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.

Breaking stereotypes

Indians are a minority in the Western World. Scratch that, I meant Indian representation is low in the Western world. There are certain stigmas and stereotypes associated with us Indians that I would like to clarify doesn’t work for all of us. We are all not the same. So why generalize? Below are a few points that I would like my fellow white people to read and grasp. Also, not all Indians worship cows and not all Indians have the accent and we all don’t do the head shake bob thing.

  • I am an Indian but I can’t tolerate spicy food. My eyes, nose and ears get red. There is waterworks everywhere.
  • I am an Indian and I hate bangles. They always make sure you are aware of their presence at the most inopportune moments and somehow literally feel like a load lifted by my hands.
  • I am an Indian and I can survive without eating curry. Really, I can.Pasta over paneer.
  • I am an Indian and a Muslim (shocker, I know).
  • I am an Indian and can converse in,read, write and understand fluent Urdu.
  • I am an Indian and I don’t speak Hindu (fyi Hinduism is a religion and Hindi is the national language so technically no Indian you will meet will speak Hindu and yes I do speak Hindi).
  • I am an Indian and I wear an abaya instead of sari. So yeah I don’t “look” like the typical Indian.
  • I am an Indian and don’t like wearing gold.
  • I am an Indian but do not know how to dance Bollywood.
  • I am an Indian but I don’t watch Bollywood movies.
  • I am an Indian and no Shahrukh Khan is not my neighbour. Neither is Shahid Kapoor nor Salman Khan nor any other celebrity.
  • I am an Indian and I don’t hate Pakistanis.
  • I am an Indian and will not get forcefully married to my cousin. I guess I shall be conforming to the stereotype of an arranged marriage but neither will it be forced nor will it be with my cousin.
  • I am an Indian and I live in a nuclear family.
  • I am an Indian and I am not a cricket lover.
  • I am an Indian and I am not an IT professional. And neither am I a doctor.
  • I am an Indian and my degree is not fake.
  • I am an Indian and I am not cheap/stingy. I don’t dine at restaurants because of halal issue not because I am a miser.

Yes, such Indians do exist.And yes, there are Indians who eat spicy food and can’t survive without curry. Point is : there are all types of Indians.And all are cool and awesome.

Shake it Off

So recently a friend of mine got the honour of becoming Australian. She invited me to attend the Citizenship ceremony which I dutifully did, given that she didn’t have family here and hence no one to capture the auspicious moment. My friend along with 50 other people took the oath and pledge and sang to the national anthem. After the whole process got over, the mayor stood up to hand certificates to the newbies and click photos.

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I was in the audience observing the excitement rippling among people. Some Indian dudes even rocked up in formal attire with business suits and ties and broad smiles.Indian aunties rocking up Eid and Diwali outfits the whole chammak challo. I am not calling against anyone but it was embarrassing watching all this. India is a stable country. No wars going on as in Syria and other countries. Yes, we are still counted as a third world country but alhumdulillah we are up in the game, technology,financial stability and safety wise. And yet it felt like the room was filled with refugees who were desperate to shed their identity and any links to motherland to be embraced and accepted by the warmhearted and welcoming country.

Anyway the main issue that I wanted to address was this : Australians and when I say that I mean non-Muslim white people, have understood and realised that hijabis equal to no-shaking hands.They are gracious enough to accept and respect the view without taking offense.They know that us hijabis cannot shake hands with a non-mehram male and cannot show the beauty of our hair to non-mehram male. Heaps of other stuff too but the focus today is : not shaking hands. So the mayor is handing out certificates and shaking hands offering congratulations. Next up is a hijabi. Hands get extended. Not the mayor’s. The hijabi’s. That’s right. This hijabi forgot she is a hijabi. People were not only throwing away nationalities but also religion lol. The mayor is confused. This goes against the hijabi code ethic that he has been taught. He had seen her and had dropped his hands to his sides. But she has the palm outstretched. Awkward moment passes by. Actually many moments pass by. He finally gives in and shakes her hand clearly confused as heck.

