Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fertility and the Pakistani Mentality

A few months after my marriage, we decided to try for a baby. For some couples, it happens immediately, for others it can take longer... In our case, it was the latter.

For some reason, everyone automatically assumed I might have a "problem". I was still relatively young (24) and Alhamdulilah healthy, but the pressure was getting to me... Each time we'd visit Lahore or I'd speak to my in-laws on the phone, they'd ask, "any good news yet?!" and frankly, I was
a) embarrassed to talk about this with anyone 
b) couldn't think of an appropriate answer

On one memorable visit to Lahore, I was taken to a well-known gynaecologist for a fertility check-up. I was close to tears at this point, but thankfully, managed to find some humor in the situation and my friend and I had a good laugh on the phone. The doctor was an absolute darling. The first thing he asked for was a sperm-count which had very conveniently been ignored (even though I was made to get all kinds of invasive tests) because ofcourse the girl has a problem and the Man is a perfect specimen of male vitality.   

As it turns out, my reports were Alhamdulilah clear. The stress of the last few months fell away and I could be a "normal" woman again :-P. 

I just wish our culture stopped being so biased toward women and for anyone in this situation, please, do not despair and remain strong.

Parking at Dolmen Mall

The other day, I took my cousin who was visiting from Boston to Dolmen Mall. As we were waiting for our car in the parking lot, a fashionably dressed young man, (we'll call him G) drove up and started loading groceries into his car. He was in the wrong lane and blocking the way out. Cars started backing up, creating a mini-jam. G continued loading groceries. When the valet blew his whistle and asked him to please get out of the way, he burst out in an angry tirade, called him names and made threatening gestures. Meanwhile, an older man (presumably G's father) previously seated in the passenger seat got out of the car and asked his son to stop creating a scene. He apologized to the valet and got back into the car. G got in, slammed the door shut and drove off in a rage.

I foresee a sad future for our country if this is how the presumably "educated" and "civilized" generation behaves in public and I can only feel sorry for the father whose son cannot speak in normal tones to a person who's just doing his job. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tales of Mommyhood

I took 3 months off in addition to my company's three month paid maternity leave so I could spend more time with my baby. I loved it and no, I didn't miss work at all... :D

I had no time to miss anyone or anything! Mr. F suggested I do volunteer work somewhere... he thought I'd be bored at home :-P... 

Which brings me to the next point: Guys don't get it

A baby is two full time jobs and more. In between b-feeding, diaper-changing, cleaning up drool, burped out milk, changing sheets and changing your own clothes, you barely get time to shower and brush your hair. When Baby M was a month old, Mr. F sent me to Lahore so Baby M could meet his extended family... There was no electricity, the temperature was somewhere in the mid-40s (degrees Celcius) and the generator had conked out. This was probably the lowest point in my marriage post-baby. Meanwhile, Mr. F was off traveling to Bali and Lausanne for work and I just became more and more resentful... Mr. F and I barely spoke for 2 weeks and I was really angry and miserable all the time. 

Another major difference between Karachiites and Lahoris. When people in Karachi come to visit, they stay for half an hour... maybe an hour if they're close family or friends and they sit in the lounge or the drawing room. In Lahore (or maybe it's just Mr. F's extended family), guests walk in (right in to the bedroom!) without knocking. Never mind if a mother is b-feeding her baby and isn't really eager to have 4 other people watching her. Then, all the elders would come and press my poor baby's forehead and pinch his nose to make the head round and the nose thin (sar gol karna aur naak patli karna) :-P. I mean, really people, if God wanted my baby to have a perfectly round head and a pencil thin nose, he would have taken care of it... It made me super super-mad but again, I couldn't do/say anything without coming across as a really rude/arrogant wife/mother. 

When Baby M would cry (all babies do!) his well-meaning relatives would feed him everything from home-made remedies to medicines for adults... Again, I could only stand by and watch hoping and praying Baby M would be ok. Yes, I am a new mom, a paranoid new mom but that doesn't give anyone the right to tell me how to raise my child.   

