In my childhood, we siblings along with my mother, aunties and cousins (maternal) went grandpa’s house one time in every year to pass our annual vacation after our school final examination had come to an end. In those days, we needed at least eight hours to reach the house from our house since there was no bridge over Jomuna River and our and aunties’ houses were quite far away from the one side of the river whereas my grandpa’s house were situated on the other side of it, in a district town. So firstly we had to go some way by bus and then crossed the river by naval ship and it required more time than today and finally some way by rickshaw. We passed our time there with great pleasure since there was no need to study, no pressure to go school, no burden to attend any private tutor, no obligation to do home task; but just only playing and roaming around and inside of the house with siblings, cousins and the children of the same age of neighboring houses. At the end of the vacation my father as well as my uncles in law came to bring us back to our houses.
However, once, when I was in my grandpa’s house, I beware of two seedlings of the Belly flower tree beside a big one just had emerged from the earth each of them with a very small stem and only three green leaves in the small yard of the house. In seven days the two seedlings of Belly flower grown up seven inches with more foliage. They appeared to me as two daughters, and a fatherhood emerged from my heart for them. At times, being seated very close to them, I started passing time and playing with them. I softly touched their delicate, glossy stems and green, small leaves with my hands as if I caressed two human Childs adorably. On some days, I got very fond of them. I watered them three times in a day in order that they could grow up well and also made a fence around them with jute sticks lest the hens would peck with their sharpen beaks on the green foliage of the saplings. Whenever I looked at them adorable, I thought that in return they smiled to me, the very moment my heart filled to brim with great amusement.
One day, when the time of going back home came very near, I said to my mother in a doleful tone that I wished to take the seedlings with me to our house. My mother said irritatingly, “What need of you these seedlings. In our house there is no place to implant seedlings of any flower since in summer there will start harvesting and a lot of paddy plants will be gathered in our courtyard. Therefore, we will be bound to uproot them.” I said in a mournful tune, “No, no, what need to uproot them for nothing! You know, only two small seedlings of Belly can’t do much harm of reaped paddy plants for they will take scarcely place and our courtyard is quite big. I will implant them so close to my room so that they won’t make any trouble to the threshing of crops and the drying of hay.” Then my mother agreed reluctantly and said, “Okay, try to take your maternal uncle’s consent about taking saplings, but remember that wherever you implant them in our courtyard, they are destined to be short lived.” Leaving the arguing with mother I went straight to my maternal uncle and let him know about my longing. He said in a mocking tone, “If you wish, you can take them, but I consider you will not be able to keep them alive in your house, I will give it to you providing you save it.” In return I said stubbornly swelling my breast some inches, “I take an oath that I will save them at any cost and when you go to our house after the upcoming summer you must see them swamped with a great deal of little, white flowers.”
At first, I removed some soil from around the root of a seedling with a chisel very carefully lest any part of the roots would not tear at the time of taking it from earth, and after that I took it out from the earth very caringly as a midwife delivers a child from its mother’s womb. Then I stuck some muck made before around the root in a ball shape as a midwife wrap a newborn baby with some dried cloths to save it from cold. Then covered the ball of muck with the root inside of it with a piece of polythene and then tied the polyethylene using a thin piece of rope lest the muck should fall apart. After finishing with the one, I did the same with the other. Then I entered both of them in a shopping bag. All the time on my way home I was holding the shopping bag with my own hand, and didn’t leave it anyplace even for once.
It was already dark, when we reached our house. So my mother said to me, “no need to implant them tonight, in case you may get cold, so it’s better to leave them for tomorrow morning. I watched them in a dim light of a kerosene lamp (there was no electricity in our village in those times) that they had become very tired and weary due to the long journey and not taking enough food and water for a whole day. I thought in mind that they did need implanting at once otherwise they would fall in the lap of death before the day would break. It seemed to me more important to restore them into life than keeping away myself from getting cold. So disobeying my mother’s advice, that very moment, I along with my siblings made two pretty deep holes very near to our room with a crowbar and put some dried up cow dungs into the holes since it was very available in our house as their nutritious food and finally implant them. Then we poured fresh water upon them as if we made them a bath and then to their roots as if we made them drink. In this work, thinking in mind that we had accomplished well our first duty to save their life, we felt very happy. Now I took sworn in my heart that I would try with heart and soul to keep them alive against any trouble. On that night I saw a dream that I, accompanied by my younger brother and sister was wandering through a massive garden full of Belly flower trees flooded with many small, white beautiful flowers under the broad blue sky.
Next morning, we made two strong fences unconnectedly around them almost up to their sizes with bamboo sticks lest the hens and goats of our and neighboring houses could smack and eat the foliage and the mild brunches. I watered and took care of them every day as at my grandpa’s (maternal) house. Sometimes, being seated on a chair near them, I studied my textbook. However, day by day they had grown up with quite many branches and numerous green leaves. One day I saw some buds appear on the top of the stems of the trees, of which image has never been erased from my heart. Closing my eyes, in my imagination, I can see it still now before me. However, the buds gradually bloomed into flowers. Being seated on my knees beside them and taking my nose very close to them, I took some long breaths repeatedly. At once my heart, brain and also my whole body filled up with the sweet fragrance of the flowers. With the fragrance of the flowers in my body I played in the fields, roaming with my siblings and friends, took lessons from my teachers at school and at home and dreamed sweet dreams. Thus time continued passing in a great delight.
One day, at the approaching of the summer, coming home from school in the afternoon, I perceived that the two trees with their appearing buds, blooming flowers, glossy branches, and delicate stems had vanished totally. Even there was no sign of them left. The whole yard was coated smoothly with a mixture of mud and cow dungs for having made it ready as to thresh crops. I felt that someone stabbed into my breast with a sharp mouthed spear and blood started shading from my heart incessantly.