A tragedy in real life
Abul Ashraf Noor
Nadia was the only daughter of a fisherman aged 42. Her father, Habib Majee, was physically strong and hardworking, too. Her forefathers were not fishermen. Under compelling situations her father had no other option but to take up the occupation of fishing as a means of livelihood to support the family. Originally, the father of Habib Majee was a good boat-maker. He used to earn a lot in his lifetime. But the cruel acts of Nature had made his father pauper. His small house on the high land near the seashore was swept away by the tidal bore and the wrath of the seas on the 1st of November in the year 1970.
Nadia came to know all about the past history of her father's family tree from mother. As she was the only daughter of her parents, she had to learn many things besides her studies. Though she would do well in formal education, she had to stop going to school on account of her mother's ailment. The entire load of household work was borne by Nadia. At times she would tell her mother if she had an elder brother to assist father in catching fishes on the high seas, taking great risks of life in the rough weather, while her father was out of sight before dawn almost every day. Her ailing mother and she would spend long anxious moments in restlessness until her father had come back home safe and sound in the evening.
In spite of the professional hazards in fishing, Habib Majee would give a broad smile in front of his daughter and wife when his luck had favoured him with a huge quantity of fishes on some days. His two helpers would also feel happy on those days of their successful efforts in getting more money than in normal times. It so happened one day that the condition of her mother turned serious and none was here to help her mother in deathbed. In the evening she died.
On return of her father from the day's work on the high seas, the death news of his wife made him speechless. He looked pale with great fears as to how to console Nadia who was so much upset. His close neighbours gave them comfort and sympathy to face the odds in life with courage, fortitude and patience.
Now, Habib Majee started worrying about the personal safety and security of his young daughter when he would be away from home on the daily schedule of work to catch fishes. Nadia closely watched her father's face that would reflect a trail of sorrows and agonies in her heart. Having seen her father's conditions she said to father, " I don't have the courage to tell you the power of God and the truth in real life. Please stop worrying and marry me to a young man of your choice. That would give you some consolation to withstand the effects of mother's untimely death. If you desire to have the company of a middle-aged woman at home, you can also marry.
At such a bold suggestion from his daughter, Habib Majee was taken aback and had begun to think of it very seriously. Nearly after three months of the wife's death he had not been to the high seas for catching fishes. He again called his helpers and said to them, "Look out; life and living never stops. Be ready to accompany me to restart our work, as I need money for my daughter's marriage that will take place next year".
Off they went out on the high seas for fishing next day. On their way back to the shore, they were caught in the storm with thunderbolts and high tides that had capsized their boat. They were lost forever. This is how Nadia had to accept the unpredictable situation of her life without questioning. Misfortune never comes alone in a man's life. It is called a naked reality.