The village on the side of the road, ‘was’ a village. Now its houses burned and smoke clouded rows of huts. The picture suddenly started coming back into his mind. Burning huts, fleeing people, dying cattle, and the broken, all suddenly flashed through his mind. What a death that was! The man jumped from the bridge into the river and was never to be seen. His head bubbled up once, but no one could say if he was alive or dead. The dog that chased him all the way until he jumped cried in pain and nature kicked it on its face. No one could comprehend why this was happening.
Walking on the road, Uddin wondered whether this was all a dream or actually true. Indeed it was true. Wasn’t it true that the old woman who sat till yesterday at the corner of the road and asked for money died today when she was beaten up for doing so? A tooth was still there on the corner of the street. The broken branches were still lying on the ground, crying in pain of being separated from their mother, yet wasn’t the sweeper giving them all the more pain by taking them yet far? He kept walking. For the first time, he couldn’t figure out what was happening around him. He was in a dilemma, an unexplainable one, an unexplored one.
The black guy was surrounded by the white boys in the middle of the road. He was lying on the ground crying for help, yet all around just smiled and passed by. Probably that is what everyone is supposed to do, Uddin thought, and so he left the boy to his pain, and went off. Not once did he cry or look up for help. Far at the end of the road, a shop was put on fire. The shopkeeper was still inside and he could not come out. The flames engulfed the shops around, as the grocer spilled all the oil when his feet slipped. God knows what happened to him after that. Questions entangled him, and answers were nowhere. Where would he search for them?
Was the end of this world, and was it just the beginning of a new world? A new beginning, a fresh start. What had happened to him? He felt dizzy, or was the world going round about him? For a moment, he couldn’t say if it were night or if the sun only refused to come up into the skies? Who would give him the answers? Silence followed, as always. Silence, that had always been his companion, had now sought to make the entire world its friends. Everyone was silent. No one talked. It felt as if he lived in a world of dumb people. Dumb, deaf and blind.