The Shopping Dead


Fatin Hamama


I watch her as she steps out of her threshold.

 

“Phone…wallet…keys…Oh! The mask!” 

She rushes back into the house and grabs one from the upper drawer of her wardrobe. Once outside, she takes a rickshaw and starts toward the bustling hub of Dhanmondi Vultures’ Market.

“Had I been a senior citizen,” she thinks, “I would’ve stayed indoors in the time of such a crisis. But bdnews404.com has already confirmed that the virus doesn’t affect young people, and on top of that, I belong to the generation that sterilised filthy cricket balls that had fallen into sewers with three dribbles on the ground. Therefore, the immunity of my 23-year-old self is as indestructible as The Great Wall of China itself.

 

I chuckle and follow behind.

 

The familiar bubble of noise greets her, as the rickshaw rolls to a halt by the footpaths across Dhaka College, and she pays the rickshaw puller an extra 50 taka when she dismounts.

 

I marvel at her while she scans her surroundings and marvels at the stupidity of the people crowded around the tightly packed stalls of colourful dresses, shiny footwears and glittering accessories. 

 

People are dropping like flies at the onset of the pandemic and here they are, stumbling over one another for a good bargain, she says to herself. Sighing, she crosses the street and starts toward Bhorong, the only place that promises safety, good deals and air conditioning all at once, according to her opinion. 

 

Yawning, I trail behind her, looking lazily around at the crowd, soon to be the reason for my busy schedule of Eid. 

 

She takes note of the fact that the number of people milling around inside, seem to be maintaining at least a few inches of distance between themselves unlike the ones outside.

 

What a relief! 

 

The asinine starts exploring the flamboyant aisles of products and quickly loses herself into picking out clothes and trying them on in the  changing room, keeping the ones that fit and returning those that don’t to their respective shelves for other people who might want to purchase them.

 

 I mentally facepalm myself, over and over again.

 

Two hours later, madam is back on the street, hailing another rickshaw to get back home while pocketing loose changes that look a bit worn and handled. 

But at least, they were provided to me by the gloved hand of a cashier nonetheless,she smiles.

On her way home, she passes a few police officers patrolling the streets.

 

I look at the exhausted faces of the men and women, wanting nothing more than to somehow convey my endless gratitude to them for putting an effort into lessening the constant hustle of my job.

 

“Poor officers!” the moron thinks, interrupting my own train of thoughts.

At least, the transportation sectors are back in business and within days, they might be able to go home to their families and celebrate Eid, thank God,she murmurs.

 

I stare at this dullard, open mouthed and offended, trying my best to comprehend what I, Azrael, lack so much as to be forgotten about so easily. 

 


All of Hamama’s problems smell like দারুচিনি cause she’s দ্বীপ into them 24/7.

2 Comments

  1. I was wondering who the narrator is- I thought it either a stalker or the virus itself. But Azreal’s a good touch too. Nice one. “Vorong”, though…😂.

  2. Its a lighthearted and incredibly well articulated read overall. Tackles the current situation with droplets of humour here and there and gives us a new perspective. Only downside is its way too short. Looking forward to reading more from this individual.

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