DP Daily Prompt: A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow


I  thought of all the great people  I can pretend to be. I do not get as much satisfaction as being me. I know me,I do not need to do research to find out who I am. I am well aware of the fact, I am not as important as personalities I can pretend to be.  To me if I cannot want to be me ,there is something  wrong.

So here I am, I’ve decided to write about myself . I came from a big family.  I had eight brothers and three sisters. The number has decreased. Now I have four brothers and two sisters.  We were a very happy family. My father was a senior officer in the government.My mother was a house wife. Cooking delicious food was her main occupation. She had to ,we the children and my father included were very fussy about food. We had our preferences. It was not easy for my mother to keep all of us happy.

My father had some basic rules, i.e.,  we must speak our mother tongue at home. We were encouraged to learn as many languages possible, but mother tongue was a priority.

In the neighborhood we spoke a different language to communicate with the kids. In school it was English. We were warned by our teachers who were nuns. English was the only language we were allowed to speak. For every word we spoke other than English we had to pay a fine.  It was not that much, but here is the trick ,we had to ask Mom,automatically Mom would find out we broke some rule in school,so we were punished I call this double whammy.

I lost my father when I was twelve years old.  I didn’t think it was permanent,Dad would come back. I was naive, a twelve year old today knows more about the facts of life than I did when I was that age.

My mom decided our stay in that city was over we have to move to Bangladesh. We packed our stuff and left the only city we knew well.

Then came all sorts of problems financially . My father left a lot of money,my inexperienced eldest brother decided to invest the money in business. Within a year he lost all my Dad’s savings. Luckily my two other brothers helped us with our education.

One thing we all learned fast was we have to be educated. I studied with the intention of getting a master’s degree. It was a pretty lofty ideal for a fourteen year old. My big sister was always on my face reminding me I was never going to do well in education. I do not study hard enough, she would say.

Things worked out for me I did get that elusive  masters degree and also one more.

After completing my education,I taught in a few schools.  In between my job I got married and had children of my own. I sometimes wonder how my mother could cope with twelve children. I haven’t been able to cope with three, they have a mind of their own. They do not mind ditching you when things don’t go their way.

I must admit I have nothing to complain about how I dealt with my life,given the fact,I had a husband and three children who needed my attention. I have done that .

Now I am in a position to please myself. I blog, study, try to write some stories. I am my own boss and I like it.  This was in short my story. I thought I know all about me and how I got where I am. There is no need to be someone else. It wouldn’t be natural.

Another brand New Year will begin tomorrow. I’ll try to repeat what I have done in 2013. Maybe I’d find some opportunities to improve my writing.

DP Daily Prompt: Brain Wave

Sir Muhammad Iqbal

Sir Muhammad Iqbal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for literature. It is the first Nobel prize won by Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One day I started thinking of doing something to keep me busy. I surfed the internet and found out, Iqbal Academy was offering online courses on the poet and philosopher Iqbal. I was very happy. I thought it was a very good opportunity for me.

It would help me to know about the poet.  You see when I was a student in college, there was nothing about him in our course of studies.  I knew a few lines of one of his poems. They were awesome. I thought I’d be able to learn more about him.

I jumped at the opportunity and registered for the course. It was in 2011.  I am still doing it and enjoying it. I am trying hard to go back  and study as I used to. It is a very good course. It covers subjects like religion,philosophy. poetry, prose . We’ve also studied about Rumi , Goethe the German poet, Shakespeare and many others.

Studying about Iqbal has opened other doors,which I never would have tried.  I started blogging, translating, the work of  another great poet. Tagore. I knew a few things about him, now I know a lot more.   I am never bored,I always have something to do.

I am also trying to write something for ,SPEAKEASY. My participation in SPEAKEASY is awesome. I am getting to know a lot of good and gifted writers.

I now feel joining the online course was the best idea for me.  I came into contact with bright and intelligent people. I am enjoying interacting with a lot of interesting and friendly people. I am giving my brain enough work out to prevent it from getting rusty.

DP Daily Prompt: The New School


KINDERGARTEN CLASS, MT WASHINGTON, 1947 (Photo credit: roberthuffstutter)

I like the idea of  redesigning  a school.  I was fortunate enough to teach in various schools.  I noticed the flaws in the education system. I was hired to teach. No one asked for my opinion. The curriculum was presented to me, I did what was expected of me,these are your students this is the curriculum devised by a handful of experts. I am paid to follow the guidelines and that was it.

