October: The clothes that (may) make the wo(man)

image from wikipedia

I was never particular about the clothes I wear from a young age. I have not changed. People around me criticize me but I turn a deaf ear. It’s after all my life I tell myself and no one has any right to find fault with what I wear.

I believe those who aren’t happy with themselves try to reprehend others who to them look content.

I guess the phrase ‘mind your business,’ was invented for them.

I had preference for the colour blue, whenever Mom asked, ‘what colour would you like I’m going shopping for your dress.’

My reply was always blue. I don’t know why my older sister would get irritated. On one occasion Mom asked the same question about the colour I prefer. Of course, ‘Blue Mom,’ was my instant reply.

It seems each time my mom or dad asked me a question, my big sister was waiting to contradict me. If I said I like the colour blue, she’d immediately say, ‘Red mom.’

No one asked her, but she’d say her two cents worth any way.

I never picked up any style for instance, if I chose a sari to wear and couldn’t find a blouse to match, I’d pick black or red. Suddenly out of the blue the dear sister’s voice sounds loud and clear, ‘the blouse and sari does not match, Ranu.’

There were comments about me I know not how to wear a sari, I should wear so it could sweep the dusty streets of the city. Well I thought I must make a big sign which says, ‘Y’all Mind Your Business.’

On this subject I’d like to use a quote by my dearest teacher Sr. Rose Bernard. She took me aside one day and said, ‘ Chaman do not feel sad if someone criticizes you, they are jealous of you.’

……………………………………………………… 🙂

365 days : Childlike

My Biggest Regret

Before I talk about my regrets, I’d like to write that I had a mother, who constantly reminded me that lying is the most serious sin in God’s eyes. I’ll never be forgiven if I take this route. However it’s only forgiven if my life is in danger.

Now I’m ready to write about my regrets. I got a job in a residential school when I was twenty three. Before this I taught for eleven months in a school in my town. My friend advised me to teach in the big city. I was interested and had a long interview with the Principal. I had no idea what sort of a man he was. It didn’t take long to find out. I watched him scolding the teachers in the presence of the little kids.

I realized if the head of an institution is nasty to the teachers, then it was impossible to teach in an atmosphere like that. It was an all boys school, and these children came from wealthy parents, therefore if they hear their principal humiliating the teachers, they’ll have no respect for them.

Ten days later I told myself it’s time I took some action. I decided to resign. I took my letter and handed it to the principal. He read it a few times and asked, ‘Is this a resignation letter?’

I said ‘yes.’

‘Why do you want to resign after only ten days?’

Instead of telling him, ‘I do not like it here,”

I should have said, ‘You insult the teachers in the children’s presence and I find it objectionable.’

I regret I didn’t stand up to him and told the truth. I ended up teaching for two years and three months in the above school. I also missed my chance of studying M.ED. which was always my dream.

I taught in other schools which I liked.

I met several personalities good and others who liked to criticize me. I knew what they were up to, they wanted to make me miserable. I’m not sure what benefit they got from it, other than exposing their evil nature.

I’ve regretted so many things that happened to me. They’re countless and I did not deserve any of it.

So I end with Joni Mitchell’s words:

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall,

I really don’t know life at all!”


365 days: No Fair

Tell us about something you think is terribly unfair— and explain how you would rectify it.

I think it’s terribly unfair to discriminate anyone because of his/her race, religion, or parentage.

In my mind we were created by a single Creator, who probably didn’t realize that any of the above reason would be an obstacle on his/her path of success.

I once faced a different kind of obstacle when I wanted to register in an M.ED research institute as a student. The head of the department told me, ‘You are too young to be admitted.’

I was not ready to accept his verdict. I told him : I completed my B.ED degree successfully, which is a prerequisite to register for M.ED.

He smiled and said, ‘the prerequisites are you have to be thirty five years old with at least two years of teaching experience.’

I wasn’t going to give up, I retorted, ‘I’m twenty-two, I may not qualify age wise, it doesn’t mean you’ll deny me an admission because of it. It isn’t fair.’

He looked at me and I felt he thought, if she’s so confident of herself let me test her.

He told me to sit for the tests they were giving the next day, if I pass they’ll take me.

A week later I received a letter which said, they were happy to register me in the course.

They overlooked the fact that I was thirteen years younger with no teaching experience. I realized that day, one has to let the interviewer know you are serious and will not give up until the administration gives you a chance.


365 Days: I pledge Allegiance

Before I write what being patriotic means to me. I’d like to present the poem by Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead,

Who never to himself hath said,

‘This is my own my native land!’

Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d

As home his footsteps he hath turn’d

From wandering on a foreign land?

If such there breathe, go, mark him well;

For him no Minstrel raptures swell;

High though his titles, proud his name,

Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;

Despite those titles, power, and pelf,

The wretch concentrated all in self,

Living shall forfeit fair renown,

And, double dying, shall go down

To the vile dust from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.


Now the answer to the question: Am I patriotic? Yes I am.

To me patriotic means, I should be loyal to my country.

I must love my country and have the desire for my nation to succeed. I should show my love by flying my country’s flag.

In any debate regarding my country, I should listen to both parties, instead of picking one and ignore the other.

In any election federal or provincial, I must vote for the one which shows more promise of helping my country prosper.

Leaders in any election try to convince the voters they’re the best and should be elected. We as voters have to exercise our right to vote wisely. We must vote for the party that is not corrupt, it is our patriotic duty to use our right to get rid of a corrupt party which will ruin our country.


365 days: A little Sneaky?

Writing Prompts, sneaky?

No not at all. I find WordPress prompts very useful. I do not think it’s limiting either. We are given either one word prompt or a sentence. For me it opens the door to write whatever I want.

It’s up to me to use the prompt anyway I want. A little sneaky? Reminds me of current and past politicians. Some will try to take advantage of the position they get. Some build up their wealth, while showing their opponents as ones who will destroy the country if we the voters make the mistake of voting for his opponent.

These words should give us the signal that this guy is dangerous. But we’re so gullible we believe everything they say and keep listening and voting for him/her.

I’m not a politician and I disliked politics since I was fourteen. I know of one who after getting elected ordered a brand new car from abroad. While he’s dreaming of his shiny car, there are millions of people in his country who are starving to death.

Then another who went to a country and presented himself as a billionaire, who was ready to change the acres of a land to a paradise, where there will be thousands of jobs. Did he fool the government? Yes, imagine someone a stranger no less was able to convince a foreign government that one of its citizen is plotting against him.

It gets better the guy who was a citizen was imprisoned by his own government. When I heard it I thought, what a con man!

I have my own experience of meeting such a man. Here it is: On a bright sunny morning, there was a knock on our door. I opened the door to a stranger, as I was about to close the door, he recited a vey important verse from our religion. Mom heard it and yelled; Ranu let him in. I did.

He started by telling my mom that my eldest sister is like a beautiful flower in the garden. Mom was impressed, she invited him to take a seat. He started telling her, he felt sad to see a widow at such a young age, that he knew how to make her wealthy.

My mom and my sister were convinced, that this is some Angel who was going to make mom rich in a jiffy.

I wasn’t convinced, my mom told me to be quiet and stop making any kind of negative comment. I watched her going back and forth from the living room to the bedroom. She took out a handful of cash to give this guy.

When he collected enough money, he pointed at a corner of the living room, he said: He can see a lot of cash under it. She should break the cement where she’ll find a lot of money.

He also warned her not to look back when he leaves. I don’t know what it meant. He promised her he’d come back to see her, but she won’t recognize him.

When he left, I told my mom, ‘he deceived you, he will never come back.’

I was right we never saw that con man. 🙂

Be warned a crooked politician is a little sneaky when he spends most of his time putting down his opponent. Ask yourself what has he done for his country anything or Nothing! 😦

365 days: Come once more dear friend(third line of the last song)

Come Once More Dear Friend

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Let us talk about the past,

the good old days,

when we laughed and sang


when our history prof. asked,

who copied whom?

I looked at you in awe,

You copied my tutorial word for word,

although you said you’ll only check,

how I wrote mine and you promised,

you won’t copy.

I forgave you because,

friends don’t tattle about each other.

Remember the time your sister,

sent cooked beef for us,

the matron asked what it is,

we just laughed.

we didn’t want to tell,

it was beef,

for in her religion they,

do not eat beef.

All those days, months and years,

Passed like a hurricane,

now I live so far away,

I wonder shall we ever,

see each other again?


The title is the lyrics from the third line of one of Tagore’s song.

