When I was very young I came in touch with a very flamboyant teacher in our home. He was our private tutor and was the only private tutor we had all throughout my childhood days and he used to help us in all the subjects. But we were particularly more attracted to his catchy way of teaching Bengali language to us. He always inspired us to create our own way of righting independently on various new topics. His command on Bengali language and his mesmerizing description of our nondescript village on different occasions has left an indelible mark on our hearts.
A very large water body has run right through the center of our village. Its name is Boisa Beel. On the west side of the Beel there was a very old tomb of a Muslim cleric surrounded by many large mango trees where people thronged to attend the Ghazi Fakir’s fair. That used to be a lackluster village fair which took place during the onset of the winter season and lasted for about a week. Our private tutor once wrote a beautiful topic on this Ghazi Fakir’s fair and in that topic he depicted an extraordinary picture of the Boisa Beel with his mighty pen. The Boisa Beel just before the dusk at the end of a rainy season and brimming with water, dense bushes of the long blades of grasses, small canoes of the fishermen, flocks of bats flying through the dark red evening sky, the sounds of the country flutes wafting from the Ghazi Fakir’s fair – all these made the topic very much alive.
From then onwards I used to rush to the Boisa Beel every afternoon after I finished my studies and stood beside the Beel to see how the evening light merged with the water of the Beel. A particular sentence written by our tutor came to my mind very frequently. “As the sun dips into the horizon who are those that whisper with hidden faces in the darkness near the still water of the Beel?” Since then I started believing that there really were some creatures who talked among themselves everyday as the night approached in the half submerged dense bushes of the reeds in the Boisa Beel.
Sometimes the flocks of egrets, whistling ducks, teals or the group of people from the village of the fishermen or the groups of crickets or a horde of frogs, all of them talks in a very low voice in the darkness falls in the Boisa Beel. Those whispering words travelled along the winds all the way to my home, to my school and to every corner of my childhood being. This way the attraction of the Boisa Beel to me surpassed the imagination that was formed by my tutor’s description and slowly and inevitably started to penetrate through all my existence.