Discover Prompts, Day 30: Grateful

Discover Prompts: Grateful

Month of April raced through so fast, I had no time to enjoy it. Today is the last day.

I’m grateful to WordPress for giving us a prompt each day to help us write. Thank you to all the members of WordPress. 🙂

I’m grateful for a lot of things, to God for instilling in us the thought that we should stay away from the outside glamour of the world, and appreciate our indoors, and once in our life remember that we are doing this for the whole world.

I’m grateful because we are not the only ones stuck in our home, the whole world is going through it.

Our Creator is letting us know, whether we are poor, filthy rich, white, black, brown, or any other colour on His earth, the COVID- 19 will not discriminate. It will show how strong it is and how weak we are.

The virus is not threatened by nuclear power, or any country or leader it will deal with all humans in the same manner.

It’s time for us humans to unite, help each other best way we can, regardless of caste creed or colour.

I am grateful knowing most of the humans on this earth will help each other!

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Discover Prompts, Day 29: List

Day 29: List

The prompt today takes me back to my childhood, when I was seven years old. If I was ever asked to do something my question was always why/(keno) in my mother tongue.

My eldest brother, who habitually made me run errands which someone else older than me could do, he’d ask me. I would look right at him and ask Why? He was in one of those moods that day when even if he saw a fly, he’d jump from his seat and yell out, ‘close the door I’m sick of seeing flies.’

If I’d known better I would have taken his temperature to see if my word, ‘why,’ would be tolerated at that moment. Of course not, first he said, ‘you know Ranu , curiosity killed a cat, just for repeating this word you’ll be punished you’ll have to make three cups of tea for me, one at a time, within thirty minutes.’

I knew making three cups of tea in thirty minutes won’t kill me, but ‘why,’ does he need three cups I told myself quietly.

I am not seven years old now, I cannot ask Mr. Huberman, ‘Why do you want us to make a list?’

I put my curiosity aside and said let me make a list for the dinner invitation I’m about to send to my imaginary friends, we are observing isolation and it would be unwise of me to invite people to dinner at this time.

This imaginary dinner can be tasty if I take the trouble of cooking, but who cares I’d like to have fun making this list.

To cook something I need a recipe and the ingredients I need for dinner.

Here is my list:

1. Rice

2. butter

3. onion

4. salt

The above are the ingredients required to make pilaf( pulao, in Bengali)

Ingredients to cook beef curry:

1. Boneless blade roast 3 pounds

2. onion 3 medium size, salt

3. spices: ginger, garlic, cayenne, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala( combination of whole cloves, whole cinnamon, pepper corn, cardamom, whole cumin)

4. Canola oil or extra virgin olive oil, ingredients required to cook beef

Ingredients for vegetable dish;

1. Cauliflower

2. Potatoes

3. tomatoes

4. spices, salt,

5. oil

Salad Dish:

Ingredients:

1. cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, green and red pepper, and lemon juice

Dessert : Famous cheese balls of Bengal.

Ingredients:

1. milk — 2 litres

2. sugar— 2 cups

3. Juice of three lemons to make the cheese.

If these ingredients are cooked well. It’ll be a wholesome dinner for our awesome guests. But COVID- 19 saved me from going through this trouble!

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Discover Prompts, Day 28: Focus

Day 28: Focus

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Today’s prompt was kind of difficult for me to write about. I cannot exactly remember when I used the word, ‘FOCUS,’ seriously. Several minutes went by and I was still thinking. To dawdle is not something that interests me. So I started writing.

I went back to my school days, I did not focus in the lower grades I read my lessons a few days before the exams and barely made it to the next level. This habit persisted till I finished the undergraduate degree.

Suddenly I woke up I took admission to do my Masters degree. At first I had no idea what subject I must take to complete this degree. I asked big sister if I should study Economics. ‘No,’ she said, ‘you’re not a serious student you will not make it.’

After a few seconds she suggested, ‘English, study English.’

I was irritated I said, ‘No I’ll take History.’

Big sister went her way and I took admission in the department of History.