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The funny thing was this hijabi wasn’t even the excited kind.She was calm and collected and assumed she was embracing the Australian culture wholly by this small act. Dear sister, I get it you are frickin excited that you became an Australian. But please shower that excitement on your fathers and brothers and sons aka your mehrams remember? Shake their hands million times over, ain’t no issue. Australians are already confused about Islam as it is. You are not doing anything to clear the confusion. I have a graduation ceremony to attend in December. If hijabis like you stomp up on podiums and shake the mayor’s, the university president’s hands, it is just going to get more difficult for me when I go up there and refuse to shake hand due to “religious reasons”. I ain’t no preacher. I just want a simple life for me.And a simpler life for the poor mayors and principles and other male hand shakers whose views on Islam is distorted due to conflicting attitudes we hijabis give.

***Images and gif courtesy of Google.

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

Cousins Take Control

I am the only girl in my family. Fortunately. I don’t need to share my things and more importantly my bed. I always used to yearn for a sister as my two bros are busy being boys, talking non-stop about cars and video games and other boring boy chatter. I do my girly chat with mum who makes it up for the absence of my sister by patiently listening to my blabber of the day but its just not the same. Often I can hear my brothers in their room talking late at night while I lay in my bed silently in my room, unable to sleep and wishing I had someone to talk to as well till I fell asleep. That changed recently.

So my aunt and uncle recently went to Hajj (The Islamic pilgrimage to the Holy Place of Makkah). They left behind their 3 kids (the cousins I was talking about in my last post). 2 girls (now aged 12 and 9) and a boy (aged 5).All of a sudden the house that was once masked with silence of adults quitely working on computers and laptops was now enveloped in the giggling and hysterical laughter of little kids. While I am enjoying playing ludo and watching animated movies and discussing latest teenage trends (who else hates Justin Bieber’s new haircut?), the noise and shrieky shrill piercing cry that emanates when I cut my cousins at Ludo is something my eardrums is getting adjusted to.

Another thing that I am getting adjusted to is the presence of a living being or rather living beings in my bed. You might have seen those sleeping positions : the foetus, the starfish etc. that tells what personality you are based on your sleeping position.

renotalk-sleeping-positions

I think the people who made that chart forgot to add the kicker, the hoarder and the pusher. I am the foetus. My cousins, on the other hand, not only create ruckus when they are awake and running around but even when they are asleep. The youngest kid, the boy, is hoarder. He likes to hoard onto the bed space. This leaves little space for me to curl into my position. The eldest is the pusher. Normally she is known to be the silent sleeper but I guess change in sleeping environment tends to mutanise your sleeping ability because she tends to push me out of the bed with her outstretched legs.Lastly, the evil (and the cutest) out of the three is the middle one : the kicker.Known to kick her feet around while asleep. She probably dreams of playing soccer or Beckham tutoring her to kick hard because skinny as she is, her kicks pack quite a punch. Its a good thing I have late afternoon classes as I can compensate for sleepless nights by sleeping in.

In conclusion, they have made me realise what a blessing a lack of sister in my life can be. And although I love them to bits and life seems louder with their presence, peace and quite at the end of the night is what I am starting to pine for.Even my queen size bed would agree.

***Images courtesy of 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.

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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.

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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.

Fangirl Loses Her Fan Moment

Fangirls are in. Obsessing over a celebrity/books/movies is cool. I hadn’t realised that I was turning into the stereotypical obsessive girl who is fancrazy over a celeb until recently. Who has heard of Lilly Singh, aka Superwoman on Youtube? Put yo hands up in support. Oh wait, I can’t see you. Let me know in the comments below then. And if you don’t know who this awesomesauce chick is you most definitely live under a rock because she has 6 million subscribers on Youtube and if you are not among those 6 million, you better re-evaluate your life.

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So Superwoman is in Australia at the moment. Sydney specifically which is a total bummer as I live in Melbourne. She is here to attend the YouTube fanfest along with other Youtubers such as Bethany Mota,Jenna Marbles,Lauren Curtis among many others.Superwoman is an all-rounder entertainer which basically means she does rants, collabs, skits (I love her parents especially her dad Manjeet, sorry Lilly I love you too but Manjeet is extra special and extra funny) and songs. She also vlogs which I watch dutifully especially since she is in Sydney so I need to monitor her movements in case she announces that she might be popping into Melbourne. What I didn’t realise is that she uploads her vlogs a day late.

I have late classes on Wednesdays and I leave home at 12 p.m to attend my 1:30 lecture. I was still in bed at 10:30 am when my phone buzzed. I picked up the phone to check who was texting and one my friends had texted that Superwoman was at Southern Cross Station a.k.a the very station I get off at for university a.k.a SUPERWOMAN WAS IN MELBOURNE!!! I lost it.