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hubby vs. Baby

I don't know if this is normal/common among new parents but I think Mr. F went through a phase where he felt rather left out and resentful(?) of the new baby. I was totally drained at the end of each day and I had no time for myself let alone hubby. Plus, I wanted to spend every single waking moment just gazing at my first-born and worshipping him :-p (typical bollywood mom, yes :)).

I know hubby came first but when I look at Baby M, all I feel is 100% pure unadulterated love. Comments? 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

7 Months Later

Wow... It's been almost 7 months since my last post. Just to update, baby M arrived on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 3:03 am. He was my Mother's Day gift :). The nurses gave him a bath and dressed him in a little body suit and brought him to me. They asked if I wanted to hold my baby but I politely declined... I was too exhausted even to smile. So I gave him a kissie on his cheek and sent him outside to meet the family :-p

There's a reason why no one talks about their labor room experience... they don't want to scare the living daylights out of the happy, expectant mom. But, for the uninitiated here's a condensed version of what I went through. After attending my boss's farewell on May 11th, I started experiencing the first signs of labor so I told Mr. F to head to the hospital. But Mr. F for some reason best known to himself refused, saying we should wait until morning... I panicked, called my mom and we headed to the hospital :P. Mr. F grudgingly followed.

What follows is pretty gross, but most expecting mommies probably go through it at some point. First, they give an enema... basically injecting your butt with a salt water solution to empty out the intestines.. ewww... :p

After multiple trips to the restroom, they hook you up to foetal monitors to check on the baby's heart rate and frequency of contractions. In my case, contractions weren't progressing (a contractions basically feels like your tummy's being scrunched) and usually with increasing force and frequency) so they inserted a tablet in the birth canal. That didn't work either, so finally I got induced with a medicine called sentosynol to speed things up. At that point, I was begging for an epidural but Mr. F refused point blank saying I should read a dua which helped his friend's wife (tough love?!!). So I finally dragged myself to the reception and asked them for an epidural. The nurse took pity on me and took me to the labor room.

The labor room was rather different from what I expected..
a. The bed had saddles
b. The bed was in 2 pieces

I still had no clue what was coming. I changed into scrubs and made myself comfortable (or as comfortable as you can be in that situation). A surgeon came and told me to sit still for a couple of minutes (not an easy task) but I managed it and he stuck the needle into my spine (I could feel it between the bone... ouch). Shortly after, I had an hour of rest and relaxation... Comfortably numb, I texted my best friend and had a chat with my cousin...

Around midnight, the contractions got worse and the epidural began to wear off... but, the end was near or so the nurses kept saying. At 10 minutes to 3, they separated the bed and pulled a piece away, legs went into the saddle and the labor room turned into a stadium with the nurses and the doctor cheering me on :-P (again, they never show this in the movies!). A few pushes later, baby M was here.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

What to Expect...

When You're Expecting... is the title of the very famous book for pregnant ladies. I've skimmed through it a few times but after reading about "what to expect", I'd start experiencing all the symptoms that expecting moms were supposed to have, backaches, leg-cramps, hormonal episodes :-P

Baby's doesn't seem to want to make an appearance any time soon. Guess it's too comfy in there! Mr. F accompanied me to the last doctor's appointment. She told us she encourages C-sections because apparently it saves babies the trauma of natural delivery and helps them get into Grammar School. Mr. F was incensed but luckily, his humor kicked in... we had a good laugh in the car!

I've been eating panjeeri and food laden with ghee but all it does is put me to sleep... Secretly ordered pizza today :-P

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maternity Leave

I've been home for exactly one week... and it's not as bad as I expected. I'm enjoying the break even though it's really warm and I can't really do much or get around without bumping into things :-P

In-laws are visiting from Lahore and they've taken over the kitchen and general household management so I basically just sit around, skype with my cousins and eat lots of ice cream and milkshake. Baby shopping is complete and now we're just waiting for the little one to arrive...

I'm not "ready"... I don't think anyone ever is but I hope Inshalah, everything goes smoothly... A big thank you to my dearest Mr. F for putting up with me for the last 6 months. At times I was pretty hard to handle but he did a decent job of sticking around and being patient... And to my dearest mother, thanks for always being there for me... I can never ever repay you for all that you've done but only say, "thank you" from the bottom of my heart.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

Great movie! After a really long time, I managed not to doze off in the middle :) Do watch it if you get a chance!

