Monday, December 31, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That's Allah


"He is controlling the affairs of all the kingdoms. He commands and prohibits, creates and gives provision, and gives death and gives life. He raises and lowers people's status, alternates night and day, gives days (good and not so good) to men by turns, and causes nations to rise and fall, so that one nation vanishes and another emerges. His command and decree are carried out throughout the heavens and on earth, above it and below it, in the oceans and in the air. He has knowledge of all things and knows the number of all things. He hears all voices, and does not mistake one for another; He hears them all, in all the different languages and with all their varied requests and pleas. No voice distracts Him from hearing another, He does not confuse their requests, and He never tires of hearing the pleas of those in need. He sees all that is visible, even the walk of a black ant across a solid rock in the darkest night. The unseen is visible to Him, and secrets are known to Him; "Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)!" [al-Rahman 55:29]. He forgives sins, eases worries, relieves distress, helps the defeated person back on his feet, makes the poor rich, guides the one who is astray and confused, fulfils the needs of the desperate, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, conceals faults, and calms fears. He raises the status of some and lowers the status of others; Even if all the inhabitants of heaven and earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as pious as the most pious among them, this would not increase His sovereignty in the slightest; if they all, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as rebellious as the most rebellious among them, this would not decrease His sovereignty in the slightest. If everything in heaven and on earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn, living and dead, animate and inanimate, were to stand in one place and ask of Him, and He were to give them everything that they asked for, this would not decrease what He has by even an atom's weight He is the First, before Whom there is nothing, and the Last, after Whom there is nothing, may He be blessed and exalted. He is the Most deserving of being remembered, the Most deserving of being worshipped, the Most deserving of being thanked. He is the Most Compassionate of kings, the Most Generous of those who are asked. He is the King Who has no partner or associate, the One who has no rival, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no son, the Most High, and there is none like unto Him. "Everything will perish save His face" [al-Qasas 28:88], and everything will vanish except His sovereignty; He will not be obeyed except by His permission, and He will not be disobeyed except with His knowledge. He is obeyed, so He shows His appreciation, and He is disobeyed, so he forgives. Every punishment on His part is justice, and every blessing from Him is a favour. He is the closest of witnesses and the nearest of protectors. He seizes people by their forelocks, records their deeds and decrees the appointed time for all things. Hearts conceal nothing from Him, for secrets are known to Him. His gift is a word and His punishment is a word: "Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!" and it is." [Ya Seen 36:82]."

(From al-Waabil al-Sayib, p. 125 by ibn al-Qayyim Rahimahullah)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5 months

Sarah, you turned 5 months old today, alhamdulillah! Can't believe that you're just a month shy of the big 6! Then we can start you on solid food insha'allah, yayy!

Please promise me you'll start sleeping better then! Since we're on that topic, can I say that the last two months have been really tough sleepwise? You wake up a zillion times in the night and in the last few days, your naps have been all over the place!

Last week was very stressful with both of us being down with cold and congestion, then just as I was beginning to make friends with other mommies in the apartment block, you caught conjunctivitis! Latching had also become an issue, so we said goodbye to your best friend, the pacifier. Or MY best friend. So I don't know who it's been more tough on. You cried a lot the first few nights, which almost made me cry too. We regressed back to the bouncer, your mosquito net umbrella broke and the new one is too easy for you to play with, and I'm still wondering what to do about swaddling you. These are such huge issues for me mainly because I'm still trying to figure out how we can sleep better without becoming a snappier, moodier version of myself. I don't think anyone else gets that, except maybe the other moms on my birth board. Sometimes, I wonder if they even should, because then I'm worrying about worrying too much!

Okay so now that we're done with the doom and gloom, there were a number of wonderfully sweet things that happened this month:

#1: It was a dreary Friday morning and I was sitting beside your abbu and you were seated between us on the sofa. You were busy sucking your middle and ring fingers. Your adb (abbudaddybaba) was looking tired so I said he should sleep more during the weekend when you suddenly burst out laughing... And then you kept laughing every few minutes. That was the first and only time so far that we saw you laughing without being provoked. You still haven't told us what the joke was.

#2: At one of your MOTN wakings, I changed your diaper and left your drowsy self on the bed to go wash my hands. When I came back in less than a couple of minutes you were fast asleep, lying on your side, one hand tightly clasped around abd's finger (his hands just happened to be outstretched in your direction). It was so sweet that I didn't dare move you till a few minutes later you rolled onto your back again.

#3: yesterday you and abd made a nice game of bidding him goodbye when he left for office: your abd kept kissing you and you would keep turning your cheek to him and laughing.

Now for some general things:
- you shout for quite a few minutes before falling asleep. This can be very frustrating because you have a really loud voice for such a tiny person and you even do it in the MOTN (all such abbreviations are carryovers from babycenter forums).
- when you're happy and you know, you screech
- you're very distracted during feedings and will frequently look up at me (thank you)
- you often show your enjoyment of something by giving an awfully cute open mouthed smile.
- you sometimes say mmmn when you cry and whisper "ha" for fun
- you can sit for a couple of minutes before toppling over which you find funny
- you give me open mouthed kisses (thank you)
- these days you keep lunging when sitting and flail like superman during tummytime
- you seem to like pooing on your poor abd and once spitup in his hair when he was carrying you around the house on his shoulders (cue open mouthed grin)
- you still can't roll from your back to your tummy
- you can get really mad and shout before you start crying
- your first train rides were mostly uneventful if you ignore the crying spells
- you're the apple of your grand parents' eyes, especially on your abd's side being the first grandchild and all

Your current nicknames: mitthi, giddu, sarahbb, chotib, cutieb, laddub, honeyb (b is a carryover from the ammaarah era), casper (what your adb calls you when you wear your white sleepsuit), choochoo (abd's favourite), pitoli mamma (baba)

I love you sarahbb.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


...when you grow up insha'allah and ask me where your 4th month post went, I'm going to say it's vanished to where your sleep has gone.

WHAT is going on with your sleep?! You're waking me up a crazy number of times every night and I know there's a 4 month sleep regression but no one I know seems to have it this bad. You better straighten your sleep because your 5th month post is hanging in the balance!

