Religious Hymns

Vasnt Moon in the chapter “Religious Hymns” of his autobiography Vasti talks about the process of change of Hindu religion to Buddhism and Muslim religions. From the chapter, some of us felt that the ways of Ambedkar and his followers regarding changing religions were not the right ways. They follow the way of violence, and force people to follow Buddhism and Muslim religions. However, I felt that it was necessary to bring out revolution in order to make big changes in social structure.

I respect the thoughts of people that everyone should have right to follow the religions according to their will, and people should not be forced to follow certain religions, but it was not only concerned with the rights of people to follow religions, it was concerned with their freedom. From the autobiography, it is clear that all the people of Nagpur were trying to bring out the equality among all castes, which was only possible by abolishing the caste system. Abolishing the caste system in the Hindu religion was not possible as the people of Nagpur believed that Hindu religion was the main cause of division of caste system. So, it was necessary to change Hindu religion to other religions like Buddhism and Muslim religions, which do not practices caste system.

Some people may also think that old people should not have been forced to leave the Hindu religion as they were emotionally attached to their religion, and all the young people were ready to change their religion. Hence, the minority of old people could not affect the entire plan of changing Hindu religion to Buddhism and Muslim religions. However, we cannot avoid the old generation because they are the one who shape the young generation. All the young people may not change their thoughts by the influence of old generation, but still there is probability that some can change their mind, and continue to follow the Hindu religion. So, I think it was necessary to call all people to change their religion for their own long-lasting benefits.

Furthermore, I think it is ok to slap a person if it can change the whole life of that person towards the positive way. We do not object whenever our parents scold or slap us though we may get furious at the instant time. We do not take it as a serious issue (except some exceptional cases), and take it as a positive thing since we believe that it was necessary to show us the right path. Similarly, Ambedkar and his followers were a kind of parents of Nagpur and entire India who were trying to make a big change for the right of low caste or untouchable people.

So, I think Ambedkar and his followers were right to call all people to change their religion though it was somehow forceful.

Sexism in The Joy Luck Club

As I read The Joy Luck Club, I found that sexism and gender discrimination is one of the major motifs of this novel. As far as I read this novel, it becomes clearer that both Chinese and American culture have sexism, though they are two different cultures. Maybe this is true in all prevailing cultures because a novel is a reflection of entire society where we live in.

As a reader of this novel, I encountered various events where ‘sexism’ and ‘gender discrimination’ were focused. In the chapter ‘Scar’, An-Mei Hsu’s mother was hated by her mother for playing the role of a concubine. It is for that she refused to lead her life as widow. Thus, her family treated her so harshly as if she did a bad thing which undermined her family’s recognition. Even if An-Mei Hsu was forbidden to talk about her mother. An-Mei’s mother tolerated such a humiliation only because of her wish to lead a life without memorizing her past-husband’s memory. She wanted to live her own self, and maybe it made her as a ‘bad’ woman to her family.

In the chapter “The Red Candle”, Lindo Jong was forced to act like a ‘perfect wife’. Before that, when she was chosen for Tyan-yu, her mother treated her as if she was not her daughter anymore. It is because her marriage was fixed, so that she was not the part of her mother’s family. After her marriage, she was treated as a servant in her in-law’s house. All these indicate that what the real condition of a woman is in Chinese life-style.

According to the chapter “The Moon Lady”, Ying-Ying was so restless in her nature in childhood. However, her mother forbade her not to be so restless which was not the nature of a ‘girl’ in her opinion. For example, when Ying-Ying chased a dragonfly, her mother told her that ‘A boy can run and chase dragonflies, because that is his nature.’ She also said that ‘But a girl should stand still.’ Her thought and conception regarding the distinctive natures of a girl and a boy reflected in her sayings.

In the chapter “Rules of the Game”, Waverly Jong was hindered by some old men when she wanted to play chess with them. It seemed awkward to them to play chess with a little girl. It was an example of gender discrimination.

Abovementioned examples from The Joy Luck Club show that a girl is only bounded for listening others, but not her own. A girl is treated far different from a boy. Author intends to show how it affects on the behavior of a girl in her childhood.

The Bow and the Arrow

The poem “On Children,” by Kahlil Gibran, addresses one the most common issues that most families struggle with: difference between generations. Although the children receive their genes from parents, Kahlil Gibran believes that parents shouldn’t assume that their children belong to them. He says parents can give their love to their children but they cannot expect their children, who are going to live in the future, to have the same thoughts and beliefs as them, to obey them, and live like them.

