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.

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

Take my Advice..

I am nearing the end of my degree and as I am approaching graduation, I am getting this apprehensive fear of the future.

apprehensive-young-woman

When I was little, and the elders used to ask “So, what you are going to be when you grow up?”, everyone else was rattling off their career aspirations and hobbies and I would have no clue. I would blurt out “teacher” when my turn came but that was only to get everyone off my back because everyone else would be peering into my face or repeating the question until I gave an answer. Growing up, I felt weird among my friends because they knew what to do whereas I didn’t have a single clue. My mum would put my worries to rest by assuring me that I would figure it out when the time came. And then as I passed from one year level to the next, the pressure of an ever growing mountain of classwork, homework, getting highest grades and getting into a medical degree just kept mounting up. I had no time to think, no time to sit back and relax and think about what I actually saw myself doing in the next few years. WAIT!!WAIT!!HOLD UP!!PAUSE!!GO BACK!!!MEDICAL DEGREE?? WHERE DID THAT COME FROM??? That’s right. I didn’t know when it happened, but suddenly I was telling everyone that I wanted to become a doctor. No wait, everyone else was telling me that I was going to become a doctor. And even though I get nauseous when I see blood, suddenly I was working hard to get ATAR score of 99.99 to get into medicine. Everyone else was telling everybody else about me aiming for medicine but no one was telling me how to achieve that dream. No one wanted to tell me. No one wanted competition buildup for their kids. No one wanted their suggestion to be taken in the wrong way if things didn’t turn out right. Everyone kept mum. Now if you recall, I had arrived Australia like a year and a half ago. I had no clue about the workings. I had no clue about getting tuitions. I had no clue where or who to go to for tuitions. I had no one to guide me, no one to coach me, no one to tell me what units to take. That I could have taken Biology and still gotten into medicine. No,everyone assured me that taking 2 maths units, physics and chemistry was the way to go. That subjects that I would drown in would help me in getting into medicine. That studying whole textbooks all by MYSELF was what every student does. Little did I know everyone else was going for tuitions.

I did not get 99.95. I did not get into medicine. I did not meet the demands of what desi community had placed onto me.

cry gif

I got into Bachelors of Science (Biotechnology). At every desi party I would be the target of aunties clicking their tongue in sympathy for my failure. I would feel down, I felt I had let my parents down, my relatives down, the whole of India down. Aunties would surround me and question my errors and interview my faults because they wanted to avoid the pitfalls that I had fallen into during my journey. They wanted to know what shortcuts they could take for their kids based on my shortcomings.

3 years later…

I attend a party and see this aunty whom I haven’t seen for long. I go to her and chat with her and ask about what has been happening. Apparently her elder daughter was in year 12 and she had stopped attending parties to concentrate on her studies. I asked whether she is still pursuing the dream of doctor and aunty exclaims “Doctor?? No waayy!!! I don’t want my daughter to become doctor. Do you know they have to do night shifts as part of degree? It is very unsafe for girls. Do you know its a 5 year degree? Too lengthy!!And plus my daughter doesn’t have interest in medicine. She told me she wants to become a teacher. I also like that. Best job for girls.” I look around and see all aunties nodding their head in unison.

I lose consciousness.

Merida_faint

*** All images and gifs via Google Images.

Mind of its Own

So last night I got sick, like really sick. Fever, cough, blocked nose the whole package. I lay down on my bed underneath the blanket. The bed was bitingly cold against my hot skin and I couldn’t bear to lie down upon it but I had to. I covered my whole body with the blanket and rolled into the shape of the fetus but after a while I started feeling breathless and peeked my head out to breathe. The ice-cold air hit my face,nose and ears so I covered the rest of my face but let my nose out for air ventilation. However if you remember, the ventilation was blocked that is I had one congested nostril and breathing through only one was getting me breathless.

kim-possible-sick

My mouth opened to help in the process and I started gulping down fresh air as a person who was drowning would when he would rise to the surface. Meanwhile the rest of the body that was covered in blanket was not only screaming fire (fever + heat build up by closure of fresh air) but my throat was feeling that I was neglecting it and so it started drawing attention of not only mine but my whole household by racking into dry itchy coughs. Mum bought warm water and lozenges to appease the throat but the throat was having none of it. I shot out one of my legs outside the blanket to cool it down but the leg ran back inside the fiery blanket after experiencing Antarctic isolation outside. Coughs and shallow breathing aside, my hands were deadly cold and my body would scream if I rested my hands against the feverish chest/stomach. My hands therefore got exiled to Antarctica outside.

