Video

Visiting Ground Zero

Sorry it took me this long to come here. I was in NYC, 5th grade, when 9/11 happened. I still remember to this day how teachers got us together and told us we were having an early dismissal. Confused, we asked why. The day had barely even started. My teacher said that the twin towers have been attacked. I couldn’t tell you the so many questions I had running through my mind. In the meanwhile, my dad was in Manhattan, seeing with his eyes, in disbelief, how the people on the rooftops screamed for help but the helicopters could not get close and then ultimately called back because all aircrafts were ordered down, how the towers were engulfed in flames, how many jumped off and took their own lives when they saw that no help was coming, and ultimately how, one after the other, the towers fell. Phone lines cut off, no communication. My dad just called my mom once and told her to stay inside the house, there had been a terrorist attack by Muslim terrorists , and people out of rage could be targeting us, Muslims, who were just as angry as they were. I could go on and on. But I’ll put this to rest.
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I’ve finally made it. And I pray for all these individuals who lost their life here on 9/11.

Something I Lost Between The Seats

It is early morning. I eat breakfast quickly, gather up all my stuff, and start getting ready. Before I leave, I hesitantly slip the new sharpened pencil in case I need it later. I drive to the train station, park, and walk over. I sit towards the back of the train, my head facing the opposite direction. I like sitting like that. Some people get dizzy because they can’t see where the train is going but I like the fact that I can see where the train is coming from. I don’t need to see where the train is taking me, I know the route by heart. I am sitting on the right side of the train where there’s two seats. I ride the whole hour looking at busy roadways and hurried people. Run, run, run. After the last check of tickets, And before I put in back in my wallet, I try to see how it sticks to the edge of the window as I’ve seen many people do it. Big Mistake! I should’ve been more careful. The ticket slips past my fingers and into the space between the the seat and the wall/body of the train. I tell the person beside me that my card dropped on the floor and if he could please get up. Awkwardly, in front of a train full of eyes, I crouch down to get my pass. It’s not there! Puzzled, I go back and try to look for it where I dropped it. I see it! It didn’t drop all the way. I try to reach for it, but I can’t. My pass is well within my sight; however my fingers fall too short to even touch its tip. That’s when I switch onto panic mode. My stop is 2 stations away, I have a class in 10 minutes I do not want to be late for, if (not to mention when) I don’t get this pass out right now I have to go further into the city and into unknown territory.

“Did you get it?”, asks the gentleman.

Exasperated, I tell him no.

“Let me try”, he says, then slips into my seat and proceeds to try to slide it out with his notepad.

No luck. The notepad is not thin enough. With one stop away, I desperately try again. Running out of ideas, I start to panic even more. I AM NOT about to leave my $54 weekly train pass stuck in between the seats. That’s when I think of it! With the gentleman looking on, I rummage into my book bag. Thank God I had decided to bring it with me today 😌. I swiftly take out the pencil and try to get the pass. Ugh! I still can’t get it! Like the notepad, the pencil is also thick; however, I succeed in pushing the train pass with the pencil’s tip. The pass, with that extra push, glides to the ground and I sigh in relief. I’m done for the day. Can I go home now? 😝😂.

I thanked the gentleman for helping me. Instead of sitting there like an awkward person, I went up the aisle waiting for the train to come to a stop at my station. I made it 😌

^^^This topic is collected from Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. I was listening to it today and it was a possible topic for the topic train by Greg. I have to both agree and disagree with Elvis on the fact the possible topics weren’t completely lame and you can get some pretty decent stories out of some of them. Anyway, thank you Greg for coming up with this topic. It’s very relatable and I’m sure a lot of people have gone through something similar. ^^^

Quote

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves. “

– Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera 

I was actually introduced to Gabriel García Márquez in my Spanish class in college. We read his novella,  El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel). When we finished the novella, my professor encouraged us to read his famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. However, I never got around to it unfortunately.  Today is his birthday. And here’s to Google for honoring him. I think the doodle is super neat!

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My Favorite Oil Pastels

When I was little, my youngest uncle had given me a set of oil pastels to draw with. They quickly became my favorite. I even brought it with me when I moved to America. I had it for a bit until they were practically taken from me. We had a family friend come over to our house and they had a daughter who was like three at the time. I was six. Unfortunately, she eyed my favorite oil pastels and wouldn’t leave without it. I was reluctant to give it to her and looked over to my parents. They understood my feelings but didn’t say anything to her parents. What could they say when her parents themselves weren’t saying anything to their daughter? In the end, baba told me to give it to her. I was appalled and angry at the baby’s parents that they could have let something like this happen. Yeah, sure the baby might not be able to help it, but isn’t it their duty to teach her what’s right and what’s wrong. The mother was apologetic that her daughter took the crayons but to me it didn’t matter how apologetic she was. She didn’t stop her daughter from taking it. She didn’t take the time to realize how special those crayons were to me. I cried that day, after they left. I cried and I moved on.

