Describe the last time you were moved to tears by something beautiful.
I was moved to tears,by the the children I taught. They unconditionally supported me, prejudice was a word never found in their dictionary. They knew they never saw someone like me.
I wore a sari, I had black hair and I spoke another language besides English. My long black hair, fascinated them. They’d come to my desk not for help but to know if my hair was real. On several occasions they touched my hair and let their classmates know it felt real.
It was my first year teaching in that school, there were only two weeks left for Christmas, the kids got busy buying gifts for me. I wasn’t aware that the kids give Christmas presents to their teacher.
Recess time I went to the staff room to spend a few minutes away from my classroom. When the bell rang announcing recess was over, I went back to my classroom, there on my desk were neatly packaged gifts. I went to the staff room to ask one of the teachers,if I was allowed to accept the gifts. “You must” she said, “or else you’d break their heart.”
I went back to my classroom found the kids very quiet, I instantly said, “Thank you children, it is so nice of you to bring gifts for me.”
One of them stood up and asked, “Do you like our gifts, I went with my mom to pick yours?”
The sweetness of his tender voice made me emotional, I was moved to tears. I looked at him and could only say, “so nice of you Jamie, I love all your gifts!”
The holiday season can’t get enough of it, or can’t wait for it to be over already? Has your attitude toward the end-of-year holidays changed over the years?
I do not celebrate Christmas, but truly speaking I love watching people enjoying this year-end holidays.
The air is filled with smiling faces of the children the adults busy with last minute shopping, the TV networks advertising their wares to attract the attention of shoppers.
While it is a joyful time of the year for some not so much for the have-not’s who are probably spending sleepless nights worrying about their little ones,how much can they spend for their kids to make them happy.
I don’t mind the hustle and bustle that goes on and am in no hurry to see the season end. This is the time politics and politicians take a break from their usual bickering, the focus changes to family and friends and neighbors.
I do my usual shopping of buying cards, chocolate and other little things for my friends and neighbors. I do buy a small turkey for us to roast either on Christmas day or the next day. I love the atmosphere. My favorite songs are the Christmas carols, especially”Joy to the World!”
I have some awesome neighbors. One we are very close to is an English Prof. We always hang out with each other. Christmas time she cooks and we have dinner together. Once I volunteered to cook the Turkey for Christmas dinner,she wouldn’t let me. She knows we don’t celebrate Christmas.
Whenever my daughter bakes I always remind her, aren’t you going to bake one for her. My daughter smiles and says.”yes Mom this is why I’m baking two.
She loves chocolate,when I go to the store and see something good I’d buy for her.
We got to know each other when she she bought the house across the street from us. On snow days when my daughter goes out to shovel , my neighbor would come out to give her a hand. We are blessed to have a neighbor like her.
Many years ago I came to Montreal in the month of August. I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited this was the first time I left my home Dhaka to come to Montreal so far away. I was newly married. Mine was an arranged marriage I did not know much about my husband. We were married in January, he left Dhaka, Bangladesh little over two weeks after our marriage. He was a physician in a hospital in Montreal.
I stayed back with his parents in the village for over six months. I didn’t know anyone. I noticed everyone who came to the house would only stare at me, as if I was some kind of a rare thing that they had never seen before. My father-in law was the nicest person in that house,he treated me like his daughter.
After over six months I got all my papers ready to travel to Montreal to join my husband. I didn’t know him at all. It was this part that scared me. Was he nice,will he treat me well, what kind of attitude will he have towards me? These were questions I had in my mind. I was afraid to ask I didn’t really know how he’d react.
Three months after I landed in Canada. My husband wanted to go to Chicago. He knew a family,they were Mr. and Mrs. Finlay. Mrs. Finlay was curious to see me. My husband thought Christmas time would be the best time to go for a visit. We went two days before Christmas. Mrs. Finlay invited us to stay with her. She had a decorated Christmas tree,there were gifts under the tree for all of us. One of my gifts was a ,’Better Homes and Garden Cookbook’. I was happy, I’d be able to use it for baking. This was my first Christmas. I learned a few things about this special holiday.
After celebrating Christmas day. We were out to buy a winter coat for me. I wasn’t really interested to buy anything, but my husband was determined to buy one whether I wanted it or not. Earlier that day Mrs. Finlay told me she told my husband not to marry anyone from Bangladesh. I was not happy to hear it. I was only interested to go back to Montreal. I had to buy a coat.I couldn’t leave without it.
Since the first Christmas we had many more. Our family was larger, we had three kids. We gave them what they wanted, so they wouldn’t feel left out.
This Christmas my family is down to two. My husband died a few years ago. Despite my best intentions and hard work one of my kids said in her email a few days before Christmas, “I do not wish to have more than a courteous relationship with you.”
Yes I am still in Holy Cross College.I was not happy.I missed my Mom and my siblings.I was aware I can only see them when we have holidays.The next best thing I could do was to visit my uncle on week-ends .My uncle was a very affectionate person,he came to pick me up every Friday after school.Fortunately he passed by our school on his way to work daily.My teachers watched me leaving every week-end.After a few weeks I was called in,and my teacher Sr. Joseph Mary said, she was worried because I went to my uncle’s place every week-end since I was there. I have to change this routine.I was there to study,she didn’t think I was studying a whole lot.
I was unhappy but I chose to study outside my home town.I am not in a position to blame anyone.I had no choice but to ‘grin and bear it’ as the saying goes. I met a girl who was as unhappy as I was,her reason was quite different from mine.She couldn’t speak English,not her fault, she studied in an Urdu medium school.I asked her name,she said it is,Aziz.I thought I heard wrong,I asked again Is it Aziza? She started laughing,she said everyone asks her the same question. I asked because I knew Aziz is a boy’s name.Aziz was a nice girl,she was happy because I could speak Urdu.
I was trudging along,then came the month of December and for the twenty-fifth,i.e Christmas day,the nuns had a party for us,after supper they took us to nearby houses to meet the people who celebrated Christmas.We were taught the Christmas carols in our Music class.I loved singing,so all thirty-three of us went to these houses,on our way, we sang the carols.They were thrilled to hear us.The evening went well. Sr. Rose Bernard gave me a whole bunch of candies to distribute.As I was giving them out she was watching me.After I gave out the candies to all of my classmates,it was my turn to take some.I don’t remember how many I gave each of them.There were quite a few left. I took the same number and gave the rest to my teacher.She had a big smile on her face,she said,’Did you not know Chaman,the last person gets the lion’s share,these are all yours.’ No I told her I cannot take more than them,it is cheating’. And I did not take the lion’s share,so ended a very pleasant evening!
Don’t be bored,I have some more.Oops!
Peace on Earth (Photo credit: █ Slices of Light █▀ ▀ ▀)
Here are the six impossible things I believe in: 1. Everyone will speak the same language,if this happens language will not be an issue.
2. Poverty will be erased from the face of this earth,result would be, there will be no beggars,no thieves,no one hungry for food it will be a world of peace and tranquility for us all.
3.The end of wars: there will be no need to build weapons of mass destruction,we all will be safe.There will be peace everywhere.
4. Truth will triumph: The word lie will be erased from the dictionaries.
5. Christmas will be celebrated every month.
6. The whole world will be one country.
These are my six impossible things I believe in.