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Do you know how it feels to die at 18?
Do I? Not really; I died at 23.
I can tell you how I felt when I left home at 18, though.
I was heartbroken.
I would hug my mother every 5 minutes before I left home.
and cry.
My sister would read out to me her list of gifts she wanted me to bring when I come back.
and say, I will miss you.
and cry.

My dad was not going to miss me.
I knew.
for all he wanted to make sure was if I had packed my stethoscope – his farewell cum study well gift.
At the check-in gate, he waved me goodbye.
I didn’t except that
but, he cried.

I turned 23 a few days back, here, in Dhaka.
Friends from Pak and India got me a cake & a Parka.
and my parents back home sang songs, over Skype.
I took my finals last month and I got a job at Salimullah.
As a doctor.
I wouldn’t join before April, though.
I wouldn’t because this March I was going home.
to keep my promise I made to my sister and my mom.

I did reach home on time;
No one was happy to see me, though.
they dressed in white.
and cried.
As if someone had died.
And, yes, I was the one who had died.
They sat before my 5 by 8 photo, with a garland on it.
and cried.


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