I was a first year university student. I read class readings, write in newspapers, and do politics. The country was under military rule. There was no such thing as a girlfriend in our time. was a lover But I had no girlfriend.
At that time, one day I received a letter. Postal department ordinary envelope. My hall address in very simple handwriting. A friendship invitation written in just a few words right in the middle of a large piece of light blue paper. Surprisingly, after opening the letter, a wonderful smell filled the surroundings. Later I realized that the paper was perfumed. That was the first perfume I smelled in my life.
A small amount of writing on an unusually large paper, the light blue color of the paper, and the fragrant scent of the letter surprised me. But it was temporary. Although I wrote a reply as a courtesy, I forgot about it due to busy schedule.
But he didn’t forget me. After a few days I got his letter again. I wrote the answer. I received the letter again, I also wrote the answer. Thus one day I suddenly realized – what else does the mind want between education, writing, politics etc. The day I received his letter, I became happy for an unknown reason. Some days the mind is anxiously waiting for a letter from him. One day I noticed some Bengali letters written very simply on a small piece of paper, that is, I am alive because of his letter.
His letters used to come to me like white doves with endless hope amidst the uncertainty, poverty and political despair of student life. Almost two years passed, living on letters. We still haven’t seen anyone, even in pictures. We did not make any promises to anyone in the letter. I used to think that our lives are like two straws floating in the river, we have become closer due to the inexorable pull of the current, and may be thrown away by the waves. What is the promise of work?
One day he wrote me to visit him. I went to Sylhet from Kushtia. Seen secretly. He said – his marriage is fixed; The future husband will not accept our friendship, so maybe this is the end of our relationship.
‘All will end with two words?’ – This question of the goddess of farewell curse instantly darkened all my skies. Holding his hand, I said, ‘We are not Kach-Devayanis; ordinary people let’s run away Let’s live.’ He thought for a while and said – ‘Let’s go’. That day we went to the court and got married.
The date was 30th December 1987.
I read his writing somewhere. Just as there were grooves in the writing, there was also magic. After looking at the address, I understood that it is a student of Rajshahi University. I thought, how to correspond with such a boy! I wrote a short letter. Oma, after a few days I saw that the answer came. What beautiful handwriting! And the envelope is nice too, not a typical post office envelope. It felt very good.
I kept the letter carefully.
Compared to her, I am a daughter of a slightly upper class, but much more conservative family. Boy and girl friendship is not recognized in our family. But somehow I could continue the correspondence. I used to keep his letters carefully numbered one by one. I stopped playing with puppets a long time ago, and started playing with her letters as if they were puppets. I used to read it again and again, I used to talk to him with the letter in front of me. I was ashamed in my imagination, I was ashamed in my heart. I used to play such a strange game all the time.
The volume of letters continued to increase. Writing a letter and waiting 8/10 days to get his reply became very difficult. So at one point we started writing letters almost every day.
I used to write about emotions, about Ershad’s military rule, even what did I eat rice with. 173 letters came to him in two years; I probably wrote more than that. But I will marry no one, I will not live without you – none of us wrote such words.
My puppet play was going well. One evening a gentleman came to our house. Duncan works in a tea plantation. Amma asked me to take tea. After a few days, I came to know that my marriage with that man has been fixed.
My childhood doll game will stop then? Thinking about it made me sad. He wanted to see her very much. I wrote to come. He came He had a friend in Lamabazar; I skipped the women’s college class and went to meet that friend’s house. And I saw my best beau. I recognized him when I saw him. This is the long fisted hand that I saw in the procession. This is that one head of shaggy hair, how many times have I stroked this hair. I was trying hard so that he doesn’t understand that I feel so good about him. And Rabindranath’s song was playing in my mind – ‘If you put your open air, cut it to pieces, I am willing to drown’.
But I also knew that this good feeling ended here. So very modestly I told him about my marriage. He was very surprised to hear. He got up from the front sofa and sat at my feet and held my right hand with both hands. Said – ‘Let’s get married.’ After thinking for a while, I also said – ‘Let’s go’.
The date was 30th December 1987.
That momentary thought was about those letters from my doll playmate. I still play dolls. My daughter doll is doing her PhD in America. The boy doll is also in university. I still read our letters today. Just as I never lost a single letter from her, she took care of mine as well as mine. I have arranged the letters of the two in the file according to the date. Want to make another ‘Tumhari Amrita’ with these letters!