The Geometry of Love
I feel like, I am wearing perfume in the middle of the desert.
I am like, a nomad having a nameless home.
Ten Love stories shared from the series Heroes of Life; these are real love life experiences of the people portrayed here.
Featured first on my Facebook page: GMB Akash
‘I got married at the age of twelve. My husband was twice my age. I cried the whole night by sitting on my wedding bed. He was embarrassed. He shyly said he would allow me to do whatever I wanted to do. He kept his promise. He brought me dolls to play with. But my in-laws did not like my freedom. They asked him to send me back to my parents. When their torture became intolerable, by holding my hands he left his parent’s house. Here, we built our heaven fifty years ago. I played with dolls and then with my five children. By fishing he earned a living for us. Every corner of our hut was built by him. I used to sit beside him, singing songs and he continued to repair our broken bamboo walls. One night he left me alone, he died in his sleep with a slight smile on his face. Our house was his existence for me. I used to touch the fence,the wall and could feel him there. During Aila, the flood washed away my hut. Now there is no sign of my home. Still I come here to find a sign of my existence, try to find him in my lost home’ – Saira Begum
‘She was four years older than me. She was black but more beautiful than a fairy. However, I had never paid attention to her face because her heart was so overwhelmingly beautiful to cherish. I have never seen someone caring like her in my life. If any woman of the village got sick she had to be there. In our village women hardly went to the hospital. Besides being a midwife, she used to always stay with all pregnant women. But in our conservative village, most of the people talked badly about her. No one was ready to marry her. I had fallen for this crazy girl from my childhood. One day I found the courage to tell it to my mother. Surprisingly, my mother fought with everyone to make Hasna her daughter-in-law. We knew that no one would attend our wedding but to our surprise the day we got married more than 100 women from different villages came to wish us well. I never knew she had provided education to all these women also. My wife died three years ago. We have no children. For me, her love was enough. After her death, I donated our only piece of land for establishing a girl’s school. I know she must be smiling from heaven.’ – Rohmot Miah
‘I was thirteen when we got married. I had never seen him before our marriage. When we first met, we were sitting like strangers, who had no idea what actually we could talk about. We hadn’t spoken a word even on our wedding day. I had never thought the man sitting beside me would slowly become the most important reason behind my life. There were days when my in-laws pushed him, asking him to remarry as I could not conceive after five years of our marriage. One day out of frustration, I packed all my belongings and wanted to silently go away from his life. That day, he cried to me, begged me not to leave him. That was the first day of my life when I first realized how lucky I am. It’s been sixty years that we have been with each other. We have always been just by ourselves. There are days when he cannot manage to bring anything from the bazaar, poverty has been always a part of our life. Both of us often fall sick. We are seeing each other grow old and slowly moving towards death. But we never felt alone, never felt our life was incomplete and in need of a child. During the rainy season, he goes fishing and I wait for him to come back. Sometimes, he tells me how much he is afraid of leaving me alone while he has to go fishing at night. Even today, we have no food in our home. And I have no idea when he can bring something for us. But right now, we are enjoying this winter sun, talking with each other about our old days. We know well, very soon one or both of us will die, and there will be no one to cry for us.’ – Saleha Begum
I move from places to places. From villages to villages. Everyone calls me beggar Kulsum. You can call me too. No one knows from where I have come from. I never tell anyone who am I. I had a mansion, surrounded by three ponds and four gardens. It was always hard to fall in sleep because the smell of the flowers was so strong at night. Often times I felt heaven is my home. And there was always my supportive husband. Every morning I prepared uncountable cakes for him and he never let me to wear same saree more than a few times. I never allowed my maids to clean our in-houses; they were responsible for only outhouse. I had passed forty seven years of our marriage life by making cakes, watering trees and wakening up at nights alone when he left for business in far places. I got married when I was ten; my husband was the only friend I had. I had passed my married life by making cakes and wondering at our beautiful gardens. My husband never let me feel alone in our child less life. I remained happy in his light. One day I went to see one of my sick maids, there I accidently met a woman who was wearing the same wedding bangle I had. Eventually by my maid I found out that my husband kept his second marriage secret from me for twenty years. There he had two daughters and a son. I spent my nights by looking at his face and realized how much he had loved me. May be every day he thought to leave me, may be in every festival he wanted to spend his time with his new family, maybe he felt guilt when I put my right hand every night on his chest. ..Because he had loved me and I was his only friend too. I wanted him to be happy without regret. I also wanted a happy memory of my very loving husband with our all ponds and gardens…I convinced one of my loyal maid to spread the news that I accidentally fell in river and swept away. She did it by the exchange of all my gold ornaments. You are talking to dead Umme Kulsum. She died twenty years ago. No one cried for her, neither I. Sometimes people ask me what they will do when I will die and what my last wish is. I said it to no one before you. If ever he arrives by searching me tell him I missed our home, gardens and him every single second of my life. But I wanted him to be free from my love. His happiness is what I wanted if required by my life. And I do not regret what I had done. Sometimes in love you have to leave.
– Umme Kulsum
‘I loved Surma before I knew how it felt to be in love. Her black skin was as beautiful as diamonds; even more beautiful was the depth of her black eyes. My uncle arranged our marriage suddenly while her village doctor father was on his death bed. Her father touched my hands and said, ‘Surma’s mother died when she was born. I was never able to give her the love she needed. I have failed as a father. Promise me, you will never fail as her husband.’ I promised him.
