Saturday, April 23, 2011

Updates and a little bit of enlightenment

Assalamualaikum and hello!

I've been meaning to write since ages, posts have been piling and self-destructing in my head but I somehow wanted to keep waiting till I had a solid post in mind. Which I don't btw, so this will be the usual mish-mashed updates post.

So, updates in bullet points:
  • Sheza going to be an aunt once again, insha'allah :)
  • Sheza got a new phone, the Motorola Defy, that she lurves. She feels incredibly stupid to have spent a fortune on her former HTC after seeing what the Defy can do at nearly half the price. (Of course, one must mention that the HTC was bought two years ago when Android was just a newborn baby). Technology, I loves you!
  •  At the parlour yesterday, the attendant (is that the right word?) asked me if I lived in a hostel or if I had rented a flat. Wondering why she'd asked, I said that I lived with my husband, so she asked (almost angrily) why I wasn't wearing the mangalsutr, how could I go about like this. I laughed and told her that I didn't find it comfortable and that it was heavy, so I didn't. She smiled and said in a slightly accusing tone, 'So you live alone and nobody notices it, so you get away with it?' I shrugged it off saying 'Nobody in my family is strict about it'... to which she says 'But you can at least wear a small one, no?' By that time I was exasperated, I pointed to my abaya and said it gets too uncomfortable with that on, so I don't bother. She looked at the abaya and went 'Oh! Then it's okay.' :| I just thought about it and realized, there isn't anything in the hadith or the sunnah that asks a woman to indicate her marital status, the same rules apply to everyone.
  • I start Arabic classes next month insha'allah, I'm so excited! :D I was initially put off by the high fees, but after reading the testimonials and thinking that it was for a noble intention, I gave the pre-registration reading test and alhamdulillah, the price got slashed by half!
  • I've been working on some issues I was having, men vs. women - to put it simply, why the household drudgery always falls to women and I realized a few things:
  • You cannot have everything equally distributed in a marriage and neither can you always pick and choose. Depending on your mental attitude, you can call it a compromise or mutual understanding.
  • Like someone wise said a long time ago, men and women are equal but not equivalent. Most men will not see that the clothes need folding, that the kitchen counter needs cleaning or even go: Hello! The bed-sheet's been changed! Not for lack of trying either but that piece of code in their mind simply doesn't activate itself
  • In Islamic role definitions, the man is the shepherd to his family and the responsibility of  bread and butter falls squarely on the man's shoulders. House and family management falls on the woman's. I used to think it was unfair until I actually sat down to realize what the two entail. (Note I said management, a wealthy woman might as well hire a dozen maids to maintain her house, but the supervision still falls to her). I realized, a) Men just don't have the traits for it and even if they do, they aren't as thorough as women naturally are. Part of it could be conditioning, but not all of it. b) Even if a man wanted to, he could never give birth to a baby and would necessarily lack the maternal instinct that makes women better care-takers than men. (Read this hilarious post and the comments that follow) c) Think about all the strata of society there are, for e.g. the construction worker (I feel really bad for them, and even more for the women with little babies clinging to them). Would I fret so much about this role definition if I were living in that strata of society? In fact, even now I realize, I don't want that responsibility on my shoulders - housekeeping is drudgery until you know how to think of it. Which brings me to my next point:
  • There's so much maintenance work on earth. If you stopped brushing your teeth for a few months, they'd probably rot and fall off; if you stopped eating properly, you could fall sick or die; if you didn't watch your kids when they're crossing the road, they'd be in an accident. My point is, there's no getting rid of housework - unless you want to live in a pigsty someone's gotta do it and if that happens to be you - you have a choice: you can make your peace with it or you can ruin everyone's mood, but you'll still have to do it (btw, this ultimatum was given to me by my mom when I refused to be interviewed for rishtas :| ). So what about making peace with it? Maybe Allah ta'ala knew that housework would be a fitna (a trial) for women so He likened housework to jihad and that is such a great blessing! Imagine especially in the times of the Prophet, when there were religious wars. So, I realized, that all I needed was the right intention and attitude - and it's made a difference already. I"m not saying I'm zen all the time, but I'm getting there.
  • Finally and most importantly, 'I need inspiration, not another negoti-ation'... favourite lines from an old favourite song. You've got your inspiration (see above), stop getting into the nitty-gritty and do your job, perhaps put a little more into it than you would - happily. Then watch in contentment as your husband cooks an elaborate lunch buffet (his words) (rice, dal, shami kebab, yummy carrot curry and papad fyi) or surprises you in a way only he can - reading your mind and getting you your favourite dahipuri even though you hadn't wished it out aloud. 
  • And finally finally, there's nothing wrong with asking for help. In fact, better to do so than to crib, curse and build up resentment. For divine help: go here.
Man, I think I should have made that last point a separate post! That's it for now - fayonaraz.