13 Dec 2012

Let's Step Out

Shahina Javed
this is Shahina's second post
read her earlier post

So many calamities and accidents happen every day, but that does not scare most people - no Man ever stops going out because of that. No one tells a Man "Don't step out, what if something bad happens!" Women, on the other hand, have to hear it all the time "Something bad may happen to you if you go out!"

I used to think like that too - if a woman steps out at night, she is in danger of losing her honour. Why did I think that? Perhaps society taught me to do so. At times I thought that may be my parents are more concerned about me, because they love me more! Then again I wondered - is society really more concerned about the well being of a woman, or could it be a ploy to keep women imprisoned at home? Is it a way to rob us of our right to mobility? Why do we take it for granted that the woman will certainly be in danger the moment she is out of home?

9 Oct 2012

I Believe - Chandana

Chandana Banik is a member of YRC
Natun Diganto (2010), Change Maker, Gender
(2011), Coordinator - Music
Workshops for children (2012)

"I believe that all of us can do everything if only we try"

My name is Chandana Banik. I have been blind since childhood. I believe that all of us can do everything if only we try. I live in Naihati. As a kid I used to study in Naihati Blind School, I did not have this kind of faith in me then. But when I got admitted in class III in Behala Calcutta Blind School, the seed of this belief started growing in me.

Many of you may ask, “She can’t see, then how was she able to get an education?” I have educated myself using Braille. We align paper straight into a grid-like tool called ‘interpoint’, and by making holes in that paper using a stylus, we write in Braille. The alphabets are formed by the raised marks made on the paper as a result of perforating it. We recognize these alphabets as soon as we touch them with our fingers. At first we practice the technique by perforationg the paper and making six dots. Then we arrange these six dots in different ways and are able to write anything we want – A, B, C or the Bangla O, Aa, Ko, Kho.

7 Oct 2012

I Believe - Piyali

Piyali Paul is a member of YRC Drishtikon (2008)
Change Maker, Youth Trainer (2011)
and Peer Counsellor (2012)
more on facebook 

"I believe that women should get equal rights with men in society"

When I think of the incidents of my life, I feel that I am a girl, I too am a human being from whom her childhood has been snatched away.
I never got the material things and the space a child needs when she is growing up, as from as long as I can remember, I had to manage the household and bring up my baby brother. I had to fetch water from a long way away. People used to say, “Dragging water buckets like these, she will never grow tall!” Some said, “Such suffering!” while some others said with a slight smile, “Don’t worry, she is used to it”.

When it was evening, I wanted so much to play, but what to do – my brother would be in my lap, nothing doing. The friction of carrying him around all day caused a skin inflammation on my side; those marks are still there.

I Believe - Jagannath

Jagannath Samanta is a member YRC
 GSRI (2008), Youth Trainer (2010),
Co-ordinator - Empowerment
through Technology
Workshops (2012)

"I believe in Love"

I believe that love can be of many kinds, and all kinds of love have their own value.
Earlier I used to think that love could be of only one kind, focussed on one person as the object of love. I didn’t even think there could be love of any other kind. And one day when this person whom I loved moved away, I began to think that nothing called love even exists, and it has no value. I thought ‘love’ was like a mirage in the desert of life. Life at that time became like a world ravaged by the ferocious kalboisakhi storm. I used to roam about all day, or sit at the base of the coconut tree beside the little water body by my home. Just at this time, love entered my life in a different form, and made me look at many old friends in a new light.

The realization that love can be of many kinds came from my parents. Many small incidents started happening in my life; maybe these had happened earlier as well but had never been valued

I Believe - Rishi

Rishi Gupta is a member of YRC Yuva
(2009). Participant in Empowerment
through Technology
Workshops (2012)

"I Believe in my Mother"

In my life, first and foremost, I believe in my mother.
I began to believe in her from when I was 7-8 years old. I think that today I am able to accept the happy flow of life because of my anchoring belief in my mother. I know that you want to know why I believe so much in my mother. There’s a reason behind this.

