ME

I thought it would take time

To let go

I thought it would take a while

For you to leave me alone

Those daydreams and

Wishes on stars

Seems forgotten

Promises broken

You promised you would

never hurt me

You promised you would

look out for me

Why do I feel

so lonely and alone

Why do I feel

I have no one at home

They say it takes time

time to heal

Band aids never

do come out easy

Then why does it

hurt still

Why do I

miss you still

I have moved on

made myself busy

But sometimes

something triggers the memory

I walk past that shop

where we tried out costumes

laughed like idiots

howled at the moon

I listen to that song

that we played on repeat

danced on the beds

sang to karaoke

We used to lay down

beneath the open sky

Talk about the future

never knew you would fly

Now I avoid

that shop, those songs

But tell me how do I avoid you

when the heartless stars

follow me along

They tell me to forget you

Its been a long while

Band aid long gone

The wound is still inside

You said you never lie

you said you would never leave

you lied when you left

why did you leave

Long drives

on curvy roads

Windows open

trying to unload

Creating new memories

Meeting new ones

Trying out stuff

Even going on a run

You said you wouldn’t leave me

You are right you never did

I see you everywhere I look

Your presence I am trying to get rid

“Quit it!!” I say

Leave me alone

You say you made a promise

You can’t see me forlorn

Leave me leave me please

Let me move on let me be

No come back I beg of you

I need to hold on I need to see

I need to mourn

I need you

need you

please

don’t go

don’t ever

let go

Lost

alone

Wild in pain

helpless

hopeless

feeling insane

********

I cry in silence

They mock me otherwise

They need to understand

Screaming out loud helps pain subside

So I stand in the balcony

Gazing at the stars

Gazing at memories

Gazing at the scars

Coz even though you ripped me

like a band aid

I can’t howl like they do

They label me with shame

Maybe

screaming will scare you away

Maybe

you might run away

So I shall be quiet

utterly still

Wait for the angel

await the drill

I know you shall be waiting

at the gates of heaven

Renew the memories

Let the games begin.

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.

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.

Life of a Loner

If you read the title and assumed that I am going to complain on how lonely I am while others are out socializing, you would be wrong. I am not complaining but I am not too proud of it either.

party

Ever since I can remember, I used to enjoy parties and socializing and having a good laugh. But coming home and entering the sanctity, the warmth and solitude of home, now that, I enjoyed that more. I still do. While everyone else is posting on social media about how much fun they are having on weekend or meeting up with their mates, my only accomplishment worthy of mentioning would be that I was successful in making delicious chocolate mousse. While everyone is clicking selfies or snapping away on Snapchat on a recent meetup, I am at home, in bed, checking it all out. Now it’s not that I don’t get invites.I get heaps of invites, both on Facebook and personal. Why don’t I attend? Various reasons

  1. Religious reasons (I can’t go places such as clubs, pubs and discos (total no-no).My friend is a DJ and has invited me multiple times on Facebook to go clubbing with her and I can’t explain to her without offending her. She seemed nonplussed when I replied religious reasons and I don’t really know how to delve into it deeper without having an hour conversation).
  2. When-there-are-no-kids-your-age reason. This mainly happens during desi get-togethers. All aunties and uncles are busy gossiping away, leaving me in charge of their little kids. They don’t officially ask me to babysit but what you gonna do when you are stuck with kids whining and crying? Keep them entertained of course!!I get bored in the process. So now I attend a party once in a while but try to avoid them if I can.
  3. When your Muslim friends invite you to a lunch and choose a restaurant which sells halal chicken but also sell pork or an Indian restaurant that has all chicken and beef menu but also sell alcohol. Now the restaurants claim that they cook and fry separately, which might be true but when you have teenagers behind the counter cooking and cleaning at such places, you can’t assume they would be too careful not mixing oil or changing oils of the fryers or cleaning dishes well enough before using it for halal chicken. I mean cleaning their own rooms seems a hurdle to them. And I was a teenager once. And I know that even though I am a perfectionist when it comes to cleaning and scrubbing, even I used to get lazy once in a while.Even if there aren’t teenagers working but adults, I still wouldn’t risk it.The chicken is not halal anymore if a drop of oil that was used to cook/fry pork gets on the chicken. I avoid such places altogether.
  4. When you go to a party but people have already formed groups or you go to a party and have seen them after ages while they have been meeting practically every weekend and are having a conversation about something that happened at a party two weeks ago to which you did not go to and hence have no clue what they are talking about. You sit there clueless, not really getting the jokes and they are laughing so hysterically, they are in tears. You feel a bit lost or the feeling that you don’t belong there. So then you vow that either you will attend EVERY party from then on or mute and exit the group.Knowing me, I do the latter.

