Why Do You Write?

Much to my dismay and many others I’m sure, Dina Zaman’s writings will no more serve us our daily dose anymore. For the time being, we’ll have to do without her entertaining entries until another writing sifoo comes along.

When it comes to writing, some of us write just for fun, some write to express themselves, while a few others write for a living.

What spurred me to write in the very beginning was my class teacher in Grade 4, Rhian Saadat. My first encounter with her was back in kindergarten. I was then a very enthusiastic toddler who barely knew any English. Come language class when all the other kids would go to their respective French classes, a handful of us would quietly attend our ESOL lessons, also known as English for Speakers of Other Languages.

During class, I have always marveled at Miss Baker’s (then known as Rhian Baker) ability to make a story alive. She delivered stories with so much passion that you’d just sit there, secretly amazed. Learning English with her was an absolutely fun and exciting journey especially for a confused kid whisked from a French kindergarten to an American one. Heck, she could even make a story of an elephant and an ant sound like the story of a great maharaja from a faraway land!

Rhian Saadat as featured in ISP’s ’94 Yearbook.

I guess I picked up English pretty fast especially with my dad who tirelessly sat down with me on weekends, making sure I grasped my English well to fit in. By 1st Grade, I thought I knew everything. My 1st Grade teacher, fondly known as Mdm. Sirot once asked the class, “Who knows everything in the world?” Silly me rose up my hand boldly and confessed of knowing everything in the world. What can I say, I was a stupid dumb fool and rather shameless at it too.

Rhian Saadat then graced my life again in Grade 4 when she became my class teacher. My class had consisted of 12 students (yes, that’s all there was) and how we adored her! Our writing workshop sessions were always one of my favourite lessons apart from Library and P.E… and ermm recess. One fine day, she just handed each of us a red book to write in our daily encounters. I tried to write an entry every single day in that red diary. I still hold on to it to this very day although these days I only write occasionally in my personal journal.

A note from her for yours truly.

Recently I found out that Mrs. Saadat has had her poem ‘Window Dressing For Hermes‘ published in the anthology ‘The Pteradactyl’s Wing’. Definitely on her way of becoming a fantastic well-known writer.

And I’ve been writing ever since… with her as my inspiration.

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. –Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907


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