In my childhood, when my father died, my maternal grandfather brought us from Liluah, where we then lived, to his house in Behala Pallysree. From that time onwards, my maternal grandparents used to take care of us while my mother used to work as a domestic help to support our education. From childhood, I was always a very reckless kind. I would do whatever our grandmother forbade us to do.

25 Sept 2012

Unmaking of a thief

Narrated by Piyali Paul, YRC Drishtikon, Dum Dum. Recorded by Shahana Nag, September, 2012.
About Surojit
Surojit is 14 years old and has a younger sister who is 12. He has been struggling with school for some years now. Whenever he failed, he would be moved to a new school which would admit him in the proper class, that is how he managed for a few years. His father didn’t care whether or not he went to school. His mother however was keen that he got a proper education. She got him admitted in a boarding school in a neighbouring district when he was in class VII. However having become habituated to seeing violence he resorted to violence with his classmates. His mother was called for twice by the school. However the last time he beat his classmates very badly, the school asked his parents to take him away.
Family Background
Surojit’s father is a construction worker. He has multiple addictions: bidis, cigarettes, alcohol, ganja. His mother works in people’s homes and faces violence from her husband regularly. Unable to bear the regular physical violence, his maternal aunt invited the mother and the two children to live with her. The father followed them there and now lives with them. They don’t have a home of their own.
Three years back, the aunt’s husband, who was suffering from cancer, committed suicide. The aunt was romantically involved with an unmarried man who continues to stays over at their house and who she calls dada. Surojit has been taught to call him mama [uncle].
Life as a school dropout
Upon returning from the boarding school, Surojit remained a school dropout and started living at home. He soon got into bad company and began smoking cigarettes, drinking chullu, stealing. The gang would steal things like rods and spades from construction sites and sell them to people who break down metal into scraps. They would use the money for their addictions. Some people knew who the culprits were, but they didn’t get caught and the matter went no further.

Once, the gang tried to steal from a house in the adivasi neighborhood. One by one, the young people inserted their hands through a gap in the wall and groped around for things to steal. People inside the house realized what was happening, and got ready with a scythe. Surojit put his hand in last, and they caught hold of it and kept a grip on it. They realized it was small, a child’s hand, so they didn’t cut it off. Meanwhile, Surojit’s friends fled and he alone was caught, beaten and kept in the clubhouse all night. At 4am in the morning, some people from the adivasi para who drank with his father told him where his son was. His father brought Surojit back home, beating him all the time. His mother put him to sleep then, but in the morning, he was chained and locked up.

People from all over the neighbourhood dropped in all day to see the thief, as if he was an animal in a zoo. From then on, he was branded a thief and often chained up. People refused to let him in and stopped their children from interacting with him.
Piyali Paul,  Peer Counsellor
YRC Drishtikon
Read another post by her
Intervention by Peer Counselor
Peer Counselor Piyali lives two houses from Surojit and knew of his background. She had earlier identified Surojit as a vulnerable child and spoke to him at length for the vulnerability study. Piyali also asked her mother to speak to Surojit’s father to stop chaining him up. The father listened and released Surojit.

"One day I heard sobbing noises from their home. I rushed into see Surojit’s aunt holding a pillow over her son’s face to stifle his cries, and her companion beating the little boy mercilessly. Seeing me they removed the pillow but the beating continued. I lowered her eyes and came away, not knowing what to do. My own family had forbidden me from 'interfering'.

I realized that Surojit has grown up in a culture of violence. At home, he was accustomed to seeing his father drink and be violent with his mother. His aunt also beat her own two boys frequently leaving red welts across their body. Surojit was now violent with his younger sister. I felt it was natural for Surojit to resort to violence and delinquency.

I was determined to involve Surojit in the children’s workshops that I was going to conduct in my neighbourhood. However since he was labelled a thief, he resisted coming to the group and facing the other children in the neighbourhood for fear of being taunted. I worked with him separately for a few weeks doing various self-worth activities. In the ‘I Can’ session, he started off by saying that he could do nothing. When asked who appreciated him he said “No one loves me, no one appreciates me. Who do I name?” I asked him to think. He sat quietly for 10 minutes and then eventually thought of two people (My mother and brother) who had said good things about him – one being his football skills.

