[New Post] Get Your Creative Juices Flowing With Daily Writing Prompts

One day my curiosity got the better of me and I tip-toed along the hallway in my house to watch my three younger siblings learning to read Urdu.

Their teacher was a bearded man, we called Maulvi Sahib, he had a book in front of him, it seemed he memorised the whole book. My siblings each had their own copy and were repeating the words after their teacher. Suddenly I realized my little brothers and sister could not read the words, but they repeated what their teacher was saying.

The teacher had his eyes closed and was reciting the words, his pupils were doing the same. To make it interesting he added a kind of lullaby tune.I waited for the lesson to be over, so I could find out how much Urdu my siblings learned.

Though I was seven years old, I had a pretty good idea, that Maulvi Sahib wasn’t a good teacher.

When the so-called learning was over, I pulled my sister aside, opened the book in the middle and pointed at some random words and asked her to read. She said, ‘let me go back to the first page.’

I said, ‘no, I want to know if you can read.’

My sister looked at me and smiled.

It seemed their teacher asked them to repeat the words after him, which they did, but they did not learn the alphabets. This was a waste of their time.

When I told my Dad the story, he was unhappy. He had a chat with the teacher.

Next day there was no sign of the teacher, my siblings were relieved from this fake learning. My Dad never hired another Maulvi Sahib to replace the first one.

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365 Writing Prompts: Blogging

When I started blogging I knew nothing about it. I read a post written by Robert another blogger and wondered if I should try as well. I had no idea how to begin I was helped by Akhtar Waseem Dar, he suggested to start translating some of Tagore’s Poems because I am a Bengali and know the language.

It wasn’t easy, as a young child poetry was my best subject, I read all kinds of poetry written by famous poets. I learned English, Bengali and Urdu in school. I learned to read, write and speak in these languages. Since Bengali is my mother tongue, I had more opportunities to read Bengali poems written by famous poets.

I loved Tagore’s poems, he wrote a lot of poems for children, one of them was: Brishti paurhey tapur tupur : meaning Rain is falling drip drop. This was the first one I translated, Akhtar Bhai(Bhai means brother in Bengali and Urdu) I use brother to show respect. He read the translation and encouraged me a lot. He thought I did a good job. I began to feel confident, I continued to translate Tagore’s poems for a while, then I switched to his song lyrics and started translating them as well. All this time Akhtar Bhai continued to encourage me. There were times I felt insecure, I didn’t know if my translation was worth reading. I’d let my daughter read it before posting, she’d read it and say: “Mom I like it.” this encouraged me more.

Now Robert whom I’ve known from my online courses is a great help, he reads everything I write and always writes very valuable and encouraging comment.

Then there is Khurram A.Shafique, a writer I’ve known through online courses, he is also the facilitator of the course. I address him as brother. He has been very helpful like a real brother. I feel fortunate to have these three awesome individuals encouraging me.

I cannot remember how but along the way I met Leslie Moon, she is a very gifted poet , I love reading her poetry, I write my comment most of the time, sometimes I’m not sure what to write.

I had once mentioned about not having enough readers of my post, she encouraged me to read posts written by other bloggers. I do read some of the posts and leave my comment. This is how I met Indira.

I am happy I have written and posted quite a few translations, stories, a few poems.  I love reading and memorizing poems but writing them regularly is not one of my strong points, so I leave it for Leslie to write and me to enjoy 🙂

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k: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/365-writing-prompts-blogging

 

365 Writing Prompt: All grown up

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up(if ever)?

I was always curious about everything. I think I was eight years old, my Dad hired a new teacher for my younger siblings, he was employed to teach them Urdu.

One day I wanted to see how my siblings were doing, there they were repeating every word that their teacher was saying, the teacher knew the whole book by heart. He had his eyes closed and in a sing song tone was reciting the words.

Something to me wasn’t right I thought, my siblings I didn’t believe could read, they were able to repeat what their teacher was saying. I waited for them to complete the lesson for that day, when they came out, I grabbed my sister I told her I didn’t think any of them could read, after continuous repetition they were able to deceive me by opening the book and pretended to know they can actually read.

I told my sister, “I bet you cannot read it.”

She insisted she can , I said: “then read.”

I opened a page in the book and asked her to read.

She said, “I want to start from the first page.”

I was convinced none of them learned to read.

I told her if she can read what difference does it make if I open the book at any page, she should be able to read. My sister stayed quiet, there was nothing she was able to say.

I went to Dad and told him the teacher does not know how to teach and my siblings after all these months cannot read a single word. They can read without opening the book. You know what that means they have memorized the whole book.

