Monday, May 30, 2011

Qatra hai ya khatra hai?


The M left on Friday night; Baba and I dropped him off at the airport. Last week was quite stressful, what with the parents arriving and M's packing still to be done. There were a zillion errands, though I guess the lion's share fell to M. In spite of that long rambling post, my (self-inflicted?) struggles with housework/cooking continue (which is actually stupid if you consider how little I have to do given that I have a maid). All that and general listlessness meant a bad week – lots of grrr and sniff. So maybe the One above thought: I'll send him off to New York for a month and we'll see how you feel then. OKAY, I FEEL AWFUL, now send him back already!


I'm quite grateful that M had a smooth, uneventful trip. He'd been worrying about the immigration routine (after I told him about our Homeland Security experience and some terrifying story about a cousin who was apparently detained for six hours), his family was worrying about it and all the recent O(b/s)ama happenings had him worried even more. Being a meticulous planner, he did everything he could to prepare in advance, including studying his documents on the plane! By the time he left, we were all nervous too, and everyone was waiting to hear that he'd arrived with no trouble. Turns out his fears were all in vain:


He had selected a seat at the rear end of the plane, so it took him half an hour just to disembark. I had told him there'd be huge lines once he arrived at the airport but thanks to that half-hour there were none by the time it was his turn. He went straightaway to the immigration desk where the following happened (at least what my sieve-like memory says):


Immigration officer: Hello. Aap Hindi bolte hain?


<At this point, I asked, 'Oh, a white immigration officer asked you that?' And he said, 'No, an Indian'>


M: Jee


IO: Aap Hyderabad se hain?


M: Jee


IO: Is this your first visit to the U.S.?


M: Yes


IO: Achche mazey karrein!  Welcome to New York!


<And then he stamped M's passport>


Aur welcome bhi kis se? Imran bhai! Kyaaa bhai!


And then he waved him off. :D So there's M's extreme fear of the routine and there's the anti-climax: a Hyderabadi immigration officer welcoming him! I put it all down to his mom's fervent duas. (Lesson of the day: Never underestimate the power of the 'maa ki dua'!)  I was so relieved when I heard this story, that I was guffawing (do girls guffaw?) all throughout his narration of it (which I must say, was quite entertaining).


He'd been scoffing at my oohs and aahs marveling at the wonder that is New York Sittayh (that's how our sunset cruise tour guide said it) but when I asked him how he liked the city, he sounded quite awed himself. Humph.


*  *  *


Ammaarah very kindly offered to sleep beside me on Saturday, stating that I'd feel bad sleeping alone. She sometimes asks me for my hand and wraps her arms around my arm and goes to sleep. I am supposed to tell her stories, and she doesn't like being told stories with morals or those that she's heard before. I've woken up a couple of times in the night to some sound kicks to my side -- like most little kids, her position in bed mirrors the hour hand on the clock. I'd woken up much before her this morning so when I was in the bathroom I heard her walk up to her Nanu crying, 'Peemmiiiiii, Peemmmiii kidhar gaye' and her Nanu said in her no-nonsense way, 'Uthte hi rone ki kya zaroorat hai? Yahin hai, bathroom mein'


In one of her extremely affectionate (and sometimes violent) moods she wrapped her arms around my legs and said, "Main aapku godh mein uthaoon?"


I said, "Nai, aapku maar lagti, mat karo"


And then she said, "Uno uthaye the na aapku?"


I was busy tidying up, so I said without thinking, "Kaun?"


And she just signaled with her head to her right, "Uno"


I started laughing but pretended to be ignorant. I wondered why she would feel shy to mention his name. "Kaun ji?"


"Unoich, jisse aapki shadi hui thi!"


:D :D :D


I said again, "Kaun?"


So she said, "M uncle! Yaad hai aapku?"


I said, "Meku toh yaad hai, lekin aapku kaisa yaad hai?"


To which she nonchalantly replied, "Main dekhi thi na picture mein"


*  *  *


Last night while going to bed:


Ammaarah (fidgeting and fiddling with her lip): "Aap yahan haath lagao meku – ek hole hogaya. Sssssss – bhot dard hora"


Sleepily, I said, "Aap choro woh, khud theek ho jaata"


The complaints continued. I was thinking about the litany of such pains and aches that I'd heard from her during the day and wondered how many were just pleas for attention.


She brought my attention to her lip again.


I repeated, "Aap so jao. Khud theek ho jaata. Kitne toh bhi dard hote Ammaarah aapku?"


I thought she'd get offended and defend herself against my (unmentioned) allegations of faking them.


She just giggled wonderingly - hi hi hi. "Hau… sahi bhi, nai?"


And I felt really bad to have said so.


