My wedding took place exactly two years after the Fall of Dhaka, when the country was dismembered due to the intransigence of our generals. Another sad event took place on the same date (December 16) when a hundred and forty four school children were killed by terrorists in 2014. 

In 1973, the year I got married, the price of gold was about Rs. 350 per tola (about 10 grams). Today it is about five hundred times that amount. I've never understood why people think gold will always help them in times of need. Whenever my wife has gone to sell her old jewelry, she has never been offered more than twice or thrice the amount she paid for it. The jeweler invariably offers to exchange the old jewelry for something in a new design, which is why all jewelers in the country are billionaires.

Taxis used to charge half a rupee per mile, goat meat was about Rs. 5 per seer (approximately a kilo) and men earning a thousand rupees a month lived comfortably even if they had three children.

I really didn't expect to live beyond 50 as a couple of doctors had predicted that I'd have a heart attack before that age. One of them died due to heart problem around the age of fifty, while the other died of Covid before he got to seventy.

It has been a long struggle, not only staying alive and healthy, but to survive when my income wasn't sufficient. I used to borrow from relatives when times were tough (when I was in my forties) to feed my family. Most youngsters of today will never know what it means to be poor. But I fear that with the current world wide recession, income levels will surely decrease and most of us will have to tighten our belts.