Thee Root

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Bibhuti Shah is a Bangladeshi. As a Hindu he leaved his mother land in 1971. But he does not leave his country, but situation is not friendly.

Submitted: October 31, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 31, 2017



Right this place where the privation of serviceable takes care the annihilated temple’s foundation which was founded by red-brick with lime and break-dust. Uncovered floor part showing some bricks behind the grass, dried and wild spinach covered by blackish lichen. Unknown creepers and herbs are present in the outskirts. There is nothing the bamboo fenced area apart from this. So, other side of the land was uncultivated or unoccupied. Probably someone tried to fructify bottle gourd by establishing a scaffold without permission beside this. But, perhaps, will be dry before fructify without serviceable take-caring.


Bibhuti Saha moved slowly to the fenced area and holds on to grips a couple of bamboo strip. Then he looks a careful watch on all of the directions, touch his forehead with one hand and put that quickly on the bamboo strip again. He tried to recall after gazing on the blackish bricks of the faded away temple's foundation. There was Dhana uncle’s house beside the west part of that. In the rainy season to avoid the mud and filthy water, he makes an isle by brick. That was nearly half a feet of the yards level of his house door. But Bibhuti Saha found nothing to see that place. In thought, to console him, said, after so long everything would be same like before? No, Never!

Possibly the villager took only a few finished all bricks of the connecting path between Dhana uncle’s house to the temple. 

Especially, nor a brick soling floor, at least cow shade or a few numbers of bricks in front of door, increase honor and dignity in a middle class society. Of course, when he came here, the range of vision he found of many building and semi building in the village. Some people make brick built floor only in accordance with their ability.

Chhoto pishi was disagreed to make stair in front of the temple. But, as so young nobody care her voice. However, that year in a very rainy day to carrying the offering food to the family goddess, Sulekha, the elder daughter of Mona uncle, sledded her step from the stair, the time of departing from the temple after worthy of worship and after falling on the stair stricken by the corner of the stair, was broken her one tooth on the front side of the mouth. For that cause, her wedding ceremony was delayed too much. Bibhuti hear the story after landing an ear to seniors gathering.

When Shulekhadi came to visit her father’s house, every noon all of the female members were gathered in the yard with bits of domestic works, that time, all of them sweetened with odd talking and laughter loudly without at any cause.

Someday kaki, Jethi or Shulekhadi commented loudly, after mentioning him, Bibhuti, you have no business here, get lost!

In this reminiscence he felt, there is no meeting or visit with Shulekhadi after her marriage, for a long time. She was living in the village Bharaduba with her husband. In spite of the desire Bibhuti Saha cannot go to see her ever.

Even though, every year he came to visit his forefathers homestead and to touch his birthplace. But after a time lag he cannot go to Bharaduba for a moment. Somehow, Bibhuti Saha thinks if she is living stead at the time being, her running edge might be cross sixty five years.

When he came here, a couple of years before, that time his friend Hamid Bakshi, who lived in the northern part of the village, proposed to sell the piece of land and the buyer also ready to pay a good amount before registering the land. But Bibhuti did not get any support from the deep of the mind. His children were frequently told him before the relation with his birthplace is no more a piece of land.

Nowadays, young chap does not learn to appraise to the intensity of emotion, nor evaluates their ancestors dignity of blood, were buried their forefather’s bone and skin, how become detached himself from that glorious land?

Where he stands on at this moment, unable to imagine, no one hid kindred or unrelated in this country. He feels that all are present here, inside the fenced area, under the cover of green grass.

He looked on the screen of memory and found a mango tree behind the temple. Which fruits were very sour in taste, village girls and women took greenish mangoes to make pickles and cook sourness at home. Kaki, Jethi or Kaka-Jetha ever prevented them, nobody had seen the scene. Gradually, after the victory of nineteen seventy one a resident of this village, named Badaruddin sold after cutting the tree.

As far as his knowledge, Kaka or Jetha did not sell that mango tree to that man. Even anybody protested or opposed against that man Bibhuti Shaha never heard about it.

Now a day Badaruddin not alive yet, otherwise he must call that man for an explanation about the right of cutting the mango tree. How the man acquired the right or ownership of the tree. The actual owner was a Hindu? Whose went to India at liberation period? That tree was enemy property else or there was any other motive?

However, it is so well, the tree does not exist, Bibhuti Saha sighed after a thought, observing the naked place.

