Stories

My eleven-hour love story

Asif Ahmed Noor | ১৭ জানুয়ারি ২০০৮ ১১:১৫ পূর্বাহ্ন

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“It’s one…where are you?”

“Yeah I’m right here; I’ll see you in about five minutes.”

“Ok, then I’ll wait right here on level two. Come fast.”

There was a beep at the other end. With a quick glance at his wrist watch Oni smiled and rushed through the crowded pavement. It’s one in the afternoon; he’s half an hour late for his first date. Now that he was almost there – all on a sudden he felt this butterfly effect in his stomach, as if he was anticipating his O-level results! It’s been three years since he knows Amreen and they’ve talked numerous times on the phone, but today everything was so different.

Three years back, one fine but not so sunny morning Oni pressed “2” to speed dial on his cell phone. Next thing he heard Ahaana’s cell ringing. Ahaana who? His newly found best friend! How they met is another story, but within two rings there was a “hello” from the other side. Oni started off the usual way, “Good morning dear and how are we doing this morning?” (সম্পূর্ণ…)

The Night of the Full Moon

Mir Waliuzzaman

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Like any other serious predicament, it all had started most ordinarily. And, if the phenomenon which is being considered to be the underlying reason of everything is found justified, then it should boil down to a very simple affair, after all. Because the darling daughter used to be cross with her parents regularly, as they happened to be late returning home almost daily. And, for that matter, who would like to come back to an empty home everyday, unlock the front door, and wait, and wait for the other inmates, sitting all alone?

Jiji, however, was never to return home straight from her school. She had to attend her tutorials four times a week and music and dancing classes on Saturdays and Wednesdays. She would spend her Sunday mornings at home, taking painting lessons. Had she, then, got mad at seeing the yellow note posted on the refrigerator after she had just been back from the weekly dance session? Certainly she was or, why should she crush the chit in her palm angrily, and throw the paper ball away so fiercely, blindly that it rolled under the sofa and rebounded from the wall? (More…)

Flights

Dibakar Barua

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A blue and white jumbo jet shakes free of the earth and roars into an afternoon glare. Shredded clouds, a hard crystalline sheet of water below, and the dotted fragility of the Los Angeles shoreline seem strange and sorrowful.

The last time I crossed the Pacific was five years ago, in 1990, when my wife flew with me to meet my relatives in Bangladesh. The need for this solitary flight came suddenly last week as I tried to cure a bout of mild insomnia by drinking a late nightcap. The phone rang. A raspy voice from the old country crackled through a maze of wires and satellite connections. (More…)

It’s only a story

Fazal M. Kamal

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She was drop-dead beautiful. He was more than cynical.

She had rose-petal lips. He had a profusion of blemishes.

She was blossoming. He was intensely hungry for the world.

The first time he saw her he couldn’t restrain himself from staring at her. The first time she saw him she couldn’t restrain herself from running away.

They were from different constellations. There just wasn’t any point of connect. There just wasn’t any hope in a projected relationship. There just wasn’t anything that could interest her in him. Because he offered nothing that she couldn’t get in a better form. Because she was the luminescent embodiment of Dido’s voice.

And yet he tried. He tried, oblivious to her apathy. He tried persistently. In simple terms, he pestered her. He was wont to having Ally McBeal moments because, as many had claimed before, in his desperate life he intermittently lived in a parallel galaxy. And the more he lived, the more desperate he became. His was a life lived in the constant knowledge of the finiteness of time. (More…)

Mon coeur

Mir Waliuzzaman

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(Mrinalini Devi writes to R N Tagore as imagined by the author of this piece)

It is midnight. Madhurilata sleeps verily like a child beside me; I happen to be lying supine, all alone, awake. Closing my tired, aching eyes, I see you swaying gently on the Padma waves, an elbow propped on piles of satin cushions, half-lying under the awning of the Chapala, your celebrated boat moored at Shilaidaha. Your oracular, Nobel-wrenching pen takes another dip into the gilded inkpot-cum-pen stand, in the midst of spraying potent, endearing, soulful words addressed to Indira, your fondly pampered devotee.

The moonlit night cavorts flashily on the deck and around, beating relentlessly on the gently breaking waves, tracing ethereal, almost surreal patterns glittering; captivated, enchanted, eager, aroused—the poet luxuriates in the blissful, nocturnal ambience, gazing upon the fragile Padma waves breaking eagerly, anxiously—impatient to be immortalized by the beholder’s pen in a moment. Oblivious of me, of Madhu, of Sudder Street, Jodashanko—you write on and on—in an environment arcadian, sylvan, or circean!

This night invokes the lover in you, the poet-cum-belletrist is poised for action…you’re visited by welcome phantoms—of your self-destroying notun bouthhan, of unknown femmes fatales—you go into ecstasies when Bibi writes to you in joy. You solemnly pledge your newly written songs to her! (More…)

The Wife’s Letter

Shawkat Hussain

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(This is a translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Streer Patra)

Respected Lotus-Footed one,

We have been married for fifteen years and I have not written you any letter in this time. We have always been together and there was never any need to write letters.

Today, I have come for a pilgrimage at Srikhettra and you are in your office working. Your relationship with Kolkata is like that of a snail’s with its own shell. Kolkata is a part of your body and soul, so you did not apply for leave. Perhaps that was what God wanted; but he has granted my application for leave.

I am the second daughter-in-law in your family. Today, standing by the seashore, fifteen years after our marriage, I have realized that I have another relationship with the universe and its creator. (More…)

Seek, and ye may not find

Fazal M. Kamal

An unfinished dialogue

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“Doc, they just won’t let me forget her!”

“Who won’t?”

“They. All those radio stations!”

“Why would they be after you?”

“I don’t know, Doc. I just don’t know. But they keep playing that song over and over and
over again!”

“What song?”

“That James Blunt song. You know, the one I told you about. It’s driving me completely crazy!”

“You’re beautiful etc? And so and so forth?”

“Yeah. That’s it. That’s the one! Wherever I go, whenever I switch on the radio. It’s playing. It’s playing everywhere, all the time!” (More…)


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