365 days: Funny ha.. ha

I don’t know if I consider myself funny. I have from time to time tried to entertain the kids I taught in school. When I felt the kids were dozing off, listening to some of the boring texts I had to explain. I’d watch the kids yawn. In my mind it hardly works if I yelled and said, ‘stop yawning,’ they’d sit up and then were back doing the same thing.

If I said something funny, I’d hear one kid’s soft laugh, then the next and the next, pretty soon all the kids were roaring with laughter. Minutes later I find my trick worked. Everyone sits straight, the kids are very much awake and ready to hear the rest of my sermon.

I did have my favourite comedians, Abbott and Costello, one was bulky, the other one the opposite. Sometimes their appearance on TV, made me laugh, there was such a contrast in their way of speaking and their figure. It was hard not to laugh.

Here they are:

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Abbott and Costello


365 days: Name that…. you

My name is Chaman. It means a garden. My name was chosen by a good friend of my parents.

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Although I don’t know why I was named Chaman. I can guess the reason. I was always a very happy child. I loved helping my mom with a variety of chores. Whenever mom needed something immediately, I was the one she called.

One day she was sewing something the thread broke, my mom yelled out, I ran to see who did what, to my utter dismay the thread of the needle broke, to continue her chore she wanted someone to thread the needle. I quickly solved her problem and ran out to play with my siblings.

My Dad came to me once, he wanted my assistance to do a simple chore, perhaps he could not trust anyone but me. He wanted me to open the latch of the door early in the morning.

Wow, I thought but Bari can do it. ‘No he brings me bad luck,’ Dad said.

How did Bari opening the door brings bad luck to my father. I didn’t ask the question, my facial expression gave away what I was thinking.

Dad knew I was confused. He explained to me, ‘Yesterday while pulling the door latch he made a noise, I woke up and saw Bari’s face, that day everything went wrong. I cannot have another day of bad luck.’

I think my name suits me. Because my name means garden, which is a very happy place. There are pretty flowers, many colourful butterflies are seen moving around showing off their fancy wings. The green grass and the tall Eucalyptus trees add to the beauty of the garden. Young children run around happily without fear.

I was a very happy person. the world has changed so much, no one looks happy anymore they are always afraid.

Nature is unhappy, to teach us a lesson, it gives us storms, earthquakes, diseases which is killing human beings, thousands are dying. There are people at the helm trying to convince humans this is fake, hoax. How can it be fake or hoax when we are watching every day millions are getting infected and thousands dying.

Unless we the people stop corruption, and try to admit the fact that climate change is real. Our way of life is polluting the planet. If we don’t change we will be wiped out like the dinosaurs.

Tagore song: translated by Ranu


The Pole star asked me,

How long will I take

To find my direction.

I could not give a reply,

Because I spent my life,

looking for it.

It seemed someone lovingly,

arranged a light for me,

To enable the Sun to set.

While falsely revolving,

round my shadow,

I suddenly discovered,

you and I are lost.

I do not look for direction,

it looks for me.

My mind understands,

without knowing

what it understands.

Everything moves around me,

I’m the only one,

thirsty and motionless.

The Pole star asked me,

how long will I take to ,

To find my direction.

I could not give a reply,

Because I spent my life,

Looking for it.

………………………………………… ?

365 days: Off Limits

This is a quote by Charlie Chaplin: A day without laughter is a day wasted.

I agree laughter is the best medicine for us. There are times in our lives when laughter does not heal a bereaved soul.

One sunny day in summer, I watched my father dying. I did not understand what was happening, I saw mom crying and praying, my older siblings were speechless.

The only voice I heard was the doctor’s, ‘I do not take money from a dead man.’

The next few days were unbearable. One of my older siblings fainted each time we mentioned the word Dad. He could not sleep for days. Mom told him to recite the Arabic sentence, ” Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim.”( In the name of God, the Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.)He repeated these words daily, to help him sleep.

I recall spending days wondering what will happen to us. Fun and laughter seemed to desert us forever.

It took a while for us to return to normal life. When Dad passed away I was twelve years old, it was a time when death did not enter my vocabulary. I always felt what I saw is not true, dad will come back.

When I think of this incident today I’m surprised how we carried on all these years without the most important person in our life.

These days I watch TV, and laugh, at the stupidity of some people, “Making mountains out of Molehills.”

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