Sunday, 4 December 2016

The Perks of Being a Student

Coming back from Canada and starting school in India can be a lot difficult. Especially when you have never experienced Indian schools before.
At the age of 15 I joined an Indian school and the physical endeavors I had to bare were just unimaginable and nothing short of adventurous.
Worst of all was murga. I got in school, in tuition, in college by seniors and sometimes even in neighborhood by aunties.
Then there was ear holding which was a weekly affair.
And sometimes even that was converted into something hell embarrassing.
And then there was kneeling down.


Please give your valuable feedback to make me write more regularly.

The Bangali Murgi [Chapter Six]

After riding a whole roller coaster of punishments. Her O and A level classes went relatively well. Just one ear holding here and there, sometimes kneeling down. Her next 4 years went without any significant punishment. When Dania turned 18, she had to make a choice, whether she wants to stay in Bangladesh or go back to Pakistan. She decided to stay. For 2 reasons,
 1) She could not face anyone in Pakistan. If anyone asks her how her time went, what would she say? And everyone would tease her of being a Bangalan.

 2) She got 100% scholarship from Dhaka Acting School  after she had performed in a school play. Before that she did not know she had a knack for acting. If she goes back, nobody would know about her acting talent and she did not know whether there were any acting schools in Pakistan. Even if there were, she did not know whether her unreal parents would want her to go there.

Just 2 years in acting school and she would have a real chance of getting into TV serial and films. Which meant she had chosen Bangladesh as her home.

Her 2 years in Acting School were the best of her life. She never had so much fun. Just before passing out, she got into an audition for a drama serial "Kirti". Dania auditioned for the lead role of Kirti, who was a village girl. Although the age of Kirti was supposed to be 16 years, and Dania was 22, she was recommended, was she was fit for the role. When she got the news that she had been selected for the role, she ran and kissed Rehana on the cheeks. She could not control her excitement. They all went out to celebrate.

Before the production of the drama began, they were to have a photoshoot of the characters, for the ad agency so they can start making out a marketing strategy for the promotion of the drama serial. Dania still did not have any idea of the script or story. The producers were treating her like a pushover, as she was new. She was being constantly told that she is very lucky to have this role and she shouldn't create any problems for the producers.

Then she was called for the photoshoot. She was made to wear Shalwar kameez and her hair was oiled and tied in two braids on each side.
After sometime Dania found out that the role she had gotten was not just of a village girl, but of a very very naughty village girl. She had to create all kinds of mischief in the village and obviously that meant she will get into trouble. And getting into trouble only meant one thing.
Punishments. Punishments in front of cameras. Punishments in front of cast and crew. Punishments in front of all of Bangladesh.
Dania put her palms on her face and dug her face between her thighs.
First some random shots were taken of her standing then came the part which irked Dania down to her core. The director wanted some pictures in which Kirti was holding her ears. So Dania stood holding her ears in front of all these people for about 3 hours. She had to do all kinds of facial expressions while holding her ears. She must look ashamed, she must look sorry, she must mischievous, with her tongue out etc. Then came the part where her ears were being caught by other characters. One was Kirti's mother. One was a farmer in the village, one was a teacher.
All of them held Kirti's ear one by one, and several pictures were taken with each of them. It took 5 hours.

When the production of the drama started, Dania was made murga first day of the shoot. It was hell embarrassing doing it in front of dozens of people.

The drama was a huge hit. Dania came to be known as the daughter of Bangladesh because of that serial. She was the ultimate manifestation of Bengaliness. Getting all the ear punishments there were on screen.

Time passed. Dania got another role at the age of thirty.
In that role she was to play a thirty year old women, who had a mad mother. Her mother used to make her murga. Bengalis loved watching their daughter do the murga pose on screen.

The end.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

The Bangali Murgi [Chapter Five]

The term was ending in 2 months time and school decided to take the students of class 7 to class 9 on a picnic at a farmhouse.  Dania was sitting with her 2 friends near the pool when a boy from their class came and told them that class 9 girls are in trouble and the teachers have decided to punish all the girls of class 9 in school tomorrow. Dania was shocked. The boy told them that there had been a food fight near the swings. The headmistress was furious because of the wasted food. There were some girls from class 9 involved. But they ran and hid inside the rooms as the teachers came. So the class 8 girls told them that class 9 girls did it. They didn't know the names of the girls, so the teachers and headmistress have decided to punish all the girls of class 9.
"What nonsense!!" Dania exclaimed. "Class 8 girls are bitches, why did they have to tell. I am not going to take any punishment because of some stupid girls."
 The headmistress's attitude could scare anyone. She lined up all the class 9 girls in the farmhouse at the end of the picnic and gave a good scolding.
"Who were involved? Tell me now otherwise I will punish everyone in the school tomorrow. Confess and I will go easy."
Nobody squeaked. All the girls stood looking at the ground.

