my laughter...he was a part of my world. I even gave him a name- Light Headed Stranger. The name had no meaning, yet it did. It spoke about someone who was supposed to be a stranger to me, a stranger I hadn't met, but knew all about. I wrote him love letters, poems and sang love songs for him.

The years passed by, but my Light Headed Stranger never made his appearance. Guys and crushes came and went, but none of them were the one I was looking for. At one point I had just given up. I thought to myself, “He'll come when the time is right”. But deep inside my heart I knew that I'd never stop waiting for him.

I felt so frustrated till one day I witnessed a moment that I'd never forget. I saw this girl, standing under the cruel glare of the sun, looking angry and troubled. Then suddenly her eyes drifted to the other side of the road… the guy she had been waiting for was there. Her face broke into this shy smile that was worth millions. She looked so cute and happy, as if all her worries had been sent miles away. That was the day I decided that I was ready to wait forever if required. For such a beautiful moment, I was willing to do anything.

As Kelly Clarkson's song goes: “Some people wait a lifetime…for a moment like this”. A beautiful song to express a beautiful thought. If Light Headed Stranger can make me that happy, that content, then the wait was worth it. Till he comes around, I do have plenty of things to do- studies, classes and music. I have plenty of things to keep me occupied, so there's nothing to worry about. I'll be smiling to myself and waiting.

By Nayeema Reza

The music goes on

Somewhere between time and space, a bit to the left of one of the universes, is the Omniverse, where all things begin, and where all things end. Where all things are. Somewhere in this... place (if it can be called that), there is a house. An orchestra house to be specific.

This house... is the house of Music, where all the melodies and rhymes were written, where all the chords were born, where Music became. Where Music becomes and is becoming. It is the house of Music. And the Music goes on.

Right there... See, behind that door? Thousands and thousands, millions and millions, trillions and trillions... There are seats enough to hold everyone and anyone the house needs to hold...

And right there... if you peer closely enough, you may just be able to see some familiar faces. If you prick your ears a bit, you may hear something you have long ago heard, or wish to hear, or have never heard, and amidst the thundering of uncountable instruments... you will hear it.

And right there... if you look carefully enough, you'll notice a certain seat, and it will call to you, to your heart and to your ears. It's for you that the room has waited for so long. It's for everybody that the room awaits. It's for everybody that the room will wait forever. The Music goes on...

And right there, you take your sit and for the first time in your life, or perhaps, to put it correctly- for the first time in your being of existence, you'll hear true Music played. For you. And for everybody else. True Music played for everybody... And it goes on.

But, who's playing the music?

Ah... Right there, see? There... a bit to your left, yes. Yes. Did you see the air move behind that instrument? That piano is being played by all the pianists that has ever lived, that lives and that will live. If you were a pianist, you would be there. And there, handling that violin- it's being played by all the violinists that could ever be... Wonderfully amazing, isn't it? All those instruments playing by themselves and not by themselves, with an infinite amount of skill and finesse- the superior talent of so many behind a single instrument.

And once in a while, just like now, if you immerse out long enough, hard enough, you'll realize the music softening, you'll realize the music nearly stopping (but not really. The music never stops. It just seems that way), if you remember your old life, your old emotions and feelings, you might catch a scent of sadness to it. You might. And, if you concentrate really, really hard enough, you'll see the spirit of another musician rise up to join its brothers and sisters. And the music will start again... a bit different than before... But, it'll play on. The Music... goes on.

And you can leave anytime you want to, ofcourse. But, you don't have to. Or you really just don't want to. No one will say anything if you don't leave. Do you hear the voices, yet? No? You must stay, then. You must hear the voices... Soon. You can't leave now. You haven't been here long enough... Soon, you'll hear the voices- the voices of angels and gods and devils and saints and fairies... and the voices of so many things.... It's magical...

... Ah, there... See? You hear the voices, now. It feels like honey to the ears, doesn't it? This is The Music... You can't leave, not now. There's so much to come. So, so much. The Music won't let you leave, even if you wanted. Not ever. The Music doesn't let anyone leave... The Music goes on...

And, once in a while, now and then, a listener will suddenly stop to look at his companion beside him, and he'll see a face etched with terror, and he'll look to the stage where the instruments are being played to a full house. If he's lucky enough... he won't see the real... the true face of the musicians.

The Music goes on...

By E-mil


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