This exact issue is the cause of many conflicts among the parents and teenage or youth in many families, especially in our era. For instance, in many developing countries, children want to have fashionable hairstyle like their favorite actor or singer, while their parents hate those hairstyles and it seems very strange to them if their children wear torn trousers similar to David Bekham’s. When the children talk about their foreign friends in Facebook and the funny links they share, parents reminisce their memories of youth and their friends by looking at old photo albums.  Parents wait half of their life to see their sons and daughters wearing black suits as grooms or white gowns as brides, but their children simply refuse to marry because they are not sure they can live forever with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Mothers expect their daughters to become a good housewife and serve their in-laws in a very proper way as she had done in the past. However, she blames her daughter who wants to divorce her husband because she thinks they no longer understand each other. The Father feels he has wasted his life over his newly married son who wants to live independently in a separate house or apartment. The father had made his own father happy the day he brought his wife to the house. As the parents spend whole their life bringing up and supporting the children, they come to believe that their children completely belong to them. Therefore, they feel strong authority over their children.

Kahlil Gibran, however, says parents should accept the fact that their children have a different world, for they live in the future. He depicts parents as an arrow through witch children are sent forth toward their future. I think if parents stop blaming their children for their different lifestyle or ideology and try to be close friends to their children instead of acting like owners, they will come to know their children’s world better. It doesn’t matter if they walk through different paths as long as they love each other and care for each other.

The Giving Mother

When I was reading the poem,” The Giving Tree,” the tree resembled a ‘mother’ to me.  The characteristics of the tree presented in the poem are similar to the characteristics that a mother possesses. As we think of our mother’s love, we feel that her love is incomparable and unique. In the same way, the indulgence showed by the tree to a child reflects some kinds of motherhood we courtesy that any other members of the family could never do. I have no offense to any male parents, but today I want to talk about  mothers’ love, a pure love.

In my view there are some questions that always come to our mind; for example, how can a mother be so kind and generous to her child? How can she only think of  her child’s happiness without thinking about herself? These questions come time and again whenever we see our mother’s infinite love. Moreover, I think there isn’t any exact answer for these questions. If we, girls, ask our mothers these questions, then they often answer by saying, “You will know it when you become a mother.”

Have you ever thought about the essay “Poverty,” which shows the most critical condition of the poor people who allude to the love and sacrifice of a mother to her children? The narrator, the mother, is always worried about her children’s lives and their future. In spite of their extreme poverty, whatever she does is directly or indirectly devoted to comfort her children.

Not only “Poverty,” even in another definition essay “What is a family?” the narrator has shown how her mother buys her new shoes with a skirt in spite of her promise; how she is flattered and excited when she meets with her daughter’s boyfriend as if it was her own date. These may be small things of life but these small things altogether act as crucial moments in life to spread happiness in a family. When these small moments are missed, the connection between a mother and her child seems dim and unhappy. For example, the relationship between Lena St. Clair and Ying-ying St. Clair in The Joy Luck Club is not so strong because both the mother and her child are not able to savor the short moments of love and care. Though they do not share their feelings with each other, the mother shown in The Joy Luck Club is always a person who wants to dedicate herself to make her child’s life happy satisfied. Therefore, this  reason convinced me to call every mother ‘ a giving mother.’

Myth of Adam and the devil

Adam, who was the first human being the god had made by soil. When the God made Adam with so much beauty, all the parts of his body were like ours, but there wasn’t any bellybutton. After making him, the God summoned all the angels and asked to pay homage to him. The angels were hesitating to do that because they were thinking themselves as superior. The God could understand their thoughts, and made a plan to make them understand that he had made Adam as the best creature of the universe. Then the God asked some questions to all the angels, but they could not answer the questions. Then he asked the same questions to Adam, and Adam answered all the questions. The angels were surprised seeing his intelligence and asked for pardon from the God as they misunderstood him and overestimated themselves. After that, all the angels bowed down before Adam to show their homage and obedience to the God except Azazil.  Azazil was an angel who was very obedient to the God and all the time he prayed to Him. The God liked him most for this and it made him so arrogant and proud. He refused to pay homage to Adam saying this, “I am the best angel and how can I bow down in front of a human who is not more qualified than me!?” Saying this he spat on Adam. The spit fell on the middle of the body. The god became very angry and cursed the angel. The angel turned into the Devil. When Azazil was an angel he was very handsome, and after turning into the Devil he became very ugly. After that the God ordered another angel to dig a hole to take out the spit. Then the angel dug a hole and that’s why we have a hole in our belly which we called bellybutton. With the spit mixed soil, the angel made a dog and that’s why the dog is considered as impure animal in Islam and it is very obedient to its master like its creator is. The devil was exiled from the heaven and swore that he would be dedicated to make all the human beings do the evil deeds. That’s why people do the evil deeds.

