08 AUGUST 2018, 02:54 pm
সকাল থেকে রাত, রাত থেকে সকাল,
অজান্তে কিংবা সজ্ঞানে, প্রতি প্রহরে
কেবল চলেছি ছুটে।
দাবী ছিনিয়ে নিতে।
সম্পদ সীমিত, খাবার সীমিত,
বিপুলা বসুন্ধরার মাটির ঠাঁই ও আজ
কেড়েকুড়ে বুঝে নিতে হয়।
সুযোগ, সেও আজ তার
মর্জি বুঝে ধরা দেয়।
এগোতে গেলে অন্যকে পেছনে ফেলে,
মাড়িয়ে, পিষ্ট করে বুঝে নিতে হয়
কত ধানে কত চাল।
অস্তিত্বের জন্য জয়ী হতে হতে এগোনোটা নিয়ম,
সে তো প্রমাণ হয়েছে
কয়েক যুগ আগেই।
জয়ের থেকে তাই ঢের বেশী আনন্দ দেয়
কিছু নিষ্পাপ চিরনবীন পরাজয়।
যুগ যুগ ধরে মুক্তি হয়ে আসুক
চিরবিজয়ী শিশু অথবা প্রেমিক
বা নিষ্পাপ কোনো মন।
চিরকাল পরাজিত হোক
শিশুর কাছে প্রবীণ,
প্রেমের কাছে শৌর্য, আর..
মনুষত্বের কাছে মানুষ।
Those who live in plain get easily excited by the slightest variation of their surrounding nature. Her homeland, her birthplace, is a village almost central to the great plane of her country. Though highly fertile, land here is plain like the surface of a paper, monotonous, dull, tedious to eyes. Stand in the middle of an open field and you will see the perfect circle of the horizon. No ‘pleasant disturbance’ of a hill or an undulating land is there to block your vision. There are plenty of rivers though. But they have passed the phase of juvenility. The stream of the senescent rivers is placid, serene and calm after traveling hundreds of miles through the mountains and the plateaus.
Her excitement knew no bounds when she came to study at a university at the foot of the Himalayas. Nature here never ceased to amaze her. She often finds herself watching through the window for hours towards the blue edges of the distant mountains at the horizon, or when the cloud erases some of the edges and floats down to the valley through the slopes. At night, when the sky is clear, the stars seem to descend on the surface of the mountains. From this distance, thousands of lights of the hill towns, a bit more bright than the stars above, look like a fairyland from the age-old tales.
When the monsoon season almost starts fading away and a brief autumn almost starts to take over the place, when the equable climate unfolds the perfect blue of the sky, the nature may allow you to witness the golden crown of the Kanchenjunga, the queen of the Himalayas, bathed with the early sunshine in the morning. Those who see it know how spectacular the view can be.
Autumn here is not a season, it is more like a short spell of time. Winter starts here after a fortnight of autumn. The mist of early winter morning totally wipes away the mountains from the horizon. Winter makes the nature so dull here. But she knows a secret place, if you go to the tea garden at the north of the university after the sunset, you will see a real fairyland. Thousands of fireflies venture out after their afternoon slumbers and dance over the tea leaves. The long trees in the garden standing at occasional distances look like incarnate specters in the dark. At this moment you can imagine about the benevolent mountain spirit if you want. You will be thrilled. I wont tell you how it feels. Close your eyes and imagine you being there. Can you feel it?
He returned to the railway colony after five decades. Almost nothing had changed in the last few decades except the railway tracks. A broad gauge line replaced the narrow gauge line. Well, there were lots of trees back then too. This place used to be way more greener back then, more lively, not so poor greyish all around. Time seemed to stop here at this colony of the refugees. Communal riots during the decade of seventies compelled his father to leave his country and all of his possessions behind. He fled with his wife and baby son in the dark of the night and settled here like the thousand others. Hundreds of families settled on the grasslands and the barren fields that stretched over miles beside the rail tracks. His father was a farmer back there in his homeland. He had no farming land here so he took the job of a hawker.
When his father woke up daily for work it used to be still dark outside. He would go to the riverside and collect one basketful of fish from the local fishermen. He would come home when the sun would just rise above the horizon. He used to have his breakfast and go to town to sell fish and return home along the rail line with some rice, lentils and red salt. His mother used to grow vegetables in the backyard. Sometimes he followed his father secretly to the town. His father used to cry his merchandise in the market square; he still remembered the tone.
