Epilogue to My Story

Epilogue to My Story

When I look back on my life from the time I can remember, which was when I was a little less than two years of age, born to parents of Indian immigrants, to the present, in my ninety-seventh year, and see how checkered and carefree it had been, not focused on any dream, but garnering knowledge along the way from whatever and wherever I found interest, knowledge that could not have been found in text books within the walls of a school or in a church building, and doing sometimes what was considered menial so as to be able to subsist, I cannot help but think that there must have been a beneficent Providence watching over me, protecting me, guiding me into salutary situations and good relationships, without which I could not have realized so much of my potential in the  areas of my diverse interest..  I owe a deep debt of gratitude to those heads and hearts that helped to provide the means for fashioning my outlook in life and my philosophy.

My life was not planned.  I followed wherever the current led.  Those who have read My Story will have observed that.   I found interest in whatever shore I was cast on by the waves of chance, and performed with interest and enthusiasm.   My chief interests were health and strength of body and freedom of mind.   I learnt many lessons along the way.  Very early in my life, a lad about ten, self-motivated, I picked up my slate and pencil and went to an old Hindu immigrant to teach me Hindi.   That was the beginning of an interest which would pay off in life, leading to my success at the Teachers’ Certificate Examination and an award by the Guyana Hindi Prachar Sabha for my contribution to Hindi in Guyana.

I learnt a little tailoring by associating with a neighbour who was a tailor. I was able to teach the subject as a craft in school.   I learnt to knit a castnet for fishing from a boyhood friend.   This came in very useful as it helped in supplying fish to supplement the family’s diet.  I learnt to play the ukelele and to do photography from a friend who was my classmate in school.   There began my interest in music which I developed late in my life.   Now I can play the recorder with a fair degree of proficiency.   I learnt typewriting from an in-law relative.   I also learnt Sign Painting, shoe and umbrella repairs and some carpentry by observing others at work.

Marriage and a family kept me stable in the field of Education as I had to earn to feed my family.   For my contribution to Education, I received the CIMBUX AWARD from fellow Buxtonians living in the U.S.A.;  but I kept pursuing other interests.  At school, I learnt needlework and embroidery from the female teachers.   One female teacher used to tease me by calling me Miss Butisingh, but I told her I was Mrs as I was married.   I was able to substitute as Sewing teacher in the absence of a female, securing a pass for a pupil at the Primary School Leaving Examination.

I got involved in social activities while in school.  I acted as part time Welfare Officer at the Lusignan Community Centre for eighteen months.  I trained for the  military during World War II and used that training as an interesting part of the Physical Training in School.   I also tried a little business while teaching, but it was a bad time during the war and business was not my line, so I closed shop.   I did some kitchen gardening.   I played third class cricket.  I never missed a catch except for one that went very high up by a powerful hitter.  I went under it, but I could not hold it and was hit on the chin.  I practised boxing and sprained my thumb.  I swam a lot as it was the best all round exercise

I tell you these things to let you know that even when I was not gainfully employed, I had periods of useful idleness.   I learnt Shorthand and passed the seventy-word a minute test.  I studied some Book Keeping and passed the Elementary Test.  I practiced Art, and during the Second World War, I made Christmas cards to raise funds for the school.

Today, with the experience I have gained, I am equipped to teach something of interest to any of my many friends or their children whenever I get the opportunity.    Now in the deep winter of my life, a noble colleague whom I have not seen for nearly half a century, and have not seen yet, projected me into an area of activity which has brought me recognition and an opportunity to be of greater service to humanity.  He set up a Weblog for me that has won me the Graypow Award.

Up till now, I have followed no dream, but I have tried to do my best, many times blundering, with whatever came my way.  I was pupil, fisher, crab catcher, labourer, pork knocker, teacher, lay reader, third class country cricketer, swimmer, acrobat, Welfare Officer, member and delegate of a Literary Institute, Chairman of an Indian Literary Institute, Hindi teacher, poet, journalist, Magazine editor and student of religion and philosophy.   And now, nearing the end of my sojourn of my earthly existence, I am still seeking, still learning.   My happiest moments are when I can help someone, when I can put a smile on someone’s face or give someone hope.  I always bear this little poem in mind which I learned as a youth:

Kindness and love to all I owe,

No other debt doth God allow;

Kindness and love then I must pay

To everybody, every day.

