Sleepless in eerie silence

When you leave Bangladesh for another country, especially westward, the first thing that bothers you is the stark difference between Bangladesh and the country you’re in. Traffic, for example, is one of them. When I was making my way to Caversham [Reading, where my office is] from Heathrow, I appallingly missed my car back home. The taxi, driven by Gagdane Singh [a Singapore-born British], that brought me here, was speeding more than 80. There’s absolutely no road in Dhaka where you can do that. The conversation with Gagdane was quite nice. I wanted to test Gagdane about something. Wanted to see how good a British has he become. Expressed my willingness to light a cigarette on our way to Reading. To my amusement, he agreed and parked the car by the side of the road and we smoked and chatted. He took me to my Hemdean Road BBC residence and said he’d see me some time down the road.
That was the journey to Hemdean Road.
Once I set foot in my little room, I started missing home. I wasn’t aware of this fact that I’d miss home so much. My family. My friends at the Cadet College club [Oh! They are a great lot! My workplace in Dhaka.
However, one of my colleagues, a Ugandan, Saif, from our Nairobi office, sooths me with dinner he cooked. Just beef [African style] and rice tasted great at that time. I called Ali Shahabi, my manager at BBC.
It took a while to fall asleep even if I was dead tired. The silence outside was the actual obstacle in this. It’s hard to imagine this silence after living more than 40 years in Bangladesh. I came out for a smoke. Opened the flap of my Zippo and the ‘click’ sound echoed all around the village [yes, it’s a village]. A fox that was passing by my residence halted in surprise and then ran away. I came out But hey; I had my Single Malt from the Heathrow Duty-free. Took out the pen and paper and I had a nice poem ready for someone I left in Dhaka.Of course, I did fall asleep when I finished the poem; and along with it, the drink.

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