Tag Archives: Sylhet

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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Barter

  

 How dismal the thought! But If I have to survive I will try to do any work —teaching, cooking, sewing whatever.

When we were living in Sylhet (Bangladesh) my (late) husband, and I did some bartering (or you can say exchange), of our own. Sylhet was a place where pineapples  grew in abundance.

We used to send pineapples to friends in Chittagong, and Dinajpur. In return we would get mangoes, and Lichees. We had our fill of mangoes, and Lichees in those bygone days.

Women of poor families in the village used to help my mother-in-law in housework—- cooking, doing laundry, and cleaning. In return m-I-l would give them food for the family. 

Till this day (back home), when I need fresh wheat flour, or corn flour from the village flourmill, the mill owner keeps a part of wheat, or corn in exchange for grounding the rest. 

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Barter System

If the world worked on a barter system, how would you fare? Would you have services to barter? Would you be successful, or would you struggle?

Photo Credit: Google.


Bringing Back Memories

Daily Prompt: Climate Control
The idea that the weather and people’s moods are connected is quite old. Do you agree? If yes how does the weather affects your mood?

Weather does affect a person’s mood. A near relative of mine, who lived in Seattle for a year found it depressing. Why? Because of the cloudy sky and constant rain. She is very fond of sunny days. If the sun is out there and shinning, she feels sunny and bright.

For myself, I don’t like dust storms. Dust seems to find its way through closed doors and windows. It always puts me into a black mood. You clean every minuscule of dust to find it back again on every thing. I don’t like the back tiring cleaning of my home.

Different weather reminds me of various phases of my life. It brings back memories.

Early morning, when the sun is slowly climbing the horizon, and if there is smell of a wood fire, it reminds me of my mother-in-law. In her days gas had not reached my husband’s village.

My in-laws grew trees for wood fire on their property. So early morning my mother-in-law along with two maids, would be making tea and parathas. It was for the hired hands, who helped with farming. The smell of wood fire was great.

Personally I feel that food cooked on wood fire is always delicious. It tastes marvelous.

Thunder storms and rain brings back memories of Sylhet, Bangla Desh where my son was born. We (my husband and I) occupied and shared the house with another family. We lived on the upper floor.

We were surrounded by the towering trees. I simply loved it. The only drawback was the clap of thunder and lightning. My newborn son would shake and jump a mile in his cot, with every deafening clap of thunder.

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When the weather is cold, and there is a wind blowing, I get back to another period of my life. My husband loved the brightness of bougainvilleas’ flowers. They were a great many of them. Some he had coaxed, to climb up to the terrace of our home. They looked spectacular.

They shed their flowers every day. I was fed up with them. They littered the terrace. Another downside was the neighboring cats climbing up to the terrace on them. The cats left their poos amongst my rooftop garden of plants. That used to be very tiring.

I persuaded my dear husband with great difficulty to remove the bougainvilleas. He was not happy about it. There was a flowering Jasmine alongside of the Bougainvilleas, which climbed the wall to the terrace. I just forgot to tell my husband not to cut it. It’s white flowers smell was heavenly. I mourned it’s loss.

Good riddance to the bougainvilleas. They created more work for me.

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Bringing Back Memories

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.