We'll be taking your first train ride today Allah. Have some pity on the other passengers and please, let me sleep.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ammaarah's poems

Nanu & Baba

Nanu & Baba are lovely,
Nanu is a she, Baba is a he,
Nanu & Baba are lovely and old.
I love them.

* * *

Mummy & Abbu

Mummy & Abbu are lovely.
Abbu is a boy, Mummy is a girl
Mummy & Abbu are lovely and young.
I love them.
I miss them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dear Sarah,

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah! Hold on for a bit... Why're you growing up so fast?!
Masha'allah, in the past few days you learned how to/have been:
- give your toes a tour of your mouth
- stuffing two or three fingers in you mouth and then making choking noises
- becoming hyperactive just before bedtime and doing things like hanging on to my arm with both your arms and trying to lick it
- making your pigeon-like guttural noises more loudly and at a faster pace
- doing your first mini-pushup and within just a day of learning how to do that...
- rolling from your tummy to your back! Alhamdulillah, I've been watching you struggle to roll over and back... And I had never realized that this was a skill that takes so much effort and persistence to learn. I was waiting to see how you would figure it out and now I see how the mini pushup helped
- I think you recognize me now, I mean visibly. Yesterday, you started pumping your hands and legs and smiled at me when I walked into the room
- Your dad says you've also learned to take the pacifier out of your mouth and sit in a contemplative mood with your pacifier in your hand. I wonder what you think about...
- these days you can amuse yourself on your own for longer periods of time by simply sucking on your fingers, or rolling around by putting your legs in the air and then bringing them back down somewhere else
- shrieking and laughing with high pitched squeaks!

Love you Sarahbb,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate understands

On Saturday, we set out for the mall, Ergo baby carrier in tow. I had used it once before at home and Sarah fell asleep while I was unpacking from our Bangalore roadtrip, so I was really excited to use it outside. Well, turns out when you have a slippery hijab, one extremely heavy diaper bag (should've lightened it) and a baby sitting in the Ergo while its straps couldn't be adjusted properly, it really gets you down. Then there was some discussion about if we would have lunch outside and I was overwhelmed just thinking about it. That was followed by my looking around at the other people in the mall -- they looked so carefree. We had walked into Lifestyle and it was terribly warm, I think they keep the airconditioning off to cut costs and I just wanted to get out. The one thing that I really wanted to buy that day, I couldn't find. I saw some people with this amazing stroller and was questioning my decision to buy the carrier and our horrible experience with the Just Born stroller after which we decided not to buy one at all for the time being. So all of this became one thick pudding in my sleep-deprived head and even though I'd started the day ecstatic that I was back in my old pair of jeans,  I started sulking so M finally asked what was wrong. I find it very difficult to articulate my feelings when I'm down and you can see that was a big list! So I just said one of the things that had annoyed me and then that I was finding 'things difficult'. To which M said, 'Look we've been outside for so long today' and I thought that was exactly my point, we had been outside for so long but I was already tired and we had accomplished nothing! (Except for a double scoop of Baskin31Robbins' Bavarian chocolate)

So if you've read this whole huge paragraph (wow!), his comment just made me even more disappointed and  I ended up ruining his mood too. When we got home I decided to go by the things I was reading about 'Wastaeenu bissabri was salaat' (Seek help with patience and prayer) and decided to talk to Allah ta'ala about how I was feeling. A few minutes later I found myself counting the blessings I had and feeling very silly (but happy) for making such a big deal out of nothing. We made up, that was that.

So yesterday I was browsing this baby sleep website (Sarah's been giving me some trouble lately, probably our fault for screwing up her old routine) and I saw this post of hers called 'It's one of those days...'

Have I ever mentioned that I keep a stash of candy (and chocolate!) on hand at all times when I have a new baby. Chocolate really does understand ;)

I was thinking about how difficult it is to explain my muddled up feelings when I'm in one of those moods, and I burst out laughing... chocolate does understand. Especially Dairy Milk Silk that M keeps getting so much of!

PS: I even have a fridge magnet that says: "There's nothing wrong with me a little chocolate can't fix" :D Well, soon we'll add patience and prayer to the mix too, insha'allah :)

A reminder

2:155 And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,

2:156 Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return."

2:157 Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


"Won't you have some shame? You build that which you do not live in, you hope for which you cannot achieve and you gather that which you will not eat. Indeed, those who came before you built strong buildings, they gathered up much and they had long hopes. So their buildings became graves, their wealth an illusion and their gatherings perished." -Abu Darda'

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fwd: Today

What a physically and mentally draining day today has been and Sarah has little to do with it. Alhamdulillah alaa kulli haal.

Some quick updates:
- Sarah will put her hands in mine when I extend them and say "Aao"
- She smiles at new people whenever she meets them. Today she sat in some stranger aunty's lap at the masjid while I prayed
- first attempt at eating out at a proper restaurant - FAIL! Unless you count stuffing in Chinese food while the significant other walks around with her a success. Again, as soon as we got home she was SO HAPPY!
- Likes di-di-di-ditcha. Laughed a few times today.
- Saw Nunu's crawling video today. SO CUTE! And her mom is SO MEAN!
- Cooked today.. Nothing to call home about. In fact, if I tell Mummy  sll the things that went wrong, she'll probably give me her standard dialogue: "Isiliye bolte kitchen mein khade rehke dekhna" :/
- The PAX could meet up but they probably won't be able to
- we sold our first bed
- it's not Eid when you're away from home or not at the masjid. Well, at least it doesn't feel like one
- Apa keeps making fun of the Eid Mubarak Sarah video I sent x(
- I miss home. I miss Kamalapuri. I do not want to attend this fancy-shmancy wedding
- I have a gomda on my head
- the last few days were tough with Sarah being extremely fussy.
- I missed doing some items in my to-do list and now I feel loserly. The blah cooking today isn't helping
- i miss my family. Yes, that much. Guess it's because of ^.
- Actually, all I can hear in my head is a repetitive strain of "intiki pota". I should probably end this post now before it gets too repetitive.
- Goodbhai