Year’s End

In this blog, I want to change the point of view of the story “Year’s End.” I want to write a part of the story in Chitra’s point of view instead of Kaushik’s point of view. The story is —

I heard the news that I was going to get married with a person who lives in America. As I am a widow, I couldn’t believe that I would get such a good man. I always get disrespect from society, yet Mr. Chaudury wants to marry me. Since I am a teacher, I don’t have any economic problem in my life. However, I need a partner to share my feelings, and lastly I got him. I know that it will be very difficult for me to live with him because he is like an American. His lifestyle is completely different from mine. In addition to this, his age is approximately double my age, and he has a son who is like my brother. Moreover, both of them are very quiet people. How will my two daughters and I live in their home? On the other hand, he is a good and wealthy man. Furthermore, it is like a dream comes true that I will live in America and be able to give a better education to my daughters. I am in a dilemma whether to marry him or not. I don’t know if I am happy or sad, but I told him that I agreed to his proposal. (After few months) I reached America, but I had trouble speaking English. Moreover, I can see that Kaushik, my stepson, is not happy with me. I always want to make him happy, but he doesn’t want to live with me and my daughters. He went to a hostel to complete his graduation. I am alone here. I become so bored that I want to do something. No one understands my language, and I can’t understand them. Therefore, I don’t have any friends. I wish to speak English fluently. One day, I will communicate with everyone. I will have a job, friends, and happiness.

Just compare Chitra with the mothers of the novel, The Joy luck club. They have similar experience. Every mother had migrated to America and wanted to communicate with her daughters, but their daughters didn’t understand them. Similarly, Chitra has also migrated to America, and she also faced difficulty communicating with people.

My Giving Trees

            After watching the video of “Giving Tree”, I closed my eyes and compared my life with that boy. I found myself between two giving trees: one of whom is my father and another is my mother. I felt I was so lucky than that boy because the giving tree only give everything the boy demanded without judgment. Actually, my parents are my giving forest, but they always considered whether that thing is good or bad for me.

           First of all, if I thought my father as a tree, I could classify him a big banyan tree. He is the eldest and toughest person in my family. He is a very honest teacher who works in a small school in my village and leaves a simple life. Even though he is very tough in his laws, he has a big heart; he loves his daughters very much. Our family is a middle class one. Every month, my father faces hard time to bear our necessary things, but he never lets us feel the pain of poverty. Whatever we ask him to give us, he somehow manages those things and give them to us. One day at the end of the month while his salary was about to finish, I asked him to give me one thousand taka for my school picnic. All of my friends had already submitted their money other than me. That time I felt I would not be able to join the picnic, but my father gave me money to join the picnic just before the picnic day. I was so happy. A few days later, I heard that his shoes were gone for last 2 months, and he saved money to buy new shoes. Nevertheless, he didn’t buy them because he gave me his money to fulfill my enjoyment.

            Secondly, I can categorize my mother as a fruit bearing tree. She is well-mannered, soft and loving. She sacrifices her whole life for taking care of her daughters. In fact, she dropped her studies after my elder sister was born. Though she is polite she always punish us whenever we do something wrong, but never yield at us. She gives me the lesson of morality and teaches me how to differentiate between right or wrong. Actually she is my ideal and an inspiration for my future life. Finally, I want to say, I love my giving trees a lot.

 The Voice from The Wall

When I read the chapter “The Voice from The Wall”, I had a strange feeling. As Lena thought that her mother of her neighborhood abused her daughter, I also had the similar thought. I felt very sorry for the girl that her mother did not love her. Is it possible to live in the world a daughter when her mother does not love her? However, I felt relief when I finished the chapter. Simultaneously, I remembered an event of my own life similar to Lena’s experience.

