Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Friendly Stranger

We call
“not familiar faces” strangers - But when we call a person
A stranger - we plant a seed strangeness in him
That was my manager
People called him a strange - they added another fear in me
“He’s strict, new and a stranger too”.

My pulse rate enhanced
When I was introduced to him
He looked through me
I felt, I missed a beat
To realize later, I misses the beat
In his Rhythm in his look.

I realize now the message behind his look
He was looking all these years
For that person; people mistook him
“A new manager with a fiery look”

Today we are no longer strangers
Familiar faces, friendly looks
Now I look through his eyes to know
What I'm - Do I appeal to him?

A little touch of care and attention
Is all, what it made, the change in me.
Now heaven is a place on earth for me.

A Dream

As a child
I too had my dreams
About the person I should love,
I searched for him
In fairy tales
Someone, handsome, wonderful
Different, from the world around me.
Now I’m grown up
I no longer dream
I wait for my dream
All of a sudden
He cam into my life
The one I longed for
The one I dream’nt about
He’s around me
My life’s now changed
I’m lucky
My dream cam true
To greet my dream I woke up
My dream too woke up
To see me off…..
But I still live
Around my dream.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My Married life in short

I remember the first time I had seen Joe it was almost 25 years back, I had first seen him at the Bombay Airport as he used to work there and from that day I fell in love with him. I used to follow him everywhere he went and he at that time had many girlfriends, I even remember going up to each of his girlfriends and telling them to leave him alone as I was in love with him and would d threaten them. He once confronted me and told me to leave him alone but I had fallen so deeply in love with him that I could not see anything beyond him. He would date me from time to time and then this became regular so much so that he too started falling in love with me. I also remember telling lies and going to meet him secretly as his people were not fond of me, but that did not matter to us. We were too madly in love people (and still two mad lovers) to worry what the world said.

Finally that day came & (secret) he first kissed me under the stairs and told me that he too was in love me, but that he had many commitments and that I would have to wait., moreover he knew that his folks would not agree as we were from different communities. But then I told him does not matter I would wait for him to fulfill all his commitments and that I was ready to go against all odds to get married. I was in Dubai while he was in Bombay but I was sure that he would not leave me while I was away, we use to write big long letters and talks on the phone for hours together, I still have those letters that he wrote to me and cherish the sweet memory it holds.

And then after 6 1/2 yrs came that day he decided that we get married and we got married on Jan 5th 1991. We had to go through lot of ups and downs (both financially and work wise) but it was & is worth it. What is marriage without love and understanding each other. This was we have developed even if we are in deep trouble we have learnt to stand by one another and survive the worst .

I remember the times when were not allowed to get married to each other only because we were from two different communities and ways of living were different but in spite of all odds we have come through it and showed everyone - that it does not take different communities or lifestyles to make a marriage but love and understanding and caring for each other. I have lots more to tell but about how beautiful a married life and how we supported each other in difficult times and have come through it, we have but not enough time but would be happy to say it .

Monday, February 19, 2007


I still recall the tender smile, cheerful face
Of my dearest DAD who shared and cheered
My moment of pain, movements in pain
You’re the greatest DAD I’ve ever seen.

My nights were alive with your stories vivid
In your cozy bosom, my fears were unfounded
But today, I’m left to my self to my world
Of memories enveloped in your gentle strong arms.

How can I forget you DAD ?
In may flower I see your face again
Sentiments of love, rudiments of learning
I owe my DAD – the alphabets of living.

Memories of your kind letters
Still bring holidays in my life
Today I think and thank
In my little world - THE GIANT OF A DAD
I love and still do I love.

I missed you not once, everyday I miss you
Memories never dies, it only fades
I can live in your memory
But you can’t die in my heart.

Cigratte & Me

The rise and fall in the market

Makes the dawn of a new cigarette

The old is sooner forgotten

The young is sought after --- I mean

A new brand in the market.

My life too is like a cigarette

I’m in his hands for sometime

He makes the best use of me

And leaves me for another.

My life too is getting shorter

With every puff he takes of me

The paths of GLOWRY (glory)

