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Finding Shaila

Not too long ago, I had to deal with a personal event in one of my trip. An event I was somewhat excited about, however it ended badly and I felt like I was drowning in emotion.. you know the feeling where you try to balance everything and just drop the birthday cake? That feeling.

I decided to not that feeling take over me and go venture my own. I was in a city I probably will never be, not one I was particularly interested in to visit or had ever looked into.

I got in the car and drove to a cafe that looked nice from the reviews.

I get small anxiety attacks when I have to drive to somewhere unfamiliar, the little brief moment between walking through the door in a restaurant and waiting for a hostess, trying to open a door, talking to someone on the phone.. these little things are something I think constantly until they actually happen.

So driving to a “cool cafe” in an unknown city and parking few blocks down the road was a hell of an achievement for that day, especially when I wanted to stay under the sheets whole day.

I went to 3 different cafes, tried food that looked good, shared a table with strangers and talked about organic potatoes, walked inside a boutique and bought myself some gifts, walked around pretty downtown neighborhood and talked to my bestfriend.

Exactly at that point I realized, I am very happy with my life. I am content. I have things I am constantly greatful for. I don’t have anything to complain about.

The only thing I miss the most is my bestfriends. We laugh at the silliest things, we challenge each other constantly, they are the only people who are allowed to say “you look terrible in that”, who gets the need to take pictures, who understands the love for one stray vine on a red brick wall.

I dont find the need to call up a special someone to talk about how my day went. But the cat I saw in the neighborhood, i need to share that with mony, some kachchi meme l need to share with urmi, old book references has to be shared with lithy and toma needs to know everything.

I really miss my friends ❤️

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My thoughts lately

I debated if talking about relationship in this platform is a good idea but I am focusing less and less on what other people think of my business. What actually happened can’t be changed, and I for sure can’t change what others think of my actions (not that it matters.)

I went through a break up not too long ago. I think I fell for him in a snap and it took another snap for me to realize what the future will hold if I were to go through this. I am told that I am very humble but I don’t think I ever compromised on my happiness. Now here comes a time when relatives are asking when am I going to get married. The aunties who used to stuff my face and say “if you don’t eat now, when else are you going to eat?” Now with a very worried face they say “health comes first! Be careful” (read: lose weight or no husband)

I was never the most confident person in the room. But this is taking a toll on me. I grew up trying to be this perfect daughter/student/friend and failed miserably. I always felt my teenage years were robbed from me. The time when I was supposed to be singing on top of my lungs with friends in beshura tune, I was trying to figure out how to be bengali in America without offending either culture.
The time I was supposed to go bowling, to the movies or to the mall, I spent working after school to make sure I am less of a burden. No, my parents never made me feel like that, but we always disagreed about things and I had a habit to just run away from it all. I was making sure they can never keep me tied financially.
Then as long as I can remember, the days were full of work hours and classes, nights were full of assignments with some youtube and Netflix. I was distant from family and friends. My best friend lived in bangladesh and there’s a lot we could share but wasn’t easy to comprehend for either one. I could rarely go out with my friends because of either work,school, family or just my anxious- low self esteemed self.

Now, I am ready to explore. I have some time to go out, I have a stable job, I have the desire to go. But day by day I get reminded how lonesome it is and to be honest, I am sick of it. I am sick of being so apologetic for how I look, how I talk and what I want from life. I am sick of feeling rushed to find someone before I get forced to marry some aam jaam kodu modhu.

I know there isn’t point of saying all this because the answers are “do what your heart desire” “live life to the fullest” and so many of these cliche lines.

I am not throwing my bra off the air screaming “freedom!” Or “I am better off myself”

Deep down everyone wants to be with someone and I am no different. I just would like to not feel rushed. Be happy with myself before expecting someone else to do it for me.

Sincerely yours.