Friday, October 26, 2012

Notes to myself

Troubled that Islam-hating is becoming more and more popular in India. Part of it is propaganda and politics, but I think the fault is mainly ours, of Indian Muslims. We take to violence in an instant, we're so easily swayed by propaganda from our own power-hungry mullahs and politicians and mostly we're just ignorant... Ignorant of what society requires from us, ignorant of what the law requires from us and most importantly, ignorant of what Islam requires from us. If we were better Muslims and we feared that on the day of Judgement we would have to account for everything we do, every second... We would automatically be better citizens, better neighbours, better students, better human beings. While I'm the short term, my focus is on improving my relationship with Islam and my family, I hope insha'allah that I can contribute to society in a way that will showcase the true Islamic spirit. Help me, Alah ta'ala please help me figure out the how's and let Muslims all over the country realize that it's high time that we become worthy of being called Muslims.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Notes to myself

Some quick notes:

- Sarah's learned an amazing number of things in the last few days: more stable sitting, standing with support, trying to grab things and the sweetest thing: trying to laugh :)
- there are going to be some upheavals in the near future
- Pizza Corner's thin crust pizza is amazing
- I finally found the perfect to do list and widget combination: Astrid plus the Simple Calendar widget
- i'm addicted to two wonderful Muslim blogs: "After hardship there is ease" and They're so inspiring
- making big things into smaller pieces so they're easy to accomplish
- finally completed Farhat Hashmi's Time management lecture, notes to follow insha'allah
- quit my job officially yesterday. Felt a little sad looking at people in the lift laughing and chatting. I miss the social part of work. Wrote a somewhat senti farewell email. My manager continues to disappoint me.
- also realized that not getting a salary every month makes me uncomfortable in spite of there being no need to feel that way. I want to get back into freelancing but first I need to give deen the priority I never gave it so far. Plus, I feel guilty when i'm not paying Sarah enough attention. Insha'allah, being better organized will help.
-  was told yesterday that I haven't changed a bit. Well, the abayah helps, but yes, managed to squeeze into my old trousers yesterday. I still need to lose a lot of weight though
- apparetny first people wondered how I would manage married life/domestic responsibilities then thought I was doing well. then they wondered how I would manage motherhood and I'm apparently doing well at that too. Why do people have such little confidence in me? :/
- what Immu said, "bad ho, badnaam na ho"
- time to snooze for a bit. Often think I should change my blog name to that of a very popular blog because it is exactly how I feel: "Tired. Need sleep"
- okay bye

Friday, October 12, 2012

The fourth trimester ends!

Dear Sarah,

A quick recap of all that happened last month (you're really not giving me any time to do more)

1. We moved back to Mad Rascal Cutta (ok well, the first part). So you went on your first plane ride and of course your first visit at the airport (thank you GMR for the many childcare rooms you provided at the airport, we used two!). People tried to calm you down when you were wailing and once when you were quiet there were a few people cooing at you, trying to make you smile and as I walked away  I heard one of them say "Kitna pyara hai na". I giggled and thought: story of your life, Sarah! 

2. Let's talk about sleeping: I swaddle you after you're rocked to sleep in the bouncer and then you usually wake up once or twice in the night which alhamdulillah is finally giving me some kind of a restful sleep. I do wish you would nap for longer though! The last two days you've been fighting sleep like crazy which I really hope is some growth spurt type phase

3. After coming here you've been to ascendas and a number of baby shops to buy a stroller for you but we had the worst luck and ended up buying one at Just Born which turned out to be defective and they made us come back twice and we finally managed to exchange it for a high chair (and you haven't even started solid foods!). Please dear readers, never ever must you ever buy anything from Just Born. Even the clothes are of the cheap kind and priced two-three times what they would cost at a normal store. While trying to exchange our stroller, the store assistant found two more defective strollers and two defective high chairs! We also went to have gourmet ice-cream with your N auntie who really is great with babies. You quietly took a nap in her arms while we ate!

4. One super purchase was that of an Avent pacifier. You really seem to like this one much better than the round one you had. I guess that was really uncomfortable. Now trips outside are less stressful. Some other things that are making our life easy are the nursing cover that your Nanu stitched, the bouncer that you're addicted to, the feeding pillow from Mom & Me (I so crazy about this shoppe!), the awesome baby bather from Mee Mee from J auntie and the iPad for giving me something to do when I have to sit with you endlessly. I finally bought the ergo carrier from mom and me but this one's going to take some getting used to. Fashioned a Moby wrap from a saree of Nanima's too, it's great but takes some time getting you in and out of it.

5. You're desperately trying to sit up now, so much so that sitting in the bouncer was irritating you today. You can sit leaning against a support for a couple of minutes. When we seat you upright you love to lean forward and stare at the things in front of you. You also love looking around now, craning your neck in all directions. 

When your abbudaddybaba comes back from work you give him a shy, wide smile, it seems like a special smile reserved for him. I do love your pout when you're about to cry too, it makes me laugh when I'm getting frustrated by your crying. Sometimes the pout will alternate with a smile when you can't make up your mind. 

Rajeshwari and Nirmala both exclaimed how much you look like your dad with Rajeshwari repeating over and over again "Haall like baiiyya! Haall like baiyya!"

Until a week ago you were making many attempts to talk with lots of aghoos and the like, but somehow you seem to have stopped. I'm wondering if it's because the back to back stroller outings disrupted your schedule...

6. One quick story about your didi. Your nanu was sitting with her, going over her answer sheet (because Ammaarah said, "Khali B, B, B, boliye. Jo papers mein A aaya, woh toh dekhe bi nai!") and your didi's question marks in her English answer sheet were all facing right instead of left, so Nanu pointed out the teacher's corrections and said, "Yeh sab red marks nai rehna paper mein" to which your didi swiftly replied pointing at the tick marks, "Toh phir yeh, yeh yeh red marks kya hai? Yeh bhi nai rehna?!" Your didi is just too much! :) 

That's all for now! Let me grab something to eat while you take a nap (finally!)

(all errors are thanks to trying to type super fast while you're asleep. Also spent some time typing and cooing at you alternately so I could get this done. I'm sure you'll understand when you have your own babies. Mhee hee hee)

Monday, September 24, 2012


Suddenly, unexpectedly hit by the thought that I want to go visit a place full of strangers, strangers who don't look like me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Two months (and two days)

Dear Sarah, 

You turned two months old two days ago. Yesterday mummy asked me to bring the awesome playmat that your Immu aunty got for you from upstairs. And I remembered how when Mami brought it over when you were a few days old and said to put it away for now and use it when you were two months old, I was thinking two months...will that ever come? And now I look at photos of you from then and go, wow! Was she that little?!

