Lucky to be Blessed
talks to Yamin Tauseef Jahangir
Being the youngest of five sisters, I always saw my siblings getting ready for school and I used to be all excited about it. I wondered when my time would come when I would have a school bag full of colourful books. My parents bought me a silver briefcase to comfort me as I nagged everyday to go to school. I vividly remember my childhood in Comilla. I was given a bit of home schooling before I started out at Our Lady of Fatema, a co-education missionary school in Comilla. Sister Tara, the Principal, asked me a few questions and when I answered, she was happy enough to confirm my admission.
On my first day, I was excited and much to my parents' surprise, I did not cry at all. It was a U-shaped school with sisters wearing those elegant attires. I observed them in awe, hoping to be as disciplined as them in future. I clearly remember the Nursery section and the English alphabets hung on the walls. I had four friends back then and we used to compete between ourselves and collect as many stars in our copy books as possible. The stars would be our encouragement to study harder. The school had an 'off-time', which meant a cleaning day. We had to pick up litters from the premises and clean the classrooms. I remember Julian, the Math teacher who was also a Physical Education instructor and was very strict. Even the parents used to be afraid of her. I could recall my time at Sister Mary's place where I went for Math and Science coaching. There I found her doing bhuttar chaash (researching on ghosts) and I found it fascinating.
I was an obedient student throughout my student life and there was little or no chance of mischief. When I completed class 3, my father was transferred to Dhaka. We lived in Lalmatia and I joined Dhanmondi Kakoli Biddalay in class 4. The thing that I had never done before, I found myself doing then. I cried. I complained about the chaos and the people being loud all the time. I had a difficult time adjusting to everything. After a year, I shifted to Annondo Biddalay, where I found my niche and Jamila Akhter, the Principal was very nice to me.
I was involved with cultural activities since the age of 3. There were shows on Bangladesh Television where I would perform classical dance. All my teachers at Annondo Biddalay were very cooperative and they supported me in all my endeavours. I never bunked classes and I aced in almost all the subjects. There were boys who would have crushes on me and some would even mimic me! But I was so naïve, I would complain to my teachers whenever something like this would happen. This memory still makes me smile, as I realise life was full of innocence back then. There was a French bakery nearby and my friends and I used to spend our money on the delicious munchies. When I became the Notun Kuri champion, my school honoured me for my achievement and that was a special day for me.
I completed my Honours in Psychology and did my Masters in Social Welfare from Lalmatia Girls College. My teachers used to appreciate my hard work and dedication towards studies. My academic life mostly involves paper works and reading, but I do not regret a bit of it.
I am forever grateful to Sister Tara and Jamila Akhter, the people who taught me so much in life and I think I was fortunate to have them as my mentors. I always looked up to them and I still remember their words. I miss my friends as I have lost touch with many, but once in a while when we do meet, they appreciate my sincerity. Now when I look back, I consider myself to have been truly blessed.