Without Women, Men are Also Nothing

After reading “Religion and Gender”, I really felt bad. To be candid, it was really depressing to know all sorts of discrimination against women. The contemporary society, laws, our family has been giving importance to male than female. Now that I knew, religion has played a vital role in discriminating women, I feel somewhat bad. I am sad thinking that the religion on which I have this
much faith and the religion that I have been following by accepting its every rule, itself has been discriminating me. People’s tendency to discriminate based on sex and gender is somewhat understandable, but knowing that this predominant patriarchic society was in existence from the era of gods and goddesses is really frustrating. Even knowing that women are the creator, how can they be considered inferior? Is it because the male partners are needed to fertilize any woman? Then if men are asked to give birth to a child themselves, would it be possible? The prominent answer would be “NO!”  If men and women both need each other to continue the mankind then why should only women be underestimated?

I felt indignant after learning that women are considered as a sinful body, whereas men are taken as pure soul. Its right that body needs soul to be alive then what is the identity of soul that has no body? Can soul be seen? If so then why would we all human beings are associated with this physical body even though we have soul? Moreover, only body is seen, there is a proof of existence of body but where is the proof of existence of any soul? Have anyone seen it? If looking from this point of view then body should be ranked at higher position than soul. It’s really not justice to female when the creators are female, those nurturing are women and those who teach men how to live socially are female. Atleast females should be given the respect they deserve. In absence of one, either male or female, mankind can’t be possible. They both need to cooperate with each other and should have due respect for each other.

My Experience as a Migrant

While reading “NARRATING LOCATION: SPACE, AGE AND GENDER AMONG BENGALI ELDERS IN EAST LONDON” by Katy Gardner, the only thing that I reminisced about was the days right after coming to Asian University for Women. As those people were bound to remain inside a circle in this reading, my condition was also same. I couldn’t walk freely wherever I wanted. One difference that I found among these people and I as a migrant was that they were concerned about their country and place, whereas I am concerned about my family. Perhaps, the age can be the reason. The culture, environment, people and everything was new for me. That loneliness among the crowd of new faces, not being able to sleep due to wet pillows, and feeling everything in life has been messed up is what I still remember. I hated people and I hated being here then. Whole day I would miss my home and in everything I did, I would remember my mom. Migrating for me was not a good experience at first. Before coming here, there was fear of the new faces and new places which soon converted into hatred for those.

It has been eleven months since I came here and it is time to go back to my home and my people. But feelings are complicated. I love the people here and I am nervous to go and be with my people whom I left 1 year back. I fear of being an outsider in my own home and being lonely among my own friends and relatives. I had never thought that my life would take me in this situation from where I can see everyone is mine but the closer I go, the attachment gets weaker and weaker. I even don’t know if it is only my illusion, but things have changed and so have I. Sometimes I gather the memories and see myself in the mirror. What I see is I have come along very far from the world I used to be in. Messed up with these mixed feelings, I wonder what my days will be like when I reach my home among my family and friends. Whole year I panicked to be with my family and finally when the day is coming I guess my heart really don’t want to be there with them. Or maybe I want to be with them, but I don’t want to feel like outsiders. I exactly don’t know what I want and what this feeling is, but one thing for sure I have experienced that migration have changed my life drastically and I am still in confusion whether I have wanted my life to be changed this way or not.

Truth Needs to be Revealed

While reading “Truth about lying”, the story of one of my close friends came up on my mind. When I was in standard ten, we met and she became very close friend of mine. There was a guy whom she liked a lot and one day luckily that guy proposed her. Instead of being in elation, she was in dilemma. As the day passed by, she started to remain silent and gloomy, while the boy was eagerly waiting for her reply. I still remember that evening when she came to me and asked what she should do. She told me that there used to be a guy whom she used to love, but her first love betrayed her. From that day, she stopped believing in love and any other guy. She liked the second guy who had proposed her, but she was afraid of being left broken again. Moreover, even if she accepted she was not sure whether to tell him the truth about her first affair. I told my friend to accept that guy and tell him the truth of her past. The next day, she accepted his proposal but couldn’t tell him about her past. Every time she met him, she thought that she would tell him but couldn’t gather the courage thinking that she would lose him. Their relation was going well, but to my friend’s astonishment her boyfriend found out about her previous affair by reading her diary. Both of them were left broken. My friend wanted to make everything clear but the boy was very much hurt that he didn’t want to listen to her. Next day I went and talked to that boy and managed a place for them to meet. Both of them loved each other so much that it was difficult for them to be apart from each other. That day the girl apologized to the boy and they end up happily. Till today, their relationship is going well and it’s the fourth year of their relationship.

