Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A day out at Uzma's

Uzma's home is kinda like my second home, for I dont know any other house besides my own that I've been to as frequently or as much ! But amazingly I did n't get the opportunity to spend much time with Uzma at her home these entire vacations. So after a lot of delays and postponements I finally made the awaited visit today. And boy was it fun ! We spent the morning reading our group diary from high school ! A diary which all of us friends shared to put down our recollections of the fun moments we had back then and even and funny pictures, caricatures & descriptions of each other..It was hillarious to read all the stupid stuff we did back then ! But on the other hand it also made me realize how much we have changed in these two years. The things we considred doing 'cool' back then seemed kinda absurd & childish now..I mean that is natural and a part of growing up and moving through life but I never knew that I'd change so much in a brief matter of two years ! Wow University has been a life changing experience ( and I still have 3 more years to go ! I wonder what I'd be then !!)

Well after that we went to a nearby mall, did a little bit of shopping, a whole lot of window shopping, had lunch at the food court and then did something that I had n't done in a long time - play games for tickets ! After spending Rs 200 on the coins and earning just 23 tickets ! we decided to save the tickets for later and headed back home

She spent six coins to get a stuff toy , but could n't =)

Back at Uzma 's palce I watched a Korean drama that Uzma had watched a few months back. Now Uzma is a huge fan of everything Korean, movies, dramas, mangas you name it..An interest not common in Pakistanis. She had always encouraged me to watch it but I never thought I'd like it but now that I've watched an episode, I'm addicted to it.
.Yup , addicted !

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Annual Dinner' 09

Ah well I have been trumpeting around the fact that I'm on a post semester vacation and am enjoying the well deserved relaxation, but, even then there are times I cant avoid going to college. Its just around a 30 min drive from home so it isn't much of a big deal.These days there are two tasks that require me going to college. Firstly, a research project I'm trying to work on and secondly the annual dinner arrangements, I'm kinda like amongst the oraganizers for it (well atleast on the fb event page ! ).

Now the annual dinner is something I'm pretty excited about. Its the end of year celebration which every batch has after the two semesters we have each year.Everyone naturally looks forward to it with eagerness and excitement. Last year the entire show was to be an outdoor event but it rained at the 11th hour and the show had to be moved into an auditorium which was,well, not bad I'd say but definitely not as elaborate as I might have wanted it to be. But anyways it wasn't that bad and everyone did leave with a smile on their faces .

This time all of us want it to be bigger and better ! The venue has yet to be finalized and a lot of meetings, discussions and agreements will have to be gone through to reach a decision agreeable to everyone.Then ofcourse the menu, the itinerary etc etc.And for all that I'll need to go to college every now and then.I feel good about being among the organisers but going on the same, long, well-travelled road to college even during vacations steals the charm of the holiday mood ! But anyway atleast I wont be attending classes :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Its winter and you have to get Well Soon Dido, we love you !

Its finally winter ! The city where I live, Karachi, is a coastal city with a maritime weather.Its usually warm and humid throughout the year so winter is a greatly anticipated weather, bringing relief to the sweating, sun tanned people. The weather is not as cold as the northern parts of Pakistan and the temperature rarely goes down below,I'd say 50 F. Its also very short lived , winter hardly lasts for two months. And in these two months , winter lovers like me make the most of it by drinking as much coffee, mochas and hot beverages possible, and of course its a time to bring in use the winter wardrobe which is hardly used in the rest of the year.And Oh yes ! how could have I forgotten the blankets and comforters ! these luxuries are usually tucked into the storage areas somewhere in the corners of the house throughout the summer ( One hardly needs a bed sheet to cover oneself during summer ! )
Rest is all well.Except that a friend, Dido ( fictious name) has suffered a first degree burn on her face ! Thank God its just a first degree burn and her eyes remained safe. She was holding a small can of gasoline near a BBQ and it somehow caught a flame and ignited !. Instead of letting go of the can she tried to blow the flames away and then somehow the fire got her face !. She was rushed to the hospital where the doctors gave her the first aid and discharged her..She just has to go to the hospital every six hours for the dressing now..We ( friends) went to her home with all our get well presents yesterday, it was hard to see her, my dear friend, with a burnt face but the doctors say she is healing well and will be better in about two weeks ..I'm hoping and praying she gets well soon and have definitely learnt a lesson ' Be careful near BBQs'