             At that time, I was in class five, when I faced the experience. As I lived in a extended family, there were lots rooms in our home. My room was besides one my cousins’ room. They were two sister lived in the room. One of them was elder than me; another one was with me in the school. As we finished our primary education, we were taking preparation for getting admission in high school. I would read until midnight. One day, I heard that someone was scolding someone with slang language. I was surprised, because the two sisters did not use such kind of nasty words whenever they quarreled. I often thought that why they could not be agree with each other and made childish arguments. By the way, that night when I heard a new voice of bitter hisses, I was frightened. Then I understood that it was her mother. It made me more surprised. How was se scolding her? Did she do any mistake or bad work? What could she do? I was asking myself. Then my aunt stopped and I heard that my cousin was crying. That sound made me so sad and I felt sorry for her. At the same time, I found myself lucky, because my mother never scolded me like that. However, next night the same thing happened. That time I called my mother that she could explain me what was going on. She also was puzzled what was wrong between my cousin and her mother. Every morning I observed my cousin that there was any sign or expression of hurt, but I was surprised that she was hundred percent normal and enjoying everything.  Our relation was not so easy that we could ask them. Therefore, we heard them and tried to understand that there was anything worse to happen. After one or two week, that mysterious event stopped and I got relief. I noticed that they were quite easy with each other. I made a decision that I would not be okay as early as my cousin could. May be she loved her mother so much, that was why she forgot everything. I also forgot, but Lena reminded me about the unsolved mater.

Once in a Lifetime

Can you remember anything memorable that happened once in your lifetime so far? Life is not as predictable as we assume it to be. We meet many kinds of people who come into our life just for a reason or for a season, but only few have the ability to leave footprints in our heart.  

I met you when I was in the high school. You were thin, tall, and beautiful. I encountered you during the first day of my high school. You were standing near the door waiting for a friend. At first, you seemed just like a normal friend to me. Since your cousin was in my room, you frequently used to visit my room. As time went by, you became much closer to me than you did with your cousin sister. Soon after, you adopted me as your sister. Each day we became very close and we treated each other like real siblings. You told me your father do business and frequently visit Thailand and China and your mom is a housewife. You treated like your own sister and I felt very glad for being loved and cared by you. Even your dad and mom treated me like their own daughter. You were like my friend sister; a sister whom I could lean to when I have problems, and a friend who’s always there for me when I’m in trouble.

 Now you were to attend college and we will never be as close as we used to be before, but we promised to contact each other regularly. However, you didn’t keep the promise. I tried your cell several times but no one was answering it. Four months had passed and still there was no sign of you. I tried calling your home every once in a while but your mother would always say, “Oh she’s not here, but I’ll tell her you called” and I would be so depressed. Sometimes I just thought that you were avoiding my calls. But why I just wondered.

Later I came to know from your cousin that you were still in Calcutta undergoing medication. By then it was too late for me to see you. I came here in Bangladesh for my studies. Now after I came here, I regret.  I didn’t realize what I threw away until it was too late for me to get it back. Regrets, I have plenty. Memories, I have had millions. Smiles, I have had trillions, but having you as my sister is the best thing in my lifetime.

Respone to “On Marriage”

While reading “On Marriage” by Khalil Gibran, an image of “ideal couple” came into my mind. Since marriage is taken as one of the most important decisions in life, everyone wants to get loving, caring, and honest life partner. In every culture marriage is taken as a sacred thread that binds two hearts and souls together forever. If marriage is the reason for some people to be happy then it can be the cause of tears for others. So having mutual understanding, love, trust, care, and most important respect are must for long lasting marriage.
I think whatever the poet has said in this poem for the married couples, it is not possible to do them all in practical life. Though the advices given by Gibran are very important to be considered for happy conjugal life, following every of those suggestions is not that easy and practical in my assumption. We people are very sensitive regarding love and relations. However, living our lives in such a pure and dignified love is really impossible. Love may be true, feelings may be true but time and circumstances greatly affect the relation and bring lots of changes in people. The way poet has described love and relation in this poem is very romantic and can be imagined in only dream from my point of view.
Loving each other, but staying in distances, enjoying together, but letting each other to be lonely is something that happen only in fairy tale, movies or dramas. I guess there is no one in this world who would like to be in distance and be alone without the one they love. It is really difficult because I think everyone is possessive about their love which is the main reason for getting hurt in any relationship. Jealousy, anger, attitude, and doubt always arise in relation which further result into betrayal and heart breaks. Despite loving someone and wanting to be with someone, sometimes circumstances compel people to be alone and to let go of the people whom we love. I can feel what Gibran has mentioned in his poem, but being practical won’t allow me to be such amiable. Instead, I want no distance in between me and my beloved.