Blessed

It has been a month since my birthday and I was recalling how I was finishing up a last minute assignment the night before. I had a long day at university and I rushed home to get on with my assignment. I finished it up at 11:45 and was ready to pass out on bed. I am glad I called before I did but I am quite sure even if I hadn’t, you would have called at midnight. Because you had remembered it was my birthday when I had forgotten.

I was sleepy azz and wished you good night but you wouldn’t let me hang up. You kept talking when all I could respond with was hmmm and yeah. You pleaded to stay awake for 4 more minutes which confused my already sleep-deprived brain. Normally you put me to sleep but not that night. When I asked why, you blabbered with what you had been up to the whole day and when 4 minutes had passed, you suddenly wished happy birthday which woke me nice and proper. Well, also the fact that my phone pinged with notification at the same time, opened my shut eyes and when I rubbed my eyes to respond to you and my phone, I realised that you had sent me a poem. A heartfelt, beautiful and thoughtful poem that not only had you carved from your own thinking, but you had written so elegantly and beautifully. All this was too much for me to handle. The rush of emotions that came from within resulted in tears of happiness and I started weeping in joy. For I felt truly special. And cherished. And although you are miles away, I felt as if you were right next to me. How I wish you were, so you could see my giddy smile and excited heart. For even though, we both have grown old to celebrate birthdays, the gesture made me feel like a child again.

And this is why I say alhumdulillah, I am so lucky to have you.

Weird Things That Keep Us Awake At Night

This post is a collaboration with sulphurman. It was a long time coming considering the idea was borne a couple of months ago but as we all know, life happens and we got busy with our schedules. Nevertheless, we finally decided to finish it off and present to you guys the weird stuff that keeps one awake at night. Let me know if you have similar experiences/thoughts in the comments. I would love to know I am not the only weird one.

  • Did I brush my teeth? I am pretty sure I did. Blows air  onto hand and smells for bad breath. Hmm smells good. Wait, that’s a biryani smell. Arrgh I didn’t brush.

 

  • I have to go to the toilet but I just got so comfy and warm!!

 

  • If I sleep now, I will get exactly 3 hours 15 minutes sleep. Now only if I could fall asleep.

 

  • Did I lock the door? Hmm I should go and check. Rabia aunty was telling about this robbery that happened the other day. One can never be too careful. *flips the blanket over, icy air rushes through the bones,slips banket over* aaah never mind. Quite sure it’s locked. Dad must have locked the door. And I don’t even have any enemies to kill me right? Hmm wait, Reshma did hate me in primary school. Always snitched on me and stole my best friend Neha. But she wouldn’t rob me or try to kill me yeah? I mean she lives in Bangladesh. She wouldn’t fly all the over to Australia. She doesn’t even know where I live. I think she got married. lets stalk on instagram.I mean who on earth agreed to marry her? *grabs mobile and switches it on* Aarrghh too bright. *squints in the darkness*. 3 hours 15 minutes later. Wait, is that the sun?
  • Cousins who kick you in sleep. Constantly. Repeatedly. You find solace sleeping on the floor.
  • You are about to sleep and your phone pings with notification. You pick it up and its the phone company sending you a text message that you have exceeded data limit. And its only been a week since you started the data cycle. So now you cant sleep thinking how will you survive 3 more weeks of being 3G less.
  • You analyze and over analyze that aunty’s comment that she passed on you for being a failure.Whereas your brother became the successful doctor. The good thing is your younger bro is also a non-doctor. So you both can cry together.
  • You are planning your whole wedding in your head. The dresses, who to invite, the flower bouquets, chocolate fountains, waiters on wheels for swift service, carpeted halls in purple and cream colour,brides maid dresses, who to make your brides maids,also a silent prayer to Allah that let the groom’s mother let you decide what bridal dress you wanna wear for both baaraat and walima instead of gifting sweet and hideous dresses that isn’t your style. Parlour bookings, what type of makeup and jewellery and henna designs.
  • Also one thing that doesn’t let me sleep is temperature control. Its spring here. Sometimes it is hot at night and sometimes it is cool. Sometimes hot changes to cool and sometimes cool changes to hot. I throw off my blanket to the floor and then a while later I am curled up in fetus  position with chattering teeth. Too cold and lazy to grab blanket off floor. Other times I am wearing winter wear with sweater and socks and it starts burning. Next morning mum comes to wake me up and finds sweater thrown on chair, socks hanging on fan, me lying spread eagled soaking cool air.
  • Thirsty. Drinks a whole bottle of water by bedside. Falls asleep. Gets up 30 minutes later for toilet. Comes back to bed. Falls asleep. Few minutes pass. Thirsty again. Bottle empty. Gets up to refill water. Drinks water.Falls asleep.30 minutes later , toilet break. Cycle goes on till Fajr.

