Rafique AzadYou: Before Twenty Years and After
You used to misuse the language terribly. You had a suburban accent, and you mispronounced many words. You used to say "Prothom Chudhuri" instead of "Promotho Chudhuri," and "expat" while you meant it to be "expert." Your personal life was occupied with so many chilly mistakes like this. But at that time, so many years ago, in the beginning of our teenage years, I happened to love it very much.
You used to mix both elegant and current form of languages in your exams. You were very absent-minded to the use of language. You were a shy and face-down-unapproachable girl. "Sudden" was the word you used for "saddened." I rather fell in love with misplacing and mispronouncing words in your speech.
I heard your public address after twenty years. The topic: Freedom of Women. It was so neat in clear setting, and so accurate in pronouncing of words that I simultaneously became surprised and saddened!
A knot in my heart was silently cleared up after twenty years.
Rafique Azad (1943 - ) is the author of 25 collections of poetry including his Collected Poems. He was a freedom fighter in 1971. His poetry reflected his experience of the war. Mr. Azad worked as the director of the Upajati Shangishkriti Kandra, Netrakona in the 90s and taught at the Jahangir Nagar University, Dhaka, as a visiting professor.
Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah