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.

Quick Update

There’s a reason I have been on and off WordPress lately. I got engaged recently Alhamdulillah. My fiancé is aware of my blog and he is supportive of it (in fact he keeps telling me to get back on it properly) so rest assured I shall be back in full force shortly. I apologise for not keeping up and leaving you all in a lurch. Honestly speaking, I myself had no clue where life would be taking me in the past few months leading to today. But now that a big part of my future is done and dusted, I can sit back in ease focusing on my studies and blogging among other hobbies to name a few.

The wedding is in January next year in sha Allah and I am so excited. I have been looking at bridal dresses and drooling on wedding décor because you really can’t do much desi shopping here in Australia so I am just patiently biding my time till November when I am off to India for the shopping and planning. I apologise in advance for the break I shall be taking from November to February.

Right now I am doing my placement at a secondary school for the teaching degree that I am doing at uni. Its going really well Alhamdulillah. Enjoying so far although some of the naughty kids are doing my head in. But I am glad I decided to take up teaching after Biotechnology. I will be able to teach biotech at tertiary level if I do my PhD. So far I am enjoying school teaching so I am still deciding whether I should go ahead and do PhD or stay at secondary level.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with my life. Lots going on with university, teaching, planning lessons, finishing up on assignments, getting engaged, attending friends’ engagements, planning for wedding, etc. Let me know what’s up with yours.

 

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.

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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.

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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?

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*** 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.

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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.

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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.

Bored of board games??

I am a 90’s kid and as most people who grew up in the 90’s would know, board games, tamagotchis and Pokemon were the rage. In fact, my brothers and I have an ice cream box filled with Pokemon cards. My little brother Mikaeel and I were reminiscing about how we used to spend summer vacation nights playing Monopoly and how we had three tamagotchis, one for each. Mine and Mikaeel’s was a blue tamagotchi while my older brother Khalid had a red tamagotchi and we all had dinosaurs as pets. Somehow they died and I can’t recall if we ever named them. I, to this day, believe 90’s era was the best era to be brought up in.


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My parents recently hosted a dinner party where the guests were a mix of aunties, uncles and the littlies (ranging from 5 to 12 years of age). To keep the kids entertained, we downloaded a couple of animated movies. When we questioned whether they would like to watch Minions, a general response of “We’ve already watched it” rang out. After giving them a series of options such as Home, Tangled, Frozen, Up, Toy Story (all three parts), Monsters, Inc., etc, and getting “no, nope, borrrriinngg, seen that, hate that” in response, I decided to settle for my final trump card : Lion King (a movie that even I (non-repeater of books and movies) would watch countless times over and still not be able to get over Mufasa’s death). I was shocked when almost all kids made a face in mock horror for me to be so stupid as to suggest such an old classic when they found the recents so ho hum and mundane. So then I brought my board games such as Monopoly, Ludo, Battleship, Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble and Pictionary among many others.

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What I didn’t realise was that these kids were the I generation, where iPhones, iPads and iMac dominated their eating,sleeping and waking habits. They slept with iPhone’s in their hands, woke up with it ringing and ate with Youtube playing their cartoons. So naturally the concept of board games as a form of entertainment not only seemed medieval but absurd to them. And no matter how exciting or appealing I tried to make the plastic counters and cardboard game board, the kids just seem uninterested and indifferent. In the end I gave up and fetched the iPad that resulted in squeals of pleasure and satisfaction and a few minutes later the ruckus died down as they found a video suited to everyone’s taste. I was left with feelings of woe and disappointment, seeing them huddled around screen, eyes wide, enchanted and motionless, almost brain dead as zombies, recalling how I used to scream and shout at Mikaeel for taking rent money from me when I was broke at Monopoly, not considering the fact that I was his only sister.

Maybe I consider 90’s to be the best, the same way my mum considers her childhood to be the best. Maybe these kids will grow up someday and shake their heads at their kids with 4D technology and futuristic gadgets and recount on how their childhood was simple and the best. And maybe I should just consider being grateful for having such great childhood memories while understanding that each kid is living the best childhood he/she can.

*** All images taken from Google Search

Haaalllpp.. I am getting a huge zit on my forehead!!

As a teenager in Dubai, I was one of those girls who had clear skin. No it wasn’t flawless (I did have dry patches) but at least my face wasn’t festering with red spots. I didn’t apply any creams nor lotions nor any makeup. I didn’t need to. That all changed when I arrived Australia at the age of 16. It was all going smooth until my mum observed this redness on my right cheek. When I peered into the mirror, I realised I had become victim to someone’s fit of frenzy jealousy. What I didn’t realise was my days of clear skin had ended and that I would look at someone’s flawless face and ache for what I used to be.

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I turned 22 a couple of months ago and while most of my friends are over that awkward acne filled, braced up stages of their lives, all dolled up and pretty, I am sitting in front of my bedroom mirror contemplating whether to apply a week (or 2 weeks) of absence from university to tend to this ginormous volcanic eruption that is about to occur on my forehead. It almost looks like a swelling or a bruise and my mom worriedly asked me whether I had bumped against a pole. On replying “no, it’s just another zit about to pop”, lil bro chimed in “NOT AGAIIINNNN” , which just goes to show how frustrating acne is for victims and viewers alike.

I have tried various creams, lotions, acne treatments ( natural and chemical), grandma’s cures & next door aunty’s remedies but I am still yet to recall the last time I looked in the mirror and was satisfied at what I saw. Sometimes there is an invasion to fight and sometimes there is scarring to treat. My face is the battlefield on which countless of wars of bacteria versus treatments have been waged on.

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Ramadan 2015, I believe was the best short period, I could have cherished clear skin for. It was almost miraculous that my skin hadn’t spoken out for so long, so much so that even mum commented on how my skin was clear. No attacks by the oil production company and my scars were fading away. All in all I was having quite a gala time and was fantasizing on what makeup and dress I would wear for Eid and was giddy with excitement that on Eid I would be looking flawless for once. Two days before Eid, I guess I got short on preparing and planning, or maybe the facial bacteria that were exhausted with all the fasting got excited about Eid and decided to help out by going into overdrive and lo and behold, I was the proud expectant mother of triplets or possibly quantuplets of pimples. While my left cheek and forehead were as clear as a cloudless sky, my right cheek and chin were having their own little Eid party. Three to four zits on my right cheek and it seemed like they had bullied one who went away and was festering on my chin.

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And that’s how Eid was. I had my own facial guests to attend to nevermind the actual guests and their reactions.

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Honey masks and lemon ice cubes, salicylic acid and aspirin paste, cleansers and moisturisers for acne skin, my face has seen it all. I bet even the zits are like “Really Aaliyah? Are you still going to fight us with anything and everything? Haven’t you seen our strength? Haven’t you realised that we are making up for those awkward teenage years that you missed by giving you awkward adult years? I mean, c’mon, let’s become friends now alright?”

NEVERRRRRRRR!!!!!

***All images are taken from Google Search.