By this time, my brain who was busy commanding the white blood cells on the battle that was raging against the army of viruses attacking my body, had enough of my indecisiveness and decided to shut me down by producing melatonin. I finally started getting drowsy and was almost giddy with happiness for the fact that I no longer had to deal with problems because I would be dead for a few hours at least. My eyelids started fluttering,my smile started widening as sleep welcomed me into its open arms. As I started getting comfortable into sleep’s lap, the throat probably got jealous because it started throwing tantrums. Series of coughs later, I looked around for sleep which was miles away putting another baby to sleep. Frustrated, I downed a glass of water & turned to my phone for solace and comfort. It has been 2 hours now and I got the idea to blog about it. When the throat saw that I had featured it and given it an honourable mention in today’s post : it started beaming with pride. It has quieted down considerably and I am thinking that while it is busy boasting to other body parts, I shall quickly catch a few zzzzz.

flu

Good Night!!

***All image and gifs via Google Images.

You know you are desi when..

  • your mum asks who is going to marry you if you wake up so late.
  • your mum asks who is going to marry you if you don’t learn to cook.
  • your mum asks who is going to marry you if your roti ain’t round.

roti

  • your mum asks who is going to marry you if you don’t keep your room clean.
  • your mum asks who is going to marry you if you don’t know how to do the laundry.
  • your relatives ask who is going to marry you because you didn’t turn out to be a doctor.
  • your relatives ask who is going to marry you with all that NRI attitude.
  • you get to know the requirements of being eligible for a proposal (for a girl : young,fair,slim,tall,doctor,good-looking, great at household responsibilities, can cook, clean, soft spoken, well mannered etc etc. and for the boy : good salary)
  • you hear aunties talking about complexions (bechaari ka rang kam hai (poor girl is dark skinned) or parhne likhne main kuch nahi lekin rang bohat saaf hai (does not excel in studies but is really fair)).
  • you have billions of events to attend from birthdays to weddings and funerals and graduations etc.
  • you attend desi parties and have no one your age group to talk to.
  • you attend desi parties and its full of discussion on how corrupt your country is or how politicians are greedy and useless and not fulfilling their promises.
  • you attend desi parties and its full of gossip.

gossip

  • you attend desi parties and meet an aunty you have never seen before who questions everything about you from the moment you were born to your future plans, hobbies,career aspirations either to gain information for gossip or to check whether you would be a suitable match for her sister’s son back in India who is doing M.Tech and already has a job offer.
  • you attend desi weddings and all aunties be looking at you rather than the bride because they are searching for a bride for their sons.
  • you can’t wear makeup to a party (eyeshadows and bright lipsticks are a no-no) because aunties be zooming in on your face and turning noses so high up in air with scorn and disgust that it practically touches the ceiling and comment on the fact that at their time girls didn’t even look at makeup before marriage and girls nowadays are wearing so much makeup that they look like brides when in fact you just wore a thin line eyeliner (not even winged eyeliner) and a slight tint of lipgloss. Mind you, these same aunties are wearing bright red lipstick and bright pink blush that they didn’t even blend in properly. I personally believe they are fuming on the inside with jealousy that they didn’t have awesome makeup and makeup tricks at their time and try to make it up now by not letting any one wear it).
  • you can’t talk about the m word (marriage) because aunties be commenting on the fact that you are so shameless but then they ask your mum in front of you,your brothers and father whether she has started to search for prospective proposals for you.

