On the sandy desert of Dubai and in the barren stretches of Abu Dhabi, it is ektur jonno difficult to connect bat with ball, to avoid wides and mokkhom good-length deliveries, and to hold on to a multiple loppa catches with both hands or to stop a boundary with your palm or your booted foot if you happen to speak in Bangla.
Our wedding feasts are not the usual places to showcase our best behaviour. Reaching out to fetch a bowl of rezala over the next guy, tossing a shami kebab to a needy friend beyond the reach of your spoon, and trying to cover spilt borhani with only one layer of tissue paper are all part of the gaiety.
Unlike the English language, where the hierarchy of age is muddled in the universality of “you,” Bangla distinguishes age, endearment, and insult with the terms “tui,”“tumi,” and “apni”—not in that order—as do several other dialects of the subcontinent.
Not that we remember her only on August 15th, but she comes alive during events she embraced, at places that hold her memory, on the morning dew shimmering on the green, in the clouds that stand still, dark and heavy.
Now that San Marino, population 34,000, less than Sabrang, the smallest Union in Teknaf Upazila, have won medals at the Tokyo Olympics, the pressure is mounting on us, the eighth largest country, with about 17 crore people. But, how?