A Dialog and a Thought

Father and his son are talking.

Father: What’s wrong with you, dear?

Son: Please, don’t ask me anything. I can’t tolerate you anymore.

Father: What?!? Son: Yes, because you are pretentious.

Father: How dare you to say like this?!?

Son: You gave me the lesson of humanity. You gave me the lesson of honesty…but, you did not follow these. How can I respect you? You just pretended to be an honest man, but you took bribe, you used other people for your own need. How do you expect me respect you?

Father looks at his son with an amazed look.

………………

What will happen when the trustworthiness of a father and son relationship on the verge of break? We all know in most of the cases, our fathers are the role-models to us. From the childhood, our parents give us the lesson how we can lead ourselves in the way of our lives. They teach us honesty, humanity, altruism, and so on. We expect that our parents also practice these virtues. However, sometimes we see that they advise us not to tell lie, but they often tell lie. How can we take the lesson of telling truth when our parents do not practice it?

I know one of my friends who do not respect her father at all. It is surprising fact that he loves his father a lot in his childhood. However, his view towards his father has changed when he got to know that his father took bribe. It was a great shock for him to tolerate because he always respect his father for his honesty. Dear reader, I have imagined the abovementioned scene which may be applicable for them to make understand their situation. I know it is possible. Often time the clash among the children and the parents burst when the expectation towards each other cannot be fulfilled. Probably Biff, the character of the drama “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, is one of the examples of that type situation who disrespects his father for not fulfilling the expectation of being the epitome of honesty which he knows as a truth from his childhood.

……………

Father: I am sorry my boy. Really I’ve never realized that the lesson I’m teaching you which I’m not practicing. It is my fault. I promise you I never do this. I want your respect my boy. It will be the most valuable treasure for me.

Son: Please, don’t tell anything in that way….. (crying). I didn’t want to hurt you papa. Please forgive me! Please……

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Similarities between Moon’s Childhood and My Childhood

       When I was a child, my life was a little bit similar to Vasant Moon’s childhood. Consequently, while I was reading the chapter “Heat and Rain,” I was reminiscing about my village and my village life.

       Similar to Vasant Moon, I also used to sleep outside in the veranda with my grandmother where stars were clearly visible. Around ten pm, my mother would come and take me inside the house. While I was sleeping with my grandmother, she would tell me the story of Dhruv tara, the North Star. The story is that Dhruv’s father, Uttanpad, was a king, who had two wives. One was Suniti and the other was suruchi. The king loved Suruchi more than Suniti. Once, Suruchi’s son was sitting on the lap of the king then suniti’s son, Dhruv, came there and began insisting to sit in his father’s lap. By seeing this, Suruchi ridiculed Dhruv. Therefore, to sit in God’s lap, Dhruv prayed to God for many years. Lastly, the God became happy with his prayer, and gave him the highest seat in the heaven where everyone in the world can see him. Since then the North Star, Dhruv, is located in the north side of the sky.

       However, as I am a girl, my childhood was not exactly the same as Moon’s childhood. I had some restriction; for example, as the classes finished, I would have to come to home directly from the school. However, the boys of my village were the same as Vasant Moon. In the summer, they spent their evenings beside mango trees. They threw stones on mangoes to get them. If someone saw them, they started to run away from there. Sometimes, some boys used to come to my garden to steal mangoes.

       In addition, similar to Moon’s village, some monkeys used to enter in our village. They damaged our tiled roofs, so we had to change our tiles to prevent the house from monsoon rain water. These monkeys often ate the mangoes from our mango trees, which annoyed me a lot. Furthermore, similar to Moon’s village, people of our village used to keep water in earthen pots to keep it cold for a long time. The water of those pots was very tasty. Moreover, some people had earthen houses which were cold in summer and hot in winter. However, in these days, everything in my village has changed, and natural beauty has vanished. Moreover, earthen houses are replaced by buildings; earthen pots are replaced by refrigerators.

Where Do I Find My Happiness?

When I was reading the time magazine article “The New Science of Happiness” by Claudia Wallis, I was thinking about my own happiness. What makes me happy?

My happiness is when I get a good grade and my teachers highly praise me.

My happiness is when I dress up nicely and people tell me “Beautiful”.

My happiness is when I miss my family, and my parents come to visit me without telling me before coming.

My happiness is when my friends surprise me waking me up at midnight on my birthday.

My happiness is when my mother cooks my favorite dishes for me, and feeds me by her own hand. You know, she is very busy, and she seldom cooks for us.

My happiness is when my father buys me a new dress, which I chose last week, but he didn’t buy me saying that that’s not good quality. (Actually, at that time he didn’t have enough money as it was the last week of the month, and now after getting his salary, he has bought it for me).