You've really pakaded some aang as Munawwar bi would say, masha'allah and sometimes when you're asleep in the bouncer all rounded up, your grandparents joke that the seth is asleep. Speaking of seths, so many people mistake you for a boy, it's not funny! We need more headbands! :)

This was a great month because you began smiling and what I can call hunh-ing. You even hunhed in time to my singing the alif ba ta song! You can now maintain eye contact for more than a few seconds and will even hold long smiling conversations peppered with hunhs and other sudden utterances. A couple of weeks were quite difficult, probably because of a growth spurt where you were extremely fussy when going to bed, but the last week has been much more peaceful.

It's also been a great month because alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah... You only wake me up twice a night on most nights! This is huge considering how you would wake up every couple of hours or sooner last month. Of course now you only take short naps in the daytime which means getting anything done requires either waiting for you to fall asleep or handing you over to someone else in the house. It should become easier from now on considering I ordered a baby carrier... Can't wait for it to get here! I hope you won't drown out my excitement by refusing to sit in it!

You've beenoutside in the big bad world a few more times this month... Quite a few visits to the hospital because you caught a bad cold and yeast diaper rash and for vaccinations. Hospital visits aren't an issue because the hospital has a decent changing/feeding room (i really love that hospital... Hats off to the management for maintaining such high standards in chalta hai India!) But other visits to new ghar and visits to the passport office weren't really easy. Thanks to advice from baby center, I did have a pacifier ready and the whole rigmarole would have been a bigger nightmare without it. (What would i do without babycenter!)  We even managed an outing to Ohri's for ice-cream... I ate out after months! I  do hope that this will get easier too when the baby carrier comes in!

You're getting better at swatting at stuff and last night when I laid you in front of me on the pillow, face to face, you kept pulling at my lips with your fingers! You have a stronger grip now and will hold our fingers and occasionally one of your rattles. You also follow people when they walk across the room until they cross your line of sight. You can also figure out in seconds that the person who was with you just now has moved away and will begin bawling. Another thing that I hope the carrier will resolve (talk about great expectations!).

Just like Julia's Life in Transition (too lazy to add the URL), my favorite baby blog at the moment, here are a few of your nicknames:
Sarah mamma (mostly ammaarah), Saroo, Sarah papa, Shona (me), chinni patang (nanu), tattumunnu pattumunnu (baba), chotu, bubbu (your dad), choochoo (also your dad), tinkii (assorted nirale aunties)

Phew. Now back to getting all the chores done while you sleep. I love you Shona and please keep smiling... It's such a happy, gummy smile masha'allah! 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

7 weeks

Dear Sarah,

Two days ago you began to smile "socially". You had smiled at me earlier too but then you fell sick in between and I guess getting through the day was all you could manage. You smiled when you heard my voice and I was thrilled.   Then you wouldn't go to sleep, or if you did, not for more than an hour. This was after you kept me awake most of the previous night so by the end of the yesterday, I was at the end of my rope. Your grandparents were also surprised at this behavior and the constant crying and took turns with you to give me a break. I really don't know how I'll manage on my own once we go back. Alhamdulillah, you slept really well last night and I hope today will be good too. 

I love you so much... The world seems like such a scary place now... And when I read about deaths/famines/earthquakes/accidents I thank Alah ta'ala for being safe and sound with you and pray that Allah makes life easier for all mothers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beautiful words

 لا تدع الناس يعرفون عنك سوى سعادتك! ولا يرون مــنك إلا ابتسامتك فإن ضاقت عليك ! ففي القرآن جنتك . . وإن المتك وحدتك فإلى السماء دعوتك ! وإن سألوك عن أخبارك !! فأحمد الله و أبتسـم
"Let not the people come to know except of your happiness, and let them not see except your smile. If life becomes constricted upon you, then within the Qur'an lies your orchard. If you feel curtailed and restricted, then to the heavens raise your call. And if they ask you of your affairs, then praise Allah and smile. 

 وإذا رأيت نملة في الطريق فلا تدسها وابتغ بذلك وجه الله عسى أن يرحمك كما رحمتها" . . وتذكر أنها تسبح لله فلا توقف هذا التسبيح بقتلك لها
If you see an ant on the path, then do not crush it, and seek the Face of Allah thereby, so that He will have mercy on you like you had mercy on it, and remember that it glorifies Allah, so do not halt this glorification by killing it.

وإذا مررت بعصفور يشرب من بركة ماء فلا تمر بجانبه لتخيفه " وابتغ بذلك وجه الله عسى أن يؤمنك من الخوف يوم تبلغ القلوب الحناجر
And if you pass by a bird drinking from the blessing of water, then do not pass close to it in case you startle it, and seek the Face of Allah thereby, so that He grants you safety from fear on the Day when hearts shall reach the throat.
وإذا اعترضتك قطة في وسط الطريق فتجنب أن تصدمها وابتغ بذلك وجه الله عسى أن يقيك الله ميتة السوء
And if you come across a cat in the middle of the road, then avoid hitting it, and seek the Face of Allah thereby, so that He protects you from an evil death.

واذا هممت بإلقاء بقايا الطعام فاجعل نيتك أن تأكل منها الدواب وابتغ بذلك وجه الله عسى أن يرزقك الله من حيث لا تحتسب
And if you want to throw out food, then make it your intention that animals can eat from it, and seek the Face of Allah thereby, so that He provides you from whence you do not expect.

وتذكر :~ افعل الخير مهما استصغرته فلا تدرى أى حسنة تدخلك الجنه
Do good, no matter how small it seems to you, because you do not know which good deed will enter you into Paradise.

واذا نويت نشرهذا الكلام انوى بها خير لعل الله يفرج لك كربه من كرب الدنيا والاخره
And if you wish to spread this statement, then intend good, so that Allah may relieve you of a trial from the trials of this world and the Hereafter."

