With a fever running without remission, going without food because she had lost all appetite and a huge worry growing her about Akmal. Shipra was moving towards death. She found no strength in her body nor could she walk. She spent the whole day in bed. She slept or spent her time anxiety. Her anxiety was all about Akmal.
Nilufar Jahan sat beside her all the time. She tried to cheer up her daughter by talking with her. She caressed her hair and said, ‘why are you so worried?’
She replied, ‘So many days have passed. But none of you could have any trace of his whereabouts. You could not yet know were he was; how he was. How can I be free from anxiety?’
‘For that, should you destroy yourself? You don’t eat. You don’t talk with us. Your father was beside your bed for quite a long time, but you did not talk with him. We are trying our best to look for Akmal.’
‘Mummy, if you doing that, why is he still out there? Where is he? Shipra replied in desperation.
Nilufar Jahan said to Shipra, ‘Don’t you believe me?’
‘Mummy, ‘I don’t believe you’ said Shipra.’ I am surprised at your helplessness. My father is an eminent politician. My younger uncle is a top-level officer in the police department. Even after that, all of you are soldiers without any arms. A person is missing, but none can locate him. We don’t need such big posts.
‘I accept what you say, but I can’t accept what you are doing,’ said Nilufar Jahan. ‘Mummy why can’t you accept, what I am doing’ asked Shipra.
‘What you are doing is nothing, but extreme,’ replied her mother.
‘In what sense is it extreme?’ Shipra wanted to know. ‘Mummy, you know, I love Akmal Bhai, she continued, I can’t help him in his difficulties. I can’t weep for him. I know you don’t like me weeping. What else can I do? Every moment I feel myself guilty. I don’t know why. But I think Akmal has been killed.’
‘What are you saying? It can’t be so.’
‘Yes Mummy, a voice inside me says, Akmal is no more alive. The police have killed him.’ Shipra said.
‘What rubbish you are saying’ her mother interrupted her and said, ‘I can’t believe Akmal will die in police custody. He can’t die. He is of course alive. He is alive.’
‘But why I feel like this?’ Shipra wanted to know. Why there is so much burning in my heart? Every moment I feel, he is calling me from heaven. He is calling me to go to him.’
‘Shipra, will you stop? Be quiet.’ Her mother ordered her.
Tears rolled down from her eyes. Nilufar Jahan wiped her eyes.
Shipra’s condition worsened. Every one gave up. She had already reached the door of death. Her mother was sitting beside her bed. Her father and her sister were near her. Shipra’s younger uncle Manzur Ahmed, Akmal’s father Humayun Kabir and Mother had come to see her. Everyone was looking at her with eyes filled with anxiety. She also looked at them, but none could help her.
Shipra’s condition deteriorated so quickly that every one gave up hope about her. Medical board has been formed for her treatment. Strangely though, no cause of ailment could be diagnosed, she only had intermittent fever. The temperature rose up to 105 degrees. When the fever left temporarily, she looked very fresh. The fever was quite mysterious. Much research was done about her fever. The physicians could not come to any conclusion.
They said, ‘Shipra seems to have a common fever, but God knows it’s anything but common. The fever has stayed with her for more than a month. No medicine was effective to remit her fever. The physicians were also in tension about Shipra. They could neither diagnose her disease nor prescribe any medicine for her. Finding no solution she was referred to a psychiatrist.
One of Mansur Ahmed’s close friends Dr. Ahmadur Rahman was famous psychiatrist in Dhaka. He was immediately called. He came to Mansur Ahmed’s home and examined Shipra thoroughly. After probing around for a long time he came to the conclusion that Shipra was suffering from a serious anxiety syndrome. He warned that if Shipra could not be made free from her anxiety, she would not survive.
Mansur Ahmed felt a great tension mounting. He was nervous to see the condition of his daughter. This was the first time that he was found nervous for anyone of his family. When Shipra had the fever he didn’t much bother about it. But as it grew, he withdrew to himself whenever she talked. It was with her mother and her sister. Both the daughters were very devoted to their mother. Mansur Ahmed did not give any time to his daughters. Perhaps for this reason, they did not have much attachment to their father. Whatever they needed, whatever they felt, they told their mother. They could not be blamed for that. Mansur Ahmed now regretted that he did not give enough time to his daughters. He felt that it was his fault that his daughters remained isolated from him. His involvement in politics did not allow him to give any time to his family or daughters. He felt for the first time that he had a family, a wife and two daughters. He should have given them time. He had to repent for his failure. His daughter was leaving him forever. It was a great tragedy for him because she was leaving him without getting all the fatherly love she deserved. He felt that he had not done anything for them. Though it was his duty.
Nilufar Jahan had requested him to do something about Akmal. Bring him back. But he could not keep her request. He also had to remain aloof from many involvements. His achievement therefore was far below his political statues.
Being a politician of high repute he could not do anything for the release of Akmal. He seriously felt that he had neglected his family. But with other leaders and workers he had never failed in his obligation. Whenever they were in trouble, he did his best to rescue them from trouble. But none of them came forward to help him in his time of difficult days. Perhaps it is the rule. He used to tell the new generation – ‘Help people selflessly as much as you can. Don’t do anything for reward. If you do, you’ll repent.’
He was feeling very bad for Shipra. His conscience was pricking him. His daughter was leaving him so silently.
Can love be so deep? Not finding her lover she was embracing death. It was incredible to him.