I recall this fateful day in 1971

On 16th Dec, I recall this fateful day in 1971. Our whole family used to gather in grandfather's house downstairs when sirens blew of impending air strikes (in Karachi). Father and uncles used to discuss war news as heard on BBC radio. When, one day, I remember some elder saying: our army has surrendered .... then there was silence, nobody spoke to each other. We were kids, not really understanding all, but felt the sorrow in the statement. I've never been to East Pakistan, never had a Bengali role model, no Bengali friend, just a kid watching East Pakistan on t.v., seeing the beautiful rivers and melodious songs with Rahman and other film actors singing on boats. A drama's wordings still is vivid in my memory, perhaps the only Bengali words I knew: "tumi amar bondu" (you're my friend). My emotional attachment was intense with East Pakistan and grew by the year. It was augmented by having bihari migrated friends in school and then medical college, and knowing about the east Pakistani wing 'Islami chhatro shibbar' of Islami Jamiat e talaba, that my late school and college days belonged to. It showed on the day I landed in Dhaka in 2002 to attend college of physician Bangladesh conference, when I, out of emotions, kissed the dust of the land...... that I considered mine. Still do