I had learned how to drive pontoon boats right from my secondary school days, and Hossain wanted me to drive a pontoon boat while we catch fish and put them out for sale. Hossain proposed that we rent a pontoon boat and finance the rent through the proceeds of our fishing. This was definitely an inviting idea, and I did not hesitate to give it a try. At least, I wouldn’t depend on any employer to eat, and I can earn as long as I work. Hossain and I got the money to rent our first pontoon boat. We went for a small inflatable pontoon boat, as it was what we could afford.
I can remember our first-day fishing vividly. I was overwhelmed with anxiety that very day and I remember Hossain showed not even an iota of anxiety. We sat in the boat, and while the motor was already put to start, I said a short prayer. “If we don’t get enough fish today, it does not mean this is a bad business,” Hossain said to me before we moved. We slipped out of the harbor and headed into the rough North of the Ghagat River. Hossain has sufficient fishing experience because he had gone fishing with his grandpa multiple times before his demise.
Hossain threw the nets over the side of the pontoon boat and meticulously wandered the nets to get fish, while I drove around the river. We moved different directions but remained unlucky, and I was already dashing my hope. After wandering around for about an hour in futility, Hossain and I decided to go back home and try some other time again. I instantly turned the steering wheel and moved the throttle forward in a gentle sweeping motion.
The stern of the pontoon boat moved slightly sideways, making Hossain wear a straight scary facial expression. We headed towards the harbor and Hossain tried his luck for the last time. He threw the net into the water, and this time he could feel the net was heavy. “I think I caught a fish,” Hossain exclaimed with bliss. He pulled out the net with the support of his two hands, and all we saw was two large-sized fish. They were salmon fish, and we happily drove to the harbor, tied the Pontoon boat to the dock, and saw some buyers approached up. We sold the two fish for a good price, and this marked the beginning of our journey as fishermen.
We chit-chatted while walking home, for our houses were not far from the river. Hossain stopped at my house, and we discussed the future of our fishing business like great visionaries. Hossain and I continued fishing the subsequent days and month, till we did for over a year. I was not taking a large income home, but it was manageable and better than not taking anything at all.
My dad’s friend, Mr. Abdul, sponsored my entire trip, bought a pontoon boat for me, and had me registered in the Association of Fishermen. This didn’t stop him from sorting the bills of my parents and siblings. He is our benefactor that we can never thank enough.
I knew I did not travel all the way to Australia to have fun but to work. Therefore, I commenced my fishing job within the drop of a hat. This time, I was using a sophisticated pontoon boat, and I was not acquainted with a lot of things. The pontoon boat draft was about seven inches shallow and was heavier. It was being powered by an electric trolling motor and used deep cycle lead batteries. I knew that I needed to be careful when operating the boat and to also invest in maintenance.
My first day fishing in Sydney was not a bad one either. I had woken up very early in the morning and started anticipating how the day would end. After some time, I moved closer to the window, pushed the curtains to the left side and looked out to appreciate nature. I perceived that the sun just began to come over the horizon and the sky gradually changed to blue. The weather was mild and cordial, making me anticipate the day more. I took my bath, dressed up and went to the river. I had gone there prior to this day to check there out, and I had met the members of the association I got registered under. I needed a co-fisherman that will be available during every fishing day and do the fishing while I drive the boat. Visiting the river, Nepean River, prior to that day made me meet with my co-fisherman, Scott.
I thought I was early to get to the river, not until I saw Scott already patiently waiting for me. This makes Scott strike to me as a committed and hardworking person. I filled my pontoon boat with enough fuel, and it was already set to be in motion. Scott and I wore our life jackets after confirming all the necessary fishing materials are intact. I started the motor, warmed the boat up, and then trimmed the motor in order for the boat to sit well in the water. I immediately requested for Scott to untie the deck ropes, and then our first fishing journey in Sydney began. I cruised around the river while Scott made use of the fishing rod and nets to capture fish of distinct breeds intermittently.
We went home with a lot of fish that very day, and it was a day worth to remember. The price the fish were sold was quite better than that of Bangladesh and fishing happened to be profoundly lucrative over here in Australia, when compared to my country.
Fishing continued to be my fulltime job, and Scott became not only my business partner but also my very close friend. We became so close that I told him everything about my family and he sometimes would even add to the money I send to my family in Bangladesh. He constantly made me remember and miss my friend, Hossain, even though Hossain and I still talk often on the phone.
