Tell us about the time you rescued someone else (person,or animal) from a dangerous situation.What happened? How did you prevail?
Our school was closed for Summer holidays, my Dad made arrangements to take us to Bangladesh, he had two reasons to visit the place, he’d be able to see his brothers and also for us to know our relatives, whom we had never seen.
We were excited to fly by airplane, it was our first time, and we’d meet our cousins, and aunts and uncles.
On the day of our journey, I had a lot of questions,my mother warned me not to be so inquisitive, besides she must have thought, it would be a brand new experience for us, she’d want us to have our experience of exploring her home and make our own opinion. Perhaps she thought she might tell us things she liked about it, may not be the same as far as we were concerned. My older sister hated to join us, she couldn’t say no because my father would not have agreed to leave her home by herself. She was fussy and cranky, every time my Dad offered something to eat, she refused. I think Dad lost his patience and said, “Tui eli Kaino?” meaning why did you come?
We were having a grand time while big sis was being uncooperative. We reached Dacca safe and sound, took rickshaws to go to our uncles house. The uncle was my Dad’s youngest brother, he was pleased to see us. I wasn’t quite sure of the aunt, she was always criticizing us, one of her major disappointment was we didn’t learn to eat, by that she meant we did not eat enough, our parents spent money on expensive clothes never invested money on food. After a few days with our aunt we were ready to go to our grandparents home in the village.
This time we travelled by train, it was a long journey, we were kids enjoying every moment of it. When we arrived at Feni( name of the station) Dad told us we’d get off and hire two taxis to go to the village.
Our grandparents’ village was very attractive, every one except the servants were my mother’s relative. They all came in droves to see us, as if were some kind of aliens from Mars, one asked the other, “Can they speak our language?”
My father felt proud, all his kids spoke fluent Bengali, that’s because it was the ground rule, we must know our mother tongue, he refused to let us turn out to be upstarts, this was the word he used.If I was unsure what the new word meant at that time, it did not take me long to comprehend.
The name of our village is “Cheora”, it is a very neat and clean village, all my mom’s relatives were good people always ready to help.
The best thing I liked about the village is the large pond of my grandparents,one day our cousin, Lily, my sister and I planned to jump in the pond, none of us knew how to swim, we were not scared, up to that time the word drown was not in our vocabulary, we stayed in the shallow end of the pond, suddenly Lily convinced my sister to float with her a few feet in the front, neither knew how deep the water was, both of them were having a whale of a time,then the worst happened my sister was drowning, none of us could swim, my mother happened to be there when she heard our screams she jumped to rescue my sister, she did not know how to swim either, she managed to grab my sister’s leg and pulled her towards her, my sister was fighting to get away she didn’t know mom was trying to save her, mom shook her and said, “Shelly it’s me your mom.”
When she heard mom, she stopped struggling. In the meantime the news spread like wild fire, Mr. Sabeth’s daughter has drowned, my Dad was frantic, he was blaming everyone in sight, it was their fault for letting these young girls go to the pond.
The end result of this incident was my Dad told us we were not allowed to go near or even look at the pond. One of my uncle’s claimed he swam like a fish we should have called him. Had we waited for him it would have turned out to be a tragedy.
The last few days we were in our grandparents village we were only allowed to walk on land and never in the water.