Mason [Poestory: Poetry + Story]

Mason is the mark,

Of hard work,

Like Dedalus,

Busy he is always.


He translates others’,

Dreams into edifices,

Both majestic and luxurious,

Risking life in the tasks perilous.


He crafts others’ future,

Who’ll craft his, I wonder!

His family depends solely,

On his shoulders tiny.


Every drop of sweat counts,

Yet he hardly sounds,

Inactive or lethargic,

Ever on the go even he’s sick. 


Future doesn’t bother him much,

He can’t ever touch,

His dreams and goes on dragging,

His life like a banished King.  

The mason that we are talking about here is a hard-worker. His name is Alif Ahmed. He is the father of 6 children. His wife Jamila Khatun is bedridden due to diarrhea. The children are all suffering from malnutrition. The youngest one is a daughter named Aleya Khatun; she has been waiting for her father’s return since he has promised to buy her a mynah made of clay from the village fair.


The sun seems to be hotter than normal. Alif looks at the sun defiantly as if he would burn the sun with his uncontrollable insolence! The moment later he starts thinking logically that it is impossible to burn something that is already burning!


The tiny drops of sweat start falling on the ground like the raindrops! Gravity is at work all the time! Alif feels so hungry; he scarcely ate something while leaving home for work at dawn. At times, he just cannot bear the burden of running so large a family! It is next to impossible to bear the expenses of even one person, let alone eight in total!


It is not that Alif has not pondered over committing suicide. But, the once the angel-like-faces of the children appear before his eyes, he thinks otherwise! It is like ‘Hamlet Complex’- ‘To commit suicide or not to’!


The sky has changed its colour. It looks beautifully golden as if some painter made it look golden by using paint and brush! Suddenly, a group of unknown birds is seen on the horizon. Alif momentarily stops his work and takes pleasure in the striking scenario like magic!


As Alif sees the birds being disappeared hastily, he recalls the request of Aleya to him in the morning,

- Baba! Baba!

- What happened my cutie pie?

- Baba! You will buy a clay bird for me from the fair ok?

- Ok my sweetie! Which bird do you like most dear?

- Any bird baba! No, wait, the black one, yes the black one!

- Black one? Ok. You mean to say the ‘crow’?

- No baba! Not the crow! Another black one!

- Ok, let me guess; oh yes, I have got it now! It must be the ‘cuckoo’ right?

- No, baba, not the cuckoo! I cannot remember the name. The one that sings sweetly!

- The ‘mynah’!

- O yes! Mynah, mynah, mynah!

- Ok my princess, I will buy that for you! Do not worry, ok?

- Ok baba! You are the best baba in the world!


Thinking about Aleya, Alif’s eyes have become full of tears. It is so strange that he himself does not know why he is about to cry! Maybe because he has not been a good husband and a successful father.


The flying birds have flown back to their nests by now and it means that the evening approaches. Alif is also getting prepared to go back home like those birds. After washing his mouth, hands and feet, Alif starts his journey back home. The fair is being held just near his home. The river Rohossofuli flows like a huge anaconda. There is an age-old banyan tree near the beautiful yet mysterious river and the fair is organised under the banyan tree that looks like a sadhu busy in blessing everyone! Every year such a vibrant fair takes place and the village looks so dazzling like a bride at the marriage ceremony! 


It is 11 o’clock at night. Alif has not returned home yet. Everyone is extremely worried. Since Jamila is bedridden and unable to move whatsoever, Aleya, Shahid, Mintu, Jamshed, Shefu and Iman have started searching for their father in every direction. Alas! Alif is nowhere! 


Some villagers and the nearby shopkeepers are of the view that Alif has committed suicide perhaps! Hearing such terrible guess from them, the vulnerable children get scared even more! They recite some suras from the holy Quran wishing the wellbeing of their beloved father. Alif is gone like a ghost! 

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