Posts Tagged people

A King Among Men

Via: Daily Prompt – Luck

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Image: Community Garden Quotes

“Do you understand what I’m saying? For some reason, the Almighty has granted me the kismet to work with all these great men and women,” proclaimed the subject of the autobiography I’m commissioned to pen at the end of epitomizing a long list of Bangladeshi industry leaders and their various contributions. My subject himself was no less than one of our country’s pioneers of tourism and hospitality who has his fair share of epaulets.

 

The scene was from last Thursday night at his house; the occasion was his nine-year anniversary of steering the property where I first caught my hotelier bug. Most of the party had dispersed and he was still entertaining the few who lingered. He loved holding court and as he was such an excellent storyteller, we loved hearing him recite the same tales over and over again. We were not all -ians, mind you. His remarkably eclectic experiences had a way of bringing people together from all walks of life, making any shindig he threw – no matter how small or large – a collection of the most interesting characters.

As I looked around at the intimate circle of reposing handful, whose faces were still lit by his unwavering energy, I wondered if they were picking up the same message I was. Few leaders reach greatness without sacrificing some part of their integrity so it was unlikely that so many of my idol’s idols were as perfect as he painted them. In the nine years that I have known him while working at the — hotel and holding our bond steadfast after moving on to other organizations, I have seen him be taken advantage of by many self-serving individuals. However, he refused to deduce their intentions as ill. If he could come to someone’s assistance, so be it.

Like most heroes, mine isn’t without imperfections. In fact, his is the best kind of imperfection. His culpability is to so easily forgive the faults of others, his obstinant loyalty. Truly, the lucky ones are the people who have had the privilege of working with him.

 

I have withheld my subject’s personal information because I do not wish to have him accosted by busybodies before the work is finished. However, as I’m sure some of our common close friends will easily deduce his identity, I request them to keep it under a tight lid.

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That Old Dude

Via: Daily Prompt – Murmuration & Record

Over the past five years, more and more salt strands have been peeking out of my peppery tresses. I make a point not to hide my premature grays for two reasons: One, I truly do believe they are my wisdom highlights, and B, they help to ward off my archaic relatives’ not-so-subtle-hints on the long overdue marital status. I literally put in efforts toward getting too long in the tooth to become an on-the-shelf spinster. And just when I put my feet up and blow out that sigh of relief, believing that the years of danger have passed, someone ducks their head into our house and asks when am I going to settle down with a nice man. It’s like the record player is broken and plays the same tune over and over again regardless of which album is in the tray. Grr…

Enter That Old Dude. I have never met him before but, apparently, he is a distant cousin of Dad’s who was a big support during his college dorm days. This guy pays a visit yesterday evening (totally out of the blue), tells Mom he’s been hankering for some home cooked fish dish I never heard of (which Mom graciously obliges to prepare), and then presumes to give me a talk on how in his old age it’s a sincere wish to see grandchildren. Seriously, I never met the guy but he is of the mind that my kids (if I ever have any) will be his grandchildren.

I looked at Dad and he sort of shrunk away from my gaze. So I decided to take pity on the general male species for the day. I smiled and asked if the Old Dude did not have children of his own to place this request to. All politeness and murmurs, if you please. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Teacher

Via: Daily Prompt – Swarm

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I always loved the words. I was a voracious reader as a child. But it was Mrs. Anger, my ninth grade Language Arts teacher who taught me to keep a journal and start writing. We had to use those hardcover composition books, the Marble ones? Mrs. Anger was as volatile as her name. Or at least she affected to be. She once told me, pulling off her spectacles, that her eyes changed colors according to her moods. She meant to say her mood was capricious. All because I wore a mood ring and showed her how cool it was. Mrs. Anger was fabulous.  Read the rest of this entry »

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WRITING CHRONICLES #10: Tellin’ It Like A Texan

Via: Daily Prompt – Vivid

 

 

While researching the Texan way of saying things for the characters of my novel I’ll Be Truethere was one thing I realized: If there’s a roundabout phrase for a statement, you wouldn’t hear a Texan telling it to you straight.

The Texan talks in more shades than the spectrum. I love it!

