• My Abode of Peace

    Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but never our hearts. (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr)

  • Solace

    When nothing can comfort you, His words can. His words always will.

  • Some days, the view looks scary. Trust Him. He is the Best of Planners.

  • Showers of blessing.

    Clouds come floating in to my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky. (Tagore)

  • Hop and Jump

    For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.(John Connolly)

Coming home.

Dec 17, 2013

I call myself a nomad. Since 2006, it has been rightly so. I have been constantly travelling between Doha, Kerala and Bangalore. I loved packing and leaving, either to Doha because I was tired of college or back to Bangalore,  because I was tired of  the desert.

My black Amberst trolley bag has been my constant companion in all these travels. It has been a pleasure to meet some interesting co-passengers. Roaming in Dubai airport alone is always a different experience. And so is exploring the book shops of the various airports. All the latest titles that you cannot seem to get hold of otherwise, you will surely find them in the airport bookshops. Observing people from different countries, from different walks of life and how they react to stress of a journey or flight delay or how they deal with their screaming kids has been my past time. Some airports like Dubai, Doha, Bangalore and Bahrain are impressive. Some like Sharjah, Calicut, Trivandrum, Muscat are mediocre.  

As much as I have enjoyed the nomadic adventures of the past 7 years, I wish for a change now. I wish to be in one place, call it my home, have my clothes, books and collections in one place instead of it being strewn over two countries. When I am in Doha, I get bored and want to get out. When I am in my hometown, I donot find any connection with it. Definition of home changes as we grow up. What was home will not be home. I wish to have a place in which I feel home. They say, home is people. Home is also constant. Home is comfort and security. Home is joy.  

Wandering new place and constantly travelling gives you a glimpse of different people and perspective, but tonight, I want conformity. I want to have that favourite pillow or the corner of my cupboard for my favourite collection of newspaper scraps, quotes, letters etc. I want to have a favourite hang-out, a shop I frequent, a menu of a restaurant memorized. I want to know the place, the people, the community. I want to be home.  

That is my wish, prayer, hope and dream for 2014. To have a place and a person whom I call home.  

Ya Allah. Give me strength to endure.  

(... and maybe, when I get that, I might write a blog post of how I want to shed off the cobwebs of daily life. Grass is greener on the other side, they say. C'est la vie! )

Festival of Words.

Dec 15, 2013

For the past 7 days, after waking up, my first thought was 'Oh...what will I write today'. It reminded me of writing English essays in school, at the last-minute. I read countless blogs, beautiful ideas and interacted with many bloggers. (the most I have interacted with, in all my X years of being in the online world -an introvert, offline & online ! :D )  

Taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words was a different experience for me. I don't call myself a writer or blogger. I mostly write when I am feeling low. I write to clarify my thoughts and it helps me to look at my situations from a different angle. Writing has been my refuge and the written word has helped me in masking my pain. I write because I convey my thoughts and feelings better through it, than a conversation.

This would be a summary of my experience and observations...

●With one word given as a prompt, there were nearly 50+ entries for each. Just one word can lead to such a creative splurge of different thoughts, varied emotions, stories and incidents. Colourful kaleidoscope of thoughts from just one word!

● Each and every blogger tried their level best to interact with others and read through their entry. When veteran bloggers (say, what, 2 million hits?) read and comment on your blog, it is a beyond happy feeling. Everyone took to Corinne's advice of 'pay it forward.'  

● Reading through many blogs, I got to know, some have demanding jobs or are mothers to small children, yet almost everyone did a wonderful job of updating 7 posts, inspite of their hectic schedule. When a definite goal is set, we can always find a way out to achieve it.

● For me personally, I am no seasoned blogger, neither do I update 7 posts per month. Last week was the hardest, with being quite busy at home, ill health plus a terribly slow internet (read 40kbps :D), still managed to update, read other blogs and comment. *happy dance* (I know, I haven't read all of your blogs, but in due time, InshaAllah, I shall do it. Apologies !)  

●Positive comments, constructive criticism helps in improving ourselves.

 ●Writers can come in any shades - mothers, housewife, corporate employee, doctors, students. As long as you have the flair and interest to write, you have every technology right in front of you to write and publish it to a wider audience.

●.. and, yeah almost all of us are crazy about books and most have started their reading journey with Enid Blyton.

● 7 days got over way too fast !

Looking forward in taking part in other Write Tribe festivals and prompts. (and frequent blogging and writing, maybe!)

Delhi dreams.

Dec 14, 2013

Her father's dream was for her to get an education,
he sold his land in Ballia to pay her fees.  

Her dream was to secure her family's financial future,
she worked hard and became a physiotherapist.  

Fate had other plans. Wrong time, at the wrong place.

As the city slept on a cold December night,
she was being tortured, humiliated and violated.  

They could injure and scar her body,  
but not her hopes and dreams.  

Fiercely she  fought her battle,
"Mother, I want to live", said she.  

Unbearable pain, she endured,
Unwavering strength, she showed.  

Eventually, she bowed down to destiny,
13 days later, she left for her eternal abode.  

A dream of a young girl aborted, quite painfully.
A dream of a father snatched away from him, so quickly.  

Protests, vigils and candles, alighted the country.  
Rage, disbelief and shock, soon turned to grief, tears and sorrow.  

As dreams turned into a nightmare, A nation awakened, though late.      

This is written in memory of the Delhi brave heart who was brutually gang raped on December 16, 2012. She succumbed to the injuries and left for her eternal abode on December 29, 2012. It was an incident that shook the nation and protesters lined the streets in every nook and corner of the country. According to statistics,  every 20 minutes, a woman is abused in India. After the incident, awareness has increased and crimes are being reported and registered daily, yet we have a mammoth task left to do.  

I and my sister studied in Bangalore and Trivandrum while our parents and extended family were in another country. We have taken early morning flights, long train rides and night bus journeys alone. To think, things could have gone wrong is a scary thought. Now, if my younger cousin sister wants to come back to India for her graduate studies, my family might think about it twice !

I hope and pray for a safe and secure India.

(I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This is the seventh and final post in the 7 day series. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the festival)        

To Teacher, With love.

Dec 13, 2013

Being a shy, dreamy kid in an over achieving family will make you often feel like a fish out of the pond. All through my Junior and Middle school, I considered myself as an average child with no special talents, neither in academics nor in co-curricular activities.

  ....and, then I met a teacher in 8th standard. Bubbly and energetic is what any one would describe her at first. She taught us math - most high schooler's dreaded subject. Her unique way of teaching us the subject made almost all of us to fall in love with numbers and equations. For three consecutive years, she taught us just more than math.  

