A letter to Eesa

12/14, Karwan Bazar

Dhaka 1215


Dear son,

As I write to you, I pray and hope that this letter reaches you in safe hands. Sadly, your Amma can only do that now. I'm sorry I couldn't be the superwoman you thought of and looked up to me as. I know you must hate me now and you have full rights to feel so. I'm sorry I left you to your father and fled all by myself. I couldn't afford to raise you. Even if I had fled with you, I wouldn't be able to bear witnessing my son die of hunger. I don't care about my hunger and encountering death. I care about you. All I have is you. All I had was you.  The moment you came out of my belly and into the world in that tiny tin-shed house, cramped in our little corner in Korail slum, you have gifted me nothing but happiness. Soon, we moved to a small two-room housein ahidden alleywayof Karwan Bazar hoping you would go to school and not have to grow up in a slum.

I never met my parents. I remember growing up on the streets and with no one to share my sorrows with. Until the day I met your father as a young girl, and he married me and ensured me that I was the only woman he ever loved and ever will. I was head over heels for him. Until one day he crossed boundaries.  His piercing words – "A woman is meant to be treated like that. A woman must know her position" – still ring in my ears. I rarely saw him sober. He would smell of his cheap vices every time he came near me.  I had the urge to scream and fight back but I could only weep mutedly and shake endlessly until I was left on the floor, sometimes with blood and froth oozing from the ends of my lips. He spent all his money on his addiction, and rarely on food. He never allowed me to work. I stole a note or two every once in a while, from the pocket of his shirt as soon he would drop unconscious when he reached at night. I collected the things I stole from my husband and from the roads and I sent you to a madrassa. Sending you to an educational institute was enough for me. I wanted you to be educated and claim your foothold in this cruel, cruel world.

As for my whereabouts, you don't need to worry, amarshona. But I will come find you, my love. I don't care what I have to go through as long as I can earn money and get you out of that hellhole. We will live together. Sorry I couldn't give you the life you deserve. You're as precious as other children. I hope you don't miss classes. Work and be a man of reputation. Never follow your parents' footsteps. I love you. I am sorry.


Your Amma


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