the past is fun and sometimes gives pleasure.
Last February, while I was preparing myself
for a forthcoming examination, it was decided
unexpectedly that we would visit the Wari Christian
cemetery and sail across the Buriganga River
in Bangladesh on the occasion of my friends
cemetery was situated at the heart of old Dhaka,
not far from my friends house. It was
hardly a ten-minute walk. I still remember the
day. The sky was cloudy. Light and darkness
silhouetted my vision. The day seemed to me
a preternatural length as I traveled to his
house. After a hearty breakfast at his place
(which delighted my starved soul) we set out
for the cemetery.
must mention that we were at the far end of
the winter and according to Shelly, my friend,
spring was not far away. There was silence in
the air. It seemed as though the world was still
sleeping in its mothers womb. When we
reached the cemetery, we found the guard in
his gray establishment taking a catnap. His
face was partly enveloped in a shawl, and as
I cast a deep glance at him, he looked quite
aged. We pushed the dark steel gates open and
entered into a realm where the souls were taking
a nap too.
could hardly believe our eyes. There were graves
of various sizes and shapes lying in terraces.
We were a bit confused from where to start looking
and so we began to walk on the edge of the graves.
graves were supposed to have epitaphs and so
they had. I was really taken away by the words
written on the epitaphs. There were two epitaphs
that made me feel so great that I wrote them
down in my diary. One was "In death we
are not separated". Another one written
on the tombstone of a small child who lived
for a few months and then went into eternal
sleep read: "Who picked the flowers? Was
was reluctant to believe that Tennyson had an
epitaph too. On one tombstone I discovered it
was written, "Days go out but memories
remain like drops of dew in silver rain".
This was the quotation I had long, long before
found in a quotation book extracted from a poem
was really astonished by the existence of several
ancient graves in the cemetery. One of the graves
deeply drew my attention. It was the grave of
Captain Henry Cromwell who died in 1726. He
served in the 31st infantry of the East India
Company from 1711 to 1726. In its tetrahedral-shaped
monument it looked quite airy and spacious in
spite of being dusty and aged. Various types
of floral motifs were carved on the walls, and
I was certain that it would look magnificent
on a moonlit night. There was also another grave
of a high official of the East India Company.
His identity had been erased from the tombstone,
and so he shall remain as dead in the archives
noon the blue sky had turned gray. The cold
wind invited dark clouds and penetrating rain
and we had to leave the cemetery. When we reached
his home, I was welcomed by my friends
mother. She scolded us for returning wet. By
the time lunch was served the sky was almost
lunch we went out to the bank of the river Buriganga.
We could smell moist earth. It seemed as though
it was the most suitable time of the year for
the Daisies to arise from their eternal sleep
and become the travelers delight.
hired a boat to row us down the river to the
other side of the bank. The river was still
unable to recover from the chill of the dark
clouds. We remained calm throughout, but the
waves filled our hearts with awe as the boatman
tried to row faster.
were able to see dark shabby travelers carrying
fish and other goods to port. There were small
boats too rowing back to their villages with
the last catch of the evening. When we landed
ashore, it seemed as though we had discovered
a new continent. There were lowlands and vast
fields that came into our view. I was really
fascinated by Mother Nature. The people were
quite innocent in their cheap cloths. Leafless
shrubbery drew my attention but soon I was attracted
by the color of the horizon as the sun was ready
to set. The horizon reminded me of Rabindranath
tagore, a prize winning novelist who once wrote,
"Soon I began to realize the mystery that
life is; a life of good and evil, of joy and
sorrow, of light and shade that is waiting for
me in the wide beyond".
Hossain is from Bangladesh. She has been living
in New York City for five years. She is currently
a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Her major is Textile Development and Marketing.