“Saida, where are you going?”
“ I'm going to the market. Jayed is returning from India today. I want to make this favourite beef curry.”
“Then hurry up dear. The market won't be open for long.”
“ I'll be back in no time. Till then look after Zariena.”
Saida waved her husband Azad a goodbye and hurried off to the market.
In the evening, the dinner table was set. All of Jayed’s favourite delicacies were prepared. The boy was coming back home, his motherland Bangladesh after a year.
“ Isn't it getting late? He was supposed to be home by seven and it’s over nine now. Allah keep my child safe.”
Suddenly they heard a thud on the door.
Saida’s heart almost skipped a beat. She was sure it would be her child Jayed, standing at the door waiting to embrace his mother.
Saida rushed to open the door. She found no one. Her foot struck to something. She fell on the floor. She lost her conscious. Azad went to the door to find what was taking his wife so long. He turned pale at the sight. In front of him was his unconscious wife holding his son’s head. The murderers inscribed traitor on the forehead. The family had no idea who the killer was and why their boy had to go through such a painful death.
Jayed was the only member of the Ahmed family who completed his graduation with distinction. He was the brightest student of his batch 1968. He spoke English so fluently that could give any British man a run for his money.
Jayed was suffering from ulcer in stomach. Doctors in Bangladesh advised him to go through an immediate operation else his life could be at stake. But medical facility at Bangladesh during the Liberation war was poor. That was when Jayed decided to go to India to seek medical help. Undergoing an operation was quite expensive in India because of the existing British rule.
A British man decided to offer Jayed financial help. The man agreed to pay for his medical necessities and also his travel expenses. In return Jayed had to work for him.
Later that month he underwent the operation, and was completely out of danger. But as per the contract he had to work under the East India Company for a year.
It was the month of December, the year was 1971, that was when India had entered into the Liberation war. Jayed was all set to get back home. He had even telegrammed the news to his parents. He took the launch as he had to cross the Padma River to get to Bangladesh.
He had reached the Bangladesh border when a few men dressed in Khaki started enquiring him about his whereabouts. Jayed uncertain of their intentions and mistaking them for cops, he told them everything. He was surprised to see them turning red with anger and clenching their fists. He started fumbling seeing their changed expression. Suddenly one of those men held him from the back and another took out a sharp knife and beheaded him with one sweep. The body was thrown in the Padma River and all they returned to the family was the head of Jayed at the doorstep of his home.
The story of the boy’s death never reached his family. They never found rest of his body. Neither did they come to know of the murderers nor the reason of his death. All answers got swayed away in the river that carried the boy and finally immersing in the womb of his motherland.