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​বাবার জন্য চিঠি 

A Letter to My Father

My father left us on April 29th, 2022. It was a Friday. I was supposed to go to Chicago with a friend of mine. 
The nurses at the old home he was staying in, assured me that his vitals were good and that I should go.. take a break.

I could not go, I apologized to my friend the night before and waited all night for sunrise. 

After many requests and procedures, we were finally able to place my father in an old home that was closer to our house. In the morning, it took me less than five minutes to get there. I brought some scrabbled eggs with me, even though he could not really eat during his last days.

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Hospice 

There came a time, some months before my father's passing.. when we had to decide if we would want to bring him back if he ever were to leave.
I did not know what he would have wanted though. Sometimes he was there but sometimes he wasn't.

Take Care of Maa

Baba/বাবা (father) officially started his visits to the hospitals in 2013. I officially feared losing him at about the same time.
In all of his visits or operations, he used to say, "Pray for me, I am not ready." But on his last visit to the hospital, he held my hand and told me to take care of my mother.

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The Orchid

I brought him an orchid plant that day. Knowing my father, I knew he is gonna make a sick joke if I were to bring him flowers ... flowers are pretty, but they die. I wanted to bring him a promise of life. 

But he was ready. I told him, "Please baba, can you stay for just a little longer? There are a couple of things I need to take care of."

He didn't quite answer me, but he waited and was moved from the hospital to old homes.. and I would go back to the last place he stayed in and bring his Orchid back to where he was now.

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It just so happens,

My father did ask me how long I needed, I did not have the answer. I did not know. 
I did not know, that in the USA, you have to book a grave first! Before someone dies! You can not just die and expect a grave will be made available for you! I had just known that, it was absurd, but I could not tell him that. 
"Just a little longer," I said.


It just so happens that the day before that Friday, a place that seemed okay was his final resting place.
It just so happens that the Friday I did not go to Chicago and my father took a flight. 

I went to see him in the morning, he was sleeping, with the help of oxygen, breathing loudly and painfully. When I held his hand, he had a gentle grip. Being the talkative person I am, I started telling him all about the morning. That I didn't go, that I brought scrambled eggs and other things ...

Then I got tired of talking and rested my head on his chest. His breathing is what I listened to. It felt loud, clear, and peaceful now. But then it stopped...

Friday

My father left on a Friday, the holiest day of the week in Islam. The local Masjid prayed for his soul, his name was recited during Jumma, the sacred prayer of the week. I was in a room with women who came to pray, they held me, they held my mother, tightly, and prayed for my father. 

It just so happened that my father, who was there for strangers, giving a hand, and a shoulder whenever needed.. did receive the shoulders of kind strangers, to carry him to his resting place. 

And it just so happened that my father, a gardener, who loved pigeons.. found pigeons flying around, and sometimes even landing on the freshly covered soil. 

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A Letter to My Father

​বাবার জন্য চিঠি 

I believe that my father entrusted me with his last breath. When he left, I took his head and put it on my lap, and I sang him a song he loved until everyone came. I thanked him for being a good Baba, I told him I loved him and I told him that I was sorry for every time I yelled at him. It was just me and my Baba in that room until everyone came and things started to get real. When everyone came, I had to leave to finalize his resting place.

This is "A Letter to My Father" telling him all the things I couldn't tell him, I wished I told him more and I told him a thousand times...

love you, Baba.

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"A Letter to My Father"
is a metal sculpture made of discarded metal and TIG-welding method. 

I I was inspired by the modern furniture design that comes in a box and easy to assemble and disassemble.  

After my Baba's passing, I wrote him a letter, with words I have told him many times, and words I never got to tell him. Later, I made a paper plane with that letter. 

This sculpture is an effort to recreate that letter.


I grateful to Melissa Machnee who helped me channel my grief through this process and taught welding.

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A Letter to My Father is currently residing at the Livonia Campus of Schoolcraft College and has been since 2022. The space is open for public to visit.

I have been asked many times to translate the Bengali and Hindi the texts on the sculpture..

Think about what you would tell a loved one if you were to never see them again? 

And now imagine it as the text.

I am grateful for Schoolcraft College for holding a piece of my heart at our campus.

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