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The hangout with Shirin and Rubab yesterday was fun and a relief .Fun because its always good to be with friends and relief because all our past attempts to hang out ended up being cancelled for some reason or another.Shirin had lost hope to the point that she declared that all four of us were jinxed,rather cursed to repel each other !..But gladly we broke the 'curse' yesterday and it all turned out well :) .We went to a restaurant that has recently opened in Karachi, its a UK franchise which makes chicken, its called 'Chicken Cottage'.It was okay for some casual dine out as long as you're not in a hurry since they took too long to prepare the food.I tried their grilled chicken wrap which tasted good to me but okay to Shirin. The chicken in it was pretty tender and the filling tasted good too..Okay so I'm no food critic and have no intentions of turning my blog into a restaurant review page, so I'd rather let go of the food and move on !

Our BBQ party was a quite a party too, all the barbecued stuff we made were scrumptiously tasty,just rightly done, plus the salads and side dishes were all finger lickin good ! I so wanted to eat more but decided against it, I knew my stomach was full, it was just the greed that was n't satisfied I guess :)

God I've talked so much about food in this post ! I think its because I've skipped lunch and all my hunger is making me think of, is food..So before I get carried of once again dwelling on the subject of food , I better go and grab something real to eat :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yahoo ! Yipee ! Yay !

My GPA - I was quivering with excitement I guess, that seems the only possible explanation for the hazy image !

We finally got our marksheets yesterday and to my immense surprise and pleasure I got a GPA 3.95 !! My nanoo ( grandmother) treated me with Pizza for dinner last night while my parents got me a new cell phone.Its Samsung Star, its the one with a touch screen and I am absolutely in love with it already.

It feels so good when you get something,(the result, not the cell phone :) ) after working so hard and really putting your sweat,blood and soul for it.. Uzma my best friend got a wonderful 3.88 as well so yeah we are both in a happy, jolly partying mood ! Aisha is throwing a BBQ party at her home Saturday night, while Shirin, Rubab, Uzma and I have a lunch planned up for Monday afternoon.In the meanwhile two of my friends have still to take exams, so they are pretty much in the same state I was in a month back.I feel such a strong surge of relief pass through my spines whenever I see them study, it amazes me, and after that feeling of relief subsides, the feeling of happiness at being on a vacation takes over.But anyways I just have two more weeks of vacation left, and after that I'll be a back to a tougher routine as compared to that of last year..But heck I don't want to think of it right now..Its holiday time!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Eid update !

Boy was it a hectic eid ! Even though we did n't go out much, cleaning up and managing the meat was a pretty tiring ordeal.Not much for me, but more so for my mom since she had to clean, organize and make packs of around 6o - 80 kgs of meat to be given to the needy in town and also make bigger packages to be sent to some poverty ridden suburbs of Karachi where there is a lot of poverty and people cant afford to buy meat.We retained some of the meat for our own consumption and did a BBQ on the second and third day of Eid.And this BBQ was special because I did it pretty much on my own (For the first time ever :)) Check my previous post Festivity and Celebrations for more info on Eid

This eid is mostly about the sacrifice, sacrificing an animal (goat,sheep,cow,lamb etc) .In the cities people just buy an animal few days before eid while in the rural areas where people mostly have farm and farm animals,a reared animal is sacrificed.Its a sacrifice and not just slaughtering because one tends to develop an emotional attachment with that animal overtime, but then, due to God's order one has to sacrifice it.And this sacrifice is the entire concept of this eid.It teaches one to put one's personal love and desires aside for the greater interest of the mankind ( as the meat is mostly given to the poor and needy).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Festivity !

