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First Published: http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/once-upon-a-time/
Date: Sunday, November 3, 2013

There was a time when I lived in a house with 34 members of my family. There were sibling fights, sad days and deaths but those were the golden days. They were packed with playfulness and sheer joy. The head of the house, my grandmother, was like the sun — centre of our universe. Everything used to evolve around her and her wishes; the menu of the day, responsibilities, chores etc.
It was a big house with many rooms and never-ending stream of guests. There was a garden full of roses, dahlias, chrysanthemums, magnolias and believe it or not, sunflowers. There were guava, mango, coconut, jackfruit trees and henna, beli, shuili plants as well. There was an aata gachh, (custard apple tree) too. It was an old building with a long veranda that was accessible from all the rooms. Usually after coming back from school, when everyone used to nap around 3pm, it was only me who toured around the house and embark on little adventures. Thus I earned the nickname “manager of to-to company”. My favorite thing to do was to keep an eye on the aata gachh and see if there was any parrot sitting on its branches, or whether the guavas were ripe enough to eat. There were monsoon days when I stayed out in the rain to my heart’s content. I had 10 cousins living with me who were of various ages and we were brought up as siblings.
Hardly a day passed when we didn’t have guests and I didn’t want to go back to my desk. In the afternoon we used to sit together, almost all 35 people, for tea and puri or badam at the courtyard. The courtyard was the venue for all our family events — starting from ga-e holud, birthdays, death anniversary milaad, and in some cases, weddings too.
A part of the garage was rented out to a chips maker-vendor. We used to run to “Molla” for chips and asked him to take the money from the elders. Life was perfect. We had indoor badminton tournaments, football matches and the typical borof paani games in the courtyard. It was a big fat family you can only see in the movies now.

Today I have to pull back my mind
for it is going faster than light
seems like a flash of a moment..
There are thousands of words I want to say,
a million things I want to do.
I want to do it now, who knows tomorrow.

My mind is playing constant sprints
one issue to the other
as if i will live my entire life today
climb mountains, swim oceans fly in the sky
white flowers to bloom in my garden
with beautiful butterfly.

I want to hold your hand
on a sunny beach walk in the sand
our footprints will last less than an hour
as nothing lasts forever
I am restless today like the bee
making temporary life on the tree….

During those late sleepless hours in bed
feeling little uncomfortable
I twist and turn.
it is difficult to stop procrastinating
tough luck in closing eyes
I try to hold my wandering mind hard.
Where did I go wrong?
Or is it life as it goes.
Life is just beautiful with all its tricks
unfathomable, uncertain and untamed
crude choices that perks climax
however it goes, whatever it gives
Life is beautiful.
Live.

Lord, I thank you for your mercy
to send me to this world as human
for the eyes I have, to see colours
to see up above and count stars
the heart that you have filled with emotions
for I can cry, laugh, mourn and rejoice
for the fingers to touch and feel the earth
to give me my legs by which I run
bold steps on green grass and desert sands
I am grateful to you for everything else
that has been created to serve me
for making me as your perfect creation
for making me the master of science
I am grateful for creating me as a woman
for the beauty I hold inside and out
the nine months of miracle that I show
I am grateful to you for the greed
the lust you have sewed with my soul
I crave to live more, I crave to win
and to you I beg more mercy
mercy to be able to look inside me
to look beyond myself
I want to take everyday as my last
give me mercy to be kind to others
I know my clock is ticking fast
every moment I loose it a little
I am in a hurry to live
to live as a human, as your best
I want your mercy for I know
you gave me only one chance
and I want to live it, as my last.

I have been given only one life.
To be born
To grow up.
To love and to give
To hold and to get.

But how short life is
For all these to be done
I need one life to be born
Another to grow up
Alas!! I have none.

I need one life
Only to look at you.
One more just to love.
May be once again
To shed tears, for the lost dove.

I live every moment
I fear to die.
I fear to be apart from you
To say good bye.
And I go on living……

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