Confused_face

  • you call one of these aunties “aunty” and they wince out audibly in pain because they are only 20-30 years older than you and hence fit under the category of appi or didi (older sister).
  • your parents lament the fact that you are a disgrace to their upbringing but get overprotective when an aunty or uncle enquire about you. In fact each desi party is not complete without a boasting competition on whose son or daughter is better.

anu-aunty-11

  • your studies is all computer-based but your parents assume you are always on YouTube or Facebook or Twitter when really you are just finishing up last minute assignments.
  • you have extended relatives that you never knew about and when you visit India your mum introduces you to some random person who supposedly is your father’s sister’s son’s uncle’s cousin’s daughter’s husband.The meeting is awkward. The questions are awkward.The answers are awkward. But you gotta be polite and smile awkwardly.
  • you are a trophy, a medal that your parents have to polish and shine so the society knows your worth and what a good job your parents did in raising you up.
  • your success depends on whether or not you became a successful doctor.
  • your beauty depends on whether or not you are fair and lovely. Also whether you are thin or not.
  • your status depends on what brand of ethnic clothing you wear, what/how many cars you own, how many kids you have, how many types of cutlery dishes you have, how many succesful huge parties you throw, how many properties you own, how many high profile upper class society people you know.
  • you can’t be on your phone 24/7 because everyone starts commenting on your zero social skills and your upbringing and how rude you are being because back in their time they would greet the guests at the door and take out the guests’ slippers and attend to the guests’ needs and entertain the guests and serve dinner and after-dinner tea and sweet dishes and put on the slippers and wave them goodbye till the guests’ car could no longer be seen.

I shall stop now. Sorry for the long list.

*Disclaimer : This is a satirical post written in good humour to incite laughter among my readers. The intention was not to offend parents,aunties, desi elders in general. Some points are exaggerations inspired by real life events, some are a balance between typical desi mindsets and attitude and some are just plain fiction. My mum is a total chill person who lets me sleep in late during weekends and vacations but advises me to train myself to wake up early. She has taught me the basics but knows I will cook and do laundry when the time comes. In fact above points do not represent my parents. With the points relating to aunties, I shall let you decide.

***All images and gif via Google Images.

Confessions of a Blogger..

I started this blog approximately two weeks ago and the response I am receiving is overwhelming. Getting to read other fellow bloggers’ post, who by the way are amazing writers and poets, is inspiring. Getting to know them through their posts and comments is even more awesome. The fact that my blog is being read in countries such as Turkey, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Argentina, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, America is so mind-boggling. I can’t imagine people sitting in front of their laptops,desktops, on their phones and actually reading what I write like WOW!!!(Am I famous yet?)

famous

I started this blog as a way to vent out my feelings and to record what I was going through. I used to have a personal diary in which I wrote what happened each day. I got it as a birthday gift when I turned 13. At the time I was reading Diary of Anne Frank and she had received her famous diary when she turned 13 as well. (I named it Diary of Aaliyah Zahra(how original!)).Of course my entries were much more daily updates (and not inspiring at all) of what had happened each day rather than the thoughtful philosophical insights Anne had. As days passed, I got bored of it or maybe I became lazy. The diary would get lost among the evergrowing pile of textbooks,notebooks and workbooks of my school days. Months later, I would come across it while cleaning and throwing out the books and I would blow the dust that it had accumulated during my time of neglect and I would read my old entries and laugh at how childish I used to be. With renewed enthusiasm, I would grab a pencil and start writing again, only to get busy in life and leave it untouched. I bought it along with me to Australia but my fingers started crying in pain the minute I started writing as I haven’t done actual writing in 5 years (All my university assignments and studying are computer based). I am pretty sure my diary hates me now. It must think of me as its on-again off-again girlfriend. And now that I am writing my entries here, it must feel cheated.

