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Thursday

Published : Saturday, 4 June, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 2461
Yasir Monon

Thursday

Thursday

Whoever does not have it, how can she expect a child? How could she feed him?" - Mizan's words still float in Riya's ears. At one time, she used to have a lot of trouble, but now when she thinks about it, she smiles in her mind. Mizan has not been in her life for almost five years. And the most significant thing is what happens when thinking about the past, as her new life starts from today.

It is half-past eight. Riya arrived a little early, and the office had not opened yet. The office may not open before 9:30. Riya looked around and saw a tea shop across the street. She thought to sit there and have tea and wait. "Mama, give me a cup of tea," she said and sat down on a bench next to the tong shop.

Riya got married in 2013. She wanted to study further after passing honors, and she wanted to get a job at least before marriage. But under the pressure of the family, she had to marry Mizan. She could not continue her studies, and getting a job was far away.

Everything was going reasonably well when suddenly she was diagnosed with a breast tumor. And the doctor has to remove the affected part of the tumor so that virus may not spread in the body or do not lead to cancer or anything serious. Riya's life has been changing since then. Day by day, the sight of people showing sympathy made her helpless. She thought that having a baby at home might change everything. But soon after, Mizan said in a hollow voice, "Who doesn't have that? How can she expect a child? How could she feed him?". From then on, Riya was broken entirely mentally. As a result, they got divorced within a year. Riya's mother died soon after her birth; there was only a father; Riya started living there. She thought that completing her MBA would be done, but Riya could not complete it. She took a job as a customer support officer in a software company in Bashundhara in the same year.

Riya lived in Mohakhali. She had to take a bus from North Badda, change the bus again and turn to Bishwaroad , and then to Bashundhara by rickshaw from there. There is a lot of trouble with the city's transportation system. Half of the day goes by from her home to office to home. One day on the way to the office, she got on a bus, the women's seat in front was packed, and she was getting late for the office, so she had to get on the bus and stand at the last corner. After being stuck in a traffic jam, the bus stopped at the Gulshan Circle signal. Riya suddenly heard something,

"Look, at the front, the whole FBL,"

"What does FBL mean?" Another voice came slowly.

"Hey shit, don't you understand FBL? Full Body Level ", the first one laughed out loud, and the other laughed. Riya once looked at the back seat and realized that the words were being said about her by four or five young boys. They were looking at her and smiling, they turned their faces to the other side as soon as they met her eyes, and they started being busy with another story.
Riya was upset all day that day. She thought she would never go to the office again. Then she thought of something else. In a few days, she bought a scooter. New to the market, it runs on batteries. Thus she slowly began to sort everything out. The road is the same, but now it is not as difficult to travel. One such winter morning, she went out on a scooter to the office. Just as she was crossing the wireless gate of Mohakhali, she noticed a significantly older woman standing on the left side of the road. At other times, Riya might have pulled away. But in the blink of an eye, Riya put the scooter in front of her. And got down and walked back.

"Aunty, are you going somewhere?" Riya said.

"Yes, ma, I am waiting for the bus; I will go to Middle Badda," said the woman.

"Come with me; I have a scooter," said Riya, pointing to the scooter on the side. Without saying another word, the woman leaned forward with Riya. When she started it, she sat in the back seat of the scooter and placed one hand on the side rod and the other on Riya's shoulder.

"Where will you go to Middle Badda, Aunty ?" Riya asked.

"I work in a tailor shop."

"OK"

No one else spoke on the road. After reaching Middle Badda, the woman told Riya to stop. She got off the scooter and went to the other side of the road without saying anything. Surprised, Riya watched the woman leave for a while and then start for the office.

"Hello Dad, can I ask you something? Was there a mole on my mother's cheek?" Riya called her father before entering the office.

"Mole? No, why?" Riya's Dad replied.
"Nothing, just like that, okay, I'll get to the office. I'll call you later," Riya said and hung up.

The older woman looked almost like her mother. That's why she turned her scooter to see her on the street in the morning. 'Anyway, may she's not my mother, but someone else's mother,' Riya sat at work thinking to herself.
After that day, after several days, Riya continuously looked at her left side on the road while crossing Mohakhali to see if she had met that woman while driving. But the whole week passed, and she no longer saw the woman on the street. One day while going to the office, she could see that the woman was standing at the bus stand, wearing the same sari, and the same two lace sandals of the same black color. This time Riya stopped the scooter right in front of the woman.

"Aunty, we met today again. You're going to Badda, right?" Let's go

Without saying anything, she sat behind the scooter with a smile.

"You haven't been to work in the last few days?" Riya asked, turning her head slightly backward.

"I have. Why, ma?" The woman spoke after so long.

"No, I mean, I've been looking for you the last few days as I passed by, but I didn't find you, so I said."

"Oh, I have to enter my store at eight o'clock on Thursday morning. The rest of the days, I used to go to the store around eleven o'clock."

"Oh, that's why," said Riya, smiling alone. The woman was holding her shoulder tightly, and Riya liked it.

"Where do you live, Aunty?" In Mohakhali?"

"Yeah, Ma, you know the TB Gate? In the slum behind it. "
"Who else is in your family?" Riya asks one question after another.

"I live in my daughter's house, daughter and son-in-law, my husband is dead, no one else."

While talking, they reached Badda.

Riya has been waiting all week for Thursday ever since. In this way, later, every week on Thursday, Riya dropped off the woman from Mohakhali to Badda. That woman was no longer serious with Riya. Riya would talk to that woman about what she did throughout the week, what happened in the office, and where she went out. The woman also used to tell stories of herself and her daughter. As soon as she met Riya one morning, the woman said to her, "You know, ma, my granddaughter was born last Monday, her complexion is the same as yours, and she weighs three kilograms. I have not received my salary yet, and I will give you a treat with sweets next month."

"Well, I'll eat sweets, and I'll go to your house one day," said Riya.

 But Riya didn't see the woman again after that Thursday. The first few weeks, she didn't think much of it. But when it was about a month away, the tension began to subside. So one day, Riya left for the office early in the morning, went straight to the wireless gate, searched here and there, and reached the slum behind the TB gate. Riya, who did not know the woman's name or daughter, found their home with incredible difficulty. But when she went to the house and looked at it for a while, she sat in the mud. People in the area said that a few weeks ago, the cylinder bust of a nearby hotel caught fire, and several other houses, including this room, were burnt down. Everyone in the house died. Everything seemed a bad dream to Riya.

"No one in this house survives?" Riya asked in a sobbing voice.

"No, but luckily, there was a month old baby in this room. We took him to the hospital. We don't know where that baby is now."

Riya got up and went to look for the baby with the hospital's address. Going there, Riya heard that the child miraculously survived even though everyone died in the house fire. Seeing that no one came to take the child from the hospital, they later sent the child to Azimpur Children's Home.

"Apa, your tea is getting cold."

Riya woke by startling. She was thinking about those past incidents. For the last six months, Riya went to every other department, the Ministry of Social Welfare, everywhere. Still, she could not be the child's guardian. But after today, all her troubles are over. Legally today, Riya is going to get the responsibility of that child.

She is starting her new life today.

Today is Thursday.

The writer is a novelist, short story writer







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