Why don't they confess, they will get everyone in trouble.

All other students were watching.

"One last chance. Anybody wants to confess?"

After 30 seconds of silence, the headmistress got angrier.

"Okay, make sure you all come to school tomorrow. If anyone of you is absent, she will fail the class, I will make sure of it."
Dania could not sit still in the bus after the humiliation the senior most girls in the picnic had to go through. She thought probably the headmistress would make them do uthak baithaks outside her office as she usually did. The headmistress often punished students that way. A 100 uthak baithaks outside the headmistress office would not be so humiliating as she would be accompanied by 15 other girls and no other student would be watching. Dania could not be more wrong.

The next day when Dania went to Shipla teacher's tuition after school, a girl from class 6 asked her with a bright smile, "Why were you punished?"
The smile on her face was the indication of the level of disgrace Dania had seen that day. Although this girl had seen Dania doing uthak baithak and kneeling down many times, but now when she was asking this question with so much amusement told Dania she could not go any lower in degradation. She is now the ultimate manifestation of Bangali murgi.
The whole school had watched as all the girls of class 9 knelt down in the assembly.
There they knelt holding their ears, while other classes went to their classes, line by line.
 They were made to kneel down for half an hour. Then they were made to stand holding their ears for an hour in the corridor. Then they were assembled in front of the headmistress's office. She came out with a long wooden scale. Now all the girls thought that they would be given strokes on their palms, but all were surprised as the first girl received a loud thud on her buttocks. The headmistress was here to spank them. Dania thought it would not hurt much, it was just making a loud sound. But when Dania's  turn came, she clenched her buttocks in anticipation, then the scale landed on her butt. When the scale met her butt, "Ahhhhhh!" came out of her mouth. She could not believe the pain. She did not rub her hands on her butt as it would look shameful with a male peon and security guard watching. Then round 2 started. The headmistress was coming back for another stroke. Just as the scale kissed Dania's buttocks again, she led out a cry and could not stop herself from rubbing her ass. All the girls were rubbing now.
"Take them into the assembly ground and make them murga." The headmistress told the PE teacher, who had been in charge of the whole punishment up till now.
Dania was shocked. Every girl was. This could only be a threat. A way of scaring.
But when they were led into the assembly ground, and the serious and stern look on the PE teacher's face told them to assume the murga position, the girls knew it was actually happening. No one wanted anymore beating.

They were made murga in the assembly ground for almost half an hour. When Dania was in murga position, she felt as if she had been stripped naked in front of the whole school. There was nothing left. No layer of self-respect, honour, dignity. She was as good as a raped girl. Becoming murga in the school uniform was somewhat more humiliating than in home clothes. None of the 16 girls had ever experienced it before. Dania did not know who watched her. It was just before lunch time that they were asked to get up. After break they were made to go back to their classes. When Dania came home, she felt like a nothing. She had faced so much humiliation, that even the maid Batool looked more respectable to her.

That was the last punishment she got that year.

[Chapter Six to come]

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Bangali Murgi [Chapter Four]

Now she felt like a Bangali Murgi completely. Her Pakistani side did not emerge for a while.
But embracing the Bangali murgi wasn't easy. She thought she would be able to take punishments easily but it wasn't any less humiliating. Shipla teacher's tuition was the worst. Being the eldest, she should have never be punished, but she was the most punished. Young girls sometimes even laughed while Dania counted loudly the number of baithaks she had done. Shipla teacher always made students count loudly while doing uthak baithak so they do not skip.
Thank God, Shipla teacher doesn't make me murga in front of juniors.

But Shipla did not make anyone murga.