It was raining heavily, I was riding in my boat while my newlywed wife was sitting in the center of my boat with her world. There were her three kittens, one dog, five chickens and a goat. When we arrived at our house, my mother came out to perform some rituals to receive us. After looking at Surma and her belongings she fainted. With hesitation, on our wedding night when I asked her to send back all her animals she attacked me and with her hands she was beating on my chest like I was a drum. Before I understood anything my twelve year-old wife ran away into the jungle; all her animals fled with her. I spent my wedding night searching for my wife and her animals.
When we got married I had nothing, Surma changed every corner of my rundown hut. She was able to repair everything except my mother’s heart. One day I came from work and found her tied up with rope along with her cats, dogs and goats. I rushed to release everyone; she stopped me and said, ‘It’s my punishment. Do not disrespect amma and do not ask her any questions.’ I looked at my mother and she looked away. I was sure, Surma would be able to melt my mother’s heart. But it was too late. After ten years we had no children. One night Surma took my hand over her head and asked me to remarry. I could not control myself and slapped her. She attacked me and again disappeared into the jungle. I went to my mother and told her no one can force me to remarry while I still have life.
It was our ten-year anniversary of marriage. Again a monsoon. That day Surma was very calm and quiet. By looking at her smiling face, I reassured her, I will be only with her for the rest of my life and I could adopt all her animals as the father. She smiled through her deep black eyes. In the evening when I returned she was lying dead in my yard. Villagers had brought her from the river where they found her floating.
Sixty years has been passed. I am still alone, living with only my memories and animals. When my mother was dying she asked for my forgiveness. I couldn’t do it. My love will never forgive them: not my mother, not my Surma. I am still the man who sees those deep black eyes every night. Sometimes I go into the jungle and search for Surma, I want to bring her back to my life again. But she has gone far away; without knowing how much I loved her.’ – Abdul goni
‘My wife has a habit of snoring during her sleep. At night, only she sleeps. I stay awake and listen to her music. When she falls asleep she starts her tempo taxi. It goes up and down and then up again. This room is very humid and we do not have any fan. The window we have is the only source of ventilation. At night, I keep the window and the door wide open for some time so that air can enter into our room. The problem is, when Arju falls asleep, our neighbor starts yelling. She will shout and tell me, ‘Stop the earthquake or we will kick you both out of this slum.’ On this issue, I have had enough fighting with all our neighbors. Oftentimes I looked at her, wanted to wake her up but when I saw her sleeping so peacefully after a long working day, I just could not do it. At the end, I shut the door tightly and also the only window. I can sleep in humidity, with loud music, but I could never stop my tempo and ruin her peaceful sleep.’ – Textile worker Arju’s husband Liton
‘Sometimes I go to visit my ex-wife. I really do not have anyone else to go to. She does not allow me to stay more than a few minutes. Everyone says she is a very bad woman but I know how her circumstances were. I cannot blame her so easily. I was not able to buy her a saree for years. She had starved days after days with me. I heard her crying every night. We lost our only child because I didn’t have money for the treatment….
Now maybe she is happy. ..When I last visited her, she gave me sweets to eat. Now she keeps sweets in her new room since I visited her. Maybe she does not forget how much I love sweets… Life would have been so very different if I could have fed us and saved our child…
I can never hate her for leaving me or for choosing to be a prostitute. I was never able to curse her. For everyone she is a whore but for me she is still my Moina.’
– Komesh Mia (45)
‘I have not gone to work for two days. I have to stay with my wife. We do not have any mobile phone; what if she needs something? We live on an island; people have prejudices against going to the hospital. The boatman did not agree to take us at night when my wife was vomiting so much. Everyone including my parents tried to stop me from taking her to the hospital. But I could not sit silently when she was suffering that much. I navigated the boat at night alone and after facing great difficulty I admitted her into the hospital. This place was full of patients. The nurses told me to wait till they arranged a bed. But my wife was feeling very afraid; that’s why I was telling her one joke after another. I wanted to make her smile; when she smiles everything seems okay.’ – Tayeb Miah
‘I am a very sensitive guy and my wife is a spy. So, we fight more than we eat. Ask what I told her during a fight seven years ago, she will tell you in detail. Ask how she insulted me last night I cannot tell you a word. We have been married for seven years. I never spend a day without my family. Even when she cooks I sit beside her with our children. Yesterday all of us were very happy because we planned to go to watch a circus which was taking place near us. Then suddenly she told me how much she likes the new girl who had started working a few days ago. I said yes, that she is a very innocent girl. She asked, ‘really’? I nodded. And then we had a terrible fight. She stopped talking to me. I asked her a thousand times what I had done. She called over my daughter and asked her to tell me that I did nothing. After going to work she was ignoring me and started working on a different side. I cannot take it. I hate this spying but I cannot live without her nonsense.’
– Morshed & Moriyum
‘I saw her first at a village fair. She was eating sweets. I fell in love instantly. I fell in love when I was seventeen. My father was a farmer, so am I. She was the only girl from the respectable Mia Bari. I could not say anything to her as she belongs to a rich family. But I continued to follow her everywhere secretly and silently. In three years I did not say a word to her. Then a very good marriage proposal came for her and I knew that I had to watch her royal marriage helplessly. On the night of her engagement I cried my heart out sitting in my boat on the riverside near my house. Suddenly I saw someone running towards the boat and before I understood anything, she started rowing the boat. Even in my dreams, I never imagined something like that could happen in my life. The first thing she said to me was, ‘Stupid, you are very stupid.’ It’s been forty years she is calling me stupid every day. I am very happy to be stupid.’ – Makbul Mia ( 60)
A drop of your love got mixed in my cup
I could drink the bitters of life.