Lead but to a BUTT grave

Global Warming - Good News

Some of the effects of global warming will probably be positive, says sean thomas
Belief in global warming is nowadays almost universal, and for a good reason. The evidence exists. But there is another widespread belief which is less justifiable: that global warming will have only negative effects.
Consider the distant past. Two hundred million years ago the earth was much warmer than it is now: dinosaurs roamed the Antarctic, which was then lush and tropical. No one claims that this warming was terrible for velociraptors. So why is a warmer earth seen as a disaster for man?
Of course, we all know global warming is going to cause dislocation. Increased storminess, desertification, and inundation from raised sea-levels are serious and understandable fears. There will inevitably be major costs as we adapt to our new environment. But maybe there will be swift
and enormous gains as well.
One look at a world map shows that vast tracts of land - in Siberia and Canada, in Tibet and elsewhere - are at present too cold for widespread cultivation and settlement. With global warming these regions of the earth will, presumably, become fruitful.
But you wouldn't know it by listening to the doomsayers of climate change. The way some people speak about global warming, and the damage it will wreak on the status quo, it's almost as if tundra and glaciers are intrinsically good things.
These global warming benefits might stretch further south. In Britain, areas that are now windy and cold - highland Scotland, the Pennines, Dartmoor - should become more hospitable. Intriguingly, Dartmoor was once fertile and widely settled, so this won't be the first time. Farmers will probably have longer growing periods, British summers will be drier and brighter, and so forth.
We are also told that many species will die out because of global warming. But can we know this for sure? It is arguable that many
species will adapt, and previously threatened species may thrive. That, after all, is the theory of evolution. What is bad for snowgeese could be great for hummingbirds.
Such claims may sound like wishful thinking. But many experts are ready to think along similar lines.
One of the most prominent is Thomas Moore, an economist at Stanford University. He's studied the potential impact of global warning and shown that death rates might actually decrease - as bronchitis, influenza, and other cold-weather ailments decline. A warmer world will also need less fuel for heating. And crop failures might become a thing of the past at higher latitudes.
Likewise, climatologist Bjorn Lomberg has talked about the upside, when those vast northerly areas (Canada and Siberia, etc) become cultivatable. Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, takes an even broader perspective: "From a purely evolutionary point of view, warm periods have been exceptionally good to mankind. Cold periods
have been the troublesome ages."
The Arctic Council is another authority seeing benefits in a warmer planet. Oil and gas deposits hidden under ice will become accessible. Previously frozen sea lanes will open up: it is estimated that the sea-journey from Tokyo to London will be reduced by twelve days. The fabled Northwest passage, over the top of Canada, will finally be a reality. Grass has already started growing in the Antarctic, for the first time in many thousands of years.
There's more. Storms may become more widespread, but extra rainfall could benefit drought-stricken areas. In other regions, marshes will dry out and become lucrative farmland. As for the threatened spread of malaria, and other diseases, this may be an overblown problem. Singapore is in the tropics yet has low malaria rates: it's all about hygiene and sanitation, says Moore.
Will global warming ultimately be good or bad? The truthful answer is: no one knows. But 'The end of the world is nigh' makes a much better headline.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Lass from Bangladesh Part X

It’s a new beginning for Mumtaz here. Jaffar had joined a school near his house. Imran is back in Bahrain and Mumtaz is busy with her daily chores. One morning Mumtaz does not come to the kitchen and is sick, Imran mother goes to see her in the room. She asks Mumtaz what happened. Mumtaz tells her that she is feeling sick and nausea. Rashidabi smiles at her and tells her that she is going to be a mother. Mumtaz blushes and cannot believe it, so they go to see the family doctor. The doctor takes a few tests and gives Mumtaz the good news. He tells her that is she pregnant and the baby is fine. He tells her that she must take good rest and eat lot of fruits and fresh vegetable. Mumtaz is very very happy and rushes home to call her husband and give him the good news. Imran is happy as in another 4 months time he would be with her. He calls Shakila her friend and gives her the good news too.. Shakila calls Mumtaz and wishes her luck and tells her to take care.

Time passes Mumtaz is getting bigger and Imran is due to come. She is very happy as she is the centre of attention in this lovely big family. The next week Imran arrives. She cannot go to the airport to receive him as she cannot travel as the airport is very far from home. She waits for him and when she hears the car at the door she rushes to greet him. She is hugged and gosh the happiness is so much that Mumtaz burst out crying. Imran takes her inside and says don’t worry I am here now and all will be well,

Its the ninth month Mumtaz is asked to take complete bed rest. The doctor used to come home to check on her. He tells her that she is due anytime. So the next morning Mumtaz is getting her labor pains, she is rushed to the hospital. They make it on time as Mumtaz water bag breaks; she is taken straight to the Labor room. Imran, his mother and other relatives are waiting anxiously outside the labor room. In five minutes they hear a small cry. They look at one another as they don’t know anything. Jus them the doctor comes out of the labor room with a small bundle in his hand. He goes straight to Imran and says here is your son, Imran is all smiles. The doctor tells Imran that Mumtaz is fine and is asleep. The little boy is healthy and weighs about 3kgs says the doctor. They are now all sitting by her bedside and the baby in his crib. Mumtaz wakes up to see a lot of people around her and flowers all around her bed side. Imran gives a peck on her forehead and tells her that she has had a healthy baby boy. Mumtaz is in tears, she sees the little one next to her in his crib. The nurse comes in and gives the baby in her hand to hold. Mumtaz holds the baby close to her chest and looks up and thanks the almighty for his lovely gift to her. The next day she si discharged and is taken home. She is very happy as Imran has made a lot of arrangements for her and the little baby. They name the boy Mohammed as Mumtaz says he his God given gift to her.

A another new life has begun for Mumtaz. and she lives happily ever after.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part IX

They land at Bombay International airport after a two and half hours of flying time. The airport is crowded Mumtaz is lost. She is with Jaffar as Imran is collecting the baggage. As they are coming out Jaffar is excited and runs towards a crowd of people come to welcome them. Mumtaz only smiles at them as she does not know who is who. Imran comes out with the baggage towards the relatives that are waiting to greet them. She is introduced to everyone and Imran aunt comes forward and holds her hand and takes her along with her. They all go the cars that are waiting and drive home. When they reach home there is like a feast, there are neighbors, friends and relatives all come to welcome the new bride of Imran home. Mumtaz is full of smiles and does not leave Imran’s side. There is a lot of relative coming and going Mumtaz is happy and by the time is lunch is over it’s a late afternoon. Mumtaz is tired of the hustle and bustle of the day. Jaffar is too busy with his cousins. It was quieter in the evening so Imran and Mumtaz call it a day and retire early to bed.

