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She Was My Rode

(Translated by Quazi Tanha Fatima)

Published : Saturday, 20 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 657

-May I come in maam?
I was checking the childrens copies very carefully. Hearing the question, I looked at the door. A sweet brunette was standing by the door.

-Of course, you may come in.
Getting permission, the girl entered the class and sat on the last bench.
I called the girl.

-Are you newly admitted?
-Yes, maam, today.
-What is your name?
-My name is Rodela.
-Wow, you have such a sweet name! Rodela smiled shyly. I was surprised. The girls smile was terribly beautiful. Not only her lips smile when she smiles but her eyes also. Moreover, when she smiled, the girls cheeks had dimples. What a sweet look!
Okay Rodela you go and sit down.

She walked slowly and sat down on the bench.
Within a week, the girl stole my heart. I became a huge fan of her. Theres no reason not to be so.

This incredibly talented girl is good at studies, sings and debates well. Her behavior with the teacher is also very good. It didn take me more than seven days to fall in love with such a good girl. Within a week she turned from Rodela to Rode.
Yes, I used to call her Rode. The name Rode suited her well. Just as a piece of sunshine spreads warmth among animals in severe winter; her lovely face also spread the warmth of liking in everyones mind.

In the school where I teach, Rode was admitted in the fifth grade. Even though her roll was behind all as a new student, she became the gem of all teachers eyes within a few days by her class performance.

Everyone loved her very much. Record amount of marks in class test and obtaining the first position in various cultural competitions was regular for her.

She was in our school for only one year. She got a scholarship in the talent pool in class five and entered the high school in class six. I still haven forgotten the farewell day. The farewell ceremony was going on in the school. Suddenly she called me.

Maam, would you please come here?
"Coming", I said and I came out of the room. Rode took me to the end of the balcony.

-Maam, its for you.
-What is it?
-Please keep it in your bag maam. Don open it now. Open it after you go home.

Suppressing my curiosity, I kept the packet given by Rodela in the bag. After the farewell ceremony, I came home and forgot about the packet Rode gave me. Every night I go to bed and fall asleep remembering the days work. Today is no exception.

The fifth graders left the school today. Their teary eyes were just floating in front of my eyes. Suddenly Rodes face came, I remembered the packet she gave me. I got up from the bed, opened the bag and took out the packet. The packet was wrapped in several layers. After opening everything, finally the desired gift came out.

A beautiful card made by Rode on a little piece of art paper. On it, Rode wrote with her beautiful handwriting, "I love you".

I didn know that a little sentence could have so much power. My eyes filled up with tears. Is it because of the pain of saying goodbye to Rode or the joy of receiving love from Rode, I didn quite understand.

After that, even though I met Rode, I didn get her close. Maybe she was going to school, I am also going that way. Or for a little time there was a little greeting. She used to smile cutely when I met her. I, too, felt an attraction for her in my heart.

Even in the high school, I used to hear about Rodes various achievements. I felt very happy and proud. I was sure that one day this sweet girl will conquer the world.

The calmness of the world suddenly got disrupted after the Covid-19 epidemic came. Life seemed to stop. Schools, colleges are all closed, everyone is under home quarantine. When I open the television, there is only news of the epidemic COVID-19. I don like it anymore. To keep myself free from depression, I dive into writing.

One evening, after the evening prayers, a phone call suddenly came. Picking up the phone, I saw it was Rodelas aunt. She screamed as I answered the phone -Sister, your Rode is no more.

I didn understand it well; maybe my mind didn want to understand it. In complete disorientation, I took a rickshaw and rushed to Rodes house. I saw the movement of people from a long distance from the house. I began to tremble.

So really? Is this also possible? My chest began to tremble with unknown fear. On reaching the house, everything started to be clear in front of my eyes.

Rode is really no more. Fever, cold and shortness of breath for just three days. She was taken to Dhaka for better treatment but did not survive. Rodes corpse came at night. I did not dare to go in front of her. How can I see the calm face of my Rode? Can I be so terrible?

But I have to see. One step, two steps, I went forward to where Rode was kept at the yard. It was already very crowded. Crossing the crowd I went very close to Rode. I looked at her sweet face with great pain. I talked to her in my thought. -Was it very difficult for you to breathe?

-Yes, maam, a lot. Nothing is compared to the pain of not being able to breathe, maam.

-How are you now, Rode?

-Pretty good now. No problem breathing. I am a very good girl, I obey everyone, I study, I don hurt anyone. So I have no sorrow here. Good people stay good in this world.

-My dear Rode. You must be fine. I know you will be fine. Sweet children like you live well there.

I returned home saying goodbye to Rode. I washed my face and went to bed, but I turned around and couldn sleep. I remember Rodes face again and again. Her brilliant eyes, that magical smile, how could I forget? It was twelve oclock at night.

Suddenly the phone rang, -Hello? I am a journalist. I saw you today at Subarna Islam Rodelas house. The girl was also your student.

-Yes, she was.

-I want to know about her death. She died with the corona symptoms. Was she treated properly in the hospital here? Such an accident for such a lttle child. It can be accepted. Do you know anything about this?"

-I actually know nothing about this. All I know is she was my Rode.

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