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কবিতাটা বলার জন্য হাবিজাবি কথা

তখন আমার বয়স কতো হবে, পনেরো কি ষোল। আমি দিনরাত শাহানার একটা ছেলে গানটা শুনি আর তিন গোয়েন্দার রবিন মিলফোর্ডের কথা চিন্তা করি। হুমায়ুন আহমেদের রুপার মতো কাঠখোট্টা মায়াবতী হবার চিন্তা করি। দিন রাত এক পৃষ্ঠার দিকে তাকিয়ে পার করে দিই।

খাটের পাশের জানালাটা ছিল একদম মাথা ঘেষে, গরমকালে খুলে দিলে, শুয়ে শুয়ে আকাশ দেখা যেতো। আমি তারা চাঁদ সবই দেখতাম আর কি যে কল্পনা করতাম নিজেও জানিনা। বর্ষাকালে আম্মুর খুব বকা খেয়েও রাতের বেলা খুলে দিতাম জানালাটা যাতে এক ঝটকা বৃষ্টিটা যখন নামবে সেটা এসে আমার গায়ে লাগে।

এরপর চলে আসা অন্য শহরে, নিজেকে বাস্তবতায় টেনে তোলার চেষ্টা। কেন জানি মনে হয় এতগুলো বছর আমি ভুল গলিতে দৌঁড়ে বেড়িয়েছি। ভালোবেসেছি ভেবেছি কিন্তু কেমন যেন ফ্রেমের ভিতর নিজের ছবিটা আটানোর ব্যাস্ত চেষ্টা ছিল। মন দিয়ে কখনো ভাবিনি এই ছবিটাই কি মাথার উপরে ঝুলবে সারাটা জীবণ?

ইদানীং স্বপ্ন দেখি কত্তো বেশী। মনে হয় সেই পনেরো বছর বয়সে ফিরে গেছি। মনে হয় “ছোট্ট আমি,দুষ্ট আমি সে যে , হঠাৎ কেন হলাম জড়সড়” পেয়ে গেছি বন পাহাড়ি, ঝর্ণা, বৃষ্টি ফেলে আমায় ভালোবেসে ফেলা সেই ছেলেটিকে।

আচ্ছা, কখনো ভেবেছিলেন পৃথিবীর একদম উল্টোদিকে খুঁজে পাবেন এত্তো কাছের এরকম কাউকে? আমার অবাক লাগে, এতো ভালো লাগা কাউকে কিভাবে সম্ভব। আর এতো এতো সুখী কিভাবে লাগে? ঘোরলাগা সুখ। আমি বুঝি হয়তো বা এক সপ্তাহ, দু সপ্তাহ কিন্তু মাস পর হয়ে যায় আর আমি ততোই হাবুডুবু খাই গভীর প্রেমে। সন্ধ্যবেলার বৃষ্টি আসার আগের ভেজা বাতাসটার মতো ভালো লাগা সারাটা সময়, এমনকি প্রচন্ড মন খারাপেও বিরক্ত লাগে না আপনাকে। যখন ছোট্ট ছোট্ট কিছু কথা পাঠান আমি ব্যস্ত দুপরে অফিসেও হারিয়ে যাই অন্য কোথাও।

ভালো লাগে তো। অনেক বেশি।

রাত্রি যখন গভীর হয়, স্বপ্নরা হয় ভারী

মন খারাপের মন্দকথার ভীষণ বাড়াবাড়ি

তুমি গান শুনিয়ো বেসুরতায়; করো পাহারাদারী

আধো আধো একটু কথা,

পুরনো নতুন কতো কবিতা

শুনিয়ে আমি ভাববো ভীষণ, হচ্ছে বাহাদুরী।

তুমি জবাব দিয়ো উচ্ছলতায় কিংবা দুষ্টমীতে

নিরুত্তরের পত্রগুলোও উষ্ণ তুমুল শীতে

তুমি রাগিয়ে দিও ইচ্ছে হলেই

টেনোও খুব কাছে

তোমায় ছাড়া চাওয়ার আমার, কিইবা বলো আছে।

আমি ঘুমিয়ে যাই, এলোমেলো প্রিয় শাড়ির ভাজে

তুমি তাকিয়ে দেখো, লুকবো না আজ

বিচ্ছিরি কোনো লাজে

তুমি সরল করে বুঝিয়ে বলো কত্তো কঠিন কথা

আমি ভুলতে থাকি একটু করে কাকে, বলে ব্যথা

ভয়ও লাগে এই ভেবে, হারিয়ে যদি যাও

ব্যথাগুলো জাগবে আবার, যদি আমার না হও।

তুমি কঠিন হলে মাঝে মাঝে, নতুন করে চিনি

ভালো লাগা বাড়তে থাকে, এতোটুকু জানি

এতো কেন পুড়াও আমায় , ভালোবাসায় তুমি

বলছি ভালো নতুন করে, সত্যি বাসি আমি

ভাবতে ভীষন অবাক লাগে বেখেয়ালী আমি ।
রাতে পেরিয়ে ভোরেরা সব গল্প করে শুনি , তুমি আমি ঘুমোচ্ছি বেশ শব্দে গুনগনি …।
হাসতে গিয়ে আমায় দেখে চোখ করেছো ট্যারা , কালো ফ্রেমের চশমাটা আজ মিস করছি ,বড্ড ভীষন একা ।

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Disappointment..

