Bangladesh – The story of a struggling woman

Little girl Bangladesh, depicting the divide post Indian and Pak Independence.

Bangladesh was unsure about her childhood. She vaguely remembered being part of a family…she vaguely recalled her mother, a woman belonging to many cultures, who spoke many languages and was as grand as a queen!  She recalled being torn from her family and was taken away by someone who held her hands and taught her to walk, someone who fed her empty stomach. He was all good as long as she obeyed him. He wanted to be a Master and make her his slave. She asked for education and received whips in return. She asked to go outside and play, instead he’d make her dressup as he liked, and take her somewhere he enjoyed. She was not given the gift of choice. She was a mere puppet for him, she was to have no mind of her own, no culture, no language, no freedom. She was to adapt his ways, manner and principles and have no trace of the mother she vaguely remembered. 

The escape of Bangladesh, depicting 1971, Liberation War.

As she grew up, she understood she was a prisoner to the man called Pakistan. She started to speak in her own way, speak her mind, spread her wings and in return Pakistan assaulted her on a dark night of 25th March. She understood she could no longer stay and escaped his dominating clutches. As she fought and made screaming noises trying to aware anyone who listened that she was held captive, a neighbour came rushing to her aid. She called herself, India and helped her escape. Bangladesh later came to know, India was her mother’s sister, and learnt more about her own identity. She found a cousin who called himself West Bengal. 

Bangladesh, a woman of beauty, grace and culture.

Bangladesh become someone with own identity, education, language and culture. With the help of her aunt, Bangladesh re-started her life. She found a large mangrove forest and wild endangered animals. She found herself owning the World’s longest beach. She cultivated endless farms full of crops and paddy and promised her contribution to feed the World! Her creativity knew no bounds! She was colourful in all seasons, she was friendly to all her neighbours, she sang folk songs heartily and played the flute that made the birds jealous. Bangladesh became a free woman with a beautiful soul!

Bangladesh, a lost and beaten woman depicting the situation today. 

However, life had something else in store for her. She found herself bound and gagged again! This time she fell victim to the greed and power of her ungrateful children. They cut down her trees, and sold skins of the endangered animals. They poisoned her rivers and lakes and set fire to the crops and paddy fields. 

Bangladesh felt she was not educated enough to fight against her children. She was not well cultured enough to meet the standards of her children. She felt ashamed of the language she spoke, the songs she sang, the flute she played. She no longer sings, or laughs. She only cries at the animosity of her children. She only cries for the freedom she once felt, and achieved, and lost. Bangladesh felt beaten…

©Tasnim Hafiz

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