Several days later, on the 15th August, Surojit won a prize in a football match in an adjacent neighbourhood. He came running to show the prize to me. I found an opportunity and said, “We haven’t won these prizes, you have. Now do you know what you can do?” I made the moment even more special by taking a photograph of him with all his prizes. He felt happy and proud. He had achieved something after a very long time and was appreciated by lots of people. Now he felt confident enough to attend the group workshops.

I was also concerned about the group's reaction. Here I found the Ground Rules that were collectively made by the participants to be helpful. Amongst the list were also points like 'being careful what we say so nobody gets hurt', 'everyone is included'. It was everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the rules were followed. Anyone who breached the rules was reminded by the group of the way they had promised to act.

This strategy helped Surojit be part of the group without being humiliated. He has been coming regularly."

21 Sept 2012

I Believe - Sangita

Sangita Das is a member YRC Drishtikon (2008)
Change Maker, Gender Volunteer ('11)
TF Youth Facilitator since 2012
more on facebook

"I believe that in society, women and men should get equal spaces and equal opportunities"

Earlier these things didn’t cross my mind. I was brought up in an environment which is stereotypical in its outlook. Here people believe women to be burdens, and don’t consider their wishes and opinions to have any value. If someone has more than one daughter, or doesn’t have a son, their suffering increases.

One such example is my mother. My elder paternal aunt-in-law has five sons, my paternal aunt also has sons. Only my mother doesn’t have a male child. We are three sisters. So these two relatives frequently tell my mother, “We have sons, so no worries” People in our neighbourhood who have sons say, “A gold ring is good, even if out of shape.” We are daughters, so we are fake gold. Hearing these things my mother would be deeply sad and she would cry.

20 Sept 2012

I Believe - Sabir

Sabir Ali is a member of YRC Pratyasha (2011)
participant in TF Empowerment through
Technology Workshops (2012)
more on facebook

"I believe from my heart that if a person really wants to, he can do anything, however difficult that job is"

I have been applying this belief to my own life from when I was about 8 years old. Many people have influenced this belief in me. Firstly, my family.

We used to live in a small room with no electricity. I used to study in the light of a chimney lamp. There were six members in my family – my parents, my three sisters and me. From childhood, I have struggled a lot, so I am a little different from others who have had it otherwise. I really, deeply feel the value of life.

When I was a child, my father’s financial situation was very bad and it was very hard to run a family of six. Added to this were the expenses for my and my sisters’ education. My father never let us know his struggles but still I understood, even if a little.

I Believe - Krishna

Krishna Goldar is the founder member of
YRC Ujaan (2008), Change Maker,
Youth Trainer ('09), Coordinator of TF programme
to develop new YRCs (2012)
more on facebook

Also check out this
video on Krishna's group - Ujaan

"I believe that every person around me is valuable and worthy of respect"

I myself don’t know when this belief was first born in me, but for quite some time, I have been noticing this belief being reflected in my interactions with people.
Earlier, wherever I felt something needed to be done, I used to jump into the fray, and feel pride in it. If I felt someone was weak, I used to do all her work; if someone couldn’t see, I would help her cross the road. Any kind of help needed? No problem, I was there!

Now I feel – no, this is not enough. Does the person I am helping need this help so much? This question makes one aware. I ask myself – am I helping this person, or not valuing her abilities? If I didn’t thoughtlessly jump to help, if I paused to ask, “Can I help you in any way?”, then things could become easier. If the person thought that yes, she needed help, then she herself would ask for it. My job would then be not to make her dependent, but rather to assert her faith in her own abilities with the assurance that I was there to support her.