My Dad was upset, he immediately  fired the teacher .

That day onward I felt like a grown up I was able to point out to my Dad that the teacher he hired for our younger siblings was not capable of teaching!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/365-writing-pr…t-all-grown-up

DP Daily Prompt: Gut Feeling

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When’s the last time you followed your instinct despite not being sure it was the right thing to do? Did it end up  being the right call ?

About three years ago, I read two lines written by a poet in Urdu, out of curiosity I searched on the internet to find out about this particular poet, luckily I found out why he wrote those lines, which led to another surprise I discovered a gentleman was offering online courses to study about him.

Instinctively I decided to take these courses, I was helped by the facilitator who registered me, I was delighted, I was a bit concerned in the beginning,but it turned out to be a fascinating subject to learn, I also have something to do in my free time. I’m continuing to do these courses, I must say I enjoy every moment of it!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/dp-daily-prompt-gut-feeling/

 

365 Writing Prompts: Hear no evil

Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.

I did overhear something I wish I didn’t. My husband invited some of his friends to dinner one day. All his friends knew he was a Bengali and his wife was a Bengali too.

One of my husband’s friend was from Karachi where Urdu is spoken by most people.I learned Urdu when I was very young, we had neighbors who spoke it.

My husband’s friend seemed to be in a sour mood that day, he called his friend to talk to him about his family problem. I understood what he said.He didn’t think anyone in that party knew his language, unfortunately I heard everything he said against his wife. I did not try, he spoke loud enough for us to hear, only I was the one who understood everything he said.If this is overhearing I am guilty.

This happened to me once, our British Prof. was walking past us one day, I told my classmate in Urdu, “Oh look Mr. Baird is coming!” He quietly walked by without saying anything.

Next day in the classroom, he told us, “Oh by the way, Miss Sabeth speaks very good Urdu.”

I was so embarrassed I did not know what to say, Mr. Baird was a linguist, he lived in India for two years,I had no idea!

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/365-writing-pr…s-hear-no-evil

365 Writing Prompts: Non-regional diction

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect or your accent.

This one is tough, since I have not learned to record my voice on this machine i.e my computer. I thought about this prompt all evening unfortunately came up with no solution.

It’s morning I haven’t figured out yet how I’m going to enunciate words without sound. My mind tells me to write a story of how I learned some of the languages I know.

My first language is my mother tongue Bengali, my mother always used dialectal Bengali which everyone thought did not sound like the original language.

My Dad spoke perfect Bengali, the language you read in books, between my Mom and my Dad there were no issues which one we the kids should speak.

We picked the dialect and not the proper Bengali my Dad spoke.

Moving on to my next language it was Urdu, the language our neighbors and my friends spoke, it came to us quite naturally, I do not recall having any difficulty speaking it. This one like other languages must have dialects too, but I wasn’t aware of it. I know the kind that sounds better, it has to be the one written in books.

My third language is English, I learned in school, in my earlier stages I learned it from a British teacher, she had the perfect British accent.

Change of school put me in a place where English was spoken with an Irish accent, we were taught by Irish nuns, so my pronunciation changed, I was always keen to learn to speak like the teacher. The British accent I believe changed to Irish.

To me I didn’t recognize the change because “ha:f was always that, there was no change.”

If the accent remained the same it would be superb but it took a hit when I had to change all the long a– sound to short to conform with the rest of the population in North America, the kids I taught thought I had a strange accent.

I pronounced ‘half’ like ‘man’, from then on kids had nothing to say about how I pronounced the words.

Lately I’m forced to change the spelling, whenever I spell ‘labour’ the Brit way, it is underlined in red, to make it easy I drop the ‘U’ reluctantly.

This is my story of how I learned the languages I know and the changes I had to make to avoid being called “Weird!”

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/365-writing-pr…gional-diction/

DP Daily Prompts: Imaginary Friend

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Many of us had imaginary friends as children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its/ life be like today? ( didn’t have one ? Write about a non–imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)

I did not have an imaginary friend, I did have a real friend, her name is ‘Farida Jan’

She spoke Persian language at home, in school she spoke English. Ours was a school where the medium of instruction was English, we were not allowed to speak any other language in our classroom. We did speak Urdu which was the local language. I learned it as a child because we lived in cities where Urdu was spoken.

Farida my non–imaginary friend was very quiet like me, which is why we became friends. She had a fair complexion like the Iranians. She was the only child when I met her. I have no idea if she had any other siblings later.

