Date : 3/5/2014
English Comp Wrt II
Professor Frank S
Wrong turn or what?
Life is a journey and with every single step we discover new goals and challenges. As we move forward and overcome these demons of our past; we are able to know ourselves better and make mature decisions in life. ‘More we struggle, the stronger we get’ since evolution is inevitable but knowledge we gain from these experiences are merely divine. I have always been ambitious and competitive since I was brought up in a culture and family that taught acceptance into a prestigious university and employment in a stable, highpaying job is essential. For, 20 years this has been the criterion of my life.
Last summer, I flew to Chittagong, Bangladesh by myself to visit my grandparents. A week after I arrived, my grandmother took me on a weeklong trip to this temple on an island named St. Martins. We took a package and It was comprised of seniors aged from sixty to eighty. I asked myself, what am I doing? with a group of people who are two generations older than me.Once we arrived, an old rusty wagon took us to our hotel; a few somber, houses by a beaten dirt road behind a rocky mountain. The rooms we were assigned were dark and stuffy, the bed sheets were terribly damp and tattered. Water taps in most of the bathrooms were broken, so there was a bucket to store water for use. The place was plagued by mosquitoes. I was convinced this trip was one enormous mistake.
However, I reluctantly followed the rest of the party to the temple. During the short walk there, I was surprised at the energy of these retired veterans. They conversed about how the trip is going to unfold and discussed politics.
Every once in a while, an explosion of laughter would send nearby birds flying and my sanity
as some old jokes came back from the dead to haunt my sense of humor. At the temple, they helped each other up the 300 steps of stairs, without a single sign of adversity on their face.
Though was hot and sweaty afternoon, they all clamored cheerfully for pictures. I was confused, remembering what Grandma had told me about their pasts. Some of them had been important, highranking government officials, freedom fighters whereas others had been average job holders. Some were university professors and yet many more were hardworking people who were taught only the basics of reading and writing. How was it possible that these people, with such different lives could get along? Surely being educated, or having had an important job made some difference. But as I looked around me, there was absolutely no way of knowing who was a professor and who was a hard working average salesman. They would stand together in a line, holding hands and swaying to the music i could kill myself to listen to, since i had my ipod glued to my ears. The days flew by.
Our 5th night at the temple, we all ate dinner around a big round table. Having gotten to know many of these grandmother and grandfather thats was what they seemed like to me, an extended family kind – some of them began to tell me about themselves. I had known the basics about their history, but what they told me blew me away. They were nowhere near as welloff as I had expected. Several of them had handicaps such as deafness, bad vision while others were injured from years in the army during the war. Some of their families were torn apart by dispute, while others were nearly penniless for a variety of reasons. Yet even as these grandmothers and grandfathers told me of all their hardships, struggle but they smiled at me from faces etched with countless wrinkles, encouraging me to strive for my goals and to value my youth. How could these people act so normal, laugh and sing as when their lives were not anywhere around perfect? Even the thought of how it would feel like to be deaf, not see properly or to have a body that would barely more. To never hear laughter or music ever…