NO MING LING
“Do you know Ming Ling ?”- I was asked by a child who resides in a neighbouring household. As we are going through a suffocating phase of lockdown regulations the boy in his extreme inquisitiveness had to speak from their terrace when I was plucking flowers from the rootop garden. I was clueless but nevertheless considered it another Chinese connexion who may have become famous overnight divulging the number of actual casualties in their country or a scientist discovering a medicine for the Covid 19 virus. I assured him an early answer.
As my mind was riveted on Chinese names I kept on pondering. I looked up a few news papers and took the help of google to crack the name but alas! nothing worked.
Suddenly It occurred to me that last year we had a trip to Bangladesh when I visited a big agro industrial fair in Dacca. We were lodged in a hotel in posh Gulshan where many chinese had thronged the hotel. I could receive many literatures on their activities. So I browsed among them to find any clue. But despite my continuous checks I was nowhere near the solution.
I then turned to my brother who being an engineer associated with worldwide people including the chinese assured me help. He immediately sent messages to his colleagues in Beizing and other big cities. I was sceptical about any response. I knew it well that unless approved by the totalitarian government they would not reveal the truth. As guessed my brother pleaded helplessness when the reply though timely yielded no clues.
Suddenly I rang up my friend who occasionally writes travelogues and visited many European and Asian countries including China. His off hand response was unhelpful.” You talk of other parts of the globe I might help you but about China? ” He rattled off reminding me his horrid experience in the communist country when he had tried to put some questions on the happenings at Tienanmen square when he was frisked away by the vigilant cops.
Exasperated, I took the help of my friends who always keep themselves updated. Since social distancing posed a challenge In meeting them I tried to gather information through the social sites. Result was painful as few considered it as mere rubbish. Some trolled me even for engaging in absurdity.
I then rued the decision of the Government not to allow the tea shops to do business as usual as these places offer good sources of information. I could have some good hints as Bengalis are always eager to provide their opinions on any subject on earth.
When nothing seemed to provide me any clues I rang up my friend who is a journalist working in an English news newspaper. He broke into a loud guffaw ” Join the truncated parts and find what we are now restrained from”. was his apt and quick response.