 

I really get so puzzled thinking that to what extent we can lie to be with the person we love so much. Lucky me that I hadn’t have such situation to lie but if I was in my friend’s place, I wonder what I would have done. I think lies are not always bad. Sometimes we are forced to tell a lie not to let go the people we love or not to hurt them. It depends upon the people for whom we lie. Some understand upon finding out our truth and some leave us thinking that we are betrayer. Not to break trust and people’s heart, even though we hide the truth at first, I think, the truth should be revealed seeing the right time and right situation. Else, one lie can ruin our lives.

Manners

“The Anthropology of Manners” by Edward T. Hall is really a very useful reading to understand what and how do we humans behave and deal with others. Moroever, it also can be learnt how to behave. The main theme of this essay is maintaining manners with respect to time and space. It is important to have good manners because it plays vital role in getting closer or farther than the people. Often it is said that first impression is the last impression. In order to maintain good impression on others, we should be able to make the first impression good. To present oneself in front of others is an easy task but presenting oneself in a way that impressess others is a very difficult task. In order to know what others expect and how they can be impressed, we should know the differences between ourselves and others. This essay by giving various examples of valuing time and space with respect to various countries, clearly exemplifies the difficulties we can face if we are unknowm about the people and their culture.

Talking about manners, I still remember when my mom and dad used to teach me how to do something, why to do and how to do. If I have to be specific then the images are very vivid till now. When I was around 8 years old I was having my dinner. That day my aunt had come to visit and was staying that night. I still can’t help myself laughing when I happen to remember one incident. I was talking to my brother with my mouth full. Suddenly, a small piece of potato from my mouth went to my brother’s plate. My brother and I started to fight on that incident. Then my dad tied me and my brother with the same rope in a pillar for one hour and scolded me for being irresponsible. Since I am the elder one I was always supposed to be silent and understanding. That night my dad scolded me and told me not to speak with mouth full. That day I learned that it is bad manner to speak loudly while eating and specially with full mouth we are not supposed to talk.

Manners can’t be forcefully taught but it is learned from our mistakes. Since our childhood, our family, parents, society and even our friends, in various ways, teach us how to behave properly. It is true that it is difficult to be known about others culture and values but having politeness and respect for each others can reduce the problems occurred due to differences. Good manners always doesn’t necessarily mean we should know and understand others and behave propely but respecting the differences and each others.

Was Willy Really Brave?

I found the play “Death of the Sales man” truly depressing but the tragedies that were mentioned there are universal in a sense that many people happen to face such failure in their lives. I do appreciate the way the writer has given life to the play by introducing ups and downs and some touchy moments were also inhibited. As a whole this play reminds me of my shattered dreams and the ups and downs through which I along with my family had gone. But, honestly speaking, I didn’t like Willy, the main character of this play. Before getting through this play, I thought that the main character would go through lots of hardships and my expectation was met. Keeping this aside, another expectation I had from Willy was that he would be strong and determined character and would fight till the end. But contrary to what I have thought, he committed suicide.

Firstly I didn’t like Willy’s betraying character. He had a loyal, understanding and loving wife for whom nothing was important other than Willy- not even their sons. He also should have been loyal to his wife. Instead, he made an extra marital affair with another woman. Moreover, the reason behind that affair was also silly. Having affair just because of feeling lonely is not a rational reason. If everyone starts having affairs betraying their wives and husbands whenever they feel lonely then what will be the worth of trust and faith in any relationship? Similarly, some may say that he went through many sufferings and stand rigid facing all his problems. But, in my view being determined and strong through the process is not enough. Whether you have the courage to face the result or not determines how brave and strong you are. Every one dares to do work but only the brave ones get ready to face the consequences- no matter whether it would be positive or negative.

Another thing that I didn’t like about Willy is his inconsistent emotions. At one time he was motivated and positive about everything and everyone, but in another minute the optimism changed into pessimistic view. Without being consistent to anything or any feelings, how could he be successful? Similarly, the way he pleaded in front of Harold was really pathetic. He could beg in front of Harold but wasn’t ready to work for Charley. How foolish he was, could be concluded from this event. Overall, the play is good but the way the main character that has been shown or presented to the readers might have been stronger and persuading if Willy was presented as a brave guy instead as cowardice.