My happiness is when I teach my younger sister, and she gets a good grade on that particular subject. At that time, her happiness makes me happy.

My happiness is when my grand-ma attempts to wool a sweater for me although she can’t see clearly at all.

My happiness is when my paintings are acclaimed by someone saying I would be a good painter in future.

My happiness is when I give my food to a beggar during school break and eating that food he satisfies his hunger and smiles to me.

My happiness is when I enjoy watching horror movies with my friends sitting together very closely eating popcorn.

My happiness is when my sister quarrels with me without any reason and later she comes to me giving a warm hug saying sorry.

My happiness is when I hear my parents’ voice in the phone asking everything with great care.

My happiness is when someone gifts me during any festival especially in Durga Puja at the day of Dashami collecting money from everyone touching their feet named namasker.

My happiness is when I see my favorite actor or actress getting awards for their contributions.

My happiness is when I visit my village, and receive greetings from my relatives and neighbors.

My happiness is when I travel my favorite places with my family and friends having fun and adventures.

My happiness is when I listen to music and enter into a world of fantasy.

Above all, my happiness is when I give something to anyone, or when I am given something by anyone.

Why Should They Suffer?

The woman knocked the door and asked for a glass of water. Her face was tired and upset. She seemed to be new in this neighborhood. None of us had seen her and were surprised that why she has knocked our door. She said that she was tired and asked if we could let her come home. The wrinkles on her face were telling us of a deep pain in her sun burnt face. After drinking a cup of tea, she took a deep breath and started telling us about her story. Her 16-year –old daughter, who had been the most beautiful and intelligent member of the family were suffering from schizophrenia, the cruel disease that causes the patient see and hear things that are not real (something the same as Willy in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller). As the woman said, the girl used to start shouting at others and call them bad names. Anyone who wanted to calm her down she would beat and fight with him or her. She used to think that everyone wants to harm her. After taking seducing drugs and a while of crying and roaring, she would fall asleep and everything would return to its normal. The woman said that her daughter thinks neighbors and some other people are watching her from the window cursing her. The imaginary characters used to tell her, “You are a bad girl, no one likes you!” That day was the first day that we heard about such a disease and after that, this woman used to come to our home and share her problems about the poor girl. Before leaving Iran, we went to her home for farewell. We found the mother’s face livid; she started crying because her daughter’s mental situation had deteriorated. She had punched her mother’s face and painted the face blue. Seeing this scene made all of us so depressed, and made us ask how and why someone who had been the best student in high school, the kindest and cleverest girl in the family, should become like this, someone whom everyone was scared of.

Reading “Death of a Salesman” reminded me of that girl and again it made me think why people should suffer from these kinds of diseases? Do these types of mental disorders rise from pressures and hardships or do they have another reason? Have scientists been able to discover the main causes for such a great pain? Have they been able to find a permanent cure for them?

 

My Summer

Bangladesh is a land of natural beauty. It has lots of characteristics to adorn its nature. One of them is its attribute of seasons including summer, rain, autumn, late autumn, winter and spring. As we all know, summer comes with the scorching heat of sun. In Bangladesh, it continues from March to May in the company of a little rainfall. It seems that everything is burned in the earth. Water label goes down in the ground. Rivers lose their water. Bangladeshi people usually call summer modhu mas, the month of honey. It does not mean that in this month lots of honey produces. Actually, during the summer several fruits ripe. Mango, jackfruit, papaya, banana, pineapple, watermelon, guava, litchi, black berry are the fruits that grows in summer. All these fruits are sweet in test as honey. Therefore, people equate this month with honey.

After reading Vasant Moon’s autobiography Growing up Untouchability in India, in chapter “Heat and Rain”, I find some similarities between me and him in our characteristics. In that chapter he describes his past years when he passed his summer. I believe he loved summer as I do. However, many people don’t love this season for its very hot weather, but among all the seasons, summer is my favorite season because it comes with lots of happiness. First of all, it brings many delicious fruits. Secondly, it gives me a vacation from my daily monotonous life. Throughout the year, I eagerly wait for the summer to enjoy my vacation. Furthermore, Vasant Moon’s summer days seems so lively to me. Jumping and running here and there with his friends, stealing fruits from others garden, grading crabs from the river exemplifies that he was very naughty and restless in his childhood. These events remind me my summer vacations. In my childhood, I was so restless. When my mother reminisces about my childhood, she always says that I didn’t stand in a place for a second. During the summer vacation, I usually went to our village with my family. There I enjoyed my vacation with my grandparents. In my village there are lots of mango trees. I and my friends usually ran throughout the village, stole mangoes from others tree and ate them sitting in a shade of a big tree by sharing them with my friends. Those days of my childhood are so meaningful to me that I can never forget them.

