Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, December 15, 2011

By Jawad

As a nation, we have our highs, we have our lows and we have our crows. It's what makes us who we are.

I Love my language.

I like how easy it is. I like how expressive it is. I like how my brain cools down when I rage and curse in Bangla. I like how nice the alphabets look. The letters are beautiful: thick and thin, curved and straight at all the right places. Such a wonderful harmony in the letters! Think about how scientifically the consonants are arranged. You start from your throat (ka, kha, ga), then you progressively reach your lips (pa, pha, ba). We can spell almost anything. We can pronounce almost any word in the entire human vocabulary, perfectly.

I love the crows. I even like it when they let go of their organic missiles on us. It makes us laugh. It gives us a great story to tell in addas. Yes, I love addas as well. I love how we can make any place our hot spot for a very cool adda. No one bothers us even when we are very loud and obnoxious. Not forcefully, anyway.

I like the waiter-mama who calls us mama too and brings us tea and shingara. Ah, shingara. Is there any such awesome food? At such a cheap price? I love the crunchy parts. I love how insanely well shingaras fit into any adda.

I love to call people mama. The conductor of the bus, the CNG driver, the rickshaw-wala, the gatekeeper, the salesman at Nilkhet, the waiter at the roadside Meghna Hotel, the flexi-load dude, the guy who cleans our campus. I like how they really treat us like family members and take us seriously. I like how we make relations this easily.

I love our cricketers. I jump up and down every time they beat an opponent, be it Zimbabwe or Australia. I love to see millions others joining me in my ecstasy. I fondly remember the time when we defeated Pakistan in the World Cup and we got out of our houses with anything that made noise and thrashed the city crazy.

I look back to the time when we mourned the six of the last ball off Mashrafe. It was as if the whole country was at a dear friend's funeral. I feel elated when a random stranger high-fives me after we win a good match. I love how we say “we won/lost” in place of “our cricket team won/lost”. I love how united we are. Even when we are criticising, we do it because of the love we bear for them.

I love the culture of sharing with our neighbours. At one time, our parents and grandparents were like families with their neighbours. I know the situation is not at all like that now. But we still share the pitha, an iftaar, and the chaler ruti and gajorer halua at Shab-e-Barat. We still find them at our side at emergencies. I love how the boro bhai of the colony looks out for us; I love how the boro apu downstairs loves us like real siblings.

I love our streets. There is so much life. Even when we stand still in a jam, there is never a boring moment. Watch the chocolate-seller, the flower-girl, or the random rickshaw-pullers cursing each other, perhaps another one making philosophical comments to the passenger. Hear someone singing an old song, or delivering a speech. On the road. Hear them talk about the country. Hear their suggestions. Notice how even the illiterate think about the welfare of the country as a whole. Did you know that the suggestion of a certain CNG-driver may solve the road-communication problem if implemented properly? This is how the general mass feels for the country.

I love the feeling of hope in every countryman's heart. Even in deep misery and discomfort most of us manage to pull off a very toothy smile. We believe that better days will come.

Every little thing about my country makes me love her.

We have flaws. We have problems. We have natural disasters. We have an erratic economy. We have corruption tainting almost every developmental activity. We see people clashing with each other for the wrong reasons. We watch endless blame games. We fall victim to falsehood and narrow-mindedness. We hear our own people telling us how hopeless our country is. We have thousands that despair and leave the country permanently every year for the want of a better future.

Is there truly no future in our country? Of course, there is. Nothing is impossible for a nation that exudes so much positive energy. Nothing is impossible for 160 million people that breathe as one over a mere sport. Nothing is impossible for us.

We will succeed.

We are Bangladeshi through and through.



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