And you know what happened to my crayons?

A few months later when we went to visit their house, the aunty was telling my parents and I that she is often times saddened to see the broken pieces of my crayons lying around when cleaning the floor. I wish she would have seen my fists clench at that moment or see how hurt I felt. ໒( ᓀ ‸ ᓂ )७ She actually had the gall to mention that in front of me when it was she who did nothing to stop her daughter in both cases. Ugh, people I tell you ໒( ⇀ ‸ ↼ )७. Gets on my nerves.

On the bright side… this time I bought a set of oil pastels when I visited Bangladesh           °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °

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Oil Pastels ❤ ❤

I was so happy to buy this. I felt I had found something I lost years ago. So many beautiful memories are attached with this little thing.           (︶▽︶)

A Trouvaille

Look what I found whilst cleaning out my room…

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I read this book along with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for my capstone course, Studies in Romanticism, in my senior year of college. Using these two books for my thesis, I argued that subjectivity is rooted in knowledge in both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and that both authors depict knowledge differently. I successfully argued that Shelley depicts knowledge negatively by showing how Victor Frankenstein’s pursuit of power leads to his tragedy. While, on the other hand, Austen depicts knowledge positively by showing that Elizabeth Bennett’s self-awareness leads to felicity.

At that time, we were required to write at least 15 pages for which I was a tad bit worried. I did not know if my topic would be able to span that long. So when I started to formulate how I was going to about it, I started making an outline. I love outlines! They help me focus. They don’t only help me focus, they help students focus. I used outlines to help 5th grade students collect their thoughts as they started to write 4-5 paragraph essays. And they loved it because now they knew where they were going with their topic. Anyways, I started to make an outline and I worked on it, added to it, and perfected it for about a month and a half. See, for me, I don’t start to put anything on paper until I have some sort of content going for me. If you give me a blank piece of paper, I won’t even touch it until I am sure of what I am going to put on that paper. I may write over, scratch, and tear my outline paper to shreds, but I will never touch that blank piece of paper until I have something solid. And you better believe that I made use of that outline. Lines and arrows filled the entire page as sentences climbed up the sides. For each new point I made, I assigned it a number which represented a page. When I was satisfied with what I had, I started writing. For me, writing is an active process. When I started writing, I knew that from my outline I would not be able to come up with 15 pages of solid writing alone. But I knew that along the way, I would be able to come up with content that is relevant to my topic. And boy! was I on fire! I had submerged myself deep into my writing. From arguments that I had previously made, new arguments arose. And just as I had done with my outline, I was working my way through my paper. This was my canvas at that moment and I was working my way towards perfecting it. I wrote 16 pages in three days. All that work payed off because I received an A+ on that paper 🙂 .

Status

February 10- Things I Collect

  1. Coins/money of different countries of the world
  2. Shells
  3. Rocks/pebbles (I really like the smooth ones. If it feels nice, I’ll often times keep it in my pocket to calm my nerves whenever I need it.)
  4. Marbles ( I don’t really collect them as mush anymore, but I do still have a collection.
  5. Stickers, of course!
  6. Washi Tape (my new favorite)
  7. Pens (I recently received some new ones from my cousin in Bangladesh. They are Matador’s i-teen ballpoint water/oil gel pens. And they are superb! I fell in love with them when I visited Bangladesh last summer.)
  8. Pencils (Also a favorite. Plus did you know that there is a pencil haven in Manhattan, NYC? OMG, I can’t wait to visit that place. It’s called CW Enterprise and founded by Caroline Weaver. I was really excited before when I found out about it, but now I am even more excited because they have a special type of pencil that I have been looking for for a long time. It’s the HB Noris Un-Tipped Pencil –Staedtler. This pencil brings back many beautiful memories from my childhood in Bangladesh. Every time I visit Bangladesh, I always look for them. This past summer when I went, I was looking for a lot of stationary items such as oil pastels [which has another story of its own], pencils, pens, erasers, etc. My husband looked at me in awe when he saw how giddy I was just buying them. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the people of Bangladesh have started to use pens more than pencils 😦 ; so I was unable to find this specific type of pencil as well as the metal sharpeners.)
  9. Planners (Not really collect… but keep. I like to keep planners/journals because they showcase what I’ve done or what I’ve been through at any given time/moment. And sometimes it feels really nice to flip through them 🙂 ).
  10. Yu-Gi-OH cards (My brother’s going to hate me for this (^ワ^=). I still have the cards we collected as kids. I never played with mine, I just liked collecting. But he was furious, and still is furious that a) I keep them despite not playing with them and b) I don’t give it back to him. In truth they were initially his cards, but after he received a new deck, I got his previous deck which contains Dark Magician, Summoned Skull, Mystical Elf, Mammoth Graveyard, and Kuriboh, just to name a few. )