One of her foremost principles was 'always respect people'. Respect the lab attendants, the cleaners and other non-teaching staff in the same way you respect your teacher or Principal. Respect should not be based on profession, financial status, age or gender. Respect all people - she taught us.  

Believe in yourself was the lesson she instilled in me, personally. I believed I was incapable of scoring good marks in math or doing well in physics. She saw the potential in me way before I did. She appreciated me for who I am. As kids, one of the greatest gifts a parent or teacher can give is positive validation. As long as you ready to put  in your effort and hard work, success can be yours, she said.  

Over three years, she inspired me in a way no one else had. What helped was she didn't know anyone in my family other than me. So I was not under the undue pressure to keep up. Her impressions or expectations from me was not due to others associated with me, but due to my own abilities and talents.  I started loving math and doing well in studies(lottery of genes worked there :D)  Eventually I went on to secure top scores in math in 9, 10 n 12 th grade. As a 7th grader, that would have been the last I expected from myself !  

When given with a challenge, one of my first reaction, as a kid was , 'It is not possible for me to do it'. Her kind and encouraging words helped me in improving my self esteem and confidence. As I grew up and left home for college, it helped me in facing many adversities I had to battle with. So much so, challenges thrill me now. It is one of the easiest way to make us step out of our comfort zones.  

Eventually she left our school and I lost touch with her. Everytime, the thought of 'I cannot do it' cross my mind, I look back onto the memories of her kind, smiling face telling me to never stop believing in myself.    

Good teachers leave an indelible mark in the life of their students and the effect of the lessons they have taught linger long after the students have left the gates of their school.

(I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This is the sixth post in the 7 day series. Wohoo, I made it this far in my first ever attempt of any blogger events )

Train flavours.

Dec 12, 2013

To learn about India, take a train ride through the country, they say. My version of that saying would be, to observe different people's different reactions to same situation and learn of the various shades of human behaviour, travel a long distance in a crowded train.

From the Chai wallah (tea seller) to the co-passenger, there is  never a dearth of "colourful" people. The fellow passengers in the same berth start off as strangers suspicious of one another, yet eventually warming up to each other and sharing personal stories with one another. It is often easier to bare open our souls to utter strangers !  

Trains are often late. Some people wait patiently. Others read. Some observe other people. Yet, others voice loudly every expletives ever heard.

The way a person treats a porter (luggage carrier/coolies) conveys more about their character than the words they speak.

As the train crosses the country side and villages, many a times, there is lack of network coverage. Have you ever noticed the different expressions on people's face? Some get too high strung, some raise their phones to a height, whereas some dont even realize that there is no coverage !  

To a generation that craves instant gratification and instant results, how many of us can actually go on slow, passenger trains now?! I, for one, find it really difficult.

(I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This is the fifth post in the 7 day series)

Rhythm of cultures.

Dec 11, 2013

Every community has it's own unique art forms. In India, festivals, birthdays and weddings are never devoid of music.  

I will give you a glimpse of the way music is celebrated amongst the people in my community - Mappilas from the Malabar region of Kerala (southern Indian state)  

The most common and enjoyed music in any Mappila household is the 'Mappila Pattu'. These songs have a unique rhythm, symphony and style. Heavily influenced by the Arab culture, due to trade relations between the Arabs and the merchants of Calicuts during the pre-British and British era, these songs are usually sung in Malayalam (native language) or in Arabi-Malayalam ( Mixture of both the languages with the script written in Arabic). They deal with themes such as religion, love, satire, social issues, folklore, heroism, even anti-colonial struggles and the trend of migrations to the "Gulf" and are often sung at weddings, family get togethers and meetings. Over the years, the Mappila pattu has undergone its own metamorphosis with it being influenced by popular cultures and recent trends, now.  

Oppana -  Where mappila pattu is talked about, oppana has to be mentioned. A dance form performed by the ladies (or bridesmaids) around the bride who is seated on a bridal chair in the centre. The mappila pattu is sung live or played as the group claps, performs simple steps according to the music  and  move around the bride. In short,  the oppana adds to the celebration of the wedding and wishes the couple a lifetime filled with happiness and joy.

Katha prasangam - A mappila version  of the musical where a story  is told with the help of both prose and poetry. It usually talks of inspirational stories, fables of the glorious past and stories of religious significance.  

Daffu muttu - An art form performed to commemorate festivals and for social entertainment with the help of a musical instrument called "Daffu" made of wood. ( Imagine a miniature version of the drum which is open on one side). Around 8-10 boys stand either in U shape or form a complete ciricle with a leader singing songs, the chorus following him and the group drumming on the daffu and playing steps, all in symphony with the song. Similar to the mappila pattu, the daffu muttu talks of Lord's praise, a tribute to heroes or sometimes, addresses issues relevant to the community at present.  

Kolkalli - Similar to the daffu muttu, instead of the daffu, there are two sticks with the dancers, which they strike in unison according to the rhythm of the song. The circle of dancers expands and contracts as the song progresses.  

Music transcends boundaries. Any language or any story, as long as there is a melodious and soulful song to it, our ears are attuned to appreciate them.

( I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This is the fourth post in the 7 day series. The prompt was 'Music' and I was wondering what would I write, since I have stopped listening to most forms of music around 3+ years now and hence really not aware of the current music scene  besides related tweets that come on my Twitter timeline! :D)


Dec 9, 2013

Grandmother fills her grand daughters back pack with goodies... food is a sign of affection.  

Mother makes her daughter's favourite "cutlets" when she is back from hostel.... food tells 'I missed you'.  

Eid, the entire clan and Biriyani ... food leads to strengthening family ties.  

Christmas cake and Diwali sweets from the neighbours ... food is a sign of mutual respect.  

A saturday movie night with friends, in the hostel room...food is a sign of bonding .  

On that shy first date... food is a conversation enhancer.  

His lover is ill with fever, he makes bread toast and coffee...food is a means to show he cares, sans words.  

The new bride takes extreme care in preparing food for her husband...food is a sign of love.  

After a terrible day at work, a homely dinner.....food brings comfort.  

High school reunion....food helps in recollecting old memories.  

Across borders, cultures and religion, any event, function, get together or reunion are always punctuated with delicious food. Inspite of our differences,  we have more in common !

Truly, food helps in cementing relationships.      

(I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This is the second post in the 7 day series )

Memory in white.

Dec 8, 2013

(I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. This post is part of the 7 posts series )

 There is a congregation of people. Everyone is talking in soft voices. Sombre mood alighted the house. White clothes around. A group of people were carrying a white casket away. One of the ladies in the family is pushing her face onto the window grill in the sitting room . I can see her tears. I donot know what is happening.  