Willy Loman’s Journal (ACT ONE)

I am Willy Loman. I am married to Linda Loman, and I have two sons, Biff and Happy. Can you imagine that my sons, whom I have tried to put my whole life, talk behind me? My elder son doesn’t like me, and my younger son is too young to understand me. Biff says I am fake, and Happy says I am sick. All I want is Biff  be a prodigy as I used to be; I want him to establish a business and settle down. Is this something wrong? Is it bad for a father to expect something good from his son? I am not wanting something which is impossible. I know my son very well; I know Biff has all the qualities to knock down any business person in the market. He has the leading and conquering potentiality since childhood. In school he used to be the football coach favorite student for his initiatives. In his teenage, he won scholarship from three universities, and above all, he was made the high school captain. Therefore, if he tries to start his business, then I can garauntee that he can make million dollars in a very short period of time. I always wanted to own a business; a business larger than Charley’s (Charley, my neighbor), but I couldn’t do it. I am too old to have the same zeal as I used to have in my adulthood. Therefore, I want my son to continue my dream and  keep my name.

My family says that I am going mad,and I talk to myself. I do not talk to myself. I just see the beautiful memories that had once made me feel so proud and pleased. I am so deep into it that I see the people talking to me and-of course-encouraging me. I like being in these moments because these moments and the people praise my hardship that I have done until now. The real world is totally opposite to my imaginative world. Today my sons do not believe me; I am neither charmed nor well known like before, and the most important I do not make enough money to show my richness. All these affairs has demoralize me and made me feel like a dull man and an inarticulate salesman. I feel likedying. I even tried killing myself. How a man like me who had once lived like a king is now assailed by his own sons and ruined by his own business live peacefully? I only see dying as the best option, and I think
I will try to do it successfully one day.

Napanchmi

Vasant Moon, in Growing
up Untouchables in India
, talks about the festival of snakes or Nagpanchmi
as he reminisces about his childhood celebrating the festival. According to
him, it is celebrated by every house, and the commemoration starts with the
sweeping and the sprinkling of fresh and pure water everywhere. People prepare
various kinds of typical dishes, like muthe,
chapattis, and pahile or khis
; however, people do not eat food cooked in
oil at mealtimes. Moreover, children enjoy the festival by playing games like
competition to get lemons or coconuts thrown at certain distance. Furthermore,
they also entertain themselves by seeing magic shows, which are mainly
affiliated to snakes.

Nagpanchmi may be very unfamiliar to many friends in
my class as they do not belong to Hindu families, so I hope you will get a bit
of ideas from this blog entry in addition to what Moon has written in his
autobiography. A majority of people are Hindus in Nepal, so a significant
number of people celebrate Nagpanchmi, which lies mainly on the month of
August. It is believed that serpents are very perilous and poisonous animals,
and if people worship them, they will never get bitten by snakes. Moreover,
people also believe that serpents are sources of water. Since more than 70% of
the total Nepalese population work in farms, they need water. Therefore, they
worship snakes for water. Besides, Purans say that the entire earth is lifted
by a serpent named Shesh Nag on his head, and Lord Vishnu sits on the coil of
the serpent. Hence, people worship Nags in regard to Lord Vishnu also.

Like Moon has described in the autobiography, in
Nepal also, the celebration of Nagpanchmi begins with the sweeping and the
sprinkling of pure water everywhere in houses, and people prepare and eat
various special dishes like samay bazi,
bara, chhwela, and chhyala. Nevertheless, other parts of
celebration do not match with what Moon has described. In Nepal, people put
serpents’ pictures above the main entrance door of their houses and worship them
by offering cow’s milk; rice grains, flowers, and other oblations. Cow’s milk
is an indispensable item to worship the Nags. Moreover, there are holy ponds
named Nagpokhari at Naxal, Taudaha pokhari at Kirtipur, and Naagdaha at
Dhapakhel, where people take bath and worship the snake god.

It may sound very absurd to many people, but it is
one of the most important festivals in Hinduism.

Dad, I Have My Own Dream!

“The Death of a Salesman” is the story of a family struggling through hardship of economic recession in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Willy Loman, the main character in the play and the father of the family, is an old salesman who is not happy with his current status in his career and his relationship with his sons. Since Willy hasn’t been successful in fulfilling his own dream of becoming a famous, rich, and well liked salesman, he puts his sons, especially Biff, under pressure to accomplish the dream for him.

