Writing 101, Day Ten: Update your readers over a cup of coffee

Today’s assignment: Write an update post in the form of a virtual coffee date.


*Set your poem or short story in a cafe.


*Go to your neighborhood spot with your laptop or notebook and free-write for 20 minutes, prompted by what you observe.


*Love or hate coffee ? Tell us why.

I think, “Love or hate coffee” is one I’d like to write about.

I do not love coffee and I do not hate it either.

Here is why. I was introduced to tea at a very early age. Maybe because I come from a country where tea is popular, because it’s grown there. We export it to countries all over the world. It’s the main reason coffee was not imported in our countries for a long time.

Now because of the people of  my country travel a lot( Bangladesh). They have tasted it out of curiosity, some feel it tastes good, some think it’s not that tasty, they like it since it’s available all over the world and it makes them feel special and cool.It’s for this reason coffee is available in Bangladesh, but it’very expensive, compared to tea. The stores charge a lot of money for coffee mainly to discourage the inhabitants to pick up the habit of drinking coffee instead of tea.

For me nothing about it makes me want to drink it, since it is stylish, and the phrase, “Let’s go for coffee,” does not attract my attention.

I’m a creature of habit, I’ve had tea, since I started going to school. Rain or shine I had my cup of tea. It is one drink I love and am not about to desert it for something else, such as coffee, hot chocolate or any kind of juice. It’s all about pleasure in my case, the only drink that provides it is tea.

When someone visits our house first thing I’d say is, “Cha khaben?”( would you like a cup of tea?)To these same people if I say, “Coffee khaben?”( would you like a cup of coffee?)

Their response would be, “kee bollen?”( What did you say?)

It would mean so you have forgotten your roots. It is part of our culture. For me it’s part of my habit. I cannot think of replacing tea for coffee.

Daily Prompt: It’s My Party

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You’re throwing a party —for you ! tell us about the food, drink,events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime.Use any theme you like— It’s *your* party!

For my party I’ll make sure to  invite all my good friends. There is Dilruba in Montreal, Evelyn in Whitby, Valerie in St.John’s, and a few others.

The foods will be my favorite and fortunately my friends like them too. I’ll do the cooking to make sure they taste good. I know all about the catering service we have here in my neck of the woods, they are not I’d call tasty.

There will be a variety of foods on the menu:

Rice pilaf, Chicken korma, spicy beef, lamb sheesh kebab.

Then I’ll prepare mixed vegetables, cauliflower with cheese, and bagharay baingan it’s an eggplant dish.

Salad : yoghurt salad, mixed vegetable salad with tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce, sprinkled with lime juice.

Drinks: plain water or coke and pepsi for those who prefer them.

Dessert : Pineapple upside down cake.

Beverage: tea  and coffee.

Dinner time : 6.30  pm.

After dinner the guest will be entertained with some videos of popular singers.

Each guest will receive a small gift of a variety of chocolates .

I wanted to write the recipes of the foods but it will take too much time, since I’m the only one who’ll have to write it.

Wikipedia image of chicken korma and kabab

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This is my plan, I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

……………………………………… 🙂

DP Daily Prompt: Think Again

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Tell us about a time you made a false assumption about a person or a place— how did they prove you wrong?

Yes I did make a false assumption of a girl from my hometown. I met her in college, we were not friends but acquaintances, she had her own group of friends I had mine.

A few years later I met her again in the university residence, she was friendly or so I thought. One day she suggested why don’t we share to have tea together in the morning, one month I’d buy tea, sugar and milk and following month she’d do the same, I thought it was a great idea.

We started our joint tea drinking every morning, since we lived in two different buildings I offered to go to her building and make tea for both of us. It was going well we had no problems, my friends in my building warned me against this arrangement. They found out I was paying for everything and she was not paying her share.

I let it go and continued to make tea and called her when it was ready.

One day I went up to her building and noticed she was ignoring me, I called her but she walked away, I was embarrassed when the other students were watching me. I quietly left the building, went to my dormitory and got busy with my studies, I decided not to tell anyone what happened, the news of this so called friend and how she treated me was a hot topic discussed by everyone, my friend Zeb came to me and said, “You’ve made a mistake, you do not have to drink tea alone you’re welcome to join our group.”

I learned a much needed lesson, and appreciated my friends who helped me.


DP Daily Prompt: It’s my Party

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You’re throwing a party—- for you! Tell us all about the food,drink,events, and party favours you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like —it’s “Your” party!

I’m throwing a party for me. My guests will be be my close friends who like my cooking. These are the variety of foods I will serve:

1. Chicken        image by wikipediaChicken_Tikka.jpg (1024×681)

2. Sheesh Kebab

3. Mixed vegetable dish

4.Vegetable Salad


6.  Chicken

7.   Pilaf


8. Hors deuvre– Samosas

9. Dessert:  Chocolate Cheesecake

10. Drinks: water, or soft drinks and tea or coffee

Events: board games

Party Favours:  box of assorted chocolates and recipes of the main dish.





