Discover Prompts, Day 17: Distance

My first experience happened when I was seven. My father told us we’ll leave New Delhi, I was the curious one, I didn’t waste time asking, ‘why Abba we’d have to leave and where are we going?’

To Rawalpindi was his reply, he was transferred from Delhi to Rawalpindi. We arrived by train. It was a long journey, I was tired and hoped we’d arrive at the strange place in a jiffy. My dream did not come true, I had to endure the journey, where there were several stops. Eventually we reached our destination.

My Dad was concerned about our school. He was told the best school in the city was Presentation Convent. My older sister was given the responsibility of looking after my admission.

After registration one of my teachers took me to the classroom where I was introduced to the teacher who was my homeroom teacher.

There was one thing I enjoyed in this school was Music. The teacher taught us a lot of songs, one of my favourite was the song, “In Derry Vale.”

Many years have passed, I still remember this song. I knew the lyrics, I did not pay attention to the meaning, I enjoyed singing it quietly in a corner of my house.

After all these years I paid attention to the lyrics and realized why the tune of the song was so sad.

I will write a part of the song to let the reader understand why this song is my favourite here it is :

In Derry Vale Beside the Singing River,

So Oft I strayed Ah many years ago

And culled at morn the golden daffodillies

That came with Spring To set the world Aglow,

Oh Derry vale my thoughts are ever turning

To your broad stream and fairy circles lea

For your green isles my exiled heart is yearning

So far away across the sea.

I feel for those nuns who left their home in Ireland, to come to teach in a place so far away from their homeland.

I know now how it feels to be in a place which is so far away from my original homeland. There are so many things I miss which I cannot experience because of the distance.

No one forced me to leave my home, I made the decision myself. The song reminds me, I too think of how far away I am from the green fields, and the innocent people who live there!

Discover Prompts, Day 16: Slow

Journey by train
Chug a lug chug a lug in comes the train
The old man waiting so long
quickly swallowed the pill of pain.
Every one ready yells the conductor
No sir I need a second more
Replies the burly passenger.
What the crowd shout in unison
You need more time to do what
I have to swallow my last bite
Crazy people thwart me not.
The crowd watched in silence
As the man emptied his plate
Suddenly they heard a pitiful cry
how much longer do we have to wait
Mama, the boy sighed!

Discover Prompts, Day 13: Teach

In my undergraduate course I found Economics a tough subject to master, I especially had problem with, “Quantity Theory Of Money. “

I asked my brother, who had completed his Honours degree in Commerce, to help me understand, Quantity Theory Of Money. He was delighted, he asked me to get my book. He sat down with me and kept repeating certain words that bored me to death. After putting me through this ringer, for two hours he asked me, Ranu do you understand?

Let me tell you, I promised myself I’ll never ask my brother to teach me anything.

Years later, I completed my teaching degree, I got a job in the local town. One of the subject my Grade four kids had trouble with was Spelling, believe it or not.

All they had to learn to spell was 20 new words in one week. One mother called me in the evening and complained she had a lot of trouble teaching her little boy with the twenty words I gave to learn.

I asked, ‘How long do you take to teach these words?’

Two hours, she replied.

Two hours, no you only need five minutes each day.

She toiled hard, and she was tough with the kid, he was sick of it.

Friday was the day I gave all the kids a Spelling test. The kid who spent two hours a day made the most mistakes.

One evening while thinking of the kid’s problem learning how to spell. I thought of the day when my brother took as much time to teach me.

My conclusion from this experience is there is a right way and a wrong way.

Both my brother and the mother of the kid chose the rote method, which hardly works.

Discover Prompt, Day 9: pairs

Rafael and Gabriel
Two handsome brothers , sitting side by side,
One has a voice enough to scare you,
The other one’s voice can put you to sleep.
That they came from the same litter is not believable.
When Rafa is hungry his meow is hoarse,
Gabriel ‘s voice is sweet of course.
Their eating habit is not the same,
Gabriel will eat the same food everyday,
While Rafa likes food changed every day.
When Gabriel is in the living room he sleeps like a baby,
Rafa climbs all the furniture
until we go crazy.
All in all they are an interesting pair,
Who are two fine felines
fit for an exhibition in any fair!

Discover Prompts, day 8: Curve

Years ago I went to Montreal to do a short course in French. While there I got the news that a family friend was hospitalized near Van Horne. Without wasting time I asked another friend how I could get there.

She said, ‘Ranu you have to take two buses, number 55 and 56.’

I thought about it and realized I had no experience travelling by bus. I gave up the idea.

‘Why not I walk to this place?’ My mind whispered.

The problem was I knew nothing about how to get from point A to B. I didn’t want to get lost, so I took the help of a road map which I bought from a store nearby.

I got ready and started walking , there were a lot of twists and turns, boldly I carried on. Suddenly I noticed a building a few yards away. I was excited and kept following the road that led to the building. I opened my eyes and was delighted to see it was the hospital I was looking for.

I went in took the elevator and met the girl who told me about the two buses.

I went to see our friend Pearl Duclos, she was surprized and happy to see me after many years.

I told myself, ‘Life is not a straight line, it has many curves and twists, only those who are able to struggle are the ones who are ultimately successful.’