From here:

Monday, August 27, 2012

Twinkle twinkle little star

Dear Sarah,
I gave you a bath for the first time today and alhamdulillah, it was going quite well until I realized that your face was still oily from the massage and proceeded to wash your face for the second time... Then you began screaming bloody murder (and boy, can you scream...) so munawwar bi and mummy had to calm you down together.

I also wanted to note how cute you look when you stretch on waking up, like a teeny tiny starfish! you still won't make much eye contact with me but you will crane your neck in all directions to look at your Ammaarah Api/Baji (she still can't decide which) when she happens to come by. She also believes that there are times when you (intentionally) hit her or touch her foot or smile at her, and these become momentous events of the day.

You're becoming stronger now... Wanting to turn over so that you can lick the bed sheet when you get hungry or pushing the changing pad away with your feet and sliding upwards. It was a lot of fun to watch you play with your aunt too, she calls you her little gudda and played the yayy game with you. The game involves lifting up both your arms and going yayy after statements like this "mere mummy ka naam Peemmi hai... Yayy! Main Chennai ki hoon...Yayy! Mera favorite drink duddu hai...yayy!" sigh, her visit was so so short!

It's sooooooooo wonderful to be with you... But please do stop waking up at six in the morning and screaming when you can't figure out what to do with the rest of the day. Just tell me and i'll make sure we put it on your busy eat, poop, sleep, play-with-everyone-and-ignore-mommy-till-I'm-hungry schedule.  


Friday, August 3, 2012


I don't think I'm ever going to get around to updating this blog in chronological fashion, so Sarah, I just wanted to say that I love it when you fall asleep on me like a little (well-mannered) koala bear when i'm burping you. I hope I never forget how wonderful this feels. Even when I become a barely functional human being thanks to all the sleep deprivation, I will always want to remember this warm, fuzzy feeling - I love you honey.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Just wanted to stop by for a quick (and non-proofread) update:
-- Yes, to those who're familiar with the terminology, I'm currently 34w3d, approximately 40 days to go before we add a tiny new person to our family, insha'allah! :)
-- The journey so far was quite eventful in the beginning: spotting at 6w, then again at 10w which was diagnosed as a minor subchorionic hematoma and resulted in the first hospital admission of my life (wouldn't wish an admission even on the worst of enemies and this is despite all the comforts that were available). At our nuchal scan at 12w, the doctors said there was no sign of the hematoma but there were "irregularities in the fetal heartbeat" due to tricuspid regurgitation (yeah, lots of scary words) and that it could be a structural defect or a chromosomal abnormality and we should wait for the Down's syndrome results... we were simply dumbstruck at these diagnoses. They also added that it could go away on its own but let's see. The Down's syndrome screening was negative alhamdulillah and at 17w we found out through a fetal echo that the little one's heart was normal, alhamdulillah. At that point, we were all wondering why doctors like to scare their patients with such information when the only option is to wait and watch. Surely, they could have kept this information private and check during the anomaly scan when such things are normally discovered?! It was a terrible experience but alhamdulillah, things have been fine since then. I was put on bedrest (which I turned into chair-rest) so I've barely worked for more than a month in 2012! I did pick up some freelancing which was both liberating, validating and occasionally quite boring -- just like any other job, I suppose.
-- Like the traditional Indian girl, I've come home to the "maika" and life is completely different from the sloth that I've been at home. Well, I'm a sloth here too but far less. Ammaarah does take up some of my time and now I'm trying to finish a Farhat Hashmi taleem-ul-quran goal that I set recently since I've been feeling like quite the wastrel. 
-- Speaking of Ammaarah, five year olds should also have an adjective like the 'terrible twos'. It's difficult to describe her now, she's quite a personality and can easily try everybody's patience when she wants to. She loves the mirror and herself, is an expert at tying the scarf quite like her mom, has an amazing capacity for observation and is exceedingly curious (poor Immu was the one of the latest victims of her curiosity). She's a big help around the house though and is devoted to her N-A-N-U (which is how she cries for her grandmother if she wakes up and finds that Nanu's gone out). I'm more a rival to her than an aunt. Everything she does has to be compared to me, including announcing when I wake up in the morning that she already ate her breakfast and brushed her teeth or like today, comparing the number of mangoes (amazing shakkar gutli) that we've eaten and of course I'm not to exceed the number of mangoes she's eaten. She also feels really happy when Mummy scolds me, so it really is like we're siblings than aunt and niece. In spite of all this, the minute she steps out of the house, her absence is immediately felt and and the house seems normal only when she's back in the house. She's still clueless about the new arrival, in spite of my appearance which has also been subjected to her munh-phat comments ("aap toh mote aunty dikhrein!"). Today she was doing her usual play-acting with a lot of voice modulation (she might as well have been playing different roles in a play) and Mummy and I exchanged glances at its hilarity when suddenly Mummy choked on her chai and it took her a few minutes to get back to normal. Even now, the little lady is talking to an imaginary chacha in the background about herself and "Subbu", who is apparently an old and regular imaginary friend :D. Poor kid, she craves the company of kids her age and I keep wondering how her budda-ness would have been affected if she had a close sibling.
-- M is all alone at home in Chennai, poor thing. Insha'allah, he can come down soon again, it's quite fun to see Ammaarah and M uncle, he probably connects a hundred times better with her than I do. I love watching Baba and Ammaarah play too, both M and Baba can easily switch to kids' levels while I remain like Mummy, more irritated about things like her not following instructions or messing up the place, etc.
-- It is almost time for the Maghrib prayer, so it's time to end this update right here. More to follow soon insha'allah. 
-- Also, to (some of) those whom I know personally and and have given you the url of this blog, I just wanted to remind you that simply reading my updates is NOT a substitute to keeping in touch. The latter is a two-way process, so if our relationship is important to you, stop being lazy and give a damn. Thanks.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


So surprising that  Baba understood how I was feeling better than Mummy. She got it too, but he got it right. The bottomline is that I feel horrid and I probably need a generous dose of perspective to get over it. Sigh.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I have nothing to write about but I still feel like writing, so here I am. I'm currently occupied by that feeling of worthlessness that comes from brain-idling. I want someone to light a fire under my seat and help me get-going ZZZZZZZZZZIP. 

