Friday, December 31, 2010

Adieu 2010

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy 2011.

Murray Dodge is a building in Princeton housing the Office of Religious Life, the Muslim prayer room and a basement cafe serving free cookies from 10:30pm till midnight. I spent many blissful hours in Murray Dodge and for some it kept popping into my mind today... There's a women's toilet on the first floor and it had a hand-written sign that read:

"If you sprinkle while you tinkle, please be sweet and wipe the seat"


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Arranged cum Love Marriage: 6 Month Update

Mr. F and I were working for the same organization, we "met" at work and I was indirectly reporting to him. He interviewed me for my current position. Yet, when people ask about the "story", he's quick to respond, "We were introduced through friends!" riiiiight :-P

True, a mutual colleague did broach the rishta topic with my parents but all-in-all, neither of us was averse to the idea either. And, as I'm quick to point out to Mr. F, he did the approaching/initiating so it wasn't one of the "parents show girl's photo to guy, he nods in agreement scenarios... "

So, six months later, I think we've worked through a lot of issues, grown as people (I think I've grown more... I was the rather naive, ditzy type :-p) and learned to compromise :) (Mr's done more in this domain). I'm also learning to be more "dignified" and slowly coming to realize that everything I do, each decision I make will affect another person for better or worse. A sense of humor helps :)

Cases in point:

- I turn off my morning alarm and go to sleep... Mr. F and I both come in to work late :p
- I forget where I parked the car... Mr. F and I are both in the parking lot looking for our car and trying to avoid getting bitten by stray dogs after a long day at work (he's cursing under his breath at this point but doesn't say anything aloud for which I am grateful)
- He asks me to iron his red shirt, I iron his crimson shirt and the electricity promptly goes. Apparently, that was the wrong shirt... we're both late for the party :P. In future dear husband, please specify the exact shade of red to avoid confusion.

Iraday jin kay pukhta hon, nazr jin ki khuda per ho

Our CEO's in London and so, everyone's been coming in to work late and leaving at 5:30 pm on the dot :-P. It's true, when the cat's away... lol.

Today, I went to meet Mr. N at PSO house. We're looking into jatropha cultivation and we'd basically gone to get some advice concerning our business model... It would be great if Pakistan could become the next Jatropha nation, the plant is sturdy, grows on marginal land and perhaps most importantly, it doesn't compete with other food crops. It's sad that our Government's so slow to take on new initiatives. Pakistan also missed the CER boat while China and India have made millions :-(. Lesson learnt: when opportunity knocks, you need to be ready to take advantage of it...

On a positive note, the new Atrium cinemas are open! Mr. F took me to a special screening of Tees Maar Khan thanks to his friend who got us free passes. They're also offering Pakistan's first 3-D cinema experience (will be screening Avatar). Do check it out!

Friday, December 24, 2010


As December draws to a close, Karachiites are overwhelmed by the frenzy of weddings... Shaadi-hopping is a favorite past-time in a nation where food and clothes are an essential part of culture. Shaadis give us chance to indulge, showing off our latest outfits and eating until our waistbands begin to feel uncomfortably tight.

We had a farewell for our cherished colleague Z today. It was a rather emotional affair... will miss him.

Finally turned in all my grad school applications (third round in as many years). Hoping and praying that I get in somewhere good inshalah...

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

For You

It's been exactly a year since you put the ring on my finger, a shiny diamond announcing to the world that we were "officially" together. I remember you calling me right before your family came over asking if I was ok, if I was nervous... That was sweet :)

At that time, I wasn't in love... I barely knew you, and didn't trust you, yet, I'd agreed to spend the rest of my life with you. I'm still not quite sure what made me say "yes". We were world's apart in terms of our personalities, our family backgrounds, age, culture... even our mother tongue wasn't the same but we shared common experiences, having studied in the US and then returned to Pakistan. Now is probably a good time to admit that I did have a crush on you. I admired your leadership, conviction, intelligence and forthrightness and the ability to get along with all kinds of people. Sitting 10 feet across from you at work, I could hear you on the phone, hear your laugh. I had to walk past your office every morning and I'd debate about whether to say "Salam" or "Good Morning" or just ignore you completely. I'd try to come to work early so I wouldn't have to decide what to say... because I'd be thinking about you even when I wasn't.