It is very painful, in my opinion, to prevent others from following their own dreams. Each person has his own vision about life, and based on his interest, has the right to imagine a future for himself and build the palace of his dream in his mind. It’s true that parents devote their life to provide the best life for their children, and their only wish is to see their children happy and successful; however, they do not have the right to define the meaning of success and happiness from their own perspective for their children and dictate them how to live. Instead, parents, while standing beside their children and supporting them, should let their children touch the life with their own hands and experience harshness and softness of life exposure on them. It’s a great joy to discover one’s own dream and pursuing it as a target in life. Now imagine how cruel it is, with the name of parenthood rights, to deprive a child from finding and discovering such an important reality.

I have seen many Willy Lomans around myself in my life. One of them really drew me crazy. He was a very hardworking father who wished his children to have university education and bring pride to the family. That was his definition of success, which he himself never could achieve. He tried his best and worked from dawn to dusk to provide the best facilities for his children, and he did, but his expectations were very high. All the time, he blamed his children for their failure in entering university. His sons fought with him everyday and finally ran away from home. His daughters had to bear all his nags the moments their father was at home. I saw how they suffered while they struggled to live the way their father expected them to. They wished to get free from that cage named “home,” but being a girl, their only solution was marriage.

When I saw how miserable both the father and the children were, I promised myself that I will never steal the joy of discovering their own life dream from my children, that I would not expect my children to be me, that I will help and support them to become themselves.

Material Success

The play, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, shows how some people are well concerned about money, wealth and material success. Willy, one of the main characters of this play, is always concerned about having money and material success, and hence, he has in the verge of becoming mentally depressed about his life and his boys’ future. He always thinks how to earn a lot of money and how to have a luxurious life.

Similarly one of my neighbors also had the same idea of having material success; they wanted to be rich and live show fully. Since my next door uncle and aunt were not well educated, they just focused only on money, wealth and perches of land. They were interested to get these things in any way. They were like, you pay me as much as u can, and I’ll work. Since they were poor in educational side, they did not even want their daughter to be educated. As a result, they gave their daughter in marriage in her young age itself to a wealthy rich guy, who was several years older than her, came from a posh family. They did not want to think about this deeply and take appropriate decision. They were that stingy to agree with that proposal as soon as they got to know about the guy. Though this girl did not want to marry, her parents persuaded her to marry that guy by telling her that she won’t have such a good man if she disagreed with that wedding proposal as if there were no any other men to her to marry.

Finally, after two or three years this girl could not live with that guy due to various other problems and that ended up in divorce. On the one hand, her family had nothing left, both their respect and the reputation of that family was lost. On the other hand, the girl lost her life.

Though I don’t know the end of this play, this is what I feel about material success according the reality that I have seen.

The Life Is Hard, What Can We Do?

In the chapter “Callousness and Clouds” of1 the autobiography Growing Up Untouchability in India, Vacant Moon talked about the hard period of time when his family suffered from a lot of dilemmas in their life. After leaving from his father who was addicted to drinking and beating his mother, he lost his father. Then, their house was irrationally taken away by his grandfather’s unofficial son. Consequently, their life seemed to be fallen in a dark “hole”.

Before his grandfather died, Vasant Moon’s life was full of flowers. Although living in low caste, he experienced a lot of things from his grandfather’s modern perspectives and lifestyle. His grandfather always cared for and protected his daughter and grandchildren. In other words, Moon lived in love and care. Then, their happy life terminated when his grandfather died. Obviously, he didn’t want it, but the life still went on and they had to accept the “cloud.”

Likewise, there are always some spots in everyone’s life. The play Death of a Salesman written by Arthur Miller exemplifies the idea that life does not always flow smoothly as we all expect. At first, no one in the Willy Loman’s family could think that their life would turn to the opposite side. The demise of their affluence life came, and they unwillingly accepted it. After the economic recession, they led in a miserable life appearing to change their traits. Willy, a confident person in the past, altered to be unemployed with no money to support his family. The two children didn’t have a decent job, and their former friends were no longer close to them. They often thought of their past when they had been happy with their money, power, and status.

The life is so hard, indeed. Apparently, we don’t want to be born in a miserable condition. We don’t like to see dissociation. We hate to be betrayed. We are shocked to know our grandmother passed away. Yet can we change anything? Sometimes, we still have to suffer from such situations. In fact, problems always exist in our lives; however, our perspectives and reception are the predominant factor of what and how our lives are. I wonder how many people in the world are satisfied with their lives. And I believe that must be optimistic people who think obstacles are something to make their lives be more colorful. As a Vietnamese saying goes, “Rivers are sinuous; people’s lives are also enigmatic, occasionally.” The saying is written to encourage people who are in difficult time to be courageous to prevail over their “clouds”. If we adhere to the feeling of sorrow and do nothing to enhance ourselves, we can never defeat it. I hope that everyone will realize and apply it in their lives.

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