Response to “My Family”

 “My Family” by Garrison Keillor, is really one of the lovely poems I have ever read. The desires, hopes, dreams and sacrifices we make for our near and dear ones can be felt in this poem. As John had dream of going to Oregon, everyone dreams and hopes to be somewhere at one point of life. The happenings in John and Ruth’s life are a kind of practical in a sense that it happen in most of the people’s lives. Without dreams, life is worthless. It is never wrong to see dreams and have faith in the fulfillment of our dreams. But often, the people we love become our weakness or barrier in the way to achieve our goal. For instance in this poem, John wants to go to Oregon, but due to his wife’s tiredness they stopped their journey. As time passes, they are accustomed to the environment and the people there and Ruth also doesn’t show willingness to go to Oregon. The desire of John to reach and settle in Oregon remains only unfulfilled desire.  He sacrifices his dreams just for the sake of his wife. He has dreamt of this place where he wants to live and to be with his wife. His dreams are incomplete without Ruth’s presence. This shows how the people we love stop us from achieving our goal. Though not intentional, Ruth becomes barrier in John’s path to meet his dream.

After reading this poem I reminisced about my past when I had to sacrifice my dream for my loved ones. Though it is not a big issue but I guess it has great impact on me. While choosing my high school, all my school friends had decided to study in same college together. But due to some family matters, I couldn’t study with my friends in same college and they thought that I betrayed them. I extremely wanted to be with my school friends but family came in between. However, I am happy now because I got to know many other friends and my life wouldn’t have been like this if I was in any other colleges. While coming to AUW as well, the ones whom I love didn’t want me to let go. It was really difficult to make them ready to see me leaving them. I guess our dreams and our love always intersect each other and if one is chosen the other somehow is affected. Looking at myself today, I believe, I have taken the right decision. Though miles of distance are in between, our heart is still connected and I am heading towards my dream as well.   If I had chose to sacrifice my study that time, I wouldn’t have been as happier as I am today.  I am finally leading my way where I have a dream of being successful and being with my loved ones.

Response to “The Road Not Taken”

         I found the poem, “The Road Not Taken”, written by Robert Frost truly inspiring and practical. Everyone in his or her life faces this kind of situation or dilemma where “one” has to be chosen over the other. This “one” can be either path or people and often our choice makes a huge difference on our lives. As shown in the poem, the speaker has to choose one of the two paths and believes in the future he will be in relief for choosing that path that has make the difference in his life. When I read this poem, I reminisced about my own days when I was pondering about my career. I still remember that day when I was left confused in my room without knowing whether leaving my place, my family, and my country to come to Bangladesh is right decision or not. After my intermediate, I knew that my family would not be able to pay for my higher studies. My family wanted me to come here, but my friends didn’t. I was not sure what would be the best for me and which way my career would be good. Listening to my people and my friends made my choice even more difficult. Then I took decision of coming to AUW. Today, I don’t regret for taking this decision and I feel good studying at AUW in multi cultural environment with my lovely friends and caring teachers. I now know that my future will be bright.

           Life is never easy and choices always affect our upcoming days. Taking right decision on right time is very important. But in my view, while taking decision, we should not comply with others. Instead, self satisfaction should be involved so that we won’t be regretting in the future. From this poem it can be learned that always choosing the easy way is not necessary. Sometimes, the way which people rarely take should be tried in order to get the difference in our lives. Every time searching for the easiest way is not good. Moreover, rather than listening to others, I believe, we should listen to our heart and take steps because by doing so, I have never regretted so far in my life.

Response to The Joy Luck Club

After finishing the novel, The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan, I am really happy with the endings of the mothers’ and daughters’ story and their relationship with each other. As a whole, this novel did not fascinate me, but while reading the last section i.e. “Queen Mother of the Western Skies”, I could not help myself reading it non-stop. A feeling of enthusiasm that was lacking in previous sections suddenly elicited. At first, my view for all the mothers was not that positive which I had after going through the last section. Though the way of loving their daughters is different and a bit strange, truth is that they loved their daughters and sacrificed a lot for their daughters.

Tan has been successful to show the relationship between mothers and daughters, the problems faced by the migrants, values and life style of Chinese culture in an elegant way. Nevertheless, I think, the writer has only focused on the dark side of life— only pain, sacrifices, hardships and conflicts have been shown. In my view, the novel would have been more interesting if the flavors of happiness, achievements, and love have been introduced in greater extent. Many times I couldn’t connect myself to this novel due to the same story line of all the mothers and daughters. I believe no one in this world would have life full of only struggles, conflicts, and tears. Though hardships come time and again, joy, happiness, and achievements are also part of our life which this novel has failed to show in my view. It talks about the success, happiness based on food, competition, and body images. But the happiness that is shared with families, the moments that we cherish forever, and the life without criticism has not been talked about.