You get the idea.

Go check out sulphurman’s post for the second part. Show him the love by following and reading his humorous and not so haha funny posts.

Thank you Mahaah for asking us to collaborate. I had fun coming up with points that didn’t allow me to sleep while writing the post. Go check out her blog too. She clicks awesomesauce photos, draws and paints awesomesauce pictures and writes awesomesauce stuff.

 

 

ME

I thought it would take time

To let go

I thought it would take a while

For you to leave me alone

Those daydreams and

Wishes on stars

Seems forgotten

Promises broken

You promised you would

never hurt me

You promised you would

look out for me

Why do I feel

so lonely and alone

Why do I feel

I have no one at home

They say it takes time

time to heal

Band aids never

do come out easy

Then why does it

hurt still

Why do I

miss you still

I have moved on

made myself busy

But sometimes

something triggers the memory

I walk past that shop

where we tried out costumes

laughed like idiots

howled at the moon

I listen to that song

that we played on repeat

danced on the beds

sang to karaoke

We used to lay down

beneath the open sky

Talk about the future

never knew you would fly

Now I avoid

that shop, those songs

But tell me how do I avoid you

when the heartless stars

follow me along

They tell me to forget you

Its been a long while

Band aid long gone

The wound is still inside

You said you never lie

you said you would never leave

you lied when you left

why did you leave

Long drives

on curvy roads

Windows open

trying to unload

Creating new memories

Meeting new ones

Trying out stuff

Even going on a run

You said you wouldn’t leave me

You are right you never did

I see you everywhere I look

Your presence I am trying to get rid

“Quit it!!” I say

Leave me alone

You say you made a promise

You can’t see me forlorn

Leave me leave me please

Let me move on let me be

No come back I beg of you

I need to hold on I need to see

I need to mourn

I need you

need you

please

don’t go

don’t ever

let go

Lost

alone

Wild in pain

helpless

hopeless

feeling insane

********

I cry in silence

They mock me otherwise

They need to understand

Screaming out loud helps pain subside

So I stand in the balcony

Gazing at the stars

Gazing at memories

Gazing at the scars

Coz even though you ripped me

like a band aid

I can’t howl like they do

They label me with shame

Maybe

screaming will scare you away

Maybe

you might run away

So I shall be quiet

utterly still

Wait for the angel

await the drill

I know you shall be waiting

at the gates of heaven

Renew the memories

Let the games begin.

Stranger Danger

So how does this arranged marriage thing work exactly? I know that there is the match-making rishta karaane waali aunty and relatives and matrimonial sites involved. And then one sends photos and a proper bio-data.

For those who don’t know the insides working on how to meet your dream guy/girl (desi arrange marriage version), allow me to explain. I am relatively new to it as well. Not foreign to the concept but I am an actual participant this time so I get to know the deets. Somewhat. Anyway,so what happens is, the parents tell everyone that their daughter/son is of age and that they are looking for a groom/bride. So those who are hiding and withholding back their eligible kids, bring it on. Some parents even put up their sons/daughters for auction on matrimonial sites where interested people view the profiles and sell off their sons in return for daughter-in-laws and vice versa. And then there are rishta aunties : you know those aunties whose eyes are magnified under glasses and who eye you up and down and they only attend parties to see which sheep are good for purchase. They get paid if the proposals come to fruition. To be honest this match-making tendency is a genetic trait in all desi aunties and they love pairing any and every boy to any and every girl even if they don’t get paid. It’s a charity work. Us kids are the charity cases.

desi aunty

Once both parties are set up, comes the exchange of photos and biodata. The bio-data is just like a resume you would send for a job and I guess it makes sense because of course I am applying for the role of a wife (duh) and if they approve of my bio-data, I get accepted. You also have to mention the qualifications of parents,how many siblings (what they do,if they are married) plus jobs and contact details of paternal uncles (I know,weird). And all this I get.

