A New World
This is the story of a young girl, uprooted from her familiar, comfortable home in New York City and placed in what was to her an unbearable new world.
This is the story of a young girl, uprooted from her familiar, comfortable home in New York City and placed in a new world. It all began when Malorie’s parents announced that they would be going to Bangladesh, her parents’ home country. To Malorie, this sudden news was a shock. She had never been to Bangladesh, and had only heard bits and pieces of it whenever her parents would share their childhood memories. But Malorie was a curious young girl, and being able to travel outside of the U.S for the first time made her feel as though she had finally become a grown-up, allowed to explore the world. Malorie watched many shows as a kid, shows where people traveled all over the world, like London or Paris or Hawaii. And so, the thought of traveling to a new country where Malorie would be able to see new things, eat new food, and hear new sounds made her immensely happy. Little did she know, however, that her happiness would be short-lived.
During the 2 day flight, Malorie had dreamt all that she could dream about what she would see in Bangladesh. Her mother said that her grandparents lived in a rural sector, where Malorie would be able to see all sorts of animals, especially cows and goats. Living in NYC all her life, Malorie never expected to see such animals, and was thrilled at the opportunity. Soon, the plane landed and upon stepping out of the aircraft, Malorie was hit with a crushing feeling in her lungs. The air was dense with condensation, so much so that Malorie felt as if she could not breathe. Unfortunately, this trip was during one of the hottest seasons, and so Malorie struggled to adjust to the climate. Weakly, Malorie trudged along the path from the airport to their destination, where they would be picked up by their relatives. Malorie had never met them before, and so, the idea of getting inside a car with strangers scared her. She realized that perhaps coming to this new country, full of everything new to her, wasn’t such a good idea.
On the car ride to her grandparents’ house, Malorie had her eyes glued to the window. The world seemed so different from what she was used to. With over 20% of the population living below the national poverty line, Bangladesh remains one of the poorest countries, despite the progress they have made economically. Thus, it wasn’t a surprise when Malorie looked out the window and saw many who were pleading for money. Although Malorie’s mother would offer whatever she could give, Malorie still felt as though it wasn’t enough. She had seen countless people who were missing certain limbs, like their eyes, and pleading for assistance for surgery. She wanted to do more than offer them financial help, but as a 10 year old girl, she had little to give but sympathy. This made Malorie feel distressed, but all she could do was close her eyes and pretend this reality didn’t exist.
When reaching their destination, Malorie began to face greater challenges. She immediately noticed the smell of cow dung that permeated the air, and felt nauseated. Also, because of a narrow passageway to her grandparents’ house, Malorie and her family had decided to go through by rickshaw. Rickshaws were three wheeled passenger carts driven by a single man. Instantly, Malorie understood the dangers of traveling like this. The road wasn’t reliable with the many cracks and entirely broken sections of rock. Malorie had to hold on for dear life while riding, as she could easily fall off with one wrong move. At this point, Malorie had had enough, and if she could be granted one wish, she would ask to go back home. Malorie thought that this place was just not meant for her. She didn’t like change, not at all. She wanted the comfort that familiarity provided her, but unfortunately, there wasn’t much of that in Bangladesh.
When they arrived at her grandparents’ house, it wasn’t just Malorie’s grandparents that welcomed them. It seemed as if the entire population of Bangladesh had as well. Malorie’s grandparents live in a small, rural community, so everyone knew Malorie’s parents. And since it had been their first time back in years, the whole community rushed to welcome them back. Malorie had watched as strangers hugged her parents, who held tears in their eyes as they embraced everyone. The genuine happiness she saw from the community had struck Malorie’s heart. Sure, a few minutes ago she adamantly declared that she could not bear to spend anymore time in Bangladesh, but now, she seems to have had a change of heart. Living in NYC, with a population so self-independent, meant that it may be hard to find a place to belong. This was especially the case for Malorie’s parents, who are immigrants in the U.S and traveled to the new country alone. Now, Malorie realized a beautiful part of Bangladesh: their strong community and beliefs. Although Malorie initially felt like a stranger, everyone quickly welcomed her and made her feel special. It was as if the community wholeheartedly loved her, despite only just meeting her. At this moment, Malorie had come to recognize a very important life lesson: although change may initially be hard to accept, it may often end up being very rewarding in the end.
I had written this piece using inspiration from my own real-life experiences as a child. I wanted to write about my first time traveling to Bangladesh, and the big lessons that I had learned because of my trip there. And so, using my own memories, I had decided to come up with this piece! However, I also made sure to write this story as a fictional piece with a fictional character named Malorie because I felt that I could not accurately describe every specific detail of my trip to Bangladesh many, many years ago.
Nishat is a high school student who is interested in exploring different forms of literature and being able to express her ideas creatively through her writing. She hopes to get to the level where she can write entire books and use her writing to advocate for campaigns that she cares about and spread awareness about important issues such as climate change. A quirky fact about Nishat is that in elementary school she would bring Harry Potter books to school so that she could show off reading a huge book.