( Exclusive column written by a School – Girl of Ireland)
I am Aasha, I am 9 years old. I live in Ireland in a place called Donegal. I live with my mother, father, brother and my granny is staying with us at the moment. I go to a local school and I will be going into 4th class in September. My hobbies are horse riding, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, karate, I play the melodica and the tin whistle. I also like to cycle, go on nature walks, bake, reading and watching youtube on how to make slime, tie-dye clothes and any arts and crafts videos. I have recently starting collecting stones on the beach and painting them for my friends and family.
How Covid-19 Impacted me
Covid 19 has changed the world, one day I am at school and then all of a sudden school is closed, everyone needs to staff and home and stay safe. No visiting my friends, no going to school or horse riding, my gymnastic classes stopped, no karate classes, no going to see my granny or my aunties. Ireland was in lockdown.
My life was to stay at home and stay safe, I was being home schooled by my mum. The teacher would send us work by email and provide links to work I could do on my ipad. I live in the countryside so I could go for a walk within 2 km of my home. Everyone is talking about social distancing, all shops were closed, my mum was working from home, my brother was also at home his school was also closed. My dad was still going to work his work is for the department of public Health in Ireland.
My dad is from India and my mother is from Ireland. My granny is visiting us and is here in Ireland since last July, she is unable to return to India due to Covid 19. Everyone is trying to be a good citizen and obey the rules to stop people from becoming sick from Covid-19.
Living with Covid-19
Covid -19 has brought many positive and negative changes to my world. The positive part is that I was able to spend more family time, my mum was working away from home in Dublin before Covid 19 but now she is able to work from home which I like.
The negative part is my family and I have an apartment in Spain which we go to every year on holidays, I love this so much, going to the beach, playing in the pool and relaxing in the lovely sunshine. Unfortunately, we cannot go this year as it is not safe to go. Ireland have a green list of countries that it is safe to travel to and Spain is not on the list.
We all need to stay safe. When I go to the shop now we have to wear a mask at all times, we need to sanitize our hands. Hand washing is so important to stop the spread of Covid 19. People nned to still social distance as much as possible and avoid crowded areas, the infection is so contagious that it is easy to get infected.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me. I am a very happy and luck girl, I love my life and I want my family to stay safe.
Shahid Abbas (Pakistan)
When every word is love
How is it possible
The tongue speaks deceit
When the chest heaves
From a heavy heart
Can you speak of love’s purity
in my suffering
in an unspoken covenant
Forgive my iniquity
aspiring to fly to angels
I plummet in free fall to earth
with the mighty heft of stone
Point to the new reality
Turn to me in gratitude
I am lonely
Release me from anguish
Look kindly upon my distress
Set my heart at rest
Let me not drop into the pit
Where lies deep shame
In you is my refuge
You protect me
In your promise is my hope
A lost man stumbling
Mumbling words of despair
I surrender my anguish to you
Ecstasy and joy my sole rewards
My trouble sacrificed at your feet
Dance me to the moon
And please never ask why…..
আজ সন্ধ্যের আকাশের সীমানা রেখায় এক নতুন আলো দেখলাম,
ঝলসানো রোদ মিলিয়ে গিয়ে এক কমলা রঙ-ছবি বুলিয়ে গেছে।
আশেপাশের ফ্ল্যাটবাড়ি গুলো ক্যানভাসের একপাশে পড়ে আছে মাত্র,
সুয্যি মামার দেখা নেই, তবে তার সঙ্গী হালকা নীলাভ বাদল গুলি, তারা স্পষ্ট ফুটে উঠেছে চারিপাশে।
আমার আর কি, ঘরে বসে বসে কত চিন্তা-ভাবনা এসে ভিড় করে।
পাশের বাড়ির জানলা দিয়ে পুরনো দিনের কোনো এক মধুর গীত ভেসে আসে,
ভাবি আজ বোধ হয়, সে বাড়ির বৌদি তার বরকে এক কাপ চা এনে ধরিয়ে দিয়েছে।
রোজই দেয়, ভাবি দুজনে বসে কতই না গল্প আড্ডা, কতই না সুখ।
সুখ টা বোধ হয় সবার কপালে জোটেনা, পায়না সব প্রেম তার নিবেদনের স্বীকৃতির জবানবন্দি,
হয়না সব বাসনা চরিতার্থ, মেলে না সব প্রণয়ের অসম্পূর্ণ অর্ধ।
কোনো এক অশেষ চেষ্টা চলে আসছে বহুকাল বহু বছর ধরে, পায়নি তবু তার শেষ রেষ টা।
শুধু ভেবেই যাই আমি, আমার ভাবনার শেষ আছে কই?
আজকের সন্ধ্যা শেষে অন্ধকার টা দেখতে চাইনা আর,
অনেক তো রাত কাটালাম একাই,
কতকটা ভেবেই ত প্রহর পেরিয়ে গেল।
জোনাকির আলো তে ভালো দেখা যায়না।
ভাবছি আজ একবার চাঁদের আলো দিয়ে আরেকটু স্পষ্ট দেখব।
হয়ত আমি একা নই, হয়ত আরও কেউ আছে,
সেও আজ ঘরের পিদিম মৃদু করে আকাশের পানে আমার মতই চেয়ে থাকবে।
I am a human being.