proposal

Next comes the formal meeting. How do you know in the meetings and phone calls prior to marriage if he is the right person for you? Even a drug-dealer looks innocent while on trams and trains. You can’t tell if the person is being genuine or not. Plus what questions do you ask? How do you tell if he is an underground criminal or hiding a girlfriend underground? How do you tell if he is wearing a wig or is that his real hair? How do you know whether he is not that weird psycho protective one who won’t allow you to blog after marriage? What if he has an annoying habit of biting his nails, or scratching his ear incessantly, or spitting at every corner? What if he has those racky coughs or snores loudly or laughs weirdly like hyenas? What if he smokes?Is it ok to ask whether he knows how to cook? How much he earns?Does he have a short temper? (I guess after all these questions, I will have the short temper question answered 😛 ) How do you know if he doesn’t really want to marry but his parents want him to? How do you know if he is being forcefully married? He would hate me then. Also do you look him in the eyes and talk to appear confident or is that considered brash and bold by desi standards? Do you ask too many questions in the first meeting or leave it for later?I mean will there even be a later? And how do you know you have clicked? I have too many awkward situations in my life to handle that happens involuntarily and then this??? This is straight up jumping into the most awkward pretentious situation ever.

I guess its the fear of the unknown.I am not bashing the concept of arranged marriage but it doesn’t look too promising either.Most of my friends have been arranged married happily. And in sha Allah I will too. The destination is out there. It’s the journey that scares me. This whole process of getting to know the right guy. Of making him the right guy for you. Of leaving your family behind. Of entering into a brand new family.My friends have done it. Millions of other girls have gone through the process. It won’t be that bad right? Right?

rishta pic

Australian Horror Story

You know how they show people waking up from nightmares, screaming their heads off because well, they had a nightmare of zombies or scary clowns or whatever they are afraid of?

Well I had my first one last night. A nightmare that woke me up. Shook me right and proper.

When someone asks me about my deepest darkest fear, I have the answers ready. I have irrational fear of heights,elevators/escalators, driving and spiders (fear of spiders would be counted rational though right?) But I didn’t realise what scared me the most until now. I have had a nightmare for each of my phobia at a certain point in my life.

Disclaimer : I am weird. My brain is weirder. My dreams/nightmares are weirdest.

Nightmare 1 : I am on top of a cliff with someone (don’t know who this crazy girl is and I don’t recall) and she keeps insisting in a soothing tone that it’s ok to jump from the cliff I am on, to a nearby one just a metre away. But I keep looking down screaming unable to do it.

I have forgotten to mention that while I am having such nightmares, I am aware that it’s just a dream. I am in my REM phase and as such know that I can wake myself up before it ends. I don’t though. I mean might as well watch a horror movie for free yeah? Especially when you are the main character of the movie.Ok quit joking Aaliyah. Focus.

Anyway so the cliff I am standing on suddenly crumbles and starts breaking and I go down along with it.My eyes open slowly.Not panicking too much.Momentarily confused as I adjust to reality that my bed is just a metre away from the ground not 1000 metres away.

Nightmare 2: I am at my university, heading to a lecture, waiting for the elevator. The elevator arrives and everyone rushes to it. I am the last one to board and as I run towards the elevator, the doors start closing.Now in normal situations, the sensors at the door pick up the motion of a person and don’t shut. But since it’s a dream, that’s exactly what happens. The doors close on me and well, it is a brutal and painful end.Eyes flutter open thanking Allah it’s just a nightmare, nothing else and a reminder that stairs are always good. Physically and mentally.

Nightmare 3: I am in the car, this time in the driver’s seat. And I am driving along this solitary road wondering when did I get my full license to be driving by myself at night all alone. And I don’t even know where I am heading, just driving aimlessly until all of a sudden, a huge truck appears out of nowhere. It is huge. As huge as a train. In fact it resembles more of a train the way its hooting. I freeze and my hands are off my steering wheel, legs off the pedal just sitting in my car watching the truck thundering towards me in fascination. The truck driver is shouting for me to move but the truck horn is even louder and at the back of my mind I can see my imminent death but I do nothing. I am paralysed. The truck comes and crashes and suddenly the silence that engulfed me when I was frozen moments ago, is suddenly broken by the crash, metals getting mangled, my body getting jerked forward and then backward all too quickly.And although I am lying dead, I can hear the driver cursing and I want to apologise because it’s my fault for not moving even though he was shouting and honking so loud it would have woken the dead (Irony eyy?). Eyes open, not really wanting to because I want to say sorry to him, but it’s no use ; he is not listening.