In this course of time, Dania met Sanjeer. They liked each other and soon became very close. Dania went to his house much of the time and Sanjeer also came to her house. Luckily, Rehana and Saleem did not mind Dania having a boyfriend.
Sanjeer often caught her ear to show affection for her. It was arrange but Dania did not mind.
One day, Sanjeer called Dania and told her that he was alone in the house and they both should spend some time alone. Dania went over. They did not have sex yet and had agreed they should not. But Sanjeer came up with this idea that they should strip and spend sometime with each other naked. So they did. Both got naked and went around the house, made tea and drank, and then they sat on the stairs talking. Suddenly they heard the door opening and someone coming in. Immediately, both ran up to Sanjeer's room, but realized their clothes were lying in the living room floor. Sanjeer wore some other clothes and went down to see who had come back and take the clothes, while Dania waited in Sanjeer's room stark naked. As she waited, Sanjeer's mother walked into the room and took Dania's ear.
"Come down with me."
Dania was dragged by her ear downstairs into the living room, stark naked, as the way she was born.
Then she was made to stand in the living room, beside Sanjeer.
She was in big trouble now. She could not think anything. Her mind was empty. She knew she had done something bad and now she will pay.
"How old are you two?" Sanjeer's mother asked.

After some nude lecturing and a phone call to Dania's home, Dania was asked to leave. She wasn't sure whether it was over between Sanjeer and her or not.
At home Saleem and Rehana were angry. She got few slaps from Rehana and was sent to here room. They told her it was over.

 One day they all were visiting their relatives and Dania, just jokingly slapped a cousin of hers on the arm. So her grandmother instantly made her hold her ears in front of all her cousins for hitting a cousin who was older than her. It seemed to her that everyone loved watching her hold her ears.
Once even the school boa had made her hold her ears. She had spilled some ink in the corridor, so the boa who came to sweep made her hold her ears while she cleaned. She threatened to tell the headmistress if Dania didn't hold her ears.

The term was finally over, which meant she had to start Bengali classes now. She knew that the Bengali teacher will mince her body with punishments as she was still struggling with reading and writing Bengali. Could I repeat this class? I do not want to take Bengali now, I do not get it yet. She once asked Rehana and Saleem.

"Look, if you fail in Bengali subject, you can still pass the class by scoring high in other subjects. You just need 51% average to pass the class. There is no point in repeating this class for one subject." Saleem had a point and Dania could not argue. But she did protest. "But the Bengali teacher punishes so much. She is nice and all, but she takes no nonsense. She will butcher me with her punishments. I'm afraid Bengali class will just become ear holding and uthak baithak class for me. Just in the last class she made 2 girls stand on the bench for poor handwriting. Just imagine class 9 girls standing on the bench holding their ears." Dania made a face.

"I will talk with the headmistress and the Bengali teacher. I am sure they will understand your position and the Bengali teacher won't punish you. Just do your best in class and in the final exam, I'm sure you will get through this class." Saleem made her feel secure. Saleem did go to the school and talk with the teacher and headmistress and the Bengali teacher assured him that she knows Dania's position and she will deal with her accordingly. Although she did not say that Dania will be spared punishment, she said she wants to see Dania's effort. If Dania puts effort in class, she will not have any problem from her. Saleem was satisfied with this but when he told this to Dania, she felt dubious.

On the first day of the second term, the Bengali teacher made Dania stand in her place to scold her, "You sent your father to school to talk to me, to prevent yourself from being punished."

Dania heartbeat fastened.
"How childish of you. Do have any idea how much embarrassment you made me go through in front of the management. You told your father that I punish students a lot. How old are you anyways?"

"15." Dania squeaked.
"15 and in class 9. Can't you deal with some minute punishments."

Whatever she makes students do, how can she it call minute?

"I want some mature students in my class, okay? How will you deal with life if you cannot take some punishments in school."
Dania was looking down. Her face and ears had colored red.
"Sit down!"
Dania sat humiliated.
But what about the punishments? Is she going to punish me or go easy? or is she going to punish me even more because I made her angry?
Dania's mind was reeling. Blood was flowing in her head. Her ears were now red and hot.

Only time will tell whether Saleem had helped her or made it worse.