The next day is a day for visiting, so Imran and Mumtaz go visiting all his relatives and since all he relatives are spread all over Bombay they just visit a few of them. He then takes her to a bit of sightseeing. Mumtaz enjoys every second here as she has a lot to see and explore. She is new to India and finds a lot of difference between Bangladesh, then Bahrain and now Bombay. Shakila calls her on Fridays and Mumtaz has so much to tell her. Mumtaz tells her that she does not feel like coming back to Bahrain and would prefer staying here. Mumtaz tells her she has many relatives and aunts and uncles of Imran and they all want her to stay with them instead of going back to Bahrain. Imran too told her that if she wanted she could stay back. Mumtaz tells Shakila not to worry and that she would always be in touch with her and that she could come and visit her and stay with her.

Vacation is over its time to go back. , but Mumtaz has decided to stay back in India. Jaffar has also decided to join the school in Bombay so Imran too promised Mumtaz that he would go for another couple of months complete his project and then come back and settle in Bombay.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part VIII

The next day is the big day. Mumtaz looks very pretty dressed in a red sari and adorned with jewels and flowers. Shakila and Nina are at her side. The Nikah is read and they both say I do. All the teachers and principal and school children are at the reception. When it was time to leave. Mumtaz has big tears in her eyes. She thanks everyone for helping her and supporting her. She looks at the heavens and thanks God for giving her such lively people in her life. She hugs each one of them and bids them adieu.

Imran and she make a perfect couple. Jaffar is very excited as she is his aunty now. It is getting to be a year and as time flies Imran takes her to see several doctors. Many doctors give different opinions but then came a specialist who thinks that Mumtaz can get pregnant, so he calls her the next day to do some special tests. The tests take a week and all are anxious to know the result of Mumtaz. Mumtaz and Imran are up early that morning they both are very anxious and so are all her friends and relatives. They go the American Hospital and asked to meet Dr. Bill Daly. They had to wait an hour as Doctor Bill was busy but the hours would not pass and they two were really getting very anxious and then they get to see Dr. Bill Daly. Dr. Daly shakes his hands and gestures for them to take a seat. He can see the anxiousness on their face and so he tells them that the good news is that Mumtaz can get pregnant again, but she has to undergo a small surgery. Imran and Mumtaz are very happy to hear the good news. Mumtaz says she is ready for the surgery any time. Dr. assures her not to worry it is a little surgery but all would be fine for her. He gives them time to come the following week.

When they reach home they give the goods news to everyone there and all are very happy too for them. Imran mum is the happiest and says to her “I told you not to worry and that Imran would take you to see the best doctors and all would be well for you”. Mumtaz smiles at her and sees the happiness in her eyes. She hugs her and says to her “mum please pray for me and that my operation would be successful”. Rashidabi ask’s her actually is the problem. Imran does not have much to say he just says that the doctor said that a small surgery was needed for her.

Mumtaz takes time off from her school and is getting ready for the big day. The day dawns, Mumtaz, Imran, Shakila, little Jaffar and Rashidabi all go with her to the hospital. Dr. Daly comes to greet them and takes them to the ward where she is to be admitted. The doctor tells them it will be a couple of hours and so they could either wait in the Lobby or go home and come back later. But they all are so anxious and are ready to wait in the hospital itself. Mumtaz is taken into the hospital theatre. Mumtaz looked a bit nervous as she remembered the last time she was in the hospital she had lost her baby. The doctors told her not to worry and all would be well in a couple of hours.

It’s almost noon Dr. Bill emerges out of the theatre. He goes straight to the anxious families that are waiting for the news. Dr. smiles and tells them that the operation was successful, but not to disturb her now as she was sedated and is asleep.

Mumtaz regains consciousness later in the evening and when she opens her eyes she sees everyone around her. She does not know how to react but her mother-in-law sits by her side and tells her the good news. Mumtaz smiles at her and sees Imran too smiling back at her. She is discharged the next week.

School vacations are due the following week so they plan a holiday. Imran tells her that if she liked they could visit Bangladesh. She is very happy and sad too. She has mixed emotions; she tells Imran she would love to go back there but that she has no one there now. Her best friend Shakila too is here in Bahrain. He asks her where she would like to go, she tells him why not visit your home country and Imran is very happy. So the following week they both leave for Bombay. It’s her first visit to India and so Mumtaz is like a little child and very excited as she knows that there is a lot to see for her and she was looking forward to meet the rest of Imran and Jaffar’s relatives.

She and Jaffar go to do their shopping as next week they leave for India. For Mumtaz the next week to come seems to take longer than expected. Finally the day dawns they are all packed and ready to leave for the airport. The taxi arrives they drive to the airport. Jaffar is also very excited to meet all his cousins and rest of the relatives. He goes on chatting with Mumtaz and telling her of whom all she would meet. They check in their baggage and go the Duty Free shops and look around and just while time away until its time for them to board the aircraft.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part VII

Mumtaz asks her what will Imran say when he learns that she will not be able to bear him kids. Rashidabi just smiled at her and said don’t worry, we will take you to the best doctors and see what was really wrong with her.

Rashidabi and Mumtaz walk back home. She has dinner at their place and Imran escorts her back to her quarters. They are very quite on the way home although he is dying to ask her what they were both chatting in the park. She reaches her quarters and Imran bids her good night. Mumtaz back in her room just plunks herself on the bed. Nina her room-mate looks at her and asks her why you look so confused and worried. Mumtaz does not know what to do. She tells her the whole story. Nina is very happy for her and tells her that she must say yes and get married to Imran and that she would then have a much better life. The next couple of days are very confusing days for Mumtaz she writes to her best friend Shakila and Shakila too is very happy for her and tells her to go ahead. Mumtaz arranges for a visit visa and brings her best friend Shakila to Bahrain.