Of course, I uploaded only the first draft of the novel on this blog, which, in my rush to get the story written, didn’t carry nearly as many Texan sayings as I would’ve liked. I’m doing additional research at the moment on this idiomatic turn of twang to present the dialogues of my cowboys and cowgirls in a manner more befitting their race. It isn’t easy-research when you are sitting oceans away on the other side of the world but the following websites are helping [some]:

Texas SayingMore Colorful Texas Sayings… | Texas Monthly

10 Texas Sayings That Are Quintessentially Texan | Coldwell Banker

Texan Sayings

25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Texas | BuzzFeed

Texasisms: A Glossary of Texan | Wander Wisdom

If y’all have any more suggestions, feel free t’holler!

 

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Knowledge Sharing

Via: Daily Prompt – Parlay

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Image: Pixabay

Imparting the knowledge and skills your work experience has gained you can pay great dividends. My career in marketing and brand communications was not very long compared to many, but it has been versatile. And what I learned, I have never hesitated to share with others. I believe in tough love. In my book, there is no excuse for anyone working with me, either directly or via, to not give their one-hundred percent to their undertaking. Let me tell you, I have been said to be very exacting.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Dreaming in Technicolor

Via: Daily Prompt – Doubt

When reading a truly spectacular story told with an awe-inspiring writing voice, I often become nervous. I wonder how will I ever measure up to the likes of these writers that I admire? I am not ashamed to say I am envious of all of my favorite authors’ storytelling capabilities (i.e. with the exception of the Goddess Jane Austen). But do I allow my moments of uncertainty stop me from journeying on the path to greatness? No.

Doubt is the death of dreams. Or rather, it has all the necessary elements to snuff the life out of your desires – if you allow it to. Instead, why not use that doubt to strive to improve? Challenge your fears and come out on top. Laugh at it. Quit dreaming in grayscale and infuse your subconscious with all the hues necessary to pursue a reality of your choosing. Defeat doubt. Extinguish it before it extinguishes you.

Become immortal by gifting the world a piece of yourself to cherish through eternity.

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Of Moons and Cycles

Via: Daily Prompt – Hesitate

Sky Landscape Ocean Blue Moon Nature Water Sea

Image: Max Pixel, CC

I was hearing great things about the movie. I hadn’t read any of the reviews but saw that the ratings were off the charts. As I already had a bunch of other movies to work my way through, I left it idling on my watchlist. I would get to it in time.

I didn’t get to see the Oscars when it was initially televised and instead watched it last night online. The controversial goof up at the closing made me decide that I should wait no longer and see why this movie was making such waves. No, I’m not talking about La La Land, which was such a derivative piece of drama that I have no idea why it even made it to the Oscars, much less how Emma Stone snagged the Best Actress title when Amy Adams’s performance in Arrival didn’t even get nominated. I’m obviously talking about Moonlight.

I’ll admit, I had another reason for not watching it in the theater. Everything about the poster indicated how stark the story will be. Blood will spill on screen and there will be plenty of cause for tears to run down my cheeks. Of course, I was hesitant about making a prat of myself in public; that’s reserved for special occasions, like when Auntie Flo comes to visit. Now, however, I decided the timing was close enough to match my cycles and for some cathartic tears to let loose.

So what did I learn once I turned on the DVD? The poster is misleading on the level of blood-spill. Even though the kid’s nose is broken and bleeding, it’s not another gangster movie full of gunfights in the hood [I don’t always watch trailers]. Of course, I had managed to surmise from snippets of Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes that it was about the self-discovery of an African American boy coming to terms with his homosexuality but the poster still suggested violence and last night I began to wonder if the story depicted child sexual abuse. Nope, also not it.

Actually, there was very little violence in the movie but there could have been. I love movies that do not fuss around with frills for the sake of shock value. Movies that just tell the stories about the characters. This movie did that with such precision that I was nervous throughout the movie for Chiron. Every drop of maternal extinct God gave me was wrenching my heart for the child. Even after he grew into a man and a drug dealer, I wanted to crawl into the screen and console him for the grief he had to experience. I was right about one thing from seeing the poster. I cried.