Have you ever disappointed all of your favorite people at once? I have.

This week has been an emotional roller coaster, I have had ups and downs but mostly I felt anxious. We are our worst critics and we focus on everything negative that’s happening with us but there’s one thing I recognize that is I am loved by many. I don’t know what I did to deserve this but there are so many people I met along the way that are incredibly affectionate towards me and will go out of their way to help me. I don’t walk on the street with thoughts that the world is out to get me, I believe pure evil is rare and almost every action comes from an innocent emotion with its own right to be expressed.

The purpose of this post is to remind myself that I am loved. I am grateful for the people around me that are so very understanding and truly has the right intention in mind for wanting the best for me. They have cheered me more ways than they realize, it may be mentioning me on a picture of saree or jewelry, it may be few strokes on their guitar, it may be planning an event. I get excited and I enjoy the people around me that excites me.

I want to remind myself to not overthink things, let time take you and there’s no point of swimming against the tide regardless of how bad you want to go to the opposite direction, eventually you will get there.

The nonstop worrying won’t make any decision any easier.

It sucks to be the cause of something unpleasant, it sucks even more so if it involves people you like. 29187281_1639558236089709_7948152721473798144_o.png

I apologize if you are reading this post and trying to connect what the hell is she talking about? It’s just me rambling and guiding my thoughts. It’s me settling into the idea that nothing is A vs B. It’s always A is not totally on board with B because B had blaa blaa, if B were blaa blaa then A would be okay and if A were blaa blaa B would have done this, and if we could get C to do this it would be this.. so instead of trying to work out this huge jalebi it’s best to just understand what is the end goal and move on. As I am setting reminder here I should also add a reminder to take care of relationships. I am the worse when it comes to maintaining relationships. I get lazy, I think about someone quite often but when it comes to call them or send them a note I get cold feet, don’t know why.

Today though, I don’t want to be social. Today I need to force myself to sleep and hope all will be good in the morning.

 

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The mirror is so uncomfortable..

I am uncomfortable with my body for as long as I can remember. I was a “nadush nudush bachcha” (chubby kid) since I was little. My growth was noticeable compared to my friends. Before I hit puberty I was hearing vile words thrown at me on the street. I couldn’t wait to start sixth grade, when we can finally wear a dress and a wide scarf instead of skirt and suspender. I was mad. Not sure with whom, the institution that made a fifth grade child wear uniform not comfortable for her body? Or the society, that didn’t make her feel comfortable in her uniform?

By sixth grade I understood a lot about womanhood, I understood that the kind faced man you saw on the street who resembled someone’s dad could actually call you a piece of meat because you are a “lokkhi meye” (good girl) and you wouldn’t start a ruckus in the middle of the street like a girl from the bosti (slum) and they can get away with whatever they want.

I was overweight, so naturally conversation about my body was an open topic. I hated, absolutely hated taking public transportation. People stared. Men stared Women stared. I didn’t understand. It hurt, words hurt too even more so when it came from friends and family. They didn’t hold back telling me who told what about my body behind my back. I hated my existence.

Towards the end of my teenage years I wasn’t skinny but I was okay. I could look at the mirror and tolerate myself, I could even imagine wearing a pretty dress!

But then stress came running. I found myself taking comfort in food, I found myself in such a boring cycle everyday that the only excitement that I could control was my food. I am not sure why there was such an idea that stress makes you skinny, but I ate. I ate junk, I ate bad food and I overate. I laid in my bed on my day off and when I thought about get out of the bed it was to get a cheese danish. There were many more underlying reasons that contributed to my overweight but bottom line was I treated myself like shit.

