During one's life time one does not come across many people who can be compared to angels. But in the very heart of Dhaka there was one lady who was not only brave, but a soul who gave away so much love and asked all others to smile and laugh as 'life is a celebration'.
That one person is Rajeshwary Priyo Ranjini, my friend, my favourite artist, my soul mate, the sister that I had but never really got and many things.
During my trip to Dhaka on work, I met her for the last time at the home of her illustrious mother --Ferdousy Priyobhashini, the celebrated sculptor who gave war women the status of proud citizens, of freedom fighters, by telling the world she was herself a war woman brutalised by the Pakistani army.
She looked weak, but jolly as usual and we took many photographs. We never knew that the meeting would be our last. But the following message from her worried me a lot:
FEB 19TH, 4:50PM
amr khubi kharap reorteseche
3ta major tumour
amke abaro major surgery face korte hobe
after 24th any day
monta khub kharap
FEB 19TH, 7:10 PM
* God. why again? my doa is always you. let me know about your surgery. tell rumi bhai to keep me updated. luv u
love nd rgards nadeemvai
i know u r d only heart..
who really cares
monta kharap holo
im so touched always
ami aka achi
ami kal kolkata jabo
24th er por surgery
ekla keno, rumi bhai koi
pore join korbe
na na shob shomoy tomar shathe thaka darkar
ami akai handle kori sob
strong howa chara upay nai
all my doa and luv
cant give u tnx..becoz u r really my brother
u r my bestest sister
im proud of u
prithibite onek successful manush hoy...boro manush sobai hoyna
you r the great human being nadeembhai
u r too kind.
ami kichu na shudhu bhalobasha chaii karon kriponota chara dite bhalobashi
prithibita onek dekhlam nadim vai
onek manush..dukho bedona jibon k onek kichu day
sotti nadeem vai..u r the grace .....tnx to allah
(Chat Conversation Ends.)
Instead of talking about her pains and anguish, she was generous in showering angelic words on me. That was Rajeshwary, who gave and gave, but never shared the pains that she lived with.
She used to look after a lot of children like her own and those who helped her at her home were no less than her own babies. I saw how she would dress them up and even put make-up on their faces.
"I enjoy dressing them up," she told me once to hide her sorrow of being childless.
She had her own style of art and I have at least two of her artworks in my office here in London. Both are gracious presents from her just because she felt I was one of the serious admirers of her works.
Rajeshwary told me once that how her husband had to bear huge expenses for her treatment for cancer despite the fact she earned her own money, with exhibitions in New Delhi and Kolkata mostly.
I first met her at her mother's house as a fan of her great work on drift and waste wood. It seemed we had our destiny sealed to be very good soul friends.
Once I was down and almost in tears when my so-called sister filed a false criminal case against me. Both Rajeshwary and her mother, Ferdousy, cheered me up and said if needed, they would go to court to speak for me. How many people would do that?
As I say adios to my Rajeshwary, I tell my friends she is an example of love and life, of beauty and justice and of course she is an angel who will always be around us. Missing you, Rajeshwary! May God bless you.
?my prayers for Priya Ranjini, for this most wonderful woman whom I have never seen without a beautiful smile.....she visited me to talk about an interview but never had a sad moment to share because being a daughter of a freedom fighter she knew we shall overcome the darkness of Razakarism that has faced our unfortunate country....she lived long enough to see that her mother was honored as a freedom fighter and was not a loser....?#?joiBangla? ?#?joi71? ?#?joiHasina? -?wrote Akku Chowdhury in his face book status.
Nadeem Qadir, a senior journalist, is Minister (Press), Bangladesh High Commission, London