I fondly remember our chaperoned "dates". The chaperon being my 12-year old sister :P. I was extremely awkward in the beginning... I'd blush when you'd look at me but gradually, I came to accept the relationship. I felt comfortable taking my place in the front seat of your car and having you pay for our weekly dinner date. I also appreciated your restraint, in not touching me until after the wedding even though it was a difficult six months for you... :-P

Fast-forward to our six-month wedding anniversary and I can say, yes, I am in "love"... perhaps not in the mushy, sentimental way they show in the movies (though I do feel that way at times), but you are a part of my life now. It's natural waking up next to you, eating from the same plate (gross I know!), having a breakdown and weeping down your fresh t-shirt (sorry!). I also appreciate the little gestures that make me feel special: parking the car a certain way so I don't have to reverse all the way out, making sure bills and groceries are taken care of, taking me out for a McFlurry just because I don't feel like regular food and spoiling me with classy, thoughtful gifts. You do make me feel like a princess :)

Thank you with all my heart.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My 10-Word Memoir for 2010

Got engaged, Thar Coal, born-again Pakistani (:)), married life, Punjab

What yours?!

Post-Marriage Travel

Since the wedding, I've been to Thailand (for the honeymoon) and then made frequent short trips to Lahore. My travel style has changed. I used to be a (somewhat :)) responsible adult... Carried my own bags, kept track of my passport and luggage and made sure I got onto the right plane at the right time. Now, I'm usually just standing by or sitting while the husband "takes charge" and stands in line while I get to rest/amuse myself at the airport shops :p.

Travel does tend to change a person... and it's hard for others to relate to the experiences if they haven't done something similar. When I came back from the US and Abu Dhabi, as clich├ęd as it sounds, I learned to see things in a different way and it was hard for others to see where I was coming from.

Between spouses though, it could create a permanent, specially if one travels a lot and the other doesn't... ?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


London Heathrow closed down due to inclement weather over the weekend, lots of flights were delayed or cancelled and now dear Mr. F is stuck there until Emirates decides to put him on a plane... Guess I'm not the only one with airport "adventures" :-p

Earlier this year, right before the wedding, an ash cloud descended over Europe. The husband was in Germany at the time but luckily it cleared and he managed to make it back in time... Right before the wedding, I was in Dubai and Cyclone Phet struck Karachi. My plane turned around and went all the way back to Dubai :P

The weekend was lovely :") It's great being back at home, listening to Rihanna and acting wacky with the siblings. We went to Sandspit, collected seashells and ate yummy greasy garlic-mayo fries :).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season

As 9th and 10th Muharram approaches, Karachi is slowly shutting down. All the major roads and markets are being patrolled by police vehicles. The city resembles a war zone and to and outsider, it would seem rather terrifying.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend although it will be pretty quiet. I'll probably try making this :). Another colleague turned in his resignation letter today...! Must be the season. I'm living off chocolate and hot milky coffee and acquiring tummy tires in the process :-P

Climate talks concluded in Cancun this week but they haven't received too much media attention... I guess most of us are actually hoping for a bit of warming this winter rather than worrying about cutting down CO2 emissions.

Stay safe homies ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010


What with one thing or another, I've been on blogging break... Mr. F's gone to London for a week and I'm staying at my old home. At least sister dear is excited to have "Apa" to stay... :)

I'm turning into a sloth and I've been down with sniffles and the flu... Karachiites really can't handle winter :p. On Friday, we had a team-building event at the beach :) and Mr. F left early next day... We played beach pictionary and I designed an obstacle course and a treasure hunt as part of the team-building activities... Thankfully, it went well with no major glitches.

I'm surprisingly relaxed and at peace alhamdulilah... I thought I'd be miserable with the husband away but I'm actually enjoying the break... lol!

WTF of the Day

Colleague YH: "My wife isn't feeling well today so I think I'll go home early..."
Gaia: "Okay, take some flowers for her... it'll cheer her up :)"
YH: "Good idea! Guys never think of things like that... lesbian couples must be so happy... knowing exactly what their significant other wants..."
Gaia: ":-0"