Later on, after recalling this to my mother, she pointed out, that would have been the funeral of my father's second uncle.  

I was 3 years old. This is my first memory.  

Which is your earliest childhood memory? From what age do we start recollecting  incidents ?

The Book.

Dec 5, 2013

The golden lettering of the beautiful Arabic calligraphy on the cover is fading. The green hard bound cover is fraying at the edges. The bookmark thread has torn off from the end where it is attached to the inside of the hard cover.

There is a spot here or there. Remnant of drops of water, now dried. Her tears maybe. There is a mark in the last part of 29th Chapter, a stray mark. She might have made it unknowingly, while studying as a child. Otherwise, the Book is free of any written marks. The pages are sharp and crisp. Still.

Her mother gifted it to her when she was in 7th grade, after she came back from Hajj. Until then she had used the smaller, by parts, version of the book. She was happy beyond words. She was growing up, she knew.

Little did she know then, the Book would travel with her from her childhood home, to the strict hostel run by nuns, to her ancestral home in Kerala, to her first hostel in Bangalore, to the bigger, better second hostel and then finally to the single room she spent the last 8 months of her college life. From there, the book travelled with her to her new family home in Doha, while she went for Umrah and then to her house in Kerala. Wherever she went, the Book travelled with her.

She read it while she was lonely when all her friends were out partying, stressed out before her exams, scared while she was travelling alone, broken up when her dreams didnt come true, betrayed by her friend.

She regrets it to this day for not reading it, while her grandfather was breathing his last, like her dad asked to. She was scared if she would make any mistakes, in that sacred moment. She regrets to not giving the Book time, when she was happy, free and relaxed. Had she spent time with the Book, during her times of ease, would harship have arrived? During periods of contenment, why do we forget the pillars of support of our hard times?

She regrets not learning of the secrets of the Book. She prays everyday, for the knowledge of the Book to be opened to her.

In His most beloved house, she prayed for her soul to be taken back to Him, only after she had learnt and comprehended the wisdom of the Book. A secret, sincere plea.

The Book is healing, mercy and guidance.

Her Mushaf.

Al Quran al Kareem. His divine word.

The content.

Dec 1, 2013
Being a very private person, I have kept this blog away from most people I know. Also, I have never joined in any blogger forums, groups, etc until now. This blog was mostly a 'Dear Diary' started in my 2nd year of college,  where I could vent my frustrations. My initial thought was, who would be interested in another person's rant ?!

After hearing some reviews from some tweeps and two of my closest friends and their advices telling me to keep this blog public, I am doing so now. I have joined a couple of blogger directorys too.

As the readership of this blog grows, I am on a fix, as to what topics should I blog about. After all, if other people are reading, there should be some beneficial content !

... and so, I have decided on these few topics. (I dont know if I will purely stick to these. Anyways,  I shall try)
      ● Excerpts from any interesting book I read. Book reviews.
      ● Notes from my Tafseer sessions.
      ● Literary work.
      ● Relevant topics to my community -Malayalee Muslimah.
      ● Personal opinion, funny incidents, and life everyday.

Do let me know, if you have any more suggestions.
Thank you.
(Edit : Fighting my blog-introversion and hence added Google Friend Connect and Subscribe by email )


Nov 29, 2013

 A species in which everyone was General Patton would not succeed, any more than would a race in which everyone was Vincent van Gogh. I prefer to think that the planet needs athletes, philosophers, sex symbols, painters, scientists; it needs the warmhearted, the hardhearted, the coldhearted, and the weakhearted. It needs those who can devote their lives to studying how many droplets of water are secreted by the salivary glands of dogs under which circumstances, and it needs those who can capture the passing impression of cherry blossoms in a fourteen-syllable poem or devote twenty-five pages to the dissection of a small boy’s feelings as he lies in bed in the dark waiting for his mother to kiss him goodnight.… Indeed the presence of outstanding strengths presupposes that energy needed in other areas has been channeled away from them.

—ALLEN SHAWN        

(Quiet by Susan Cain starts with this quote. Yeah I am besotted with this book ;) )


Nov 27, 2013

One of the constant advices I have heard since my childhood is 'speak up' or 'Don't be so quiet' or 'Engage in classroom discussions more!'

In school and college, I was always surrounded by people who are gregarious and bold to voice their every opinion. Whereas, I was always shy and quiet. I would know the answer to the questions put forth in class, yet most often, I chose to be silent. Many a times, I found my shyness debilitating.

Growing up, I was made to believe, introversion and shyness is a negative atrribute. Speak up to be heard, they say. It doesn't take into consideration if you feel uncomfortable or not !

Two days ago, I read the book, "Quiet - The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking" by Susan Cain. My only regret after reading the book is, not knowing about the book earlier, especially during my difficult college years!

In the first chapter, the author says, if there is only one insight you take away from this book, I hope it is a new found sense of entitlement to be yourself.

...and, so I learn.

It is alright to stand at the corner of a party hall making one-on-one conversation with some one I know rather than take centre-stage at the party.

It is alright to energize myself at the end of the day by some "me" time either by typing into my online blog or jotting down in my journal.

It is alright to enjoy books more than people ! Sometimes, atleast ;)

It is alright to feel happiness to watch a blissful sunrise or get excited while being at the receiving end of kindness by a stranger.

At the same time, it is not acceptable to be taken advantage of, due to your shy demeanour !

Introverts usually have a rich inner life, a passionate hobby, calm nature and are generally good listeners and quite observant. Yet to the outside world, they are 'nerd',' boring' or 'unappealing' ! Had there been no introverts in the world, the author points out, there would have been no Theory of relativity, Laws of Gravity or even the Harry Potter ! As extroverts bring a vibrant energy and enthusiasm in to the room, introverts bring with them new ideas, thoughts and creativity. It is high time that teachers and elders realise this, and not mold every child into the society-preferred gregarious outspoken individual, but to accept every kid as he or she is. After all the world needs its thinkers and dreamers, more so than ever !

Inspite of my shyness, there is one hobby I love -Public speaking.To a person, who has multi-coloured butterflies in her stomach before speaking in a crowd, public speaking was my idea to step out of my comfort zone and to take actions in confronting my fears.(I have to really thank my sir who taught me Qur'an and religious sciences who pushed me into public speaking at the age of 10. His opinion was, 'Whatever profession you take up in life later on, there might come a time, when you have to speak in public either representing your religion, profession, community etc.') Over the years, I have spoken in classrooms, school competitions and finally the Intern Representative speech on my graduation day. To another person, it would be a small feat, but for me, to put myself in the public like that is, was and will always be a private battle.