Its Eid day today.The last eid I posted about , a few months back, was Eid ul Fitr, which is to celebrate the completion of the month of Ramdan.This eid, Eid ul Azha is celebrated as the Hajj is completed.Hajj is the muslim annual pilgrimage to Makkah and consists of a set of rituals to perform in accordance with with Allah's ( God's ) orders. On this Eid muslims are supposed to sacrifice an animal (cow,lamb,sheep,goat,or camel) in the remembrance of Prophet Abraham's exemplary act of dedication to God.When he was ordered by God to sacrifice prophet Ismail,his son, in God's name, prophet Abraham and Ismail both showed their obedience to Allah by agreeing to the act. But just when Prophet Abraham raised the knife, prophet Ismail was spared by god and a lamb took his place.This was a test by God for both the father and the son who not only passed the test (obviously !) but also left a great example of loyalty to God.So in remembrance of that grand example of patience and devotion, muslims all around the world perform the sacrifice, and distribute the meat among the poor and needy.After that is the usual festivity and everyone wishes eid to everyone else and people go and their meet their relatives etc.. I'll be updating my activities of Eid day soon :)

The past two to three days have been very hectic, because not only was there my elective to manage, but also eid preparations, some reasearch work I'm doing, and to top all that was my friend Rita's sister's wedding (hehe sounds complicated does n't it ?) .I was more than excited about the wedding because not only were all my friends going to be there but also it was to be the first time I'd attend a Hindu wedding.I just love getting to see and experience different cultures and different religious rituals, and what better event can there be to do that than a wedding.I believe weddings can tell you a lot about the culture, and that proved to be right yesterday ! It was a whole new experience and pretty intriguing too..The wedding was pretty different from the traditional muslim Pakistani wedding. They had a fire around which the couple had to move 4 times, thrice with the bride in front of the groom and in the last round with the groom ahead.All this time the hands of the groom and the bride were tied and the brides face was covered . The wedding arrangement was distinct too, with there being a central square area, on the four corners of which there were pots mounted and in the centre was the fire for the couple to go around. There were to be more rituals after the round but I had to leave since it was getting late.But it was a lot of fun to witness something new for the first time.

The circumduction around the fire .

My best wishes to the bride and groom !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

okay so here's a song by Shiraz Uppal, one of my favourite singers, even though he proves in this music video that he clearly is'nt a good actor.At times the scenes just seem more funny than romantic.But overall its a very good song to listen too.Light and pleasant to the ears with nice lyrics.Enjoy !

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We just got to know that our vacations have been extended for two more weeks ! So yeah I'm more than happy at the feeling of having a lot of time to spend on everything I've been craving to do.Currently I'm doing an elective in the neurology department at the Civil Hospital Karachi.A public sector hospital. All I have to do there is be with the doctors as they examine the patients and take their history.
Its all very basic at this stage as we're still in the very early stages of learning but the doctors there are very cooperative,they make sure they involve the students in every step of the diagnostic procedure.Its a great experience, I am learning a lot.Its a two weeks long elective and I'm thinking of applying at some other ward for the upcoming two weeks , its better than sitting at home doing nothing !.My best friend Uzma is doing her elective at the cardiac surgery department, she's very much into cardiology and I guess is enjoying the elective more than anyone in her department..I just hope she turns into a cardiac surgeon one day and proves her mettel ! All the best for that Uzma :)

Other than that Eid ul Azha is just around the corner (Saturday)..I'll be posting the details on it in my upcoming posts Inshallah ( God willing).Till then.. Chao !

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Papa- Master of disaster !

The broken cookie jar !

Being around Papa (Dad) is never safe .He has this extreme innate tendency to cause destruction around him. 99% of the broken crockery at our home has been a direct result of Papa doing nothing.Yeah I typed that right, nothing !. He is just a little careless with his movements.One simple hand motion and there goes the glass on the floor, shattered into a million pieces of nothing but insignificant remains of a perfect piece of crockery that fell victim to papa's carelessness :)..Just yesterday he came home from his clinic and extended his hand to hang the keys when he somehow struck the cookie jar ! It was a pretty jar with clown faces on it !.My mom was particularly very upset because it was rather new and very handy..But thats just the usual routine, something breaks, my mom gets upset, papa gives a sheepish a smile, I just laugh, mom tries to complain and laugh at the same time, her dissappointment cum laughing look makes us laugh even more, and then we make papa leave the destruction scene to clean up before he wrecks something else :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Aah the ghosts are gonna get me !!!

Well first of all I'm in the happiest of moods this season.My practical exams are over too and so this marks the end of two years of studying basic medical sciences.Plus we have a months vacation before we start our third year !!!

