Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Boys are Back!

Is it just me or do they seem a lot more girly than before?

Mundane Matters

We almost won the match today (Cricket: Pakistan vs. Australia). I'm not the biggest cricket fan out there but today's match was phenomenal! Final ball, final run, nail-biting finish (Ricky Ponting was biting his :p).

I went to the gym after almost three months of no exercise... Unsurprisingly, I lasted barely 10 minutes on the treadmill :p. What struck me as amusing (or maybe just pathetic) was that the electricity went suddenly and the gym was plunged into darkness. I was running slowly and the treadmill jerked to a stop without warning; I sort of rolled off and landed with a bump and a bruise. I think that was a divine sign to say "no more gym for another three months" :p.

I'm half-heartedly working on job applications :( Everyone's trying to be ultra-helpful but it's stressing me out... (I like doing things at my own pace).

In other news, my parents keep asking me if I "like" anyone. Ummm, dearest mum and dad, it's not like you ever encouraged me to date/hang out socially with guys and specifically told me not to get "involved" with anyone in college lest my academics suffer :p. And being a somewhat "shareef" Pakistani girl, I doubt I'm going to run into the love of my life at the grocery store :p.

Friday, September 25, 2009

And the days go by...

George writes about Pakistanis' visa dilemma here. I can empathize 100%.

Eid was lovely! I decided to go all out and get mehendi done since I don't have to go back to school or show up for work a couple of days later. We had a constant flurry of visitors and this time, my own friends came to visit! It's such a grown-up feeling :). I think I ate too much biryani during Eid but then I fell ill and lost all the weight I'd gained :p.

Anyway, now I'm looking for jobs and it's been uphill so far... My field (energy and environment) hasn't really developed in Pakistan and most places prefer hiring men since employees are usually based in rural areas like Interior Sindh and I don't think my mom would be comfortable with me relocating to Islamabad as a single lady :p.

So, in order to get a job at a decent place in Pakistan (a multinational firm or a prestigious UN-type organization), you need to find someone you "know" who's already working there. This can be achieved by combing your parents' extensive network of family and friends for a suitable uncle in a senior management position. Step 2: Call uncle, set up appointment to discuss career options and give him your CV and hopefully, he'll be able to use his contacts to get you in. Blatant corruption, I know! But, I've given up trying to fight the system :P.

So, inshalah, I'm hoping I'll be employed soon... Pray for me dears!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Eid Mubarak Y'all!

So, Munib-ur-Rahman has declared tomorrow to be in Eid in Pakistan. Of course, we have the usual confusion with some communities celebrating Eid a day early and suing the Ruet-i-Hilal committee :p. As an aside, I still don't get why a bunch of old men (with cataracts) and beards get to decide when we'll celebrate Eid...

The announcement on tv and radio was followed by firing... That is how we Pakistanis express our khushi (happiness). We fire kalashnikovs into the air and more often than not, some innocent person falls victim to a stray bullet and dies.

Later, my mom took me out for some last minute Eid shopping and the streets were packed! KFC had loudspeakers installed outside the restaurant blaring "Desi Girl" (from the bollywood film Dostana). At least we are a lively nation...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grandparents :)

They're the only people with the power to sway my mum and dad and spoil me to bits :). Once upon a time when I was around 5 years old, my brother and I were playing in our balcony and my brother somehow fell and fractured his arm. I being the older, more responsible sister should've taken better care of her baby brother and I felt guilty. My parents had to take my brother to the hospital to have his arm set, so I was dropped off at my nana's (grandfather's) house (grandma was in Lahore) for the night.

My grandfather made sure I brushed my teeth and put me to bed. He had a huge bed and I asked him to leave the lights on. But he did something even better... :) He used to keep a torch in his bedside drawer and he entertained me with the play of light and shadows, regaling me stories of his youth until I finally fell asleep.

In the morning, when I woke up, Nana Abbu made me scrambled eggs with toast (with the toast cut into perfect bite-sized pieces) and we ate in front of the tv while watching "The Wizard" on NTM. Good times :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UK Visa Reject

:'( *sob*!

That means no grad school this year... I'm praying God has something better for me, otherwise, I'm currently unemployed in Karachi... *sob*.

"At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And its not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you , and once in a while people may even take your breath away. "
Meredith Grey
(Grey's Anatomy)
If there's one skill I polished this Ramadan, it was cooking. Every day during the blessed month, each tv channel has a cooking show focusing on iftaar snacks and drinks and, having nothing better to do, I've become an avid follower of Poppy, Aida, and all the other celebrity cooks on tv. I thought this month was all about restraint/resisting temptation/moderating one's lifestyle but I guess the food/beverage industries need Ramadan sales to boost profits :p

I can now make oreo cookie milkshake (using Olper's milk), pizza margherita (using Mundial olive pomace cooking oil) and all varieties of pakora, samosa and other fried stuff using Dalda :p.

