My experience with Racism

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partition of India image from wikipedia

Our 2020 was a year when racism reigned supreme from the higher to the lower group of people. This was an engaging topic.

Then came pandemic, the same thing happened. The group who were facing poverty were not given the same help as the rich.

I clearly recall an incident when we lived in New Delhi. I was five years old,I had two friends their name was Piki and Meera.

One day they came running to let me and my younger sister know; their older cousin was visiting them. Naturally I was excited, it was something new to me. I never saw any cousin of mine and often wondered if I have any.

I asked Mom she consoled me, ‘yes Ranu you have cousins too, they live far away.’

I kind of understood.

Suddenly I remembered I must see the cousin of Piki, and Meera. I ran to see the cousin. She was older than us, with a fair complexion, had a very friendly expression when she saw me and my sister.

This is how Piki introduced us, (era na mucholman in Bengali), ‘they are Muslims.’ I was too young to realize, somehow we were different, my facial expression changed, my face was red. I felt perhaps me being a Muslim was not good.’

The cousin was aware I was embarrassed. She was very angry. She said to her cousin, ( ‘bellick in Bengali) foolish, shameless, I do not want you to treat your friends this way.’

Though I was happy Piki’s cousin scolded her, the thought of they’re Muslims echoed in my mind for a while.

We had a lot of friends in the neighbourhood, some spoke Hindi, some Bengali. Their difference in language or religion never bothered me.

I remember we picked up some of the lingos of our friends, one of them was Myrie, it meant by God, or I promise.

One day I was having a serious argument with my brother and I said out loud, ‘Myrie bolchi,’ I promise.

Mom was somewhere close by, her immediate response was, ‘Ranu don’t speak like a Hindu.’

Then the partition of India was in full swing. One Sunday morning our neighbours said, ‘ You have to leave right now, they are killing Muslims.’

From New Delhi we arrived in Rawalpindi. Here I took admission in a Convent school. In this city they spoke Punjabi, though I understood a bit, I didn’t try to speak their language, I spoke Urdu.

Once again I saw the face of discrimination. Our Urdu teacher gave us homework which I completed but my cousin did not. The teacher was in a bad mood, she called my cousin and told him to sit, I guess she was in a sitting position, he was standing therefore her hand couldn’t reach his face. She slapped him hard, my cousin was sweating and his hair was oily, the combination infuriated her more, because the sweat and the oil covered her hand. She was in a rage, she yelled, ‘ghalis bungali moon may bhi tel laghata hai.'( filthy Bengali you put oil in your face too.)’

In this city we were Muslims as everyone else, but the difference was we were Bengalis. It did not matter we spoke fluent Urdu and had no accent. We were not from their neck of the woods therefore we can’t be friends.

Many moons passed I happened magically to be a resident of Gander, Newfie land. They have their own lifestyle, they speak English with a different accent. Here racism was at its peak, our language, religion, even our skin didn’t match theirs. I started feeling the pinch of racism. I did my own thing, i.e teaching. My husband practiced Medicine.

Now I’m living In the capital of the province. Since I stay away from politics, I’m fine.

Last and not the least is the 2020 US election, it has the taste of everything, right, wrong, truth, false. Historians will have a treat writing about it. They cannot make it spicier. It’s already too spicy to stomach it.

…………………………………….. ūüôā

Daily Prompt : Dominant

In response to prompt : Dominant

Bangla (Bengali) is the dominant language in Bangladesh. Majority of the people in Bangladesh, speak Bengali.

Not everyone in this country speak proper Bengali,  they speak a dialect which resembles the language.

It’s kind of like in U.K where not all the citizens speak RP( received pronunciation). It is the accent of Standard English in the United Kingdom and is defined in the concise Oxford English Dictionary as the standard of English as spoken in South Of England.

In Bangladesh some of us call it the book language. The received Bengali accent is spoken by a few people. Different provinces have their own dialect, which is not difficult to understand, only the dialect  of people from Chittagong, sounds like a different language.

It is like Cockney in U.K which is a problem to understand  for visitors.

…………………………….. ūüôā

Daily Prompt: Childhood Revisited

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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.



DP Daily Prompt: Take That Rosetta!

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If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak which would it be?Why? What’s the first thing you do with your linguistic skills?