And to clear it up, introversion and feeling shy are completely different. An introvert need not necessarily be shy or vice-versa. ( Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. )

Introversion is not a negative attribute. Embracing oneself with one's quality of introversion is a key element for us to feel confident in our day to day relationships.

Susan Cain tells, (and, oh, I agree so much!) : Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.

I leave with this Hadith from Prophet Muhammadصلى الله عليه وسلم :

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Umar (radi-Allaahu 'anhu): The Prophet (sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding Hayaa (shyness) and was saying, "You are very shy, and I am afraid that might harm you." On that, Allaah's Apostle said, "Leave him, for Hayaa is (a part) of Faith." [Bukhaaree]


Nov 22, 2013

I just finished reading, Fawa'id,  A collection of Wise Sayings by Imam Ibn Al Qayyim Rahimahullah.  

The book is filled with wisdom after wisdom. Every sentence will make us ponder. After one reading of the book, I think I might have absorbed only 0.001 % of the wise thoughts in the book. I intend to read it again, InshaAllah.  

There is one sentence which took my breath away, caught me off-guard.  

"The beauty that is contained in the inner and the outer elements of this worldly life and the Hereafter, comes from the effect of His creation. What then, is the extend of the beauty of the Creator?"  

Subhana Allah. Subhana Allah.  

We are swayed by beauty. We are enthralled by the magnificent chromatic symphony of the sunrise. We are left speechless when we witness the lush green gardens with streams flowing by. The snow-filled landscapes or the heavenly downpour of rain makes us to stop for a moment, just to observe the aesthetic treat to our eyes. This is the beauty of this world. So how will the beauty of the Hereafter be?  

Indeed, if this is the beauty of the created and the creations, what will the beauty of The Creator be?

How I long to see the Beauty of My Lord. How I long to hear the word of 'Enter' !  

Ya Allah make us amongst your righteous slaves.
Ya Allah make us amongst the inhabitants of the Garden with nearness to You.


Nov 17, 2013

I can hear the rain falling on to the interlocked floor in front of the house. Soft pitter patter.

At the corner of the  porch lies a small bend pipe which brings in water from the top terrace. The water drips down. The leaves of the mango tree are glistening with rain drops. Rain drops stay at the tip of every strand of the pinnate coconut leaf.

The electric cables pass through pole to pole, street to street , house to house in Kerala. Single drops stand on to the cables for a little while, then falls on to the ground, absorbed by the mud below. Dust we become.

The coastal sand absorbs in the water from heaven with all its glory, turns a shade of deep brown. Rain is a blessing.

Occasionally , a youngster zooms past the house on his bike enjoying the rain lashing. Kids run away from the watchful eyes of their mother, just to enjoy this divine miracle falling on to their tiny hands.

Kids walk in the rain with their hand outstretched.  If allowed, they would any day full drench in the rain. Adults walk under the  comfort of the umbrellas. To enjoy the  moment, we need to learn from the children.

The dragonflies which filled the field of tapioca in the morning, is gone now. Where do they go when it rains?

Slowly, the sky clears. Sunlight can be seen seeping through the clouds. The interlocked floors look clear and shiny. Silent calm around. Wet mud. Everything looks rejuvenated.

Maybe, occasionally,  we need a rain to clear up our vision.

MCD - 14

Nov 16, 2013

(In my first year of college, I came across this poster with the poem titled ' Don't Quit'. All through my 5 years, it shuttled along with me, through 3 different hostel rooms. Cliche as it sounds, it used to help me in times of low)

Don't  Quit.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must,  but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,
When he might had won, had he stuck it out ;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far ;

So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse, that you must not quit.

- Author Unknown


Nov 7, 2013

Cousin (10 years) was leading the Maghrib Salaah. His mother and little brother (5 years) were praying behind him. In the first rakah, he recited Surahthul Kawthar. He finished the first ayah, suddenly, the younger one gave him a sharp beating and said with all fury,  " Talking about trouser in prayer?! "  

I haven't stopped laughing ...

1434--> 1435

Nov 4, 2013

At the beginning of last Muharram, I remember tweeting, '1434, be good to me.'

In 1434,

I have tried my level best in strengthening my relationship with Allah. (May Allah keep us firm on His Deen)

I visited the Holy Lands after a gap of around 16 years. Had continously made dua to bless me to visit.

I completed my dental licensing in Doha after a wait of around 8 months.

I got my first ever job. It was nothing like I expected it to be, still Alhamdulilah, an experience of it's own.

I finally, with all certainty closed off certain uncertainty.  Alhamdulilah.  Some times, we have to just make a strong decision, Allah helps us with the rest.

I completely cut off myself from certain 'friendships'.Dont know why I am writing this as an achievement, but for me , personally it is an achievement. I cannot keep myself away from certain people even though I know with all my heart it is a toxic friendship, thinking it will hurt them. Now, I have learnt, other's happiness should not be at the expense of one's own mental peace and contentment.

By towards the end of the year, slowly learning, from obstacles and failures, what I truly want for myself from life.

There is a continuous dua I have been making throughout. It isn't His destined time yet.

On this last day of Dhul Hijjah,  1434, I wish and pray for a year more in:

Earning His pleasure.
Opportunities to be closer to Him.
Sakina, Mawaddha and Rahma.
Personal contentment.
Professional success.
Opportunity to do Master's Program.
Righteous friends.
Protection from Hamm, Hazan , Ajaz and Khasl.
Read more, sleep less.
Live more and fully each day.

Young Times

Oct 30, 2013

I was rummaging through old stuff when I came across this. For children who grew up in the Middle East in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s, this magazine would easily fall in to the ' fond childhood memories' category.

My first contact with Young times came in 1993, when we shifted to Doha. Sister had to do a project and Uncle came up with some old Young Times issues and she happily used some of the clippings in making a scrap book. Thereafter,  father subscribed for the magazine so that our reading skills and vocabulary would improve.

In 1994, I joined school and slowly started with my YT journey. Initially,  I used to be content reading the comics and the Otto club section. I have consistently read every issue until July 2006. We used to specifically tell our newspaper provider "Uncle" to save us our copies when we would go to India for our vacations. There used to be a ceremonial Tuesday war in my home on who gets to read the magazine first !

