Daily Prompt: The Early Years

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Write page three of your autobiography.

Six months after my father passed away, we packed our bags and left Rawalpindi and arrived in Dhaka city, capital of Bangladesh. We stayed with my Dad’s youngest brother for a few days.

My eldest brother made arrangements to go by train to my maternal grandpa’s village home. We stayed in grandpa’s home for almost a year.

My brother took several trips to the little town named Comilla in Bangladesh. After months of looking around he found a home which in his estimation, was perfect for us. He bought the house and came back to the village to take us, my mom and the siblings to live in our new home.

It was nothing extraordinary it was a relatively smaller house than the one we lived in Rawalpindi. My mom was happy, we the siblings felt all right, it was a home we had to get used to , that we did in a very short time.

Next thing was to find a school for us to get registered in, my brother located a school which was near our home.It was run by nuns, they offered both English and Bengali medium of instruction.

The school was divided into two sections, one was for students who registered for English medium, the other one was  for Bengali medium students.

My brother told me to take my siblings to school to get registered , the three older ones for English medium and the two younger ones in Bengali medium. Upon questioning my brother’s intentions for  registering the siblings in two different mediums, I was told it was cost effective. I was fourteen then and didn’t quite comprehend what he meant, but did as I was told.

I was yet to know what will happen to me, the school only had up to six grades, I could not register in a lower grade because I was in third standard when we left Rawalpindi, it was equivalent to grade eight. My brother hired a tutor to coach me at home to prepare me for high school exams privately.

The tutor’s whole appearance gave me a very negative attitude, his demeanor, the way he spoke, his English pronunciation, everything was distasteful to me.

After about three days I announced I did not want a tutor, I’ll study by myself. My brother was not convinced he arranged with one of the nuns in the school where my younger siblings were studying to give me private lessons once or twice a week.

The Principal agreed, my attitude towards homework annoyed them, they declared they didn’t have enough time to give me private lessons.

I was glad with my freedom from two tutors I knew were not capable of helping me, and the fees they charged was more than my mom could afford.

Thus began my journey of helping myself to get through the ordeal of preparation for high school exams or face the possibility of ending up married to someone who’d be close to my Dad’s age. It wasn’t a rosy picture for me.

I wrote page three of my autobiography. For now I’ll end here. If anyone is interested I’d be more than glad to continue!

…………………………………… 🙂

Just my writing: As others see us

The title of one of the books in our ,”Teaching English As A Foreign language,” was ,’As Others see us’. We had fun reading some of the things pointed out by foreign travelers to the city of London, England.

A gentleman  was visiting London from somewhere in Africa. On his first day in London, he went to see the famous tube station , “King’s Cross”, not long after he arrived, he noticed a train coming in , it made a moments stop the doors opened, hundreds of passengers came out with long umbrellas which to him looked like guns, he thought all those people were  pointing at him and were coming to attack him, without waiting even a second, he ran to the exit and disappeared.

On another occasion there was another traveler  visiting London for the first time. At 6 pm he walked out of his hotel to see what the  evenings in London’s residential area looked like.

He walked along a posh neighborhood street, as he was walking he noticed the drapes of  houses were drawn, the street was dark.

When asked about his impression of the city, he smiled and said,”I would call it a dead city.”

I wanted to make a comparison of London with Dhaka city.

Dhaka as you know is in Bangladesh, it’s the capital. I went a few years ago, I could not believe how different it was when I lived there.

Now the city is several times larger and there is no law and order anywhere, on the streets, neighborhood, shopping, one just has to pretend it will be okay, but is it?

You will find all kinds of vehicles moving on the most important roads, there is the rickshaw driver taking his time peddling with a passenger or two, the shepherd is going along the road with his herd of cattle. There are public buses, that look like giants driven by  lunatics . They have a man who tells everyone to move to be safe.

There are private cars, school buses, cabs, auto rickshaws , then there are pedestrians who probably pray all the time they are on the road so they are not killed.

