“She always smiles”

Once upon a time, there was a Prince from a land far away. He came to my land and before leaving told me that one good thing about me is that he has always seen me smiling or laughing or making jokes of things even in the worst or most hard situation.

I thought about it a lot and I realized, yes, he was right. I find myself most of the time smiling especially when I am with people. Smiling is a way to be more cordial. I think smiling makes people look approachable. And like to give that impression to people around me. A few months ago, I had my worst nightmare come true. I was shocked and sad for a week or two. However, then I tried to smile and I succeeded. After that, gladly, I never wept over that particular chapter of my life. Now, when I talk about it, I smile. Crying over the same incident will not change the past, right? So why waste a thousand beautiful moments for some bad ones.

Actually, I should mention, more recently someone rebuked me for smiling(too much according to her) during a rather informal conversation. Yes, I think sometimes I laugh too much or smile unnecessarily but really can’t help it. I try to hide from people that I am sad/upset and for that ‘smile’ is the disguise. I know it may seem crazy and stupid sometimes, but that is how I am. I smile because it is a good thing to share. I don’t like talking to people with a gloomy face. When I talk to someone with a smile, nine out of ten people smile back. That way I feel I am spreading the little bit of happiness; and even if I am not doing that I am definitely not spreading my sadness.

It is practically impossible to have everything perfectly as you want, in life. For me, I have a life full of regrets and sorrows and disappointments. I have gone through a lot in life. Believe me, it’s a lot! But I never forget to laugh and smile for what I have. I do not believe that everything is gonna be okay, but I still smile with the pain of heartbreak inside me, because I don’t want to waste good moments mourning for the things I couldn’t have or I have lost. I try to smile and I succeed. Very few people can see the sorrow hidden behind my smile. I live my life in the present not caring about the past or future. Sometimes I do, but that is only to try to make sure the future doesn’t turn out real bad. Then again, who knows what the future has in store for us?
One quote I really like goes like this: “Take hold now,  the future will not remember, the past does not forget.” – Lene Marlin

Now, the Prince has gone back to his ‘far away land’, but I kept his words in my heart. It hurt really bad when he left, it broke my heart. But I picked up the broken pieces and remembering his words, again smiled.

Advertisements

Mistakes- The Story of a Survivor

I really like a quote, which keeps showing up on my Facebook news feed, goes like this- “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”I always keep this in my mind. When I look at people, I wonder to myself, I think to myself- they have no idea what a battle I fought to reach this point of my life and still fighting. Then I again think, each of them has their own battle to fight.

My battle started the day I joined high school.

Before getting into the main story, I must tell you about my childhood. As my aunties and relatives described, I was an intelligent kid. I was fast learner and learned almost all necessary playschool stuffs at home. Therefore, when I joined school I could already do small additions and subtractions, make sentences in both English and Bangla, knew names of fish, birds, fruits, months, seasons, etc. My aunty taught me as much as she could during my preschool time. I was admitted to the municipality school, which was the best in my area, and only the most brilliants went there. I finished Class I, II, and III as the first in class. In class IV, the result day. Everyone was so sure that my name would be called first because that position is mine. However, when the name was announced, I could not believe my ears. My place was taken by a girl and I got the second position. I clenched my fist. I made a promise to myself.

I studied harder next year and not only won back my position as first in class, but also the best scorer in that area. All my teachers adored me, for they found me meritorious and hard working. Mathematics was a piece of cake for me.

Finishing class V meant end of primary school, and time to secure my place in one of the three best high schools in Chittagong then.

Due to late arrival, I was not allowed to for the entrance exam of Collegiate School. Then two others left. I scored highest in one of them, but chose the other, which was Muslim high school due to its reputation and my grandfather’s affiliation with the school. My aunties always told me and discussed with everyone that I will choose to be a doctor when I grow up. I had the same belief.

Days went on, everything was perfect, but then we had to change our home and moved to a new area. It was just the beginning.

I had to let go of my house tutor. My mother was diagnosed with Lymphoma. My grandfather died. I had to change school because of inconvenience, a decision which I was strongly against. In Muslim High School, I had friends who pushed me to be better than the best. I had teachers who wanted the best for me and loved me. I did not want to leave all these. However, I had to leave it all and join a day shift school.

I tried to start over— but since I joined in the middle of the session, I was caught by surprise by the midterm exam…and I failed in seven subjects. It was in grade VI. I failed in Maths and English in grade VII. The failure continued to my Secondary School Certificate exam, which I passed with good grades in all subjects except for Maths. I made new friends who were more into bunking classes, women, porn and drugs. I was no longer the old me.

Another contributing factor to my SSC exam fail was the new education system introduced by Bangladesh government in 2001. Due to the new implemented system, government colleges decided to give students like me, a second chance. I was allowed admission to college on the condition that I will retake the Maths exam and pass.