On the very next Bengali class, Dania's ear was pulled by the Bengali teacher for not pronouncing a word correctly. And it continued. Dania realized she is being punished more than the other students. Standing on the bench holding ears. Standing outside class holding ears. Kneeling down and holding ears. Doing 50 uthak baithaks. Doing 100 uthak baithaks. It was all there. Getting her ears pulled was an everyday affair. She was being given more ear punishments than the Bengalis themselves. She was missing her Pakistani school now. The only punishment you got in school was standing inside the class and standing outside the class. No ear holding, No kneeling. No standing on the bench.
Because of this classes with Salma had become tougher as well. Although Salma never punished her now. Only gave her slaps once in a while with some ear pulling. To Dania's great relief that murga was a one time affair. She could not bare anymore humiliation in front of Batool. That Bangli Murgi and Pakistani debate had faded inside her now. She had no doubt in her mind now that she is a Bengali. It is her fate. It was always her fate. But she wished this fate had come to her sooner so that she would be used to it. Had she not grown so much without the habit of not being punished, it would have been easier to bear all this. She was being punished so much that she felt getting ear punishments is all she have come on earth to do. It was like her thing now.

The first time the Bengali teacher made her stand on the bench holding her ears, she almost fainted of humiliation. She had made many mistakes in her homework, so after receiving some havoc scolding, she was commanded to stand on the bench. When she got up and held her ears, it felt like nothing before.

Climbing the Everest must feel like this.

She was towering over the whole class, holding her ears. Punishments make you feel smaller. It shrinks your ego. Your self-respect. Your confidence. It shrinks your social value. But this standing on the bench was unique, Dania noticed. She felt larger. She felt larger than the classroom. So that meant the humiliation was larger as well. It was like she is being showcased on a world stage, as someone who is humiliated, something that should make you be feel sorry.

God, someone who created this punishment must be another genius. After murga, this must be the highest level of degradation.

She figured the best way to go through this punishment was keeping the body rock solid. No twitching. Legs, arms, fingers, face, everything rock solid. Even a simple movement felt like a lot of shame, as it felt like every eye in the class was on her.

[Chapter 5 to come]

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Bangali Murgi [Chapter Three]

 As Dania picked up her bag and walked out of the class she felt as if her transformation was complete. She was now a complete Bangali Murgi. Standing for 45 minutes holding your ears isn't something you would be made to do in Pakistan. After this I won't be accepted into the Pakistani society anymore. She could not walk straight. Her bottom felt funny. She went straight to her car and sat. This is the time she accepted the fact that she was a Bangali Murgi from now and this was her life from now on. She should embrace it. She should have this relationship with her ears now. She must not feel any embarrassment taking ear punishments anymore. But was it as simple as she thinks it is. She decided that she will now go to the house and say some word in Urdu, and before Rehana asks her to hold her ears and say sorry, she would do it on her own. In this way she could tell herself that she has accepted her Bengali-ness.

Right when she arrived at her home, she went straight to Rehana, greeted her and then said a word in Urdu. Without anything, she held her ears and said,"Sorry, Ammoo.". This time she did not leave them. In that moment something happened. She felt like an outsider. She did not feel a Bengali at all. She felt like she shouldn't have held her ears. The Bengali-ness is better imposed on her rather than she taking it on. She felt like a Pakistani again. Her body felt like it was not made to do all this stuff. She left her ears instantly. Rehana did not punish her as she had warned before, "I am letting you go this time. Go to your room and get some rest."

No, I am a Pakistani.
I am not made for this.
I will never be this. This Bangali Murgi.
I am not here to hold ears or become murga.
I am the beautiful girl I was in Pakistan. 
I have a good social value. I am not a Bangali Murgi.

 Now she was in a constant internal battle. She had tried to embrace the Bangali Murgi part, but now her Pakistani side had fought back ferociously. Sometimes she felt like a Bangali Murgi again. She felt like her legs should bend, her hands should come around and take her ears. But sometimes she felt the whole idea was outrageous and no one should know what she is going through. Next time I speak in Urdu or English, I will not apologize to Rehana by holding my ears, and not take the punishment she gives as well.

Sometimes she felt really curious how Rehana would punish her and she really felt like holding her ears in front of Rehana.
Who am I?

With this constant struggle within her, Dania went through another event which made her even more repugnant. She was talking on the phone with her friend in the living room. As soon as the call ended, Dania's ear was taken by someone from behind.  She hadn't noticed Rehana coming into the hall. "You spoke in English."
Dania adjusted her body position so that Rehana was now in front of her. Dania could not think what to say. Her ear was in someone else's hand. This was even more loathing than holding your own ears. Her Pakistani side reacted at once, and she felt even more disgust. Rehana wasn't pulling or twisting her ear, she had just caught it. Finally, Dania conjured up something to say.

