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Not all dreams fade away

Columns 2023-06-02, 12:07pm


Prof. M Zahidul Haque

Prof. M Zahidul Haque

“My little princess, if you come out successful with golden color in your primary final, I will buy for you a lovely wrist-watch”—Diya’s Baba promised.

Little Diya was to sit in her primary final examination within the next few months. Diya had a special fascination to wearing a wrist-watch. Not necessarily as a fashion plus but Diya was much conscious about time and to remain punctual in her daily routine works including studies.

Although watches are no more a luxury item in the present time but in Bengali culture, earlier most parents would allow their wards to wear a wrist-watch after promotion to Class-IX, often after passing secondary schools exam. Of course the tradition has changed, wrist-watches become an essential of daily life. Little Diya had a dream to get a wrist-watch and now it was only a matter of some months, Diya’s dream would be fulfilled.

As per schedule Diya’s primary school final exam was held and within a month or two, the result was also published. Diya topped the merit list in her school. 

All her classmates, teachers, friends and relatives heartily congratulated her. 

She was now promoted to Class-VI, i.e. high school. 

Meanwhile Diya’s father had kept his promise and bought for her a very attractive nice brand wrist-watch. Diya was so excited and jubilant that she would wore the watch round the day! In the night, her Ma persuaded Diya to taking the watch off her wrist. It was her dream watch and the watch was fitted on her wrist very fairly.

Then the day of beginning of the new session in the new class arrived. Diya was very eagerly waiting for this day when she would show her dream watch to her bosom friends in the class including Dip.

It was a very lovely day for Diya being in the new class with a brand new watch on her wrist. She was feeling great. When the school breaking bell rang, Diya hurriedly came out of her friends. To keep her watch safe and clean, Diya put it her school bag.

When Diya reached home, her Ma served her with some special refreshments all favorite to Diya. To celebrate her special day, her father brought a chocolate cake for Diya. She was extremely glad; it turned to be a memorable day of her life.

Everything went fine but in the night before going to bed, when Diya wanted to bring her watch out from her bag, she got an electric shock—her dream watch was missing. Ma came in and searched for the watch in every nook and corner of the house but as ill luck would have it, it was not found; perhaps it was lost on the way back home from the school. Diya was terribly upset and broke into tears. Baba and Ma tried to console Diya and assured her to buy a new wrist-watch for her on the following morning.

Diya didn’t know when she fell asleep shedding tears for her lost watch.

Suddenly she discovered herself in a fairy land where many fairies were seen wandering in the Eden of oses of different colors.

Hi, Diya…

Diya turned around and to her astonishment saw her bosom class friend Dip was calling her.

Diya was very excited to find her friend Dip.

Well, Diya please follow me. I would show you the ancient clock and watch museum.

Then they entered hand-on-hand into the museum. The environment inside was very calm except for the tick tick sound of the huge clocks mounted on the wall.

Look Diya, Dip addressed—this is the oldest still working mechanical clock of the world built sometime in 1386.

Dip pulled Diya’s hand and led her to the other side. Diya, this is the first wrist-watch made in 1810 for Queen Naples by Abraham-Louis Breguet.

As Diya was watching the wrist watch, Diya’s mind suddenly get disconcerted-flashes of the image of her lost dream wrist-watch started floating in her sub-conscious mind….

Dear, please wake up. Diya’s mother called her—please get up darling, it’s time for you to go to school.

Diya’s deep sleep was suddenly broke-up and she quickly got up. Now she could recall the previous day’s unfortunate incident when she lost her favorite watch.

With the revolving wheel of time, some months passed. Diya was still in a trauma—it was much painful to forget about her dream watch though her father had bought another time-piece for her.

In the meantime, Diya took part in the 200 words micro story writing competition organized by her school. The topic was –“Your favorite flower”.

Diya wrote—“Roses are my most favorite flower but the street urchins who sell roses at the traffic signals could hardly appreciate the aesthetic value of roses because their life is not as smooth as the sweet fragrance of roses…..”

It was Monday. The result of the micro story writing completion was to announce. Yes, Diya’s story was adjudged as the best one and she got the first prize in the competition. A prize was also given to her. But she did not open the prize box. She thought to open it with her parents.

In the evening, at the tea table, Diya opened the prize box….Wow, it’s a wrist watch. Diya to her utter surprise found inside, the same brand of wrist-watch she had lost…………….

(The writer recently retired as Professor and was also a former Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka.)