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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Memories of my father

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'Father', to us, is the name of shelter, love and motivation. Their guiding light shows us a bright future path. These great men are blessings to their children. Unfortunately, many of us can hardly realize this truth while they are alive as they then just seem to us 'an ordinary man busy and occupied with own work'.

The fact is all their works mean to accomplish children's well being, growth and prosperity. Indeed, a good father dedicates himself solely to their children, no matter how much they grow, how far they go, how unsuccessful they become. As for myself, I was blessed enough to have such a great guide. My father left us for eternity on the 5th December, 2015 while I was in another country for my Ph.D. work.

A few days ago, when I was searching for my father's pen in his bag, I got a copy of my appointment letter, my write ups, my first letter written to him at my age of only eight along with a dried up rose inside it and many others. I could not stop tears. Actually none in this world can avoid the strike of death.

Death is so democratizing that we fall down under the black veil of it most often quite unintentionally after leaving some undone duties to our next generation. My father Gour Chandra Karmaker has left such unfinished duties on me to accomplish. The morals I have achieved from this simple man prompt me to express my gratefulness to him.

To maintain a big family, he had to relinquish his own education so he started his career as a goldsmith. He was very happy with his profession. He always told me to love my work whatever I do and remain strict in one profession rather than changing it very frequently.  To satisfy his thirst of knowledge, he started reading books at night and delivering the knowledge to his children.

This man was never late in his profession. He earned the reverence for his punctuality. I saw my father shivering in fever but continuing to work up to midnight to deliver his gold made ornaments timely. When I asked him about the reason behind this urgency of work, he told me that the owners of these ornaments are earnestly waiting to get them. So delivering ornaments in time is a way to deliver joyful message to women and he must not delay. He advised me not to leave any work for tomorrow, if I can do it today. Till his last day, my father tried to render his service.

 I have always got him in white dress as white was his favorite color. His good heart made him look all the more beautiful in white dress. He never told lie and harmed others. He respected people from all caste, creed and religion. During Liberation War, he also helped freedom fighters by cooking food for them in his small shop. He had many close friends from other religions. He nurtured a sense of brotherhood for all.

When I was a very little girl, my father would often tell me a true story of his life. When he was only nine years old, he was travelling from the house of his sister-in-law. His sister was in her in-laws house. She asked him to carry a huge baggage for her father's family. The day was rainy and muddy. Finding no vehicles in the road, he started walking for a long time. All on a sudden, a heavy storm came.

He took refuge under a banyan tree in a graveyard next to his village. He started praying to God closing his eyes. Just after opening his eyes, he saw a very tall person standing in front of him. That big man came and very silently took all of his baggage on his own shoulder. He told my father to follow his footprints. After a few minutes, my father found him standing in front of his own house.

Surprisingly when he looked back to express thanks to him, he got nobody, not even any footprints. Father told me that it was his strong will power what probably helped him to carry the huge load. Perhaps because of this mind power or strong will, my father even in his third stage of cancer never stopped helping us, standing beside his family with his wit, courage and support.

The everyday sounds of our daily activities shall not awaken him from his sleep this time. No more he will go to perform his homely tasks but to me his life, work and advice are always worthwhile to remember and follow. The writer is an Associate Professor and Director of Institute of Modern Languages, Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.Email: protiva.karmaker@gmail.com


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