Sunday, February 18, 2007

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”.

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