Nightmare 4: This dream is inspired by Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (Don’t laugh or else I shall take you with me the next time I go :P).The movie scene where Harry and Ron are in the forest and witness Aragog. It is the exact same forest and the exact same humongous black hairy spider with gigantic beady eyes is staring at me (I am shuddering as I recall the memory). Again I am paralyzed to do anything. My eyes won’t listen to my brain that tells it to close because maybe the spider might disappear when you open them again. It seems all my body parts refuse to listen to the brain because the mouth doesn’t want to scream like in horror movies and the legs refuse to run. My eyes are wide open in fear, mouth wide open in shock, brain sending mental missiles to launch the adrenaline : the fight/flight hormone but the missiles don’t land at targets. I don’t fight (it’s useless) and I don’t take flight. The spider sensing no motion from me, proceeds towards me, shaking the whole forest. I stand there welcoming death with open arms. As its monstrous mouth open, my eyes open up to reality expecting to see the spider by my bedside but find my cat purring instead.

Nightmare 5 : This is the one that occurred last night. I am with my loved ones at some embassy and we are filling forms. All of a sudden, the scene shifts and we are sitting on a ledge atop of this tall tall building. Might be on the 170th floor.Now my loved ones know I am afraid of height so they push me in towards the building and they themselves are sitting at the edge. We are still completing the form and talking to each other when the inevitable happens. One of them falls over. Just like that. No push, no nothing. And I push my face against the glass building and start crying before I even hear the inevitable. This time my eyes close.This time my heart shudders. This time it feels real. This time I am not in command and it’s not a dream. I see the others looking down with pain. That searing pain. That feeling like someone is scorching you with a burning stick or tongs and you can’t do anything to avoid it because your hands are tied. Only this time, our tongues were tied and it was the heart that was getting scorched. Soon officials arrive and are nudging me,gently pushing me away from the ledge on to the stairs into the building but I don’t want to leave. I just want to sit and cry and cry. I want to close my eyes and stay there begging them to leave me alone. And again my eyes betray my brain. They leap wide open.I shoot up from my bed.The scream that I had pressed inside pierces through my mouth in a shrilling scream and I am awake, confused because this time it didn’t feel like a nightmare that I was in control of. No, this time it felt too tangible.My heart is still thumping with fear 15 minutes later. I realise that I am clenching to my bedsheet so tightly that my fists have turned white and a continuous flow of tears is streaming down. It takes a while for me to settle down but oh that dream keeps haunting me. It is so vivid, everything is so clear that would I wish to forget a small detail I could not. I wish it was me falling to my death instead of my loved one. That’s the strategy Aaliyah working inside. Working on how to fight the situation next. And I already know that I won’t be paralyzed next time. I know that next time I shall push them all towards the building and sit at the edge of parapet. No matter what. Because it’s not my death that scares me. It’s my loved ones.

So now if someone asks me what is my biggest fear, I won’t be answering spiders, height or elevators anytime soon. Its that hopeless feeling of losing your loved one. A feeling that shook me in my nightmares and shook me awake from it.A terrorizing momentous feeling that makes me pray everyday that I am the first one to be taken away from my loved ones than to have to face the helpless feeling of my loved ones being taken away. Because my heart is weak. And I am weak. I can bear getting crushed by elevators and roaring trucks but not by the goodbye of my loved ones.

Procrastination Preparation

Yesterday was my last day of Bachelors at my university. During these 3 years there wasn’t a single moment when I didn’t wish to finish and get out of here as soon as possible but yesterday while I walked through the university, through the cafeteria, I remembered how I would sit there with friends to eat and chat after finishing long laboratory classes. When I entered the lecture hall, I remembered my first day at university, how timid and shy I was, how the lecture hall seemed huge then. University had become my second home and yesterday was filled with bittersweet memories. It was as if I was at a standstill and every place was rewinding and showcasing the memories my friends and I had etched  The library, how my friends and I used to hunch over the computers to finish last minute assignments, one of us running to the printers, another one typing, another one shouting “Only half an hour left guys!!Hurry hurry hurry!!” This year I was mostly by myself because some of my friends had married and settled and some had graduated or were majoring in different streams and had different classes. It gave me heaps of time to be myself, to explore each and every aspect of university and city life, to be nostalgic and to reflect. And even though, these 3 years all I complained about was the hectic assignments and assessments that my lecturers had bombarded upon us students, I am grateful for the opportunity. In fact yesterday I wished I had the opportunity to rewind my university life and enjoy and relive each and every moment. But it’s time to move on. (That is my graduation speech that I shall be giving at my graduation this December btw. Naah just kidding :P) I have exams next month. So I better stop reminiscing and start hitting the books. Good Luck to all appearing for the exams!!

