Wednesday 31.03.71

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Things change very rapidly – yesterday it looked as if the UN maybe the only ones to go, now it looks as if many will be leaving. We don’t know when we go but it may be in the next 48 hours – a lot has to be done but somehow I cannot organise myself to start on it, I still can’t really believe it. A note from Steve when I got back this morning to say he is going today. It seems that all the British Council and VSOs are going, some left yesterday. Suddenly the world seems to be falling apart and good friends are flying off in different directions and good friends will be left behind.

I felt very tired last night, saddened and sickened with the whole thing – I am not 100% physically, some gut ache, but that is minor when I just feel tired of the whole thing. It goes round and round in my mind and gets more and more sour – I feel myself being filled with hate and it is a nasty feeling and has a nasty taste but it is there nevertheless. I still don’t want to go for reasons I’ve mentioned before and yet I want only to get out of here and away from it all as soon as possible and get a break – maybe that does not make sense to you but it does to me. It is all mixed up inside.

The stories continue, the shooting continues, the rumours go on, no one knows about anywhere else. Bhutto is shouting his head off in W. Pakistan and everyone here is waiting for someone to knock it off. Nothing is normal, v.v. few people are at work, the radio is lies, lies and more lies. I had been tempted yesterday to try and get a baby taxi and take some photos, thank God I didn’t. I heard about Charles from British Council and 2 volunteers in his car who did just that and got arrested. Luckily someone saw them being escorted away and got hold of the British High Commission and they got them out. Apparently they were against the wall with rifles at them when they got to them. I think they left last night! Everything mind you is normal, but do anything normal and you might get shot for it.

I suppose I could go on for a lot longer, tell many more stories, speculate about numberless rumours but there seems little point and I really don’t know how much time I’ve got to do things, so I had better finish this and pack it away somewhere – hopefully where they don’t find it. They say they are searching everyone, taking everything written that looks suspicious including letters and films. Well I hope they don’t get this that’s all. And I have lots of unexposed films which I may as well bring out, so I hope they don’t take those away. We’ll hope for the best.

So that is it. – Sad, sickening, horrible, but nothing new. But this is being fought in many parts of the world and it will be fought here and beaten I’m sure – though how long it takes is anyone’s guess. Two people have said to me, in a rather pathetic way “Allah will help us” and my reply has been, “not a chance unless you help yourselves – if you do that then I’m sure Allah will help you win the best way”. I feel more than anything else this is something many people here have to learn. There is this incredible feeling of Allah will help us, save us, feed us etc. But he won’t do it on his own, he has to have their help or they have to do it and have his help, I’m not sure which or if there is any difference.

It seems like running away, but let’s just hope we get out soon. I think I should go crazy if I had to sit around like this for a month. There is nothing we can do for the people here I feel, we can only help from outside, it is not our battle or our victory in that way. Let’s just hope and pray and work in what way we can for the freedom of Bangladesh. I am sure that this is the best thing for them.

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