The (Dis)honour of Salami | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 06, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:18 AM, May 06, 2021

The (Dis)honour of Salami

War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death – these are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But alas! There is one more. It creeps along with the dark, dreary shadows while you naively feast on payesh, ready to jump at you at a moment's notice.

It never crosses your mind but once unravelled will keep you awake at night. It is the betrayal from your very own mother, who you trusted so dearly with your salami. There is no debate about how difficult it is to accumulate the right amount of earnings on Eid. Five hundred from the miserly uncle? That's a win. One thousand takas from the aunt who lives in Canada? Travesty. However, the process is tiring, to say the least. It is taxing because the actual reward (if you can call it that) comes after a 10-minute-long lecture about how you should lose or gain more weight.

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Nonetheless, all that battle boils down to futility for some and has moulded them as people for all the wrong reasons. It is the first glimpse we get at a taste of deceit. This fleeting and unnerving feeling often instils trust issues and delusional world views.

Nasha Zaman*, 23, reflects on her first traumatic visit to the bank. "It was the first salary I received from tutoring and there I stood behind the counter, supposedly ready to hand over the money for a deposit. That is until I shouted 'No! Ammu, I know this trick all too well.' The banker was kind enough to clarify he wasn't my mother but not kind enough, for me, to trust him with my money," she said. "Either way, I think all moms just banded together to create the first bank to snatch their children's salami and hence, it is the epitome of capitalistic greed."

While on the topic of capitalism, Shammo Rahman*, 19, expresses his appreciation to his parents for showing the true colours of humanity. "Their act of beration has not made me angry with them. Instead, it has truly opened my eyes. The exploitation of the working class starts from day one and my parents demonstrated it. The poor, helpless child is left with nothing while the ruthless, insatiable parents have more. In fact, I am fairly certain my parents are advisors to Elon Musk," he stated.

Abrar Faisal*, 21, talks about his difficult loss. "I was just 11 years old. Could you believe it? They just spent 2500 taka on the very school books my teachers would use to impart education that would separate my mind from my soul. Our parents explicitly instructed teachers that as long as they leave me healthy enough to take care of parents in their old age, our soul was theirs for the keeping. So, in a sense not only did I kiss my own dementor, but also told everyone about it."

The epidemic still looms large to this day. Parents might pass it off as tough love but the repercussions of their demeanour leave scars that carry on to impact children well into their adult lives. For now, let us hope that we do not scream at underpaid bankers or believe our parents have overseen an overwhelming hoarding of wealth by interplanetary colonisers. 

*Names have been changed because these are made up anyway.

Abir Hossain is a failed SoundCloud Rapper. Tell him you too can't find anything to rhyme oranges with at: fb/abir.hossain.19

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