— Randall Butisingh

9 Comments »

  1. Helena Martin (DaSilva) said,

    BEAUTIFUL! BEAUTIFUL! Randall. I absolutely enjoyed reading your entire blog, just wished I had known about it sooner but as the saying goes, ‘Nothing happens before its time’ s today was the DAY my friend. May God bless you and keep you in good health for many more years to come and keep blogging because I want MORE!!
    All the very best
    Helena, (A Guyanese who lives in Australia)

    • randallbutisingh said,

      Helena, thanks for your heart warming comment. You have brought cheer into my life as I am in pain at this moment. I will be 98 come December and God willing I trust I WILL MAKE IT. I however am thankful to my Creator that I will be leaving a legacy to posterity. Eric Shackle told me of you and what an extraordinary person you are; I am grateful to him, moreso because you are a Guyanese who has added lustre to Guyana in a foreign land. In my state of health, it does not seem that I have very much more to go, but I have garnered much comfort from your letter.. Please send me your picture; Eric has some good ones of me. I will ask him to send you a few.

      All the best; I love you,
      Randall.

    • pattan said,

      Have you met other GY in Aust? e.g Ramjass?

  2. Vijai Beharry said,

    Hello Uncle Butisingh

    Today is the first time I came across your blog and I have started reading your story which is so touching and also enlightening. I sure will continue reading. You may wonder why I am referring to you as “Uncle Butisingh” but as you know in Guyana that word is used mainly as a form of respect and that is they way as I child I always refer to you as. I am one of the children of Rosaline and Basil Beharry . I know you will not remember me but you are also my eldest sister’s Godfather. Anyway do take care and may the Good Lord continues to shower his blessings upon you. Keep on Blogging!!!

  3. Bindu Denuzzo said,

    Dear Mahashri,

    I enjoyed reading your life history , a life full of love and always ready to learn something new until now .
    Thank you for sharing as you are an example for the ones who meet you and an inspiration.
    May the Light be always with you to hold you in time of pains and keep your heart warm and joyful …
    Much love and luminous thoughts ,
    Bindu

  4. Ishwar Narayan said,

    Dear Mr. Butisingh
    Congratulations on a very well written piece of your life story. I discovered your blog by accident today and couldn’t stop reading. I found myself drawn to my computer after attending Court today and in fact I finished all thirty chapters in one sitting.

    Your stories bring back vivid memories to me growing up in Black Bush Polder in Berbice. My father was a rice farmer and a priest and I spent a lot of time at the “back dam” gardening and farming. I can certainly relate to some of your experiences in Bartica.

    I expecially like your stories of genuine friendship between Indians and Africans in Buxton. These stories are inspiring and do provide hope for our society as a whole.

    I thank you for documenting your experiences so that future generations can learn from your experiences. I intend to share your stories with my sons, Sashin [10 and Ajay [7].
    May the good lord continue to bless you and I wish you the best of health. Please keep on blogging!
    Ishwar Narayan
    BA, BscEE, BAdmin, CMA, MBA, JD
    Barrister & Solicitor [Ontario, Canada}

    • randallbutisingh said,

      Hello Mr. Narayan:
      This reply is from Cyril Bryan,

      Mr Butisingh does not do daily blogs any longer. In the past he answered almost all the comments, and did so in great detail.
      Now he is not very well, after a slight stroke he had a few months ago. He is feeling much better now and is coherent as ever, however, working on the computer is too much for him these days..
      I talk to him from time to time and I have asked one of his relatives to print out comments for him to read, so he may notice your comment.

      As you may know from some of the info on this blog, I have known Mr. Butisingh since the late 1950’s, when he was a teacher at Lusignan School wher my father George Bryan was the Head Master. I had not seen Mr. Butisingh sine that time but we met again on the Internet. I helped Mr. Butisingh to establish this Blog over three years ago. I also helped with some of the blogs as his guest contributor and helped with the editing of “My Story”.
      I am glad that you liked his story. We are all glad that he took the time to get it down on paper.

      As you may know, I am the editor and Publisher of the Guyanese Online Blog and Newsletter. I noticed that you are on the mailing list. I hope you like the publication and the Blog…. I just posted thid today on the Blog… and article on Pagwa.:
      http://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/call-it-phagwa-or-call-it-holi/

      Kindest regards,
      Cyril

  5. Bibi Cassidy said,

    Thank you so much dear Sir for all you’ve written, for the knowledge of my blessed homeland that I know so little about. I found you by accident,but then again, I do not really believe in accidents. Reading your blog has given me great joy. I left Guyana where I was born, at age 20, lived in England for a number of years and now reside in Australia. I wish you health, happiness and great joy. May I aspire to be like you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: