Daily Prompt: Take a Chance on Me

pad2015-s1.png (308×60)

What’s the biggest chance you ever took?did it work out? Do tell!

We all take chances on a lot of things, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, keeping this in mind, I applied for a British Council Scholarship to study in London,UK .

I was aware there were a lot of applicants for this particular scholarship. I had three years experience in teaching,which was not enough to qualify for a scholarship. I was bold young and didn’t mind the fact I could be rejected.

Someone told me there were thousands of applicants , and they screen the candidates for interview.  I thought perhaps I may not be called for an interview. I kept this a secret from my Mom and the siblings. I knew mom wouldn’t make fun of me, my siblings were different.

The principal where I was teaching called me one day and gave me the news of my interview. It seems the secretary called him and told him about it. The interview letter hadn’t come yet.

I was happy when I got the letter. I was scared about going for the interview.

On the day of the interview the secretary told me to wait outside her office. While waiting  I saw my older sister, she  was visiting the office for something. “What are you doing here was her question?”

Before I could reply, the secretary replied, “She is a candidate for the scholarship.”

My sister was surprised but left the building hurriedly.

I waited a few more minutes, then I was called in . There were seven of them sitting around a large oval table, someone told me to take a seat. As soon as I sat, the interviewers started asking questions. I cannot recall what they asked and how I answered. I was relieved when it was over.

Two weeks later the mailman brought a large thick envelope, my younger siblings were curious, I didn’t tell them anything about the scholarship.

When I opened the letter, I found a letter informing me I was selected and the tickets. I could not believe I got the scholarship!

……………………………. 🙂

Writing 101,Day Four, Serially lost

Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss,something( or someone) that was a part of your life, and isn’t any more.

I had just completed ‘Bachelor Of Education, from Punjab university”. I was back in Dhaka my original home. My next plan was to visit the,”M.Ed. Research Institute” to register for the course. I had no doubt in my mind I’d be able to since I had the prerequisite required to get in was a B.Ed degree which I successfully completed.

I was young and did not know that despite the degree there were other requirements, I did not have, thus I was not qualified to get admitted in the program.

I got an appointment to see Prof. Dr. Elliott, the head of the institute, I must have sounded quite bold, Professor Elliott looked at me, he smiled and said: “B.Ed. is not enough, you need teaching experience and you are too young.”

I remember pleading with him Please Dr. Elliott I said,”No one told me I need teaching experience, all they told me was get your B.Ed. degree and I did.”

My facial expression must have softened Dr. Elliott’s heart, he immediately said, “go to the admissions office and ask for the tests.”

I was delighted to know I may have  a chance if I pass these tests. After completing the tests I waited to know the outcome.

I was selected, this news made me so happy I would have screamed and told everyone who’d listen, I am selected.

Little did I know at that time, good and bad news travel together. I went back to the school I had just started teaching, I handed in my resignation, I told them I was accepted to study M.Ed. at the research institute.

The Principal must have thought, ” you naive young woman, you cannot leave, you have signed a contract.”

I felt dejected, I wrote to the institute, I’m not allowed to leave the job now, but I was certain I’d be able to register next year. I received a letter saying they’d hold my spot for next year.

I considered myself very lucky, I waited for the year to be over and I’d be able to start my studies at the institute.

One day I went to the staff room to get the newspaper, I had the habit of looking through the classified section, what I saw completely amazed me: The headline was, “British Council Scholarships”I knew there will be thousands of applicants but I felt why not I apply, I told myself, I did not stand a chance, I still went ahead and applied. I was always interested to study in England, but I had no financial backing, so I kept my feelings in check.

To my utter disbelief I received a letter advising me to come for an interview.

I presented myself accordingly, there were seven of them, all eyes were on me.I tried hard to look at the walls, I knew if I looked at any of them it would be all over,I would freeze, the questions continued to be directed at me. I know I answered all of them, but what I said or what they asked was completely blanked out of my memory.

My joy knew no bounds when I received a letter of acceptance and the tickets to fly to London, Heathrow.

I’d have to wait another year to register at the institute,was I feeling the loss of studying at the institute, not yet , they had given me another year to register.

Fate was playing a trick on me, I was back from London after a year, I should get myself registered for the course I thought, if I failed to go this time the Institute and Professor Elliott will give up  and I will not get another chance. This time I got married and this ended my quest for studying M.Ed.





365 Written Prompt: Cliche

Cliches become cliches for a reason.Tell us about the last time ‘A bird in the hand was worth two in the bush’ for you.

Years ago when I was new in the teaching profession I was promised a lot of things which were never meant to be fulfilled. I was in my early twenties, I took a job in a “Residential Model School” and I was told it was a step in the right direction.

Ten days after I joined the school, I was ready to quit. I found the principal too overbearing I felt I must leave this place immediately or I’ll forever hate the teaching profession. With this intention, I wrote a resignation letter and  took it to him, he looked at it and showed a puzzled look , “Is this a resignation letter he said.”

I nodded my head indicating yes, it is.

He then started cross examining me, “It’s only been ten days you’ve joined this school, what could have happened in such a short time?”

I did not have the guts to tell him, “You are the reason.”

Two years passed since that day, I was still teaching in the same school. I was looking for an opportunity to get out of that awful place. Luckily I saw an ad of opportunity to study in UK offered by the British council. I wrote my application and sent it directly to the office, indicating I had the intention of sending another one through the school, which was the usual procedure. My excuse I was afraid it may not make the deadline if I sent it through the school.My fear was the principal may delay sending it to reach it  on time.

The council was okay with this and when the application came through the school a few days later it didn’t matter.

The council phoned the school and told the principal I was selected for the interview and they already sent me a letter giving the time and place where I’d have to go for the interview.

About two months later I received a thick envelope by mail, informing me I was selected to study English as a foreign language in the Institute of education, university of London UK. I was overjoyed not only I’d finally leave this school but I will also get a chance to study in UK.

After this the principal came to me he wanted me to refuse the scholarship, he said, “Wait two more years, we will send you to UK for higher studies.”

I looked at him said nothing, in  my mind  the words, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  was ringing loudly!

k: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/365-written-prompt-cliche/



365 Writing Prompts: Land of Confusion

Tell us about a time when you felt out of place.

There were a lot of times when I felt out of place. Once I went to a party arranged by the ‘British Council’ I had no idea what sort of party it was. It was held in a large hall, I was about to enter the hall when  I was stopped by a sweet lady, she was carrying a large round tray full of drinks, she  asked me, “would you care for a drink?”

My facial expression must have alerted her to offer something different, she quickly changed her tone and said,”you can have tomato juice, you know.”

I thanked her and helped myself to a glass of tomato juice. I was out of place that day, everyone was drinking  liquor, I was the only one drinking tomato juice!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/365-writing-pr…d-of-confusion/

365 Writing Prompts: Back to the future

Anachronism(noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place, or recount a time when you felt out of place.

There were many occasions when I felt out of place either I was among people who were younger than me or a room full of women much older than I was.

Once I was invited to tea in London,  England, by who I cannot recall,it was arranged by ‘British Council’ because I was a student, studying ‘English as a Foreign Language’, the council was trying to make me get used to my new environment.

I went to this delightful place and found out I was late ,everyone else was drinking their tea and goodies and were immersed in conversation, one gentle lady showed me where I could sit, if she hadn’t I know I would have hidden myself in the corner, biding my time as soon as the opportunity presented itself to get out and walk away. the kind lady did not let it happen. Once she took care of her duty I was left alone to take care of myself.

I looked around, all the ladies were deep in conversation, I felt uneasy there wasn’t one soul whom I could talk to, they looked like fashionable aristocrat ladies wearing their finest hats and gorgeous dresses, I clearly was a misfit, wearing a sari and didn’t have stylish hat on, and to make matters worse I was a student from Bangladesh and much younger than them. Someone gave a cursory look and most certainly informed the ladies, I was the one who arrived late,how unmannerly of me.

At that point I wasn’t in a mood to eat or drink anything, I was anxious to get out of this stuffy environment. At around 4:30 pm they vanished, I was alone I thought I must leave or else someone will tell me the party is over and I must get out of this place.

I  was completely out of place that day, my attire, my age, where I came from, was different, the ladies were not in a mood to strike up a conversation with me, I left keeping in mind I do not have to go to an unknown place full of unfriendly people, to oblige the council!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/365-writing-pr…-to-the-future/   

DP Daily Prompt: Against All Odds

pad2014-s.png (308×60)

I had just  completed my M.A and B.ed.,degrees and took a teaching position in a local school. I always wanted to go to England to study. Financially I was not solvent to be able to study there.

My only hope was to see if I could get a scholarship. I was never sure it was possible to get one. I did not stop dreaming. One day I was reading a newspaper which I did frequently to look for opportunities to get a better job or maybe something about scholarship. I was very secretive about my quest, one my colleagues may discourage me or if my siblings found out they’d make fun of me, these were the two things which stopped me from telling anyone.

To my absolute joy I found exactly what I was looking for. The British Council was offering scholarships to study in London,England. I was happy I’d get a chance to apply. It didn’t mean I’d be successful. I was told there were thousands of applicants.  Out of that number, they pick only one thousand. I was getting this news from my colleagues who knew nothing about my application. They may have suspected, I certainly was tight lipped about it.

My secret did not last long, the secretary called my principal and told him I was selected for an interview. He of course wasn’t thrilled to know this, he discouraged me,he said they (the school) was planning to send me in a couple of years. I told him it’s only an interview it doesn’t guarantee anything. Inwardly my joy knew no bounds,I was cautiously optimistic and that was all.

On the day of the interview I was nervous, I sat outside the door of the conference room and wondered what kind of fate awaits me.When I was called in, I walked in slowly, I could feel my heart beating, I was told to sit,which I did. There were about seven gentleman sitting around the oval table. I must have looked somewhat puny in comparison to them.

The barrage of questions started ,I could barely answer one and  another one was asked by a different person. This kept on going for at least thirty minutes. When they told me that was all. I couldn’t imagine what the verdict would be. I was glad to be out of that room . I tried to take my mind off from this interrogation and consoled myself by saying, not everyone is lucky and I certainly could not count myself as belonging to that group.

My luck ran out when I lost my Dad at age twelve. My mother always encouraged us to be optimistic. It was probably why I applied for the scholarship.

Two weeks after this I received a large envelope from the council,I was afraid to open it first,then I said to myself, maybe they’ll say they are sorry they couldn’t select me. When I opened the envelope, the tickets fell out, I could not believe I was selected. Next few days were spent getting ready. I did not mind it, it was the best day of my life!!


DP daily Prompt: Land of Confusion Ranu’s post

London Underground roundel logo

London Underground roundel logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Snow in Russell Square. Unusual sight...

English: Snow in Russell Square. Unusual sight for London, a London bus stands snow topped at the side of Russell Square Gardens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was once invited to a tea party in London,England. The invitation was organized by British Council for new students who were in London on a British Council scholarship.

My supervisor told me I should accept all the invitations that come my way. It was according to her the best way of knowing a variety of people.

When I received the invitation for tea,I gladly accepted. At first I had no idea how the underground system worked,I took a map and figured out which line I should take.

I reached my destination on time. I saw some delightful ladies,wearing their fashionable dresses and hats. This put me out of place right away. I was wearing a sari,a very ordinary one. I could feel my face warm,I told myself,”it’s okay Ranu, Sari is the dress of your country,do not be embarrassed,they’ll know by looking at you,you are from India”. It wasn’t satisfactory for me,my country is Bangladesh. I let it go and looked around for a spot to sit. The ladies were deep in conversation,I was aware they did not bother to look at me,a mere insignificant woman disturbing their privacy. Someone came to me and offered tea and biscuits.I took the cup of tea and a biscuit and started to drink my tea as quietly as possible. I was afraid my breathing will cause the ladies to give me an evil eye.

Suddenly I saw some snow flakes falling.The ladies were excited they were giggling and laughing. I watched the snow, it disappeared when it hit the ground. I was a bit afraid,My dress was not perfect to welcome snow,I’d be cold and to make things worse I’d have to walk a reasonable length to get to the tube station.

When the party was over,the ladies left promptly,leaving me bewildered and anxious,I was thinking who will I thank. No one came forward I quietly left the place,walked a few yards to the underground station ,took the train to Russell Square and came back to Goodenough College. I breathed a sigh of relief when I came into my room.

DP Daily Prompt: The Excitement Never Ends Post by Ranu


London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

It happened a while ago. I always dreamed of  going to England to study. Whether I would ever be successful in doing so or it would always be a dream,I did not know. The thought was there.I never talked about it with anyone especially not my siblings.

I was not a serious student, working too hard was not in me,despite this fact I wanted to study overseas . My brothers who paid my tuition fees for college and university ,were incapable of sending me.It was a question of a large sum of money.I understood it. I did not expect them to try,they had already done enough for me.

I am a big believer that if you want anything bad enough,the doors of success opens up out of nowhere. This was my case,I saw an ad in the newspaper, British Council was offering scholarships in innumerable subjects to successful candidates to study in London . How could I pass this up.I was dreaming about it for eons. Now fate was giving me a chance to grab it. I did not have faith in myself,I was a student who spent minimum number of hours to get through my courses. It was a test I was willing to take,if it failed to materialize it was okay, I did not deserve it.

I applied and waited patiently for a response,at the same time thinking,Me?no they will discard my application the moment they receive it. after what seemed a decade I received a letter in which they said I was selected for an interview. I was cautiously optimistic and made sure no one knew about it.

I have no recollection of what the questions were,I only recall the interviewers,their eyes were pinned on me,this is how I felt. I dared not look at them fearing I’d fall apart and it’d be a total disaster. I came out of that room,feeling nothing good or bad. The days that followed were painfully slow.

My joy knew no bounds when I was handed a thick envelope,I hope the news is good,please God I thought. My hands continuously shaking I opened the envelope and found a letter and a  ticket to fly to London. My feelings were completely numb,is this a dream or is it real. Did my dream come true? My mind spoke to me, “Open your eyes ,Chaman, your dream is now a reality!”

I spent sleepless nights about the journey. I was never the giggling type but I was excited!