Exams are just a month away

I should start preparing she said.

I shall print out lecture notes to revise

So much information to be fed.

She heads to the library

Prints out all the lecture notes

She knows she will ace this exam

Her head in the cloud it floats.

She is revising and rereading

She is busy highlighting

She is in full exam mode

When all of a sudden her phone rings.

Her friend has texted her

To check out how many likes she has gotten

Hours later she is still on phone

Her notes conveniently forgotten.

She feels sleepy now,

her brain is shutting down

She feels guilty for procrastinating

She is sporting a pouty frown.

I shall do it tomorrow she says

Still got plenty of time

I won’t get distracted tomorrow

I won’t waste my time.

A day before the exam her mum

Enters her room

Finds her youtubing

On how to get to Khartoum.

“What’s all this nonsense

You should be studying instead

I shall take away the gadgets

So you only study” she said.

Its too late to study mum

I thought I had time

I put off studying to last minute

Never managed to revise

Tickets and graves are cheap

Apparently in Khartoum

When I fail my exams

That’s where I shall build my tomb.

With a sigh mum replied

My darling, don’t you worry

With the way you are studying

You will indeed get buried.

A flying slipper on your head

And slaps is what you shall receive

Dad too busy digging grave

Too busy to even grieve.

Let that be a lesson

To never procrastinate

Failing in exams

Is a shameful disgrace.

I shall stop this poem now

Even though it’s so fun

I should start preparing for exams now

Even though its next month.

My friend is texting me

Probably to check her likes

But I am a good girl

I won’t waste my time.

Wish me good luck

Wish me sincerely

Pray I get good grades

And make my family happy.

And if all else fails

And brilliant results I don’t produce

At least my poetry shows

I can become the next Dr. Seuss.

On a Serious Note

Eid Mubarak!! Hope you had a great time. I know I am late on the Eid wishing but I was busy on Eid day with guests pouring in all day and the next day I had uni from 8 to 8 so sowwie. Better late than never right?

This Eid was bittersweet given the tragedy that occurred at Mina. My aunt and uncle are at Hajj this year so of course we were anxious to contact them and they are alhumdulillah safe. But of course those martyred at Mina would be someone’s aunts and uncles, someone’s mums and dads. I can’t bear to imagine the feelings of loss those families faced when they heard of their beloved ones passing away and the realisation dawned that they wouldn’t be waiting at the airport to welcome them back with joyous faces.

I guess Eid this year had that effect on everyone. As I logged onto WordPress to read posts on my feed,  people were sharing their feelings of sadness and loss.I tend to avoid thinking about such feelings. I am that girl who will always look cheerful no matter what. Tejas’s post on his catErshad’s post on death,and revels’s thoughtful post on trust made me realise how happy occasions can be marred with feelings of sadness.Death is certain. Death is inevitable.The impact of death is a mental smack. Getting a smack on the face hurts but only for a little while. The pain subsides. But a smack on the heart, you know that feeling where you are feeling numb, your brain feels like it has frozen, because you can’t process anything. The Earth is still rotating, people are still going to office, kids are still getting herded off to school, everyone is laughing,socializing but for you it’s like everything is in slow motion. You are not part of the real world. You are not hungry, you feel no emotions. Just numb. A smack on the heart. And the heart stops beating. No emotions.

I remember the time when someone messaged my dad on Facebook to inform him the death of his friend. A close family friend that had been there from the start when we lived in Dubai.Our families were real close. My dad’s phone popped up with the message’s notification and since the phone was close by, I picked it up to hand it over to my dad. I glanced over and read the message and froze in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it. All day at uni I was remembering the family memories of when that uncle and his family with lovely daughters used to come over. Uncle was a jovial man who had diabetes. His condition had become so serious that the toes of his right leg had to be amputated and he had become blind in his later years. Even so, he was the most cheerful optimistic man who greeted you with utmost warmth when you met him.