There are a few things to look forward to in the near-future. Most importantly, a trip home! It's been so long since I went and I'm looking forward to the discipline and the busy-busy-busyness of home where Mummy just can't sit idle and won't let anyone else do so either! It's funny how the older I get, the more I realize how much everything my parents have said or done makes sense. Ammaarah is sure to occupy my time too, inclined as she always is to latch on to any new visitor in her never-ending quest to avoid boredom and be her very social self. The husband is making plans to entertain Ammaarah, so that should be fun. 

I shall take thy leave now before I bore myself to death. Tta.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Rupasi Bangla Mystery

It was 12th June, 2010. M and I were on our way to Sikkim for our honeymoon. Dear Indigo delayed our flight to Kolkata, so we missed our connecting flight to Bagdogra (closest airport to Gangtok) and would have to spend the night in Kolkata. We didn't want to stay too far from the airport so we asked the owner of a touristy shop at the airport if he would recommend a hotel nearby. Eager to help (for a commission probably) he called up a hotel called Rupasi Bangla and soon there we were, outside the hotel. It didn't look very impressive and our fears were confirmed when we went upstairs and saw the rooms. They weren't dirty but there was something about the place that was shady. And of course the huge sign called 'BAR' outside the hotel wasn't making me very comfortable either. 

I didn't want to make a big fuss and even though M wasn't very happy with the hotel either, we decided to stick it out by spending most of the day in the city. So off we went around Calcutta to Haldiram's, Howrah bridge, etc. and came back to the hotel. We were a little creeped out when we saw the bellboy who'd carried up our luggage now standing at the hotel reception desk in a suit. We figured it was odd and went upstairs to our room. We were just lying in bed cursing the deafening music that was playing when the bed began to shake. I asked M, 'Are you shaking the bed?' and he said he wasn't. The bed continued to shake and we looked around puzzled and scared. It was the last straw after all the creepiness we'd been experiencing. M got off the bed and started looking under it and around to see what was causing the shaking. The music from downstairs continued relentless. I was scared -- what kind of place was this hotel?! A few minutes later M still hadn't figured it out and got back into bed. We wondered if it was a good idea to get out of the hotel but it was already past midnight and we'd paid a decent amount for the room. I was desperate enough to go sleep at the airport but we decided it was just a few more hours. While we were still talking about this, I saw M begin to shake his leg and shouted at him, 'See! You're the one whose doing this!' and then we laughed in relief. The creepy feeling still hadn't left us though and it took a while till we fell asleep. The next day we were in Gangtok and during the whole trip we stayed in some really nice hotels, but we never could shake off the Rupasi Bangla experience. Every few days M would remember the incident and teasingly ask me if I wanted to go stay there again. In fact, to make up for the horrible night we spent at that horrid hotel, M went all out and we spent our last night at the Peerless Inn in Calcutta; it was simply luxurious and beautiful and a great way to end our holiday.

-- -- --

Cut to 11th April, 2012. 

M and I had just got home from running some errands and exhausted from the sultry Chennai heat both of us had collapsed on the bed. I was on leave but M had to go back to work, so we decided to just lay there and get some rest. Both of us were quiet, staring into space when I found myself shaking. Half-asleep I thought, 'Hey! This is like being on a train! Why am I shaking?' Annoyed and almost as if it was two years ago, I angrily asked M, 'Are you shaking the bed?' He immediately turned towards me and said, 'What?! I thought you were shaking it!' In a second it was as if we were back at Rupasi Bangla. I looked at the fan that was hurtling away at full speed. Dazed, I asked 'Do you think it's the fan?' M once again got off the bed and began looking all around and under the bed. I could still feel myself shaking...I was scared once again... what was going on?! He moved towards the foot of the bed and started physically shaking the bed. The bed hardly moved. Both of us looked at the other questioningly. M climbed back into bed for a few minutes and then decided it was time to go back to work. As M walked out of the door, I asked him, 'What if it happens again?' and he said, 'I'll come back home'. He put on his shoes and left.

I picked up the Ipad that was lying beside me and googled, 'earthquake Chennai', half-hoping there was some rational explanation to this. Nothing showed up. I persisted. Ah! -- one blog had just been updated 'Earthquake tremors felt in Chennai'. I called up M who'd just reached the gate of the apartment block, 'Hellooo!! That was an earthquake we just felt!' M was silent for a few seconds and said, 'Oh. No wonder... there are people downstairs and on the road!' 

I continued googling and soon I had my answer:

I called up M and told him about it and we laughed at our collective cluelessness. M said, 'Ah, so now we've cracked the Rupasi Bangla mystery!' and I said 'Yes! Thank God!' It's shocking to see that there were almost four tremors that night and we only noticed the first one. This time, there were rumours of a tsunami hitting the eastern coast and we don't live too far away from it, so M came home early and we left the house. It was scary in its own way... we just kept driving around until Baba told us that the tsunami warning had been called off. Alhamdulillah that we didn't lose anything either in 2010 or 12, but gained a story instead.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Alhamdulillah for 3 AM friends/family. A bigger alhamdulillah that they're on the other side of the world and free to talk to you when you're crazily hormonal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Yitts a gurrrl, alhamdulillah

Mabrook, Immu. So now we have A, A, N, N in the new generation :D


I finally finished the stupid document today. I worked so hard on it! If I'd put in as much effort at my regular work stuff or MBA assignments, I'd have got an A+! Funny how my work equations are changing. 

My "key" (I use key everywhere till it makes me sick) motivating factor was a bar of Bounty in the freezer. I bought it more than a week ago and promised myself that I would only eat it if I finished the document. I usually don't manage to stick to such commitments but this time I did. It was quite tough yesterday when I had a serious craving for chocolate. So now I went ahead and ate it. I wish it had lasted longer :( (Random thought: Bountys in Jannat will probably provide everlasting satisfaction, no? Insha'allah)

Satisfaction reminds me, the other day I dreamt that I was in the Kamalapuri house and I had a big box of full-sized Snickers in my cupboard. It's funny how many times my notion of home is Kamalapuri. Anyway, so I had eaten one and gave a couple more to people around and then a certain relative came in and said, 'Whaaat? No sharing? Gyu to everybody!' So I took the box to the portiocorto and there everybody was and the bars were passed around. I then got to eat another half. I hate those 15-rupee Snickers bars, they just leave you craving for more. But when I'd had one and a half of a full-sized Snickers bar, I felt so sated. I actually woke up from my dream feeling Snickers-full. How wondrafull!