Anyways there's this interesting incident I've been wanting to share for the past week.A few days ago while I was in my room studying for my physiology test I heard my mom call me from her room across the lounge in a somewhat panicky voice.She was looking out of the window, calling for me and saying something about someone being ill.But before I could reach her she rushed towards me and said that the security guard of the property in front of ours had fallen of his chairs and was having some kind of tremors.She was cleaning the windows when she suddenly saw him fall off .He was on duty with just one other guard who just stood beside him with no idea what to do, he was obviously too startled by what had just happened.Then mom looked at me and said "I think you should go tell the guard to get him to the hospital and see if you can do something to help him in the meantime,you're a medical student they listen to you !". Okay, I know I'm a med student and people expect a lot from me but truly speaking I haven't even passed my second year yet and have no past experience in dealing with emergency situations on a practical level.Reading about emergency management is one thing but doing it is another.But nevertheless I rushed out of the house towards him across the road while making up the multiple possible diagnosis and first aids in mind.By the time I reached the spot there were many people gathered around him and he had almost normalised by then, he did seem a little dazed but the tremors had gone.I asked him how he was and he just looked at me.The other guard told me "Isko mirgi hai bajji' (he has epilepsy)

After that there was nothing much I could do but I asked him again if he needed something but before he could respond I heard someone calling my name from a distance, when I turned I saw a few housemaids from the adjacent homes all gathered togethor on the other side of the road at the corner,the one who had called me had once worked at our home and hence knew my name.I thought she was calling me because my mom had asked her to from the window or something I gestured her to wait. I turned to the guard again but before I could ask him or hear his interrupted response one of the men among the people gathered around him (the house maid's husband) looked towards me and went " go child go,you should go" he did n't seem to like my standing there and wanted me to leave asap.I just said "I hope you're better to the man" and rushed back to the maid to listen what all the rush was about.What I heard from her was the most shocking and annoying thing I could hear in that situation.

" You should n't have gone there, young girls dont go near people who're having seizures, who knows he might just have spirits on him, what if they got you ?"

These housemaid's usually come from rural areas to live in the city and make a living.They have minimal education and can barely read and write.Ofcourse with illiteracy comes a lack of awareness a whole lot of taboos,superstitions and false made up stories about logical things which they fail to understand.It took me a few seconds to register what she had just said, but thank god I was quick enough to say " those are all stories ! , he has epilepsy and besides ghosts and witches dont exist"(in a stern voice) ..I must say it took me a lot of self control to hide my annoyance.I mean there's a man who was seizing and needed help and here across the street were standing four ladies making up ghost stories !!!!

Even though my initial response was shock it soon turned to pity for those woman, may god help them and the other women with her to differentiate fact from superstitions !

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The bitter sweet lollipop !

Wow it feels so good to be writing a post after such a long time.Its been ages since I last posted anything , well not exactly ages but the past two weeks did seem like an eternity to me.My life went all stagnant and boring,every thing was at a stand still, I just couldn't have written anything even if I would have tried to publish anything on my blog.The main reason for this was none other than my fourth semester exams.

As might have been evident from my previous posts, I just hate exams, I hate the feeling of being examined and I just hate the whole idea of having my entire semester's worth of hardwork judged and graded within a painful fraction of two hours. Its just the state of mind you are in within those two hours that determines your GPA for the entire semester.How unfair!.But anyways thats the way life is and I'm happy that I'm over with the theoretical part of exams.Our OSPES (Objective structured practical exams) start next week. Two of the three thoretical exams I took went really well but I cant say about the third one, Human anatomy i.e. But I'm hoping and praying that I get a good GPA.I worked really hard this semester.There were times in these two weeks when I spent 13 hours of the day studying !!.Glued to my chair with a pile of books in front of me and an endless list of tasks to be completed the only thought that made me go on was 'hard work bears fruit'.

I know I'll have to go through a lot in life to achieve my dreams and make my mark in the field of medicine,being a doctor is just one of the dreams I had.I joke with my mom that I'm licking a lollipop thats really bitter but has a candy filling deep down inside, all I 've gotta do is lick away the bitterness :)

Heres's what I have pasted in front of my desk, it surely gives me the inspiration I need in life

"For some sky is the limit but for some its just the very beggining"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A forgotten post - Eid !!

God ! I totally missed to post a blog on Eid.Its amazing how forgetfull I can be to have drafted a post on something as major as Eid and then forget to post it ! Anyways here it goes.Its what I wrote on Eid day...

