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The sound of Suppressed Laughter

Written By: mehedi-hassan
20/08/2014 22:43
Arts and Literature

Mehedi Hassan


Beside of the over- populated village a narrow stream was flowing on, and there was also an asphalt road by the brink of the stream. In a winter morning, a teenage boy was pulling a bakery-van through thick mist along the road by gently paddling.  


The boy, by pulling his bakery-van, having come too closer of a grocery shop, stopped paddling. At once, the wailing tone of the shopkeeper came into his ear through the muffler tied around his head. Since, he couldn’t listen what they are talking about, but by feeling the emotion of the voice, he just understood that the shop- keeper had been talking about something of his great grief with one of his friends.  


Just as the bakery-van slowly reached in front of the shop, having pressed the break so tightly the teenage boy got down from the seat, then peered in the inside of the shop, for calculating which things had housed and which hadn’t. Then, he started to understand the words that was outflowing from the tang of the shopkeeper like falling of the dewdrop. How the shopkeeper got lost in the business of poultry- that was being described by the hopeless tone of the shopkeeper. The boy, while listening, opened the trunk of the van and started taking the bakery goods out of it. From work, the boy looked at the faces of the two men with squint eyes.


The desire of getting sympathy got struck in the eyes of the shopkeeper like the hovering flakes of the dry face. Anyone could understand the trying of showing sympathy of his friend’s in a moment but the shopkeeper. While the shopkeeper talking, the friend of his was pronouncing the word of sympathy ish! hay hay!  As though, he was lubricating the petroleum jelly very gently on the dry face of the shopkeeper with his delicate hand. Just as deleted the helplessness that had got struck on the face of the shopkeeper, the tint of fervidity started getting stronger and the tear began gathering on his eyes, and in proportion, the hopelessness of the shopkeeper started growing up in a rate that the friend by being sympathetic, began pronouncing words, “no need to worry about it, twelve trouble thirteen solution, every action of the god is for good, then start it again, this shop is running well also, everything will be right.” As if, these words could heal the wound of being lost two lakh Taka in the poultry business.

The shopkeeper was so busy in talking with his friend about the grief to suspect the presence of the boy who was taking out the bakery goods from the trunk. Then, the friend informed the shopkeeper about the presence of the boy. The friend stood up to go. As if being aware about the disturbance of the shopkeeper’s work, the friend wanted to go, after the busyness of the shopkeeper, the friend would come for showing sympathy. Then, having come nearer to the shopkeeper, the friend started stroking gently on the thick jacket as he told some sympathetic word. While going, he looked at the face of the shopkeeper repeatedly and didn’t forget to tell some word of hope.


The shopkeeper looked at the van-puller affectingly with disturbance. In mind, he blamed the boy for going of the friend. But, there was another strong reason for going of the friend which was almost impossible to understand for the shopkeeper who has been getting sympathy. Now, it is of the shopkeeper’s turn to take the bakery goods. After that, the van-puller started pulling the bakery-van to another grocery shop cum tea stall.  


Just as the boy came closer to another shop, he heard a sound of suppressed laughter. One part of the shop was kept open and another part was closed. When the van-puller stood at front of the open part along with his bakery van, he watched that the friend of that shopkeeper’s and the this shopkeeper was puffing cigarette with great pleasure and just as the sound of the laughter was becoming high, they whispered to each other, by suppressing the laughter, “please, calm down, calm down, they will hear us”. So often, the shopkeeper by lessening the loudness of the laughter was telling disguise of the shopkeeper’s wailing tone little by little the words that he had listened a moment before, so that the topic wouldn’t come to an end swiftly; and he could enjoy it gradually. In the sad, misty winter morning the topic is as sweet as the juice of the date palm! Just as having one word, the loud laughter of the friend that overcome the word, was arousing the laughter within another shopkeeper. By lessening the sound of a loud laughter, pronouncing some words of the shopkeeper, again the loud laughter, again suppressing the laughter, again pronouncing the cautioning words, sometimes the deep puff of the of smoke of cigarette and then the huge emission of the smoke through the two lips.


The boy, in bewilderment, was standing up at front of the open part of the tea stall. By this time, the friend by suspecting someone looked back and watched the embarrassed face of the boy full of acne. In a moment, the face and the lips of the friend hovered down like a seedling which droop down with the acute sunlight of the hot summer. In the pretense of emergency work, the friend stood up from the bench. After standing up of the friend in perplexed, this shopkeeper looking at the boy, and could understand the matter a little. But, neither boy nor this shopkeeper understood that how the friend had went out in a moment. As if, by being vapor, the friend had vanished in the mist!                           


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About mehedi-hassan

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  • Name: mehedi-hassan
  • From: Dhaka
  • Nationality: Bangladesh
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    There isn’t so much to tell about me. I like to write about me, my society and my thoughts.


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