I am wrapping my head around the idea of self love only recently. I didn’t want to take any pictures that I couldn’t control how I want to look (read selfie)

Mostly being tired of all the selfies on facebook, I asked my mom to take pictures of me which was a project itself. I had to find the frame and then ask her to stand and hold the phone still, then get in front of the camera hoping I look ok, yet I see her hand slowly moving to the right to the point you can only see my arm, going through 30 some pictures of me taken in a few seconds I find my mom never told me one of my button was open or the drape of my saree looks odd. It was even more depressing to see my body. Every single day I got depressed looking at those pictures. I saw my body from another person’s perspective and I thought “my God! Who in the world would find me attractive?how dare that I think of getting dolled up, it’s not worth it.” My self esteem deflates instantly.

I am now making the point of taking pictures and learning to love them. I am trying to take more photos of me that aren’t selfies even if that means awkwardly sitting in front of self timer

Or desperately seeking external happiness like impulse shopping or buying balloons even when I am dead tired

আমি হেসে হেসে বলি আমার খাবারপ্রীতির কথা, আমি হেসে হেসে বলি আমার শাড়ি পরার কারণ হলো আট বছর আগের পুরনো কামিজে ফিটতে না পারার ব্যর্থতা, আর আমি ক্ষমা চেয়ে নেই যখন কেউ বলে “এতো মোটা হয়েছ কেন? ওজন কমাচ্ছ না কেন?” আমি ক্ষমা চাই নিজেকে অন্যের চোখের মতো ভালোবাসতে না পারার জন্য, আমি কষ্ট পাই,নিজেকে আর দেখতে না চাওয়ার জন্য।

বিশ্বাস করো বা আর নাই করো,আমার ভালো লাগে না যখন চেয়ারে বসে পেটের ভাঁজ বুঝতে পারি, আমার ভালো লাগে না দুনিয়াতে এক্সট্রা ইঞ্চিগুলো দখল করে নেবার জন্য মাথা নিচু করে থাকতে, আমার ভালো লাগেনা শরীর লুকানোর জন্য কুঁজো হয়ে হাঁটতে।

খুব খারাপ লাগে যখন মনেহয় জীবনের সবচেয়ে বেশি সময় যেই শরীরটার সাথে কাটিয়েছি,তাকেই সবচেয়ে বেশি অবহেলা আর ঘৃনা করেছি।

এখন একটু একটু করে শিখতে শিখেছি, ভালোটা নিজেকেই বাসতে হয়,তা না হলে অন্য কেউ যতোই ভালো বাসুক না কেন সেটা পর্যাপ্ত হয় না।

Here’s to self love, self admiration, self acceptance, whatever you call it.. being comfortable with ourselves, be it our body or our mind.

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A happy mind on a gloomy day

I have been sleeping odd hours lately, all together I am probably getting 5-6 hours of sleep each night. Every morning it’s such a struggle to wake up, I hardly have a second to contemplate if I should sleep for few extra minutes. I am usually out the door within 10 minutes of waking up. After I pass a few lights and get on the toll road, I imagine I am wearing a cape. I don’t even remember the dreams I had the night before. I get to work and I think I am going to sleep so much over the weekend.

With my luck, I end up waking up at 8am on Saturday. This morning when I woke up it was bright and sunny, I went upstairs got me a cup of tea, had some “khood bhaat and bhorta” and came back downstairs. I felt happy. Cheery. It was a beautiful morning, I was talking to my mom about going somewhere.

Then around 2pm the sky got so depressed, I couldn’t see any clouds from my window but I imagine there were some big grey ones. Right now, it’s about 6pm and it’s dripping outside, if I stare for a bit I can see the raindrops. I am trying to buy some green bangles on ebay and for some odd reason it’s not taking my password and I am too lazy to reset the password, so I will probably forget about this.

I am also listening to a beautiful song

“তোমায় গান শোনাব তাই তো আমায় জাগিয়ে রাখ
ওগো ঘুম-ভাঙানিয়া
বুকে চমক দিয়ে তাই তো ডাক’
ওগো দুখজাগানিয়া।।”

I never thought the story of this song would become part of my life one day.

