Evening Again MSF Sadib
“These evenings make me feel too detached Rusell”, said Sharif in a gloomy tone. I remained silent. I didn’t have the audacity to extend his words further on. Those sort of philosophical thoughts frequently arises in this friend of mine. We hangout a day of the week at this place in front of the national parliament. We once had a big friend circle, and when I say big I really mean it. They would keep us a gleeful company. But the circle kept getting smaller in a disproportionate matter in relation with time as soon as they had job to support themselves, thus leaving the two of us. Any sort of disproportion is a constant truth for people with no stable earning, that’s why there’s no complaining from our part. Sharif and I try to make fruitless effort to keep alive vibrant words like “Hangout” because we’re caught up in an invisible time trap.
‘If I recall correctly people feel detached like yours when it’s late night or afternoon. It’s my first time hearing that people can also feel detached in the evening’.
I said those words without glancing at Sharif. A boy fell by the side of the road from his bicycle while going somewhere in a hasten manner. I was eyeing his earnest effort to lift off that majestic bicycle.
‘For god’s sake Rusell! all those late evenings and afternoon detachments you’re referring to fits for mere dumb mortals whom have fallen in emotional enchantment perhaps. Poets have made too much propaganda for that and that’s why people can’t step out from the norm. ’
‘And you think of yourself as a specialist in that regard?’
‘Ohho! why are you getting angry’
‘I’m not angry but I’m hell sure I will after listening to this gibberish “Evening theory” of yours’
In the mean time the boy had composed himself and his fallen cycle. He peered at us. Then went off swearing to what not errand to run or at somebody who’s eagerly waiting for him. I watched until he disappeared from my view.
Sharif started clearing his throat which was a primal sign of initializing the second phase of his lecture which always intimidates and not to mention the bugging which throws me off in a tragic way because let’s be honest you don’t want to pay heed to any more lectures and advice because a jobless skin gives you plenty of that around the clock. Last time when Sharif started his lecture took place till night. I hesitantly put on the cigarette held in my hand between my lips. But Who am I to stop him.
‘Listen Rusell just because I’ve got no earthly earnings or something akin to that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my poetic appetite. My mind’s eye is still wide open. There’s a thing called the “Evening Charm”. And charm of any form ferociously draws an unknown detachment. Don’t you often feel yourself being held on when you encounter something as charming as it leaps through your heart? Heck, even Sufia Kamal wrote a poem book called “Shajher Maya”.
‘Aww’ that’s all I could master at Sharif’s wit.
‘If banyan tree had a face I can assure you that it would have resembled yours. Cut and throat type. I’m talking about an interesting topic and here you are casting away your cigarette smoke!
‘Aww’ echoed my familiar answer.
‘Have you ever feel detached once in your life?’
I nodded my head at Sharif’s question in a manner that didn’t marginalize positive or negative. Cigarette smoke spiraling up in frowzy evening sky sure is a scene of serene liberty.
‘Fly away you crazy head!’ I addressed to my “stripped from earthbound responsibility smokes”.
‘What are you even babbling about Rusell?’ Sharif was there thinking if I had lost my sense or something.
‘Nothing in particular. What was it you were saying back then? If I had ever felt detached in my life, right? To be honest the moment your back hits the wall, you start to feel the void over detachment. Where I was supposed to support my family I’m stuck with evening specialist like you doing nothing but depicting an epic of evening offerings. Now call it irony but here’s what my detachment definition lays over it’s root. ’
Sharif reprimanded at my statement. He looked at me, giving a sorrowful look. His face looked small and tired; fumbling for appropriate words to retain his emotional hits. For the next passing moments neither of us conversed a single word. Sharif cleared his throat to say something but remain silent lest he should get rebuffed by me for the second consecutive time. I watched the birds returning to their home. For people like us who are laid off don’t get the essence of home like before. There are phase in life where you don’t see difference between friends, family and foes. We’re pretty much in one of those phases.
‘Sharif let’s go, I’m not in the vibe right now’.
‘What’s up with you? You don’t seem like your usual self today. I’ve also noticed your awkwardness in speech. Has something happened?’
‘Don’t bother! Nothing has happened. I think your “evening detachment” is one hell contagious thingy! Now all of a sudden I’m feeling a horrid pang feeling from this place. Now I want your lazy body off this place right now. Will you graciously honor me for that?’
‘Come on now dost! Where do you want to go now? Home?’
‘I haven’t given much thought to that. I’m not in the mood of thinking’
‘Will do. Just sit for a little while. There’s a cool breeze blowing’
Truth be told I didn’t have any rush or urge to do anything yet I can’t stay a place much longer because I get all these thought rushing back at me. Momentarily, I get this jobless life as slow as the near impossible slow luck of winning a casino roulette. I felt bad for Sharif though. So for him I hanged in that place. But we can’t sit much longer in this place much longer even if we wanted to. The area in front of Jatiyo Sangsad is pretty notorious in terms of past evening hours. Even if somebody attempts to mug us they’ll be disappointed. People like me and Sharif are already broke. No job, No cash flow. So no fancy deal to draw from us. But we act like we had some dignity leftovers, although society had already taken that away from us long time ago. So why slurring the name of mobsters anyway.
‘Rusell suppose you’ve got the job. Will you still recall these moments of evenings?’
‘You mean if I’ll forget like our “good old wise” friends? Look I don’t care if my friends remembers me or not after they’re in their cherry time. But I’ll always come back to this place to recollect my revamped past even if I have to come here all by myself. You’ll find me sitting just like this and saying my cigarette smokes one last good bye. ’
Sharif burst out laughing. His faded white panjabi colored yellow at different places perhaps from the broth of curry had myriad torn holes which gave away the impression of a capricious vision. Sodium light were being lit one by one and it put a tarnished spotlight on Sharif’s long hardship face.
‘Rusell this evenings will return again and count my words that you’ll be the one who would fondle this detachment of evening enchantment more than anybody else’
‘I don’t understand a word you’re say. Now enough with these pep talks. Get up, I’m thriving for a sip of tea’.
That was it. We started walking. Two lousy friends walking side by side. Along came the stars with the over shadowing night. All of our stories moving in and out through the molecules of ushering air. The harmony of air came to a halt. Somewhere from the distant echoed the verses coming out from a radio. Familiar lines from late veneered musician Lucky Akhand, “Abar… Elo Je…. Shondha” n