In my mind there is a lot of things we ignore about children, i.e .,  these are the five year olds, who start  school in a completely new environment. They are terrified to see a stranger he/she , who is called a teacher. They need to listen and learn and stay quiet and behave.

My problem with this dictatorial method is the poor child is terrified already. He/she is put in a classroom, where these rules and regulations are placed. Whether they like it or not they have to abide by it.

My new school from kindergarten upwards will have a new system. I am calling it ‘getting to know everyone’. I will devote the first two weeks  knowing the children. Since it is the kindergarten we should not assume what they are supposed to know. We’d have to shelve that thought and actually get the children out of their seats. They’d sit in a circle . We’d pick volunteers who’d like to ask questions. The teacher would be present but will let the pupils speak. there’ll be a question and answer period.

There’ll be a fifteen minute break. During this time the teacher will observe. He/she would take notes, about each pupil. The number of pupil will not exceed twenty.It is a good number to handle.

Reading, Writing,and Arithmetic would be taught in an atmosphere where the child feels comfortable. Learning will go on in a friendly way.

To know how to read, one has to be familiar with the alphabets.  There is a song about the alphabets,it can be a very good source. Interesting pictures can encourage the child to observe and then draw his/her own.

Similar method can help with arithmetic.

The whole experience of the first day in school can make a child love or hate school. There will be homework , they will be allowed to draw pictures of things they learned in school at home and encouraged to show their work to their classmates.

I have only written about the first year of a child’s life in school.

If we succeed in keeping the children interested in their schoolwork in a friendly manner. Everything else will be easy.

Daily Postpostaday

My week-end moonshine grid entry

Today I’d like to introduce my favorite poet Rabindranath Tagore. He was the first poet from India who received Nobel prize for literature.

He wrote thousands of poems and song lyrics in Bengali. It is also my mother tongue.

There is one song I dearly love. It brings back memories of my own childhood.

I want to write a few words of the song to explain how it affects me and takes me back to the time when life was simple and how we enjoyed it.

I’ll translate it :  My golden days are over.

They were happy and sad moments

but we shared them together.

I am alone now and I cannot believe

all those days of laughter are

only memories now!

I think back and feel my childhood days are just memories and I like the poet feel sad I cannot hold on to those days which gave me so much pleasure.

My three younger siblings and I went out on days when we were off . We were always curious to find new and exciting places. We lived in a house on top of a hill.  Our aim was to find what was down the hill.

Once we were lost we went down one of the hills, I remember I saw a tailor stitching something.  I didn’t know where he lived why  he was sitting on the grass sewing . We were kids we didn’t give another thought and moved on .

Down the hill near our house we saw a tunnel. We had to find out where the end of the tunnel was. We were amazed to find rows of corn,we didn’t stop and look at the cornfield only,we wanted to have some. So we helped ourselves with one each and came home. I cannot remember what my mother said about the corn we brought home. I only remember we had a lot of fun.

When I think of it now I am sad knowing, like the poet,those days are gone for good. In a way I was fortunate I was able to enjoy my childhood.

DP Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner

It’s difficult to believe I can ever win such a large amount of money tax free.  Since I’m an optimist most of the time, I’d think I really have hit the jackpot.  It will take a few months for me to draw up a plan, how I can spend this enormous sum of money.

I’d first donate locally, because it makes sense to help the people in my city who’d appreciate getting some money. I’d pay off their mortgage, build some shelters for the poor. Invest some of it to improve  roads.  Donate some to repair run down public buildings.When I think I’ve accomplished helping my local community. I’d think how I can help the world outside my community.

There are millions of people around the world who are homeless  hungry and uneducated. My winning can help them  change their lives. It’ll be my pleasure to use it for those unfortunate people.

I’d also use some of it for all those animals who are dying because of  lack of food and shelter.


DP Writing Challenge: Ghosts of December

Many years ago I came to Montreal in the month of August.  I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited this was the first time I left my home Dhaka to come to Montreal so far away. I was newly married. Mine was an arranged marriage I did not know much  about my husband. We were married in January, he left Dhaka, Bangladesh little over two weeks after our marriage. He was a physician in a hospital in Montreal.