ইদানিং ভালো লাগে অনেক বেশি, সবকিছুই ভালো লাগে। পুরনো গান শুনতে ভালো লাগে, নতুন গান শুনতেও ভালো লাগে, কথা বলতেও ভালো লাগে, শুনতেও ভালো লাগে, চা খেতে ভালো লাগে, খাওয়ানোর কথা ভাবতেও ভালো লাগে। আজব ব্যপার স্যাপার।

মানুষের নাকি সুখী হওয়ার কথা বলতে নেই, চোখ লাগে। আমার কেন জানি খামোখাই নিজেকে সুখী সুখী লাগে। দুনিয়াকে বলতে ইচ্ছে করে সেটা। বেশ নরম শরম চুপচাপ মেয়েটা হঠাৎ করে এতো আহ্লাদি হলো কিভাবে, সেটাও চিন্তা করতে ইচ্ছে করে। কারো চোখের উজ্জলতার কারণ হতে পারলে বোধহয় এরকমই লাগে।

This picture was taken on December 22nd, a very special day.

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কয়েকটা আজগুবি লাইন

যদি মন খারাপের কান্না বেলায় তোমায় পেতে চাই
আমি বুঝতে শিখেছি বাঁধাতে হবে একটু রোগ বালাই।
যদি হাত ধরতে গিয়ে তোমায় জাপটে ধরতে চাই
আমি বলবো ভাবছি, হাঁটু কাপছে পারছি না আর তাই।

যদি সন্ধ্যেবেলার ঝালমুড়িতে আজ নেই সরষে তেল
আমি সান্তনা দেই এ ছোটো চাওয়ার নেই আজ কোনো বেইল।
যদি গিটারের টুং টাং শুনে দুড়ু দুড়ু করে মন
আমি লুকোতে শিখেছি, লুকোনোটা আজ বড় বেশি প্রয়োজন।

যদি ক্রিকেট মাঠের শোরগোলেতে তোমায় হারিয়ে ফেলি
আমি গাইতে শিখেছি পুরনো গান, ভুলভাল কথাগুলি
যদি কারো হাসির আওয়াজ শোনে এলোমেলো লাগে মন
আমি দাঁড়াতে শিখেছি বারান্দাতে, একলা কিছুক্ষণ।

যদি ঘাড় নেড়ে তুমি রাজি হয়ে যাও আমার কোনো কথায়
আমি গলে যাওয়া মোম, লাগাই জোড়া ছোট্ট কোনো ব্যথায়
যদি মাঝরাতে, বা দিনে দুপুরে তোমায় ডেকে বসি
আমি জানি তুমি অবাক হয়ে বলবে ভালোবাসি।

যদি সুন্দর হবার চিন্তা নিয়ে খাবার ছেড়ে দেই
আমি জানি তুমি নির্ঘাৎ বুঝবে সে ক্ষমতা আমার নেই।
যদি দুষ্টু কথা শুনে আমি কানটা চেপে ধরি
আমি বুঝতে শিখেছি মানিয়ে নেয়া বেশ দরকারি

 

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Nostalgia

I was listening some old Hindi music that came out in late 90’s, early 2000. They fueled my pre-teen and early teen years. Not sure because of the teen hormones or something else they meant so much. When I listen to them they take me to a special place. I crave that strong emotion I used to have. The strong interest to be noticed, be someone. Pretending to be the protagonist of some romantic novel, and the ability to be in such a haze in a busy or quiet street without a care for the world.

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“In these days my heart’s saying to decorate my dreams, to live at last…
It says even I have the permission, to fall in love. ..”
I tried to translate a song called “in dino” from the movie “Life in a Metro” the translation doesn’t do it justice.
It’s amazing how much I dreamt of becoming an adult and now that I am.. it’s nothing I expected.
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Thoughts on my mind

I am having a very usual stressful time. My school is going full-blown and I feel stressed. I am actually stressed about not doing the huge amount of workload I have this semester.. I am such a procrastinator. I do not study as hard as my classmates, I do not spend much time studying and spend more time about how I need to study and I am quite surprised how I have passed all these classes thus far in my college life. I am pretty proud to stay I still haven’t gotten a C.

Work is great. I feel guilty for having such a nice job I have with the wonderful people in my team and how they trust me with the responsibilities. Probably for the first time in my life I don’t  come home from work exhausted and complaining about it. I feel I am not working hard enough here compared to when I worked two jobs and that makes me guilty, I feel I should be working harder. Maybe I like complication.

I moved into a new place. I quite like it. Sure, it’s not THE coolest place in the town and to be honest, I don’t care as much about living in “cool area” if it doesn’t fit my bill. But thankfully, I love the neighborhood. I like to walk there after work/school and see the pretty houses and the cats. I so far named them “scratches”, “Poop” and “Indy-2.” Every day I see something new like the poster below.