My mum was a chemistry teacher at a secondary school in Dubai. When I was 10 years old, her school took the school kids to an island for excursion. It was a 2 day trip so the supervising teachers were allowed to take their children along. And so my brothers and I went along mum to Seer Baniyas island. The trip went amazingly well and everyone was having a great time. While returning, one of the school kids decided to get a bit naughty and ran along, diving head first into the open sea. His friends rushed along with him. Mum and other teachers started calling out for them to come back. And return they did. Except the one. The first one. The pioneer. The mastermind. Everyone started shouting his name to tell him that his prank was not funny, he better show himself up. Little did we all know, he had sunk to the bottom. He had swum to an area where the sand sloped off and as he stood up to breathe in air, his feet gave way and he was lying at the bottom. The outside world was shaking their head, imagining the prankster to show up at any time. As minutes passed away, comments on the idiocy turned to panic and frenzy and the male teachers started diving in. After what seemed like hours, a pearly white body glistening with water and frothing in foam, suddenly appeared from beneath the sea. A helicopter suddenly came in view and the school boy was put in a stretcher and flown over to the nearest hospital. The mood in the bus was eerily quite, everyone muttering and mumbling prayers amid sniffles and tears. After a while, one of the teachers got up and gave a speech that I didn’t understand. But all the girls and teachers started crying audibly. My stomach lurched as I anticipated the news but I still had to know. So I turned to this girl, who was another teacher’s daughter and who I had befriended during the trip, to ask what had happened. The prankster had fooled us. He hadn’t gone to swim, he had gone to die. The anger was great, the anguish even greater. He was my mum’s favourite student.He was a bright and obedient student. Only this time he didn’t obey. And it cost us all. His mum couldn’t bear the shock and slipped into coma. And to this day, we avoid going to beaches. The school disbanded excursions for years.

Time does heal.It has been 12 years since but every time we remember that trip, a pain shoots on the inside.The memory is always there even if it is muffled by the chaos of life.

***Image via Google

He won’t bite. He will just maul you to death.

So WordPress does this weird thing where you save a draft and it schedules it to post and you schedule a post to be posted on Saturday and it just publishes it which is what happened with this one.I quickly removed it but it was too late and people who got my new post in subscription feed emailed me to ask where the new post was.So I quickly finished it up and am posting the would-be Saturday post today.Enough of my blabber.Enjoy.

This post is inspired by Sulphurman’s post on dogs.Go check it out as his posts will have you nostalgic for the hassle and dazzle of Indian streets and golgappes,chaats and the cows that form a makeshift round-a-bout where ever they chose to sit in the middle of streets.

Although my fair share of experiences with dogs have been little than what most people can go on for hours about, there are two incidents that stick in my mind. For dog-lovers and dog-owners who are reading this : I DO NOT let me repeat DO NOT hate dogs. Ever since Simba came into my family, I have mutual love for all animals. Animals that don’t seem to jump up to your shoulders to sniff and bare their canines (pun unintended).Even so, my fear for animals have decreased considerably. In fact I go all mushy when I see kittens or baby goats and had the opportunity to pet the latter while on my visit to India last year.

baby goat

Onlookers came to know that I didn’t live there, that I was an NRI, born and brought up abroad, because who really looks adoringly at the goats chewing loudly, minding their own business?

India, with its already booming human population, can also easily account for the highest dog population, given the amount of stray dogs barking at every corner or howling at night throughout suburbs and cities. One dog starts howling, the whole pack imitates and pretty soon the next street dogs and then the whole town is filled with collective moaning of dogs. It was some thing I got used to while falling asleep and so, when I returned to Australia, the sheer silence of nothingness kept me awake for hours at end.

Once I was out to shop with my mum and we were stuck in the traffic. In bustling India, being stuck in traffic is awesome because there is never a dull moment. You get to hear verbal abuses of drivers “Chal bey, dekh ke nahi chalta (Oii move!!Fool can’t see where he is walking)”, the afore-mentioned cows walking ahead ever-so slightly at a snail pace, swishing tails in the process and looking at you in mock innocence and incomprehensibility when you honk the horn at them to hurry up. Then a driver gets out of his car to smack the cow’s behind. Meanwhile you hear a baby crying and turn your head in the direction to see where it is coming from. Aaah little kids running through the dirt, one fallen onto the gravel, crying,holding up his bruised knee. Anyway so I saw this stray dog minding his own business, when a 25 year old something guy, just kicks it in the face. The dog howls in surprise and pain and receives another kick. My heart lurches at this assault and I wish to get out of the auto and run to this sadistic guy and kick him the face but I can’t and I don’t. To this day, I wish I did. So yeah, I don’t hate dogs, I just fear them. Something that white Australians don’t get. What they do get is offended if I see a dog and run in the opposite direction. They would rather I scream at the sight of their 6 month old baby than shriek at the sight of their munchkin boo Lady Diana.

