365 days, June 2: The Zone

Of all the things mentioned, I consider music my favourite. There are a number of songs I love to listen countless times. Come to think of it the lyrics of these songs gives me knowledge that is not available in one book.

In one of the lyrics of a Tagore song the poet talks to the breeze, here is my translation:

Softly softly blow O restless breeze,

The midnight flute is playing,

Be calm be calm O restless breeze

I am a tiny flame of the lamp,

Because of you,

I stay awake alone in fear.

Whisper softly in my ear,

What is on your mind.

I’d like you to bring your string of verse,

From far off land and drop it off ,

In the corner of my house.

I have something to say to the dawn’s star,

Which I secretly wish to whisper in your ear,
O restless breeze.

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365 Days, June 1st: Silver lining

Write about something you consider “Ugly”–war, violence, failure, hatred___ but try to find beauty, or a sense of hope, in your thoughts.

In my several years of teaching there was one occasion when I asked my pupils what they’d like to write on that day, to my surprize more hands were raised in favour of writing about war, violence and hatred. These were mostly boys so I asked the girls to raise their hand if they agreed with the boys. The answer was, “Yes.”

‘Not a good idea’ I said.

I thought they are nine years old this was my opportunity to point out the difference between , war and peace, love and hatred. Whether I convinced them or not, I’m not sure, but I felt at least they know what I thought.

I experienced war, violence, hatred and killing at a very young age. In my mind these words were erased from my memory, until I saw what happened in Minneapolis a week ago.

People are showing their anger by burning down shops, destroying buildings because an innocent man was killed by a cop.

I feel the leaders should try to calm their citizens by making them understand hatred, violence and destruction can never solve problems.

In these trying times the people need someone who can assure them that this kind of murder of an innocent man will never happen.

There is a silver lining to the violence that erupted after the death of George Floyd that the recognition will come in the minds of people who discriminate against people who are of a different colour, ethnicity, religion that enough is enough, it needs to stop, that humans should not be weighed by their race, religion, or colour, but we are all humans created by one Creator.

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Stranger, May 24th

Random Encounter

Yes we did have a fleeting moment with a stranger. It happened when I was living in a hostel in Holy Cross College. One day my self and three girls from the college, got permission from one of our teachers to go see a movie in the city.

We got ready, it was a summer day, the heat was at its peak, we got out of the gate of the college and walked a few yards, we were looking for a baby taxi.

Suddenly a gentleman dressed in a suit and hat approached us. ‘Hello,’ he said, ‘are you going to the stadium to watch the ball game?’

I turned around looked at him and replied, ‘No we aren’t.’

The gentleman then remarked, ‘wherever you’re going I can give you a lift.’

He noticed I looked behind him, I didn’t see any vehicle. He noticed me and announced, ‘my car is coming.’

My fellow students stayed quiet. I did the talking, ‘No thank you we’ll hire a baby taxi.’

Whoever he was left and I had to explain to one of my classmates why I didn’t think it was right for us to take the stranger’s offer. It was Dhaka city and agreeing this weird man’s suggestion was not only unwise but simply Dangerous! I said.

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365 Days, May 22nd

Green-eyed

I tried to think of who I was jealous of and what was the reason behind it. I went back to a time when I was perhaps six years old. One day I noticed a classmate of mine wearing a very pretty three strand necklace, it was made of tiny beads. It caught my attention, somehow I couldn’t forget it and wished I had one. I wasn’t jealous of her at all and neither was I angry.

I’m not sure why I always thought my parents will not be able to afford it. The thought remained tucked away in my mind. I did not lose any sleep over it , but every now and then I dreamed, that necklace will magically appear in my drawer. I never told my parents about it, not even years later.

Many moons passed we moved from Delhi to Rawalpindi. Then moved to Bangladesh when my father passed away. I lived in Comilla , Bangladesh, after high school, I moved to Dhaka. I finished my education in various cities. Fate moved me to Gander Newfoundland. From there to my final destination, St. John’s.

It was here that tucked away dream of the necklace suddenly appeared in my mind. I have a relative who lives in California, USA. She came to visit us. I was telling her about a lot of things, and believe it or not my thoughts went back to my childhood and that necklace. I related the whole story, she got up and said, ‘wait a minute I’ll be back in a minute.’

She came back with a three strand necklace in her hand and gave it to me. It does not resemble the one I saw years ago. But it has three strands.

I guess I wasn’t jealous of my classmate, which is why my wish was fulfilled years later.

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365 Days, May 21st

Bittersweet Memories: Years ago I was invited to a wedding. I cannot recall what kind of food was served or how many people attended this wedding. What I do remember is a sari that one of the invitees was wearing.

I found out that sari was only available in Kolkata. Suddenly I remembered my friend Mini was from Kolkata, she’d be the one who could buy the sari for me.