The day of our first lecture I found myself in a large room. The room was buzzing with the voices of boys, and the three of us females would not have been noticed if we sat at the back.

The Prof. was a serious guy he looked at us and pointed the first few seats for us to sit.

Classes started the prof. got his register called the names of the students and marked the attendance.

First few days went fast. The new week brought with it immense pressure at least for me. We were going to have tests after a few weeks. I was worried, what if I do badly in the tests. The male students who already thought they were superior students will make fun of us.

I realized then that I need to pay attention in class and do well in all these tests.

I started going to all three libraries in the city to take notes and study hard.

For two years I spent my time studying which was something I never did before.

The final exams were tricky I knew the subject well and succeeded in getting good marks. I was pleased I finally got a certificate I was proud of.

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Discover Prompts, Day 26 : Hidden

Day 26 :Hidden

After the partition of India my father was transferred to Rawalpindi. My Dad rented a house in Lalkurti Bazaar. It was a three storeyed house which had several places where we could hide.

We had a great time, my school was walking distance from our house. We were happy but my eldest sister grumbled a lot. Her rich friends were unable to visit her because the lane to get to our house was impassable for their vehicle.

Dad was tired of listening to her complaint, so he rented another house. This one was suitable for her and the said friends. The day we were planning to move, we opened all the drawers, cupboards to make sure we were leaving nothing behind. There were a set of drawers one of my siblings tried to open, he had a hard time, it seemed something was stuck there.

He pulled and pulled and then used a little more strength. Suddenly one of the drawer slid out easily. To our surprize we found little boxes of candy, hidden in the drawer. The other drawers had new shiny fabrics, we took them out. Now the question was what do we do with these things, my naughty brother said, ‘ well finders keepers, losers weepers.’

All these belonged to a wealthy Indian family who owned several houses in the vicinity. They fled to Bharat as they did not feel safe in Pakistan.

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Discover Prompts, Day 25: Magic

My Magical Day

I always think a dream leads to magic. To explain why I think this way let me tell you a story of my life.

I had just finished my Post Graduate written exams and was waiting for the oral exam. Suddenly a thought came to my mind, how about registering for the Bachelor of education course. If I’m able to register and pass the course, I can apply for a job in teaching.

I spoke to my classmate, who said, ‘ I know there is a women’s college in Mymensingh, let us go there.’

Mymensingh is a small town four hours away by train from Dhaka city. We found out there was a daily train to this town in the wee hours of the morning. It took four hours to get there. We hired a rickshaw and landed on the doorsteps of the college. We were met by the vice principal who bluntly told us, ‘You are two months late, sorry we can’t take you.’

Call it luck or magic, another lady came out of her office, asked us why we were there. When we told her of our intention. She gave us a curious look and asked: ‘why are you late?’

We replied, ‘We were waiting to finish our exams.’

‘I’m impressed with you, you have guts,’ she said, turned around looked at the vice principal and, said

‘Make arrangements for these two to register,’ she informed the vice principal.

To us, ‘Go back , get your oral exam finished take the drutajan express, do not wait for garlands.’ (Drutajan is the name of the train, and the first word means fast.)

We came back to Dhaka, I didn’t feel so elated. I had a few things on my mind, the dark building of the college made me think of ghosts. I was miserable thinking not only of the scary building but the financial position, I’d have to ask one of my siblings to pay another year of education.

It wasn’t right, so I asked God to help me out. That same evening I went to our common room to check the classified ads, I didn’t know what I was looking for, but to my absolute dismay I saw in one corner of the newspaper an ad , which said Interwing scholarships to study B.Ed. There were other subjects, this happened to be what I wanted.

I tore the corner of the page, took it to my dormitory and slowly wrote my application letter. I never told a soul, not even mom or my siblings.

I went back to my local guardian’s house. I was not sure if I’d hear from them, but kind of hoped God will fulfill my wish.

A week later a man wearing a khaki uniform came up the steps of my uncle’s house and asked, ‘Does Chaman Ara live here?’

My uncle was terrified, looked at me and inquired,’ Do you know him?’

I was just as scared and could not find any reason for this man to look for me.