Incident 1 : I had gone to my neighbour’s house with my 3 year old cousin and was waiting outside after knocking the door. The door opened ever so slightly and a black daschund-size dog whizzed past my legs onto my baby cousin prancing in delight.Dog prancing not my cousin.My cousin was running around my legs in circle crying and shrieking asking me to pick him up, the dog chasing him and I am frozen in terror screaming my head off. The aunty doesn’t know what to do so she calls her teenage son who bribes the dog with treats. Dog leaves, I pick my cousin up and we dart out of there forgetting the purpose for which we had gone to their place. To this day, I avoid any sort of contact with the next door neighbour.

Incident 2 : It was a nice sunny day and I had taken my 3 cousins (aged 10,7 and 3) to the park. I was pushing the 3 year old on the swing and the 10 year old was pushing her 7 year old sister and we were laughing and chatting away when a door nearby park opens and a huge dog (what is with all these huge dogs? why not a chihuahua?) comes rushing.

dog runner

All of us start screaming. In reflex action, I forget my cousins and rush for my dear life (Hey, don’t judge. It was a do or die situation). The dog runs after me and I am screaming and crying and running circles in the park, the dog chasing me in joyful barks with its tongue lolling around its chin and my cousins screaming out my name like a jinn had possessed them. The owner is calling out the dog’s name but the dog is busy enjoying my squeals of terror to listen to its master. Like in any horror movie, I trip and the dog is over me and I close my eyes because it’s all over.The owner yanks away the dog and mutters an apology but he is clearly insulted at my offensive behaviour. I don’t know what he was expecting : for me to bow down to his dog or what? Naah man ain’t gonna apologise for your hyper canine mate.

dog meme

Dogs and desis do not gel.Well 95% don’t. Apparently Pakistanis are up in the game with most of my friends adopting furry poodles but for Indians and Bangladeshis :  well the hatred is as much and as real as for each other.

***Images and gifs courtesy of Google.

Point of appointments??

Recently my mum diagnosed me of the Sleeping Beauty syndrome.I would go to sleep early (well early for me is 12 am) and I would be unconscious till 1 pm except on uni days. Mum would try waking me up but I would be snoozing away in Fairy Land.And even when I woke up, I would feel lethargic all day, yawning in between conversations. For a young girl who only had to attend university 2 days a week, this behavior was slightly getting to my desi mum and hence she decided to book an appointment with the doctor to confirm her doubts.

The appointment was booked at 11:10 on a Tuesday. I was the one who had to make the call. The receptionist asked me all my details, medical history and booked in my appointment for “10 to 11”. I hate such terminologies : quarter to 1, quarter past 3 and all that. I mean why can’t you simply say 11:10 or 12:45 or 3:15. Why complicate it? The world is complicated as it is without people making it even more complicated. After I put the phone down, mum asked me what time did I get and I said 10 to 11. I swear the receptionist DID say 10 to 11 ok. But since my tone was a bit flustered, (I always get nervous when I am talking to a receptionist, or any stranger for that matter), mum decided to double check and called the receptionist the next day before driving me into the clinic. The receptionist says the appointment is booked at 11:10 not 10 to 11. ARRGGHHH!! I mean I know its just like 20 minutes difference but it made me sound like such an idiot.

embarassed

We reached the clinic at exact time 11:10, the time my appointment IS, the time I am supposed to see the doctor but no, the receptionist smiles and asks me to take a seat. Which I dutifully do. After 10 minutes, mum says she shall go to the nearby Coles and have a look and asks me to call her once I am done. Mum goes, I watch the lounge TV for a couple of minutes, then start browsing my phone going through social media : Twitter,Facebook, etc.30 whole minutes pass and I suddenly realize that I was so engrossed that I might have missed my call. So I go to the receptionist and ask whether my name was called. She looks at her register and says no with a smile. That sickeningly sweet smile.I return to my seat. At 11:50, I hear my name being called out and I jump so quickly that everyone looks at me. The doctor was really sweet and she told me that my tiredness might be due to anemia.I would have to come the next day for a blood test after 8 hours of fasting. Oh joy.