I was all prepared and entered the exam hall. I kept my eyes towards the floor to avoid looking at my fellow examinees. I took my sit, and the bell rang. I started to write. I looked at the question paper, but the lines were blurring. I kept having a feeling that everyone is staring at me with a smirk. I looked around— everyone seemed to be busy with their own papers. All around me were my juniors, who used to respect me as a senior in school. Now, here I am sitting for an exam in the same room as them. What a shame! I felt as if the walls are closing in on me. My hand trembled, and I could not stay still any longer. I ran out of that room, and never went back to that college.

Years passed.

My family, relatives, well-wishers all suggested I should try getting admission into Open University Bangladesh, but my self-esteem was too high for that. It would be a mistake to say I never tried. I did. I did get admission into Bangladesh Open University, Chittagong. Again, self-esteem came in the way.

It was a big class, and the teacher was teaching some long Maths problems. I could not understand his way of solving the problem, so I did it in my own way. He noticed me scribbling something in my notebook, and called my name to ask what was so important that I was not paying attention to him. I enthusiastically told him that I found another way to solve the problem. He looked at me as if I had just slapped him. He cursed me in slang Chittagonian Bangla and scolded me for acting too smart. That was it. I could not stand there for another second. I slammed my notebook on the table, and left the campus.

Again, never went back.

These incidents, sudden decisions—people call them my mistakes. To this day, my life seems to have every sort of trouble because of this unfinished chapter. I never could apply to a job because even before they see me, they want to see my certificates. My uncle bestowed a small work as salesperson at his food shop, with a very small salary, and never forgets to remind me of his mercy on me.

Father died of cancer in 2011, since then my younger brother is the breadwinner of the family, because I am not educated enough. I have numerous diploma certificates on computer, IT programming, leadership etc. I can assure I can work hard in very adverse conditions, and have good accounts, communication, management skills. The proof is my uncle’s business flourishing.

Nevertheless, none of them is of any use. Despite all his taunting I am never able to resign from my uncle’s job, because no one will ask for my talents or capabilities, all they will ask for is certificates, which I will not be able to procure.

I left all my old friends, started hanging out in a completely new area—only one reason—they will not know about my academic background so will not look down on me. I rarely meet my cousins or family because I do not match their status. They are doctors, lawyers, professors—and I am uneducated. I am a burden on my family, cannot even buy medications for my cancer patient mother. I love my girlfriend, and wish to be with her, take her to meet my family, and ask her to marry me. But all I could do was stare at the look of hopelessness on her face, when we talk about a future together.

Fourteen years passed since I dropped out, still have not been able to make life better by any means. They all blame me; they say my arrogance was why I never could get back on track. It was all my mistake. But no one ever gave me a chance to correct it.

Every day I wake up, ready to fight anew. I wear my shield to ignore humiliation from work and shame of inability to earn for the family. I kept fighting, but never told anyone why I never dine out, why I skip travel plans, why I do not like shopping malls and why I prefer walking to rickshaws. Sometimes, when I feel sad about my fate, I remind myself— there are people out there who are fighting tougher battles than me. I should be grateful for what I have.

Source: Mistakes- The Story of a Survivor

A Teacher

Haley James Scott, the writing teacher at Tree Hill High School wanted to publish a paper by Sam, who had a very harsh life. As the paper dealt with sex, drugs and all the crude reality of the teen Sam, the Principal did not allow Haley to publish it. However, Haley did publish it; because she knew, what she was doing was right. As a result, she
was suspended. She was asked to apologize before the class, which she did not, so the she was fired. Later, the principal herself tries to take over Haley’s class at which she was not very good, which resulted in
almost all the students failing their exams and being reluctant about that course. After that, the students decide to show up at Haley’s place on morning, and they would not leave without Haley giving them at least one lesson. Haley, being aware of the school policy tells them, this will be the first and last lesson, and her students agree. Meanwhile, the principal somehow comes to know about this and she interrupts Haley’s lesson to declare that Haley is getting back her contract. Haley’s determination, courage and passion for teaching were inspiring. The way Haley talks about how important being a teacher was to her and how important her students were, reminded me of one of my teacher who
had to go through a somewhat similar incident.
I used to wonder why some people are so passionate about ‘teaching’ and what makes this profession so special, until I myself started teaching. I used to have this feeling that it is my responsibility to make sure my students ‘learn’. In my class, I had some very smart students and some less smart. They were from different family and social backgrounds and
some of them had difficulty with the school curriculum. I found myself paying extra attention to the students who needed it. The school authority did not like it, but I used spend my free times for those students who needed help. Not only that- at one point I realized I have changed a lot owing to the fact that my students are following every step I take including how I speak, how I interact, what are my hobbies. I tried looking into my relationship with my own teachers. I used to do the same. My teachers were my guides, I would follow almost everything they do and say. I was more obedient to my teachers than anyone else. They influenced me at a greater level than they knew. So, I started to  understand how this ‘teaching’ thing works. Teaching is not always strictly a profession; sometimes it is more than that. A teacher-students’ relationship cannot always be confined inside the academic circle.
One quote that I always like to mention, because it is one of my favorites goes like this: “a teacher affects eternity. He never knows where his influence stops” Henry Adams

Siera

Siera Nightingale, with her complexion achieving a lighter tan, and her past shoulder hair, being dyed to dark brown, which together makes her look best than ever. In addition, with that, her confidence rose to a better level, relieving her off the inferiority complex to an extent. But her fat nose and too thick lips and her mismatched teeth still ruined the little beauty she owned; that is what her friends think.