He had a bag on his shoulder took out a letter and announced, ‘this is a letter from the Department of Public Instruction, you are selected for an interview for a B.Ed. Scholarship. It was the best day in my life.

I went for the interview was selected and went to Lahore to study. A year later I came home and got a job in a school.

Everything that happened was like a dream and I can say magical. I learned from this experience, “if one sincerely asks God for help, one will get their wish.”

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Discover Prompts, Day 23: Note

Maple Tree

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Maple Tree

Here I am a maple tree standing on the ground,

Waiting to be clothed and trimmed all around.

Without my leafy branches I look not healthy,

My tiny branches have lost its beauty.

I know April showers will transform ,

My appearance one day and confirm.

Month of May will return my outfit,

Once again I’ll be pretty in my blanket!

…..

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Discover Prompts, Day 22: Tempo

Day 22: Tempo

This is the poem I’ve chosen for this prompt:

The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna by Charles Wolfe

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,

As his corpse to the rampart we hurried;

Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot

O’er the grave where our hero we buried.

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We buried him darkly at dead of night,

The sods with our bayonets turning;

By the struggling moonbeams misty light

And the lantern dimly burning.

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No useless coffin enclosed his breast

Not in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;

But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,

With his martial cloak around him.

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Few and short were the prayers we said,

And we spoke not a word of sorrow;

But we steadfastly gazed at the face that was dead

And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

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We thought, as we hollow’d his narrow bed

And smoothed down his lonely pillow,

That the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,

And we far away from the billow!

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Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,

And oe’r his cold ashes upbraid him

But little he’ll reck if they let him sleep on

In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

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But half of our heavy task was done,

When the clock struck the hour for retiring,

And we heard the distant and random gun

That the foe was sullenly firing.

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Slowly and sadly we laid him down

From the field of his fame fresh and gory;

We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone,

But we left him alone with his glory.

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We learned this poem in Presentation Convent School, whenever we recited this poem the atmosphere was so solemn, we felt as if we were going through the burial of Sir John Moore in person.

The tempo of this poem is unbelievable.

Discover Prompts, Day 21: Instrument

Discover prompts: Instrument

I like all the instruments that I had the privilege to listen. Out of all the instruments, I only wanted to learn to play the Piano.

My husband bought one for me, I was fortunate to get a teacher who agreed to help me. After a few months she could not continue, she had no spare time . She was a music teacher in the local school.

Then I managed to convince a neighbour who also was a music teacher. It was convenient she lived close by and things were going well. One day she told me her husband was transferred to Yellow Knife, which meant I’d lose the second teacher too.

I don’t know how I got to know another Music teacher, who was teaching in the local high school. He moved from Scotland to Newfoundland. He agreed to teach my daughters too. I was pleased we finally got a permanent teacher.

This time I lost him because he was only allowed to teach in the school, and was not permitted to have private students. This is what he was told by the immigration office, he was not an immigrant. The school employed him and he got a work visa.

Someone in our little town complained. He was given a warning if he did not obey, they will send him home.

I was left with an instrument and no one to teach.

Perhaps destiny was telling me, it had given me enough this one is not written in my future.

I tried one more time, this musician was my student in grade four, she grew up got a music degree and believe it or not lived in a house across the street from mine. I took some lessons from her. She applied to get into medical school, perhaps she was selected. I did not hear from her any more.

Right now my instrument is occupying a corner of the living room, where feline Raphael is having a grand time putting his sandy paw marks, declaring he owns this thing.

Discover Prompts, Day 20 : Music

Discover prompt, Day 20: Music

In Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, Orsinio was so frustrated in his courtship of Olivia, he asked for more music, thinking excessive music will cure his love. I know more food can cure hunger. But Music I do not think can cure love.

I like songs sung by singers who are professionals. There are some songs I like which I can continue to listen several times.

One song that deserves mention is Tagore’s song, ‘Forever Me.’ I listened thirteen times, but did not want to continue because the owner might think I’m crazy.

I still love it but I cannot embed the song because I’m not allowed by the owner.

If I only translate the lyrics and publish it, the reader won’t feel the sound of music,