My reading craze began with Young Times. My late night reading habit got strengthened with Young Times. There used to be 2 YT copies under my pillow every single day ! ( Now it is smart phone aka tweeting device) How much ever we promised our mom that we would keep the YT stack neat and tidy, it could never be done. We had to read, re-read and re-re read YT old issues over and over again. Seeing our YT strewn room, mother would always comment, " Evide nokkiyalum Young Times" ( Wherever I look , I find Young Times! )

Slowly from comics and short story, I passed on to reading the weekly cover story, Postscript, Backstage, Aunt Alice & Ask Marisa, the coloumn by Munawwar Shariff ( did I get the name right?) and so on and so forth. I still remember the hue and cry which went on for months on wanting a complete Back Street Boys issue, first raised by Sara M. (?) and also the stories published such as Saman Zaar, Anmol, When in love by Shahbaaz Anwerr, A will to go on or the issues raised in the Cover Story section such as Save Water, handling Exam stress, Trolley bags in school. Who can forget the weekly posters or YT famed Shane & Talia or Otto & Totto !

In 2006, I left Doha to continue with my education. My younger brothers used to save up the issues for me to read when I got back for holidays but with passing time and age, I had slowly started losing my YT craze. A couple of years later, when I came back for holidays, brother said me, YT stopped publishing... and I knew a wonderful part of my childhood was over.

A couple of years ago, I came across the twitter page of Ashraf Ghori. I was quite thrilled to get in touch with a YT illustrator ! YT does have a twitter/FB page currently, though not updated often.

If Young Times was published still, what issues would it cover ? Would there be a hue and cry for One Direction/Justin Bieber posters? What questions would the current adolescents and teens have for Aunt Alice and Marisa?

Nomadic or mobile existence is a very common aspect in the life of expatriates based in the Middle East. I donot stay in the same house I grew up in.( Threw away almost all our YT copies when we shifted our house!) I did not do my higher education in the country I grew up in and with all probability,  I might not settle down there too.

Tangible evidences of my childhood is being slowly replaced. But then, I have a truckload of wonderful memories of a childhood well-lived ! ( Alhamdulilah)

.... and Young Times surely holds a prominent position in  that truckload !

( A quick Google search led me to this piece by a former editor of YT and this by a Young Timer)


Oct 28, 2013

( I usually avoid any of my notes on my blog because I am a stumbling student and I am afraid if ill write anything wrong due to my ignorance. Looking through my notes from last Ramadan, (1433) Surah Maryam....I came across this piece I had written back then.  Brought a smile. May it be of some benefit to those who read )

Like every word  from the Holy Qur'an, Surah Maryam is a perfect reminder for every human being. It is a more personalised reminder for every single muslim girl.

In the saddening situation of a pregnant lady in pain, faraway from her family and community,  Allah provided Maryam AS with water and food. He provided for her a small river so as to drink and quench her thirst and also commanded her to shake the trunk of the palm tree, so that fresh dates will fall upon her.

In situations of adversity and difficulties,  we have to do our part, exhaust all the opportunities and take the means. Then Allah will provide for us our small rivulet and palm tree.

When the people were accusing her of being unchaste, Allah willed for Isa Aleyhi Salam to speak from the cradle so that tongues stop wagging and the name of his beloved mother is cleared up.

In the same way, Allah will provide you, your rizq (provision). In the deepest of thoughts and darkest of phases, remember that, He will provide. He is ar Razzaq.

(A good source to study Surah Maryam in easy to understand English is the tafseer session by Sheikh Abdul Nasir Jangda, uploaded on muslimmatters.org )

20- s

(Read this profound statement today about 20-something young adults. Related to it)

THE 20S ARE LIKE the stem cell of human development, the pluripotent moment when any of several outcomes is possible. Decisions and actions during this time have lasting ramifications.

The 20s are when most people accumulate almost all of their formal education; when most people meet their future spouses and the friends they will keep; when most people start on the careers that they will stay with for many years.

This is when adventures, experiments, travels, relationships are embarked on with an abandon that probably will not happen again.

( Read the whole article here :  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22Adulthood-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& )


Oct 20, 2013

If I have wished some one on their b'day once, I can usually remember the date every year. I remember most of my close friend's date of completion of internship. So goes with the date I reached Bangalore, joined college, left Bangalore , so on and so forth. My friends said me I am weird, and I believed them.  

I was reading daofto.com the othe day and the blogger talks of her eidectic memory. That set me thinking about my own memory. I don't have eidectic memory, but I do have a weird sort of memory. Until now, I have never thought of it as a gift or blessing. It was always a weird aspect of my life to me. Imagine remembering every minute detail of a friend/acquaintance when they don't even remember your name! I can recognize the people from my school though I might have never talked to them back in school or I can read a name and just simply remember reading her name in Clarion or so! Or imagine recalling chat conversations !  

I asked my siblings and mother too whether do they recall incidents from childhood, remember dates etc and they too said yes ! Wondering why it never occured to me until now, it was a positive thing. Not something to be ashamed of...sigh!  

During my final year of college,  I felt I was forgetting things that I learnt, whereas earlier I could recall facts well. Apparently, stress and depression decreases your ability to recall facts and statements. How I wish, I knew all this back then and would write  my exams in peace, with out taking stress !  

The  subtle facts we learn about ourselves as we grow up...


Oct 11, 2013

I have rules, mostly made by myself, for myself. I have to always follow them. It has always been like that. Things have to be prim and proper.

As a child, my hair had to be always tied neatly or else I would create tantrums. Often, I fought with my mom regarding it. Once while in Calicut, at my grandparent's place, I was getting ready and mom was plaiting my hair. I didn't like the way she was tying my hair and started arguing with her. Exasperated with my tantrums, mom said, "Go to your grandma. She knows to tie well. After all, she has many daughters na."

I ran to my grandma and said her, 'You have 5 daughters, right. So you would know how to braid hair properly na. Please, tie my hair too."

She replied, "Not 5, I had 6 daughters!"

Little did I know then, even 40 years later, she was a grieving mother !

(May Allah bless my chaachi-grandma and the aunt- whom I have never met in this life - with the highest place in Jannah and may He reunite us again in His eternal blissful gardens)

Rant !

Oct 9, 2013

Constantly asking a single girl, 'When are you getting married?' or a newly married bride 'When are you going to have your baby?' is neither kind nor a good etiquette. Wifehood and motherhood are extremely personal decisions. Along with it, they are the kind of the decisions for which we cannot put a time slot to it by ourselves. They happen at a time when it is ordained by Allah and is a rizq from Him.  

Though our cultural practices donot dictate the concept of respecting personal boundaries, that is not what our religion teaches us. The best Muslim is he who leaves what doesnot concern him - so taught us our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  

If some one's decision regarding marriage etc donot concern you directly, quit asking her the same question over and over again. Your constant questioning is not going to hasten or delay the decisions. It is only going to put the said person in a kind of emotional stress, though most often , she might not voice ‎it !  

Belittling a girl because she is not a wife or a mother is not from our religious etiquettes. If so, Maryam Aleyha Salam or Ayesha Radia Allahu anhu would not have been our role models.  