"But she is my friend, she speaks in English more than Bengali." Dania protested.
"Where are you standing?" Rehana pulled her ear now, a bit to the side and down.
"In my house."
"Yes, and what are the rules in this house about language?" Rehana asked, wriggling her ear again.
"I can only speak Bengali." Dania said. By now she just wanted the whole thing to end. She wasn't enjoying it a bit. So much for being a Bangali Murgi.
"How should I punish you?"
"I don't know. Please forgive me. I will not do it again."
"No, you must be punished this time. Tell me how should I punish you, only then I will leave your ear."
After a bit more apologizing and Rehana's insistence, Dania blurted out,"Make me hold my ears and stand for a few minutes."
Finally her ear was left and she was made to stand against a wall holding her ears. It was really different doing it in the house. Maybe because her Bangali Murgi had come out now. She started to enjoy it. She even felt that Rehana should have held and pulled her ear more. Rehana was sitting on the sofa. After about 5 minutes, the maid Batool called out, "Apa, where have you kept the clothes."
Then suddenly Dania realized that if her maid sees her she would feel humiliated. Her Pakistani side triggered again. She has always been bossy towards Batool. Batool was about her age. If she sees Dania standing like this, it would destroy her. Luckily, Rehana answered her and Batool did not come into the living room. But the rest of the punishment Dania did not enjoy as her Pakistani side had overcome now.

Dania was now struggling with her studies, which meant she needed a tutor for most of her subjects. Rehana found a tutor, Shipla teacher in the neighborhood. Shipla taught about 8 people at a time. She made the students sit in a semi-circle on the floor, each with a floor desk of their own. Dania had tuition for all her subjects except Bengali. Bengali was being taught by Salma. So she now had 2 tuition teachers. Right after she came home from school she had to go straight to Shipla teacher's tuition for 2 hours. Sometimes because of traffic, she got home late so she had to go to the tuition wearing her school uniform only. When she got back home at 5, she would rest a little and at 6 Salma came to teach her Bengali for more than a half hour.

In school, she was once again punished by the PE teacher. The PE teacher got mad and made all the girls of class 9 stand in the corridor holding their ears for the whole PE class. The first 10 minutes were really tough for Dania, but later her Bangali Murgi came on. Then she enjoyed the whole experience. But after the punishment was over, her Pakistani side came back and she started hating herself.

After a week, Shipla teacher's tuition got tougher. It was in Shipla teacher's tuition that Dania experienced her first Uthak baithak. Doing 40 uthak baithaks was like climbing a mountain. As if holding ears was easy enough. With her Pakistani side triggered, it was a disgusting and revolting experience. She was the eldest in tuition, as no other girl in the tuition was above class 7.
It was Shipla teacher who gave her the first kneeling down punishment as well. Kneeling down was not embarrassing at all, but more painful.
The only punishment left was murga. But by the way things were, Dania knew getting murga punishment was impossible. No one in the school is punished that way, no one in tuition in punished that way, and Salma never punishes. And by the lenient attitude of Rehana, she believed she will never be punished this way.

She received a slap from Salma the other day. It wasn't a friendly slap. It was a tight painful slap.
Accept the Bangali Murgi or fight it, she knew she has to go through all these experiences.
Salma became very strict with her as Dania was performing very poorly with her written Bengali.
There were only 2 months left for the term to end, after that she would have to take Bengali classes in school to pass the class. Dania felt she wouldn't be able to cope with it. This agitated Salma and she became very strict. Face slaps and ear pulling became a common thing.
But once Dania was feeling so lazy and doing so many mistakes that Salma lost her temper.


 Dania could not believe the words and the tone of Salma. Her hands started trembling. She had to translate a whole paragraph properly otherwise she would be made murga. She started writing. Right after translating the first sentence she knew she was doomed. She had to linger as much as possible. Maybe Salma's anger would abate. But only after 5 minutes, Salma snatched the notebook from her to read what she had written.

"Become murga before I slap you."
Dania did not understand what to do. She remained seated and did not do anything.
Then an idea struck her. "I don't know how to become murga."
Salma pulled her by the ear and made her stand in front of her. Then told her how to do it. Now she had no other choice but to become.
Finally. There it was. Her body as murga. A Bangali Murgi. I am a Bangali Murgi.
Now there is no point in fighting it.
But this wasn't a cakewalk. Her body started paining only after 1 minute. Holding the ears was so difficult as well.