19 Sept 2012

I Believe - Shahina

Shahina Javed is the founder member of
YRC Roshni (2009) Change Maker,
TF Youth Trainer since '10, Coordinator
- Gender and Diversity programme ('11)
more on facebook

"I believe that whether the situation is good or bad, we always have a choice - to feel strong, or to feel like a victim"

Even as a child, I never liked losing. I always wanted to see myself in the winner’s spot. This doesn’t mean I never lost in life. Whenever I enrolled in a sports event in school, I invariably lost, and my brothers would always win. People at home used to say that I was incapable of doing anything. But my belief in myself never failed. Maybe I lost in sports but I always sought other directions to discover where my talent lay. I was very good in drama and elocution. In these places, I proved myself – that yes, I could do something as well.

Ever since childhood, there were many questions in my mind. Many of these were answered when I joined the Fellowship at Thoughtshop Foundation [TF]. I was like a traveller who knows her destination, but not the way to reach it.

16 Sept 2012

I Believe - Shampa

Shampa Halder is a member of YRC Ujaan (2008)
Change MakerGender Volunteer (2011)
TF Youth Facilitator (2012)
more on facebook
"I believe that there is no work that women cannot do"

The more I see my mother, this belief increases. I have heard often from her that she has had to tolerate much harassment from society and stand up against a lot to reach a comparatively good place where she is raising us now.

My mother and her brothers were born in a village called Joynagar, amidst a lot of poverty. Let alone two meals a day, there wasn't even a fistful of rice for one meal. My grandparents used to wash utensils at people's homes and farm other people's land. After a day's work, their employers gave them the excess starch produced while boiling rice and this they gave to their children to eat. Ma used to think all the time, "How can one survive on rice starch the whole day?"And inside her, the desire for a better life grew. She used to tell her parents, "One day I will go to Kolkata and earn a lot of money." And actually, one day without telling her parents, she came over to big city Kolkata holding an uncle's hand.

I Believe - Tahsina

Tahsina Bano is a member of YRC Roshni (2009)
Change Maker, Gender Volunteer (2011)
TF Youth Facilitator (2012)
more on facebook

"I believe that if we open our minds and speak out, then we will succeed in every situation"
Tahsina Bano

I am a 23 year old girl and my name is Tahsina Bano. I started believing this around 3 years back. Then I wasn't even aware that every person could have a system of beliefs or values. It never even crossed my mind that I needed to study and do something in life, or that I would be able to travel long distances alone, because I come from a Muslim family.

I didn't have the freedom to do anything other than my studies, and that too, we were given an education to better our marriage prospects. People in my family couldn't even think of me getting a job or going outside of home. At that time I used to tie my hair into two pigtails and go to school; I used to keep myself tightly wound up, like those pigtails.

15 Sept 2012

I Believe - Basanti

Basanti Karan is a member of YRC Ujaan 
since 2010, Change Maker, Gender Volunteer (2011)
more on facebook

"I believe that love can be of many kinds, and each kind of love has its own value"

I remember primary school. All of us friends used to play together and sit in the same classroom; among everybody else, I used to love a boy in my friend group. I used to do all my studies before coming to school, so that I wouldn’t get the punishment of doing sit-ups, holding my ears, or beaten in public. I don’t know why, but I liked him the most among other friends. That liking stood still –

We got admitted to different schools. When I was in class XI, one day out of the blue I saw him in Lake Gardens station. He went by as if neither knew the other. The memories of primary school, left behind so long ago, floated in front of my eyes.

26 Aug 2012

Talking About My Group

Excerpts from the first Creative Writing Workshop
Click here for more on Youth Resource Cells

The members of our group are so different from each other, as if they are...

  • …the tongue and the nose, one can never unite one with the other. Jagannath
  • …the colours in my childhood box of crayons, walking and moving about with a life of their own.Basanti

Still they are so similar, like...

