Touch of Atheism: am I a Loser?! (3)

Well, now I am going to tell you about the past of my life—how I have become a rationalist, skeptic, agnostic or atheist. I will share some incidence and coincidence of my life. I may not be able to make you visualizing my life entirely because of diversity in societal context between yours and mine, difference in culture, norms, values, kinship, belief, language, political system and economic condition. Nonetheless, I do know that you have incredible rational imagination power to visualize anyone’s life reading the context.
I have been living Dhaka (the capital city of Bangladesh) since 2003; before that I lived in my home district Comilla. I heard from my parents that I was born in Dhaka but my parents shifted to our home district when I was about 1 year old. I can recall some of my memories from 1992; I don’t know what or who I was before 1992. My name was ‘Babu’. ‘Babu’ is not a name; basically kids are called ‘Babu’. My mom told me—Babu, your name is not ‘Babu’; your name is Mohhamed. Al-Islam Bhuiyan; your father has a printing press by your name—Al-Islam Printers, so if anyone asks your name, you should say—my name is Mohammed Al-Islam Bhuiyan. It was very hard for me to remember that name! In 1992 a high school was established in our village; my grandma donated some bamboos and trees; almost all villagers donated less or more in establishing the high school. Al-Hajj Dr. Muhammed Abdul Latif Sarkar is the founder of our high school; he is the legend, star, model, and idol of our village. Sarkar is the sign of his family name; he has achieved two titles on his name, one is Al-Hajj and anther is Doctorate. So far I know he did his PhD on fishing science from USA; he completed his Hajj from Saudi-Arab since it is Faroz (compulsory) on him as a rich Muslim; he is an Islamic scholar and thinker too.
Now I should tell you something about my village—the name of my village is Maligaon, it is located in Comilla district under the sub-district of Daudkandi in Bangladesh. The village is blessed with natural beauty; it enjoys changing of six seasons in a year. There is a narrow road in the middle of the village; the road is connected with Dhaka-Chittagong high way. There two vast crop fields at the east and west side of the village; each and every year the crop fields get flooded in the rainy season; in that time, the crop fields look like a river. In some years the whole village gets flooded too; Boat is the most used vehicle to travel anywhere, but now a days this situation has been changed a lot. There were approximately 15 Bari (a territory of some family descended from a single family 5 or 6 generations before) in our village. There were about 1500 people in our village which is now about more than 3000. Maximum people were uneducated There were different profession of people in our village, but maximum were farmer. No matter whose profession was what; all family had or have some land of farming and cultivation. My father too had some land of cultivation. I remember maximum houses of our village were huts- made of bamboos and straws; majority of people were living under poverty line. We had a two shaded house- made of tin, wood and bamboo. In our Bari, there was a nice four shaded house- made of Tin and wood; that was Billal’s house. I wished we had a house like that! Billal’s father is a ‘Morol’ (village leader), in a relationship of our Bari Billal’s father is my third cousin, so Billal is my nephew; but since Billal and me are in same age, so we were/are good friends. My first cousin Anarkoli Apa used to teaching me the alphabets before I started going to primary school.
My father has been working in Dhaka since 1974. He completed his matriculation; he could not continue his education because of financial problem; nevertheless, my father was the highest educated person in our Bari. He went to Dhaka to win the economic freedom over his life. In Dhaka, he started working under a letter printing press as a type composer; gradually he learned operating the letter press. He got married in 1977; my eldest sister was born in 1982; my immediate elder sister was born in 1985. My father and my maternal uncle together established a letter printing press in 1987- the year I was born. They named the printing press as Al-Islam Printers, which is my name. My father kept his family with him in Dhaka till 1988, and then he shifted his family in our village; because living in Dhaka with family was too expensive. He thought—he should save money and buy some lands in village for the future. My father was used to coming home weekly or fortnightly. I was used to waiting too eagerly for my father; I liked so much walking around the village with my father, I used to asking him so many questions like- why do you stay in Dhaka leaving us in village? Where do we go when we die? I remember, once I asked my father- how far away is the moon? He said- the moon is not so far away from us, the American astronomer has landed on moon in 1969 by a rocket! I could not believe it, I thought- my father is trying to make me wonderer!
1993: I was about six years old. One day I heard from my eldest sister that-- today kids will be admitted in govt. primary school. My eldest sister Yesmin completed her primary school that year; another elder sister Shilpi who is one and half years older than me was in class two. That day me, my cousin Manik, Billal and some other kids of our Bari together went to ‘Bainogor primary school’, though there is a primary school in our village but went to Bainogor primary school; because it is nearer to our Bari than the primary school of our own village. The primary school and high school of our own village are located at the south-east edge of our village, which is little bit far away from our Bari. A teacher of ‘Bainogor primary school’ told us to stand up in a queue, and then we all stood up in a line. The teacher called us one after one, then he observed the kid, whether kid is looked six years old or not; in term of the physical growth of the kids. Luckily, I was seemed six years old; the teacher asked my name, I said my name is Mohammed Al-Islam Bhuiyan (I think I didn’t pronounce my name correctly), then he asked my father’s and mother’s name, I told him; then he enrolled me and gave three books—Bengali, English and Mathematics. I was too excited having those books. Billal got the chance to get himself admitted, but no other kids of our Bari got the chance, they were not looked six years old; though maximum were older than me, maybe it was because of malnutrition. I came back to home too excitedly; I told my mom- ‘I got books from school’. She felt proud seeing me with books. I asked my mom- where is dad? She said- ‘your father has gone to crops field, Babu’. I ran to the crops filed and I told my father- ‘dad, I got books, I got books from school’. My father got too happy and proud of me. He told me- ‘you have to study a lot my son, I will get you admitted in a good college in Dhaka when you will have completed your schooling here; Babu you have to be a doctor, if necessary, I would sell my all lands to make you doctor’. In that time, all solvent and somewhat educated parents wanted their son to be a doctor.
My eldest sister Yesmin got admitted in class six in our new high school. it was first batch of class six in our new high school. That year my younger sister ‘Shathi’ was born. I remember, that year I memorized 11 vowel letters of Bengali alphabets, 26 letters of English alphabets, I was not able to memorized the 39 consonant letters of Bengali alphabets; I could count 1-50 in Bengali. To learn Arabic letter, Quran and Islam I had to go to Muktobkhana (an institution, sometimes a part of mosque, where Quran and Islam is taught). I had to awake up so early in the morning, when it was almost dark night to go to Muktobkhana; I hated that as kid awaking up so early in the morning, but I had nothing to do. My mom used to saying- the Quran is the source of all knowledge and knowing about the Islam is the ultimate education; your knowledge of Bengali, English and Mathematics will not be counted in the life of eternity; you can’t be a good human being without knowing Islam.