Tag Archives: Rajshahi

Sail


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My late husband was stationed at Rajshahi. He came on a fifteen days leave for our wedding. After the plane hop from Lahore to Dacca, we kept changing boats. I felt sick all the way. I had the re current thought at intervals,  and wondered when my ordeal was going to be over?
I couldn’t eat. Everything was different, the taste wasn’t one I was used to. The smell of water was abhoring. It was sickening. I kept my thoughts to myself. I didn’t say anything to my husband. 

Who knew that I would be sailing all the way to Rajshshi?

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Sail

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Exposed


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My marriage was an arranged one. I had never met the members of my late husband’s family, except for mother in law, and one sister in law. My marriage took place from my uncle’s home, as he was my guardian after father’s death. Uncle had arranged for their stay in an adjoining rest house. The in-laws had come from Charsadda, where as my husband to be flew directly from Rajshahi, as he was stationed there.

It was about 4am after the wedding night. I had come out from the bathroom, and was going to lie down, and catch further sleep, when the bedroom door opened, and the in laws entered unannounced into the bedroom. I was caught in my pjs. I felt exposed meeting my in laws that way without an attire of qameez shalwar ensemble, and without a dopatta covering my head.

No one had told me that they would be leaving the next day, or I was expected to meet them so early in the morning, otherwise I would have been more, or less prepared.

My brothers in law, one by one started with shaking my hand, while the sisters in law hugged, and kissed my cheeks. As suddenly as they had come, they waved goodbye, and left.

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Exposed

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June 22, 2015 by Cee NeunerSHARE YOUR WORLD – 2015 WEEK #25

What did you or did not like about the first apartment you ever rented?

My first apartment was in Rajshahi, where my (late) husband R took me to live after marriage. It was a two bedroom apartment, and R rented it after our marriage date was set. He got it ready for me all by himself. 

I loved it, as it was my first home after marriage. We barely lived for a month and a half in it, before R got posted to Sylhet.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

I like all sorts, as long as there are no bizarre scenes, or nudity. I prefer scenic ones with no human figures in them.

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order?

We were three brothers, and two sisters. Among five of us, two brothers are no longer alive.

I am the second eldest in the family. I was born eight years after my brother. My mother prayed endlessly for having a second child. My brother wasn’t delighted with my birth, as he wanted a baby brother to play with. With my arrival he wasn’t happy, and wanted me to be given away.

Complete this sentence: I’m dreaming of a white …. (and no you can’t use Christmas as your answer)

I am dreaming of white orchids. They are one of my favorite flowers. When someone gifts me those, I feel over the moon.

  
Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am thankful as always to God for everything in my life, and I will be a wretched human if I didn’t feel grateful.

We are fasting at the moment. Everyday is a struggle to get things done on time, especially early morning when we get up for Sehri, and evening Iftari.

There is a time limit to those, meaning Sehri has to eaten before the Fajr Azan at 4.47 am. (Sehri means morning food, and Azan means call to prayers). Today I was late. It was 4.15 by the time I rushed downstairs. My son’s porridge has to be made first, so that it has a chance to cool down a bit. Then he has an omelette, toast, and milk with one tea bag. My grandson has fried egg, toast, and milk with chocolate in it.

Then the same goes for Iftari, or our evening food when we break our fast. The terms Sehri, and Iftari are only used for food in the month of Ramadan. Our Iftar timings today are 8.26 pm. The food better be delicious for my two grouchy people at the end of the day. Yesterday it was Samosas, dates, and Beans Chat for Iftari (and then we said our prayers), and dinner was minced meat with peas. I have to think of variation to tempt them to food, because they fill their stomachs with water when they slake off their thirsts.

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My Life as a Cook

When I got married, my husband was in Rajshahi, Bangladesh (former east wing of Pakistan). We had a marvelous Bengali cook. He was a culinary wizard. God bless him wherever he is. My husband, Hano (his nickname), told me to stay away from the kitchen. He didn’t have any inkling that on my part I had no desire to be there as I didn’t know the A to Z of cooking anything. From Rajshahi we went to Sylhet. We were fortunate to get another good cook.
My life as a cook started when we came back to Sialkot, Pakistan. Hano was at the border guarding our homeland. My father-in-law was staying with me and our baby son. Our orderly/cook asked for two to three hours leave. Seeing my woe begone face, he promised to be back by twelve. I waited for him to come back. Seeing that there was no sign of him, I could not delay going to the dreaded kitchen knowing my father-in-law would soon be asking for food. It looked to me that my doomsday had arrived. The chap before leaving had soaked mash dal (lentils) and rice in dishes. I cringe and shudder when I think back to that day to what I cooked. It was simply terrible but hats off to my father-in-law for bravely eating what I put in front of him and not saying anything.
A few weeks later, my life as a cook started in earnest as I was unable to find someone to do the cooking for us. You can guess what Hano had to endure. After practicing on him for a few months, I started getting the hang of it. He used to say, “Whether it is chicken or something else, there is no difference in taste.”
Finally I did get better. Sometimes I would crave a few words of praise at my culinary achievements. Hano would reply, “Look, I eat what you give me. That means it is okay.” Sometimes when I truly excelled (please do believe me), he would say, “Oh, you have reminded me of my mother’s cooking.” Oh my! His mother was one of the best.