I bawled, I wept into the neck of my dress until nothing less than a bath towel sufficed. I wondered if it was the fact that I was almost at that time of the month that made me so emotional. But I think it was mostly because of the way the story was told. It must’ve evoked different ethos in different viewers. For me, it was completely maternal. I don’t have any children to spare my bountiful share of the stuff and usually shower it on my cat. Chiron got the whole blast of it today. Still, being so close to my periods might have made it worse.

When the movie was over, I had to go lie down. My head was throbbing, my eyes bleary. I kept thinking why any child must go through life being excluded in such a manner. Where the hell were those angels we keep hearing about that always keep a lookout for our kids? History of the world certain tells a different story. I didn’t quite blame the bullies in his school; they were the products of our culture, they were kids themselves. But hell! There is just so much wrong with this world.

And then it dawned on me. That’s why I write, isn’t it? That’s why Tarell Alvin McCraney wrote In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. To fix this broken world by pointing out exactly what is wrong with it. Writers are born change agents whether they intend to be or not. By depicting the mess of our contemporary lives, even lightly, we lead the way into a hopefully better future. It is slow progress but a bid for revolution nevertheless. I felt connected to McCraney and sighed, feeling slightly better.

In fact, I was hooked to the movie from the moment Maharshala Ali spoke the line, “In moonlight, black boys look blue.” The writer in me woke up and replied, “Damn! That’s observant.” It brought to mind another beautiful observation by the Bengali poet Sukanta Bhattacharya in reflection of his experience of communism:

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হে মহাজীবন
সুকান্ত ভট্টাচার্য

হে মহাজীবন, আর এ কাব্য নয়
এবার কঠিন, কঠোর গদ্যে আনো,
পদ-লালিত্য-ঝঙ্কার মুছে যাক,
গদ্যের কড়া হাতুড়িকে আজ হানো ।
প্রয়োজন নেই, কবিতার স্নিগ্ধতা,
কবিতা তোমায় দিলাম আজকে ছুটি
ক্ষুধার রাজ্যে পৃথিবী-গদ্যময়:
পূর্ণিমা-চাঁদ যেন ঝলসানো রুটি ।

Oh! Great Life
Sukanta Bhattacharya

Oh! Great life, No more of this poetry
Bring now the hard, harsh prose instead,
Let jingles nurtured in verse fade,
And the strong hammer of prose strike.
No need for the serenity of poem;
Poetry, I give you a break today.
In the regime of hunger, the world is too prosaic,
As the full moon burns like bread.

I did my best to translate.

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Welcome to the Jungle (02 min read)

Via: Daily Prompt – Squat

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Image: Zaireen Lupa

That moment when you hear the front door open and then the clamorous laughter of that nosy aunt who’s always trying to get you married off to someone from her endless list of prized bachelors drifts your way. You crouch low with ears trained, wondering if your mother will reveal that you’re home – wondering if jumping off the balcony would be too drastic a measure of escape.

Oh no! Your mother has indeed disclosed your whereabout. As you hear the enemy approach, you realize that there’s no second route from your room to the nearest exit of the house. So you run to your brother’s empty room and wait. Hopefully, they won’t think to look for you here…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Birth (03 min read)

Via: Daily Prompt – Sound

Smack! Cry! All clear!

Though now seldom practiced, I have always been fascinated by how the earliest of midwives and doctors stimulated the newborn this way to ensure their lungs are clear of amniotic fluid from the mother’s womb and is able to function properly to make space for that first breath. I love how the experts “made do” in the absence of the advanced technology available today that safely suctions the secretion away. It was widely practiced even before science was “science”. Born from a natural realization that the first breath is linked to that first cry. The miracle of human intelligence.  Read the rest of this entry »

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A Proposal Not In Earnest (03 min read)

Via: Daily Prompt – Aware

“So… there have been talks at home.”

“Talks?”

Sigh. “Yeah. Pressured talks, actually.”

“What’s wrong now?”

“I think we may have to get married.”

Startled laugh. “What? Married?”

Nod. Earnest look. “Yup. This year. Santa’s coming to town.”

“And this is his idea of a gift?”  Read the rest of this entry »

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