Miracles in Daily Life
By chance, the train arrived late that day. Which enabled Tony to catch the train even after arriving late at the station.
The train just started moving and he barely managed to hop in pushing his luggage through the open door. Thank God for the manual system of closing the door was still in vogue. Tony leaped into the compartment, passing right in front while the train was picking up speed leaving the station.
-Oh! I just made it. God knows, what would have happened if I missed it. Tony gushed out a sigh of relief.
Having enjoyed the last part of his long vacation in his maternal uncle’s house, Toy was falling back. He needs to reach his college hostel by that evening.
There is a small station close to his uncle’s house but Express Trains don’t halt there. That’s why he has to make about forty kilometres road journey to this main station.
He didn’t want to take a chance lest he got late and that’s why he started at late wee hours by his uncle’s private car.
The car was moving pretty fast through the desolate road at this hour, well before the rooster crowing. It was a clear sky and the Venus was still glowing in the eastern sky.
Tony was in a good mood. Having enjoyed about a month long vacation mostly with his maternal uncle’s family, Tony was ruminating over the pleasant memories.
As luck would have it, the car broke down en-route spiking his fond recollection. Tony felt disturbed but refrained from charging the driver by seeing his helpless visage.
Middle aged driver was up and doing to make the car all right.
Giving in to the vagary of luck, Tony alighted from the car and squatted on a road side grass turf mound.
-It was a weekend, over and above at that time of cockcrow morning it was well-nigh impossible to get another passing vehicle on this country road. Tony thought.
He almost gave up the idea of returning the college in time.
-He would miss the train for sure. But he needs to reach the college anyway though late. He thought.
-But how would he travel more than two hundred kilometers to his college? He felt helpless.
-For the last more than two weeks, he travelled almost haywire for so many kilometers in the same car and without any glitch, but now in this dire necessity, it had to give up, this is called a bad stroke of luck. Tony was creeping to himself.
Akbor Joardar, Tony’s father always dream his son to be a good medical doctor in his life. Only a simple doctor won’t suffice, he has to be a renowned doctor having a lot of degrees, but won’t do any job anywhere. He would rejuvenate the old family hospital located in Joardar Estate, which was founded by the great grandfather of Tony. Akbor Joardar wants his son to materialize the dream of his grandfather. He dreamed that the hospital would serve the people of his area by providing free medical treatment. For continuation of Joardar dynasty, Tony is the only hope for Akbor Joardar. He considers his son, begotten at a later stage of his life to be a wonderful gift of God.
Tony’s parents almost gave up hope for any issue and submitted to the will of God. They took it as a wish of God for discontinuation of Joardar Dynasty and non-materialization of all dreams, its founding father conceived for the Estate. Tony came at a time when they totally gave up.
-Tony has an especial connection with the soil and plants of Joardar Estate, like the connection between mother and son. Razia Begum, Tony’s mother always says. Always Razia Begum makes a point with Tony since his early boyhood that ‘Tony must never estrange himself from this estate for any reason come what may’.
-I’ll take you along mom, if I’ve to go.
This off the cuff comment of Tony, to calm down his mother’s repeated request made Razia Begum distraught.
-It’s totally irrelevant whether you take me along or not, you’ll never leave Joardar Estate, this is my last warning, son. Her eyes always get moist in emotional outburst whenever Razia Begum gives this warning to her son for never leaving the Estate.
Beside his own home, Tony has cordial affiliation with his maternal granddad’s family. His mother is the only sister of her three brothers. Besides maternal uncles, granddad and grandma are still alive heading a big joint family of three generations. Enjoyments in maternal uncle’s home has a different taste and flavor, which sticks in memory for a long time.
Tony is in the final year of Higher Secondary School. This vacation was the last one before the final exam, scheduled few months from now. Having spent little less than two weeks of one month leave in his own home, Tony spent the rest of vacation with his maternal uncle’s family.
For Tony, enjoying leave in maternal uncle’s house has a different taste. He was totally lost in recapitulation of sweet memories.
Suddenly, a cacophony made by some locally made human hauler lacerated the silence girt desolate area and jerked Tony back to present.
He looked at that. The approaching human hauler was still quite far. Accompanying servant boy, Karim Khisa went on to the road to stop that.
Karim Khisa was just over fifteen years of age. His father Aliena Khisa belonged to a mongoloid tribal race, lived in the hilly area. Tony’s maternal granddad got acquainted with Aliena in a Rest House while he was on a tour in hilly area. That was a Rest House of forest department and Aliena used to work there as an attendant. He could barely read and write but talked Bangla fluently. He used to read selective portion of newspapers and looked at pictures of the spacious black tar roads, vehicles and buildings of the cities and remained bemused.