I was appalled by the situation, we do have travelers who visit the city, I wonder what kind of impression they take home with them.

The best part is there are traffic lights, but  no one follows them, when it is red the vehicles  start moving. I ask the question, “why do they have lights if they are not going to obey?”

You’d be surprised what one of them said to me, “At least we have lights!”

“For what”? I asked.

He could not answer my question.

I sat and wondered, which is better a quiet residential area at 6 pm in the evening or the roads of a city with noisy bus drivers,all kinds of vehicles, from a rickshaw to a cab, to shepherds with their cattle and those innocent pedestrians, who cannot be sure  they will arrive home safely.

If I had to give my honest opinion I’d say, “No wonder we are one of the developing countries!”

……………………………………… 🙂

365 writing prompt: Evasive action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

As far as I know, I do not keep secrets, and there was no incidence of me keeping a secret significant or otherwise. Therefore the possibility of coming out does not exist.

My husband always told me I must never give my recipes to anyone, that way they can only taste my food when they visit me.

I remember one of my neighbors from India wanted my recipe for a very famous dessert we have in Bangladesh. I went to her house prepared the dessert for her while she was watching. She could not make it the way I did,this is what she told me.

I know for a fact it does not matter if I give my so called secret recipes, they are unable to duplicate it , this is true with everyone not just me. There is some kind of magic in our hands we all have, even with the same recipe, ingredients and what have you, it does not taste the same.

The question is, does theirs taste better? No, it doesn’t even taste the same. This is what they tell me.

………………………………… 🙂

DP Daily Prompt: From the Collection of the Artist

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A hundred years from now, a major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was during our current historic period. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?

Culture and life in Bangladesh 21st century: Bangladesh is mostly ethnically homogeneous, 98.5% are of Bangladeshis are of the Bengali ethno-linguistic group. 98 % of Bangladeshis are fluent in standard Bengali or Bengali dialects as their first language.Charyapada.jpg (650×95)

Religion: Majority of Bangladeshis are Muslims and constitute 86% of the population, followed by Hindus 12%, those who practiced other religions are only 1%.

The culture of Bangladesh is composite and over the centuries has assimilated influences of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.

It has manifested in various forms, including music, dance, drama , Arts and Crafts; folklore  and folktale; languages and literature; Philosophy and Religion, ; festivals and celebrations as well as distinct cuisine and culinary tradition.

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Festivals and dance styles of Bangladesh may be divided into three categories such as classical,folk and modern.Festival celebrations are Pohela baisakh, Independence Day, Eid-al Fitr, Eid-al- adha, Durga Puja and Language movement Day.

Eid Congregation

 

 

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Cuisine:Fish and Rice are the staple food of Bangladesh

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This is a preparation of rice for special occasions, normally Bengalis eat boiled rice with fish.

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https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/dp-daily-promp…-of-the-artist

 

All the images are from Wikipedia.

 

 

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DP Daily Prompt: In loving Memory

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I will not write an obituary of me, instead I will write about the little town where we lived and grew up.

The town is Comilla, it’s in Bangladesh. It was a very quiet peaceful town when we went there to live. Thakurpara was the name of the neighborhood , I guess it was a neighborhood where most of the people were mostly Hindus, so the name Thakurpara was appropriate.

Our neighborhood was full of small ponds where the people spend time swimming and hanging out to get relief from the hot summer.

Transportation used mostly were rickshaws, we enjoyed visiting our aunts and uncles in rickshaws. There was one rickshaw driver who had a bad temper, he got into arguments with his passengers. Everyone knew him and they tried not to hire him. Most of them were very nice.

There were vendors who sold, vegetables, fish and chicken. It was convenient because we all could buy food from them without having to go to shops.

My mom had to go in a rickshaw to buy rice, sugar, tea and other things from the shops in the bazaar.

With the increase in population, there are hardly any open spaces, there are shops everywhere.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/dp-daily-promp…-loving-memory

Wikipedia images of Comilla, Bangladesh.

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DP Daily Prompt: Teacher’s Pet

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Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

After completing my post graduate degree, I decided to register for the B.Ed. degree in a town named Mymensingh in Bangladesh. My classmate and I took the train from Dhaka city to Mymensingh.

We arrived in the afternoon and went straight to the Training College, we met the Principal, she didn’t seem to appreciate us arriving in her college without notice,what was worse we were two months late.

She asked us why we were late and why didn’t we apply before we landed in her office. I explained we were doing our exams, and could not contact her earlier. She seemed to understand, and said, she was impressed by our guts,even though all the places were filled she’d make arrangements to admit us by cancelling the registration of two other students who had registered before us . The Vice-Principal tried to convince her it wasn’t fair, but the principal stuck to her decision.

We were taken to show all the classrooms and where we’d be staying. As I was walking along I noticed the building was dark and looked like a ghost house, I was disappointed I was not happy that I’d have to stay there a whole year.

We went back to Dhaka ,we had a part of our exam left. I thought about my decision to study B.Ed. in that ghostly building. Back in Dhaka for some reason I got hold of the newspaper and read vacancies in different fields of education, it did not motivate me until I saw an ad of scholarships offered to students interested in various fields, mine was education, to my absolute delight scholarships were offered in my field i.e., education was on the list as well.

I tore off a piece from the newspaper, next day I wrote a letter to the authorities stating my interest in education, two weeks later I received a letter informing me to go for an interview.

I did not tell anyone in my family about it, to be called for an interview in my mind does not guarantee anything, my mom or siblings need not know about this was what I thought.

On the day of the interview I reached the place on time, I said the prayer my mom taught me whenever I needed help. When my name was called I was scared of rejection, but said my prayer again and entered the office. There were three or four of them, they asked me all sorts of questions which I answered. I was not confident I will get the scholarship,but I knew I have a place in Mymensingh if this one fell through.

About a week later I received a registered letter informing me I was selected for the scholarship.

I went to Comilla,Bangladesh my home town to give my mom and my siblings the good news. A week later I flew to Lahore, and went to the college where arrangement was made for me to register in the course.

At first I was happy because compared to that ghostly building this college was large and the students were friendly.It was probably the same evening or a day later, I felt very homesick, I missed my mom and my siblings. I could not imagine staying a whole year in this college without seeing my family.

When I thought I would not be able to concentrate, because I felt so lonely. I spoke to one of the teachers I told her I did not want the degree I just want to go home. She looked at me, smiled and said, “No chaman we have made up our mind we will not send you home without the degree,go back to your room and get ready to start attending your classes.”

I knew the verdict was firm and I must never bring up the subject anymore.

The girls in the college were very friendly, the residents and the non-residents made it a point to see me daily, and took me to different places in the city. Thanks to these friends and teachers I was able to complete the course successfully.

Now when I look back and recall those days I’m thankful to the teacher who was firm with me, had she given up on me I would not have qualified to be a teacher, I’d miss teaching all those wonderful kids who made teaching fun for me!

https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/dp-daily-prompt-teachers-pet/

DP Daily Prompts: My Hero

Who’s your Hero? Tell us a story about why that person plays such an important role in your life.

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After my father passed away, my mother took care of us, she cooked for us, she kept our house in order. She looked after our needs and made sure we had everything, i.e, clothes,books,  and a safe environment.

My Dad left sufficient funds in my mother’s name. My mother used some of the money to buy  a house in Comilla, it’s a small town in Bangladesh, we grew up there.

My mom was a very religious lady, she told me stories of the Prophet, and taught all of us that we must never tell a lie. A lie is never forgiven by God unless our life is in danger.

She reminded us that if we  do not like someone we  must never talk behind his/her back.

She was a very kind lady, the beggars who came to our house called her Ma, my mother fed them when they asked for food.