If you're wondering what's wrong with me, it's not the Bounty, no. I'm just sleep deprived. The parents want me to try out a new morning schedule because of the morning-zombieness I've been experiencing. 

Speaking of parents, Baba told me about how Ammaarah has turned into a big drame-baaz. Actually, she always was a drama queen. Now she's just bigger. I should make a note of the story here. Maybe, insha'allah. Okay sweettops, take care!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Le sigh

It feels like my brain's been scooped out, scrubbed and hung to dry. My eyes hurt. I wanted to finish this document today but couldn't. I am done with most of the content but it still needs to be organized, polished and decorated. Sniff.

We went to Nootiaz and Little Italy over the weekend and got to spend a few minutes at a petrol pump Odyssey. Nothing much to say about the food. I indulged in some soolly shopping and then we went back home. Yesterday, the M came home early and we went out but it was a very dull outing. I did get to have nachos though. Yum-mee!

Ammaarah turned 5 last week, masha'allah. She's currently preoccupied with her cousins who're visiting from Emrica so nobody at home gets any bhaav. 

I have an upset stomach and the mental fatigue isn't helping, so sawyu. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mostly for Immu :D

Two things:
1. Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah -- it feels good to get validation
2. Baby Khalid/Nurayn is due today :D Of course Immu says she's sure it'll take another week, but COME ON BABY! :D I so eggzited. I wants to hold big 'Happy bodday' banner :) Insha'allah, when she comes down in May. 

Immu, may I declare my lau for you today? It's reached a new high :D (which is kinda obvious considering you're a two-in-one now :D)

Soooooooo much lau,
Seema (can you believe my client thought my name was Seema? This is after more than two weeks of working with him :( )

Ah, the human imagination!

I wanted to read a short story to pass time during a break and this one's really crazy:

Here's one very sweet, Tom-Sawyerish short story:

Monday, March 12, 2012


Man gets 10-year RI for raping infant 

How? How does someone do something so perverted? How could someone inflict such violence on a 5 month old? This is after a spate of news articles where women have been the gang-raped, raped in a moving vehicle, raped by her brother!  I'm staring at the screen in disgust and anger and I see this ad:

And I think, thank you so much, dear media and women like our lady here. You can sing "Zara zara touch me, touch me, touch me" all you want. Or be the chikni chameli... why not? You're safe in your bottle. Why, WHY, do you choose to degrade women's status in the eyes of men who're already animals?! Too mad to write anymore.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I'm tired. Between a lot of things I did today, I also finished 'Witness The Night', a novel by debutante Kishwar Desai. It's really strange how I managed to pick up two books and both of them had Sikh protagonists! Both talk about (in different ways and of different times) about the crimes committed against women in India. Both left me with a nervous dread once I was done with them.

The second isn't as well-written as Shauna Singh Baldwin's 'What The Body Remembers'. There are some page passages I just want to gloss over because they seem to be educating non-Indians about Indian practices. How come I never see that in western books? Do they assume we know everything or do they have subtler ways of doing so? 

We went to our favourite Mall on Sunday and decided to rest those achy legs at Odyssey. It's getting so hot here! I picked up a number of books but found Manu Joseph's 'Serious Men' quite riveting. What an art it is to pen descriptions of characters that spring to life without any conscious effort from the reader! I didn't want to buy it because I still have a few new books pending plus the hardcover was pretty expensive at 499, so maybe another day.  

We had dinner at Four Seasons and it was lovely, thanks to both amazing food and interesting conversation. I had Rogan Josh for the first time (at least of what I can remember) and enjoyed it. Their biryani doesn't need any praise. Also, the waiters have finally begun to recognize us! 

I got a "terrific" yesterday and felt good about it, alhamdulillah. I'm dragging myself through a deck today. Sigh.

For anyone who's interested in the pomodoro technique, this site is really fun to use. 

It is now time for the Isha prayer. Sawyu.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


What a wonderful beginning to the day! Now to hope it materializes into something good, insha'allah.

- - -

Yesterday I found out that Ammaarah has pushed me over to the opposing party whose sole long-suffering member was baba. Apparently I'm only his daughter and apa is only mummy's daughter and Ammaarah is only mummy's granddaughter. So the three of them are on one side and poor baba and I are in the other. I don't know what I've done to deserve this treatment except for asking some inane questions (just to make conversation) that really exhausted the patience of our royal highness. Humph!

- - -

Dear God, please let people on Facebook realize that notifications of all the tasteless articles they're reading via Washington Post social reader and the horrid videos they're watching via Daily Motion are visible to everyone!

- - -
And now for a quick snooze.

Friday, March 2, 2012


was spent learning about retirement plans for small businesses. The "cooking lady" as my "cleaning lady" likes to call her absented herself without warning so we went to Amaravadi. And then chocolate was had in the car. 

I've been wondering: how does someone teach English? English grammar? My English is supposed to be good but I don't know a thing about antecedents, precedents, what a past participle is -- nothing. 

And so the day ends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Notes to myself

Alhamdulillah, today's a big day. I hope PP is happy!

*  *  *

I'm doing a lot of writing these days, of course all of it is work-related. You'd think by now the words would flow on their own, without being prodded from well-worn cliches to enlightening, buttery-smooth persuasiveness. I find that while it is tough, I don't mind the grappling, holding the words by their shoulders and pushing them into the mould -- it feels good when they settle down, take the shape I want them to. It makes me wonder what my two degrees are for. Why am I not scared to take up writing but in spite of two years of experience and two years of education, the thought of doing some financial analysis still makes me jittery? I wonder if it's right to assume that you're not going to be successful at something because it doesn't come intuitively to you. Or should I grapple with numbers the way I do with words and make them fit? Only there's no motivation, they don't call me to set them right and if I can afford to keep them away, I do. Then I think of those numbers, the ones that went into my relatively expensive education and feel remorse, short-lived as it is.

This post by Karen McQuestion makes me feel better about the struggle, I hope things will get easier one day:

Here is the image from her post:

*  *  *

I found this link via Dooce's blog today. Like M of Mimmu said the rooms make you go "awwwww maaaaaaaaaaan". Go take a look, really.

