In the late 80’s. It was a fine Friday evening. Me with my parents started a water journey from Dhaka to Barisal. The name of the steamer was “Shaheed Belayet”.It was one of the two most reliable steamers on those days, the other was named “Tarn”.
The steamer started at around 8 o’clock in the evening and supposed to reach Barisal by 10 to 11 o’clock the next day. So we started hoping a safe and sound journey but we found ourselves in an unwanted situation in the next morning.
I guess altogether there were about 1500 people more or less among them were some foreign citizen.
In the morning when I heard that our steamer is trapped in a shallow water and in no way the Captain could do anything to get out,I decided to go on the roof top where the captain was busy answering questions of the victim passengers and trying to contact the control room for rescue.
Well we could arrived in 4 days on Tuesday to Barisal town as we came by the same steamer when it was released three quarter of its passengers weight by another ship. That ship took around 1000 people from the troubled steamer, I mean “Shaheed Belayet”,and only then our ship could move from the shallow water to deep water and started for it’s destination.
There was a first attempt by rescue ship “Amir Hamza” by pulling it to deep water but all it’s effort gone in vein. In second attempt they shifted passengers and that worked and that’s why we arrived Barisal town in 4 days.
We had no food, no shower, no peace of mind. I was a mere boy by that time and just could not feel any panic as I was well sheltered with parents,So I in real sense don’t recall any worries or
disappointment BUT I recall one thing.
I want to share this with my audience,viewers and readers.I can freshly recall one of the answer that was given by the Captain while everyone pointed their fingers towards him. The question was ,”why did not you follow other way or maritime line that of those relatively small launches?You could easily save this disaster -why did not you follow launches ???”
Very confidently and calmly he gave a responsible answer. I still remember that. He answered,”Yes I admit it is a misfortune and today it is surely not my day of course but at the same time I am a steamer Captain.It is not for me to follow launches ; rather launches often follow steamers.
It happens, it happens but it should never happen that a steamer follows launches.”
I think he was absolutely right. A King should walk on kings way. Doesn’t matter what others say. It is not for great persons to follow the ordinary path.
In this chapter I recall one of the last interview of Donald Tsang who was in the office of Hong Kong CE. He ruled Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012. When he was asked about his public life as a common after he finished his term in office ; he answered, nothing will be the same again as a common person.
Later on we found him fighting some court cases, but those are not any point in this mentioning.
In my best thought a big guy may be wrong for some day or not the same as before but he is different forever. Even Master Bluster batsman, all time great Shachin Tendulkar sometime was out with 0 runs.
I believe it happens, it happens.
And this remark of the Captain from that very day still now made it for me a most memorable trip.
Thanks for reading.