Based on veteran moms' advice, I'm trying to do all the things I might not be able to once baby arrives... Like watching a movie, going to the salon and hanging out with the girls. Wish I'd traveled more, but I guess that can take a backseat for a while... Khalamummy came over with a lot of gifts. I especially liked the Sleep Sheep :) reminded me of my own stuffed toy 'Timmy'. Hope baby will love it too (Inshalah).

Lots of changes at our organization, resignations, transfers... let's see what the future holds!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Update

Work's a little slow today... Boss is on leave so I'm basically just finishing up leftover tasks. Inshallah planning to take off at the end of the month and rest at home until baby arrives.

So the printer is situated right behind my cubicle and people keep stopping by to pick up their printouts... It's pretty annoying and I'm not getting any time to blog or check out other blogs :-P

Weekends have been really busy! Went to French Beach last Sunday but it wasn't too pleasant... It was hot, the company was meh and the 2 hour car ride to the beach and back was a killer! Plus, we don't really have decent bathrooms anywhere... I know this country has bigger problems, but if I were in charge of urban infrastructure and planning, I'd make sure there was a rest stop at least every half hour... I'm dreading what it'll be like once baby's here... where am I supposed to change diapers and such?? What do other moms do? Or do they basically not leave their homes until baby's well on the way to potty-training?

I decided to defer Yale for a year... I figured if I try to juggle grad school and a newborn, I probably won't enjoy the experience anyway and I think I'm ready to take some time off and travel and just enjoy life for a while. The past four years have been pretty intense and I haven't taken more than 2 weeks off at a time.

I'm excited, a little apprehensive and a little... wistful? I just hope and pray everything goes smoothly Inshalah...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Memsaab Gaia

I've gone from having absolutely no domestic help a month ago, to suddenly acquiring 3 new people to help me "manage" during the last few months of pregnancy. Mr. F and I feel like guests in our own house! I've become more conscious of my dupatta and reluctantly abandoned my baggy t-shirt riding up my tummy for a loose flowy kurta :-p. I even feel awkward sitting together in front of the tv!

At 8:00 am, there is absolute mayhem. Mr. F and I are trying to get ready for work amid knocks on the door asking what to make for breakfast, whether to iron the blue shirt or the white one and apologies for accidentally knocking over one of the souvenirs on the shelf.

When I come home from work, I'm besieged by complaints. Ali (chowkidar plus cook) vs. Shabana (dusting and ironing) and Maryam Maasi (cleaning lady) pointing fingers and having hurt feelings all around... *sigh*

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pawnay 14 August

If you haven't already, go watch this play! Subtle humor woven into a serious take on modern-day Pakistan... Anwar Maqsood does it again!

Take your parents and grandparents along if they're into plays :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Working Mom?

Alhamdulilah, I've been blessed with good health and an uncomplicated pregnancy, allowing me to continue to work full-time well into my 8th month and Inshalah, I plan to continue working up until a couple of weeks before the due date.

It was the same when I was getting married; I was in office up until the day before my Mayoun and I think it helped me stay sane, having an outlet where I could be productively employed, away from the spats that inevitably crop up when relatives and extended family from all over the world get together for a few days in the hot and humid month of July!

At the same time if I'm honest, I do feel that I missed out on the excitement and pampering that the traditional bride gets at home; the poignant moments before one leaves the parents' home for the new home and new life with the husband. It was such a whirlwind week that I barely remember anything and everything I do recall was more from the perspective of a detached observer than that of the bride...

I don't want to do this with baby... I want to (Inshalah) enjoy each and every moment and spend as much time as possible, watching him or her grow up and be there when it needs me. At the same time, I don't want to give up everything I've worked so hard for, not to mention the freedom, the financial independence, the excitement of meeting interesting people and working on meaningful projects, the lunches and dinners with my colleagues, the mini-celebrations when we achieve a mutual target, the office birthdays, the monthly paycheck and perks and mostly just being able to get up, get ready and go to work...