As I couldn’t relate this novel to my life completely, the occurrence and events in this novel seemed dramatic to me. The sorrows and conflicts could be related, but I was in search of those sweet and warm feelings which exist in the relationship between mother and daughter. I couldn’t find that feeling except the sacrifices and hidden love – not expressed. All the emotions have been expressed in a complicated way and lingering between past and present make this novel more complicated. Nevertheless, to be honest, I enjoyed reading only the last section because the secrets have been revealed in a very fascinating way.

Love Cannot be Taught

After reading the article “Talk in the Intimate Relationship: His and Hers”, a question arose in my mind if people really have to learn to love or to be attached to someone. Then my heart replied “No.” I feel like love is not something learned, rather felt. Marriage education and sex education is essential because they help individuals to know about their physical, mental and emotional changes with respect to time. The article specially talks about the love between opposite sexes and the attempts approached to help the youngsters to build a healthy relationship.

The excitement and emotions in the adolescent stage is inevitable. Being attracted and falling in love with some one of opposite sex is not a strange thing. But I think we don’t need to learn to fall in love with them or to be attracted towards them. We never know how we get attracted to the people and start to love their voice, their eyes, and their smile, whatever they do and however they are. The ways of expressing love, the ways of approaching people whom we love can be taught but how is it possible to teach how to love and how to handle the relationship? No matter how much people take classes of handling relationships and making their partners happy, these all do not remain long lasting. The nature of people and their behaviors can’t be hidden by some formulas or techniques applied for short period of time in order to please the partner. People remain as they are and longevity of relationships depends on the nature of people.

New born babies are never taught to love their mother, but they still get attached to their mother within very few days after their birth. Moreover, when we see poor and incapable physically or mentally disabled people, we feel sympathy and love for them. This feeling is never taught by any one. The circumstances and our heart compel us to know what should we feel and what should we do, so is the case of love for opposite sex. The feelings can neither be taken under control nor be taught by others. I guess destiny and our hearts themselves choose and learn whom to love and how to love. Moreover, in my view, it is not the lesson that is taught in the classrooms, which helps to handle the relationship. Rather, the pain, the tears, the love that we get and the love that we shower on someone special, teach us how to be strong and live happily.

Education- Still a Dream for Many.

While reading the “Wide Angle”, I happened to remember the people in my country who do not have access to education due to various factors. Examples from India, Kenya, Romania, and other countries are just a sample. This is not just a problem of specific community or a nation. Millions of people are not literate throughout the world. Not only the problem is common, but also factors that come into the way of being educated are also common throughout the world to some extent. Some common hindrances are poverty, lack of infrastructures and manpower, child labor, early marriage, family problem, war and so on. Everywhere and every day lots of speeches are delivered on the importance of education and young generation. Moreover, many policies are made to decrease illiteracy rate by the government of each nation, but implementing those policies strictly is what the nations fail to do. Nepal can be taken as an example of this problem. Having literacy rate of 58%, Nepal has made different policies and trying its best to educate its citizens in order to decrease illiteracy rate. As a result, literacy rate has been increased noticeably in past years, yet the goals are not meet as it was supposed to be. Economic as well as political aspect of any nation plays vital roles in providing support or being hindrance in people’s way of getting education. In Nepal, the government has declared the primary education free. Moreover, books are also distributed for free in government schools. But fees are not totally free. Some portion of fee is still needed to be paid by the students. This issue has really created a conflict among the poor parents’ committee and the government side. Though government had tried to make education free, nation’s economic condition doesn’t favor the willingness. This type of problem, I think, is faced by many countries as well.
I not only thought of my country’s people who have been deprived of education due to such barriers, but I could refrain myself from remembering my days after my high school. If I were not rewarded with scholarship at AUW, I wouldn’t have been able to continue my higher studies further because my family’s economic background is really poor and I wouldn’t have been able to pay for my higher studies. I feel lucky to have supportive family and to be at AUW but not all the people in this world are lucky like me. Many of them are even cannot recognize alphabets. I feel really sad for those people. Even though I want, I am not able to do anything except praying for them to be lucky like me and those characters of transcript, that we read, get opportunity to get education.