My maiden visit to Bangladesh

We were drilling at 2450 Meters below earth’s surface and just 2 km away from the fence that separates India and Bangladesh geographically when I expressed my desires to cross the border and breathe in the air that was Indian a few decades back. There was something strange about this request and my team In-charge felt it. He assured me that soon our team will visit Srimongol, Bangladesh and told me to keep my camera ready for this adventure.

I was desperate to see the other side of the fence. As our bus crossed the check point for entering into B’desh I found myself enchanted and happy as a kid who has finally convinced his parents for a Disneyland trip. For about 4-5 km, it was all green and thorny just like we have on our side of the fence. Soon we entered into a small village where we decided to take a tea break. I was still to witness a describable change so I tried to engage a local boy. I was not fluent in Bengali so I spoke in Hindi with carefully chosen words as if I was expecting an alien response. He replied in fluent Hindi and I felt as if I was talking to someone from old Bhopal. I was devastated after that tea session; nothing matched to my unwarranted expectations .The tea was of an unknown brand but tasted the same. I tried to rationalize this observation by assuming that since that village is close to Indian Territory hence its occupant can speak in Hindi.

As we moved on, my eyes were stuck at children running beside our bus at every stop we made. It reminded me of Indian village kids. The day was about to get worse for me, an engineer from B’desh joined us and started to discuss our projects. He used the same expressions and jargon we used at our drill sites and rigs. I was expecting a tug of war between both the teams but it never happened, so I decided to share my frustration with my seniors. My In-charge is a wise guy, he didn’t want to laugh in front of me so he, sarcastically, said that the engineer might belong to the indian produce of engineers like us. I agreed, stupidly, as it reminded me of my college mates who hailed from Bangladesh.

We reached our destination at about 4 PM and decided to take a stroll in the tea gardens. I was ready to click and capture something different which can act as souvenir from my maiden visit. I spent about an hour before I realised how big of a fool I have been all along. There was nothing different, not even in the way electricity is supplied in our own villages. I sat there on ground with a cup of tea as I usually did at this hour back home. I, finally, felt the calm breeze and its endearing hospitality.

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