Tenant of the Earth


When a landless turns into a landlord s/he does n’t have to face the situation as a landlord has to face when s/he turns into landless. We were in village as a landlord and when our father went to settle in a town we became a small tenant of a small town, albeit following threats on my father’s life. His life was compartmentalized—living in village but working in town. Our father wouldn’t mind living in village home and doing business in a town. He decided to put an end to his compartmentalized life as one night he was held hostage by decoits on his way back home from his business centre in the neighbouring town. The robbers waylaid him and snatched all of his belongings pulling knife on him. He gave away everything in fear but as soon as his colleague refused to give money to the robbers they stabbed him. He was hemorrhaging and bled to death. All happened in front him. In early eighties soon after the independence the number of all sorts of crimes including robberies went up. So he went to a small town, leaving his land, paternal homestead and properties back at village home. New life started with a bit safety and security and also a dream of enrolling his kids to kindergarten schools. As he moved to a bigger city we turned into a small tenant of a landlord. In course of time we turned into a landlord in the small city. My father bought a house to end his life as a tenant, certainly with the expansion of his business. The fortune came in my father’s thirties.
Twenty years on. I had my education in the best schools of Jessore, a small town bordering Indian province of West Bengal. In my thirties I moved to the capital which is much bigger than my father’s town. It was a mega city where I went to be enrolled in the highest seat of education— Dhaka University. I left my parental properties back at hometown where I could comfortably settle. But for my education I had to go a long way. Soon after completing education I rented a house in the capital in my thirties. For the second time I became a tenant.

Happy moments were passing, reading books, contributing for the newspapers in Dhaka. On top of all these I had to work only three days a week and a 4-day weekend. Another ten years went by I wanted to put an end to my temporary living life and bought something and settled there.
But one fine morning I came to know that I will have to move to an even much bigger city. Things proceeded in that direction. We went to the capital of the world, if there is any. Again we were turned into a landless family in London. We had rented a house and became a tenant for the third time since my birth.
The landlord came out as soon as we reached the doorstep as he noticed us in the CCTV. In the capital of Great Britain everything except the bedrooms is under close surveillance. Security is the prime concern everywhere in the UK. So from the pub to parks, from vehicles to verandas and roads and their corners everything under close circuit camera or television. No sooner had we opened our car door than he opened the gate to receive us into the house. The landlord is a young chap not more than thirty five. Certainly a nice fellow owning a new house and the negotiations were over.
It was a furnished flat we had to share everything with the landlord and the other tenants. So we had a long list of dos and don’ts. Do not do this and only do that. Don’t go there don’t come here. Use it manually and don’t misuse. If you talk about a toilet it must be even cleaner than a church or mosque itself. Learn to tiptoe on the wooden floor. Are you of manly voice; be careful don’t use. Always lower your voice. Be sorry for every little wrong you have done in the city of manners. Don’t utter the word ‘black’ and don’t spit in but bins. Do everything in time. Everyone is busy so don’t go anywhere without prior appointment. The owner of the house went on detailing rules and regulations nonstop and it seemed that he would never stop. I thought if the don’ts were collected the commandment list would have been as many as 500. And in the holy Quran there are as many as 500 which shape up the whole structure of Islamic shariah.
Initially I was bored and irritated because I had to hear all of his directions patiently and follow that immediately. We had lots of pangs and sufferings in curtailing our independence back in Dhaka home. Another owner of another house, that we couldn’t rent because we have a son, was a nightmare to that landlord.

But the next moment sense dawned on me. I came to understand that my landlord is quite right and there is no wrong in detailing his list of dos and don’ts because he bought the pitched roof house and decorated it as like as a picture. You will find no fault with the interior design, facade, kitchen with modern amenities and even the toilet with costly fittings. Everything is neat and clean and he didn’t want to rent the flat to any Bangladeshi family. But we got it fortunately for some Bengali community leadership connection.

If I were in his position I wouldn’t have allowed any tenant to mar the beauty of my house. As Allah has created the beautiful world with no flaws apparent so He isn’t ready to allow anyone of His creation to mar the beauty of the planet let alone the whole universe. Waterfalls, lush green, rivers, blue seas, white snow peaks, mountains, valleys, cascades and the thousands of beautiful Flora and Fiona He will never allow the Earth to be destroyed by the human let alone the universe.
So over the time He sent Adam, Noah, Ibrahim, Daud, Issac, Ismail, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them). They were sent with commandments varying in number. Someone of the great men got Ten Commandments and some got more or less. Some of them got big books to guide their communities. They informed the dos and don’ts of the creator to the humanity. The Torah, the Jabur, the Bible and the Quran were revealed on the four great prophets —Moses, Daud, Jesus, Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon all of them). As He created us so He gave us the manual informing the operating system. What happens when you buy a computer or even a kitchen utensil? Certainly the companies give you a manual there you get the operating system. Our landlord did those things that Allah the creator of the universe had done over the years.
He has created the universe and we are His tenants. We rent the universe from our Lord of all landlords and are supposed to use it as per the guidelines or commandments. As a tenant we should not destroy the world, deprive fellow humans for the happiness of a handful few, kill the animals irrationally and concentrate the wealth in some corporates’ hands. Human being was the landlord of the heavens as believed by the believers and they are destined to get back their lands if they can do justice to the space (the Earth) they have rented. So humanity including me is the ultimate tenant of the Earth.

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