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I am so frustrated with the current politics. I am trying my hardest to not think about this. It doesn’t matter what I think.

I am scared to graduate. I am scared to apply to grad school. What if I end up having a lot of student loans and not able to pay back or get a job that will help me pay that back? What a looser I would look like if my masters don’t help me get a job. The kids in my field are so sharp! I am intimidated.

I have had Mediterranean food straight for past 2 weeks. I don’t seem to get tired of all the halal style food places (halal guru, halal corner, halal bros, Aimee’s super fantazmo and bunch more)

I have purchased some spices from spice tree organics and bought a food processor so I can make my own falafel. I am hoping for less take out and more homemade food this year. So far this is the only kind of food that I can’t satisfy my craving by cooking at home. Here’s hoping to perfecting this recipe.

I bought a few cheap artworks in hope it will brighten up my place, but I am too much of a chicken to hang them. I bought some command hooks to hang them and one of them has already fallen (not sure what I expected)

I like my blue car, it’s small. It’s growing up way too fast though (lots of mileage)

I am running out of random thoughts and will now go watch “parade’s end” (Benedict Cumberbatch is kind of cute)

Enjoy my cat’s pictures.

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This  rug not covering the outer area of table is really bugging me. NEED FIXING ASAP

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My dysfunctional story

depression_by_swiniaki.jpgI am sitting on my bed thinking if I should write this blog, if I should put my personal life out there.
 
After having a very difficult night in a long time, I figured I need to get the words out of my mind and I don’t think many people read this blog anyway also this is my personal blog, my diary. If I don’t write it here, where would I.
 
I believe this is not one thing that is affecting my mood but many small and big things. Past few weeks have been extremely hard for me to stay focused. I have skipped one of my morning classes constantly four times while I laid on my bed awake, staring at the top of my bunk bed. I had a test in that class and I did horrible. I had marked an A in that class and now I don’t know anymore. I have another class which I am struggling with but I am oddly satisfied with the learning, it’s just on test my mind goes all crazy and I overthink but since I am understanding the material, I am not too sad about it. My economics class, giving me a very hard time as well. I do not like the grading system in that class and it’s very hard to stay focused. I studied for a whole week with all I had and yet failed the test. She curved the test, assuming a lot of people did badly as well.
 
This probably will be the first time in Texas State I will have C, first time I will not be in Dean’s list. While this may come off as arrogant or you could just roll your eyes at this, but this is my measure of happiness. There’s really not that many things in my life give me the sense of accomplishment.
 
I grew up with extremely low self esteem. Being arrogant or showing off your achievements has always been frowned upon. You have to be humble, but you know how little kids become extremely confident? They show off their new toy or how well they did in class? My parents tried very hard to not make me become that kid by always telling me I wasn’t good enough and in reality I wasn’t. I got into first grade in a school after going through an interview exam. My dad told me to pack my clothes. He said, “if you don’t get in, pack your clothes and leave the house.” I cried and packed my bag because the test was extremely hard for me and my dad told me immediately after the test that he was sure I failed. My parents were obviously joking and today it’s a fun joke they tell sometimes. It was also the time when my brother was born. He wasn’t a very healthy child so my parents spent a lot of times taking care of him. I was 6 years old when he was born and I felt all the attention was going to him and now if I don’t get into the navy school I have to leave home? My parents probably would have laughed and still do when they are told about how their behavior could affect their kid’s psychology.
 
They posted the grades on a particular date (happened to be my birthday) outside of the school on 3 different boards with names. A being the best scored kids, B is average scored kids and C being the barely passed kids. My cousin who was staying over at our house to go to college took me to see the result.
 
She looked at Board C first and my name wasn’t there, then she looked at Board A and my name wasn’t there. It was extremely crowded, so she figured I didn’t get in and we were heading back. I was crying. On our way, we met her friend who forcefully took us back to the results and found my name on B board. I was happy that I didn’t have to leave anymore.
 
I started reading from a very early age. I would go to my neighbor’s house on Fridays to pick up the newspaper because on Friday the newspaper used to publish a kids section. I read any and every book I got my hands on. When I was 7 started reading a very popular Bengali author named “Humayun Ahmed” who was very popular among young generation. My cousin who was attending college from our home would always have a new copy of his book that she bought or borrowed from a friend. I would read whenever she wasn’t home. I would wake up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom to read the book. Reading any book outside of textbooks weren’t encouraged and given that author talked about love, relationship, human mind, philosophy.. it was very inappropriate.
 
