I do work on rice field, I work during the harvest. I plant potatoes. There are different types of work here, and different owners. Today I’ll work for one, tomorrow for another, one day later for another one. People look for me: if you need me, you will ask me – Enamul-bhai, I need you to do this for me; ok, I will do your work tomorrow… it goes like this.
What kind of experience have you gathered in Dhaka?
What should I learn from Dhaka, apart from driving rickshaw? I will do the type of work about which I have experience. Here [at the village], I am in a position to do any types of work related to agriculture.
Haven’t you got the opportunity to see many things in the city?
Sure, I can see many things [in the city], but there is no benefit in it. My only experience is about rickshaw. I pull rickshaw, I earn money, and I come back. What is the benefit of experiencing other things? If you’d tell me, ‘Enamul-bhai, I would like to give you this job’, then I can do it. If you don’t, I can’t. Village is really good, village is really good. But Dhaka is good for earning. If I work at the village, I will earn 150-200 Taka; in the city, a day’s earning is at least 200 Taka. For this reason, one goes to the city. I am the son of an agricultural country, I do agricultural work… [that’s what I know]. When agricultural work isn’t available, then I go to Dhaka. I pull rickshaw for two months, four months, six months. The season [for cultivation] is 4 months – in one year, there is season of 4 months. Understand? If I stay in the village for the resting 8 months and I spend 20 Taka, it will be only expense. In the city, even if I spend 20 Taka, even 50 Taka, I’ll earn money to run my family; I’ll be able to feed my children.
I worked in Chittagong [too]… what did I see in Chittagong city… I simply worked, I did not go to the zoo or something. But the work was travel-based – it was work with sand, with bricks –, so I stayed for short time; I stayed for 1 or 2 months, but I didn’t go there again.
Was the work too hard?
The work was not hard, but I don’t like to go too far. Then I came to Bogra and started to drive ricksha there… as the earning is low, from Bogra city I went to Dhaka city.
Dhaka is far away too from here!
Although Dhaka is far away, one can come back within one day. The communication is good. That is the reason, I like it. I also liked Chittagong; you can earn more than in Dhaka there… I think of home, I think about my wife and children left in village. There may be financial hardship, it can be, as we are poor. I have to go to Dhaka for livelihood, it doesn’t help to think [too much] about them. I do, but I don’t allow too much tension. If I only think like that, I will not be able to live in Dhaka city. I earn, it is not a problem to send money, it reaches within 1, 2 days. I can send money daily. I place money with bKash, it will be sent [immediately]. In Dhaka, there is everything. Even then, I like my village.
After starting this business, I don’t feel like doing agricultural jobs anymore. See, I am doing this work with full spirit with ten other people… we chat and have tea… we go around and are earning more too… in the other [agricultural] job, the system is we’ll get 150 to 200 Taka… So why would I do a job with less pay? I’ll go to the city, to Dhaka or Bogra, and work and earn 200tk to 250 tk… I’ll have a tea thrice a day, chat with a few people like you…like this…this is why I like it. Even if it is tough work, I still like it.