Wifehood and motherhood are no doubt,  one of the rewarding and gratifying roles to fulfill in this life, yet it is NOT the primary role of a girl. Her first concern in life should always be  about servitude to Allah.

End of lives at the end of a rope !

Oct 6, 2013

Back in June, I was just skimming through my FB newsfeed and I saw a 'Rest in Peace' post on one of my senior's FB wall, by her class mate. I immediately messaged a fellow cassmate and asked her what happened to S (as we shall refer her here). I never expected to hear what I heard. 'She suicided due to some marital troubles'. I donot know if it was suicide itself or murder by her in laws, as was claimed by her family.

To know that one of my own seniors was no more, was a difficult fact for me to digest and believe. She was one of the first few seniors I came to befriend in college, since we stayed in the same hostel.

A few weeks ago, I came to hear of the sudden suicide of a lawyer-beautician-business woman. I cannot express in words, my shock on hearing the news. I had just met and interacted with the lady a month prior to the incident. She was well educated, financially well off and a reputed lady in her community. Seeing her lifestyle and smiling nature, no one could have ever even thought that she would ever take such a fatal step.

.......and we all would have read of the suicide story of Jiah Khan, a young famous Bollywood actress of Ghajini fame.

That brings me to this post. Suicide. What pushes a person to take that final step? What are her thoughts right before? Why cannot we or the close ones, most often, not ascertain or even just have a clue of the difficulties the said person is going through?

I used to think the rich and the famous would be happy. But reading of many celebrity-suicides, we can, with finality, say fame and money alone cannot bring true happiness.

Happy FB pictures with kid, spouse, friends donot always mean the person is truly happy- so teaches me one of the above incidents.

Education. Spouse. Kids. Family. Beauty. Why should a person who has everything we consider as essential requirements of a well-settled life, ever have to take such a fatal step, we wonder...

Then I recall a casual tweet, I had read on my twitter timeline, ' Had it not been for my faith, I would have been mud by now'. That, precisely that, is what can help a person from taking away her own precious life. Undying faith in a higher power. A merciful and beneficient God, who knows your every tear, every trouble, every feeling of distress ! Who teaches you by way of adversities and obstacles , your own strength and your resilience. I recall one of the oft repeating Ayah (verse) from the Holy Qur'an - No soul shall be tested beyond its scope. Meaning your troubles are tailor-made for you. He alone knows your capabilities and strength to face your sadness and despair.

Faith in God. Faith in the Hereafter, a place where justice will be served. Faith in destiny -good or evil. A triad that will help us in overcoming difficulties.
To any person going through such thoughts, I have only one sentence to say : You cannot be replaced !  Your role in this world can be filled only by you.

I leave with one of my favourite verses from the Holy Qur'an.  "For indeed with hardship will be ease. Indeed with hardship will be ease " (Verse 5 & 6 of the 94th chapter - Surah Sharh) The verse doesn't say after hardship, there will be ease. It says, with hardship,  there is ease. As we are going through our difficulties,  there is another way opening up for us! Most often, it is just not evident to us !


Sep 9, 2013

( I was going through my old stuff and found this short poem which I had written when I was 17. Feel it requires a presence on the blog)

Thank you teachers, for....

Not only teaching us the literature written eons ago,
but also the 'grammatical' rules of life.

Not only teaching us the parts of a flower,
but also for 'planting' humane qualities of love and kindness.

Not only teaching us the properties of sound waves,
but also not to go by the 'optical illusions' of the world.

Not only teaching us about the  organic reactions,
but also the 'equations' needed to lead a successful life.

Not only teaching us the geography of unseen land,
but also for 'culturing' in us, a positive outlook towards life.

Not only teaching us algebra and arithmetics,
but also for grooming us into 'different'-ial individuals.

Not only teaching us about worldly knowledge and gains,
but also about spiritual and ethical values.

Above all...
                           Thank you, teachers for...
Not only teaching concepts and theories,
but also for encouraging and inspiring us with your
             exemplary ways and golden thoughts.

(Dedicated to all the teachers who have taught me over the years)

Tweet Tweet !

Aug 26, 2013
Tweets about Umrah- 2013.

Tiny souls

Aug 22, 2013
My heart is feeling numb.

Since last week, I am having a heavy-hearted feeling. Egypt. Syria. Egypt. Syria.

Then yesterday, early morning, I read of the chemical attacks in Syria. My twitter TL is running, literally running with all the updates, videos and pictures. I do not have the strength to see most of them...but eventually I did see three of them.

A girl child is so traumatized after the attacks and all she is screaming is, "I am alive, I am alive". The pallor of her face and skin doesn't go unnoticed.

A baby boy is convulsing due to the inhalation of the gas and is in his final few moments. In all this, he shows his right index finger up. Usually this is taken as an indication of the Shahadah.

A medico who treated the cases explaining in detail of the casualities he has seen ..and finally sobbing in tears with the prayers, " May Allah accept it from them ".

I am in tears and in pain. Hence I write this.

Why doesn't the international media talk against the tyrants? Why are we letting so many innocents die? Would I and you be asked on the Day of Judgement about the innocent people being killed, that we didn't do anything in our power and strength to prevent it ?

I pacify myself, the atrocities committed by the tyrants will never go unnoticed by Allah. On the Day when there will be no shade, HE shall question them for every action of theirs and shall inflict them with the punishment they deserve.

O little children, I pray you are safe under His Arsh, peaceful and happy.
 I pray you are in a place where in no grief shall touch you, where no words of contempt will be ever spoken against you.
 I pray you will be the reason for your parents to enter Jannah and that you are given the right to intercede on their behalf and be Shafee'an Mujaba' (accepted intercessor)

Will you accept if we say we are really sorry , we couldn't protect you enough in this dunya?

I leave you with this documentary - Tiny Souls

Aug 15, 2013
I was in grade 5 or 6 and we were in India for holidays. While passing through Calicut we came across the Government Dental College building and my dad just randomly remarked, "You might study there! "

Me : " Dentist !? I will NEVER be a dentist. "

7 years later, I joined dentistry.

7 years hence, I love and enjoy my chosen field of profession.

Dad's know of your potential way before you find it out yourself ! ❤ 

(May Allah give our parents the best in this world and the best in the hereafter Akhira - Ameen )

To share or not to share... !?

Aug 13, 2013

When we get a promotion at our job/get engaged/ pass a difficult exam with flying colours, the first thing that most of us do is turn to cyber-world to update on Facebook or tweet about it. Well, here is a small advice from Sheikh Omar Suleiman (Day 23 of his Ramadan Resolution series) regarding our constant urge to update publicly about our private lives, usually for validation through "likes" and "retweets".

