Why did the sea feel upset when I got close to him?
Otherwise, why was he so quiet? There were no waves, no roar. Just vast expanses of water. I didn’t go far with my family to just see the quiet water. There is more water than that in the Haor next to our home. If so, Why did I go to sea? I was quite upset when I went about four hundred miles away and saw the sinking of the sea.

December 2018, The winter was high. I will go with my wife and son to Cox’s Bazar from Kishoregonj. With one month left, we were preparing with great enthusiasm.

Bijoy Express goes from Mymensingh to Chittagong. I bought the return ticket 15 days in advance. Six-seat cabin, three passengers. The purpose is to journey asleep.

I have been to Cox’s Bazar before with friends. This is my first time with my family. So there was a lot of joy before we left. There was a lot of shopping in preparation. My wife’s enthusiasm for what to cook on the day of departure was eye-catching. There were frequent conversations with my friend Dhaka-based journalist Charu Titas about which hotel we should go to. He took all the responsibility on his shoulders by advising to get up at Hotel Sugandha.

The train leaves at ten tonight. We will all leave. But what will happen to Putu, a cat-like my son! Putu can’t eat unless he is fed. My wife’s niece Neera was called to take care of Putu. We were ready by evening. And went straight to the railway station at nine pm.

At exactly ten o’clock Bijoy Express arrived at the station. We roamed the platform and got on the train. The train started moving. It is good to say that Bijoy Express is the ideal mode of transport from Kishoreganj to Chittagong. There are very few stops on the way. And run at great speed. After going some distance my wife arranged the food. After dinner, we went to bed in three berths. As soon as we got on the train, the attendant went with the pillow and blanket. He reported that the practice of giving pillows and blankets has started from today. So these have to be clean. Thanks, Alhamdulillah.

But one thing about the train I disliked. The attendant suddenly knocked on the cabin door. Opened and he asked, there is an empty berth in your cabin. Would you please someone access? I gave a very angry rebuke. He shrugged and left. His cunning plan did not succeed. Lately, attendants have been busy with their own business without services almost everywhere.

The Bengali word ‘Bijoy’ means ‘Victory’. Bijoy Express’s victory in Chittagong was completed at four in the morning. It’s too cold this year. Before getting down, the attendant knocked on the door again and said, “Sir, you have six tickets, will you let my relative through the gate?” This time I could not control my anger. I gritted my teeth and he fled. This is the condition of the servant. Where he will serve us, instead of asking for service from me!

Trembling with anger and cold, I left the train and got off with my luggage. Went to the station cafe for breakfast. We had our own food. But also bought some food from there thankfully. This time we have to go to Karnofuli bridge by CNG. From there we have to take a bus to Cox’s Bazar.

One thing to mention here, My friend Charu Titas was an ideal guide throughout the trip. He has guided us virtually (By telephone) sitting in Dhaka. He Phone after another. Wanted to know, is everything okay? Don’t hesitate to say, I was sometimes quite annoyed by his over-guidance. He has guided us from day to night on a total of four days of travel. Even when I am asleep, he calls me and wants to know, is everything okay? Haha. Now I regret why I was annoyed at that time. He was taking care of our goodness.

Whatever, We went to Karnafuli bridge by CNG early in the morning and get on the bus. We reached Cox’s Bazar, the daughter of the sea within three hours. As soon as we got off the bus, an auto-rickshaw appeared! Sir, where are you going? is it Hotel Sugandha?
I asked, how much is the rent?
Sir pay TK 50.

I’m surprised! Only TK 50!

After a while, I realized the method.

He explained to me that the Hotel Sugandha is not good. The environment there is bad! Let me show you a nice suite, sir. Went there.

I saw the suite. But the rent is a lot. I asked the boy why so much? He whispered in my ear ‘It wouldn’t have been so high if you had come by yourself, sir!’
Fear in his eyes.
Said, Sir, your auto-rickshaw driver is a broker. That man will take half of what you give. They have a syndicate, don’t tell him about me, sir!

Reader, understand now! Brokers wherever I go. I got back in the Rickshaw and told the driver, go straight to Sugandha. He seemed very disappointed. I got down in front of Sugandha and left the auto-rickshaw with TK 50 and went to the reception.
Introducing himself and the manager said, are you a journalist?

I’m surprised! He turned to me and said, ‘Your friend called from Dhaka. Let me show your suite, sir.’

I asked about the rent and he said, “No worries, sir, 50 percent discount for you.” That means a two-room suite for only TK1,200 per day! Excellent in a word! The name of the place is Sugandha Point after the name of the hotel. The sea can be seen by opening the door or window. The sunset can be seen from here.

All three of us took breakfast together. Then I went out to see the sea. I was disappointed to go to the beach. There is no roar, no waves crashing on the shore. My wife went to see the sea for the first time in her life. she is also disappointed.

We sat in the tenants ‘ comfortable chair for a while and returned to the hotel. took a bath, ate from the restaurant below, and fell asleep. I hope to go to the beach after waking up and watch the sunset. But luck is not helpful. The sun has set. The sea is covered with evening sheets.

Ahmad Farid on the beach With his wife and son. Photo: From the author’s personal stock

This time we left the hotel in comfort. Went to the Burmese market. Bought a lot of things. I had a lot of fun with the shopkeepers. I returned to the hotel with dinner feeling better. The next day We will go to Himchari to climb the hill from Sugandha beach. I bet before to sleep that I will not go down to the sea that is still silent. I looked at the return ticket and was shocked. Must return one day before the expected date. Oh, Why didn’t I look at the return ticket before? Anyway, we have to go back one-day earlier, that is true. My wife wanna a sea bath. The next morning we went to the sea. She soaking her feet in the seawater. As I said before, I don’t wanna go there. She began to the bath. I sat on the easy chair under the umbrella and immersed myself in the laptop. Suddenly I looked up and say my wife had gone too far floating with the tube. Seeing her dipping condition, I realized that she was in danger. Good luck that the rescuers were nearby. After telling they rescued my wife with a water scooter. Thanks to the rescuers.

Since we have to leave Cox’s Bazar tonight, there is no point in continuing the hotel reservation. I bought another relatively small two-bedroom. Then I ran towards Himchhari hill. The auto-rickshaw was running to the hills. There was a lot of joy along the seashore. Also felt a pressing pain that we had to leave tonight. Yet everything was full of joy and happiness. Mountains on one side. The sea on the other side. Ah, what joy is in the air and in the sky! Mountains are number one on my original favorite list.

I bought water and climbed the stairs to the beautiful hill of Himchari. The blue water of the sea in front and the green mountain forest in the back. Wherever I looked, my mind would go crazy with joy. The wind is whispering in my ear which one do you want? Sea or mountains? I whispered in the wind I wanted everything. Can you bring it? I got everything in my mind. I came down from the hill with them after an hour and a half.

Now straight to the hotel. Long sleep after taking a bath. After the evening I went to the sea to find out why he was silent. I got the answer from quite a distance. The Sea is roaring and saying I am not silent. Come, come to me. Waves are crashing at my feet in the pitch dark. My feet with shoes got wet. Touching the sea, I felt a little tremble. The Sea is telling me, Oh friend forgives me. What else can I do! I depend on the weather.

I whispered in the sea’s ear, Be good my friend. I’ll be back on your shores.

Ahmad Farid : Journalist

Click here to read in Bengali


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here