There was a time when things were different. These were the times when I met this family of three: husband, wife and one son. The wife was a very generous woman. She was always ready to help anyone who needed it. Their son went to boarding school.
Her brother-in-law died at an early age. There was no one left to look after his three kids. She and her husband took them home. They were spoilt and like their father weren’t interested in getting education. The uncle and aunt devoted all of their time helping these kids. Soon it was apparent they were not interested to study.
The two boys and the girl did nothing to better themselves. The aunt became ill. She was unable to do anything for them. Instead of helping her,they cursed her all the time.
A year later the aunt died. The uncle had to shoulder the responsibility of the kids. The boys loafed around and the girl had a new boyfriend every week. This went on for some time. Call whatever you will,the luck of the girl was soon going to change.
She met a new boy friend,they spent their time having fun. The father of the boy found out about his son’s girl friend.He wanted to meet the girl. The son was nervous,he was actually planning to break up with her. He was raised in a very wealthy and religious family. He was afraid to tell his Dad about his girl friend he knew he wouldn’t approve.
On the insistence of the father. The son brought his girl friend to his home. His father met them in his living room and asked both several direct questions.
Father to the girl: Do you love my son?
Girl friend: (extremely nervous) could not say, Yes or No.
He turned around and asked the same question to his son. The son was shaking,he could not say anything either.
Next he asked both, “How long are you dating?”
Both answered ,’one week’, their voice was barely audible.
The father announced ,they’d have to get married within a week. Preparations were made to have a big wedding.
He told the girl to forget what had happened in the past. She will have to begin a new life. Her name Bulu, was changed to Mubarak.
Within a week they were married.
She was a Bengali and her husband’s family were from Uttar Pradesh, India,they moved to Bangladesh after the partition of India.
Soon after Mubarak gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She stayed home and only went out with her husband and in-laws. Months turned to years and the baby girl was five years old. Mubarak was a changed woman she devoted her time helping her new family . It was a transformation no one thought was possible. She surprised the doubters.
Mubarak helped her mother-in-law with household chores,she herself learnt to cook and took care of her family. Besides helping her in-laws, she spent a lot of time with her little girl . One day the girl saw some guests in their living room. She was excited. She ran to her mother, she took her by her hand and told her there were some new people she should meet.
Mubarak noticed some male guests. She explained, “Darling your Dad and Grandpa will be with them soon.”
“I want you to go and talk to them,” she said.
Mubarak told her quietly, “I don’t go in front of male guests.”
Little five year old did not give up,Mubarak took her to the next room and explained why it was so. Little Faria was growing up to be a cute kid. With her mother’s help,she learned to read and write. Soon she was memorizing poems. One day she recited one of her poems,she asked, “Mom do you like my poem?”
“I do, Mom said but It sounds like a parrot.”
” Parrots can’t learn poems,can they?
“Yes if you teach them.”
Mubarak’s job was to teach the poems with expression. Then she explained the difference. She told Faria about the parrot they had. It learned a sentence and would always repeat it, “It was khoka Babu’s here.” It didn’t matter who came in.
Faria burst out laughing, “You sound funny Mom!”