What's in a Name

Excerpts from the first Creative Writing Workshop
Click here for more on Youth Resource Cells

আমার নামের মানে কালো – কালো কয়লার মত
যে কয়লা মাথায় হেলমেট পরে মাইথনের কয়লা খনির অনেক গভীর থেকে খুঁড়ে বের করতে হয়
আমার নাম লাল হলুদ কৃষ্ণচূড়ার আবিরের মত ছেটানো
আমার নাম কৃষ্ণের চূড়ার ময়ূরের পালক
আমার নামের মানে শান্তি, শক্তি, আর সাহস
এমন একটা জায়গা, একটা খোলা মাঠ, যেখানে সকালে সন্ধ্যায় অনেক মানুষ এক সাথে হয়ে নিজেদের শান্তি, শক্তি ও সাহসের জন্যে এক মনে ডাকে
আমার নাম যেন নদীর তলদেশের নরম পলির মত, যেটাকে নদী একবার ধুয়ে নিয়ে যায়, আবার অন্য দিকে সেটা দিয়ে নতুন কিছু গড়ে
আমার নাম একটা দক্ষিণী নদী, যে নিজের রাস্তা নিজেই তৈরী করে
আমার নাম চকলেটের মত, যেটা ছোট, বৃদ্ধ সকলের প্রিয়. আবার ফুচকার টক ঝালের মত
আমার নাম মহাভারতে কুরুক্ষেত্রের মাঠে দাড়িয়ে অর্জুনকে উপদেশ দেওয়া
আমার নাম কি পাঞ্চালী? পৃথা? দ্রৌপদী?
না আমি শুধুই কৃষ্ণা?

The meaning of my name is black – the black coal that is excavated
wearing helmets, from deep inside the coal mines of Maithon.
My name is sprinkled like the red and yellow abir of krishnochura flowers.
My name is the peacock feather crowning Lord Krishna.
My name means peace, strength and courage.
It means a place where, in an open field, people gather at dawn and dusk to pray single-mindedly for peace, strength and courage for themselves.
My name is like the soft silt at the bottom of the river, which the river washes away
Only to re-create something new. My name is a river in the south, which charts its own course.
My name is like chocolate, which everyone likes – young and old. Again it has the salty and hot flavour of phuchkas.
My name means standing on the Kurukshetra battlefield and advising Arjun.
Am I Panchali? Pritha? Droupadi?
Or am I only Krishna?

বড্ড খটমটে কোনো খাবারের মতো
খেতে গেলে মানে হবে দাঁত ভেঙ্গে গেল
আমার নাম একদম কাঁচের মতো মসৃন ও স্বচ্ছ
হাতুড়ি দিয়ে মারলে গুড়ো হয়ে যাবে
কিন্তু তুমি হীরে দিয়ে কাটো
আমার নামটাকেও অনেক আকৃতি দিতে পারবে
আমার নাম নয় নম্বরের মত, যেন কেউ উল্টে যোগাসন করছে
দেখলেই মজা লাগে!
আমার নাম আকাশী নীল রঙের
আমার নামে আষাড় মাসের রথের জমাটি বৃষ্টির দিনের ভাজা ফুলুরির গন্ধ
আমার নাম জগন্নাথ

My name is like food that is too hard
Feels like it will break your teeth.
My name is smooth and honest as glass
It breaks if you strike it with a hammer
But you have to cut it with a diamond
You can give it many shapes
My name is like the number nine
Like someone doing yoga on their head
You feel tickled as soon as you see it
My name is sky-blue
And smells of fried hot fuluri on the rainy day of Rathh
in the month of Asharh
My name is Jagannath.

उर्दू में मेरा नाम का मायने खुबसूरत है
मेरा नाम का मायने सुबह उठने से शाम में सोने तक ख़ुशी
मेरा नाम का मतलब सब दोस्तों के साथ कॉलेज के गेट के बाहर राम-बाबु का चाट खाते हुए मस्ती
मेरा नाम मेरे घर के गमले में घुले हुए Tide-Surf की तेरह सफ़ेद
मेरे नाम की तरह मेरा मन भी है खुबसूरत, जेसी कोइ दुल्हन
मेरा नाम उर्दू के पांच नम्बर की तरह
उर्दू का पाच उल्टा दिल जैसा दिखता है; शायद इस लिए मेरे दिल को भी लोग उल्टा समझते है
मेरा नाम तह्सिना बानो

In Urdu, my name means beautiful
My name means joy, right from waking up in the morning to going to sleep at night.
My name means enjoying Rambabu's chaat with all my friends outside the college gate.
My name is white as the foaming tide and surf in the washtub.
Like my name, my mind is also beautiful, like a bride.
My name is like the number five in Urdu, which looks like an upside-down heart.
Perhaps because of this, people misunderstand my heart, turning what I do upside-down in their minds.
My name is Tahsina Bano.