Day 23- (Before You Share)

You know that feeling when something amazing happens to you and you cant wait to share it with the world? Learn to wait. Here’s why:

1. When any good news came to the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) or if a calamity had been averted, he would immediately fall in prostration (sajdatul shukr) and thank Allah for it. This is a beautiful sunnah that should be practiced all the time and not just for major occasions like graduations, new homes, etc.

2. Take a few moments to really deeply say al hamdulila from the depths of your heart. That will be a form of maintaining that blessing as Allah will see your sincere gratitude.

3. Some of the scholars say that one of the reasons Allah
did not allow Zakariyya (alayhis salam) to speak for 3 days except for words of praise was to bestow a greater appreciation of the blessing upon him. Al Baghawi (ra) said that is because sometimes when you speak about your blessings to others immediately, you lose yourself in your excitement.
So from now on when something good happens to you, hold off on the phone call, text, email, or status. Say takbeer, go into prostration, say subhana rabbi al a’ala the way you do in your prostration in prayer, AND add a personal note of dua and thanks to Allah from the depths of your heart before you rise.

Gems from the Qur'an.

Aug 12, 2013
The following excerpt is from an article posted by Imam Khalid Latif on HuffingtonPost. I found it hugely inspiring and hence sharing it here.
Various verses from the Holy Qur'an which talks of good conduct and character. (Not an exhaustive and complete list)
1. Respect and honor all human beings irrespective of their religion, color, race, sex, language, status, property, birth, profession/job and so on. [17/70]
2. Talk straight, to the point, without any ambiguity or deception. [33/70]
3. Choose the best words to speak, and say them in the best possible way. [17/53, 2/83]
4. Do not shout. Speak politely, keeping your voice low. [31/19]
5. Always speak the truth. Shun words that are deceitful and ostentatious. [22/30]
6. Do not confound truth with falsehood. [2/42]
7. Say with your mouth what is in your heart. [3/167]
8. Speak in a civilized manner, in a language that is recognized by the society and is commonly used. [4/5]
9. When you voice an opinion, be just, even if it is against a relative. [6/152]
10. Do not be a bragger or boaster. [31/18]
11. Do not talk or do anything vain [23/3, 28/55]
12. Do not participate in anything paltry or contemptible. If you pass near such a futile play, then pass by with dignity [25/72]
13. Do not verge upon any immodesty or lewdness whether surreptitious or overt. [6/151].
14. If unintentionally any misconduct occurs by you, then correct yourself expeditiously. [3/134].
15. Do not be contemptuous or arrogant with people. [31/18]
16. Do not walk haughtily or with conceit. [17/37, 31/18]
17. Be moderate in thy pace. [31/19]
18. Walk with humility and sedateness. [25/63]
19. Keep your gazes lowered devoid of any lecherous leers and salacious stares. [24/30-31, 40/19].
20. If you do not have complete knowledge about anything, better keep your mouth closed. You might think that speaking about something without full knowledge is a trivial matter. But it might have grave consequences. [24/15-16]
21. When you hear something malicious about someone, keep a favorable view about him/her until you attain full knowledge about the matter. Consider others innocent until they are proven guilty with solid and truthful evidence. [24/12-13]
22. Ascertain the truth of any news, lest you harm someone in ignorance and afterwards repent of what you did. [49/6]
23. Do not follow blindly any information of which you have no direct knowledge. (Using your faculties of perception and reasoning) you must verify it for yourself. In the Court of your Lord, you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning. [17/36].
24. Never think that you have reached the final stage of knowledge and nobody knows more than yourself. Remember! Above everyone endowed with knowledge is another endowed with more knowledge [12/76]. Even the Prophet [p.b.u.h] was asked to keep praying, "O My sustainer! Advance me in knowledge." [20:114]
25. The believers are but a single Brotherhood. Live like members of one family, brothers and sisters unto one another. [49/10].
26. Do not make a mockery of others or ridicule others. [49/11]
27. Do not defame others. [49/11]
28. Do not insult others by nicknames. [49/11]
29. Avoid suspicion and guesswork. Suspicion and guesswork might deplete your communal energy. [49/12]
30. Spy not upon one another. [49/12]
31. Do not backbite one another. [49/12]
32. When you meet each other, offer good wishes and blessings for safety. One who conveys to you a message of safety and security, or offers a courteous greeting to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or (at least) of equal courtesy. [4/86]
33. When you enter your own home or the home of somebody else, compliment the inhabitants. [24/61]
34. Do not enter houses other than your own until you have sought permission; and then greet the inhabitants and wish them a life of blessing, purity and joy. [24/27]
35. Treat kindly:
-Your parents
-The orphans
-And those who have been left alone in society [4/36]
36. Take care of:
-The needy
-The disabled
-Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their needs
-And those whose businesses have stalled
-And those who have lost their jobs. [4/36]
37. Treat kindly:
-Your related neighbors, and unrelated neighbors.
-Companions by your side in public gatherings, or public transportation. [4/36]
38. Be generous to the needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who reaches you in a destitute condition. [4/36]
39. Be nice to people who work under your care. [4/36]
40. Do not count what you have given to others, nor afflict them with reminders of your generosity. [2/262].
41. Do not expect a return for your good behavior, not even thanks. [76/9]
42. Cooperate with one another in good deeds and do not cooperate with others in evil and bad matters. [5/2]
43. Do not try to impress people on account of self-proclaimed virtues. [53/32]
44. You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach. [2/44]
45. Correct yourself and your families first [before trying to correct others]. [66/6]
46. Pardon gracefully anyone who commits a bad deed out of ignorance, and then repents and amends [6/54, 3/134]
47. Divert and sublimate your anger and potentially virulent emotions to creative energy, and become a source of tranquillity and comfort to people. [3/134]
48. Call people to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. Reason with them most decently. [16/125]
49. Leave to themselves those who do not give any importance to the Divine code and have adopted and consider it as mere play and amusement [6/70]
50. Sit not in the company of those who ridicule Divine Law unless they engage in some other conversation. [4/140]
51. Do not be jealous of those who are blessed. [4/54]
52. In your collective life, make room for others. [58/11]
53. When invited to dine, go at the appointed time. Do not arrive too early to wait for the preparation of meal or linger after eating to engage in bootless babble. Such things may cause inconvenience to the host. [33/53]
54. Eat and drink [what is lawful] in moderation. [7/31].
55. Do not squander your wealth senselessly. [17/26]
56. Fulfill your promises and commitments. [17/34]
57. Keep yourself clean. [9/108, 4/43, 5/6].
58. Dress in agreeable attire and adorn yourself with exquisite character from inside out. [7/26]
59. Seek your provision only by fair endeavor. [29/17, 2/188]
60. Do not devour the wealth and property of others unjustly, nor bribe the officials or the judges to deprive others of their possessions. [2/188]

