Contemporary Short Story of Bangladesh
5 Free Stories
R A Z A S H A H I D U L A S L A M
Nuru told him the story. The time when Rahim was very active on the hunt all around for a man to work, then Nuru told him the tale. It is fresh and a current story.
A teacher went abroad, with his entire family including kids and spouse, for higher education. Completing the degree, the gentleman returned but his spouse and kids didn’t. They stayed there being suggested by some relatives. The teacher joined his job accordingly. But the problem he faced was washing the clothes and cooking the foods and the other household chores. His colleague solved the problem in a few days. The lady’s husband remained in abroad. She came to work wearing gold ornaments. She just cooked. She was not eager to wash clothes or the floor. The teacher had to wash his clothes and the floor of the rooms. Regarding this, her comment was that she came just to pass a while. The teacher perceived that her motive was not so suitable. He fired her off the job. His colleague was generous enough to manage him the second one within a few days. That one was a maid of action. She did all and everything. Days passed by. Months and years even went on.
The teacher’s wife didn’t return still. She decided to stay abroad for the better education of the kids. The teacher was used to sending money in every month. By that time, the spouse managed a good job too. The maid used to come regularly. The teacher used to do his job regularly. Everything went on with no disorder.
The teacher and the maid went on living regularly as same as the other time. Only the conjugality got added. The teacher married the maid. The maid went on working as same as before with no extra comments or implication. She still did all the works and continued doing that. She grew a little more concentrated. At a point of the course, she felt exhausted.
One day she told- I can’t do so many works alone. Look for a maid servant.
His friend recently told him the story. A man, may be named Richard or William, is known to his friend. William did a lot of research works. William’s mother was Mexican, father Spanish. Both his parents lived in America. William lived in Ireland. William always had a frustration that he had no motherland. He had no national anthem. So, he decided he’d purchase a home of his own and would make him his motherland.
Somebody asked him, where are we going to?
‘We’ means Bangladesh. Where’s it going? He explored the answer in his mind for a good span of time. Many hazy thoughts came and made pangs in his brain. Despite that, he couldn’t answer the question. Finally to save himself, he said- God knows, he said.
Ari vai, why are you putting God here? Let Him be in peace. The man told.
I think the astrologers may tell where the state is going through. Are you feeling alarmed of any danger? He said.
Of course danger! Can’t you see the situations? The man retorted.
Then you better go to the astrologers, they could tell you. And you can do another thing…
What? The man asked.
Write down a ‘Project Plan’.
‘Project Plan’? The man said.
Yes. He said, listen if the country were a human, the astrologer would put a ring with precious stone on her finger. But there’s no scope of that. You’d better write a project. The project would deal with digging hole and embedding stone on the ground. You write a plan to embed stone in 64 districts of the country. Emerald, Gemstone, Jewel, cat’s eye, Coral all you can try. Just push 500 of the precious stone down the ground in depth so that borings are required. Around the stone spot, there should be a boundary of steel to save them from theft. And the great ‘Stone Push under Ground’ programme must be held with equal participations of people from all sects like Hidu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jews, representatives of the power party, representatives of the opposition party, men and women in exact ration for gender indiscrimination, thinking more and more, you can raise a wonderful project proposal. There’s huge possibility of big sanction. Don’t ask others the question like- where’s Bangladesh going? He told the man on a stress.
Very interesting. The man said.
God has been saved to remain in peace. You’d have to little be engaged with the astrologer. He said to the man.
O! I’m getting lot of funs talking to you! The man exclaimed.
Really? Then go on sucking up fun and be soaked. I go. He attempted to move.
Where do you go man? Our words are not finished…? The man looked sad.
PRICE OF STORIES
His second book has been published in this book fair. He’s coming to the fair everyday, gossiping with the others, sometimes communicating with the publisher. Books are not getting sold. The fair is about to finish but the sale’s condition is too dull. In aggregate three books have been sold. The index is fixed on three.
He understands who the buyers of his books are. His ex beloved has bought one. One is sold to his wife and the other one bought by his mother in law.
The objectives of these three buyers are clear to him. The ex will discover some strong clues to discuss and will propagate everywhere.
The mother in law will find credit that her son in law is an author, intellectual while she is engaged in public conversations.
The spouse has bought it for two reasons: the 1st one is that all the Vabis will be shown at the school of her son and in addition it will be said- I do inspire him, make tea for him while writing, make refreshment chosen by him, his two big publications! Was possible only after our marriage! Her second reason of her buying the book is that during the familial quarrels or regular wrangle, effective dialogues may be found such as-
Liar! You’ve written the lies in your book! You’re scoundrel to the bone! You only wear a disguise outside! Don’t I know you! Were that stories, written by you? All rubbish! One single book of you doesn’t get sold. No people of Bangladesh know you. Rather give your mind to the household, try to earn and develop. You can rather write the plays or novels of love which are profitable. Is it possible to go on without money in these days? So many writers have earned a lot of money only through writing! They’re often seen in television. Not a single interview of you is ever seen. He’s become an author!