I'm trying to be flexible and see how I feel about going back to work full-time... Let's see!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Snog = Highly Overrated

Froyo outlets are popping up everywhere so I decided to have my first frozen yogurt in Karachi... I went for the natural flavor and my friends got blueberry, strawberry and chocolate so we could all share... One plain cup is priced at Rs. 340 with additional charges for each extra topping! For that amount of cash, I could buy a pint of Haagen Daaz or Starbucks ice cream and 2 liters of Walls or Omore!

The natural flavor tasted like Nestle full-fat yogurt and the texture was rather watery... The server mentioned at least three times that the froyo is sugar-free and fat-free and sweetened with Agave nectar but, if I'm having dessert at all, I'd rather have it good or avoid it altogether. Frozen yogurt (at least the one we tried) doesn't fill you up, nor does it give you that feel-good, happy feeling you get after downing a cupful of old-fashioned creamy ice-cream.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Decisions decisions!

Good news... I got into a Masters program at Yale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Alhamdulilah

Except, Mr. F can't leave his job to come with me and I don't want to go alone... I also want to spend all the time I can with baby and hopefully Inshalah be a good mom... but, I also don't want to look back at this time 20 years later and regret not having gone to grad school... And let's be honest, a part of me has gotten used to the idea of being back in my hometown with parents, grandparents and cousins close by and ideally, I'd want baby to have that kind of environment to grow up in. Yes, Pakistan has its issues but it also has a lot of comforts that we take for granted...

Tough decision :-S

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quick Update

Work is getting slightly more manageable but I'm exhausted at the end of the day...

But the independence and the added self-esteem is so worth it! I think it's really unfair how women of earlier generations had to ask their men for money or get a weekly/monthly "allowance"... I mean, yes, men are responsible for supporting their families but the whole giver/receiver role is a little archaic... And men never say "thank you" for the million services women provide them (making tea, serving dinner, running the house, entertaining their families).

I'm getting really big now... I guess it was inevitable but I don't think I was prepared for the changes :-P... Big butt, thick thighs, swollen feet and of course, the protruding tummy! Hopefully will be worth it in the end but my respect for my gender increases every single day :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Still Swimming

Whew! I barely get time to gobble down lunch these days and I'm so beat, I just go home and crash... Staying at the 'rents again so I get home-cooked food from Mom plus a free back massage from sister dearest :) Yayy!

Mr. F's traveling and partying in Thailand :-P, I could be bitter but I don't want to make myself sick, so just trying to keep myself busy and happy. I got my bonus today :D. I think I'll spend it on a ticket for Mom to visit her sister in Canada.

Backaches are getting worse and baby dear is rather active Mashalah... Hoping everything turns out ok Inshalah.

I'm learning all about financial ratios and doing lots of number-crunching... it's pretty cool but do miss my Environment/Energy work...


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's been 3 days since I moved into a new role... I'm swamped with work, but loving it :)

After twiddling my thumbs for over a year, it's good to be doing something that's important, and interesting at the same time. Thank you Allah Mian and I hope I manage to stay afloat!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Karachi Literature Festival 2012

Kudos to Ameena Saiyid for successfully organizing this event for the third year running!

KLF gives Karachiites something to look forward to; a much needed intellectual platform where writers and artists can come together to connect in a safe, open environment. And the best part? It's free and open to all (all ages, genders and socioeconomic classes are welcome although the festival was dominated by the elite aunties in their winter shawls, sarees and designer sunglasses :-P).

I missed William Dalrymple, acclaimed author of White Mughals and The Last Mughal but I managed to sit in Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy's talk which was both edifying and witty...

I'd also like to share that I got 2 rejections... one from Stanford and one from Yale :'(
Guess it's not meant to be but I hope Allah Mian shows me the light soon... I really want to get back to academics (safe option) or do something amazing (not too safe) soon Inshalah.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Love and Envy

Love and envy, they're both extreme versions of the same feeling... just at different ends of the spectrum. They're both obsessive emotions and they both have the ability to destroy someone if allowed to rule unchecked. Of course, some will argue, true love is pure and unselfish, it doesn't engender envy...

