The leaves are falling again. This is November. Since I am in Belgium, I am always sad when the leaves fall down from the trees. I feel sad because the old has to go. I watch November always with a bewilderment and mystification. I always lose myself within the charm of the color exchange of this time, despite I did not know that this month also would add a different dimension to my life.
I do not remember anymore how it is in the month of November in Bangladesh, which flowers are in their pic, or even which season it is in Bengali!
Here, the color of leaves changes to red, yellow, orange and a mix of colors in-between. It’s a play of colors. It seems that the nature is painting within itself. The leaves seem to fulfill their task and then fall down, give space for a new emergence but before falling, by changing the colors showing their last glamour and falling down with their last dance with the wind.
The atmosphere becomes cold and colder. But my heart becomes colder than ever. All my thoughts, happiness and my normal existence falls like every leaf in November.
Before 2000, I never had the feelings of being lost and being alone. My mother died on 29 November in 2000. I was 7000 miles away. Twelve years later, my father died on 19 November in 2012. I again was 7000 miles away.
Their absence made no difference to this world; everyday life is passing by just the same; no complains, no difference! Only I became empty! My surroundings became empty! I burned in fire without fire, my heart ripped off without ripping, I drowned without water!
I never had to watch the moments of their last breaths. I never had to deal with the moments of their funerals. And that is why those moments will stay in my mind’s eye forever. I cry –cry and cry because I was not able to do anything for them when they needed me in their last moments. I couldn’t held their hands in my hand before their final departure. I was just far and far away!
I heard that my mother was sitting on a chair. My youngest brother’s wife was trying to remove the nail polish from my mother’s toes. My mother was very sick at that moment. Suddenly she saw that my mother couldn’t sit right anymore and then they let her lie down on her bed. My father rushed to look for a doctor but he did not find one. It was the second evening of Ramadan, so all doctors or practitioners were already gone home. When my father returned empty-handed to the house, my mother was already gone at the age of 54-so young! Her eyes were fixed in a distance so far away. She was free from all her pains from her diseases which mostly occupied her whole life! Shouldn’t we be happy for her? At last peace!
How and what did she feel? I wonder sometimes : was there still some nail-polish on her toes?
On November 14th in 2012, it was Wednesday, I had an operation on my knee but within the same day I was back at home. I knew who was mostly worried about me and that was my father. We just talked the Sunday before on 11th via skype and I saw on his face how anxious he was. We planned to talk the next Sunday on the 18th. I felt an urge to see him via skype on the 15th. But my brother let me know that he had fever and felt very weak to come downstairs to sit before the computer. I laid with pain on bed with my thick bandaged knee like a dead wood and became busy with texting and skype to have further news about him from my family members. But no one will believe, I completely forgot to call him with my normal telephone. The telephone set was just in his bed room and I could have heard his voice for the last time but no: it was the destiny: the possibility just did not come to my stupid head: the modern technology overpowered me in a way that I forgot that opportunity and created an infinite punishment for me for the rest of my life.
What was I thinking?
Actually, I never even thought that he could die! A father like him cannot die! I thought that the fever would be gone and he would be ok! The father; who was supposed to be worried like always when I had an operation; he was supposed to take all the loads of tension but not us-the children! But this time it was the opposite. He was done with all his duties and he was gone at his age of 79!
I heard from my brother that he wanted to write something before he went to coma. But the pen and paper fell down from his hand; his right hand which wrote most of the challenging and informative columns in national newspapers could not write anymore!
I am surprised to see, how my world was upside down within just one week!
I think to myself –what did he want to write?