My preference would be French, I’d love to speak it fluently. My daughter and I take yearly trips to Montreal, it would be thrilling to be able to speak it with the locals.

It helps if one can speak the language of the locals, on the bus , at the store, in the restaurant, I wouldn’t have to say,”Can you please speak English, I do not understand your language?”

My ability to speak the language opens new doors for me, I can listen to songs, read stories, watch a movie. These are some of the things I miss the fun  when I visit a place and am unable to speak the language of the native.



365 Writing Prompts: Simply the best

Nasa is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best modern human culture what belongs on board?

The term “culture” has two meanings(1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent with symbols and to act creatively , and(2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world acted creatively and classified or represented their experiences.

Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by society , its so called material culture and everything else, including the intangibles such as language, customs etc. that are the main referent of the term “culture.”

Language and culture both emerged as a means of using symbols to construct social identity and maintain coherence within a social group too large to rely exclusively on the pre-human ways of building a community.

In that new Voyager, there will be one person representing his/her language, there will be chefs from different cultures, and fashion designers representing different  countries of the world.

We must have assistants of the chefs.

We’ll need musicians and their musical instruments, ¬†to entertain the passengers.…imply-the-best

365 Writing Prompts: 2100

The language of the future: What will it be like? Write an experimental post using some imagined vocabulary—abbreviations, slang, new terms.

It would be superb to have a language that everyone feels comfortable speaking and understanding. It would be a beginning of humanity coming together. Too many wars are fought, lives are lost because of disagreements in speech, attires,and looks.

When God created His favorite humans, He wanted them to get along,have a  good life, help each other, so much could be achieved and so little lost, if only we could understand each other.

We are still evolving, we have come to a point where one language is a priority, at first look we might think of it as an arduous task, how can it be, Man has accomplished so many unbelievable assignments which in the past it was difficult to believe, we now have come to a stage when we are trying to sort out why we cannot live peacefully.

One of the barriers is language, if we all used the same words we’d break the blockade that keeps us apart. We’ve already assimilated countless words from other languages and made it our own.

Let me try a sentence from the languages I know: “Aami love vous.” aami–Bengali; love–English; vous–French , translation:Aami=I, love=is love; vous= you.

I’ll write this for now.


DP Daily Prompts: The Eighth Sin

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For me the eighth sin is, “PREJUDICE”. It is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group.

When God created us I wonder if He thought that His creation will not get along because we are different. By this I mean not all of us speak the same language or practice the same religion or have the same skin color.

I remember I went to a store in a city where they will not speak to you if you spoke English, even though I was a customer and was there to spend my money and they were employed to make sure that the customers were treated with respect.

I was discriminated because I did not know their language, this is prejudice #1.

Then there is the issue of religion, what difference does it make if my religion is not the same. If I practice a certain religion, I am considered a terrorist, therefore they will have nothing to do with me.

Number 3 is color of my skin, why should it be an issue, but it is, there are known facts where if your skin color is different from the natives they wont rent their house or apartment.

I think eighth sin , “Prejudice”, is just as evil as the other seven sins!


365 days Writing Prompt: Island of misfit posts

We all have something we’d like to write about ,but that doesn’t really “Fit” our blog. Write it anyway.

I am not sure exactly what I am supposed to write for this prompt. I do not make friends easily, it takes me a while to warm up to anyone, I’m much better now, but as a young child I had a problem making friends because I had a lot of siblings I could play with, but when I needed to be on my ¬† own it wasn’t a problem either. We did our own thing. In school I liked to play with kids younger who were only interested to play and nothing else.

Kids my age talked about things which never interested me. I had one or two friends my age, only because they were not nosy. 

My friends talked about their extended family which was completely foreign to me. I was at times fascinated by their mention of cousins,aunts and uncles, I never knew I had. I remember asking my mom if I had aunts and uncles, I was happy to know I did, why don’t I see them was my next question. My mother explained because we are living far away from them, it was not possible to meet them.

My opportunity came when we all visited Bangladesh, I saw my uncles and aunts and cousins, I was delighted at the thought that I too would be able to go back and tell my friends about my uncles,aunts and cousins.

