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 ūüėõ ) 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

Talk about awkward..

Have you ever experienced moments when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you whole? I wish that everyday because something embarrassing always happens to me. They call me Awkward Aaliyah. I am learning how to laugh at myself now. It’s a slow and hard process and I am hoping I am able to learn quickly before the Earth literally opens up and swallows me (that is,when I die and go to¬†my grave). Sit back,relax and no, don’t drink your tea coz you might end up snorting it through your nose. List is long.You have been warned.

The awkward moment when :

  • you smile at¬†a fellow hijabi and she doesn’t return the smile. In fact she looks at you with a deathly stare. Like why you do this to me? We are on the same team man.
  • you see a friend from afar and shout her name and wave excitedly while running up to her only to realise she is not your friend and then walk awkwardly back to your spot (that walk of shame).
  • you are at a party and an aunty enters so you get up and extend your hand and she walks past you leaving you hanging and then you have to bring back your hand to the side with everyone witnessing that fail moment.
  • you do a hi five with a friend and they leave you hanging.
  • you are at a party and while meeting someone you never know whether to stop after two head shakes or three.

stock-photo-two-young-pretty-asian-muslim-business-woman-in-head-scarf-shake-hand-togethe-100468576

  • Or when you both turn your head at the same moment and in the same direction and end up face to face real close.
  • you are avoiding someone so you whip out your phone and pretend to text while walking past that person and bump into a pole, attracting the attention of the avoidee.
  • you are drinking fruit juice during a lecture and at the exact same moment that the lecturer goes quiet you make a slurpy noise. Loud. Everyone stares at you.
  • you ask the lady at the store whether a certain piece of¬†clothing comes in your dress size aaaand you realize she does not work there and is a customer just like you.
  • a random¬†person says hi and you respond warmly only to realise they are talking to someone on their bluetooth or earphones (Painfully awkward).
  • someone waves at you and you wave back and then realise that the person was waving to someone behind you (Mega awkward).
  • you are on the train and laugh out loud at something you are reading and everyone looks at you.
  • Or when you recall something funny and start laughing out of nowhere and everyone looks at you weirdly.
  • Or when you you talk to yourself forgetting it is a weird concept to some people.
  • you offer your seat on the tram/train to an old lady and she rebukes you for insinuating the fact she is old. And this is a white lady. Not even desi aunty. Gurrl, if you wanna look young, at least dye your hair.
  • someone says no offense and then proceeds to say the most offensive thing ever. And you have to pretend you didn’t get offended because after all they did warn you beforehand with the “no offense” (If you do that, kindly stop. You have got two ears and one tongue (a.k.a listen more, speak less. Also think before you speak. Also I shall punch you if you like being so brutally excruciatingly honest of your opinions. Not really but I do mentally fancy punching you.)
  • you are wearing heels and your feet goes woiiinngg in front of people.

funny-fail-model-memes-fall-fashion-show-catwalk-slip-high-heels

  • a white friend asks if you got a boyfriend yet or sells tickets to her club where she is the DJ. In your mum’s presence.
  • an aunty asks your mum whether she is looking for a guy for you in front of you and you don’t know where to look.
  • an aunty asks your mum for your photograph.
  • an aunty clicks a photo of you not so subtly.
  • an aunty wonders how she got so fat because she used to be so skinny when she was young while stuffing her mouth with food.
  • you attend a wedding in India and call this random dude in white suit as waiter bhaiyya,zara plate lete aana (Waiter!! Bring a plate) and it turns out he is the bride’s brother.
  • a little kid at a party insists on calling you aunty loudly all the time because you are hanging out with aunties.
  • Also when you call an aunty, “aunty” and she grimaces because she is a young 50 year old aunty who could totally pass off as your younger sister,¬†and how could one be so blind to dare call her aunty? Appi/didi/baaji is the appropriate term of endearment.
  • When an uncle or aunty makes a mistake and the Gammar nazi/English tutor in you is itching to correct but it’s rude so you end up looking constipated.
  • someone gives an oxymoronic compliment such as “oh but you are pretty for¬†an Indian” and you don’t know whether to be flattered at the insult or insulted by the compliment.
  • someone asks you stereotypical questions such as “How are you Indian and a Muslim? How are you Indian and fair? OMG you totally don’t have that Indian accent” and on and on¬†“You don’t look like an Indian at alll. I thought you were from so and so country. So are you like full Indian or half? (I often wonder if there is a typical Indian look that they have in mind. I mean India is such a diverse country).
  • you attend a Pakistani party and all of them are bashing Indians verbally.
  • you attend¬†a Pakistani party and they ask which part of Pakistan you are from and when you say Indian, they all go ” Ohhh I love Shah Rukh Khan and have you watched Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham?, I looove that movie” and start complimenting Mother India like they are Indians themselves. It is so delightfully awkward.No offense to my Pakistani friends and readers. I love y’all. Y’all are mad cute.
  • a random stranger suddenly starts speaking in Arabic and after you have checked whether they are indeed talking to you and are not on their headphones, you wait for them to complete their paragraph before apologizing on not understanding. Its awkward for you at first and then become awkward for the poor chap.
  • When you and your friends are discussing someone and you turn around and that person is seated on the table beside you. And you weren’t being too hushed in your discussion either. So now you awkwardly smile wondering if they heard you.
  • When you meet someone¬†and they have something stuck on their tooth. Or booger on their nose.And you can’t look away even if you wanted to because they have some extremely exciting news to share.
  • you are stalking someone on social media and accidentally like their photo or status from 3 years ago (A friendly tip : Create a fake account for stalking so if you do like something, no harm done).
  • an aunty’s baby is crying so loud you want to scratch your hair out (hijab in my case) and the aunty¬†suddenly turns and looks at you as if she has heard your thoughts and catches you making that not so subtle annoyed look.
  • you pull a push door or vice versa repeatedly and get frustrated when it doesn’t open and someone behind has to remind you “Umm, you¬†are supposed to push/pull?”
  • you are at the elevator and right before the doors close, someone runs through it and you scream louuud and close your eyes because that person is going to get squashed.Not really.In my defence I had a nightmare of the sort.
  • you are so busy talking to your friend that you enter the mens bathroom but thankfully someone shouts from behind and then proceeds to laugh his head off.
  • you are blushing¬†after an awkward moment and someone goes “Oohhh look you are turning red” (not helping mate) and then you turn even more red.

The first step to laughing at yourself is to make a post of the cringe-worthy moments you have encountered. And so, I invite you to let me know that I am not the only one. Tell me in the comments your funniest moments ever. Or make a post out of it if you have heaps like I do.

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.

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.

116141-australian-citizenship-ceremony

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.

confused

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 cat,¬†Ershad’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.

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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