A page dated February 2, 1941 from the diary of German Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg is displayed at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on December 17, 2013 as the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency hands over the document to the museum. The Rosenberg Diary, kept by Alfred Rosenberg, a confidant of Adolf Hitler whose racist theories underpinned Nazi Germany's annihilation of six million Jews, had been missing since the Nuremberg war crimes trials ended in 1946. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, a key player in finding the loose-leaf diary, said it had initially been taken by a Nuremberg prosecutor, Robert Kempner,

Because I am writing this blog and I know there are people like you reading it and taking time out of their day to provide such lovely comments and feedback (A BIG THANK YOU), I feel I have to write. Like I would be cheating if I don’t.And I don’t think I can become lazy and not post for a couple of years and then write a post apologizing and promising I am back and shall be writing and then not write again like I did to my diary. But this is good pressure. I am enjoying it. I love it when someone replies that they can relate to my post. It makes my day.

happiness

I honestly didn’t know I had writing in me. Mikaeel was the creative one amongst us. It was an established fact. He had the best handwriting (he is a guy and I AM A GIRL (life is so unfair I know). He draws amazing and my older brother Khalid and I would ask him to do our biology drawings (Mikaeel charged us with a fee of course). I used to do well in English like A’s and A+’s on my creative writing essays but that was just that. Studying and getting grades. My brothers would encourage me to do writing and had nicknamed me J.K. Howling. When I would howl about it they would say j.k. Haha so funny I know.

roll eye gif

2 weeks ago my older brother gave the idea to start the blog to enhance my writing so that I could write a novel in the future and with the support of my parents, I did. It would be my personal diary, a place to vent out my feelings, a place to rant behind the anonymous guise of social media. Little did I know, there was team internet who would be supporting me. Getting to know like-minded girls who support each other is such a satisfying feeling. Its like having sisters I wish I had.Coming back after a rough day and responding to comments or reading your blog posts and thinking OMG same just alleviates whatever I had gone through the day. Your blog posts motivate and inspire me. Keep doing you. Us girls got this. We can share the struggles of having that aunty scorn at us for not becoming a doctor. We can stand up against any desi injustice. We can do this!! Now go and do your homework or you gonna get a flying slipper on your head from your mum for procrastinating 😛

**All images and gifs via Google Images

The Lovely Ones…

So last Friday I wrote a post on racism and how it is still well and alive in Australia. I promised I would be showcasing the other section of society.The lovely ones.

I used to volunteer at St. Vinnies during my school holidays. The lovely manager over there, Miss Kate, was a terrific conversationalist. She was friendly,lively and always complimented me for my style and the skirts I used to wear. She would ask me how my weekend was and would proceed to give reviews on the next best movie that she had watched or a restaurant she had gone to with her partner. I stopped volunteering two years ago but whenever I bump into her, she always greets me with her cheery smile and twinkly eyes and asks me if I am married yet.

lady-in-suit

Another great Australian that comes to mind is my classmate Jennifer. School year starts in February and we had arrived Australia early in April. By the time, I had enrolled into school it was mid-May and classes were in full swing. New country, new school, new people. It all seemed overwhelming to me. For the first few weeks I was that new kid who was all alone by herself, too shy to ask questions, too afraid to meet anyone’s eye. Then this boisterous, bumbling Jennifer came sat next to me and all changed. She introduced herself and I knew I liked her from the start. She had a cheerful and outgoing personality and she used to offer me with whatever snacks and treats she had (I had to refuse due to most of it being haram but she never got offended). I saw her recently working at the supermarket Aldi. She was too busy to look at customers but had she not been, I still wouldn’t have had the courage to walk over and say hi. (The weird thing with me is that, if it has been a while since I have seen you last, I will try to avoid rocking up to you for fear you might not recognise me or to avoid the awkwardness of Hey!!Remember me?? I tend to believe it’s because I am an introvert, my family thinks I am just weird).

Students and teacher working in lab classroom

Last semester I had to go to an exam at a venue (Melbourne Showgrounds) that I had never been before. I was already a jittery mess and the fact that I had to go to the unknown was getting me antsy. My older brother had accompanied along for moral support but he was as clueless as I was. The indecisive GPS was not really being of much help in calming me down as it keep displaying different routes each minute. We got off at Footscray and were waiting for the tram that would hopefully take us to our destination. As soon as the tram arrived, I hopped on and asked the tram driver if he would be leading us to Melbourne Showgrounds. He said he would be going along that way but I would have to change the tram and hop onto another one which would take us 2 stops down from there. This kind sir asked me to sit in front right behind his driver seat so that he would let me know when to get off. He assured me he wouldn’t forget. Right before our stop, he announced “Students wishing to go to Melbourne Showgrounds please disembark and board on Tram 52 to get there”. I don’t know who he was, but I sure will never forget him.I got to my exam hall 30 minutes before scheduled time and my frazzled nerves had calmed down considerably.

