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:

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:

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 .....