‘Heroes of Life’ – Part III


‘Heroes of Life’ – are those incredible humans who always find their way to light and love. They had known defeat, suffering, and struggles, yet they possess a beautiful story in their hearts, which is worthy to share with the world.

Sharing 10 real life stories which will definitely melt your heart

Featured first on my Facebook page: GMB Akash

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I wanted to join the war in 1971 from the very beginning when it started. But my new bride and my mother did not let me go. That evening, everything we had ended. Suddenly the Pakistani military came with our local Bengali Rajakars (war criminals) who were aiding Pakistan. They killed our neighbors. We all had to hide in the rotten pond in our backyard with my newborn boy. For hours we covered ourselves with the water hyacinth. My newborn died after that day from pneumonia.

After that I joined up as a freedom fighter for the Bengali people. I was only 22. At that age we naturally feel more power in our blood. But I never knew that I was so powerful. I came to know the meaning of my name in our base camp. My name is Hazrat Ali; according to Islam and our prophet Muhammad, ‘Hazrat Ali’ was the greatest warrior. In our camp everyone respected me as a sincere fighter. They always tried to inspire courage for others by saying “we have Hazrat Ali with us, nothing will happen.” I used to stay awake the whole night in hunger. I don’t know how many nights I didn’t sleep or how many days we didn’t eat but I never felt tired. I fought for our country till the war ended. Once I got caught by the Pakistani military. They tortured me severally and I thought, “I am dead”. They threw me in a river with other dead bodies. But if God wants to save you no one can do anything. God saved my life.

I fought for the freedom of my country but no one cares about me now! Now I am a rickshaw van driver. With these hands I fought for our country and now I have to fight for a living. I have two sons but they never do anything for me. They don’t even come to see my wife and me. I get nothing in my life; I never got any allowance from the government. I went to many offices with my evidence of having been a freedom fighter but I still have never received anything. I got tired of visiting offices and showing my evidence when nothing happens. Imagine how I felt when I saw this news article online, ‘Many fake freedom fighters receiving govt allowances’.

At my age it’s very difficult for me to ride a rickshaw. I feel we fought for nothing. We even could not free ourselves from poverty. – Hazrat Ali (69)

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My father always said, “Only your education can bring light into our poor lives.”

My father has been selling street food (Chotpoti) for the last 25 years. He used to earn very little and with that little bit of income he had been maintaining our family and my education. We always had a crisis situation in our family. My mother got by for months and months wearing only one cloth. But even though, we lived in a slum my parents never let me miss my school for a single day. My mother always told my father “one day our daughter, Moina will get a good job and she will never let you go sell street food anymore.”

My mother always inspired me to continue my education even when several times I wanted to start working in a textile factory because of our family’s daily crisis. But she never allowed it. She, herself worked as a maid but never let me stop my studies.
Now my father is 60 years old and he gets sick all the time. His income is not sufficient to run our family. For the last three years I have been working at a NGO’s school as a teacher. Besides my job I am completing my graduation from college. Whatever I earn from my job I continue my education and also with that money I cover my family expenses. I also take care of my younger brother’s education. Besides my job, I also give tuition classes to 5 children.

I always feel very proud of my father. I am proud that he is a street food seller. I also give free classes to slum children so they can be educated and help their parents. Only education can bring light into this dark place. _Moina Akter 20

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During my birth, my mother died. My parents were from a remote village. So my father could not do anything for saving her life. I grew up with my grandparents and then with my uncle’s family. I was a very brave lady from my childhood. My environment had pushed me to be a brave woman. I did every kind of work that a man does. I took care of our 7 cows. Along with our maid I dried thousands of sacks of rice. I was strong and brave like a man. Our villagers used to say, “You will never get married. Who will marry a girl that is like a man? Who will be her family? No man will live with her!” I was never concerned about those words because at that time my only thoughts were to work for a living and to feed myself as well as and to make my family members happy. I understood at that age, that nothing but work can make people happy.

Proving everyone wrong; I got married when I was 15 years old. I got the most loving husband. I found a dream come true. I have never imagined a life that could be so colorful. My husband was a very loving man. I had never found that much love ever like that which I got from him. But that happiness was really for a short period of time. I got a divorce after 3 years of my marriage. They wanted a child from me, but I could not give them a child. God have not given me that power to conceive. Doctors said I am unable to become a mother. For 3 years I had done everything and eaten
everything people told me about to facilitate a pregnancy.Nothing happened. Finally, making everyone right again, my husband of 3 years left me because I can’t be a mother. When I found my marriage was over I thought my life was over too. It is impossible for me to describe the depth of the pain when you get the most beautiful thing in your life and then lose it again in front of your eyes.