I am the peak of all evolution.
Don’t cage me in names,
In races,in religions,in castes.
Please don’t tie me in
The ropes of cults,of isms.
I am beyond all comparison,
I am unique in my every colour.
My food is love,my sustenance
Care,empathy and affection.
I delight in the happiness of others,
I revel in the joys of all.
I get saddened when hearts break,
I weep endlessly on the sufferings.
Of all life forms,all the time.
Throughout history,I have been
Tortured and tormented,
Mangled and battered
By the pangs of war,of battles.
By tribulations of greed,of hatred.
Let me breathe in freedom
And let me be free to live,
Free to choose,free to relax.
At liberty to nurture the seed
Of human love,human greatness.
Rid me of all covers,all shackles.
I am a human being,a spirit
With no beginning,no end.
Embarked on a journey of ages.
I am an embodiment of love,
Love for all humans,all creatures.
Past the limits imposed on me.
I am agelessly divine in my marrow.
I am miniaturized divinity.
Treasure me,value me,love me.
The Montgomery’s House
Kalyan Kumar Bhattacharjee
Dawn. The early morning dewdrops are still on the long Sapui grass, welcoming me. Arjun, my driver cum friend took a sudden U turn towards Yelmo tea garden. We are heading to Pokhriabong area. It is in the Darjeeling district.
It is October. The air smells cold, the sky is stunning blue. Alone atop on a hill, in the grassland, facing a tea garden, with a Chetan Bhagat book, seems great. I had some work in a school in Yelbong Tea Estate. Mr Tamang, the Principal waked me to an old building, perhaps of some British landlord. The building has its own charm. The fireplace, the antic chairs and a king size bed attracts me most.
My driver preferred to stay alone in the guest room. It is natural in the hills that the evening come quickly than you expect. A man came with light and put fire in the fire place. Electricity is a rare species in these remote areas.
I sat on a chair in front of the fireplace, with a large coffee cup, and with a book of Chetan Bhagat. The sounds from the outside is only the long monotonous cry of the crickets. Yelbong tea estate is surrounded by high mountains.
I was wondering how students learn where digital learning in near nowhere in these area. The Electricity is a rare subject so the internet. Not this area alone, it is normal in most of the hill areas.
The jungle around us began its own concert. The evening slips into the robe of the night. I still beside the fireplace. Mr Tamang came, with a bottle of fine whiskey and sat beside me.
Mr Tamang, I asked, whose building was this?
There is a nameplate outside the gate, he said, the name Mark Montgomery and Mrs Montgomery is written there. There is a symmetry behind the house. We shall see that tomorrow, How’s that?
It’s a wonderful idea. I said.
Mr Tamang left after a while. I preferred to hear the songs of the jungle sitting beside the fire.
Suddenly, the chorus outside stops.
I walked away to the huge glass window. I saw faded figure of two or three men are coming with torchlight. After a while the men knocked my door. I opened and saw Mr Tamang and other two guys. They sat on the chairs. Mr Tamang started, I brought two of my senior teachers with me to introduce you.
I was caught in a surprise. I told, did you not come here an hour ago? You did not mention of them anyway. He surely surprised. What? I came with my friends for the first time Mr Bhattacharjee, I did not came alone before. The area outside is not safe for moving alone.
I was stunned, and taken aback. The guys finished their talks and ready to leave. I caught the elbow of Mr Tamang, dragged him aside and asked him in a frantic voice, Tell me what is going on Mr Tamang. He replied in a cool voice, Relax sir. The Old Montgomery liked people. He and her wife was doing good for the local people. The locals, like my granny saw them. They were kind, and you have nothing to fear. Tamang and his friends left.
Next morning, we spent some time with the teachers and the students, and returned to my home.
I cage you in memories
with shackles of melody
under blue skies of serenity.
I sing you in heartbeats
with pink lips of blood
inside vessels of soul.
I preserve you in verses
with freshwater of Jehlum
in verdure; spines of deodar
I walk you by Kashmir
with fantasy of the Majnun
and appetite for the Laila
I behold you in husks of corn
with brown hairs of autumn
within chilly orchard of winter.
Just She Wanted to Live Life
Wanted to lead her life smoothly with the liberty,
But could not do the same by the so called society.
Giving the title of girl child, Snatched her badic right of having education,
Had been sent to her in law’s house without her permission.
Got older more than her age
By the inhuman torture of her drunk hubby,
Didn’t inform though to her parents
Turned herself day by day into a shabby.
The day her father came to see his princess with so many gifts,
She was found lying in the bed
Waiting for the next shift.
The father repented for his activities
When it was too late,
She had no guilt at all, just wanted to live her life smoothly
Which was never in her fate.