Mumtaz takes few days off as her friend Shakila is coming. Mumtaz takes her friend to see all around the city. Then Mumtaz takes Shakila to the garden and there they sit and Mumtaz relates to her everything about how Imran came into her life. Rashidabi having learnt that her friend is in town invites both of them for lunch, so the next day being Friday and a holiday they both go to Jaffar house. Jaffar was surprised to see his teacher and her friend. He gets very friendly with Shakila and wants to know who she is. Mumtaz tells him that she is her best friend from Bangladesh. They all have lunch and then Rashidabi decides to take a walk in the garden. They all go there and Jaffar is busy playing when Rashidabi tells Shakila of her proposal to Mumtaz. Shakila is very happy and says that Mumtaz is happy but that she has already gone through one episode in her life and did not want to go through again. Rashidabi tells her that Mumtaz told her everything in spite of that she wants her to be her daughter-in-law. Finally after much persuasion Mumtaz says yes. Rashidabi is very happy and like a little child rushes home and tells the girls that she has a lot of preparations to do.

Now Mumtaz has only her best friend Shakila, her room mate and her school colleagues to support her., they are all very happy for her when they learn from her that she has agreed to marry Imran. All the teachers tell her not to worry and they would help her with the wedding preparations. The principal on behalf of the school committee and teachers and students gifts Mumtaz a fully furnished flat to stay in. Another gift was a job in the same school for her best friend Shakila, she was very happy that she would now have a friend here with her.

Mumtaz, Shakila and Nina and some other teachers went to do the shopping for her clothes. On the other hand there Rashidabi is very busy to and so is Imran and of course little Jaffar who is excited about everything. But Mumtaz is still worried in spite of all her colleagues telling her not to worry and that all will be well.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part VI

Jaffar, was her close little friend, his uncle now came regularly to pick up the boy and made it a point to talk to Mumtaz. It was becoming very clear that he was getting attracted towards her. She was scared and did not want another relationship. Days and months passed. It was Jaffar’s birthday he was having a party and had insisted that his teacher must come home to his house. Mumtaz was shy and did not want to accept his invitation but then on second thoughts she decided to go since all her colleagues too said that she must attend. She went to his house that evening. Jaffar was very delighted and was showing off his teacher to everyone at his house. Mumtaz was very nervous as everyone there was looking at her. Mumtaz met many relatives of Jaffar. During the party there was elderly lady who kept staring a Mumtaz. Mumtaz could feel that this lady wanted to talk to her, so she went up to her and introduced herself. The lady in sixties smiled warmly at Mumtaz and smiled at her. She asked her several questions about her family. She asked Mumtaz how long she was her in Bahrain and she said it’s been a year and a half. Later Mumtaz learnt that the lady was Jaffar’s grand aunt. Rashidabi, Imran’s mother. She asked Mumtaz if she was married. Mumtaz did not want to get into this conversation but felt so warm talking to her that she decided to tell her story. Rashidabi took her into another room and they both got talking. Rashidabi liked her instantly and how she had come up in life in spite of obstacles in life.

It was getting late so Mumtaz asked permission to leave, and promised to meet her again. Imran’s mother made her promise that she would return to see her the next day. So the next day in evening Mumtaz and Rashidabi meet at the garden. Mumtaz was not sure what she wanted from her but kind of guessed what she was going to be asked. Rashidabi asked her if she would like to get married to Imran. Mumtaz was a bit taken back and not very surprised though, as she knew this was going to come next after being questioned so much. Mumtaz was almost going to say know when Imran spotted them in the park and was surprised to see his mum and Mumtaz chatting away. He came up to them and said hello and was curious to know what they were two chatting about, but just smiled at Mumtaz and left. His mother caught that glint in his eye when he smiled at Mumtaz and she knew there was this chemistry that was working here. Imran’s mother got her attention and again asked her if would marry her son. Mumtaz then told her that she would not be able to bear his kids.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part V

The first day at school is only getting acquainted with the students and scanning their syllabus.

A week goes by Mumtaz is pleased with the school and her work. She loves the little children that she teaches and they too seem to react with her very well. Mumtaz becomes a very popular teacher and is admired by all her colleagues. Soon it’s Children’s Day and they have to get the kids to do something special that day. She helps the children in staging a special play and some skits. All the children do very well and all the parents have a good time on that day. When all the parents and children were leaving she notices one little boy sitting and crying in the corner. She calls him towards her and asks him “Jaffar why are you crying?” She thinks he is worried because his parents have not yet come to pick him up he must be crying .He looks up at her and cries, she hugs him and wipes the tears from his eyes. She tells him not to cry and that his parents would come anytime now. It was getting late and the teacher too was getting worried. At that moment the principal comes by and sees the little lad crying in her arms and feels sorry for the boy. She tells the teacher that he is an orphan and is being looked after by his uncle. Mumtaz asks the principal how this happened and she told Mumtaz that only a few weeks back his parents met with a freak accident and passed away so now she realized why he was crying. She knew that he must have missed his parents on this special day as every year his parents would come to see him perform and this year no one turned not even his uncle as he was a business man and was very busy. The driver was late to pick him up from school to that day.