I have never married again, but became a midwife instead. I had been interested in it since my childhood. No one could save my mother. So I wanted to save mothers’ lives. For that, I took training from the midwife of our village. I have been brave since my childhood. From my acts people started to believe in me. They started wanting me in their labor room. They started to feel confident when I am there in their labor room. I saved hundreds of women’s lives. But I am badly defeated again by my fate. I could not save my mother’s life. My adopted daughter whom I was calling ‘Maa’ for the last 25 years left me last month in her labor room. I could not save my mother’s life again- Roksana 60

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When I was a kid, people used to mock me all the time. Everywhere people saw me they would point at me and say to each other, “see,there is a dwarf coming.” They always made fun of me. It was very hurtful for me. I never hurt anyone to my knowledge, but everyone has hurt me by their words and actions. I was always shy and nervous to go close to people. I had no friends when I was a child. Nobody wanted to mingle with a dwarf. My parents were also ashamed of me because I am a midget. I could not find a better profession than working in the circus. When I got to know about this world, I wanted to be a clown to make people happy. There’s a lot of freedom in this rock and roll world of circus. Its where, all my freakishness goes away. It’s the best world for me to live in. Now If I can bring smiles to people’s faces then I feel very happy. I don’t think anyone thinks of us as artists or actors; they only think we are clowns! -Reaz

Faijuddin Molla 80

I see thousands of people every day. Waves of people come and go. So many kinds of people I see and I think that I am the only one who has no one. I am the only person who has been suffering loneliness from the very beginning;I am an orphan. I never saw my parents. I think I am the unluckiest person alive who has no one. Every day I pray to God to take me to him. He already took everyone from me; why is he not taking me to them? This life is unbearable now. Without having anyone no one can survive. I have no one to talk to. I don’t know how many days have passed before talking with you. I don’t go outside in the day light. People don’t like to see me. They think I am the cursed one; for me all my family members have died and I am the only one who is alive.

My wife died giving birth to our second child. My daughter and I raised him with a lot of struggle. My daughter was also a little kid;she was only 8 years old. But what happened after enduring this much hardship for my son? He died in his 22nd year. I could not even marry my son with someone. He died in a bus accident. My daughter died the year after my son had died and left her 6-year-old daughter with me. I was only surviving for Sonia; Sonia my granddaughter. She was my everything. For the last 18 years she was my night and day. She was a beautiful and happy girl. I never knew she was in so much pain that she needed to commit suicide in our room with her scarf. I never knew! She never said anything to me! I never could feel her pain. People say I am cursed.Sometimes I think they are right; if not, then why would I not be able to understand my Sonia’s pain? How could I let her do that? She died because of her love. That man used to come sometimes but I never talked to him. He used to come and sit beside me and cry like a child.

I have been living alone for the last 4 years and waiting to see my last day. I don’t know what God wants from me. Why in this crowded world have I no one? For me being alive is a curse now. – Faiz Uddin Molla 80

Abul Hossain 72

I am definitely a happy person. In my life I have never been a negative person. That one thing reinforced my life and made me happy forever. I have never had regrets about anything. I always let everything go that I can’t hold. Whatever I did in my life I always felt blessed about it. I found happiness in every little thing I have ever done. I believe that, we can never love anything in life if we can’t appreciate the small things.

I remember the next day of our marriage; my wife and I went to the river together in the neighboring village to bathe. She was swimming in the little lake beside the river. I had never seen that much happiness in anyone’s face before, like I saw in her face and eyes that day. That was the best memory I can recall now. There are several memories like this and they are priceless.

My lovely wife Rina is the best gift I found in my life. She always tries to be close to me when I return from my work. Villagers make fun of my wife calling her a cuddling cat. She is very passionate with me and loves me unconditionally. For the last 45 years she never went to her parents’ home leaving me alone. When she conceived for the first time she was at her parents’ house for nine months and insisted that I also had to be with her that whole nine months in her parents’ home. That was a little silly for me but I was really happy for that; she can’t live without me for even one day.

I am a small businessman who sells wooden furniture. Whatever I earn with that I can survive happily with my family. I have two beautiful children who love and respect me a lot. My family members never wanted anything more than what I could afford. You don’t need too much to be happy. Life is beautiful if you see happiness in every little thing. I have learnt from life, ” if you don’t want too much from life, life gives you so much.”-Abdul Hossain 72

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Last evening after my factory job I went to buy a veil for myself because I was not feeling protected with my dress any more. I had been saving money for the last year to buy my veil because I was not feeling safe in my everyday attire.

For the last three years I have been working in that factory to support my family. Living in a slum is very difficult for young girls. I have to face inappropriate teasing and sexual harassment almost every day. Every day on the way to my textile factory, young boys and men look at me in a very bad manner. They behave in a way as if it is their right to look at me badly and to use abusive words because I am a slum girl.

When I wash my hands and face in the morning, every single man who passes by gives me a bad look. They try to see my whole body with awful bad intentions. Sometimes, in my mind I think about poking their eyes but I can’t do it because they are men and stronger than us. They can harass us but we can’t even protest. They look at us as if we are not wearing anything. I don’t understand why they look at our chests like we are not wearing anything.