I simply don't think that's true...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dolmen Mall Karachi

This winter's been longer than any I can remember in the recent past... Usually, Karachi enjoys a two-week long cold spell and then we're back to perpetual summer... hmmm

Mr. F's still away... *sigh* but I'm getting used to it. This time, I'm keeping myself ultra-busy, re-doing our garden, shopping for gifts and hanging out with baby sis and bro. We went to Dolmen Mall this past weekend. It was super-crowded and almost all the stores were having a sale. I saw something really cute though: a couple in their late sixties/early seventies were trying to navigate the trolley escalators.

The uncle was being really patient, holding his wife's hand and trying to get her to board the moving walkway but she kept shying away... Meanwhile a crowd of impatient people had queued up behind them and finally, one young lady took pity on Amma-ji and grasping her elbow firmly, she stepped onto the walkway with the husband holding his wife's other hand and clutching the railing on the other side... Thankfully, they made it safely to the other side.

Cinnabon is overrated... It's just a really expensive doughball topped with really sweet syrup, I'd prefer a Boston creme donut any day!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Dada Abbu!

So, Dada Abbu is quite a character and, I haven't really talked about him much so here's a post dedicated to him...

DA is a military man. He's loud, fiery, passionate and rather charismatic. Although he's just 5 feet 2 inches tall, he has a presence. When he walks into a room, people look, and listen. Mashalah, he commands respect. He's always looks impeccable... ironed shirt, polished shoes, a nice tie... extremely proper and neat. I like that in a man :-). On my Mayoun though, he wore a Hawaian shirt... with khakis. I remember him walking up to the stage swinging his cane and it made me smile :)

DA's done a lot for people... he's generous in his own way, and he sticks to his principles... I'll always remember him as a content man... Master of his destiny, independent and comfortable in his own place with his feet propped up on a footstool, reading the newspaper, munching Planters peanuts and sipping chai.

Mashalah, he just turned 88.., May you have many many more!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Quiet Thursday

I'm sitting in my cubicle cracking up at these... :-P

Sadly, no one else in my cubicle finds them funny... guess I'm just a little bit weird (or very weird :O). The office is pretty empty as all the bigwigs have gone to Thar... just us chotas are left. Another colleague will be leaving at the end of the month and I guess our department probably has the highest turnover rate in the company :(

Mr. F's off on yet another trip... I'll try to stay busy and happy at home and not get mad :-p. Alhamdulilah, we've settled into a comfortable routine... I'm a lot calmer now and Mr. F's more patient, in fact, he's become a sweet, loving husband, Mashalah :) Let's see how long that lasts :-P

Went to see Agneepath this past weekend... The storyline is intense but the movie was too loud and violent...

Lawn exhibitions are popping up all over Karachi :-p... let's see how long I hold out before caving in and going to one...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Days

I'm really enjoying this peaceful time before the new arrival with Mr. F, family and friends... just hanging out, watching movies, shopping, eating out and being cozy with coffee and a good novel Alhamdulilah.

It's interesting how you suddenly 'click' with people at different stages of your life... I find I have more in common now with people who're at a similar stage of life as I am than my old school friends/family friends whom I've known all my life... It's bittersweet but that's just the way it is :-|

This past weekend, I went to visit Amima and NanaAbbu... I can't imagine having grown up without my grandparents being around and it's just one of the many perks of having lived in the same city... Weekend sleepovers, trips to the bakery and ice cream parlor, new clothes and toys, Eidiee! Someone to recite extra prayers right before an important exam, someone to comfort me when Mom or Dad were away during emergencies and most importantly, someone to pet me and spoil me and tell me, I'm amazing, just when I needed it the most :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Canada and I

I visited Toronto in May 2008, during dead week, right before graduation. I stayed with a friend and we had a blast. I remember arriving at Pearson Airport, getting on to the Airporter and getting off near downtown with just a small hand carry. I was supposed to meet the friend at around 4 pm and I had a couple of hours to kill so I wandered along the streets, checking out shops and enjoying a Starbucks grande. And then out of the blue, I decided I needed a haircut so I stepped into a random salon and got side bangs :-)

