Diary of Asansol’s Imam: ‘Munna’ where have you gone?

Hyderabad: Imam Imadadul Rashidi, whose son was killed in West Bengal’s Asansol riot penning down the sorry tale of his ordeal in his diary which subsequently covered in an Urdu daily.

Imam’s younger son Sibtulla Rashidi was allegedly killed in the violence and his body was found later last month.

‘Munna’ where have you gone?

Three days have passed since Sibghatullah passed away, but it seems that he is somewhere around. It feels as if Munna would just come and would quietly keep the glass of water on the table, throw a glance across the room and would leave the room after cleaning up the mess. Our house has just two rooms; an imam’s house can’t be bigger than this. Hence where would we go? We will only go from one room into another, where Munna’s mother would be cooking food or would be busy in stitching. Munna will help his mother in her chores, will arrange kitchen, clean the surroundings and then would ask his mother, ‘do you need me to get something for you?’ If mother would say ‘no’, he would quietly leave the house. If she wanted anything, he would run towards the market and would bring the required thing within minutes.

It was his responsibility to wash my clothes, iron them, polish my shoes, and keep the handkerchief, cap and wallet on the table. Doing the petty household chores on time and going to masjid along with me for the prayer was his daily routine. Rarely did it happen that he did not go to masjid with me. Local devotees were so used to seeing him with me that if they didn’t see him, they would stop me and ask, is your son fine? Sometimes I would tell them that he had gone to his grandmother’s house. Sometimes I would say he had stayed back in school for the coaching. Then when they would see him in Maghrib or Isha prayer the devotees would feel a strange sense of relief.

It’s almost 16 years, but Munna never talked in high tone. He was so obedient that my relatives used to envy my luck. They would say, ‘in today’s world when young boys are crossing the limits of ill-manners, your son is a real gem’. Hearing this I would pray for Munna’s long life. I had no idea that he would leave us so soon. I feel like calling him and saying ‘see what has become of your mother after you have gone, see how numb your brother have become. How messy the kitchen looks. My clothes are lying as they were? I don’t know where my handkerchief, cap and wallet are? No one has arranged my table in these days. Do I have to go to masjid alone? How could I face the eyes of those devotees, who don’t even ask about you now?

Translated by Siasat Web Team