*  *  *

I've been reading on the kindle again. Nothing really great, just some ebooks M had found online. One was a book by Danielle Steel called "The House on Hope Street". I wonder if ALL of her books are so predictable! There were some other really unremarkable books I read too. Two I enjoyed reading were "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman (hadn't read him before) and Ray Bradbury's short stories, "The Day It Rained Forever".

We hadn't been out shopping in a long time so I made M take me to a Crossword here that I really like. To be honest, Landmark and Odyssey have much better collections, but not only are they too far away from home, Landmark's outlets are old and have almost no seating space and Odyssey just doesn't feel cozy enough to sit in a corner and read. If we lived closer to one of these places, I'd probably finish some books at the store itself! I was browsing through the Indian section and picked up two books, one is "What the Body Remembers" by Shauna Singh Baldwin and the other is "Witness the Night" (don't remember the name of the author). I'm reading the former and I like its pace and the way she sets the atmosphere. It's a huge book so I thought "Ah! Value for money!" and bought it.

*  *  *

We're all set to add more than an A and an N to the PAX. HE HE HE HE. Insha'allah. I wish I could be there with her!

*  *  *

I don't know what it is, but I keep recalling bits and pieces from my Dammam-childhood. Details of furniture, mattresses, the AC that I cannot think of without imagining its green eye, white bedsheets we got for our new beds that had cheerful stars and stripes on them, the thin mattress in the TV room. Even though we stayed in nearly three (or was it four?) houses, I only think of the Baba-Habbas house. I wonder who lives there now. When I reminded sister of the mattress' cover, its silky feel and how we would pretend we were swimming across it, it was so slippery, she agreed and said, 'Come to think of it, it was such a cheap print". Come to think of it, there were many things I could find fault with now, because of (hopefully) better taste among other things, but as a child these things didn't matter. You didn't mind that your bed was a hand-me-down from another family, it's a detail that you recall only now many years later. Then there were more important things to be concerned about: whose side of the headboard has more Suntop and Ricoh stickers? When we got two separate beds and they were joined together, how could you make sure you marked the groove in between so your sister wouldn't enter your territory? Now I recall all the yummy things we took for granted there: the shawarmas, the zatir, the broasted chicken, the vast variety of chips from Tasali to Zizo to Chipsletten, and the ever-favourite Red Hot chips... I see falafel being sold here for crazy prices and remember how we always used to frown at it. I still don't remember the taste. 

If I ever went back, would the enchantment remain the same? Or would I pick flaws in everything with my new adult eye? 

*  *  *

A TV memory springs to my mind now, a pause in the TV program as an announcement is made: "It is now time for the Maghrib prayer". It is. See you soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five, going on twenty five

Ammaarah made another one of her crazy remarks the other day.  Constantly bored having only her grandparents to bug and play with, she regularly visits the chachas' houses who all live in different houses right next door. 

So the other day she walks up to Mummy and quite out of the blue says, "Nanu, jab meri shadi hojaati na, main Shehnaz chachi ke ghar mein rehjatyun"

Surprised, Mummy asked her, "Kyun, Ammaarah?"

To which Ammaarah said, "Phir shadi ke baad, main ghar kabhi bhi aa saktyun na." (!) I don't know which five year... updated to add: spends so much time planning her future. At the same age I was probably thinking about what toy I wanted to play next with.

PS: Apologies for leaving the post incomplete la-that! It's what happens when you're sleep deprived and try to write a post. You're in the middle of the post and you go, 'Ooh! A title box! Let me put something in there!' If I forget something this time, please know that I'm going to use the same excuse. In spite of a nap, I'm still stuck in sleepyhead zone. Okay, enough for now!
* * *

Strange things are on work-wise. More details to follow when some stability sets in.

* * *

I made some yummy stuff with chicken in the past few days. I really should put them up here, especially one recipe that I heartily, heartly recommend.

* * *

That's all for now. I shell try to be back sooner!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Nouman Ali Khan


Just came across this short video of Nouman Ali Khan's 'Why does God punish?' and wanted to share it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Popping in

Dear blog,

I apologize for my long absence. As you do not know, things have been a little crazy around here. Insha'allah they should be back to normal soon. 

Not much has happened since my last post. Ammaarah continues to spout crazy lines that leave my jaw on the floor. Sample this:

The power's gone out right after Maghrib and the house is in darkness. Mummy's tuition students usually come in around 6:30 PM. Ammaarah who's worried by this says 'Ab bachche aate na padhne? Phir light nai hai na?'

Baba comes into the room bearing an emergency light. So Mummy says "Apan log yeh light leke oopar chale jainge" (Oopar being the hall where the students sit)

Ammaarah worriedly says, "Phir baba? Baba ke paas light nai rehti na?" (Ammaarah is quite scared of darkness - last Bakrid when the power went out in the night, she said to the goats "Dekho light chale gayi toh kuch bhi nai hota. Aap log animals hai na, isliye ghar ke andar nai bula sakte")

So Mummy jokingly said, "Jaane do baba ku"

Ammaarah persisted, "Lekin baba ke paas light nai rehti na?"

So Mummy again said, "Jaane do light nai hai toh, kya hota?"

To which Ammaarah burst out: "Kyun?! Aakhir uno bhi toh insaan hain na?"

:D The worst part is that she now knows that was very funny and wants everyone to know about this story :| 

I have had several blogging ideas come up recently but then I keep thinking each deserves a separate post and then never get around to it. I hope to do so soon, insha'allah.

Goodbhai for now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I'm thankful for

- Perhaps one of the greatest blessings in this world, a caring husband.

- Ammaarah's laughter. Or hearing her sing "La la la la la la laaaa, 5 million people on the roaaaaaddd". Don't ask me where she picked that up from. Nobody knows.

- Best friends. I wouldn't trade the sisterhood for anything.

- The great people I work with on the client side. Let's not talk about my manager.

- My fambly. I love my mommy and daddy and I told my mommy so, especially when she packed tali hui pyaaz for me when I was coming back from Hyd. 

- Farhat Hashmi, Nouman Ali Khan and all the other scholars I have access to, thanks to the internet. Yes internet, I love you too.

- Not being constipated. 'Nuff said.