His father was an honest man. One day he counted his income at the end of the sell and found an extra note of 50 rupees in his hand. Might be the result of coincidental unawareness of the seller and a customer. His father bought some extra rice that day and distributed among the homeless children in town and returned home.
His father never got angry with him except for one day. He was ten years old then. He stole a pomelo from the backyard of their neighbor. He loved pomelos. His father saw it, snatched it from his hands and dragged him to the neighbors and made him apologize for that. Next day he bought a pomelo for his son from the town. His father toiled to support his family and wanted to make his son a teacher in future.
He returned here again after decades. He was an old man now, a respectable teacher in town. He went where his home used to be. His father died yesterday and he came back here to collect the things. The house would be sold in a week. He went to the backyard and saw the the pomelo tree. Smitten with grief he left the place immediately, quickly packed his father’s things and came on the street. His eyes were moist. Today he became homeless for the second time.
There is something about the gentle moist breeze
that blows over the paddy fields and the grasslands and travels a long long way. It brings the stories that are told for ages among the foreign people beyond the horizon. If you are able to listen you will know; it has its own language.
Sometimes it brings a piece of your memory with it, may be a memory of your childhood. Last time it told me about two girls, they fled from their school on a winter morning ten years ago. They fled to a paddy field across the rose garden and the sports ground. If you want a proof then ask the wise banyan tree still standing at the end of the field.
They ran and ran until the school and the busy street were out of their sight. They ran through the paddy field and probably crossed miles when they reached the end of it. A broad open space and beyond it there was the sal forest. There they met this winsome thing.
He was probably the luckiest boy they had ever met. He never went to school, that was what he said. He could play the most beautiful music they had ever heard with his bamboo flute. He had a stick made of cane in his hand and he lived in a hut deep in the forest. They became friends. He took them to the field of sweet peas. The three of them played there for a whole afternoon and eating peas, hiding the leftover in their sweaters.
When they returned they told the teachers and their parents about their wild friend with a flute and a stick in his hands but nobody believed them. They got a good scolding instead.
After so many years the memory still returns every time they see the paddy field. They can find solace in the warm breeze that brings the tune of flute and the smell of the paddy fields, the smell of their childhood.
There is a ‘tiny giant’ called ‘desire’, sleeping in the utmost secret place of a mind, invisible and imperceptible at first even to the owner of the mind. Sometimes it remains concealed forever. Sometimes it feeds itself and grows; and grows more to become large enough to rise. It possesses an indomitable spirit to express itself. It has such a strong urge to dominate others that it sometimes engulfs the mind and owns its owner.
Only a humble person can hold a firm grip over this giant. People need to differentiate between desires and innocuous dreams. Not all desires are dreams that you can achieve. Only a clear perception of mind can help you.
Achieved your dream. Never get carried away by your desires.
The boy wandered through hundreds of woods, crossed the beaches of the seven seas, in search of the philosopher’s stone…
Now in his decrepit ages.. sometimes he thinks about the stranger he met in his village.
For the last eight decades he walked over hundreds of villages and cities..
Spent countless nights under the milky way..
He knew the paths that led to the safest places in the darkness of the woods.. and the caves of the mountains where he spent his stormy and starless nights… In his quest for searching the philosopher’s stone.
That was what he believed his destiny was.
Eight decades ago.. a little boy met a wanderer.
He found something mysterious about that stranger.
The stranger didn’t talk much.
But when he talked, he talked about destiny.
There was something mystical in his stories that held the little boy in awe and fascination.
It was about finding your own treasure, he said.
He said he left his home to find his destiny.
One day the stranger left the village as mysteriously as he arrived.
Ten more years have passed,
He didn’t find the philosopher’s stone, the key to the endless treasure..
But he knew how the sun rises over the seven seas.
How the sunsets melt the red of the sky on the snow of the mountains.
He woke up with the songs of the nightingales and magpies in the woods..
He tasted the sweet water of hundreds of rain-water springs that followed the slopes through the mountain forests..
He knew the smell of the damp and warm soil where it rained once in a year..
And he knew the people of the seven continents..
And his friend, the shepherd boy who used to play his flute to his grazing herd of buffaloes..
He did not found the stone, yet he found his own treasure.. years after years of wandering made him the true child of nature.
He is content and now,
He is awaiting his death, the ultimate destiny of mortals.
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