This story is by ATM SHIRAJUL HAQUE and was part of our 2020 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Aren’t we all a creation of nucleus by God? You can have nuclear weapons but now you are perishable nucleus within a flash. Is it a reminder to us all?
Mr. Harun and Mrs. Rudmila, gave birth to two sons and two daughters since their marriage in the eighties. Harun’s life can be described as an illustrious one. His philosophy of life “I am going to be best in whatever I do”. He retired with the highest honor of Judge. He was a very good public speaker, very social, author of more than 20 law books. He maintained a very strong nuclear family. His wife also complemented her well by standing side by side in managing and financing is physical-building, apartments, lands and financial assets. Now after retirement Harun fought with terminal diseases-prostate cancer, tuberculosis etc. Every 3 months, he has to go outside of the country to see doctors. Now, the doctors won’t even do the video conference. At best, they are prescribing medicine through their hospital representative. Relationship with the doctors, flight steward’s passive smile seem utopia. He is now stranded without medicines that need to be imported. But everything is on a stand still.
Ahsan is a doctoral engineering student in Ohio. He is slender, strongly built with one of the best brains in the world. He has number of published articles and even got the research funding from US Army Crop, White House for water supply and base line study research of Ohio river. On top of that, he has patented test with his university. His regular routine is laboratory at 8 am, classes and study till 4 pm, groceries at 5, Gym at 6 pm on alternative days. Back in his home town, he has his parents who are really proud of himself. A bit of Viber and Messenger at night with his parents-Harun and Rudmila, feedback and support from his parents, that’s all he has got in lock down isolation. Ironically, the funds received from US Army Corp is also postponed under such situation. He never liked to lose, so such decision is a bolt from the blue and it irks him terribly. Can you do anything about it?” Even the Government are in dilemma with highest death toll in USA. Better isolate than die. Now, all he could do is video chat with her girlfriend.
Lynia, daughter in law of Harun and Rudmila, is a very devoted Muslim girl. Since, childhood, she has her own core philosophy. In one rainy day at school, her friends were ecstatic to soak their selves in rain. Her friends were chanting, “Come on, enjoy the rain.” She said loudly, “You may be mad but I am not”. She loved children a lot and she prayed since childhood that everyone has a healthy baby. She did have a prestigious blood line of merit and brilliance. Her father, sister and a number of relatives did their PhD from one of the Ivy Leagues Universities. She got married after post-graduation. The brilliant nucleus of Lynia did not conceive something really shocking. Her husband Rahman has almost zero sperm count. Her husband was kind, devoted and caring. However, all these qualities do not make up for starting a nuclear family rather to the neighbors their infertile life was a juicy topic. Traumatized by her married life’s one side which is procreation of a nucleus, she decided that they would go for IVF. It was in February 2020; the flight was in March 25. Unfortunately, their flight got cancelled. They were ship wrecked, felt isolated in a vast deep blue sea. The craving for baby seemed more nerve-wrecking and eluring.
The mischievous and opportunist Nur stays with her husband in Canada. She is blessed with two daughters. She herself is a doctor, now spcializing in Oncology. Her husband is also doing great as he used to do in his home country. The two can be considered mischievous in a sense that they were pretty stingy in whatever the occasion or in daily lives. Besides, she had this obnoxious habit of not staying with her in-laws but to create excuse to live at her parents’ house. This habit of staying in parent’s house created problems in Lynia’s marital life. Her in-laws were biased towards their daughter Nur. Nur always used to create sympathy by sharing her in-law’s misdeed and problems. On top of that Nur’s husband Adib was very shrewd and shameless. He used to shout at the maids, his wife. However, he could manage people also by describing mythical, religious stories. Lynia became too shocked by such trickery and family politics. More desolate!
Ahsan who is not only a hard-working doctoral student had many one night stands as well as live in relationships. Now, he can’t even go to the gym. He has good talking terms with Ayesha and Nur and his parents. He talks with them regularly. He does not have a headache regarding Rahman and Lynia. He is pretty self-obsessed, maybe that is saving him from his isolation. However, though God showed us judgement day, it could not reveal the curtain between Ahsan vs Rahman and Lynia. It will stay that way. Isolated, desolated and unheard.
The mischievous nature of Nur is still on the run. She sends different messages like not to divide land, property or take care of her mother cause no one will care about you. She sends videos of exercising and different activities of her children. The grand daughters sing or ask for gifts from the grand mother. She always has and will be the twister in the family. But, if I ask clearly or if she asks herself whether she has been honest in this world with her siblings, she will fall into void. Maybe the isolation has not changed her a bit.
Lynia and Rahman went to different trips. One trip was soul searching just after her first miscarriage. It was shattering-very very painstaking. Rahman was in office. He knew Lynia had to do her pregnancy test on that day. Rahman found Lynia’s call. His heart was swinging like a big pendulum. He heard her voice,” Dear I think it is positive”. Hearing that he could not rest on his seat and went to a famous diamond shop and bought a diamond bracelet. But, to their bad luck one fine day after just one and a half month, it started bleeding-all hopes drenched and washed away. Since then, Lynia was optimistic to give it an another try. Now, she can only think of a baby praying to his Almighty. Whom to blame?
Mr Harun and Mrs Rudmila are counting their days. They have become cold, old and skittish. Lynia and Rahman do not have an off spring. Their long-held pride now twisted to dust. They take pride in Ahsan’s series of achievements. On top of that, the old couple have a binding love for each other. They really can take care of each other and have all the heart for themselves. They yearn for their granddaughters-two are in Canada and one in the country, though they can’t come due to lockdown. Sometimes they see them in their dreams. In the morning they are busy talking with their off-springs living outside of the country. Though their eldest daughter in law Lynia and eldest son Rahman stay with them, the width of isolation is the highest between them.
Isolation, distance, division are not only mere result of Pandemic, War or World Crisis. It occurs mostly in the human mind; it becomes a paradox. The nucleus gets infected in everyday and fighting Nuclear War of Relationship. So, along with fighting the pandemic, we have to fight the pandora box in our mind. When we can let go off such ego, isolation will not be a division factor.
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