Later that evening, we went out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant, right opposite a club called Zanzibar that was offering $15 lap dances... I was surprised to see the blatant advertisement... right in the middle of a street with ordinary shops and restaurants :-P

The next day, we went to Kensington market and I had fudge... yum! That afternoon we had dinner at the revolving restaurant in CN tower... good times :)

Around that time, Toronto was celebrating interfaith week so we got free entry into a number of temples... S and I went to the Hare Krishna center where they had a lot of big statues. The other devotees did a song and dance worship routine while we watched in silence. Later, they invited us to have dinner. And so, I ended up in the basement of a Hare Krishna center helping to cook dinner... there was a curry and rice and at the end, we had to wash our own plates in a sink filled with soapy water...

But since that trip, I haven't been able to go back... the visa application process is quite tedious and there's too much 'khwari'

Today, I went to get my passport renewed. I got the photo and then went to get my info updated. The receptionist logged and then, surprise, 'Your ID info isn't updated' :O

So basically, I have 2 ID cards. One is my local ID and the second is an overseas ID card which I had to get made so I could work in Abu Dhabi and they could ship my body back for free on a PIA flight in case, khuda na khwasta something happened :-p

So my local ID card info has been changed from 'daughter of' to 'wife of' but my overseas ID card still says 'daughter of'... I wish Pakistani men had to get their status changed to 'husband of'. Then, they'd realize how much khwari we women go through :'(

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I grew up reading these in Dawn: http://www.babyblues.com/

I was Zoe, my brother was Hammie and much later, we had little sis :)

Yesterday, I had a mini pecanbon from Cinnabon in Dolmen Mall... Not sure if it was worth the Rs. 230 that I paid for it but at least I can tell my colleagues, "Oh, I had Cinnabon, you guys should try it!" :-P

Otherwise, not too much going on these days... Sadly, 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal falls on a Saturday this year, so, another chutti, lost :'(

I'm making a presentation on the Future Energy Mix of Pakistan to overcome the current power crisis... any ideas?

The Rise of the New Groupthink

And just when I was trying to become Ms. Popular, this: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-the-new-groupthink.html

Friday, January 13, 2012

How to be an Extrovert

So my feedback from my boss during the annual appraisal was that I need to be more loud and assertive. I wish I didn't have to change my core personality but I guess that's one of the requirements of the job :-p

So, how does someone like myself, an introvert at heart turn into an extrovert? I decided to google it, and found the following:

"Extroversion is the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self. If you want to get more gratification from the world around you, here's how."

- Give yourself permission to act without reflecting beforehand (No, really! They might just fire me :-p)
- Notice people. Try to get them to smile back at you. Greet people, even strangers (Yeah, whenever I do that, I get hit on... by uncles, security guards, salesmen... even other colleagues... I'm cool with aunties though :))
- Engage people in conversation whenever possible. Keep the conversation chatty, focusing on the first thing you notice: "I like your shirt," "Where did you get that haircut?" or "It sure is cold today! (So, I go up to my boss and say, "I like your shirt!"... ummm, how is that professional?! p.s. I actually do know a couple of "extroverts" who actually say stuff like that to the boss :-p)
- Try to get other people to notice you. If they don't, keep talking until they do, or find someone else to talk to. Don't analyze your conversations; just move on to the next one (See above)


  • Please don't try too hard. Go at your own pace and don't try to change yourself and be a completely different person, because that is impossible.
  • If you are naturally very introverted, efforts to be extroverted all the time may leave you exhausted and unfulfilled.
Okay then!

I like this one's take:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On High-handedness

It really bothers me when a colleague speaks to me in a high-handed manner...

I'm not your subordinate and you're not my boss. If you want something done, there's a polite way of going about it. And please don't expect me to drop everything else to help you meet that deadline, especially when you plan on taking all the credit yourself!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Another Monday

So many of my friends have birthdays on 9th January! Happy Birthday to all of you :)

I got some bad news today... a friend (acquaintance) that I used to know at Princeton was diagnosed with leukemia. Right after graduation in May 2011, just as she was beginning a new life, she fell ill. The doctors ran a few tests and she received the diagnosis. I remember her as an incredibly pretty, petite Tunisian girl (one of the few at Princeton) and she helped me with some Arabic exercises one afternoon at Cafe Viv...