Tram driver

Such acts of kindness and support, I shall cherish forever. These are just a few examples of the lovely acts of random kindness that I was fortunate enough to receive. I hope that I can be such a person to someone someday.

***All images via Google Images. The tram driver pictured is NOT the tram driver who helped me and Miss Kate is not the model pictured above.

10 things I am grateful for…

Wherever I go,whatever I read, whatever I watch, I always seem to see beautiful models everywhere with glistening pearly whites and long legs. Some girls in my university too. Frickin walking angels. And then I come home and see myself in the mirror. Acne scars, chubby cheeks, bespectacled eyes all greet me in unison. It’s as if I had forgotten how I looked like because my heart skips a beat with an amalgamation of feelings of shock,disappointment and yearning. I wonder how it must feel like to smile and have a set of bright white teeth glean back at you.(BTW,I don’t have yellow teeth, I just don’t have those extra, bright right in your face whitey white teeth or veneers or whatever they have.I have normal white teeth. Just clarifying any misconceptions you might have hehe).I wonder how it must feel to have slender nose that twitch back at you. I wonder how it would feel to have flawless skin mirroring your happiness. I wonder how different those girls’ reactions would be in comparison to mine when they checked themselves in the mirror. And how uplifted they must feel (doesn’t help with the fact that they are already so lifted high up with that height plus 6 inch heels). Everything seems perfect because they look, breath, walk perfect.

beauty

It was during a class practical at my university that I saw one of these angels crying. I went over and with a slight hesitation asked her if everything was ok. She shook her head and sobbed even harder. Perplexed, I was thinking of a way of comforting her without scaring her when she started spluttering words “Divorce, (swear word) broke off, rent and kicked out” before bursting into a hail of tears. After a while, I was able to make sense of the fact that her boyfriend and her had recently broken up. She was living at his place, so he kicked him out. She went to live at her parent’s place and 2 weeks later they called her siblings and her and announced they were getting divorced after 30 years of marriage.They were dividing everything and selling their joint home and splitting the money that came out of it. Neither parent could keep her in as the mother was using her money to travel the world and the dad was moving in with his new girlfriend. To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend was demanding rent money that she owed him for the last month. That was a lot for me take in, never mind the poor girl who actually had to go through this. This girl,in her early 20s,had nowhere to go. She had a job at McDonalds but that wasn’t enough to pay for an accommodation,bills and fees.

crying

And I realised that while I may not have what she has, she doesn’t have what I have. That I overlooked the other blessings in life that I had. That I took, what I had, for granted.

So here’s 10 things I am grateful for :

  1. For my parents who are the backbone of my support, who are always there for me and hold onto me when I fall, to motivate me when I am feeling down, to provide me with snacks for uni and when I return from uni, to serve me with warm food and heaps of love.
  2. For my brothers who love me unconditionally and care for me and protect me and who tease me occasionally but would do anything to keep that smile on my face.
  3. For a home and a warm bed and good food because I know I am richer than 70% of the world who don’t have basic rights to these amenities.
  4. For being mentally stable and physically active.
  5. For being born a Muslim.
  6. For having internet friends who inspire me and motivate me and for being the sisters that I never had (Yes, I am talking about you , my fellow bloggers :D)
  7. For my pet cat Simba, whose little actions of affection and adorability make my day.
  8. For being born a desi, because I don’t have to worry about rent and bills ever (not at my parents’ house till marriage and not at my husband’s house after).
  9. For being born a muslim desi because I get to wear such colourful dresses and attend heaps of functions (weddings are a 3 day event (3 dresses for 3 occasions), Eid is a 3 day event (3 new dresses :D) , aqiqas, family gatherings every weekend, etc. etc.).
  10. For the Lord Almighty to bless me with all of the above alhumdulillah.

gratitude

***All images via Google Images

East,West and the Middle

As most of you would have pieced it together by now, I am a 100% Indian who was born and brought up in the Middle East, currently living in Australia.