NaBloPo Mo Nov. 23 “Flies” Ranu’s post https://sabethville.wordpress.com


Fly (Photo credit: orangeacid)

Ann Rice’s quote,”To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself”. I think it’s a risk worth taking.At the crack of dawn,the first thing I thought about was,’write about flies’.What I must risk writing about an insect with two transparent wings,how can such a lowly insect grab anyone’s attention. I’ll give it a go and see the response,maybe none or one. If  one blogger  reads it,it is well worth my time.

My elder brother always knew how to make me work. One day he said, ‘There you are Ranu,make me a cup of tea, I am counting,then he’d say one ,before he counted to four’,I’d be up and running  to get that cup of tea,I always thought ,’Good Heavens’ if it reaches ten,all hell would break loose’. I got his tea,as soon as I laid it on the table,plop  a fly dropped in. I said,’Dada don’t drink this,it’s filthy,let me bring another cup’. He smiled spooned out the fly and said,’Don’t say it’s dirty,think it’s a cardamom,I’ll take it out and drink it’. I almost felt nauseous at the thought of drinking a cup of  tea that was made unclean by that wretched fly.I guess  there were going to be more flies in my future,as I was growing up.

I don’t habitually think of flies,but when I see them it makes me cringe. This episode happened on a wayside hut. There used to be a man,who fried fish every day in his little place. I loved them so much I had to have some,whenever I was passing by. One day I stopped by to get some,he wasn’t finished frying,I patiently waited.Suddenly I saw a whole bunch of flies hovering above. I told the man,’look there are flies above can’t you get rid of them’, he looked at me in awe  thinking this woman didn’t see flies,why is she making such a big deal. He laughed and said,’this is nothing, if they overcrowded my frying pan,I’d think of something’. I mumbled to myself,he doesn’t think it’s unhealthy.

A year or two passed before the question of flies came up. I got a   teaching  job in a residential model school. We all ate at the dining hall,myself and sixty kids.  Dining halls in the institutions are nothing to write about,especially when the question of cleanliness and healthy comes up. One morning an announcement was made,’breakfast is served come one come all’. When I was about to sit to have my breakfast, I had the misfortune of seeing flies on my toast. The waiter in trying to save me from spreading butter and jam on my toast,took it as his duty to do it for me. The result when the flies landed on the toast they were trapped by the sticky jam,unable to fly out they lay there. I was so disgusted with this,I took the knife and used it as a spatula to remove the flies. Did I eat the toast,no I did not.At that point I didn’t think I was hungry at all.

I am lucky there are no flies here,it is too cold in winter ,in summer they cannot come in because of the screen. I am happy to write flies are not an issue any more!

Please note: In Bengali ‘Dada’ means older brother.

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.

D.P. Daily Prompt: Five A Day posted by Ranu

Uncooked, polished, white long-grain rice grains

Uncooked, polished, white long-grain rice grains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I am exiled to a private island,I am allowed five foods daily.Food is not what  comes to my mind. I am thinking why am I here in this island and for how long? Of course food is one of the most important thing a human being will think about just to survive.


These captors seems to me are very considerate.They are actually giving me a choice of five foods I can pick for my daily consumption. There is something odd about this whole thing. Anyway while I am thinking what can I pick,one of the captors  a big burly fellow who seems to have little or no patience ,gives me an evil look.While all the others have made their choice,I am the only one still trying to make up my mind. He takes his whip and hits me and says: “woman you have taken enough time, tell me at once what you want or you’ll get nothing to eat”.  This scares me a little,suddenly I have a mental block,I cannot think of anything.I get a second warning,’you have five minutes to decide’ I get anxious and spit out five foods ever so quickly,’I want tea,okra,egg plant, guava and rice’. The man gets impatient,’are you sure this is what you want’? I say,”yes, besides you only gave me five minutes and my brain is in knots.I cannot think .” After making my choice known I began to feel terrible.I wish I could think of more appealing foods than the ones I listed. It was time for breakfast,I noticed the others were having mouth-watering food and I was served tea and guava.I do like guava, but not for breakfast. The evil man came around to watch us eat,he noticed I was sitting quietly.Immediately he bawled and said,’ Why aren’t you eating, you got what you wanted,I’ll give you two minutes to finish your food? I felt like crying, I knew it was not going to make a dent in his system. I did what I had to do,drank my tea and ate the guava which was hard and green and totally bland.


I didn’t look forward for lunch,my choice was either okra ,rice or egg plant,out of the three rice was fine but out of egg plant and okra ,my fear was how are they going to cook it,do they know how to cook these vegetables. I didn’t have to wait too long,my lunch was rice and okra.The cook never saw okra before,he had no idea how to cook it.He took the easy way out,he boiled the okra. I was served sticky boiled okra with rice. Okra is a vegetable which is prepared with special care,it requires spices,oil  onion and salt,if you want to eat it with rice.This was beginning to be a nightmare for me.To avoid being bawled at or whipped by the giant,I slowly started swallowing the food.This was worse than medicine.


