The cloudy Tuesday’s dawn brought nothing- no rain, no nor’wester, but a smiling morning – a sunny day.

Nor’wester is a seasonal storm in Bangladesh, the West Bengal in India as well. It sweeps over the region in Baishakh, the first month of Bangla calendar. Very often, it comes on the first day of the month. Defying hassles Bangla speaking people celebrate the New Year with coloruful processions across Bangladesh and a portion of India. People get out of their residences and join processions along with their children wearing new dresses. They enjoy cultural programmes and have pantha bhat(watered rice), a traditional food for the Bangla speaking people.

Tuesday is that very day. But there is no celebration, no festivity in Bangladesh and the West Bengal. Pandemic COVID-19 kept them at their own residences for the first time since long. A total of 803 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported so far since March 8 in Bangladesh with 39 deaths. The net of coronavirus is spreading day by day in the country.

Referring to Johns Hopkins University, The Guardian reported that the global death toll neared 120,000 as cases passed 1.92 million. 1,920,985 people worldwide are known to have been infected with coronavirus, though the total number of infections is likely higher.

`So far, 119,687 people have died in the pandemic’, The Guardian added.

Spread of coronavirus is seemed to be unabated in Bangladesh. If the current rate of infection is continued, people of the country have to face terrible days to come. Poverty would be engulfed the nation, although the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the people not to be frightened. She came up with this at her speech to the nation on the eve of Pahela Baishakh.

`The sun will be sneaked through the darkness,’ she added.

But the economists fear that tough days are knocking. The government should take strict measures to overcome the situation, which is not so easy to do. The next Pahela Baishakh, first day of Bangla New Year will be lively if the tough jobs are done smoothly.

Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works at New Age, a popular newspaper. He contributed a story in Freelance Success Stories published simultaneously from the USA and Canada. He can be reached at saifnewage@gmail.com.


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One Comment

  1. Avatar Zeenat Khan says:

    Thank you Saif for the nice article. Undoubtedly, Pahela Baishakh in many ways represents the pulse of the Bengali culture. I think celebrating it this year would have been very insensitive to those who are suffering now. But nonetheless, I have seen a few videos where Bangladeshis are indeed celebrating the day eating 11 types of bharta along with panta/ilish! Not everyone wants to process or have the ability to asses the gravity of the situation that the coronavirus is making us face. Stay safe.