During that day, where Jabbar Munshi set fire to their house, at the liberation period, two days before that man came with comrades to marry Chhota pisi after converting her as a Muslim law.

Baba, kaka and jetha cannot refuse his proposal, because they were alliances with the Pakistani army. So, being compelled Baba, Kaka and Jetha, to consent that proposal. But Chhota pisi tolerated that humiliation, so that night to rescue her from imminent unscriptural practice; she hanged upon the mango tree. But most probably she might be forgotten about her kith and kin, overwhelmed with the thought of her freedom, Baba, Kaka, Jetha, Kaki and Jethi were not free up to that time.

The next day Chhota pisi’s suicidal news becomes public very quickly. In the evening, Jabbar Munshi came to the house around with ten to fifteen Pakistani soldiers and other collaborators. They searched something important inside the houses. The boy, Bibhuti heard everything in an absconding position from the cane plant bush, behind the house. But there was no reaction from mother, Kaki and Jethi. Likely they also fled or hide somewhere. But various types of sounds come out of the cane bush, like hit and kick on the door wood and on the tin of the house fence. After a little while the fire was blazing furiously, simultaneously the sound of gunfire roaring all of the surroundings.

Once Jabbar Munshi utters the name of Dhana uncle, but why Bibhuti could not understand. Every evening Dhana uncle goes to the temple and takes a long time for his daily worship. Pakistani army started again gun fire. The boy Bibhuti cannot keep continue his audacity and move up more backward after the cane plant bush.

Three brothers’ dead bodies were falling for two long days on the inflamed house's hot yard. Dhana uncle the devotee of goddess fallen on the floor of the temple. Chhoto pishi hanged from a bough of the mango tree. However, after seeing four dead bodies at a time, he cannot utter a cry or cannot weep yet. Why Bibhuti cannot cry or cannot weep that day, he failed to run after the case till today. In the dark night, that day, Hamid’s father with a few companions dug a deep hole in the yard ground and buried the three dead bodies in the same place. Other side, they put Chhoto pishis dead body in a new ditch. They were four dead, as non-Muslim not worthy for Muslim obsequies.

In other hand the area was captured by the Pakistani Muslim army, for the unfavorable situation they were deprived from the act of singeing the mouth under the rules of Hindu religion. How to far become wretched a person deprived of his or her life-last possession, that could be highlights a fatalist only.

Kaki, Jethi and mother’s lamentation and heart rendering lachrymose haunted him to ran away from there. Before the liberation there was a crematorium in the village, there is being a Hafijia madrasa now. Children were admitted here to memorizing the holy Quran. They were read Quranic verse loudly or memorize ‘Surah’ unitedly. On the other hand in the world of the invisible, somewhere in haven the working angles passing their busy time to making the crown of the holy lights for their parents.

And the sinner Hindu souls, who burnt in the crematorium, strike their heads behind the wall of heavenly Quranic sound. Like these words notice the head teacher with laughter to the children, to enjoy under a benefit from the head of the Madras, children learn their lesson loudest voice.

A few Hindu families were living in this village, but there is none of them. It is to say that the village is fully for the Muslim inhabitants now. Namosudra, Hindu Bibhuti show only person who's forefathers' land and the temple area’s ownership not handed over yet. Consequently, there still being a hybrid mode. Except that, there are a large number of villages in Bangladesh living Hindu family to keep aloof. An affair to distant future not would be a pinch of Hindu property, but there is no any other village without Muslim family.

Where implanted bamboo strip fenced area since for a long time depressed in a ditch certain number of Bibhuti Shas forefathers family members. Long time ago the time of liberation, unlawfully oozed cheerful blood mixed with this land, which land connected with his blood and soul, not easy to uproot from there. Who ever ready to pay as much price indeed for the noble land, he never does that his won self.

After the couple of the days when Bibhuti Saha came back in the village, his mother, kaki and jethi were not present there. All of the small number Hindu family had been leaving the village. He went from house to house, but all were desolated, no one of Hindu continues there. In this reason he was not able to meet with them. In the absence of Hindu families the devoted people of Jabbar Munshi are bringing out cupboards, white brass cup-plates, pitchers, wooden cots, table-chairs. Somebody unbolts the tin from house fence and shade of the houses, the boy Bibhuti could not understand all of the misery or secrets of Jabbar gong; but an incident was very clear to him that day, not only his village, there was no one his own all over the country. Therefore, he could not dare to disclose to other people about Jabbar Munshi.

