Mohammed Shamsul Haq (Dinajpur, Bangladesh)
Who I am
Mohammed Shamsul Haq believes he is 108 years old as his family told him he was born at the turn of the twentieth century. He remembers being a young man when the British left India (in 1947) so maybe he isn't that old after all. Shamsul has travelled all over the world as a 'lascar' on a British ship and now lives in Dinajpur, in north-western Bangladesh.
I was born in Khidirpur, at 10/2 Wardon Street, in Calcutta.
I've travelled to Colombo, London, Africa, Rangoon, Singapore,
Jeddah… I went on the hajj when we moored off Jeddah – this
was in British times. I lived and worked on a ship. I was the
oil man – in charge of oiling the machinery. I was getting a
salary of 35 rupees when I retired. I had started on 24 rupees.