Fishing became a second significant part of me, and I continued partnering with Scott for months. We earned a healthy income every month. It was enough for me to sort my bills and I even had extra cash in some months that I send to my family in Bangladesh to support them. Even though I knew Mr. Abdul was definitely available for my family in Bangladesh, I still wanted to be part of the support. I also wanted my family to have a good impression about my new life in Australia and probably help them recuperate their dashed hopes.
We got to the river when other fishermen when done fishing. I slowly walked to my pontoon boat with a straight face. I confirmed that all the fishing materials we would need were intact. I would have preferred Scott to drive the pontoon boat while I do the fishing because of my mood. Unfortunately, Scott is an amateur driver. I slowly drove away from the harbor after unhooking the deck rope. It was a serene cruise and was not enjoyable to me. Scott kept on capturing large-sized fish while I drove at a slow-paced motion.
“I think we caught our biggest fish ever,” Scott said. I looked at him and saw his hands trying to lift the fishing net he swept into the water. He pulled the net into the boat, and we saw something strange. It was a blue and white pocket bag that seemed like it contained the heavy stone. Scott hurriedly opened the bag, and it was filled with blue diamond. “We are about to make big money,” I screamed. “No, you are about to make big money,” Scott interrupted.
Scott’s response was quite confusing to me until he explained to me that I needed the money more. I did not believe what I heard from him, and it all seemed like a dream. He closed the pocket bag and handed it over to me. I appreciated his generosity but insisted we were going to share the money equally after selling it. That was the end of our fishing adventure for the day, and I drove expeditiously to the dock and tied my pontoon boat.
We dashed home in excitement. We started finding a way to dispose of the blue diamonds and finally become wealthy. We found out that one carat of a blue diamond costs about $100,000 and we had a couple of them. This was a brilliant opportunity that I must seize to gain affluence.
I woke up the next morning to get a call from the top executive of the association I was registered under. I was informed about the loss of a bag of blue diamonds in the river I do my fishing. The top executive informed me of how the loss came about and how the owners futilely searched for it. I found out that the blue diamond was owned by a jewelry company and got lost while it was being transported. The information got the association late, and it was indeed too late. I pretended like I knew nothing about it, but I was a little bit frightened. The association enjoined me to return the item if it is eventually found by me and I agreed to the deal.
Immediately after hanging up, I called Scott with intense fear. Scott calmed me down and assured me that everything was going to be fine. He rushed to my house to explain how to get rid of the mess. He proposed that we take the entire item to a jewelry shop to know the worth. The diamonds were a lot in the bag, but I was still surprised to know that they worth about $5,000,000. “I am afraid they will eventually apprehend us if we sell these,” I told Scott. Scott let me know we were not going to sell them but return them and still make money. “How?” I said to him. “Just watch and see,” he replied with a smile.
Scott came up with a plan that we needed to meet the executives of the association and find out about the name of the company that owns the blue diamonds. We successfully found out the name of the company and went further to get the contact of the top management of the company. Scott requested that a meeting is summoned up in relation to the loss of the item.
The company obliged and we were present there to strike a deal. Scott explained that he was going to find the lost item and return it to the company but on the condition that he would get paid 10% of the item’s value. The company’s top management tried to bring down the price, but Scott remained inexorable. The company had no choice than to agree and put pen to paper – at least, it is better to lose 10% than to lose it all.
I was astounded, for I never knew Scott could come up with such a perspicacious idea. This was an evident proof that Scott is remarkably smart. I told him how surprised I was on our way home, but he claimed not to be smart jokingly. After seven days, Scott decided that we take the bag of blue diamond to the company. We contacted the managers of the company to inform them. They agreed that we meet and we instantly dressed up to meet them. We handed over the bag to them, and they confirmed the authenticity of the diamond. After thorough scrutiny, they concluded that 10% of the item’s value is $550,000 and we were given in cash.
It seemed like a dream to me; I know no one in my generation had held such a large amount of money. We took a taxi home immediately with so much excitement. Immediately I got home, I carefully sat down to halve the money, and then gave Scott the halved portion. “I am going through the journey of life for myself, but you are going through the journey of life for your family,” Scott said to me. “The money is all yours,” Scott added while handing over his portion to me. I pleaded that he get a share of the money, but he insisted that he was not going to take a dime from the money because of my family.
However, Scott gave me brilliant advice to go back to Bangladesh, invest the money over there, and also have the opportunity to be with my family. Apart from the fact that I love and want to be with my family, $550,000 is a highly substantial amount of money in Bangladesh. It would do a lot more in Bangladesh when compared to Australia. This was how I traveled back to Bangladesh.
I am currently among the happiest people in Bangladesh and the CEO of a pontoon boat-manufacturing company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.