“One day a police constable came to me and told – ‘please help me. I am not sextually active. I can’t satisfy my wife.’ I demanded 500 tk to make medicine for him. He gave me the money and I prepared the medicine with some trees and some other plants and gave him next day. Seven days haven’t passed and he came to me again and told – ‘My wife is very happy now. So am I with your medicine. Please make some more for me. I am getting transferred soon. So I need a stock.”
75 Years old Noor Mohamad was telling about his profession. He lives with his family in a very small house of about 9 feet by 6 feet made of bamboo and plastic. It is beside the highway in the government place. There was hundreds of such house in this place before the caretaker government threw them away several months ago under a special action. A businessman erected these house illegally in the government place and rented them to the poor people for 400 tk per month. After the destruction of these houses, only Noor Mohammad himself erected his own house again in the same place.The other people went away from here. He now do not have to pay anyone to live here.
Noor Mohammad came to the city 12 years ago. He did not have any land to cultivate. All his life he worked at other people’s land as a daily labour. One day he sold even his home at the village and decided to come to the city with his family in search of a better living. The name of his village is Kaunia. It’s on the Amtoli thana at Borguna district.
He married at the age of 25. His wife died after 7/8 years of their marriage leaving 2 daughter. After one year of her death, he married again to raise his children. “When I went to work, there was no one around to look after my children. So I decided to marry again.”
About 14/15 years ago he married again. His second wife died too in sickness leaving 3 daughters of her own. His father-in-law decided to marry his younger daughter to him, thinking about raising the children of his late elder daughter. Her name is Shefali. When I asked her why she agreed to marry an old man who married to times before, she told – “It was my fate to marry him. So did I.” She now have three son and two daughters of his own. The age of her younger daughter is about 18 months.
Noor gave marriage of her first two daughters at his own village. One of heir husband works as labour at field, and another one drives rickshaw-van. The three daughter of his second wife got married too. The husband of the elder one lives with his family near him in a same type of house like him. He usually set up deep tube-oil in contact basic, where he gets 500-1,000 tk everyday. If he work with other in the same job, he get 200 tk daily as waiges. When there is no job of this kind available, he and hif wife works in the brick fields where they have to break bricks and stones. “For breaking 100 bricks they pay us 45-50 tk. Usually one can break 150-200 bricks everyday. And when we work of carrying stone, we have to work from 5 am – 8 pm and get 100 tk in daily basis. This is a very hard job. We have to carry heavy stones to the machines to break.”
The husband of the second daughter drives motorcycle and transport people. They live at their own district. The cute little younger daughter of about 17 got married three years ago. After the birth of her son one year letter, her husband left her and ran away. She now works at the brick field and lives with her fathers family. All the children of his last wife are still kid.
Noor Mohammad himself does not do any heavy work. For last several years he is working as a Kobiraj. He learned to make some medicine with trees and plants which he gives to his patients for several diseases. He claims about curing his patients with his home made medicines. Among them the most popular medicine he gives to the sexually inactive men. He also claims to treet about some supernatural things. His customers are generally elleterate poor people, who lives like him beside the street. For the reason of having so many children he states, “I took children one after another in the hope of a son. All of my first children was daughters. And I did not want to kill anyone yet-to-come-in-the-world in the fear of God.” In another question I asked about his not taking care of the children properly, he said, “God created them, and he will take care of feeding them.”
Before leaving this family I wanted to know about his village. He said, “I still miss my village. I go to my village once in 4/5 years. I stay at the home of any relative for some days and return. After my death, my wish is to have my doom at my loving village.”