As Aliena grew close relation with his granddad, he told that he did not like life in hills. ‘It’s choking’, he said. He strongly desired to go to the towns in the plain land.
Aliena did not have anyone to call his real own. His mother died when he was a boy and his father married again and got his new family.
Granddad brought Aliena to this civilized world with a promise that he would be sent back if Aliena did not feel good at his new place. But Aliena did not go back and stayed permanently.
Some ultra-enthusiast of granddad’s family members enthused him to convert to Islam and got him married with a Muslim girl to settle there as one of many. Granddad built them a house in one corner of his big homestead.
Having left whatever one call his own, Aliena dipped in his dream of new home. He did not survive long and died leaving his only son, Karim Khisa.
Though Aliena wanted to change everything from his root, but almighty nature did not cooperate fully. His son got his skin color from his mother though, but the physical appearance was totally aligned with Aliena.
The very facial appearance of Karim betrays his actual origin and speaks that he does not belong here. Whenever he sits alone, thinking about his own world, he looks very out of place. It looks very clearly that he does not belong here. The sign of root that nature has stamped on his physical appearance even catches the eyes of a cursory onlooker, let alone the interested ones.
Karim Khisa is fed up of this. He has decided to go back to his root leaving everything here.
No one can deny the desire of Providence, the supreme dispenser of destinies. His wish is the final say. Total submission to the will of providence is the only solution.
Having heaved a sigh of regret, one day Karim proposed to his granddad that he wanted to change his name to Korom Khisa and would go back to hills after doing some arrangement to his mother. He would leave for ever.
-The speed, the human hauler was keeping, it was impossible to catch the train. Thought Tony.
Despite Tony’s unwillingness, Karim dragged and loaded all luggage into the hauler and said,’ see what destiny decides’.
They could barely reach the station just before the train started trundling with squeaking sound.
It was not possible to get into the compartment as per seat number. As Karim pushed the luggage into the compartment right in front, Tony jumped into the moving train.
On that day, only owing to the persistence of Karim Khisa, Tony could get into the moving train.
First class compartment. Cabins are with two and four double decked berths with adjacent thoroughfare narrow corridor.
Rooms were all reserved.
Tony was aware that he was in a compartment other than the one he reserved. But he could not help it. It was not as per his choice but by chance.
His luggage was lying in the narrow corridor almost blocking the passage, as such Tony felt the necessity to move those and clear the passage.
But he was in a fix- where to keep the luggage for the time being before he finds out his own reserved seat.
A middle aged couple was looking for their cabin. To make way for them, Tony lifted the hand bag, hung that across his shoulder and pushed the big suitcase through the door left ajar of the adjacent room.
-It’s a reserved cabin. A heavy built, post middle aged woman stuck out her face through the door to register her mild protest in local tongue.
-Sorry Aunt, I’ve no intention to stay here anymore than a bit. Tony expressed his annoyance subtly.
Tony did a double take at the lady while pushing in the big suitcase with an air of panache.
-It’s a stroke of fate that I entered into this compartment. My seat isn’t here, it’s in some other compartment. Luggage was blocking the free passage through the corridor, I am putting it here for the time being, as soon as I find my reserved seat I would come and take it, please bear with till then.
Tony smiled looking at the eyes of the lady.
He pushed the suitcase further inside saving her permission and went out in search of his seat.
The reserved compartment is in the name of a girl, Eva Sarkar.
Eva is in final year Higher Secondary School student of Holy Homes Residential College. She was returning after a long vacation before her final examination.
The train leaves at mid night, then journey takes almost the whole of next day. If there is any delay en-route, which happens frequently, then that would take even the full next night to reach the destination. That’s why Arif Sarkar, Eva’s father always reserve four berth cabin to comfortably accommodate his daughter and her governess with extra luggage.
Eva is not in good mood as she is returning her college having enjoyed a long vacation.
Reclined on her lower berth, Eva was trying to get her mind set in reading of a journal. On next lower berth, her governess was cozily lying.
Like all other time, her father loaded the entire luggage himself on the upper berth, gave packet lunch, dinner, sufficient snacks and drinks with repeated instructions of eating those in time.
Governess, Lilly hails from a village close to Holy Homes. After reaching Eva to her hostel, Lilly would go to her home for few days’ vacation.
Lilly simmered with wrath for few minutes as Tony left the suitcase inside and then then fell asleep.
Out of curiosity, Eva lifted her face from the journal and looked at the suitcase. Tony’s name and his college address is written very distinctly on a tag attached with the suitcase.
They are in the same class and his college is also in the same town. The name appeared to be somehow known to Eva. She didn’t see his face then.
-Once he comes back she would try to take a good look at him. Thought Eva.