Writing 101, Day Six: A character Building Experience
Today’s prompt: Who’s the most interesting person(or people) you’ve met this year?
I have not met anyone interesting this year. I did meet someone very interesting when I went to Dhaka to pursue my education in , ‘Holy Cross college’.
In Dhaka I was so homesick I could not concentrate on my studies, I only wanted to go back home. During this time I met Mr. Bazlul Karim, my mother suggested I should see him, he was my parents’ friend for many years.
He lived alone after the death of his wife. He loved company, he welcomed everyone , I was the fortunate recipient of his love and affection. I did not tell him I was homesick.
He had a son who lived in another city with his family. When I went for a visit he recognized my problem, he said nothing, he told me,I should visit him on week-ends.
He was the Secretary of the local Jute Board and was well respected.
I found him affectionate and understanding, he made me feel like a family member, every Friday he picked me up from my college to spend the week-end with him. I addressed him as “Khaloo”( uncle), he and I would sit and talk about my college, the students and teachers. Slowly I was settling down, I was no longer depressed , I saw him every week-end, this made my life bearable.
Uncle Karim was a very generous man, he helped everyone, his friends came whenever they needed help, whether it was to find a husband for their daughter or a job for a family member. He loved helping them. He once told me,” you know if I can help my friend’s daughter find a husband, I get reward from God which is equivalent to building a mosque.”
At times I’d joke and ask, “Khaloo how many mosques have you built ?”
His face would be beaming with a smile, “I’m waiting to build two more,one when I get you married and other when I get your sister married.”
He had a heart of gold, he kept his cupboard full of saris to give away. His house was a haven for people looking for a job, they’d stay at his place he’d provide food and clothing for them.
Once he spotted a woman begging on the street she was wearing a torn sari, he told his servant to call her in, he instructed him to give her a sari.
He had a stroke in the middle of the night, it paralyzed his right arm and leg. He did not lose his cheerfulness. He was the same Khaloo we all loved and respected.
He was regular in his prayer, he had a table at the side of his bed, at prayer time he’d have someone move the table and lay the pillow so he could pray.
After completing my education I took a teaching job, I rented an apartment in the city with five other girls. I continued to visit him on week-ends. One week-end for some reason I could not go , I called him and told him I’d visit him next week-end . He said he was sorry, he had bought all my favorite foods.
I was sad I could not go. It was a Saturday when I called him.
Next day for some reason I looked at the ‘Obituary Page’, I was shocked to see Khaloo’s name on top, I do not know why. I wished I had gone that week-end to see him, it made me sad when I realized I’d never see him again!
Dear friends, I am sorry if it’s too long, I tried to shorten it, but could not. All the best to you all!