‘Why isn’t Baba picking up my phone?’

Nazim Uddin. Photo: Collected

What does an eight-year-old know about death?

Nusrat Jahan Moon has seen her father being lowered into the depths of earth from where nobody has ever come back, but her innocent little mind could not fathom or grasp the fact that she would never see her father again.

Also read: Another mad race shatters another family

She keeps on trying to dial her father’s cellphone, sometimes from her uncle’s phone or from someone else’s; speaking out loud: “How can Baba (father) be so heartless? How come he is not picking up my phone? I will get even with him. I will not let him hug me or kiss me.”

And nobody had the heart to explain to her that her father had departed the land of the living; sacrificed before the mindlessness of speeding bus drivers trying to get ahead of each other, putting out the light of innocent lives right, left and centre.

Moon’s maternal uncle Abdul Alim took her to Bhola last night, when they were taking the dead body of Nazim Uddin, a senior executive of Dhaka Tribune, for burial. She has been with the lifeless body of her father whole night and morning.

But what she did not understand was that her father was dead, and believed that if she kept calling, at some point, putting past all the busyness and work, her father will pick up the phone.


Sabrina Yeasmin has never had to face such horror in her life.

All she can do is wail about her helplessness with an eight-year-old daughter and a four-day-old baby, and faint in tears at the hospital bed.

She had only her aggrieved mother in-law (Ishrat Jahan Rina) to accompany her. There is no other man in the family and the others had left last night for Bhola’s Lalmohan to bury her husband, who was perhaps the happiest man alive with the thoughts of his three-day-old daughter before his life was cut short.

Not knowing what to do, Sabrina kept on calling her brother, Abdul, on mobile phone, her father and mother back home – wailing of the misfortune that has befallen her life. Thoughts of her newborn baby was now secondary; the more important question to her was “what now?”.

Without strength herself in grief over her son, her mother in-law tries to calm her down. Sobbing while speaking to The Daily Star, she says: “I cannot hold her down. It is becoming impossible to keep her here. She cries, wails and throws her hands about, and then faints.”


Abdul Alim, brother in-law to deceased Nazim Uddin, filed a case with Jatrabari Police Station last night accusing three workers of the two buses responsible for the death on Mayor Mohammad Hanif flyover yesterday morning.

Speaking to The Daily Star this afternoon and describing the overall condition of the bereaved family, confirmed about the development and said that Najim’s burial at Lalmohan municipality graveyard, Bhola, was completed at 11:00am today.

Police managed to detain two of the accused, Ohidul, the driver of the bus of Srabon Paribahan and Kamal, helper of the Monjil Poribohon bus. They were produced before the court today and sought in remand, said Azizur Rahman, Officer-in-Charge of Jatrabari Police Station. The hearing of the remand prayer will be held on Sunday.

Another accused, the driver of the Monjil Poribohon bus was absconding, Azizur added.


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