Its Eid! its eid ! its eid ! and I'm more than excited ,I mean why should n't I be ? After all its time again to celebrate, meet up all the possible relatives and friends you can think of, be invited at Eid dinners and ofcourse time again to collect Eidi !
The moon was sighted last night for the month of Shawal ( lunar calender) and that marked the start of Eid ! I had loads to do last night.I baked a german chocolate cake and cup cakes for the guests that would be coming in the next few days while my mom made a lot of other traditional dishes along with a coconut cake while my grand ma made Sheer Qhurma.Its a traditional vermicelli especially made for Eid.It has vermicelli cooked in milk with dry fruits and sugar. And of course after that there was a lot of cleaning and dusting to do.A lot of girls go shopping for bangles to match their dresses that night or to have henna applied on their hands but I avoid outings that night, the markets are always too crowded right before Eid.
Henna for Eid
Today after dad comes home from the congregational eid prayers our neighbours will be coming over to meet us and then we'll go to meet our relatives especially those who are elder to us, its a sign of respect to meet them at the start of Eid or as early possible.So we'll go to meet my dad's uncles and cousins.And then tomorrow, we're expecting guests till the evening after which we'll go to meet dad's friends.Thats all the plan for today and tomorrow.The third day of Eid is still unplanned but I'm sure it'll be busy too.
Its sad that my first cousins don't live here otherwise it would be all the more fun.But they do send me Eid cards and their pics of Eid day.Because thats what Eid is about, happiness, sharing and loving everyone around you !
So Happy Eid everyone !!!

My cousins, all ready and dressed up for Eid

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Don't you dare steal my cabbage !!

It was supposed to be our human anatomy class.The teacher hadn't arrived yet so I borrowed Uzma's readers digest to read in the meantime.Just as I started reading, Uzma and Shirin, seated on either side of me turned to talk ,and here's there conversation

Shirin - Hey Uzma ! Your chicken is about to lay eggs isn't it ?

Uzma - Oh yes ! I'm just so excited !

Shirin - Good for you , my dog went lost, its just so sad !

I was wondering when Uzma got chickens and Shirin a dog but decided to go on reading trying to block their conversation out of my ears.

Uzma - Suits you well, you stole my cabbages last week , it was just about to harvest you know !

Shirin - Look who's talking ! You stole my carrots ! I spent hours trying to harvest them !

Uzma - Hahah well you didn't have a dog to guard your farm, did you ? What can you expect ?
Shirin - Oh, you just wait I'll steal your corn tonight and get a dog too.
Uzma - We'll see.But dont you dare steal my cabbage, they sell for higher !!!

No matter how hard I tried to block their sounds from my ear, it was difficult to do so with both of them talking on my either sides, and their weird conversation did n't help either. By now I had my mouth agape in bewilderment ! And was totally lost. Stealing veggies, harvesting farms, pets and what more they're selling it now !!!! I knew they dont own farms and no one in their family did either so what was the whole nonsense..

I just muttered - Lost

Shirin (turning to look at me ) - What ? You lost your dog too ?

Me - What ? No ! I dont have a dog you know that ! I've lost track of your conversation.Thats where I'm lost.What are you guys talking about.And by the way,Why are you guys stealing cabbages and carrots !

I said with a bamboozled look on my face. There was a pause and then they burst out laughing, it took a whole minute to get them stop laughing and start explaining.

Uzma and Shirin - We were talking about facebook's barnbuddy application you idiot ! Hhahahah.... and on they went

How was I supposed to know ???

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weird panic attacks in public !

My uncle was here to visit us for a week and ofcourse the week fleeted in no time and it was time for him to go yesterday ! We went to the airport to drop him off. Hugging and waving and the usual goodbyes took place and we left the airport to return to the car park.Just when I was about to take the escelator to the lower floor I noticed a girl about 6 or 7 years old a few paces ahead of me.She was with kids about her own age and they were playing by going down the escelator and coming back up again.But what drew my attention was the fact that she was n't being careful, she hoped on to the escelator to go down without even looking at it and had her foot at two steps at once ...I know that happens a lot of time and that escelators are not danger zones but to see a 6 year old in that precarious situation made the chicken in me panic..All of a sudden without even realising , as if like a reflex I had my arms raised to the 90 degree position pointing my fingers at her, my legs went rigid while my torso kept curving backwards as I started squeaking in Panic ( nervousness makes me squeak in situations when I intend to scream !) "She'll fall ,she'll fall !!" . Apparently all I could get out of my mouth was 'fall,fall ' for my mom and grandma who were at a distance thought I was the one falling, and had to come to my rescue !,my weird posture must have added to their misconception. Whats even more embarassing is the thought that my weird act must have won many stares from the people around me.

