My family and I are sitting on our front porch just soaking in the peaceful melody of the crickets chirping in the dark of night. Hearing the mellifluous chirp of the crickets is such a lovely feeling that soothes our souls. The silence of this night flashes me back to the summer of June 2009, when my parents decided to go on a family vacation to Bangladesh. At that time, I could remember feeling tremendously happy. As the wind blows softly through my hair, my thoughts shift and I recall the negative experience I encountered with my cousin. Contrary to popular belief, not all vacations conclude with happy memories.
I was a freshman in high school when my parents announced that we were going ...view middle of the document...
Though I heard the words she said, her advice had no influence on me. It was a vacation after all, and I thought she was over-thinking it. I cast away her warning, and instead focused on preparing myself for the fun that was to come.
My family and I aborted the Delta airplane. The journey took us three days before we actually landed in Bangladesh. We took a Delta airplane from Detroit to New York; from New York we took the Emirate airline to Dubai, and from Dubai we landed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I was frazzled from the prolonged trip, but I spontaneously brightened when the pilot announced, “We will be landing in Dhaka in twenty minutes.”
We landed in Dhaka; however, this was not our destination. We had rented a bus in advance so we could proceed to our village called Shotharkandi. The next morning family members were crowding our summer house to meet us. I greeted my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and neighbors. Seeing my family member was the joyous moment of my holiday that I had been waiting for; however, like all vacations, this one had little complications that arose the longer the trip lasted.
The rain bored on endlessly, the night I went over my cousin Shaniya’s house for a sleep over. Shaniya was my cousin on my mom’s side. She was regarded as my older sister, and she was a teacher who had big dreams of visiting London. I can still imagine her bony structured face with glazing brown eyes and beautiful skin texture.
That night the rain pattered and the wind rapped against all the windows. Shaniya was in her room setting up the bed. I decided to help her, so I went to her room to give her a hand. While we were setting up the bed, she began talking about her future plans and how someday she would travel all around London.
“London is so beautiful, and one day I’ll be there,” Shaniya expressed herself in a dreamy voice.
“Of course you’ll be in London one day, don’t give up your dream,” I assured her in my mature manner.
“Only you understand me; our other cousins never support me with my dream,” Shaniya moaned.
“Why wouldn’t they understand?” I inquired.
“Oh, they’re too busy with their dating lives; they have no time for me and my dreams. You can’t trust them with your secrets,” confided Shaniya.
I looked at her with disgust and said, “I don’t agree with you. They don’t seem fake to me; my opinion about them is different from yours.”
“Well, looks can be deceiving,” Shaniya declared.
I was shocked at how she described my other cousins. Dating in Bangladesh is considered a shameful act. “Dating" as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims. Young Muslim men and women (or boys and...