Chan Mia – a man in his early thirties – has been vending cosmetics on different Gazipur streets to run his family.
But every year when the month of victory arrives, an absolute feeling of patriotism conquers his mind. Keeping aside his regular business, he turns into a national flag seller.
The temporary business from 1 December to 16 December also yields him some money.
On Tuesday morning (15 December), this correspondent had a chat with him at Hemayetpur bus stop in Savar.
He said his village home is in Bhangaupazila of Faridpur and he lives in a bachelors' house in Gazipur.
He earns about Tk500 from selling cosmetics daily. But 16-day flag sales yield him around Tk2,000-2,500 every day.
"Profit is not the main issue here. It [flag selling] also works like a charm. Throughout the day, patriotic songs are played at various street corners. A different kind of spirit works in me in these days," he said.
"I did not see the liberation war. But I cannot describe how I feel while listening to these songs," a fascinated Chan Mia also said. His eyes were moist.
For the last seven years, he has been selling national flags and earning a good profit. But this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the situation, causing a decline in his income.
"Last year, I earned around Tk4,000-5,000 from flag sales. This time, sales are lower as schools are closed due to the coronavirus," he said.
"However, I am happy with the volume of sales," he added.
After selling flags, he returns home for some days. Then again, he goes back to vending cosmetics. And it is a custom of his life, according to him.
"My family lives in village. I have a wife and two children. They also want my company and long for spending time with me. So, I go home every year at this time. They understand that I work for them. I like it very much," Chan Mia explained.
December 16 is the great Victory Day of Bangladesh – a day of the highest achievement and pride in the history of the Bengali nation.
On this day in 1971, the Bengalis under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the commander-in-chief of the Great War of Liberation, snatched victory through a long and blood-spattered struggle of nine months.
Chan Mia has studied up to 10th grade. He always feels proud of his country's independence.
"Since Bangladesh has become independent, I can sell flags of an independent country."He was gently rubbing his flags while speaking.
Bangladesh earned victory from the curse of Pakistani subjugation through the self-sacrifice of three million martyrs and two lakh mothers and sisters in the War of Liberation.
"I love my country and the people. I am not an educated person, but I understand that the state of our well-being is not as good as it is supposed to be as people of an independent country," Chan Mia lamented.
"We are poor people. We don't have that many demands. The price of daily necessities is so high that I have to work hard to make ends meet."
"As a result, we cannot meet the needs of family members sometimes. It feels bad but I have nothing to do. Maybe that is life for people like us."