In 1971, during the liberation war, I was 19-years-old. After the attacks of 25 March, when the news spread all over the country, me and a group of young men decided to do something for the country. From Rajbari, we went to Jessore and started working in the refugee camps.
After quite some time, we realized that we wanted to do something more impactful. In April, my team and I crossed the Indian border for training. After the training period, we came back to Bangladesh and joined Section 8 in Shatkhira. From there, we successfully completed multiple operations one after another.
My fellow warriors and I were near Khulna when Bangladesh was finally free from the Pakistani rulers.
On December 16, 1971, I was with my team when a helicopter from Red Cross flew over the area and announced Bangladesh's victory.
At first we didn't really understand what was happening. Then one of us switched on the radio and we still couldn't believe it for some time. But when we realized what just happened, we were dancing and jumping like crazy. We embraced each other and lifted one of us above our heads. It was a feeling I cannot express in words.
Our Captain Ashraf was very proud of me. Back then, I was so strong that I could lift two men at once over my shoulder. Everyone used to say, 'Jinna will do something in his life'. I had a rather unconventional name for a freedom fighter. We used to laugh about it.
Then we came back home. And look at me now, I am a rickshaw-van puller.
My team and I even went to Dhanmondi 32 that December. We thought Bangabandhu will do something for us or instruct us. He said, 'Let me recover. I will come to you.' We came back and started our life. Nothing really changed after that.
Now 72-years-old, I suffer from chest pain. My son drives a CNG autorickshaw and is pursuing his master's degree.