3_reasons_why_i__m_a_loner____by_raduxt-d55gmd5

And hence, tis the life of an eternal loner who would rather spend weekends writing blog entries and playing Sudoku or word puzzles than be turnt up for the weekends. And that’s nothing to be ashamed off or pitied on.Do what makes you comfortable. The only downside is your friends are going to think you are a haughty snob but oh well, doesn’t warm tea (or coffee) and warm bed sound heavenly?

girl with tea

*** All images via Google Images. Excuse the spelling of “Because” in 3 reasons image. I inserted it  because it was spot on and fit with the article perfectly.

In the grey…

As a student at RMIT, living in the suburbs, I can safely say that I have done enough travelling to and fro city for a lifetime. 4 days a week, sometimes 5, bus and train drivers as well as ticket officers would know me by name now. The mundane task of dragging myself to get dressed and attend lectures now seem exciting to me as I near the end of my Bachelor days. I used to assume that one needs friends for the whole university experience to be unforgettable. Listening to my parents’ and older brother Khalid’s stories of hostel life and adventures or silly pranks that they used to get into, I set my foot into university in 2012, promising myself that I would make it one of those memorable experiences worthy enough to relate to my kids.

rmit

First semester was going really quiet and I wondered if I would graduate as a nobody when suddenly in my Scientific Skills class, another hijabi, Ayesha, came and said hi to me. Now one thing you must know about me is that I come across as shy when you first meet me but once you make the wonderful mistake of approaching me and getting to know me, I emerge from my multiple layers of shyness and blast you with my philosophical depth. By the end of class, we had exchanged phone numbers and details about ourselves and interestingly enough we had a lot in common so we hit it at the start. Since I was still on a Nokia, we exchanged Facebook details to chat and exchange memes and gifs. I don’t think whatsapp wasn’t even a thing back in 2012. A few weeks later, my mum got a call from Aisha’s mum and we were invited to dinner at her place where we got to know each other a bit more. Both mums sighed in relief when they realised that their daughters were studying the same course and would be looking out for each other against the big bad world. Inwardly I was mighty glad as well since I wouldn’t be stuck outside class or in practicals, wishing for someone to pick me to be their partner. As days rolled into months, I got to know every little itty bitty detail about Ayesha so much so that we were inseparable at university and at home (constantly chatting away). Other friends in my group circle would even laugh when they would spy either one of us without the other and ask how we were even alive without the other half.

lecture hall

Alas those days were to end. Ayesha was engaged to be wed and had to finish off a semester during a vacation. I, with no such plans as of yet, am still trudging to university these days to complete my degree. While everyone believed that I would go into bouts of depression from which I would never regain to continue uni, I proved them wrong by still attending lectures and practicals dutifully. I won’t lie, I hated the first day. I felt abandoned and desolate among the chaotic chatter of excited first year students. As days passed, I realised that there was a whole different level of adventure awaiting me to explore on my own. I got more independent and organized as there was no one to remind me of due dates. I could decide whether or not the lecture was worth attending to without someone riddling me with guilt. I could leave the uni straight after the long hour pracs without having to wait for someone to get rejuvenated by a cup of tea from the cafeteria (I don’t drink tea, I watch people drink tea (well not watch, wait) ). I could be of free will and decide on plans without someone debunking them because they had other plans or simply weren’t up to it. I could just sleep in as long as I wanted to and get to uni 5 minutes before lectures/practicals without someone waiting for me hours earlier. I can now explore the city and travel in any direction I wish to without someone complaining of tired feet. I feel anonymous and obscure and I relish that feeling as well.maxresdefault

People assume that just because a certain someone has walked away, that life will never be the same. And that’s true. It will never be the same. It will be different. Sometimes that difference is what makes you realise you can still be you without needing someone. You are a whole. And while I will have many funny anecdotes of me and Ayesha to relate to my kids, I shall also have loads of nostalgic memories of my university experienced first-hand by me. No recommendations, no suggestions. Just me and the city.

*** All images are from Google Search.