God! who made this punishment.
As if holding the ears wasn't embarrassing enough somebody had to come up with this way of holding ears. Your hands tunneling under your thighs to hold the ears.
Genius way of humiliation.

Just as Dania was tightening her loose grip on her ears, Batool came into the room with tea for Salma.
Batool looked at Dania with amusement.
Dania could not think straight.

The master is in murga position in her own home, and the maid is freely walking around. What the fuck. I shouldn't be humiliated in front of the maid like this.

But what could she do. She could only sit as a murga while Batool kept the tea on the table and walked out smiling.

 I would rather rather be the maid now, than be her master in the murga position.

If Dania had seen her smile, she would have shrunk with humiliation, if she hadn't already. All her ego, all her bossiness, felt small now.

[Chapter Four to come]

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Bangali Murgi [Chapter Two]

As soon as the plane landed in Chittagong, Dania felt like Harry Potter. Only she was going into a world of punishments rather than a world of magic. She had no idea how she will cope with all the punishments she will have to take.

Dania loved the house. There were many servants in the house, so she was not do any chores. This she could live with she told herself.

There was still one and a half month for the school to start, so the biggest concern for Rehana and Saleem was to get Dania the Bangladeshi nationality. And they also felt that since Dania will not be going to school for a while, they could arrange for her to learn Bengali language at home. Rehana was very determined to convert Dania into a complete Bengali as soon as possible. This is the only way she could forget Pakistan and her old parents. After one week of getting used to each other and surroundings, Dania was introduced to her Bengali tutor. She was teacher Salma.

Damn she looks strict. What is she going to do to me during lessons.

But to her surprise, teacher Salma was very sweet and taught very well. She didn't even scold, she acted like a friend. Rehana had asked teacher Salma to work on her spoken Bengali first, then after she had gotten good in spoken, she can work on reading and writing. Dania found it extremely easy, as many words matched with Urdu.

 After 2 weeks, they showed her her Bangladeshi passport. When she saw it, she felt like a stamp of Bangali is posted on her buttocks, a stamp of being a Bangali Murgi. She was now a complete Bangali. Right after showing her the new passport, Rehana also passed a new rule in the house.

"No more Urdu or English in the house!"
"You must converse in pure Bengali from now on in the house as you are now a pure Bengali."

Dania had learned quite a bit of Bengali, but she was not well versed. She still struggled to make complete sentences.

I wonder what will be the offense for speaking in Urdu or English in the house? I hope it is not one of those ear punishments.

Dania broke the law 2 days later.
She was trying to say a sentence in her broken Bengali, when she accidentally uttered a word in Urdu.

"That is an Urdu word." Rehana said.
Dania looked in anticipation at Rehana's face. What will she make me do now? Make me murga for it?

After a long silence, Rehana finally said, "Apologize!"

Ohh, that is it. I thought I was in trouble.

"Sorry." Dania said in Bengali.

"Not like this. Hold your ears and say sorry." Rehana commanded.

So it is true, Bengali's love ears. This is it. My first ear punishment now.

"Should I stand up and hold my ears or I can say it while sitting only?" She inquired. Talking like this about ear holding seemed an embarrassment on its own.

"You can sit and hold your ears."

Dania took her hands and grabbed her ears without thinking much. Her ear lobes felt cold. "Sorry."

"Make sure whenever you say sorry you hold your ears too. Otherwise they are meaningless words. You have to show from your body language that you are sorry. And not just to me, but to everyone from now on. Being my daughter you are required to do this."

By the time Dania left her ears, her face had started coloring red. It wasn't so apparent because of her dark color. Her ears especially had gone red and from cold to hot.

Holding her ears made Dania fall deeper into the Bangali hole. She felt like another of her Pakistani part has been taken away. Now she can't even say sorry without holding her ears. Her body felt like a Bangali Murgi more than ever.

School was due to start tomorrow. She was to start her class 9. She was admitted in the Chittagong Grammar School, which was one of the best schools in the city. The uniform was red check kameez with red shalwar. The sleeves of the kameez had to be small, just the way she liked it.

When she wore the uniform in the morning, she felt even more Bangali. Wearing the uniform felt like a punishment in itself.
During breakfast, she uttered a word in English. For which she was made to hold her ears and say sorry again. In a span of 2 days, she had held her ears twice. In Pakistan, she had never held her ears.

"Next time I will punish you for this, sorry will not suffice anymore."

Great. That is just what I had to hear on my first day of school, when I am so anxious about punishments in school.