I wrote a letter to my friend, I described the colour, the material, anything I could think of. She bought a sari and sent it to me. I was excited and tore open the package immediately. I was disappointed it wasn’t the same. I gave up and forgot all about it.

Few more years passed. Then one day a relative of mine came to visit us. She bought some gifts for us. Mine was a sari. The relative said, ‘Ranu if you don’t like it I’ll replace it.’ I opened the package and guess what, it was the exact same sari I wanted years ago.

‘No,’ I said: ‘I wanted this one for a long time.’

Holding this gift brought back bittersweet memories of the day when I longed to have the kind of gift I longed for such a long time. My mind was overwhelmed with getting something that I had given up ever receiving it, my only word was, “WOW, God is great, Shukr alhamdullilah!”

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365 Days: Unconventional Love

The prompt here is one I couldn’t figure out. What is unconventional love I asked myself? Suddenly the door to my mind suddenly opened up. How could I forget JD our cat?

She was the first feline who was introduced by our daughter. I wasn’t keen on having an animal in the house, neither was my husband. We made several attempts to give her away, but couldn’t, she somehow stole our hearts.

Then we had a problem, our other daughter was allergic to animals, it got so bad she was unable to breathe. We were living in Gander at that time. We decided to take her to Gander with us.

In Gander we took her to the veterinarian to get spayed. She was in the kennel for a few hours after the surgery, the vet called us to pick her up, she asked me if we lived in a two storeyed house, ‘no but we have a basement in our house.’

She told me to keep the feline in the basement, her fear was while climbing up the stairs, JD may tear her stitches.

My husband came after work, and asked, ‘where is JD?’

‘In the basement I replied.’

He scurried down the basement, opened the door of the room, sat on the carpet and picked up the feline who let out a sad meow after seeing him.

My husband took JD in his arms and said, “I will let no one leave you in this room.”

From that day onward they had a special bond, he’d buy fresh cod fish for her and I’d bake it. She thought we were the best humans in God’s earth.

After a couple of years we moved to St John’s with JD and another feline Thursday.

Things were going well, but life reminded us joy and sorrow are related and it was our time to taste sorrow. JD became sick, the vet announced the terrible “C” word.

She suffered for few months and one evening she passed away. We were devastated, we arranged to have a Muslim burial, we bought a piece of white material for our beloved feline, wrapped it carefully, and put her in a basket.

My daughter’s friend dug out a piece of land in their backyard. We bid goodbye to her with a short prayer and laid her to rest.

We realized all of us humans and animals are destined to leave this earth when our time comes. JD was no different, but the joy we had for fifteen years with her presence will remain in our hearts forever.

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365 Writing Prompts: Your life, the book

From a famous writer or celebrity ,to a WordPress. com blogger or someone close to you– who would you like to be your biographer?

I cannot think of any writer or a celebrity who’d be interested to write my biography. However one of my friends might attempt it to know more about me that they are not familiar with.

I am confident my friend would write a better biography of me than anyone else.

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365 Writing Prompts: Singular sensation

If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?

The first day I started blogging I had no aim in mind. I wanted to know what it’s about. Now after blogging for over two years, it has become a part of me. I look forward to the prompts and the impression of bloggers who read my writing.

Slowly but surely I am wondering what does it take to write an unbelievable poem like some bloggers I’ve come into contact with or dare to write a story which will attract more bloggers than I have right now. All these are thoughts that I have, when they can come into fruition I wonder.

I have written several five sentence fiction, if I gather these stories  into one long story and publish a book of short stories,will it fulfill my desire ? I don’t know, at this point I am only curious about these things.

I also know just because I’m writing I will not become a novelist overnight, it needs a special skill to be one. Although I do believe if I could use my writing experience and wrote a book of short stories it will definitely give me the kind of confidence I’m lacking at this time.

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365 Writing Prompts: Fandom

Are you a sports fan?Tell us about fandom. If  you’re not ,tell us why not?

You can consider me a sports fan. My number one sports is tennis, I like watching hockey once in a while if it’s a Canadian team playing an European team such as world hockey.

I loved watching the Boston Bruins ice hockey team. I don’t get to see too many of their games, their playing schedule is not convenient for me. Most of their games start at 8 PM eastern which is 9:30 PM where I live. I can only watch one period and then it’s bedtime for me. If I go to bed after one period, the thought lingers in my mind, I wonder who is winning which keeps me awake. This is why I’d rather find out in the scores in the  morning.

However tennis matches are televised during the day, which gives me a chance to watch them. I am a big fan of tennis and among males my favorite is Roger Federer and female Maria Sharapova from Russia and also Garbine Muguruza from Spain. These players are very interesting to watch and they are also very good players. When there is a match on TV when either of them is playing, I sit in front of TV and watch until it’s over.

I watched some live tennis matches in Montreal, it is a lot of fun watching with the spectators.

Another sport I am fond of is figure skating. I watch mainly on TV, I still enjoy it. I know it would be lot more fun watching it live, but it’s not possible. 🙂

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