I stayed back with his parents in the village for over six months. I didn’t know anyone. I noticed everyone who came to the house would only stare at me, as if I was some kind of a rare thing that they had never seen before.  My father-in law was the nicest person in that house,he treated me like  his daughter.

After over six months I got all my papers ready to travel to Montreal to join my husband. I didn’t know him at all. It was this part that scared me. Was he nice,will he treat me well, what kind of attitude will he have towards me? These were questions I had in my mind. I was afraid to ask I didn’t really know how he’d react.

Three months after I landed in Canada. My husband wanted to go to Chicago. He knew a family,they were Mr. and Mrs. Finlay. Mrs. Finlay was curious to see me. My husband thought  Christmas time would be the best time to go for a visit. We went two days before Christmas.  Mrs. Finlay  invited us to stay with her. She had a decorated Christmas tree,there were gifts under the tree for all of us. One of my gifts was a ,’Better Homes and Garden Cookbook’. I was happy, I’d be able to use it for baking. This was my first Christmas. I learned a few things about this special holiday.

After celebrating Christmas day.  We were out to buy a winter coat for me. I wasn’t really interested to buy anything, but my husband was determined to buy one whether I wanted it or not.  Earlier that day Mrs. Finlay told me she told my husband not to marry anyone from Bangladesh. I was not happy to hear it. I was only interested to go back to Montreal. I had to buy a coat.I couldn’t leave without it.

Since the first Christmas we had many more. Our family was larger, we had three kids. We gave them what they wanted, so they wouldn’t feel left out.

This Christmas my family is down to two.  My husband died a few years ago. Despite my best intentions and hard work one of my kids said in her email a few days before Christmas,  “I  do not wish to have more than a  courteous  relationship with you.”


DP Daily Prompt: Moment of Clarity

English: Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. *...

English: Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. * Additional noise reduction performed by Diliff. Original image by Luc Viatour. Français : L’éclipse totale de soleil en 1999 faite en France. * Réduction du bruit réalisée par Diliff. Image d’origine Luc Viatour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My experience with solar eclipse. I was in the lower grades.  One day we found out, we’d have solar eclipse.  I was thrilled I’d see it. It  happened sometime during the day. My classmate saw it first. She called me to see it. I was happy I’d get the chance.

I was hooked I kept looking at it.  It looked so different and interesting. I  spent a long time looking at it. I wasn’t warned not to look at it directly.

I remember my father came home and said ,  ‘you shouldn’t look directly at the sun, it can cause permanent eye damage or blindness’. I was worried, I’d already spent a long time. I was afraid I couldn’t tell my father.

Next day I noticed everything was blurry. I knew I’d looked directly at the sun too long. What could I do,I thought I was  already blind .Next few days were horrific.  I told myself   if somehow I started seeing clearly. I’d never repeat this.

It took probably a week before I saw clearly. I’d learned a huge lesson first hand. When I think of that now, I feel I am very lucky my eyes were not permanently damaged.

DP Daily Prompt: I Was Here

A chart showing the two handed manual alphabet...

A chart showing the two handed manual alphabet as used in British Sign Language, Australia Sign Language and New Zealand Sign Language (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To my fellow Astronauts: ‘I have arrived on this planet a few days ago. It is uncharted. There are no maps or other ways to know about this planet. I consider myself lucky to have arrived here  first.

There are a lot of things I don’t know. I am not sure if there are any living things here. I find the air very clean. Pollution is an unknown word here.

Wait I spotted some pigeons flying. There must be humans and other animals too. I can see some people coming towards me, I sincerely wish they won’t kill me. Hang on one of them looks very friendly. I’d let you know what he told me, bye for now.

I am back ,read carefully if you want to survive on this new planet, I have located. The man mostly used sign language to tell me about it. I had a hard time understanding, I wish I paid attention to this language when  I was still in school.

This is what I understood,anyone is welcome. No one is allowed to litter. The animals and birds should be left alone. There is plenty of vegetables and fruit to eat. They can explore it, but must not steal or try to fight to conquer their planet.

This is all I found out.  Visitors here should leave their impression about it for future astronauts.

Goodbye,  I hope my note will help you, good luck.’    Ranu

SPEAKEASY #141 A magical Journey

Gavin and his sister Beryl were the two survivors of a car crash. It killed both their parents. They sat in front of their house mourning their loss.

