Anup Sadi introduced me to Bangladesh and Bengali

Himal Sebedi, Author

Translated by Dolon Prova

It is 4 years ago today. Suddenly a phone call came. Hello Mr. Namaskar, I am Biplab Anand, are you Himal Subedi? Oh! Brother are you okay? Hajur, I am Himal, I have  tried to contact you earlier. Thank you. We have seen your application, you can come to Lahan city. Wiki workshop 2075 is being held here for three days towards the end of the month of November. I was already in touch with him but I didn’t know that I was participating in this program. But in any case, I was sure that there would be new friends, new faces, literacy with representatives of Wikipedia from home and abroad. Me and my brother Parbat Subedi went to Lahan on 22th of November 2018.

After a long journey of 6 hours from Bharatpur in Chitwan, we reached the small town of Siraha district. Oh! Brand new city, new place, new people. We went to Hotel Simrik at Lahan. I was in touch with some of the Nepali Wikipedia editors on social media, and got the chance to meet them there. The presence of Hindi Wikipedia users and Punjabi Wikipedia users from neighboring India was also seen there. We had a casual conversation with some friends, got to know each other.

But I had been lucky to be a part of such a program. Some friends from neighboring India and one person from Bangladesh participated. He was none other than writer and poet Anup Sadi. A representative from Bengali Wikipedia. Naturally, like others, I thought he was an Indian, but I was wrong. He is from Bangladesh.

During the three-day program, our team also visited some tourist sites. We meet with him. your name? Sir, I am Anup Sadi. Where are you from? Sir I am from Bangladesh. Oh I’m surprised! I am speaking in Nepali, but he understands Nepali very well. Oh! What a surprise, how is this possible? How can a Bangladeshi understand the Nepali language? Neither the script nor the language of Nepali language matches with Bengali, but this is surprising. Not completely but he was able to understand what we were saying and reply back in English. To everyone’s surprise, not just me, other friends also eagerly wanted to talk to him.

আরো পড়ুন:  Contribution Timeline of Anup Sadi in Wikimedia Projects

Formally the program begins, some ministers are also present. Mainly the event starts there with the lighting of the lamp by a senior minister. Everyone is busy introducing themselves one by one. Later it was my turn. I introduced myself, everyone was looking at me. Maybe because of the youngest appearance. After the formal start of the program, I went and sat next to him. We talk in English. I don’t speak English very well but I think I can have a normal conversation in English.

I looked at him curiously. Where do you live in Bangladesh? I live in Mymensingh, and so do you. Sir, I am in Bharatpur Metropolitan City of Chitwan District of Nepal. We had some more conversations. I was surprised to see him. How did you learn Nepali language? I lived in Kathmandu a few years ago and while there I had the opportunity to learn a few things. Especially, there is not much difference between Nepali and Bengali language. Both are two important languages ​​that belong to the Indo-Europian language family.

After that was his presentation in the program. He was saying, how to increase the depth of Wikipedia and how to enrich it. I don’t know if others are listening attentively but I am always listening attentively. The chairs are arranged in a circular pattern, decorated with various decorations. It was a medium hall room, not that big, it seems, connected to various types of equipment.

He was sitting in a place I was watching. I wanted to go up to him and talk to him, so I did. I was watching as he had been creating the epic poet Lakshmi Prasad Devkota’s article on Bengali Wikipedia, on his laptop. Wow! A matter of pride for us indeed! It gives me new energy. If he cares so much about Nepal then we also have to do something on our part.

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No one here knows much about Bangladesh and Bengali nations. There may be differences in language and script. He was the person who gave me a new kind of energy there. I took a vow from that day, no matter what, I would start learning Bengali. After that my studies continued. If someone is interested in my mother tongue and wants to learn it, we should help him. Being a native speaker, similarly, many friends are supporting me in my commitment to learn Bengali language.

Even til now, I ask him, “What is this writing? It’s very creepy, yet it looks like a ghost”. He laughs and says, “Don’t be afraid, it’s very easy. I didn’t think so at first. I could hardly recognize a single letter. I Can read normal words. I Can understand spoken Nepali. I Also try to speak very little Nepali. I always remember one thing he said at the beginning. It is “b” character in Bengali language, looks similar to “b” in Nepali language. Then Bangladesh! And I am trying to create articles related to Bengal. It was a new subject for me, never known before today. Unexplored and uninterested! Here he was introducing me to the names of the districts of Bangladesh and pronouncing them one by one. I did not understand what I was writing. , but I saved the pronunciation in the note pad of the mobile. First some district names. I am making the article. One by one I have to finish all.

This meeting became a memorable one for me and for him. I have been following him in the days since. He writes what is happening in the program. However, I came home with a new and very different experience. From that day onwards, I never let diminish my interest and curiosity towards Bengali language . Still trying to learn new words and expand vocabulary.

আরো পড়ুন:  Mr. Anup Sadi

But one thing here is that there is nothing in the field of Bengali language in Nepali, no one is even interested in that subject. But I don’t want to back down from my decision because I never did care others. In the days that followed, I got to talk and get to know many friends. They were also surprised. Some friends were saying that you are definitely not Nepali and even you are of Bengali descent. But that was completely wrong. As I was surprised to see Anup sir! They were also amazed that I had learned and could speak Bengali.

4 years ago. But if you look closely, there is nothing to be surprised about, nothing impossible, anyone can learn any language. The difference is that it depends on who is more attached to which language.

But to this day, Anup Sadi is the one person who introduced me to Bangladesh and Bengalis. I will never forget this quality of him. He is a good person, friendly with everyone, kind hearted. In other words, he also tries to practice art in his mother tongue, and has written some articles and poems. I plan to read the articles. A Nepali translation would have been even better. I hope we will meet again in the near future.

2 October 2022, Kathmandu.

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