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 ❤❤
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.
I was raised by
wise and bold,
a book in one hand,
and a watering can in the other,
flowering her rooftop plants.
at the crack of dawn,
the sun stretching and yawning.
Baba was telling me about Dr. Abdul Kalam today and how he persevered to get a good education for himself and his family. The topic started today over a paratha that Ma accidentally burned in which I volunteered to eat because I did not want her to.
So Baba started telling me that when Kalam was a boy he had to walk 7 miles to his school which was very hard for him. Everyday his mother would pack his food. His family was very poor and did not have much food to begin with but since he walked for such a long time, his mother would give him a few extra pieces of her portion as well. One day, his mother was making roti for her husband which she accidentally burned. Since she did not have any more she had to give him the burned roti and said that she accidentally burned it. Her husband took it and said, “It’s okay. I love burned roti.” That same night before Kalam and his father went to sleep, Kalam asked his father, “I have never seen you eat burned roti before. Why did you say you like burned roti?”. His father replied, “There is no pioint in saying anything negative about it. What is done is done. If I had said something, your mother would have become more saddened.” I really liked how the father reacted to the the burned roti. It really shows his love and respect for his wife.
Baba also told me that Dr. Abdul Kalam was really good with words so I found this quote which I can really relate to.
“One best book is equal to a hundred good friends but one good friend is equal to a library.”
-Dr. Abdul Kalam, Wings Of Fire
I am from Dhaka,
The heart of Bangladesh.
I am from the close-knit family
That always stood together under one shadow.
I am from my grandparent’s village,
Where the love of nature grew in my heart,
Just like it was there always.
I am from the grandparents
Who loved and raised me with care.
I am the love that loved them back
With all my heart.
I am from the birthdays and holidays
That we spent together.
I am from the respect where we used to go to the Shaheed Minar
To place flowers for the martyrs and freedom fighters
That sacrificed their lives
for our freedom.
I am from the blackouts,
Where we would gather around our uncle to hear stories,
From the peanuts
That we got from the peanut stand at the end of the street,
And when the lights came back on,
We would groan and turn them off again
To listen to the rest.
I am from my father,
From his childhood stories,
Some so funny that our stomachs hurt from laughing too much.
The Liberation War
Where he and his family were hiding from the Pakistani soldiers.
From the sadness
When my grandparents passed away.
I am from the empathy,
The feeling I feel for my father,
Who didn’t get a chance to see them
After we came to this foreign land.
I am from the memories,
Which I clutch to my heart every single day,
And never ever let go.