সকলের মনে দাগ কেটে যাওয়ার মত আমার নাম
আমার নামের অর্থ দাগ বা লাইন
জ্যামিতির দুই রেখা, সরল ও বক্রের মত যেন আমার নামের নম্বর দুই
আমার নামে মামার বাড়ির সবুজ মাঠের কাটা ঘাসের গন্ধ
আমার নাম দুষিত - কলুষিত পৃথিবীর বুকে এক সবুজের আস্তরণ
আমার নাম এগিয়ে চলা ও প্রগতির প্রতীক
ভূগোল জ্যামিতি, এমনকি ক্যানভাস এর তুলিতেও যেন আমার নাম ভেসে ওঠে
একটা সাদা কাগজে যেমন লাইন টেনে আমরা মার্জিন করি, সেরকম আমার নামই হলো আমার জীবনের মার্জিন
আমার নাম রেখা

My name is such that it leaves a mark in everybody's heart.
My name means a mark or line. My name is like the number two, the straight and curved lines in Geometry.
My name smells like the newly-cut grass of my mother's maiden home. My name is green – a symbol of progress, of forging ahead. Like a layer of green on this polluted earth.
My name floats in ideas of geography, of geometry, even in the paintbrush on canvas.
Just as we draw a straight line on a blank paper and make a margin, my name marks the margin of my life.
My name is Rekha.

শেক সাবির আলী
আমার নাম দশ অক্ষরের, ভেবনা যেন কেউ যুক্তাক্ষরের
আমার নামের মানে সাহসী, অন্যের মুখে আমার নাম শুনে আনন্দে মিচকি হাসি
আমার নামের রং কালো, যেন ঈদ এর দিনের কালো সুরমা, যা চোখের জ্যোতি বাড়ায়
আমার নামের গন্ধ যেন জলন্ত ধূপ, যেটা প্রতি সন্ধ্যেই আমার মা দরজার মাথায় দেয়
চোখ বন্ধ করলে দেখি আমার নাম একটা লাল সমুদ্রে ভাসছে
তখন মনে হয় নাম আমার দুঃসাহসিকতার সঙ্গে এগিয়ে আসছে
আমার নামটা শুনি একটা চীত্কারের মত যেন কোনো অন্যায়ের বিরুদ্ধে প্রতিবাদ জানাচ্ছে
আমার নাম একটা কাগজের মত প্লেন, যে কাগজ দিয়ে আমি ছোটবেলায় প্লেন বানিয়ে ওড়াতাম
আমার নাম দিয়েছিলেন আমার দাদু
যেটা ছোটবেলায় বন্ধুদের সাথে কুড়িয়ে খাওয়া কালোজামের মত শুস্বাদু
সবাই জানে পেনের রিফিলের মধ্যে থাকে কালী
তেমনি জেন, আমার নাম – শেক সাবির আলী

My name is made of ten letters.
It means - to be courageous. When someone calls me by my name, I smile with joy
My name is black, like the surma of Eid, which increases the light of the eyes.
My name smells like burning dhoop, which my mother puts every evening on the top of the door.
When I close my eyes, I see my name floating in a crimson ocean,
And I feel that my name is forging ahead, reckless.
I hear my name like a shout, as if it is protesting against some wrong.
My name is smooth like paper, the paper which I used to make aeroplanes that flew in my childhood.
My grandfather gave me my name, which is as tasty as the blackberries gathered with friends.
Just as everybody knows that refills contain ink, so let everyone know – I am Sheikh Sabir Ali.