When she was a kid, once she went to meet a distant relative with her mother, who had a fair complexion. She took a long time to forget the taunts of those relatives at her dark complexion.

Siera, as much she remembers, was never very good at singing or dancing or acting nor sewing or art classes at primary school. Every year, she tried to somehow convince a teacher or a performer to let her play a role, or sing a song at annual function. Once she even got the chance…but only that was to be one of the trees in the jungle. She was not by any means amongst the class toppers. She liked doing homework and sitting for exams, but she always disliked exam preparations. Whatever were the reasons, she was never even slightly-the class magnet. If you were there, most of the times you would find her hanging behind the ‘popular kids’, never getting the slightest honor as a friend. She would do any possible thing just to stick to them (even sometimes taking the punishment for their mischief). However, all she got was three similar friends, who valued the person she was. Still, they were after all not ‘popular’.

Same situation at high school- hanging behind the cheer captain and teachers’ favorite. Following each and everything they did and even imitating their way of talking and handwriting. Nevertheless, she was born to be inferior, she felt. Mazura and Jara allowed her company, but Jara chose Mazura to be always more important and close to her. Jara would everyday choose to sit with Mazura and share all their stories forgetting the existence of Sierra. She had to beg on them to have their company. She had a long time crush on Aven, who was tragically the first boy of her batch. Aven never paid a glance to this backbencher, and when she someday finally mustered the courage and spoke up to him, he said so much to her that even the meanest of the students felt sorry for her. However, Siera’s nature made her silently walk away.

In sophomore year, Siera met Fihan Stanlie, who was a merry, jumpy, and funny yet intellegent and brilliant boy, and yes, a backbencher. She and Fihan started to share real beautiful moments and she found out that Fihan is someone she wants to be with more than a lifetime. Fihan also accepted the idea and after a year, a sincere connection was between them, which they wanted to preserve for lifetime. Siera had not a relief from that feeling of inferiority.

Fihan never showed or said he was proud of Siera. In addition, strangely he never mentioned Siera to his friends. Those made her feel that she was not worth being bragged about. Her fate was different. After sometime more than 2 years, Fihan started being reluctant and Siera, more serious about their relationship. Whenever there was an argument, Siera was the one who always had to apologize, regardless of who was right. By her 4 years’ experience with Fihan, Siera knew she needed Fihan more than anything else in the world, despite the arguments, misunderstandings, blames of having ruined Fihan’s life, tolerating all the feelings of inferiority, Siera dragged on this relationship for one more year. And, one more and she went on. Recently, added to her pains was Miza who is so pretty and has a sweet voice, and is a friend of Fihan.

Every night she sleeps on the pillow, wet with tears, hoping that next morning Fihan will call and sweetly apologize. However, that morning has never come in Siera’s life. Instead, Fihan has betrayed her, dating another girl secretly. And Siera – she is again the lone girl feeling confused, lost and unimportant.

Anger

Anger – is the greatest devil in the materialistic world. One who has learned to control anger, and share love is the strongest amongst men. When in anger, we forget who we are, who are we reacting to, what we are doing and what will be the short term, and long term consequences. A relation may it be of friendship or fellowship takes years to deepen, but the anger can bury it in seconds. A word spoken in anger can break a heart into infinite pieces. All of us at some times of our lives did or said things, out of anger, which we later regret. A moment of uncontrolled anger can destroy a life forever. We have a vivid example right before us. Popular Bangladeshi actor A. T. M. Shamsuzzaman lost one of his sons simply because of the anger of his other son. Do we need a greater example than this? So, let’s kill it before it lays eggs. Let yourself be less angry and more patient & understanding. That will be best for us as well as the people around us.

About anger, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:

“The strong-man is not one who wrestles well but the strong man is one who controls himself when he is in a fit of rage.”

Scar

It is like; you know everything about your life. You know exactly what you want, despite life giving you lemons in every step. You have that one person who says he will stand by your side no matter what, and everything else seems all right. That one person is the one thing that you want in life. That person is your world.
All of a sudden, without any storm, not even a wind, that person is gone. That one thing, you wanted more than anything else in life, is gone forever. And then, you start noticing how imperfect life is. You start to feel you are empty and there is absolutely nothing going right in your life. You feel lost, confused, insecure and dead. Time passes slower than ever. People say: Time heals the deepest wounds. However, this scar on your heart, seems to grow deeper with each passing day. You try to move on, break free from the memories. But how will you? Every good memory in your life has a connection with that person. You realize it is practically impossible to let go of all the memories and also it is extremely hard to let go of the person. Despite, that person remains indifferent and unsympathetic, scarring your heart even more every time you ask them for support. That is a scar, which will stay there forever, and the memories will haunt you forever. You never get used to with the pain.