My country abroad, my pride
The demand of this short-lived human life is unlimited. The demand sometimes varies from person to person. In this context, someone like me who came from a lower-middle class family has a simple demand like other 8-10 middle class families in the society. I want to live a solvent and happy life with my family. Hoping to achieve this living standard, I came into my dreamland Singapore on 28 September, 2009. I was labeled as a normal labor. Despite reaching the ending level of my education, I kept my education unfinished and resigned from a part time job. Finally I came abroad to achieve new experience and to the luxury of sadness with money. After months the monotony of work could not settle down my mind that loves culture and literature. So, before expiring one year I returned to my motherland on 14 August, 2010. I spent 8-9 months quite comfortably. A financial deficit came up. There are proverbs that when poverty comes then love flees away through the window. Again, hoping to achieve a solvent life I came into the dream land on 13 June, 2011. This company is quite good. There are works and money, but something is missing on my mind. On Sunday, 27 September 2011, it was like other ordinary holidays, I was spending times with friends and colleagues in the Minimart area of Lembu Road. I went to buy a normal drink to a shop nearby and found there is a newspaper named Banglar Kantha. The price of the newspaper is 0ne dollar, I bought a copy simultaneously. I went through the newspaper at a glance while spending times and eating on the open ground. Getting the phone number of editor of the newspaper, Mr. AKM Mohsin, I phoned him without thinking anything. He gave the address of the newspaper. It was 7pm, leaving the friends I went to the newspaper office of Banglar Kantha(Dibashram) with an unknown pleasure and love. After going to the office I felt good to see many other migrants like me. Some of them are reading book or newspaper, some of them are singing with musical instruments while others are listening to the songs. I found a piece of Bangladesh in this Island-state. The Banglar Kantha became very close to me that day due to my endless fascination and an unknown love for it. I come to Banglar Kantha every Sunday or even on any holiday to response my inner mind’s fascination to it. I read literatures, write poems and spend time with my closest neighbors. The Banglar Kantha took an initiative to compile Bangla language and culture along with the migrant workers. It gradually became another platform of practicing literature and culture in Singapore. It also has been able to gain the trust of majority of the migrant workers. However, the most fascinating side of Banglar Kantha is it offers opportunity to observe the national days of Bangladesh while I am sitting on the ground of Singapore. We also enjoy the discussion and cultural programs on various international days organized by Banglar Kantha. In addition, the Banglar Kantha has organized a poetry competition on migrant workers like us in Singapore national library on 16 November, 2014 which has given us a different status to the local Singaporeans. As far as I know, there were no such programs on migrant workers in the other countries in the world. There were more such programs later every year that helped the educated, semi-educated, half educated writers like us to reach the success. In 2015, the Banglar Kantha organized the last competition that helped the meritorious who are scattered throughout the Singapore, some them are now recognized celebrities. By the help of Banglar Kantha, we have been able to express ourselves and thus we are now given different honors internationally.
It was Good Friday, 29 March 2013; a drama named “Girl friend” was staged written by me on an open podium that was also an intense initiative of Banglar Kantha. It was one of the best achievements of my writing or acting career. Now, we the migrant workers are writing in Banglar Kantha cultural foundation, Banglar Kantha “Sahitto parishad”, we are also leading these groups. There is no way to disagree that the way we have been honored, loved and joined natives or foreigners, Banglar Kantha has played a vital role directly and indirectly in this regard. By the generosity of Banglar Kantha, a former labor or the Bangladeshi workers labeled as Labor are now being introduced as poet, they are now taking up places in such books written about writers, they are also getting chances to join the mainstream programs of Singapore and becoming that much fortunate to publish poetry book. It is a rare honor for my country, as a whole it is a pride for all Bangladeshis.
Asit Kumar Baroi Bangali, is a Construction worker & writer