After my father passed away we came to Bangladesh to stay. I completed my high school exam privately as the local schools taught everything¬†in Bengali, I knew the language but I wasn’t advanced in the subject to do my work in that medium. I studied in a convent where the medium of instruction was English.

In college I found the girls unfriendly, they treated me as if I arrived from a different planet. I spoke the local language without any effort. I didn’t try to speak English, only when we had English Language class. I did better than them because of my exposure to it was far earlier than them.

I felt some cold shoulders around me, it didn’t bother me I thought if they are happy to treat me like that I’m happy to stay by myself, it was only so many hours I’d be in school after that I’d be with my family, so these few hours is okay, I came to learn and there would be no damage to it no matter how the girls behaved.

I survived and will continue to do so regardless of how I’m treated!



365 days Writing Prompt: Tell us your story

Tell us about a journey– whether physical trip you took ,or an emotional one.

It was a while ago my husband and I took a trip to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage. It was the month of September, the days were scorching hot, we landed at Jeddah airport early afternoon. There were no chairs in the lounge, we sat on the floor waiting to be called at the customs, many hours passed , there were flights coming in with passengers from all over the world.

Finally at 3 am ¬†in the morning we were called, we were told we needed to pay one hundred ¬†riyals each to go through, we paid the required sum before we started on our journey, but there was a change, we didn’t have riyals and they refused to take ¬† US dollars, my husband’s cousin who was supposed to pick us up, but for some reason he was not there,his friend came forward and lent us the required amount.

We were glad to be out of the airport on our way to the cousin’s apartment. Five days later we were on our way to the city of Makkah, our accommodation was same as the other pilgrims.

Next day we went to the Kabah for circumambulating seven times, the day was hot the sun was shining, there was no relief from the heat. We had to hold on to each other to avoid getting lost, there was a sea of people praying and walking around, every stranger we saw spoke a different language, which we didn’t understand, this is why we had to stay close to each other, if we lost one another, we wouldn’t be able to find us and the language barrier wouldn’t help.

Thankfully we completed the rounds, then there was a place called ‘Safa Marwa’ where we had to walk seven times it was inside but the walk was not easy. We completed it and went to the mosque for prayer.We stayed in the tent for five days, after completing all the rituals we went back to Jeddah and to Medina for a week.

At Medina we visited the mosque where the prophet was buried, I met a very young girl she was so sweet, she asked if I would share the the piece of paper with the prayer written on it, she had such a gentle temperament I remember her and her face to this day.

After a month in Saudi Arabia we went back to Chicago, and then to Canada our home!!…-us-your-story



Writing Prompt: Companionable

Head to one of your companionable blogs .Write a companion piece to their penultimate: Next to the last syllable of a word.


I have taken the word from,”Mostly Bright Ideas” by Bronx Boy 55 the post title is:”Plumbing the Depths”.

I have picked the word ‘Language’.

In this awesome world of ours we live with a variety of people who speak different languages. If we are fortunate we are able to speak at least two. If we are energetic and would like to give our brain some exercise we may learn one other. But there are other lucky ones who grow up with four or five.

Language can be an impediment for someone like me. Yes I live in a country where we are required to be bilingual, we must be able to speak English and French.

I went to Montreal hoping the sales clerks would speak English because my thinking was I’m going to buy something and you must speak the language I know. I didn’t get anywhere with that thought. The sales lady stood with her back towards me pretending I did not exist. I was offended by her lack of manners,she didn’t care. The little bit of French I knew did not stay in my cranium, I was lost, and at that moment when your daughter who is watching everything quietly nudges me and says,”Mom you know this much French”.

“I know but I ¬†cannot remember”, ¬†I said.I was nervous, her reminder did not help much. This situation reminded me of the time in the exam hall when my mind was totally blank, I held the question paper looked at it and was cursing my room mate who made me stay up till 1:30 am to study. My memory did return.That was then this is now,what was I going to do?

Lucky for me, a very kind and gentle sales woman came to me, she had the most gorgeous smile, she said, “Vous avez servi?( Are you served)?

I knew she’d understand if I said I cannot speak French.I didn’t speak in English,I opted to use sign language, well I was never trained to speak in sign language, but the nice sales woman understood my difficulty, she decided to speak English,boy,was I ever relieved!