Bibhuti stayed several days in the burnt house alone. Hamid bakshis sister Mabia cooked rice for him two days only. A Muslim girl’s affection or love for a non-Muslim, Hindu kid might not be decent to the Muslim community. For that cause, next third day morning to noon Bibhuti tried to cook rice his own self, but he had no idea how to ignite an earthen furnace. He went back become hungry to Hamid’s father's house at noon. After seeing him, Mabia shouted, why did you too much delayed? Your rice may become rice again!

He stayed for several days with that family.

One day, during twilight, Mabia warned him in a whispering that all of the Hindu people in this country must be converted as Muslim. Otherwise, the Muslim leaders and the Imam of local mosque circumcise every Hindu man and boys. In this time of danger, why did you stay here?

After a short talk Mabia told again, all though we are Muslim, but not safe indeed! As a Hindu boy how dare you walk here and there? You should go to your uncle’s house in India for safety.

Bibhuti never heard before his relative living in India. Moreover, who is that uncle, where he being live, by which side or the way he should go there? After a day in the midnight Mabia roused him from sleep and told, we all are absconding the village. You also move together and then two or three days later you will go to India with a troop of freedom fighters. My father talked with someone, but I don’t know him at all.

Early at night he left the village with Hamid’s family. They walked the whole night and stopped where the village ended. Bibhuti stayed there for five days. Last day Hamid’s father and other nine persons crossed the border. Before depart from him Hamid’s father Mohammad Bokshi gave him a folded small paper, the address Laksmi Narayan Saha, Krishnanagar was written there.

To see Hamid Bakshi has come from a distance Bibhuti Saha leaves the fence and move backward a little to approached to Hamid his own self.

After near to each other, Hamid Bakshi said, during you stay here I have already been finished in various types of works before came back here. I would be at my home, let’s go now! After taking a bath you will have a lunch and rest. Now tell me what type of fish be fetched or different any, cock or pigeon?

-No need extra anything!

Bibhuti Saha opposed and said again; whatever your kitchen will be enough!

Both friends are passing the village path together, with discussion their past events. A turn of discussion Hamid Bakshi said angrily, we, the mass people are almost stupid! Everybody knows, Jabbar Munshi is an intriguer, war-criminal, but still every time the people elected him as a chairman. After the election, he arranges castrated goat and entertain at a feast for his comrades. In an independent country, war criminals becoming chairman, parliament member, minister is not ashamed us?

Bibhuti Saha don’t like to talk about this sensitive issue. Nowadays, many freedom fighter necking by war criminals and their relatives, but mass people don’t care; even, the government also hesitated to take any hard action against them.

Hamid Bakshi doesn’t care about the sitence of Bibhuti Saha and keep continue. I have heard that this turn you don’t sale your homestead, after a few days Jabbar Munshi will be occupy it. Perhaps, he will be mutation by using the name of government. In the cadestre office he will make settlement record on his name and enlist his name in ledger book as an owner. So, I should advise you to do something before back to India again.

-What do you say? Bibhuti Saha surprised and said, it’s not easy like talking about!

After listening about occupation of the land, Bibhuti Saha talked in oblivion language, like the voice of grass root leveled people after a long time.

Do they not give him a chance to continue the relation with his birth place?

Anyone tried to assert himself, will they uprooted him at a time? In that case, those days arrived at the door, when the drum beat, the sounds of bell metal or the sound of blowing a conch - shell anywhere in the evening time?

Then and there he thought that the situation is not too much poor yet. He also be well-established by turn a bit boldly, otherwise what would be? At least to be drained out from as good as dead. In the meantime, the thought inspired him to take the decision that he will not hand over the land at any cost, rather he would not go back to India. Moreover, he will inform to his family that he is going to make a new house on his homestead by brick permanently. Which become a great temple for him and be a safe shelter for his forefather where buried underneath the new house.

By no means has whatever leaves the right of the land, up to remain alive and never untie the blood-relationship with this country ever.


(The End)




Chhoto pishi- Father’s younger sister.

Kaka- Father’s younger brother.

Kaki- Kaka’s wife.

Jetha- Father’s Elder brother.

Jethi- Jetha’s wife.

~di- Sister in relation.

© Copyright 2018 Julian Siddiqi. All rights reserved.

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