The forever crowded station all of a sudden wears the look of a graveyard
I spent half of my childhood in the local railway station not far from my house. The station is fairly well-known among people as Humayun Ahmed once wrote a book about it called "Gouripur Jongshon".
It is a small railway station connecting different lines from Dhaka, Mymensingh, Bhairab, Mohanganj, and Jharia.
I still remember the days when a train would enter the junction with repeated whistles and my house would start shaking just like a ship in a stormy sea. At such times, it feels annoying to live near a junction.
But over the last few days of spending time at home, I started missing waking up to hearing trains whistle, as all the public transport is now halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The forever crowded station all of a sudden wears the look of a graveyard. There is no traveler waiting at the station with his or her family and bags, no announcement from the station's PA system, and no hawkers and beggars moving from bogey to bogey.
Before, 26 local and intercity trains passed up and down the junction. Now, there are no trains.
Railway signals turn green only if a freight train passes through, but mostly the signals are red as if the lights are also warning people not to go outside.
All the shops and tea stalls at the station are also closed. People now hardly come to the station; the fear of the virus has gripped the people of the small upazila.
Ismail Hossain work as a pointsman at the Gouripur Railway Station. He is very upset that he did not get a holiday like other government employees. "My wife and children live in Kishoreganj. I have to stay at my workstation as freight trains are still moving."
The cabin station master of the station Abdul Kader was lazing at his office. He said he was getting bored.
"I am used to being busy and being surrounded by the heavy sound of train's engines. But now there is no sound, no trains. The silence is killing me," the cabin station master said.
"How many days can you sit in your office without any work?" he asked.
"I have been working here from the last 12 years. I have never seen the junction become this empty," he said.
A few people were standing in front of a closed tea stall, talking about some conspiracy theories about how the virus spread and where it came from.
While returning from the junction I turned back one last time to take it all in. It felt like the junction was screaming in silence, crying after losing all its belongings.