Untold Stories of Mr. Knot: Democracy 07 – Common Ground 02
By: Khandker Habib Ahmed
(All rights are reserved by the author)
(Consecutively after last section)
Mr. Knot reflects that the talks about democracy at Imrul’s house on that day were fruitful because he was able to stir eagerness, at least some, in Gulshan about it. Further, Gulshan is directly involved with politics for which it is very important to equip her with this important concept especially in the context of Bangladesh. All others present at Imrul’s house on that day have enjoyed both the cricket carnival as well as the delicious items of food prepared by sister Simi. Similarly, they enjoyed the social conversations on the concept of democracy which was manifested by their expressions. Thus, Mr. Knot was very optimistic thinking that his delivery on democracy was not wasted when the editors or reporters were paying no heed to his e-mail messages of request to publish his writings in their newspapers so the essence of democracy reaches to common mass people. It is not less if such conversations through social meetings help ensure propagate this invaluable concept among the people. So, Mr. Knot kept waiting for next opportunity to talk.
Residences of Imrul and brother Zakir are not far, they live close. They both live in that Metropolitan Oval area. As already mentioned, brother Zakir is a wealthy real estate businessman doing business with his wife Polinio, an Italian pedigree, as his partner. Brother Zakir thought that it was his turn to invite all others to his apartment in a weekend. All guests are the same except two new faces Shormila and Sorgina. Shormila is an Indian American who speaks Bengali of Kolkata very well and Sorgina is a Bangladeshi American who is actively involved in mainstream American politics as well as in expatriate politics of Awami circle. Both Shormila and Sorgina are business friends of brother Zakir.
Zakir: (on the phone) Mr. Knot, please come to our apartment tomorrow, the Sunday.
Mr. Knot: Why? When you all will come to our house?
Zakir: We’ll come later to your house. Tomorrow, we’ll enjoy the whole day at our apartment
together, six families, including families of Mrs. Shormila and Mrs. Sorgina, the new faces, watching the T20 cricket match between Bangladesh and India.
Mr. Knot: O. K., brother Zakir. We’ll be there……
(Like earlier, everybody is present at Zakir’s house in that Sunday morning. Brother Zakir introduced the new guests….the cricket is on….so the breakfast tea and coffee. Gulshan and Kazi sat close to Mr. Knot. Imrul, an ardent lover of cricket, kept goggling at the big screen to be lost in the game. Shormila and Sorgina, as new-comers, were looking around with full eagerness to adjust to a new setting.)
Kazi: Mr. Knot, I told you a very important thing on that day…..
Gulshan: Yes, Mr. Knot. How can we establish such a streamline democracy in a society like
Bangladesh where the differences among the people are not so diverse?
Mr. Knot: Oh Gulshan, how nicely you recalled! I must admire your passion for learning the
concept of democracy. Listen then, the United States of America is called a “Melting
Gulshan: Is it something like utensils for cooking?
Sorgina: Ha ha ha ha ha…..No, it is a metaphor….
Mr. Knot: Sorgina, Gulshan is a new comer to the United States with her husband. She is the
maternal cousin of my friend Imrul. Thus, many words in American language appear new to her. However, Gulshan is a very ingenuous and hard-working politician, actively engaged in Bangladesh politics. She was a State Minister for Home Affairs in the last Awami League Government. I help her by giving ideas etc. Gulshan also loves me for my advice, I understand.
Gulshan: O. K., Mr. Knot, keep it away. Now, tell about my utensils….
Mr. Knot: Yes, Gulshan, I am telling it. Listen, ‘Melting Pot’ is not actually any story on
utensils. It is a metaphor used to describe demographic diversity and the streamlined democratic system established in the United States. Think about a big pot, very strong and highly heated, to melt different types of metal pieces into one amalgamation. American democracy is like that. Compare that big strong pot to the whole America and its many differences to different metal pieces. By high heating it is possible to melt those pieces into amalgamated one, so is true for the streamlined democratic system in the United States even after many different groups in the total population. That is why America is called a “Melting Pot”. Do you understand now, Gulshan? This is one of the main characteristics of American democracy.
Gulshan: I understand the simile. However, I have a question. What lies in American democratic
system that helps them in such ‘melting’?
Mr. Knot: I already answered it…..It is that untiring efforts of the American people to find a
common ground. For example, some historical documents as well as the Constitution of the United Stated, among others, have contributed much to form this common ground. If the American people can establish a streamlined democracy (‘melting pot’) in spite of many different groups of people, why cannot we establish so in our society when the differences are not so many?
Kazi: That is also my point…..Why Bangladesh could not form a streamlined democracy in
the past or not being able to do so in the present?
Sorgina: It is my point too….
Shormila: Yes, it could be applicable for our country too, in all India or even in West Bengal as
Mr. Knot: Yes, It could be in many countries….However, it has to be analyzed in the context of
each country considering the situations of that specific country….
Gulshan: Mr. Knot, please make the analysis of Bangladesh first….
Mr. Knot: O. K., I will….
Gulshan: Alright, Mr. Knot. What do you mean by ‘streamlined’ especially when you explain
Mr. Knot: Listen, Gulshan, the word ‘streamlined’ means, in general, something very smooth or
in case of democracy, a smooth democracy. Let me tell you first the technical meaning of the word ‘streamlined’. For example, consider a few lines that are very narrow, albeit very clear, even if very close to each other. They are always parallel such that when one line takes a curve, others take the same curvature keeping the distance between them always the same and not losing their parallel characteristic. They never deviate from their internal discipline and always appear clearly visible. Now, apply this clarification to the concept of democracy…….
Gulshan: Oh! My god, so deep the matter….I feel dizziness… How I will establish this
‘streamlined democracy’ in Bangladesh?
Mr. Knot: Ah! Should I call 911? Why so dizziness? I am with you, Gulshan. I will tell you
everything…It will be easy to you like 1, 2, 3, 4….or like water……
(To be continued)
[Disclaimer: A Few Words for the Esteemed Readers: The character(s)in this writing is (are) fictitious. They have no real existence. In addition, the main character, Mr. Knot, is merely an embodiment of a tough and complex knot whose scope of wandering is the entire world. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that whatever stems from the dialogues of these characters or their analytical breakdown is true for the most part and merits active reflection of the esteemed readers in light of the real situation. Again, either in the dialogues of the characters or in the events, at least an issue, petite or hefty, has been unfolded with its proper description, scope and in-depth analysis along with a signal for likely solution, if possible, to it. If any reader has a dissension, other opinion, comment or suggestion, he or she may please inform the writer by an e-mail message or on Face Book or skype. My skype ID is: Khandker.ahmed898. The e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Because the characters are fictitious, whatever the description or analysis thereto, there is no reason of contempt for any person or party. Therefore, I request the valued readers to count all explanations or explorations herein as merely an academic pursuit or from a research perspective. Thank you. Khandker Habib Ahmed, May 20, 2016, Bronx, New York]