Dania had the urge to ask what sorts of punishments will Rehana subject her to, but didn't.

Her first day went pretty well. She made 2 friends. There were 16 girls and 14 boys in the class. She had been exempted from second language Bengali for the first term, but it was compulsory to take it in the second term to pass the class as she did not have a foreign passport anymore.
In the meanwhile, teacher Salma had started working on her written Bangla. Dania was really struggling in writing and reading as the alphabets were alien to her.
With the struggle, teacher Salma's attitude had begun to change, but she hadn't yet punished Dania in anyway, not even threatened.

After one week of schooling, the teachers in the school went into punishing mode. But it were the boys who were mostly punished. Just once the Algebra teacher made 2 girls stand holding their ears for talking in class. Girls were mostly just scolded and reprimanded.

Dania received her first punishment during the Bengali class in the third week. The Bengali teacher was not very strict, didn't scold or became angry, but punished a lot. In every class she made at least 2 students do uthak baithak 100 times for one reason or another. Making students stand holding their ears was her favorite. In the Bengali class, she commanded all the students to stand holding their ears, because they had forgotten to remind her of a certain topic. All the students stood, but Dania kept sitting as she was exempted from Bengali, and wasn't responsible for the mistake.
"You also stand and catch your ears. Join the class."

Dania did not have the guts to protest or say anything. She stood up and found it extremely difficult to hold her ears.

But i didn't do anything. Why am I punished?

 She was standing and thinking, when the Bengali teacher said, "Clench your ears."
The 2 girls who were standing in front turned their necks to look at her. Dania felt it is even more humiliating to hold your ears and turn around. The 2 girls really made her uncomfortable, even though they were the ones who were holding their ears and Dania had not held her yet. So I will look just like them now.

Dania raised her gorgeous hands to grasp her small ears, as her heart beat got faster.
As her hands were going up to embrace her ears, a storm of thoughts rushed through her mind.

Who came up with this punishment?
What is the purpose of holding ears?
Why are ears so significant? Maybe they aren't, that is why holding them is a punishment?
What have ears got to do with anything?
Why is holding them so hard? I mean they are just a tiny part of the body.
Grabbing ears, so easy, yet so hard?

Her fingers finally met their destination. She had never felt more discomfort in her life.
I cannot stand like this for long. 

Dania had no idea where to look. She felt like the whole class was looking at her. Looking at how stupid she looked holding her ears, even though they were also holding their ears. But she was a Pakistani and she was a new student in the school. They were used to it, she wasn't. That is why maybe everyone was looking at her. She looked down at her desk as this was the only place she could dare look.

As time passed, she felt like she is converting into a complete 'Bangalan'. How can holding ears and standing have this effect on someone? It was like a process, a transformation process going on. Like her hands were some sort of an equipment that were converting her into a Bangalan by holding her ears. She had never felt the power of her ears so much. Her ears were small and insignificant, but now she was feeling their true power. When Rehana had made her hold her ears twice, the effect was not so much. She realized holding the ears as a punishment was completely different than just touching them to say sorry. When you are holding them as punishment, you have to tighten the grip on your ears from time to time as your fingers tend to slip off the ear lobes.

The Bengali period was the last period. The whole class was made to stand for a whole 45 minutes. The weather was hot and Dania had started sweating. The fan was good enough to keep the students cool, but after the punishment was given, her body had heated up more. The bell finally rung and students from other classes started coming out with bags loaded on their backs. As they passed the door and window of class 9 they looked in. None of the class 9 students dared move or leave their ears. They could only do it if the teacher asked them. They were left 5 minutes after the bell.

As Dania picked up her bag and walked out of the class she felt as if her transformation was complete. She was now a complete Bangali Murgi. Standing for 45 minutes holding your ears isn't something you would be made to do in Pakistan. After this I won't be accepted into the Pakistani society anymore. She could not walk straight. Her bottom felt funny. She went straight to her car and sat. This is the time she accepted the fact that she was a Bangali Murgi from now and this was her life from now on. She should embrace it. She should have this relationship with her ears now. She must not feel any embarrassment taking ear punishments anymore. But was it as simple as she thinks it is. She decided that she will now go to the house and say some word in Urdu, and before Rehana asks her to hold her ears and say sorry, she would do it on her own. In this way she could tell herself that she has accepted her Bengali-ness.

[Chapter three to follow]