I'd also like to plug Dr. Aamir Liaquat of Aalim Online fame... He lectures on Islamic history and has a call-in show where people ask questions and either he or a guest speaker answer based on Islamic jurisprudence. He might be a quack for all I know but he is an engaging speaker :). Yesterday's topic was Yajooj Majooj... (I remember being terrified of these when I was a kid).

After my somewhat boring Ramadans spent in foreign lands, Karachi is pretty lively. Zamzama (and various other streets) have been lit up (with illegal connections to the electricity poles :p), shops are open until 2 am and restaurants are open until Sehri. I went to the Sea View the other day and it was full of people enjoying doodh patti and kababs around midnight :). I heart Ramadan festivities in Pakistan!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mera Wajood Paak Hai

Only in Dubai...

do they have a VIP Gold class section for "higher paying customers who don't want to mix with the rest of the public". Let's just embrace apartheid already...

Friday, September 11, 2009

In "Dog" We Trust

Since there's nothing on tv (and I'm not a big tv-watcher anyway!), I'm now following, Greatest American Dog. Basically, it's a bunch of dogs with owners competing to win :p

Next, they'll probably come up with something even more outlandish... like Greatest American Baby or Turtle or "insert animal of choice" here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In Limbo

I'm waiting for my study permit to arrive... so I'm hoping (inshalah, inshalah!) that it comes soon... I don't have a plan B yet... :S.

The electricity situation's turned awful again... it's especially bad at night when you're trying to sleep with mosquitoes buzzing around...

My twelve-year-old sister thinks I'm turning into a control freak because I insisted that she sort out her books subject-wise in her bag and sharpened all her pencils :P

Ramadan's half over... I'm trying to be a better person by keeping quiet and staying in my room (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, right?) but my mom thinks I'm turning into a hermit...

Also started on my reading list for the course starting this fall. The last time I studied Chemistry was back in A'Levels... *sigh*

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I can't believe I'm doing this but I'm reading my sister's Bratz series :). Bratz are a group of teenage girls with pouty lips and hooker-ish eyes. Here's an excerpt:

BUNNY BOO: I'm here. Hold onto your seats, cuz I've got a scoop as pretty princess sez.
KOOL KAT: What did U find out frm Koby?
BUNNY BOO: It's not what I found out frm Koby it's what I found out while he wuz OUT!
ANGEL: Spill!

"Prowlin' round with feline grace,
Kool Kat's the one that's settin' the pace.
Sleek and sassy, always dressed to kill,
She's the girl who makes my heart thrill."

Ummmmm, I'm probably old-fashioned but I think I preferred the more refined and gentle Barbie :")

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What Karachi Does to Me...

It's been two months since the return to my hometown and I'm slowly becoming Pakistaniized... Plus, it's Ramadan and my daily schedule is completely messed up. I wake up around 5:15 am for Sehri, groggily down some cereal/toast, pray and go back to sleep only to wake up around 1:00 pm, pray some more, do a bit of reading, help my mom with iftar, pray Asr, watch cooking shows on tv, have iftar, pray Maghrib and then baby-sit my sister (who's listening to Poker Face on repeat... aaaargh) while my parents go for Taraweeh.

I'm reading the Harry Potter series for the seventh time (currently on The Half-Blood Prince) and being completely anti-social and lethargic :p. My mom thinks I'm sickening for something but I don't think I am...

Missing my friends from college and work :'(

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Darzi Woes

A trip to the darzi (tailor) never fails to bring me down. With Eid approaching, my mom insists that I get a couple of shalwar kameez made so I can "fit in" with fashionable Karachiite ladies. So far, I'd been subsisting on last season's Generation stock (for the uninitiated, Generation is a boutique that provides ready-made outfits for women, which works well for me, except for the fact that you'll probably run into someone else wearing the exact same outfit as you at the next get-together :p).

So mom and I went to Khaadi and Aashiana where we purchased material (in bright yellow and fuschia); then we went to the darzi.

All darzis call themselves Master Saab (Maas Saab is the abbreviated version). When we arrived, poor Maas Saab was already beleaguered by a begum (middle-aged, self-assured lady) asking him to complete her outfit by 7:00 pm as she had to wear it to an iftaar party that evening o_0.

After she left, we gave him the material, measurements and design and he assured us he'd have the completed outfits ready in a week. I showed up at the darzi's place ten days later only to be informed that he hadn't even cut the cloth and to come back after another week.

I finally went to collect the outfits and realized: he'd stitched my clothes using my mom's measurements :'(