You can't ever take anything for granted and I guess it's a reminder that each and every living moment, we need to be grateful for all that we have...

SJ, you may not remember me, but I'm adding my voice to everyone else who's praying for you...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mission Impossible 4 - Spoiler Alert

The movie was generally entertaining, lots of "action" and good cinematography... Tom Cruise looked dashing (*sigh* :) but the plot was pretty blah... When was the last time someone saw herds of camels on Dubai roads? And dust storms occur, yes, but thanks to climate change and urbanization and man's tampering with the natural desert environment, sandstorms today are nowhere close to the disaster proportions depicted in the movie...

Also, they should've had an Emirati or two play a part... and there's definitely more to Dubai than the Burj Khalifa. Anil Kapoor's performance was poor... or maybe he was forced to play a fumbling role but Aamir Khan or even SRK could've done a better job...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

For Pakistani Mommies (to be)

Some experiences are just so beautiful and private that you want to cherish them secretly and not have them lose sanctity by sharing with the rest of the world... but, I think it I'll jot down a few things that I think most moms-to-be experience at some point during their 9-month journey... :-)

I hate hospitals, medicines and injections... I'm scared of needles and the sight of blood makes me physically sick... But, over the past few months, I've willingly had several blood tests and taken all sorts of evil-tasting tablets. I've used all kinds of public bathrooms (and for someone who doesn't 'go' even on 16-hour flights to the US because of the general yuckiness of airplane bathrooms), this has been quite a traumatic experience...!

If you're a working girl in the Pakistani workplace, your 'state' can be quite embarrassing... How do you break the news to your male co-workers/supervisor? Or do you just wait until you start to show? How do you deal with (accidentally) falling asleep at your desk as a result of forgoing your morning coffee? How do you respond when a male colleague looks at your tray during lunchtime and comments, "Wow, that's a lot of food!" :-P

Getting ready for work or dressing up to go to someone's shaadi can sometimes reduce me to tears... When the clothes just won't fit, the buttons won't close and nothing in the cupboard fits right, Mr. F gets an earful for telling me to "hurry up or we'll be late!"

Forgetfulness... It isn't me, I swear! Last week, I'd come home in a hurry and when I was ready to go out again, I simply couldn't find the house & car keys (I carry them together)! Spent a frantic hour looking for the keys and even called the maasi to help me look until, at last, I discovered my key chain behind the sofa cushions :-p

Another time, poor Mr. F had to turn back twice on our way to work, once when I'd forgotten my laptop bag and another time because I'd left my cell phone at home (sorry!)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thank you :)

Dear Mr. F,

I know most girls appreciate flowers, chocolates, jewelry and pretty things... but you made me much happier by being truly loving, caring and darling ;)

And although you're quite a manly man, it really warmed my heart.

In case you're wondering... just what did Mr. F do?

He cleaned out and rearranged my cupboard :D... It's one of those tasks I don't relish and even though I'm usually quite neat and tidy, the cupboard regularly returns to its unkempt state every fortnight or so...

I basically dumped everything on the floor and had a minor meltdown but Mr. F (very kindly) donated hangers from his own cupboard and helped me locate dupattas, missing socks and perfume caps... and then arranged everything nicely :-)

I feel blessed Alhamdulilah...

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's Cold and I've Nowhere to Sleep

She calls out to the man on the street
'Sir, can you help me ?'
'It's cold, and I've nowhere to sleep.
Is there somewhere you can tell me ?'
He walks on, doesn't look back,
He pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrased to be there.

Oh think twice,
It's another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, it's just another day for you,
You and me in paradise

She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she's been crying
She's got blisters on the soles of her feet
She can't walk, but she's trying

Oh think twice .....

Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh Lord, there must be something you can say

You can tell from the lines on her face you can see that she's been there
Probably been moved on from every place 'cos she didn't fit in there

Oh think twice .....