Fellow desis growing abroad would relate to the fact that parents try to inculcate culture in a variety of ways. For me, my parents spoke to us in Hindi/Urdu and took us to India during the summer vacations, dressed me in frocks and traditional dresses such as shalwaar kameez and lehengas rather than shirt and jeans (although that would be more a religious reason than cultural). My parents also taught us to respect elders and would rebuke us if we even joked about our teachers. We ate traditional dishes such as daal (lentil), curries and roti. We were taught to be accomodating to everyone’s tastes and to put everyone else’s needs before our own. We were taught not to talk bad about others even if they were younger to us and to not mock or ridicule anyone. We didn’t have television growing up, not because we couldn’t afford to but because my parents believed it would mature us earlier than usual.

Growing up in Dubai in the 90s, I saw like-minded selfless people who did not take the wrong meaning of what you said or did, where aunties mollycoddled you more than their children, where everyone helped each other out in anyway possible. No one had time for gossip, in fact no one cherished gossiping. Everyone cared for the betterment of others.

Cut to Australia and I not only experienced a cultural shock but psychological as well.To be honest it was latter more than the former. I mean I knew that there wouldn’t be as many desi families here than there. But even the small circle of desis that I have made here is vastly different than the group of people I grew up with. Everyone here is intent on building their own paradise. No one wants to advise or coach other’s children because they don’t want to build competition. No one wants to recommend “friends” for jobs because they don’t want to strain their own relationship with the boss.No one wants to help or give advise to anyone out of fear that the suggestion they give might be taken in the wrong way.

I used to be open-minded free thinker who gave out honest opinions as I wished. But I realised that not only people took double meanings out of it but they also later quoted me in the wrong context which used to infuriate me. I no longer speak as I please. I think thrice before I speak if I ever speak at all. What I have learnt is to keep mum at social situations.

Australia, as they say, is a land of opportunities. Too right they said. Here, I had the opportunity to get hurt. I had the opportunity to see people behind their masks. I had the opportunity to muffle my existence. I had the opportunity to grow up and meet the real world. Because Dubai was just a fairytale with its flowers of innocence and sweet gestures.

I am not attacking or eulogizing countries or generalizing its people. I am just ranting against the viewpoints and mindsets of people I have had the opportunity to get along with. Perhaps I am yet to meet selfless desis in Australia. Until then, I shall continue to be the selfless one.The way my parents raised me to be.

***Feature image via Google Image.

Mad about Minions???(Movie Review)

My brothers and I are BIG fans of Despicable Me. We love the girls especially adorable Agnes and the-giant-with-a-heart Gru  who changed our view and showed that even villains can be cool. As if that wasn’t enough,the bumbling Minions tumbled into our hearts with their mindless chuckling and giggling.

Minion2

When the trailer for Minions came out, we were excited and planned on watching it at the theatres. The trailer was hilarious and we enjoyed the 3 minute clip so much so that we watched it multiple times (not exaggerating). It released in Ramadan here in Australia and we decided to watch it after Eid when the crowds of little kids would have died down. Mikaeel’s university had not yet reopened, mine had (I skipped the lecture that day) and my older brother had returned from his class by midday. We were playing out the dialogues in the car and laughing hysterically as we entered the parking lot for the cinema. We were excited like a bunch of little kids who had heard the ice cream van. Yes, we are in our 20’s and we proudly declare that animated movies are not just for children. I bet you wouldn’t be ashamed of watching Tom and Jerry no matter how old you get.

We got the tickets and were seated in the middle. There weren’t much kids. In fact, there were more young adults like us than kids.Would have to do with the fact that it was a school afternoon.As soon as the movie started, everyone settled down. The movie started quite alright and we were awaiting for those jokes that would have us in zealous overlaughter (I made that word up : overlaughter not zealous). And we waited. And we waited. The movie ended and we waited because we thought maybe the end credits would have us rolling on the floors.

disappointed minion

Long story short : Utterly disappointed. Did not even incite a chuckle. The only funny and ingenious bits were in the trailer. So if you want to watch the Minions : DO NOT!!

Watch the trailer. It’s free. It’s funny.It saves time.

***All images via Google Images