I was cute until I was 10. After that the cute chubby little person became disgusting teenage body and I was awkward and embarrassed of my existence and so were my parents. My mom would not take me to the store ever because I would embarrass her and I couldn’t count the number of time we bumped into my dad’s coworkers who would say, “that’s your daughter? looks nothing like the mother!” My mom would smile at that compliment towards her and we would walk.
 
All of a sudden I was being judged on what was I wearing, how odd my body looked, how awkward I was. It didn’t bug me as much because I was going through a romantic period. You know the period where you haven’t fallen in love yet, but you listen to romantic songs on radio and read the books and imagine how you are going to meet that person? In Bangladesh it’s very hard for a guy to talk to a girl. It doesn’t happen often in public since everybody knew each other where I lived most of the time it was just staring and smile situation and after months after months they approach you with a note or something sweet. Phones weren’t so common back then and only guys in college had them at that time. I know it sounds very silly now, but keep in mind girls were getting married by 18 and they are expected to act like an adult as soon they turn 12, so if you are not being a romantic by 15 when are you going to be?
 
Fast forward, we moved to US. I was living with my uncles and to me the excitement was as if there were Christmas everyday. We lived in a different city in Bangladesh and would visit my uncles once a year during Eid-ul-Fitr (equivalent to Christmas celebration) and for those 3 to 5 days we stayed over there, we weren’t expected to study or take timely naps, and were allowed to have some money to go buy something from the shop. So imagine my excitement when I got to live with them for months. But it didn’t go exactly how I planned. My cousins who I thought was my friend was pretty mature and she felt I was a competition of some sort, thus began the humiliation in front of other people. Acting as my guardian and making rules for me. My parents were too busy making a livelihood and didn’t care enough about this “kid-fighting” Slowly the relationship between them and my uncles got sour as well. We moved.
 
My mom would tell me how my cousin never leaves the home and does everything for the home, while I just wanted to go and hang out with friends.
 
I fell in love with someone I am not supposed to. Love is a forbidden word before marriage and given he did not fall under the criteria of a possible daughter in law, my life became hell.
 
I became the biggest disappointment in my parents life. I am not pretty, I am not home-bound, I am not well behaved and willing to meet and talk to people whose first comment is always about my body or how I am not being Bengali enough.These only pushed me away from being with people who knows I am expected to live and behave in a certain way.
 
My mother is depressed. She doesn’t talk to anybody now because I brought shame to my family. I got called from her clinic the other day because she refused to take medication, and she stated that her reason for sickness was me. She called me yesterday saying, she believes she is going to die soon and somehow she makes me feel guilty that I am the cause. She cries when I tell her about any of my accomplishments, saying, I didn’t let my parents be part of my achievement. It’s not up to me to make them feel proud, I can only tell you what I did, but I can’t tell you to cheer for me. It’s your job. Don’t blame me that I somehow stopped you from cheering. Then their statement somehow becomes how disappointed I made them. I can rarely keep my cool anymore, I get very emotional and then I burst out crying saying “It wasn’t my job first to become a good daughter, it was your job to become good parent first” And then they tell me, “we’ve given you everything you wanted” and I become speechless.
 
My mother creeped into my room at 2 in the morning and said prayer over my head for an hour and blamed everything on God. I woke up horrified and screamed at her. I spent the whole night hearing her cry from the other room.
 
I don’t know how to fix this. They not even once consider what that does to my mind. They have never supported me with anything and make my journey as hard as they can. What am I expected to do as a human?
 
I know anybody here will say that I am not a failure or it’s not my fault. But this is hard. I know I haven’t done anything wrong, but I need the assurance from them. They won’t leave me alone. We fight. I stop talking and few days later she calls me crying and my heart breaks. I feel guilty. What do I do? How do I get away?

How do I become numb?

My car stops in the middle of the road sometimes, I am in an urgent need of getting it checked or buying a new one. My phone screen went black yesterday. I have no motivation to go to classes. I started an internship that I really like and I really want to do a good job, but I feel as if I am failing. It all comes together and I feel as if I am drowning…