Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | ePaper

My Mother : My Heaven

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“There was a bush near our house. A mother bird used to stay there with her chicks. They wanted to fly early before they attained maturity. The mother bird used to tell them not to do that as their wings were not mature enough to fly and they might fall a prey to dogs or beasts.  Her chicks birds were unhappy and they thought that the mother bird intended to keep them with her.  Once it happened that the mother went out in search of food and one of her chicks tried to fly away.   As soon as it tried to fly it fell down on the ground as its wings were not strong to keep it  fly. And there was a dog around. It was a time, the mother bird was returning. She found the dog that planned to swallow it and immediately she rushed to rescue her chick and could manage to do so.  The mother then told her chick, “Look, what could happen today! You could be swallowed by the dog”  My mother then recited a poem to me : “Whoever does not listen to mother who always takes care of her chick but  moves  here and there without caring the mother, he or she would certainly face any kind of misfortune as a part of punishment by God.”  In fact, it was a big lesson for me. And my mother told her friends that I never went out since then without permission. The other day my mother was telling this story to my grandchildren.  I was the only son of my parents. And she was thus all through very caring to me. In fact, I could not stay back in the evening or delay in returning home without permission. She is now very old and I am mature enough working in the University. Yet my mother did not forget asking me why did I not come back home? Believe me, till now  when I am at my working place, my mother makes phone calls ( mobile phone) to me  at least ten times a day if I had taken my lunch or when would I be able to come back home.  Such is my mother who made me.
My father was liberal and was culture oriented. He was a friend to Abbas Uddin, the king of folk music and renowned musician and poet Golam Mustafa from the time they lived together in India during the British period. Abbas Uddin worked in the Agricultural department and looked after Finance in the department. I saw him visiting our house at Tejgaon when my father worked in the Agricultural farm at Farm Gate in the 50’s. I was then a student at Tejgaon Polytechnic High School in the early 50's.
My mother took much interest in my writing. She it was who inspired me to collect spiritual songs of Lalon Shah when my father was transferred from Dhaka to Kushtia to take up his new assignment to look after the Agricultural Wing of  the Ganges Kobadakh Project in the late 50’s and here we stayed permanently as my father liked the place.
And this allowed me to study the songs of Lalon and finally founded Lalon Academy with the help of local authority and philanthropists. And here too, my mother was very caring and I had no way than to return home before the evening. There are many stories in which my mother helped me grow as a man and writer.    
My mother was very good in needle work, particularly, in embroidered work. I remember I was then a student at Tejgaon Polytechnic High school, an  Industrial  Fair was held at Ramna Race Course. And one of my mother’s  embroidered work depicting Fuji mountain of Japan earned first prize. The work is still with me. My mother occasionally looks at it and feels satisfied.
Occasionally I brought my mother to my work place and sitting on my chair, she used to talk to my students and colleagues. I am blessed that I could be her son. My mother takes care of my research and reads my boos as soon as these are published. But she does not allow me to work late at night and forces me to bed. There are hundred and one stories in which my mother played the role of a great teacher for my up bringing. I could not be what am I today, had she not been that much caring as of today.  She is a great blessing of Allah to me. I begged to Allah that she lives as long as Allah allows me to live. May Allah grant a room for my mother, my father and my wife. My wife is no more with me. She was the Head of the Department of Bangla in Kushtia College and breathed her last in 2009. She was a poet and president, Bangladesh Lekhika Sangho, Kushtia branch. My daughter and sons are also respectful to our glorious history, culture and heritage. They take care of my mother as they live in Dhaka.  
Let this article be a tribute to all mothers in the world along with fathers and let Allah take care of them both in the world and hereafter as promised by Him in the Holy Quran and other religious books. n
(The writer is presently Pro-Vice Chancellor, Northern University Bangladesh (NUB). Formerly Visiting Scholar, Divinity School, Harvard University, USA. Founder Director, Lalon Academy, Kushtia. Chairmain, Folklore Research Institute, Kushtia. Formerly, Treasurer & Vice-Chancellor (In-charge), Islamic University, Kushtia)

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