We have no privacy here. People can see us no matter what we are doing; even resting inside our room. We have no windows so we have to keep our door open all the time during the day. At night I am always afraid that somebody enters our house and does terrible things to us. There have been many nights when I never closed my eyes. Every single sound of a man worries me during whole nights -_ Shumi

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I have been terribly worried for the last nine months. My only daughter is almost 45 years old. She was trying her whole life for a baby but God was not with her. But she never gave up on her hope nor on God. She has had 5 miscarriages. Doctors told her not to try again because that many miscarriages is not good for her health. But she almost dedicated her life to having a child. My son-in-law is a very kindhearted and obliging to my daughter.

I am going to see my grandson today. I am so excited that my younger son who is taking me to see my grandson has been telling me to eat something since the morning. I don’t want to go eat then I might miss the train or I might get left behind. I will eat something when I see my grandson. Baba, I never have felt this happy ever before. Please pray for my grandson. I am counting every second to reach to him.- Johura Begum (80)

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My father died in a road accident 6 years ago which left us on the street. For several days we ate nothing. We had no money and no rice at our home. We could not pay the rent of our one room house. My mother then started working in this brick breaking factory after only a few days of my father’s death. She was not even physically and mentally ready after losing my father. Her eyes were still wet for her loving husband. I saw her crying every night holding my younger brother.

We had nobody else. My father and mother had a love marriage so their families did not accept them. They came to Dhaka in order to survive and my father started riding a rickshaw. But after my father died, my mother alone could not earn enough money, even when she worked from early morning to evening. I saw how she suffered every evening with her body pain. I could not stand to see her struggle alone and I started working with my mother when I was only 6 years old.

My mother cried loudly holding me on her chest the first day I went to work beside her. She never wanted to take me with her to work there. My father always had a dream to send me and my younger brother to school.

I could hardly break 30 bricks a day and could only earn 30 taka on the first day. But now I can break up to 125 bricks and earn 125 taka per day. With my income, I am able to continue to pay for my younger brother Rana’s education. He is a very good student and this year he came second in his class.

For the last 6 months I have been working extra hours to earn more money. Two days ago with this money I bought a new bicycle for my brother, so he can go to his new class and tuition with the bicycle. Before that he used to walk a long distance and he got tired. My brother said when he grows up, he will get a job and he will never let me work here anymore. _Rotna and her mother Rina Akter

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It feels like I’m a king when I travel on the roof of the train. I feel so free and happy with my other friends. During the whole day we travel on the top. In the last six months I have travelled to lots of places. I never knew there were lots of places to go to. My friends make fun of me calling me a frog from a well and laugh. I don’t know what that means but this makes me laugh when they call me Bang(frog ).

After my father’s death my mother left us with our uncle and went to Saudi Arabia to work. My mother sends money for us but they don’t feed us food properly. My sister and I were working like donkeys every day. They beat us without any reason. Every day it was a punishment to be with them. They were not this cruel when my father was alive. That day my aunt was beating my sister and grabbing her hair. I asked my sister, Sanjida to come with me while I was escaping from that Hell but she refused. She is 4 years older than me. I think she is a fool because except for crying she can’t do anything. She was also crying the moment she was giving me her all money: that which she was collecting for herself for a long time. I didn’t want to take it but she forced me and placed it in my pocket. I lost all that money the very first night while I was sleeping on the station platform. I don’t know how much money there was. But I can say, my pocket was full of it. I never cried so much before that day when I found out that I lost my money.

Now I am working as a porter and what money people give me is enough for my living. I am happy;at least I am not in that hell anymore. For the last 2 months I have been sleeping with my street friends in the pile of jute bags and it’s really warm. For the last couple of days, I haven’t gone to ride the top of the train. When the train runs in the cold wind your bare body feels like someone is cutting your skin with a knife.

I miss my sister. Every night while I try to sleep I miss her. Whatever good food I eat sometimes, I miss her. I am worried about her and I feel sorry for her. Maybe because of me she has to work double! Sometimes I think about returning home for her and taking her with me. I wish I could take her out from that Hell one day. – Sakib 8

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4 thoughts on “‘Heroes of Life’ – Part III

  1. Such heart-wrenching stories and difficult lives these people lead!! It breaks my heart. I wish more could be done to improve the quality of life of people in Bangladesh and elsewhere. There is so much to be done; it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aakash, your stories make me cry and smile at the same time, Human courage has no limit but yea, so much sadness is around us. even if we can touch one life, we feel that our existence has atleast a little bit meaning. I know you must have heard it n numbers of time but I still want to say it again………… your portrait capturing breaths life into the pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Beautiful inspiring stories by Gmb Akash – Mou Aysha

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