The teacher sits with the little boy in the school lobby and waited till he was picked up. Jaffar was nine years and handsome little lad. She told him about herself and told him that she too missed her parents but that life must go on. Mumtaz told him that his parents were up there and were surely there watching over him and seen his performance. She was sad for him. She heard the lobby door open and in walked a tall man with broad shoulders. She assumed it could be his uncle. The boy looked up and said teacher my uncle is here. She thought that Jaffar looked handsome like his uncle. Jaffar introduced the teacher to his uncle Imran and his uncle thanked her for her patience and waiting until he came. He apologized for the delay and assured it would not happen. All along his conversation he kept staring at Mumtaz. Mumtaz although in her early thirties was very pretty looking. She suddenly caught him staring at her and felt a bit uncomfortable. She suddenly said that it was late and they leave. They said once again said thank you and good night and left.

That night Mumtaz was really very tired, she took a hot shower changed and went to bed. She could not sleep well she was very restless, she kept thinking of Jaffar, her herself and his uncle’s stares. It was all very disturbing. But next day was a day of surprises for Mumtaz. When she woke up she was surprised to see Nina up before her and found it very strange – she then thought that she must have over slept and work up late. And she gets ready and the transport is there to pick her up. Nina has this strange smile on her face all the while. Mumtaz ask’s her she is up to and Nina just smiles and says nothing. They reach the school. Mumtaz goes to the assembly hall; she thinks that she sees that there is a strange smile on all the faces of everyone out there today, but she cannot understand why. Then when she enters the class was a bigger surprise, she says a big bouquet of flowers at her table and then all the children stand up and instead of wishing her they sing to her “Happy Birthday teacher”. Mumtaz was surprised as she herself had forgotten that today was her birthday. Al the children bring to her little bunches of flowers and cards that they have made. She goes to the bouquet and sees a small card attached to it and wonder who has sent it. She smiles when she reads it. It was from Imran the uncle of Jaffar. Besides saying special thank you to her he wishes her on her birthday, she looks at Jaffar and sees that Jaffar to is looking at her and giving her that cute smile. She thanks all the children and they all get back to studying.

That evening Mumtaz waits with Jaffar till her goes as she was waiting to thank his uncle for the special flowers and greetings that she received. The wait seemed too long and she was getting rather restless at last he came and when he approached the boy they (Mumtaz) and he exchanged quite smiles and she thanked him once again. Later that evening was yet another surprise all her colleagues and the principal gave a dinner treat she was very thrilled and appreciated it with thanks.
Mumtaz was tired and had to call it a day. She went back to her room and sat and thought of the lovely day she had. She decided to pen a long letter to her friend Shakila. She wrote to Shakila the whole day events and also of her silent admirer or the one she quietly admired in her heart. Life went on for her. She saw life changing on the fast lane for her. From where she came and how she reached the Gulf was all one big change in her life. She was happy as she forgot about her past although at times whenever she sat back she would think of her childhood then her married life but smiled when it came to the present

The Lass from Bangladesh Part IV

Mumtaz was as usual on her way to school one day when she came across this good looking man. His name was Nasser. He was a new teacher in the same school that she was teaching; they got talking and sort of became friends. Nasser was very curious to know more about Mumtaz but she kept aloof as once bitten twice shy. Nasser father was a big business man and used to run a consultancy business. One day Mumtaz asked Nasser what his father was doing and he said my father sends people to the Gulf to work, he arranges for visa and does all the formalities until they go to the Gulf. Now this idea sort of interested Mumtaz. She thought to herself since she had nobody left here only for her friend Shakila why not go to the Gulf and work as she had heard that there were lot of opportunities to work in the Gulf.

One day she approached Nasser and asked to make an appointment with his father. So the next day was Sunday and so she went with Nasser to his father office. His father saw her asked her why she wanted to go to the Gulf all of a sudden. Mumtaz told him that she did not have anyone left here and only a friend so wanted to see what was life in the Gulf. Her father told her that he would let her as soon as some good opportunity comes up and in the meantime she would have to make a passport for her. Luckily for Mumtaz an opportunity came sooner than she accepted. Her passport was ready and her visa too had come. She was sad to leave her best friend Shakila but promised to take her too once she was settled in the Gulf.

The next day she was ready at the airport to the board a flight going to Bahrain. She was happy, sad and excited, as it was going to be a whole new beginning for her. Nasser father told her not to worry and that someone from a school in Bahrain would come to pick her up at the airport and take her to her accommodation. She hugged and kissed Shakila her best friend and boarded the flight for Bahrain. She got a window seat and like a little child she looked out of the window to see the world pass by under her. She was in the clouds and she felt as she was in heaven. She suddenly felt as if she was going to heaven as all around was thick white clouds. She sighed a relief when suddenly she heard the big machine make a noise and heard the captain telling them all to fasten their seat belts as they were ready to disembark at Bahrain International Airport in a couple of minutes.

Mumtaz heart was beating fast and she was bit nervous. The plane came to a halt and all the passenger were alighting from the aircraft. She too alighted picked her baggage from the counter and went to the counter where her visa had to be stamped before she exited. All of a sudden from the glass she sees a big placard with her name on it. She waves at the man who is holding up the placard acknowledging her presence. She stamps her visa and goes to the man who is standing there. He greets her and he tells he is the driver of the school and has come to pick her up.