We were separated when I was twelve, we left the city where we lived after my father passed away. I do not know if she continued her studies, perhaps she did , I know nothing  about her now!

nk: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/dp-daily-prompts/

365 writing Prompt: Ready for your close-up

Cast the movie of your life.

My original homeland is Bangladesh.My father was born in a village. It’s name is “ABURKANDI”,it is a small village in Bangladesh.

My father always believed  one should know,his/ her mother tongue before any other language. We were encouraged to speak our mother tongue when we were in the house.My mother tongue is,”BENGALI”. It is spoken in Bangladesh and the Indian states of west Bengal.

I learned Urdu from  neighborhood kids and later learned to read, write and speak it. I learned English in school where the medium of instruction was English.

Later on I learned some French in the university, it happened when I saw a lady in our university. Naturally curious I asked some of my friends who she was, I was told she taught French. I got interested and asked the lady if I could join her class,at first she refused because she had started the course two months ago and didn’t think I could catch up. She gave in when I promised I’d work hard.  I did well according to the teacher.

When I came to Canada, little bit of french I learned in Bangladesh came in handy, I studied the books my husband had. Canada is a bilingual country, we are expected to know both English and French to get a job. I took a few courses to enable me to teach French to the kids in my class, it was only basic French, nothing complicated.

I don’t recall how or why I took an interest in Spanish, I took some correspondence courses in Spanish. I found Spanish easier than French.

I believe if we fail to practice speaking the languages we learn we lose it.

At the moment  I spend my time participating in online courses and blogging. I enjoy both.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/365-writing-pr…-your-close-up/

 

 

 

 

365 days Writing Prompt: Four Stars

Write a review of your life—– or the life of someone close to you— as if it were a movie or a book.

I  will write about someone who was very close to me. He was born in a village in Bangladesh, the name of the village is ‘Aburkandi’, how they chose the name is something I don’t know.

From very early in life he was a brilliant student, he didn’t have to pay tuition fees in school, he received a scholarship for all of his education.

He moved to a small town to continue his education, luckily his half brother lived there, so he lived with him until he finished his undergraduate degree.

After completing his degree he went to Calcutta( now Kolkata)to look for a job, he was offered a job at the post office, a few months later his services were borrowed by the ministry of defense for two months. His performance impressed the authorities, who decided to keep him.

He moved to Delhi where he went up the ladder of success and soon was promoted to the Assistant Secretary of defense.

His sister-in-law was impressed by his performance and felt her sister should be married to him. At first the parents declined their argument was they didn’t want two daughters to be married in the same family. Undaunted the sister-in -law kept pushing the marriage proposal until the parents gave in to her demand.

Soon after the young man was married to his sister-in-law’s sister.

While working the young man studied law, he felt it would be helpful in his job and it did.

He was interested in learning languages,besides Arabic, he learned Urdu and Persian. Since English was the medium of instruction he learned to speak the language fluently.

He had a number of children, he was always interested to see his children well-educated. His eldest son turned out to be a disappointment, he was one of those parents who didn’t like to force his children to do what they did not want to do.

He loved his children and always did what was best for them.

He fell severely ill, at the age of forty-seven he died, leaving behind his wife and  children.

: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/365-days-writi…mpt-four-stars/

 

DP Daily Prompt: Land Of Confusion

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This is a good one, thank you for this prompt. Well to be completely honest, Mathematics did not give me hives, English did not make me scream. I loved English, I wasn’t scared of Math.

What did scare me was Physiology,yes I had this subject in school, the layers of the skin, and heart lungs and blood circulation gave me nightmares. No I did not do this in college it was in school, if you can believe it.

How did this happen, we were preparing for junior Cambridge exams in our school.

There was piano lessons too,I did not take it because the girls who had it said,the nuns would hit their fingers if they played the notes wrong. Hearing about it made my fingers sore,imagine if I was actually hit what would happen then.

But the positives in that school outweighed the negatives. We were a happy bunch,if we spoke Urdu we paid a fine,but that’s to be expected you do not go to an English school to be able to speak Urdu, we all spoke Urdu well.

We had school buses that were so long none of us wanted to go to the back,because when your turn came to get off you had to walk all of those yards to get to the front. Oh we only had one door which was in the front.

Sister Alavishes used to come running and would hit the girls who wouldn’t go to the back of the bus,she didn’t come inside the bus she took care of it from outside,the windows were open and she didn’t mind punching those who were breaking the rules.

I still think we had a lot of fun, we amazed our parents by speaking fluent English. What more could they want, the tuition fees they paid brought them good dividends and they never complained.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/prompt-land-of-confusion/