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She hadn’t announced in her vlogs or even teeny tiny hinted about it (the vlog in which she said she would be coming over was uploaded after she had come and gone).Now even if I got ready in a supersonic speed and reached Southern Cross (an hour away from my home) I wouldn’t be able to meet her and I was soooo mad. I don’t know if I have the right to be mad at Superwoman. But I was mad. At myself. Soo many emotions. I had the chance to meet Superwoman and I lost it. I was the hysterical fangirl. I was a fangirl. I had morphed into those fangirls and I hadn’t even known and you know what? I am not ashamed.

   
 At least I was able to stand at the same spot as her. Above photo is mine and below is Superwoman’s taken from her fb.

***Feature image and gifs courtesy of Google Image

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.

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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

Ego, Patriotism and a Whole Lot of Hatred

I usually write disclaimers at the end of my post but since this is such a sensitive topic I shall start with saying that this is not a hate post aimed at Pakistanis. I have heaps of Pakistani friends, in fact ever since I came to Australia I have more Pakistani friends than Indian. All lovely and gorgeous. Now that I have buttered you up, leggo.

It all started when Saif Ali Khan released the movie Phantom which is based on the terrorist attacks that occurred in Mumbai on 26 November 2008 by a militant group based in Pakistan.Naturally Pakistan decided to ban the movie to which Saif Ali Khan’s response was “I don’t have faith in Pakistan”. This statement created a Third World War within the Pakistani community as legendary actor Shan Shahid took to social media to encourage Pakistanis to show their patriotism by not watching Phantom and setting the #BanPhantom hashtag trending .Faisal Qureshi, another prominent TV anchor, made a short video blasting and ridiculing Saif Ali Khan. Meanwhile Pakistani actress Mawra Hocane showed her support for Phantom by tweeting that Phantom is against terrorism and that she would watch Phantom and then decide whether it is good or bad.To which Shan tweeted  “Should we ban the actress who supports anti-Pakistan movie? #banphantom #banmawra”. Mawra received backlash and heaps of hate comments, people unfollowing and threatening her while questioning her morals and patriotic stance.

Shan-Vs-Mawra

Now being an Indian Muslim, I have faced this kind of racism. No, I didn’t have people blasting me on Twitter like poor Mawra but within the circle of friends, I had to endure jokes on Indians. In their defence they claimed that Indians = Hindus. It is 21st century and people still don’t understand that religion has no boundary. The common misconception is that all Muslims fled to Pakistan during the Partition. India has majority of Hindus, yes, but there are also Muslims,Christians and Buddhists. People still wonder how I am an Indian if I have a hijab wrapped around my head and not a sari wrapped around my body. And no matter how many people I meet and get introduced to, they all claim that Indian would be the last nationality they would label me with. I get asked if I am a Pakistani. If a Pakistani got asked whether they were Indian, they would choke and faint, such an offense being Indian is. But being a Muslim, our Prophet has said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action.” and alhamdulillah for my upbringing, my parents never instilled hatred against Pakistanis, or Jews, or any race and religion. So I find it childish that my friends have been brainwashed to believe Indians are the enemy (Again by Indians they mean hindus). And I won’t say that its just one-sided. The feeling is mutual. Hindus don’t gel well with Pakistanis as well.But I have Hindu friends and I have never heard any racial outburst or comment towards Pakistanis at any events that we meet up. We, Indians, are too busy gossiping about each other’s kids and politicians to be bothered about our neighbours.

And that’s where it gets confusing to be an Indian Muslim. Being an Indian, living among Pakistanis, you keep hearing people stab India and Indians. Being a Muslim, you hear Indian Hindus not getting well with Muslims.Alhumdulillah, I haven’t experienced any such hatred but there are communal violence that take place in India somewhere or the other.

My message to Pakistani people is : Being a Muslim, you have a huge responsibility to represent Islam. It is not right to bash others.It is not right to vilify others nor is it right to humiliate and ridicule others. Bury the hatchet of hatred and learn to sow the fruits of unity.

My message to Indians is : India is the motherland. India gave birth to Pakistan and Bangladesh. Indians have to act as the bigger person here. After all a mother never competes with her child. Bury the hatchet of hatred and learn to sow the fruits of unity.

I am an Indian. I am a Muslim. And I don’t hate Pakistan/Pakistanis.

***Both images via Google Image