He put the baggage in the trunk of the car and she sat in the back seat. As the car started off she was like an excited child looking at the new place and world she has come to. She could see that all the women wore Abhaya’s and the men in Dishdasha’s. She found it a bit strange but she knew that in the Gulf the Muslim were very strict where their clothing was concerned. She reached her accommodation a small flat. There she met her room-mate (Nina) also a teacher in the same school. Being the first day she did not get sleep and was alone in the room as her room mate had gone out. There was a TV, so she turned it on and was watching the news channel. She kept awake very late and then heard a click on the door – she was glad that finally her room mate came. They sat for a while and they decided to call it a day as the next day would be another new big day for Mumtaz in a foreign country.

It was 6 am on her watch, so she woke up and found that her room mate was still asleep. She took a shower and was getting her clothes ready to go when her Nina woke up and asked her where she was going so early. Now Mumtaz did not realize that there was a two hour time difference, so it was actually only 4 am when Mumtaz woke. Mumtaz smiled at her. Nina went back to sleep as school began only at 9 am and there was a lot of time to get ready. Mumtaz took a back seat and just relaxed. She was thinking how her life is and thought of her lovely childhood days, then when she got married and now she is here. She thought of her friend Shakila, she missed her a lot already. So she grabbed a pen and thought that she would pen a few lines to her. She seemed to have been really lost in her writing and her thoughts about Shakila, when Nina wakes up from her sleep. It is 7:30 am, they both start getting ready to go to school. Nina tells her that a transport will come to pick them up by 8:30 am so they have enough time to have a quick breakfast. Nina briefs her about the school, its environment and the students. Mumtaz is very happy and when they reach the school. The principal Mr. Patel comes to greet her. He takes her on tour of the school and shows her the class that she would be teaching. The children are very excited to see their new teacher and they greet her with a big “Good Morning Mama”.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part III

Now back to the city Mumtaz found work in a small school and used to teach the little children there. Her grandmother too passed away that week, she was sad that she too had gone but was happy that she had tended to her in her final moments.

Many proposals came for Mumtaz, but Mumtaz never wanted to get married she never wanted to part away from her uncle and aunty the only relatives that she had. Her uncle told her that she was a grown up lady now and she had to move ahead in life. He told her that they were getting old and did not know how long they would be able to look after her. He told her he wanted to see her happily married & settled in life before they both passed away. Mumtaz kind of agreed but very hesitatingly, she made a deal that she would marry on one condition that she would be able to live with them and care for them until they were alive. So the deal was done.

Mumtaz married Tahir one spring day. There was a big wedding reception and Mumtaz was looking very beautiful with the jewels that she wore that her mother had left back for her. She did miss her parents very much that day.

Tahir ran a small grocery store. He was a nice man and she was very happy with him. Her uncle gave her his house as her wedding gift and some jewellery from her aunty. Life went on, Mumtaz would go to teach at the little kindergarten and Tahir to his tore. Days and months passed that summer, her uncle passed away and in another month or two her aunty too passed away. Mumtaz was very sad as she had no one left in this world except her husband. Life went on. Tahir business grew and grew, he managed to buy two stores now and was becoming a big man. He told Mumtaz that she should stop working and stay home. Mumtaz was on her way to motherhood. She too thought it would be good idea as she was getting tired and soon the baby would come. So Mumtaz decided to stay home. It was September and one night Mumtaz felt pain and was screaming, she yelled for Tahir, he came running and then rushed her to the hospital. At the hospital they rushed her to the maternity ward; Tahir was very anxious and happy too. He had no relative himself as he too was an orphan and was brought up by a distant aunt who passed away when he was old enough to stand on his own feet.

The doctor came out of the Operation Theatre – Tahir ran up to him and asked the doctor – the doctor looked at him and said –sorry we could not save the baby but Mumtaz your wife is fine, she had some complications and the baby had actually passed away on the way to the hospital. Tahir was very sad, but glad that his wife was fine; he went inside the ward and sat beside. Mumtaz did not know what happened. She was sedated and deep in sleep. He just held her hands in his hand and stroked it. She stirred a bit and opened an eyes a bit. , she saw Tahir sitting next to her but fell asleep again.

In the evening when she regained consciousnesses she asked Tahir where the baby was. Tahir did not know what to do but explained to her that not to worry. He told her the child had passed away on the way to the hospital, she began to weep, and he consoled her and told her that they could have another baby, but he was glad that she was alive. They discharged her from the hospital and she came home. She was very sad as she had prepared a special crib for the baby but alas no baby. She asked Tahir to move the baby crib and all the d├ęcor that would remind her of the baby. She requested Tahir if she could go back to her teaching for which Tahir agreed as he knew if she stayed home she would suffer from depression. So in October Mumtaz goes back to her teaching and is very happy to be back with the kids.

It was Eid so there was a lot of preparations going on Tahir too were very busy with his store running with full business. Tahir started coming every day late from work and Mumtaz would be asleep by the time he got home as she to used to be tired after her teaching at the school. It was very strange although they lived in the same house and slept on the same beds life was different. Mumtaz hardly saw him or got to talk to him. Even on holidays he would spend his time at the stores that he owned. The next day was Eid and Mumtaz was busy cooking while Tahir walked in by midnight. She was glad to see him, but she found a strange look on his face. She asked him if he would like to eat but he said no and that he had already eaten and come. So he took a shower changed and went straight to bed. Mumtaz tried to talk to him and asked him if had invited any friends over for Eid. She said that she had invited a few of friends from school and if he could join them all for the Eid celebrations. Tahir turned away and said no and that he was too busy. Mumtaz felt a bit hurt but just hid her emotions she did not want to feel sad on Eid day.