*   *   *


The muster, fuster and I played Old Maid yesterday and the day before. It was so much fun! Especially how Baba knows immediately whenever Mummy gets the Old Maid card and then he's afraid he'll be the one getting it next and goes "Iqbal bhai, bolo qatra hai ya khatra hai?!"


*   *   *


I have no complaints about the client work that I'm doing – I feel useful. But I've come to HATE making decks. The writing, the formatting, the smart art-ting so that the audience doesn't get overwhelmed by the text, the editing, the re-editing, the comments… ugh. I just got an email asking for help on another deck.


Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin! (Btw, must add, 'na-hee', with the cutest emphasis on the 'h' is Ammaarah's favourite response to almost anything)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I often find myself opening up this website and drooling over all the beautiful rooms and houses. From there I often drift over to other design websites - and subhanallah, the creators are so talented! I especially love beds with white linen bedsheets,in a room with ethereally white walls, and then a sudden dash of colour, maybe through a bedspread or a headboard. Yesterday, at a fellow teammate's lunch treat the conversation got around to people who write holiday reviews for a living. Or a friend of a colleague who is a professional wine taster. . How I envy people who earn doing what they love!

<Blog below is a link I landed up at from the blog mentioned above. Don't you just love the template? And the general feel of it?>

Sent to you by Zari via Google Reader:

via Star Hughes Living by Star on 5/18/11

Well, I made it! Survived one of the most challenging school semesters to date, and I couldn't feel better! As long as I don't think about my three looming summer school classes… or three years of law school… I'm going to focus on the now.
What is most exciting is that finance…accounting…operations…economics… will never, ever again be a part of my life! I got my fill. And I am definitely done.

Summer Bucket List
Have a day devoted to watching romantic comedies in my pajamas. The entire day. Be a couch potato. Eat a 2-pound box of See's candies as I sob my way though the predictable happy endings that I adore. Spend another day watching the Oprah Winfrey Network. I'll need some way of coping with the end of her show.
Clean my room, car, closet, bathroom – everywhere that I have gradually been cluttering up throughout the past 5 months and only now have time to obsessively organize. Invest in a labelmaker.
Take advantage of the beautiful place I live! Learn how to surf – and not just in the whitewash. As a California native, this is a must. Also, get in on the new trend of stand-up surfing, aka paddleboarding, with my grandparents. Run on the beach. Yoga on the beach. Ignore the weird stares as people walk by my yoga poses.
Make a gourmet breakfast – and I'm not talking eggs and bacon, but the whole shebang. Homemade sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, fresh-squeezed juices, everything. Just to make up for any pounds I shed from all my surfing.
Go to lots of country concerts. I'm thinking Tim McGraw, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Sugarland, and Toby Keith. My cowboy boots will be getting a lot of use this summer. Speaking of country, see a drive-in movie from the bed of a truck. Also wearing cowboy boots. Indulge in milkshakes and burgers. (I must be hungry writing this list with all of these food references…)
The three C's: Cook, Craft, Create. Spend a day outside in the sun blasting the August Rush soundtrack while painting the most girly, dainty roses I can imagine. Keep up my adventures in cooking – watch out Julia Child! Get better at documenting my creations. And share all of this with you! I love blogging!
"We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be."
— Anne Lamott
Image from Pinterest.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The husband has to go 'onsite' in June, to Noo Yock. Apparently a lot of people think that traveling to New York now will not be safe because of Osama's death. I was just reading those articles – and I just can't help thinking whether Osama really died. Why did they have a burial at sea? Islamic tradition is burial on land. Why was he not put to trial like Saddam Hussein was? Why did they not hang him publicly? Surely, since according to the U.S., Saddam Hussein's supporters, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the LeT are all one and the same, they should have feared an uprising then too? Also, what is really the credibility of the U.S. government? Are we supposed to accept their statements as the truth after their amazing discovery of the 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? And what about all those deaths? The deaths of millions of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan… now Libya, who is going to put the American government to trial? Like Yasir Qadhi said, it must be a relief to the families of the victims of 9/11 that Osama is dead. But what about the legacy that the U.S. government has left behind after their 'war on terror'? If only they would stop interfering with other countries' affairs… And the Indian government… how could we stoop so low as to say, "Please help us find Dawud Ibrahim?" after knowing the ways of the U.S. government? Or maybe even we are like them but we don't realize it.


I'm also afraid that whether this was just a show or not, there will be more terrorist attacks that the U.S. government will orchestrate to further its hold in another country for its own interests – and then this will create a further backlash. I feel as useful as a speck of dust in the midst of all this. Feeling the urge to do something meaningful – create some light. May Allah ta'ala enable us all to do good, keep us from evil, protect all of us and bring the truth to light.


P.S.: Sorry about not responding to comments lately. I keep postponing them because I have to switch gmail accounts to reply… will do so soon, insha'allah.