What is your earliest memory? Describe in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.
I love thinking of my childhood a lot. It was my most happy days. I had a lot of siblings, I loved playing with them, they didn’t mind having me, even if their friends came along.
One of my earliest memories of my childhood was that of my Dad. My brothers’ friends thought he was handsome and resembled Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Now that I think of it I feel, the reason might be, he was tall and thin like Mohammed Ali Jinnah. My Dad loved speaking English. He believed any language we speak must be spoken correctly.
He was very particular about our mother tongue, Bengali. In our house we were encouraged to learn different languages, but the rule was, we must speak our mother tongue when we were in the house.
He told us he did not want his children to be upstarts, at that time I did not know what the word meant. This much I knew we must not speak any other language with each other when we were at home.
In Bengali we have a lot of dialects, if one is from a certain district the dialect is different. My mom grew up in a village near the little town named ‘Feni’, district Noakhali she spoke the dialect from that district, since we interacted with Mom more than Dad we spoke the Noakhali dialect. My dad probably was concerned because we did not speak proper Bengali. He made sure we heard the proper speech too. Whenever he spoke to us he spoke proper Bengali.
One day I was playing outside with the neighbors, I noticed some kids playing with yellow balls. I was fascinated and wanted to have one. I was six years old and didn’t know how tired my Dad was when he came home from work.
My Dad’s usual greeting was, “ma Ranu kaimon achho?”(Ranu how are you?)
I wasted no time telling him I wanted a yellow ball just like the boys were playing with. My Dad didn’t get a chance to go into the house, he turned around and left, in the meantime I forgot all about it until I saw my Dad back with four yellow balls.You must be wondering why four, he knew my siblings would ask for it too.
This is the fondest memory I have of my Dad. I used to tell my husband, if our children want something, don’t say you do not need it, but buy it for them.
I feel the lesson I learned from my Dad is never say no to our children, when they ask for something, provided it’s within our means. It makes a child happy.