February 7- My Favorite Part of School

Hmmm… My favorite part of school was probably lunch time where I got to unwind and catch up with friends. Well, in middle school (NYC~6th/7th grade) it was a little different. Although I did enjoy hanging out with friends during lunch time, I also liked bunking it sometimes to spend some quiet time in the special education room where my speech classes were held. I have to write about that one time. Anyway, by the end of my 7th grade school year, my friends eventually became curious about where I went during lunch. And after I told them that I volunteered my time to help out teachers and students in the special education room, they started to take out their time from lunch to help out too ❤ ❤ . I moved to Pennsylvania after that school year. But my friends continued to help out even without me being there 🙂

Video

Dadi’s Garden

I wanna go back 😭. I spent the first six years of my life here. This specific window led to my grandmother’s tiny garden. Every once in a while she would have it opened to tend to the plants. We both would stand on this side of the window watching the plants being watered or the guavas being picked from the guava tree. Thank you ammu for opening this gate for me that day. The rain, the atmosphere, and the vehicles on the street both heightened my emotions and brought back many beautiful memories. I am going to cherish this moment forever. And thank you for keeping dadi’s garden flourishing all throughout the years ❤️❤️, even though it has changed quite a bit…. the jackfruit tree has gotten smaller and the guava tree is no more. Even in dadi’s absence, I feel her presence every time I’m here 😌.

Shell Collecting 

I came across this picture as I was looking through my phone and immediately thought, “The shells! Where are the shells?!” Thankfully, while doing a little digging, I found it tucked away in my closet. The girl on my left noticed I was collecting, and without me even asking, she collected a bunch for me 🙂 ❤. Then the other girl joined in and started collecting more as we walked, scooping the edges of her kameez to make a pouch for the shells. They stayed with me the entire time so I could walk across the rocks and coral stones easily. And the  shell in the third picture, our photographer (a native of Cox’s Bazaar) found for me because he wanted me to take a piece of his home with him ❤❤

Inani Beach, Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh

The Voices of Despair

Bullets flew past me as I crawled through the paddy field. I saw many fall down in front of me but I could do nothing to help but go on. I reached the bank but wasn’t sure if I should cross it. Hearing men coming my way, I slunk back into the field and waited. I stopped breathing for a minute and nine seconds in fear that they might hear me, capture me, and kill me. Nothing was left and there was no where to go. The only thing you could do was go forward and pray that you stayed alive for one more day. A group of soldiers were on the road laughing and talking in their language. Their boisterous voices were full of filth and hate. Anger boiled inside of me. I wanted to take them down right then and there, but they were too many. They heard a noise from a little ways away and followed it while I took the chance to get out of there as fast as I could.

The only way to move about was at night. It seemed as if I had been walking for miles. I was tired and my feet were cracked and dirty. My stomach growled. The road was pitch black and the moonlight wasn’t helping me any. Eventually, I lost track of the road and landed back in the paddy field when I felt a great excruciating pain on my right toe. I screamed silently for fear of the Paki cops finding me as I blindly tried to remove the thorn. Unable to, I kept on walking as my foot bled. I had no choice but to go on. I don’t know how much longer I walked but after a while, even the pain seemed to go away. After what seemed like hours, I saw something off in the distance, like a light flickering, and then it was gone. A few minutes later, I saw it again and this time I figured it wasn’t just in my head. I headed towards it and found a small house. I limped my way to a tree and wondered if I should get closer. What if the soldiers were using it as a base? But what if they weren’t? What if it was just a normal house with normal people inside? I could get help. They could tell me if they saw my family. 

Taking a chance, I limped across the yard to the front door. My heart, beating more times than I could count, stopped right there as I pushed the door open and ten thousand voices shrilled, resonating through my body and into the night.

 

^^This is a recount of my father during the Liberation War. It was about the time he became separated from his family when Pakistani soldiers stormed his village and they were forced to leave everything and flee for their lives.