Untold Words of Mr. Knot: Democracy in Stories 16 – Common Ground 11 By: Khandker Habib Ahmed (All rights are reserved by the author) (Consecutively after last section) At the end of the lunch, everyone lays eyes on the big TV scree...
Untold Words of Mr. Knot: Democracy in Stories 16 – Common Ground 11
By: Khandker Habib Ahmed
(All rights are reserved by the author)
(Consecutively after last section)
At the end of the lunch, everyone lays eyes on the big TV screen. It took until 4:00 PM to finish the game. Bangladesh has lost to India by only two runs in gripping last moments. Mr. Knot has just sprawled in the sofa to allow for drowsiness. Gulshan shows up right at that moment.
Gulshan: Mr. Knot, will you not take a cup of tea? Your sleepiness will be over. I will bring it
Mr. Knot: O. K., Gulshan. Thank you so much.
Gulshan: How many sugar, how many milk should I put in the tea?
Mr. Knot: Three tea-spoon of sugar and two tea-spoon of milk….
(Gulshan has made a cup of tea for Mr. Knot, another for herself. They both are taking tea.)
Mr. Knot: Your tea is fantastic! You really made it surprising with real combination of taste and
proportion. I can make it too but not so good like you.
Gulshan: Thank you, Mr. Knot. Next time, we are supposed to meet in our house in a party. I
will cook Pilau-Biriani (a dish made of fine fried rice, meat, spice etc. in Bengali culture) for you. I can cook very tasty Pilau-Biriani. In return, you will instill in me the lessons on democracy and the democratic system.
Mr. Knot: Even if you do not cook Pilau-Biriani for me, I would advise you many things on
democracy and the democratic system. This is because you need to understand these concepts very well. Otherwise, how would you establish ‘streamlined democracy’ in Bangladesh?
Gulshan: Alright, Mr. Knot, tell me please…
(At this moment, brother Zakir requests everyone to go to the Metropolitan Oval square. Many band music groups will perform there along with some country music performers. The time in the sinking afternoon would go fine. Let’s go and stay there until the time of Magrib prayer. After that, we will go back to our houses.)
Sorgina: Mr. Knot, you like country music. Do you like jazz too?
Mr. Knot: I like jazz too but not so much. I listened to it many times at the hotel lobbies.
Sorgina: And the pop music?
Mr. Knot: Those are best suited for the youngsters. However, the pop songs of Azam Khan
attract me even today. Let’s go there to listen to the country music.
Shormila: You don’t listen to the songs of Lata, Mr. Knot?
Mr. Knot: Yes, I do. Yet, I like the songs of Bhupen Hazarika so much. Those are the songs of
humanity, songs of democracy. I am sure you listened to one of his famous songs “Manus manuser jonye, Jibon Jiboner jonye… (A human being is for another human being, a life is for another life…).”
Shormila: Yes, I did, Mr. Knot. I do like his songs too.
(All of them have arrived at the green lawn of Metropolitan Oval. Some of them have occupied the public benches there. Children have started to play around. Alongside, Mr. Knot, Gulshan, Sorgina and Shormila have sat down over the turf making a circle face-to-face.)
Gulshan: I have a recollection of seating like this when I was a student of the Department of
English, University of Dhaka and a resident of Rokeya Hall. I have a nostalgic reminiscence indeed! However, I do not see one thing here.
Mr. Knot: What?
Gulshan: I do not see the tokais (extremely poor wandering children) here selling dry nuts or
jhal-muri (dry fried rice with intensive spices esp. chilies etc.). It would be very nice if
we had dry nuts at this time, right, Mr. Knot? We could gossip so interestingly while chewing those dry nuts.
Mr. Knot: That would be. But, do you know why there is no tokai here? What do you think?
Gulshan: Why is it so, Mr. Knot?
Mr. Knot: You forgot? Didn’t I tell you last time, in pursuance of the great remark of Nelson
Mandela, that we could eliminate poverty, injustice and inequality through the practice of democracy? The age of American democracy is about two hundred fifty years. That’s why the children in this country don’t have to become a tokai at least. Even though, there are homeless people, they can live in ‘shelters’ made for them.
Shormila: You are right, Mr. Knot. When I was a student of Kolkata University, I had seen some tokais there as well…..
Gulshan: O. K., Mr. Knot. Please deliver me now your lessons on democracy.
Mr. Knot: Where did we stop last time?
Gulshan: We have covered all six alternative ways to implement the first step (building
consensus on unresolved national issues) of our first work (finding a common ground)
in an effort to establish ‘streamlined democracy’ in Bangladesh. Today, you will
discuss the second step for such common ground.
Mr. Knot: All right, Gulshan. To find a common ground, the second step would be to ‘emphasize
on the practice of law and the rights in all walks of life.’ I would like to suggest some ‘roads’ to walk through so we could expedite the practice of law and the rights in society. However, I will not tell it today. Give me some time to think. You can also think on it. Now, can you sing a song, Gulshan? You were a student of literature…..
Gulshan: Then, I have to sing a song of deep thought….But I cannot sing good….
Mr. Knot: You don’t need to sing good…just start…
(Gulshan starts to sing the song…. ‘kobita porar prohor eseche rater nirjone….Jonaki’s alloy…It’s the hour to recite poems in the quietness of the dead night….in the light of the firefly….’ Everyone applauds greatly at the end of it.)
Sorgina: Oh! It’s excellent, sister Gulshan. Mr. Knot, now it’s your turn to sing one, not it?
Mr. Knot: Me? If I sing a song, you’ll run away when you listen to my performance. O. K., I will
sing a pop song of the legendary singer Azam Khan from Bangladesh…. ‘Rel lainer oi bostite, jonmechilo ekti chele, cheleti more geche, Bangladesh, o amar Bangladesh ..In a slum beside the railroad, a boy was born, the boy is dead, Bangladesh, oh! My Bangladesh……..’ Everyone applauds emphatically at the end of it.
Gulshan: Mr. Knot, you sing very nice…. One day, we’ll have no slums in Bangladesh…
Mr. Knot: That’s why you need to work hard to establish ‘streamlined democracy’ in
Bangladesh. Alright, it looks it’s time for Magrib (evening) prayer….
Shormila: It’s also time for our evening Puja (adoration in Hindu religion)…
Mr. Knot: But, why do not I hear Azan (call for prayer for Muslims) here?
Sorgina: Perhaps, Azan is forbidden here via mikes because of disturbance from its sound to the people of other religions.
Mr. Knot: What do you think about it, Shormila?
Shormila: I think the Azan should not be a problem for anybody because it is a matter related to
practice of a religion. No one is creating this noise deliberately. In a democratic system, everyone can practice his/her region freely. Practice of tolerance for other parties is the essence of democracy.
Gulshan: You are right, Shormila.....
(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: email@example.com. 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, July 22, 2016, Bronx, New York]