One evening someone came to our house and said, “Ma please give me some food.”

My mom immediately sent the food for this person, she was curious she knew no one comes this late in the evening and asks for food, out of curiosity she opened the door to see who it was, she was surprised to see the rickshaw driver eating, when she asked him why he begged for food at that hour, he said he finished his job , he was hungry, he knew if he came to our house my mom will give him something to eat.

My mom had a very important role in our lives, she was always there when we needed her. She filled the role of a Mom and a Dad.

https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/dp-daily-prompts-my-hero

 

DP Daily Prompt: Make It Anywhere

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“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.

I did not exactly think, “If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere,” after completing my education I was confident, I’d get a job teaching anywhere in Dhaka city. I thought that due to the fact I had the required qualification.

I had proved that time and time again, I was right. I applied in several schools each time I was selected for the job.It was in Bangladesh.

When I moved to Canada to join my husband, it was no longer true. There were various reasons why my thought was no longer valid such as: I was an immigrant, I was a complete stranger and I was not a Caucasian also I was over-qualified. The last one confused me the most, the word over-qualified brought me down to reality. Are they telling me somehow I’m not eligible to teach because I have too many degrees, can this be a determining factor?

Where I come from they are ready to offer you a job if you are highly qualified, they don’t even call you for an interview. How can it be so different here?

I smiled and told the principal, “it is not a bad thing to be educated or is it?”

He smiled and said nothing.

I did get a job after a few months, but the initial reaction of these people confused me!

k: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/12/05/dp-daily-promp…ke-it-anywhere

Dreams posted by Ranu

Today’s writing prompt was write a post about how far we traveled from our home. I’ve already done this in July 2014. Instead of repeating the same post I’ve decided to write about dreams and the confusing dream I had recently.

Dreams mainly occur in the rapid eye movement(REM) stage of sleep– when brain activity is high and resembles that of being awake. Rem sleep is revealed  ,by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep.

People are more likely to remember the dream if they are awakened during the Rem phase.

A few days ago I dreamed I had an interview for a job, I was thinking whether I should go to the interview, suddenly in my dream I made up my mind to go. It seemed to me it  was not too far from my home.

On my way I stopped at an unknown house and asked two little kids whom I had never known if they’d like to go with me   Strangely enough they agreed .Three of us were walking, without knowing where we were going, the kids were following me, they didn’t ask any questions.

In my mind I knew where it was and I was walking,  where I thought it was, was in Gander where I used to live.

We stopped and went into a house to ask for help, one of the men whom I never met offered to take us there in his wooden car. We got in as he was driving along I saw a building, I quickly exclaimed, “that’s Bait ul Mukarram, I know now which way we should go!”

Then in my dream I was thinking, it doesn’t make sense, ‘Bait-ul Mukarram’ is in Dhaka, Bangladesh, how can I be there, I live in Canada?

I was disoriented, I could not think anymore, I opened my eyes and found me in my bed, I was trying to think what the name of my street was.

Why I dreamed all this I have no idea, unless it was the effect of the flu’ shot I had a day ago.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/dreams-posted-by-ranu/

365 Writing Prompts:The excitement never ends

Tell us about the last thing you got excited about–butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t- wait excited.

I was visiting Dhaka ,Bangladesh after a few years. I hadn’t seen my siblings for all that time. It was a long flight it didn’t matter to me the thought I’d have the opportunity to see my siblings and their children excited me the most, every time the plane landed at a stop I felt I was getting closer to home.

Finally the plane landed at Dhaka airport, I couldn’t wait to get out and walk into the building where my sister was waiting. I filled in some forms, picked up my luggage and met my other siblings waiting for me in the car.

After going through a truly crazy traffic we finally reached home.

Although I lost many hours of sleep while traveling, I didn’t mind staying up and catching up on all the stories I wasn’t a part of!

https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/365-writing-prompts