আমার নাম নারকোলি কুলের মত মিষ্টি, যেটা সরস্বতী পুজোর আগে খেতে নেই
মায়ের রান্না করতে গিয়ে হাত কেটে গেলে যে সুরভিত এন্টিসেপটিক ক্রিম বোরোলিন লাগায়, আমার নাম ঠিক সেটার মত সাদা
আবার আমার নাম গোলাপী রঙের. ছোটবেলায় ঠান্ডা লাগবে বলে মা নেড়া করানোর আগে সখের লম্বা চুলে যে গোলাপী রাবার-ব্যান্ড লাগিয়ে দিত, সেই রঙের
আমার নাম পাল-বাড়ির জেঠিমাদের হাতে গড়া মা সরস্বতীর বীনার মত
আমার নাম সঙ্গীতা

My name is sweet as the norkoli berries that one mustn't taste before Saraswati puja.
My name is white as the fragrant antiseptic cream Ma applies when she cuts her hand while cooking.
Again, my name is pink like the pink bands Ma tied to my hair when I was small, just before cutting it all off,
cutting off what I loved into a bald pate, for fear I would catch a cold with long hair!
My name is like the veena in Ma Saraswati's hands, crafted by Pal aunty's family.
My name is Sangita.

আমাকে অনেকে অনেক নামে ডাকে, তার মধ্যে দুটো নামে সকলে আমাকে চেনে। একটি নামের মানে হল পূর্নিমার চাঁদ, আর একটির মানে হল চাঁদের আলো।
আমার নাম রাত্রি বেলায় ফোটা রজনীগন্ধার মিষ্টি গন্ধের মত।
আমার নাম জলজল করা চাঁদের আলোয় ভরা আকাশ।
আমার নাম সবুজ পাতার উপর টিপ টিপ করে বৃষ্টির জল পরার আওয়াজ, আবার স্তব্ধ ঘরে শো শো করে ফ্যান চলার শব্দ
আমার নাম আমাবশ্যার রাতে নিজেকে গোপন করে রাখার ভয়।
আমার নাম ৯ নম্বরের মত, যেন রাস্তার ধরে দাড়িয়ে থাকা একটা ল্যাম্প পোস্ট - অন্ধকার দূর করে, একটু আলো দেখায়.
আমার নামে মরশুমের প্রথম আঙ্গুরের স্বাদ
আমার নাম দুটি, ঠাকুমা এবং বাবার দেওয়া।
আমার নাম পূনম আর ইন্দ্রানী।

People call me by many different names - I am known by two. One of them means the full moon, the other means moonlight.
My name is like the sweet smell of the rajanigandha that blooms at night.
My name is a sky filled with the glimmer of moonlight.
My name sounds like water dripping on green leaves, or the sound of the fan whirring in an absolutely still room.
My name is the fear of keeping myself hidden on a dark, moonless night.
My name is like the number nine, standing by the roadside like a lone lamp-post – driving away the dark, showing a little light.
My name tastes of the first grapes of the season.
I have two names – given by my grandma and my father.
My names are Poonam and Indrani.

I have two names.
I know the meaning of one – goodness knows what the other means!
Both names were given by two people very dear to me – by my father and by Bukka, my granny.
The name that doesn't mean anything sounds like someone very close to me. Anyone calling me from far away by that name is like a fountain running with laughter. It is a pet – if you take it in your hands, it will slip through your fingers like kulfi.
The other name is peaceful, still, restrained, much like the melancholy strains of the shahnai.
If one name is filled with sweet juice like a rasgulla, the other tastes white, like water.
Both names carry the smell of rain-soaked earth….
My names are Binita and Shonai.
The Creative Writing Workshop was introduced as an experimental part of the YRC curriculum in July 2012. It was facilitated by Urbi, one of our earliest volunteers. The workshop is designed to enable self exploration, expression, and sharing group activities online. "What's in a Name" is one of several graded and guided group writing activities.