2
min

Transformation of beautiful life

98 readings

12

We are creatures of learning, each molded into an individual by our experiences and traditions. But I am more than a culture or experience. I am anything I wish to be: an athlete, a bookworm, an astronomer, a believer, an intern, a teacher, a researcher, a Bengali-American and most importantly, a person willing to share himself with the world.

Ready to be the next Alabama State Champion, I whack the soccer ball through the upper ninety, never stopping to catch a breath. The scoreboard reads 0:00 and I am embraced by the outstretched arms of Lolita, Nabokov’s 12 year old monster. I flip to page 1925. Right before my eyes, Wilson unloads his fatal shot stunning Gatsby into the pool. As rage and despair steam from the water, I look up to the blue starry eyes of Dr. Eckleburg, two specks illuminating an endless sea of infinity. Lost in the vastness, I ride my imagination to Betelgeuse, blind myself when I arrive at Sirius, and finally, take a nap on the sunspots of Rigel. Galaxies, galore! I am nothing to the Unknown. Yet, He is the Unknown, ubiquitous and my source of faith. As I prostrate, melodies of the 28 Arabic letters run through my Muslim ears and I become a body of emotions, contemplating my life through His Quran. With a simple stroke, He turns the hourglass to a different time and I find myself staring at a beating heart in the operating room. I take Dr. Kamal’s place. Carefully yet firmly, I guide the stint through the convoluted arteries of the heart. The treasure found, Conus Arteriosus is plugged up and the heart resumes its normal beat. Lub-dub, Lub-dub, Lub-dub...BAM! The iron chloride and pyrrole ram each other onto the cellulose fiber; I run an electric current through it to find it conductive and the research paper begins. The letters form into words, words into sentences, and the first graders learn to read. I am at Verner Elementary. In innocent voices, seven-year-olds read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?, childhood favorites of mine. To my right, I spot a Bengali boy in the corner counting his fingers and calculating a math problem. The memories begin to unfold. My parents walk me two blocks to Cary Woods Elementary School. I look down to avoid the stares of the other fifth graders around me, knowing I will receive jeers about the incident later. The other parents are nowhere in sight and yet, my parents will not let their son leave them. For the next eleven years, my parents let me exercise more freedom. While keeping hold of my Bengali heritage, I grow into American culture and learned to throw the old pigskin and to celebrate with fireworks. Eighteen years of my life come to an end; the graduation cap flips high in the air, marking a road to a new beginning with past experiences to guide me.

I find myself sitting with my freshman roommate at Baker Residential College.

He asks me, “Where I am from?”

I answer, “I was born in Auburn, Alabama but my parents are from Bangladesh.”

It’s not surprising he doesn’t know where the country is. The story I tell him of my Bengali culture begins to unravel and envelop the room. The story becomes one of many to come.

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