Eid day was very busy all her friends came over and they ate drank and chatted for hours together. One of her friends saw a picture of Tahir and her and said to “Mumtaz so that is you husband Tahir” she said yes with a blush on her face. But she found her face sort of different and she noticed a sneer on her friends face Shakila and asked her why that smiles on her face. Shakila did not want to upset her and said nothing. But the next day Mumtaz got hold of Shakila and pulled her aside and asked her the same question. Shakila told her that she was not sure she should tell her but since she insisted she would tell her. They both met in a park after school and Shakila told her a story that would change Mumtaz life completely. She told her that he Tahir was having an affair with another lady by the name of Latifa and that Latifa was Shakila’s neighbor that is how when she saw the photo she was shocked.

That day was a dooms day for her, when she got back home very confused and rejected in life, she waited up to meet her husband, but he did not turn up. She fell asleep waiting for him. She waited a whole week but there was no sign of him. She had fallen sick due to depression and had stopped going t school. Shakila her friend came to visit her and told her that she would try to talk to her neighbor Latifa and tell her what was happening. So Mumtaz was kind of okay. She waited next day for Shakila to come. Shakila came to see her but with bad news that he Tahir had gone ahead and married Latifa a month ago. Mumtaz just fainted; her friend sprayed some water on her face and made her sit up. They two sat talking for hours – Mumtaz was very hurt but she wanted to know why Tahir married another lady and what was lacking in her that he found in Latifa. She nor Shakila could not come to any conclusion. Mumtaz and Shakila became very close friends. Mumtaz accepted Tahir being married again as in the Muslim custom the man is married to marry again by just saying ‘Talak’Talak’Talak” thrice. (Which mean divorce, divorce, divorce?)After a couple months she spotted Tahir he tried to avoid her but could not and so she confronted him, she asked him why he had left her for another, when he told her that he loved kids and wanted to have kids of his own, but learnt that Mumtaz would not be able to bear him anymore kids. She was shocked at what he told her. He told her he knew it the day they lost their baby at the hospital; the doctor had told him that Mumtaz would not be able to get pregnant again. From that day he had decided to find another wife. He told her he did not want to hurt as she was already going through so much in life. Mumtaz had nothing more to say. She left him standing there and went her way

The Lass from Bangladesh Part II

It was a long and dusty way they had to change two buses before nightfall. They reached the next morning.

At the bus-stand her father washed her and freshens her up, they had some breakfast and went to the uncle house in a cycle rickshaw.
Her uncle was delighted to see them but sad that he had lost his sister-in-law. He hugged little Mumtaz and took her in. He gave her a doll to play and while she was busy Pasha related what happened in the past week. He then asked his brother if he would keep Mumtaz with him, his brother was absolutely delighted of course. But he was worried would Mumtaz stay without her parents. Pasha stayed with his brother for a few days until Mumtaz got accustomed to living with her uncle and aunty and one fine morning Pasha left back for the village. He was very sad to leave Mumtaz with him but knew that she would be well looked after by his brother. He kissed the little one while she was still asleep and gave the little pouch what her mother had given and left.

It was a new day for Mumtaz when she woke up the next morning she never really missed her dad as she was kind of used to him and her uncle going to market. Her aunty gave her some breakfast and she went to play with her doll and the other children in the neighborhood. When evening came she missed not seeing her dad and asked her uncle where he was. He told her that he had gone back to the village but would return soon, she was happy with his answer and went back to her playing. She had a very long day so fell asleep early that night.

Mumtaz was admitted to the nearby government school; she was a very smart girl and stood always first in the class. Many of her friends would ask her where her parents were but she would always tell them that they were in her village and they would come to fetch her once her education was over. Mumtaz was growing up soon and tomorrow would be her thirteenth birthday. She was anxiously waiting for her dad to come.

Next day she woke up early in the morning wore her new dress that her uncle had bought for her and was waiting anxiously by the door for her parents to come. Her uncle had been to the market and on his way back had been to the post office. She saw him coming and ran to him and asked where and when her parents were coming. Her uncle had a slight smile on his face, but he just took her home and sat her down, then he told her that he needed to talk to her. He told her that she was a big girl now and it was time he spoke to her.

She was very confused but sat down impatiently for her uncle and aunty to come and talk to her. Her uncle held her hands in his and her aunty gave her the little pouch that her mother had given when she looked into the little pouch she was very happy to find some jewellery and money she asked them who gave it to her and they said explained to her that when she was 6 years old her mother had passed away, and she had left this pouch for her. She then asked for her dad not moving her eyes fro her uncle; he told her that last year that he too had passed away. She was very sad and sobbed. She asked why she was not told earlier about them. Her uncle explained to her that he had promised to keep it a secret until she was old enough to tell her about them. She sobbed and sobbed. Her uncle and aunty hugged her and let her cry. She then turned to her uncle and aunty and as if in gratitude she gave them a kiss each. They were very delighted and knew what that meant.

Today Mumtaz is 21 years old and beautiful damsel. She had finished her education and done a course on Montessori. Her uncle and aunty too were getting old; she was great help to them and loved them very dearly. That year she went to visit her village and looked back at her childhood. Her grandmother was very old & withered. She (grandmother) could not recognize her (Mumtaz); she just murmured something and smiled at her. Mumtaz felt sad and saw how frail she was, she asked her uncle if she could take her along with her to the city, her uncle agreed and together they all came back to the city.