happy-not

Dear hospital staff, what is the point of appointments if you are just going to waste 40 minutes of my life? The doctor didn’t even apologize for calling me in late which they totally should do. I mean if you and your friend plan to meet up at a set time and one of you arrives late, don’t you apologize? Doctors aren’t even late to clinics. They are IN the clinics, in their cubicles probably playing Solitaire on their computer which is why every patient is waiting out in the lounge for 40 to 50 whole minutes. My younger brother Mikaeel had an ear pain and booked an appointment last week for 8:50 pm and got called in 9:50 p.m. OUTRAGEOUS!!! One time this patient came 10 minutes late for the appointment and the receptionist was like “You are late for your appointment. We shall have to reschedule”. Like whaaaat? If she came in early, the doctor would be late and she would be sitting in the lounge anyway. Might as well spend it in the car amongst traffic.

The whole doctor patient interaction takes about 10 minutes max, the patient leaves, doctors fill in report which takes 10 minutes and then what? Just because we are not emergency patients does not mean you can take your own sweet time. My mum reckons its a gimmick so that the clinics are jam-packed with people in the waiting lounge which shows how popular the clinic is or how good the doctors are for people to be flocking into the clinic. If that is true, then dear hospital staff, if I have a problem or I am writhing in pain, I won’t care about a clinic’s popularity. In fact I shall go to a clinic with fewer people so I can get attended to faster. Let me know what the reason is. It better be a good medical,scientifically proven valid reason because wasting 40 minutes of my life is not funny. Booking in appointments and calling in an hour late is not funny.Your receptionists who smile and say please take a seat when I arrive at time and who get confused between 10 to 11 and 11:10 are not funny.Most importantly the programs you show on TV in the waiting lounge are not funny. No, but seriously, you people should clean up on your act.

Sincerely yours,

A severely tired,mentally exhausted,physically frustrated, angry patient.

The Yes Girl

I haven’t watched Jim Carrey’s Yes Man but my friend was telling me it was about this guy who says no to everything and then goes to this seminar thing where he is told that in order to truly live life, he should start saying yes. So he does that, he starts saying yes to each and every opportunity and his life changes for the better. Sorry for the spoiler but the movie is quite old I believe and those of you who would have wanted to watch it would have already done so and those like me who haven’t, well, if you’re reading this, it’s too late (geddit? Drake reference?)

I am the opposite of Jim Carrey’s character. I can’t say no. I am the actual yes girl. And I hate that. It has gotten so bad that now when I say no to a plan or a suggestion, people look at me surprised, they can’t fathom the fact that my mouth actually formed into an O and produced the no sound when they are accustomed to me saying yes. And while everyone is blinking their eyes,still unable to comprehend, I get all flustered and reply “Ok yeah, let’s do it.” So, in the end, I end up acquiescing to whatever’s up.

49774-Emma-Stone-yes-gif-Ss8U

It’s not that I am getting forced or people drag me. It’s the fact that I feel I am getting forced into doing something. And I often question why I can never say no. Is it because I am a people pleaser? Or is it because I am a don’t want to offend people-er? I like to believe that I am the latter. I care way too much for people’s feelings. And no, I am not complaining. I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone intentionally or not. But I have realized you can’t really please everyone.And even if you try, you don’t end up pleasing yourself. Which comes back to what I am trying to put across : Saying yes to every one and everything, even if you don’t want to doesn’t make you happy. But saying no sounds stuck-up and selfish.

For as long as I remember, my friends would come up with something, like going somewhere or working together in a group project and suggesting an idea, and while I would try to explain why it wasn’t such a good idea or something to improve to get better grades, they would just override it and continue doing what they liked. And it left me with feelings of anguish and helplessness because hey, I am getting graded for the assignment as well and I know that your idea is not good,so shut up and listen to mine but majority rules and damn it, the majority’s opinion suck!!!

It’s too late for me to start being the no girl and personally saying no to everything will lead to a boring life, so no, don’t say no. But say no once in a while. I am trying my best to practice but it is not working out as I would like to. I wish I was strong enough to say no. I wish I was strong enough to not care for others and care for myself once in a while. For now, I know the very first trait I shall be inculcating in the future generations : the ability to say no.

***Image and gif via Google Images