Ramadan Reminders

Jul 24, 2013
Assalamualaikum. There are so may valuable Ramadan reminders and tafseers being uploaded... Decided on these few. Sharing it here, so that any one of you can benefit and for my later reference. Insha Allah

1) Tafseer of Surah Taha by Sheikh Abdul Nasir J - approx 1 hour (uploaded on @MuslimMatters site)

2) Pearls of Peace lecture by Mufti Menk - approx 30 minutes 
Link : http://www.muslimcentralmedia.com/lecture-tags/mufti-menk-ramadan-2013-cape-town/

3) Quranic gems by Nouman Ali Khan - around 3 to 5 minutes - uploaded on Quran Weekly Youtube channel
Link : http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV7aA2UxRf3SHyxRoeYb9TQ

4) Reminders from Quran & Sunnah by Sheikh Abu Eesa & Sheikh Omar Suleiman - approx 5 minutes (uploaded on their FB/twitter pages)
Links : 

5) General Ramadan Reflections by Imam Khalid Latif- read of 5 mins (uploaded on huffingtonpost)
Link : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/khalid-latif
So there, less than 2 hours of valuable and informative content.

ABOVE all this - Qur'an, Qur'an, Qur'an. Dhikr. Istighfar and heartfelt duas. May Allah accept it from us.

Book talk

Feb 13, 2013
My good twitter pal just inspired me to join on Good reads yesterday. Going through the site gave me the urge to start reading again in a dedicated manner.Here is my Goodreads profile.

I came across this site a little while ago. So now, with all the inspiration, planning to put myself on a challenge of reading (atleast) 50 books in 2013. In sha Allah.

I am currently reading  : A message in a bottle by Nicholas Sparks (Yeah, yeah light read ;p)


Feb 5, 2013
... and so I change the blog title : Querencia.

A lovely Spanish word with the meaning : A place where you derive your strength from, where you feel at home and a place you are your most authentic self.

Irrespective of our differences, don't we all desire the same things ?

Let go, move on.

Feb 3, 2013
The first on the To-do list on my blog is to change the name. Made it around 5 years back. It sounds quite teenage -ish  now. (Personal Pensieve - Harry potter inspired name ! :D)

That left me thinking. 5 years on, I have evolved and changed as a person, both personally and in the spiritual sense. At the end of the day, change is the only permanent aspect of our life. Any change that makes us a better person and in turn helps to bring us closer to our Lord is a welcome difference.

Yesterday, I met with around 7 of my classmates from my school. In that 2 of them were my closest buddies in school. In between all the catching up, laughter and just general banter, I realized how much my priorities has changed now. How my likes and interests differs from what it was once. How what I enjoyed once as a conversation topic does not entice me anymore. Different career paths, stronger realization to fulfill my religious duties, different environments in the past 6-7 years all might have contributed to the variation in thinking and perceptions, among st us all, though we are the same bunch of girls who grew up together for 10 years.

Again, made me to reflect on to the aspect of 'letting go'. Friends who were once an important part of our life cannot always remain so. The path of life meanders. Being on the same path just so as to maintain a friendship might not always be in our best interest as an individual. It is alright to let go, to move on.

Sometimes we are the ones who leave other's behind. Sometimes we are the ones left behind. It is not due to a deficiency in our character or theirs. Just that our role in their life is over. Thinking against a person who stopped being in regular contact as before is not always right. They might be on a different page of life than us. That does not make them less of a friend. In one dimension of time, they might have been our dear friend. Hard feelings against a friend will only make us forget the good times spent together.

Cherish the memories of the past friendship. Strengthen the bonds of present. Open your eyes for friendships to be formed in the future.

There are many more new people to be met ! There are many more friendships to be forged !

PS : 'Letting go' does not apply to the closest of friends. In that case, disturb them as much as you can ! ;)

Interest Vs Job.

Jan 23, 2013
The Indian education system is more of 'job-oriented' than 'interest-oriented'. Add to it, the mindset of the middle class Indian population of children being doctors & engineers bringing honour to the family. Having to take this very important decision at an age as young as 15/16 or 18 doesn't help either. With this, we have a major tragedy of creative and talented youth stuck in a mediocre job for which they rarely have any interest or passion, in our society.

How many amongst our midst are stuck in a software company in Bangalore ? How many of us hate the smell of hospitals, yet still return there, day in & day out ? How many of us hate holding the mouth mirror & probe, yet do the same everyday ?

I am not overlooking the fact there are dedicated engineers & medical professionals who absolutely love what they do. But pointing towards the vast majority of group of college graduates who go in 'with the flow' without ever realising their true potential and interest.

We look down upon a graduate of English Literatue or Botany or Geology thinking we have a more "professional" degree than them. Rarely we realize the fact, when they have taken a path which brings them immense satisfaction, we have just followed the flock. The joke is upon us, not them.

The people who brave all odds and try to become script-writers, film-directors, artists, writers are either not encouraged by their own family or some times, the support of loved one is present, but the employment sector does not show kindness to them, thus resulting in a disheartened individual who loses faith in his own abilities.

The injury becomes worse with the tailor-made nature of the Indian curriculum at graduate level. A medical/dental/engineering graduate etc can take only subjects related to their particular field. There is no option of dual major or taking subjects/courses as per one's interest, as like some of the western curriculum.

Most people have a desire to learn, not to have a fancy degree after their name or get a fatter pay-check but just simply for the need to know and increase in awareness and understanding of their favourite subject. Our education system fails in fulfilling this desire to learn and most of the time, curbs any desire to "study".

Some of my friends overseas are doing their major in 'International Relations', 'Conflict Resolution and Analysis' 'Creative Writing', 'Human Computer Interaction'. Yeah, I never knew such specialized branch of degrees even existed !

Mind set change, revamp of our educational system, in-depth & comprehensive analysis of aptitude individually, awareness of different options available - these might help in bringing a change of this sorry state of our youth. ( ..and so easy to put in words on a blog !!)

If ever given a chance to study subjects varied from my dental degree, it would be Math, Creative Writing, Tafseer, Comparative Religion ;) What would be your's ?

(If you are some one I know, don't come running with a pan, asking when did I start 'not loving' dentistry. No worries. That commitment is for a lifetime :D )


Jan 20, 2013
My prayer for this year :

  • Faith
  • Joy
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Love
  • Direction
  • Opportunities
  • Travel
  • People
  • Knowledge
  • Hope