A man in Khaki suit came with some papers for them to look at. Gavin who was older asked,  ‘what are these?’

The man replied, ‘these papers are from the court. It is a notice to expel you from this house.’

Gavin was speechless for a few minutes, he stood up and said, ‘why do they want us to leave this house.we have nowhere else to go?’

Sorry the man said, ‘I am doing my duty.’

Thus began the terrible journey of their life. They were homeless, starving and cold. They looked around to find some kind of shelter but there was none. They were tired and hungry. They sat in front of a house to rest. The housekeeper kicked them out. They got up and continued to walk.

Beryl asked her brother, ‘Gavin if we pray to God, do you think He will help us?’

Beryl’s words brought tears in her brother’s eyes, he said, ‘I don’t know  Beryl , do you think we are good kids?’

Beryl started to cry, ‘I wish we were, now God won’t help us either!’

A passerby heard this conversation he stopped and said, ‘children are always good it’s the adults who are not.’

”Then why are we homeless and hungry’, Beryl cried.

‘You’ll be okay, I promise you little girl, now I must run along I have things to do.’

The two continued their walk. Things were the same. They got no help . The weather got worse.  High winds were blowing and snow started falling again. It seemed even nature was cruel, there was no break insight.

Their walk took them to a strange place. There were a lot of people singing and dancing.  Gavin and Beryl stopped. They were curious. ‘These people are happy’  Beryl said, ‘let’s find out why, then we can be happy too.’

Gavin spotted the passerby in the group. They went closer to the group to be certain. Sure enough it was him. He was singing,the people were dancing.

All of a sudden the scene changed.  The weather changed,the sun came out and it was warm.  The group was  not dancing any more they had baskets of food for everyone there. Gavin and Beryl joined in and for the first time in a week, they had something to eat. After the meal,  Gavin and his sister were alone. All the people disappeared.

‘Gavin do you think it was some kind of magic?’

‘I have no idea,but it sure feels it was, Beryl.’

They started their walk again this time they met a gypsy.  She was not friendly. They asked her if there was a place they could rest. She ignored them and disappeared.

‘Are we in a land of magic Gavin?’

‘Why do you ask?’  He said.

‘People we met disappeared,it can only happen in a magical land I think.’

Their journey took them in front of a hill. They climbed up, they couldn’t believe  what was down the hill.

Gavin said, ‘it looks like a fairy land, I want to explore it.’

‘Okay’ Beryl was happy.

Down the hill they went. They met Alice, she was arguing with March Hare. At the next stop was Willy Wonka showing his Chocolate factory to the golden ticket holders. Then Gulliver and the Lilliputians were eating and drinking.

‘I love this place’,Beryl said.

‘Who’s there. ‘ a mean woman shouted.

‘It’s us’ Gavin replied.

‘Get out of my property’ she said.

‘Did I hear someone trying to get rid of my friends? Big bellied Santa came out of  North Pole and screamed. He was joined by Alice and her group,Wonka and the five kids and of course Gulliver and his Lilliputians.

‘Today is a day to celebrate Christmas and New Year, this day no one will go hungry and homeless.’  Santa said.

‘Now let us join together to sing a song of Christmas and New Year.’

Santa was the leader and he said, ‘one two three  we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!’

The mean woman stood in silence.   There was nothing left for her to do but walk away.

This is my story for SPEAKEASY #141

Merry Christmas And happy New Year to everyone.

DP Daily Prompt: The best Day Ever

English: Mall Road, Rawalpindi.

English: Mall Road, Rawalpindi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d enjoy if somehow I magically land in Rawalpindi. My parents and all my siblings will be there. My wish is to go back to one of those days. It will truly make me happy. I’d feel God has decided I deserve to be happy. He has brought me back to a day,when things were very different from what it is now.

One day is all I want to enjoy, to be happy, to be thankful, to have  freedom to play after I was finished my school work. Breathe in the aroma of my mother’s delicious food.  My parents,siblings and I would sit around the dinner table, eat and talk about the fabulous day.

It would be winter. We wouldn’t have snow to shovel. The color of the  sky would be blue like the ocean and the seas. Birds would be flying above us. The trees, plants and flowers would be gorgeous green and a mixture of the colors of the rainbow.

It would make me feel as if I’m given an opportunity to be in heaven for one whole day. “Wouldn’t it be lovely!”