I knew what was left for me to eat for supper.I sat on the floor of the room and began to visualize what I want for supper.I would like some beef biriyani, a cucumber salad and for dessert a slice of cheesecake and water.I felt sleepy and went to sleep on the floor.I dreamt I was in a large dining hall,there were all kinds of food for us to eat.The waiter to my dismay brought me a large purple eggplant on a plate and handed it to me. I immediately screamed and told him to take it away,’I am not going to eat this useless thing’,I said.Suddenly I heard a thundering voice,’Yes you are,this is your choice.’ I slowly opened my eyes and saw him standing on top of me and pointing at the egg plant he said,’now eat’. This time I could not control my tears, I said ,’Oh God please don’t punish me,I’ll try to be a good person’. The whole five a day seemed to be a test for me.


Guava fruit on white background

Guava fruit on white background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Eggplant (Photo credit: AsianLifestyleDesign)



Bucket of raw Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) pods

Bucket of raw Abelmoschus esculentus (okra) pods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


An honest and loveable man—-A heart – wrenching story!

Badulipara Tea Garden of Golaghat, Assam.

Shapon was a local supervisor of the Assam tea estate.He was an honest and loveable man.His motto in life was to help the needy.Whenever possible,he came to the aid of women.He protected them from sexual abuse.He always trusted everyone.

This trust he had for his fellow human beings,ironically led to his sad demise.He was a happy and caring person and was a favourite  of the older women in his community.They would go to the field with food for him.They knew he wasn’t taking care of himself.He in turn appreciated everything,they did for him.Days and weeks and months were passing quite smoothly.No one had anything to fear,Shapon was there to address their grievance.

His popularity somehow did not bode well with the other individuals,whose minds were crooked,they were not allowed to do anything that would ruin the serenity of the community.

The young women earned  their livelihood by working in the tea estate.There were a lot of beautiful women in that tea estate.There was one in particular,who was very attractive,a number of men wanted to marry her.One woman who was regarded by all as their aunt,decided she would be a perfect wife for Shapon.She convinced Shapon to marry her.He of course obliged.No one in the community refused what the said “Aunt”,wanted.

Shapon was happy.He and his wife were happy and contented.Suddenly this happiness came to a screeching halt.The Saheb was making his rounds of the tea estate one day and noticed Shapon’s wife.

Before I go any further I would like to introduce the Saheb.He was the manager of the tea estate.His usual pastime was having parties,where all kinds of alcoholic beverages were served.His workers were ordered to get the innocent girls from the tea estate,so he and his friends who were like him could have a  good time.While on his usual tour,he spotted Shapon’s wife.She worked in the tea garden as well.His motive was to get her for a large party he was organizing.

His servants told him,this could not be possible,she was Shapon’s wife.They told him they could get other girls who were easier to get.The Saheb,told them,she was the one he wanted for his big bash.The servants went to shapon’s house and told him the Saheb wanted him to get the alcoholic beverage from another community.The poor guy did not suspect anything and went on his way to get the alcohol.The servants took the opportunity,they raided the house to kidnap the wife.They met with some resistance from the wife and the Aunt.The aunt was murdered and the miscreants took off with the wife.

The party was in progress and drinks were served.When the wife was brought in,she was forced to serve the drinks against her wishes.In the end all the guests went home.The Saheb took Shapon’s wife to his bedroom and raped her.

When Shapon came home,he found the Aunt dead and he could not find his wife.He started yelling and screaming,the people in the community came running,they told him what had happened.On hearing this,Shapon lost control,he went to the Saheb’s house and demanded to see his wife.The Saheb ordered his servants to beat him up.In the fight there was no way,Shapon could win.The Saheb then got his hunter and beat him mercilessly.Shapon fell and fainted.The wife heard all the noise and kept crying and begging the Saheb not to beat her husband anymore.

Shapon was bound and carried off to a prison.Every day he would ask the security if he had any visitors.The reply was a firm “No”.

The Saheb did not want Shapon to be in the community jail.He got the hospital doctor to take fake tests,so that he could declare,that Shapon was completely insane and should be transferred to a mental hospital.

Before getting transferred to the mental institution one could hear Shapon crying and imploring,”I am not crazy,please let me go”.His cries were ignored  and he was transferred to the mental institution.His cries went on,there was no mercy!

Shapon’s wife was completely insane,one would hear her laughing one moment and then crying the next moment and begging everyone not to beat her husband anymore.Years later the people were told about the death of Shapon’s wife.Shapon however was seen crying and saying,’ Please let me go I want to see my wife.’ But his pleas were ignored and his voice was carried off by the wind.


Assam (Photo credit: Rita Willaert)

This 1850 engraving shows the different stages...

This 1850 engraving shows the different stages in the process of making tea in Assam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)