by Towheed Feroze
For the period that I have known my football-playing Marijuana-loving pal Kaliji, he has introduced me to a wide variety of fascinating people.
Some left lasting impressions like Shira Salauddin (vein Salauddin) because he is found near the shaded areas of Chankharpool and the Dhaka Medical Emergency gate, helping drug pushers to find a vein to inject whatever they feel like taking.
Then there was ‘Monitor’ Kashem – called such because he trades in outdated computer monitors. By the way, he was recently stopped by the law while passing a mosque carrying a rather large shipment of PC screens.
While the police checked each item, Kashem entered a local tehari shop for a quick bite.
Anyway, today I will present you with another intriguing character. Let’s call her M.
Can’t give her actual name because this person has become a minor celebrity in the media industry.
She also moves around wearing a burqa with the full face veil, lest someone recognises her. I have been told that in the recent past, when M moved around without covering her face, young men on the streets stopped her to ask for her phone number.
‘Last week, I was followed all the way home by two guys in a bike,’ M told me with pride.
Under a yellow moon adorned sky, sitting on the university field, I listened, trying to look impressed.
One evening, a decade ago, Kaliji brought her to me; much water has passed under the bridge till then.
Anyway, will go to her past later on.
What did the guys say from the bike? I asked.
Nothing, she replied. They sang out a hit film number: tumi jekhane, ami shekhane (I am where you are, my love).
How very apt, I answered.
‘Then, when I entered the alley of my home, one guy came down, ran towards the rickshaw and gave me his mobile number written on a cigarette packet.’ M carried on, excitement all over her face.
This girl came to Dhaka sometime around 2006, a companion plus domestic help for another woman.
The agreement was that in exchange for food and a paltry monthly stipend, M would stay and support the other woman.
The journey began from one of the alleys near the water tank in Fakirer pool.
Of course, growing up on Hindi serials, the astute village girl soon realised the power of seduction and how it could be used to go beyond the area which, I am afraid to say, won’t wow too many people.
Hence, mission ‘Leave Fakirer pool paanir tanki goli’ began.
Where did Kaliji fit in?
I am told one of his oddball friends, known as ‘Lamba’ (he is six feet plus) came to know of M’s budding talents and then took her to an advert maker who, by chance, happened to be an Argentina football fan.
M used her charm plus wiles, providing ‘other’ more sought after favours to get a role.
The village girl was already on her way to stardom! Kaliji became her manager cum big brother.
On one occasion, the girl was seriously offended when one film producer, mistaking him as her husband, came rushing to say: madam, the police have detained your hubby for possession of ganja.
Obviously the actress was furious. After all, such an incident is enough to have the journos running a salacious headline.
Nayikar ganjakhor shwami…..
Our girl now drinks beer occasionally; she also knows that lager has to be served cold.
‘Please treat us to chilled beer one day,’ she asked me pleadingly.
What could I say……
I have no problem drinking Tequila either, M added.
Right, well, words failed me……….
So what are you working on now a days? I asked.
Amar poran e tui….(you are in my heart), she quipped.
I am also informed about another film in the offing, tentatively called: Roop tomar dewana (Roop is besotted with you).
The phone began to ring and M answered in a tone pouring with honey and everything sweet………hello Bhaiyaaaaaaaa…….
The last part of the words was deliberately ended with a soft purr.
The ‘Bhaiya’ on the other side must have been thrilled because M kept on saying: sobur koro shona…..have patience, love!)
Patience for what!!
She hung up and promptly explained: one of the directors, like a brother, wants to have a tete a tete!
Of course, such discussions are pivotal, I reply, to which she breaks into a chuckle.
Accha bhaiyaa, there are so many stray dogs on this field at night, don’t you feel scared to run? She asks adding titillation to the word bhaiya.
Right, so what’s the purpose of this visit? I ask Kaliji.
Boss, how about writing a few articles on her. I will give you some photos.
At this point, M said in a euphoric tone: how about I give you some of my photos in western dress?
In a second, the envelope was out, the hard copy images right before me.
Wow, didn’t know people in West wore such revealing outfits in public!
Anyway, the photos were thrust in my hand.
You must take them, boss, Kaliji implored.
What could I do, as the two walked away into a moon-lit night, I was left with a few images of a girl in hot pants, wet T shirt and cowboy boots.
No, something else remained, the lingering whiff of her perfume.
Baalgari, she told me.
Yep, know that one, though it may need her a few more months to pronounce Bulgari.
We shall wait till then…what do you say? Meanwhile, if you crave some ‘Western’ style photos which will take your sleep away then: email@example.com =