Quarantiny – Chapter 7 – Day 6

Quarantiny – Chapter 7 – Day 6

Chapter 7 – Day 6 – Wednesday 22 April 2020

“Challenging my limits
rather than limiting my challenges”

I believe, I am developing new friendship in isolation. All the furniture in the room becoming my friends, they would like to share their stories as they probably never had anyone with them for so long. They never seen someone in the room for 24/7. They never had their privacy violated like this! But they still would like to offer their friendship and I have accepted it, happily. Talking to them, listening to them, trying to share the love, views over the large window with them. It seems, for the first time they were happy to see the outside world through another pair of eyes. Am I thinking crazy? Am I breaking down? Do I need a counselling session with Mintoo (my psychiatrist friend)?

Day 6, I am so excited that after today, I will reach a single digit number of days to go – 8 days only! Last night was an early night. I went to bed around 1:30am. Woke up at 5:30am. Witnessed the short lived but lovely Melbourne sunrise. Sun always brings hope as aspiration to your life particularly when you are out of your comfort zone. It was an inspiring moment for me. I sat near the window, opened the book that I am reading. It is an interesting book, referencing all terminology used in the Holy Quran. It is a book in Bengali translating and explaining all key terminology from the Quran, how many times it has been repeated, what was the context, how it was explained at that time etc etc. Remarkably interesting read. For me, it is a journey to the unknown!

Breakfast knock on the door right at 7:00am. I was hungry for breakfast by now. Finished all of it. Made myself a cup of tea and turned my Surface on to get ready for a zoom meeting at 9:30am. It was a long meeting but very fruitful outcome for the work of Build Bangladesh. We decided to continue our discussion on Friday again. Good outcome. The nurse from downstairs called to check my health condition while I was on the Zoom meeting. The other meeting participants were extremely impressed with the level of service.

I decided to send a thank email to the Australian Consulate in Dhaka, Bangladesh to show my gratitude for all the services I have received to date. Copied the Deputy High Commissioner for her information. It gave me a type of satisfaction by expressing my true and timely feelings about the quarantine process as I am in it!

Decided to ‘go out’ again through the window. Took the tram from the St Kilda Road in front of the Victorian Arts Centre towards Brunswick, our first home in Australia. Crossed Flinders Street Station followed by the Town Hall of the Melbourne City Council – so many memories flying outside the window and travelling with me across the footpath. By now, the road is changed to Lygon Street. Eventually reached Brunswick!

Totally different feeling. Thirty-one years ago, landed here with our forty days old daughter Kishoree. Rented our first home in Australia. Got my first paid job as an Architect in Australia – walked towards the Decarle Street apartment. Still no changes. As if, in few minutes, Nigar will come out with Kishoree on the pram for a walk or to visit nearby K-Mart store just for recreation. Just fixed some of the garbage bean outside on the street to make sure the driveway was clear.

While thinking of what else needed to be done, my concentrated ‘tour’ was interrupted by the loud door knock. Arrival of my lunch!

After lunch, decided to do my 3.5km walk inside the room and one-minute worth of plank. Took shower and spend some real lazy time on the bed while watching some of the nostalgic crime serial on the television. Great way to pass time. The pictorial quiz came with the lunch was extremely exciting. Shared with Kishoree, Auditya and our team in Bangladesh to solve the puzzle. Kishoree did it at once. Tasvir from our Dhaka team solved it, while I was also successful in solving it. The first photo is the puzzle and the second one is the solution!

Called Mubasshar vai (Architect and television talk show legend in Bangladesh) to discuss the progress of the Housing project and to seek some way forward advice. Learned that he was admitted to a hospital after breaking his leg from falling a stool while changing a fuse bulb at home. The Doctors are a bit worried, but he needs to have an operation to fix the damage. I wished him a speedy recovery and update him about my quarantine status.

It was time for the normal conversation between Reaz and I. By the time, I tried to call him, the phone rang and it was Reaz. Initially updated each other about “our” quarantine situation, mine in Melbourne and his in Manikganj! We also talked about his writing of the bio-graphy followed by an hour discussion regarding the condition of the garment industry in Bangladesh and few ways forward. I recommended him to be part of the front-line debate/discussion as he had some excellent ideas to revive this critical industry. As a very shy media person, he always wishes to remain behind the scenes. I tried to motivate him to come in front and share his views along with other progressive leaders in the industry including Rubana Huq, the current President of the BGMEA. He probably will consider.

Again, the knock on the door interrupted our conversation. Dinner time. Excellent dinner. Bangladeshi beef curry with fresh hot rice! What else can you expect in a quarantine situation. I was over the moon and finished the yummy dinner at once.

Talked to Nigar and Audi to exchange information on our day activities and my latest quarantine experience. Shared the excitement about my dinner, they just laughed.

Raquib (our relative and friend from Canberra) called to share the Ramadan Calendar for both Melbourne and Canberra. I needed that as I have decided to observe Roja from this Friday. First time in my whole life, Roja in isolation, Roja in a different world, Roja in a world which is so unknown to you.

Send an important email to Sajed, Arastoo vai and Reaz, reconfirming my agreement to inform all Build Bangladesh staffs to accept a 40% pay cuts as an interim survival strategy for the group. It was incredibly sad, but this is probably the only way to retain the team that we have developed over last few years. I know, people will have tough challenges to cope with a pay cut including me, but this is reality and a very practical solution for this uncertain period.

I continue my night with the regular prayer followed by the journey to the movie theatre – Net Flix. And finally hit the bed.

Good night.

“Even if I grew wings and escaped,
I would still be trapped by my own mind”

Farhadur Reza Probal

Farhadur Reza Probal

Architect Farhadur Reza FIAB MPIA

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