The Lass from Bangladesh Part 1

Bangladesh is a country situated on the Indian subcontinent in the southern Asia.
Bangladesh means “Land of the Bengali people” They are famous for their hand crafted & woven goods.

As a young lady Mumtaz only wish was to make it big, she wanted to become someone in life and after having lost her parents and she left Bangladesh to go a foreign country……….

Chittagong is a big city in Bangladesh which is overpopulated. On its outskirt lived this small family. Muhamad Pasha, his wife Banu and daughter Mumtaz. MP would toil in the paddy fields while his wife worked on the woven goods. Little Mumtaz a toddler would tag along with her mother everywhere she went.

It was one of those days where Banu was really tired, she gave little Mumtaz some food to eat and went to take a nap. When Pasha came home he found his wife sleeping and when he tried to wake her up ,he found her body very hot and burning with fever, he saw little Mumtaz also asleep besides her, he picked up the little one and put her in her bed to sleep and then went out to call the local doctor. When the doctor came and checked on Banu he found that she was turning red and had very high fever. He advised Pasha that he should take his wife to the city hospital which was about 10 miles from where they lived.

So Pasha quickly packed a few clothes and picked up little Mumtaz and together with his ailing wife they left for the city hospital. She was taken in an emergency. The doctor prescribed some medicines and told Pasha that she needs to be kept at the hospital under observation. So Pasha along with little Mumtaz waited in the hospital lobby. Pasha was very hungry and so was little Mumtaz so he went to the cafeteria outside the hospital to have some snacks. They both returned back, by now little Mumtaz was getting sleepy and crying, she was asking for her mother. Pasha was getting worried and went to the ward to look upon his wife. He found her looking so pale and tired. He felt sad that she too had to work because his wages was not enough to look after the three of them and his old aged mother too who lived with them.

The doctor came out and told Pasha to go home and to leave his wife here and that she was very ill and needed lot of care and attention. He told Pasha that he hoped Banu would get better tomorrow so that he could take her home. So Pasha along with little Mumtaz returned back to their village. Pasha took Mumtaz to his mother and she slept with her. Pasha was very worried as the doctor did not tell him what was really wrong with his wife; all that he told him was that she was really ill and needed a lot of rest. Pasha was restless the whole night, he woke up early next morning and instead of going to the field he went to the hospital to visit his ailing wife.

The doctor was waiting for him and he too was anxious to hear about his wife. The doctor asked him to sit down and offered him a hot cup of coffee. He asked him how many children he had. Pasha told the doctor that he had only one little daughter who was six years old. The doctor asked Pasha who else lived him in his house, Pasha was confused why the doctor was asking so many questions but he answered him humbly. Now Pasha was getting very restless then asked the doctor “Doctor could you please tell me how is my wife Banu today?” Can I take her home? The doctor did not know what to say but with a hand on Pasha Shoulders he took him to his wife. Banu looked liked she was asleep, but when Pasha went close to her he saw that she was no more. He began to sob loudly and hugged his wife. Then Pasha asked the doctor please tell me what happened to my wife. Why? Why? Did this have to happen to her? The doctor felt very sad but explained to Pasha that his wife was ailing from long time but maybe she had never told him. She knew they were very poor so could not afford to see the doctor. Pasha was hurt and broke down. The doctor told Pasha that his wife had died as the fever was very high and had gone to her brain and caused her a brain stroke and she passed away in the early hours of the morning.

Pasha was too shocked for words how could his wife have left him alone to look after little Mumtaz, he was immensely hurt as he could not afford a doctor and that his wife had hid her illness from him. Before he left the hospital with the body of his wife, the nurse came up to him and gave him a small bag – she said that his wife had regained a little consciousness and was asking about her daughter and husband she then handed over the little pouch and told her that it was for her daughter. Pasha took the little pouch and opened it in it her found a ring, a pair of earrings and a chain. , and some money which she had managed to collect when she was working. He was very touched and cried and cried till he reached home.

His little daughter came running to him when she saw the big white vehicle stop in front of their house. His mother too was came out to greet the daughter-in-law but alas only to receive her dead body. The old lady began to weep loudly holding Mumtaz close to her chest; she (Mumtaz) did not know what was happening. A lot of neighbors came and Mumtaz was wondering why they were all fussing while her mother was asleep. Mumtaz was kind of excited to all of a sudden see so many people at her house, she ran out to the yard and began to play.

Banu was laid to rest that evening in the village cemetery. Pasha came home to a home where there was only his daughter and mother. He looked at her innocence and was wondering how he would be able to take care of her as his mother too was very old. He just held her in his arms and cried. Mumtaz asked the father a couple of times where her mother was but he could not explain to her and said to her that her mother was very ill and that God had taken her away to his house. She asked if her mother would come back for which he had no answer but tears rolled down his eyes. That night Pasha could not sleep he thought of his lovely hardworking wife and how he lost her leaving their little daughter for him to look after. He was lost in his thoughts as to what his daughter’s future would be.

Pasha had a brother who lived in the city. He was married but never had any children. He worked in a silver factory. Whenever his brother came to visit them at the village he would always tease his brother and say “brother give me your daughter” I will look after her”. Now Pasha remembered these words and decided to take his daughter next day to the City. Little Mumtaz was very happy to go back to the city and that to her uncle’s house. She rose early in the morning. Her grandmother dressed her up and packed a little snack for her and some clothes. She bid her grandmother a farewell and she and her father left for the city of Dhaka.