However, only three books are sold; yet they’re mother in law, wife and the ex- purposive buyers, not readers. He feels little upset. Not a reader of this over-populated country has liked his book? Not a single one of his writer friends, non-writing friends, school and college and university friends has bought one! Even the colleagues as well! Whereas, they all know!
It seems to him too that- isn’t the publisher telling lies? What else he can do?
So many people in Bangladesh, sixteen crore, education rate is 65%. If it were not ten crore, or five or ten million even, would that only two lakhs of people buy the book, there could be a different figure out of that. Don’t the people have money in their hands? His book is not so costly, 150 taka only, in 20% commission, the price stands on 120 taka only. There are 16 stories in the book. So, each of the stories costs 7.5 taka only. Can’t the people of Bangladesh buy a single story for 7.5 taka only? A Benson cigarette is 9 taka. Each story is for less than a cigarette.
What else is cheaper than this!
He says aside, how much of this 7.5 taka the authors will get?
In this country only the authors are selling their stories in such a cheap rate. What other things here sell so cheap or at such a lower price?
THE PIOUS BOSS
As to how the boy was spoiled or never went dog at all.
It was his new job. He had to give money to the accounts office. He never knew that one needs to pay bribe for getting own salary and that one needs to pay 5% TA bill, and 10% in the month of June. Boss and clerk had to be paid too. It is a matter of close analytical interpretation and empirical investigation to know what a rebellious tendency worked in his blood and mind.
To delay five minute was marked as absent. Confession was a must for a silly mistake. He failed to understand those things. He took time to comprehend the matter that- ‘Boss is always right’- for not having an orientation. So, he put a supplementary signature beside the one of his boss. Boss said that the money was being refunded, what for? It would be a disgrace for the office, his own reputation concerned that meant it might prove his failure. By this time, the boy understood things like the boss himself caused his failure. If he were successful, the money would have been spent in usual manner. For his failure the money was not used in a proper way. Due to his failure, the money was not well used. To make a complete success of his boss, he decided not to take his share. But the boss was very saucy. Boss wanted to give him a little share that he might not speak out. The boy did not give him the chance. Being undone, the boss continuously put the red-ink mark to show him as absentee and demanded explanation for his delay. Some days went in that way. One day, the clerk acted as a solicitor saying, “Take the money, otherwise, a bad ACR will go”. The boy did not agree. His ACR went abnormal. The clerk said, “How will you fight the crocodile while you’ve got to live in the water”? And water really flowed down.
The boy faced stop-payment. The salary began to run again. The boss felt like chocking off at throat. He began to think that the boy might cause him a danger. He felt it to be safe to manage him with some money. The boy’s motive did not seem to him alright. Any complaint or a nameless letter to the head office might trouble him greatly. The boy even might tell the secret. The boss felt giddy. He felt to be foolish and really unsuccessful. He couldn’t tame this silly boy! He felt himself very trifling at the courage and integrity of the boy. Although all of the office cared him much, the boy didn’t seem to pay such care. Now a days, the boss felt little frightened to tell him anything. Despite so much harassment, the boy didn’t seem to bow down.
One day, the boss landed at the house of the boy. It was yet to be evening. The boy gently welcomed him and told to get in. The boss said, “I’ll not sit here, let us come, have some works”. The boy replied, “Please, be seated, let’s have a cup of tea.” “We’ll take it outside. Dress up, I’m waiting outside”. They came out to a big hotel and had sweetmeat, paid by the boss. That time, the Azan for the prayer of Magreeb was announced. They came out to street from the hotel. A drain was flowing by them. The boss handed a bag to the boy saying, “Hold it, I’ll just return saying the prayer.” At the same time, he handed some money to the boy saying, “Keep it too”. The boss stepped forward and said “It’s for you”. The boy was staring at the bag as well as the money.
Prayer, bribes and money- the boy felt filthy. He looked at the money and at the drain- a full flow of filths over there.
Language Conversion and Composition
Neelim Mahsin Reza. Bangladesh.
Raja Shahidul Aslam is a Short Story Writer of Bangladesh. Born 27 Aught 1964. Published Books Eight. Short Story – 01. Raatbhor Ghunpoka (2004), 02. Khola Golpa (Booklet 2013), 03. Notun Dhorma Khultay Chay Kotipoy Manush ( 2015).
S C A R E C R O W S H O R T S T O R I E S 2 0 1 4
SCARECROW is an English Little Magazine of Bangladesh.