I regained my normality only when after a few seconds I saw the kid remain unharmed and simply step backwards to keep herself from falling just like anyone would have done. But I did realise that my response was a little too exaggerated and ofcourse, very embarassing !

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Home sweet home

A pic of the neelam lake I found on the internet
Everytime my mom's angry with me over something I just tease her by saying she better treasure me or I'm moving to the dorm.It melts her down and freezes her temper.Its been going on for quite a while now and I'm making the best out of it.I know I know its evil of me :) but hey its fun.In our society we live with our parents until atleast we get married and parents support their children financially until they get a job which is usually after they get some good decent education.Part time jobs during student life are not a norm in our society.Coming back to the point, last week I decided to go visit the girls dorm and see for myself the kind of life I could expect there.So yesterday my best friend Uzma and I found some free time between classes and ventured into the dorms area with a sense of curiosity and admiration towards a life which we had only seen in movies or heard of from our friends who live in the dorms.Well I had to drag Uzma with me (she was tired after the previous day's late night shopping !) but nevertheless she did come with me no matter how much she hated to (I can always count on her :) )

The dorm, hostel as it is called here, lies in a closed, walled compound with guards outside to make sure its female inhabitants are safe and secure.We had to get permission from the matron to enter.She was kind enough to send us a lady (no idea who she was !) to show us around.

It was a decent place with a huge veranda in the middle.There are three hostel blocks.A was dangy, B was better , C was best.You can keep TVs, Fridges, microwaves etc ,air conditioners are not allowed though.But all the while I was there all I kept saying to myself subconciously was, 'I cant live here', 'I dont wanna live here', 'I'm so not living here' etc.It gave me a strange sense of loneliness, depression, and an unfillable vacuum.But most of all I realised that I would miss my parents and the luxuries I have at home.I'd miss my home itself, my room, my dear room with its attached bathroom..So that day when I came back home I entered the door with such a huge feeling of relief and ofcourse love for my family that I dont think I'm going to look back to the dorms anytime soon ! And so obviously I'm not threatning my mom anymore :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ramadan, Iftar parties and unexpected rains !

A glimpse of the rain from my window

Its after sunset here in Karachi and I just sat down to blog after breaking my fast.Its the month of Ramadan (Acc to Islamic calender) in which all the muslims fast from dawn to dusk and refrain from all kinds of food,drinks and sinful activities. With Ramadan comes not only a lot of worship but Iftar parties as well.People invite those who fast at their homes and they break the fast togethor.We just had an Iftar party at my friend Faryal's place who was more than excited to have us over since she's leaving to meet her parents in Saudi Arabia tommorrow and will be coming back after two long months !

Faryal and her delicious cutlets !
It was a good thing that we had the party in the weekend because just as the weekend ended all of a sudden the met department announced thunderous rains.It was most unexpected since its post-monsoon time in Karachi and it rarely rains in this season.Let alone rain so heavily that the entire sky went dark and it rained for like two days on an on and off basis.It was fun at the start (yes, fun,there is so much of sunshine in Karachi that people call cloudy weather pleasant and rainy days fun !!) but soon I grew tired because there was too much water on the roads, there were traffic jams and I had to miss two days of college. I was hoping the temperature would go down after the rain but it was so hot today that it seemed it had never rained, the only indication was the humidity !! I'm pretty sure the temperature was somewhere around 36 C.

The dark clouds (This pic was taken by my friend Maria)

Even this pic doesn't do justice to how dark it got at 12 noon ( Pic-Courtesy of Maria)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An update on life !

14th August - The national flag on my neighbours roof

Sadly my vacations have ended and I'm back to routine life.It was just so depressing to get back to the monotonous life after two months of vactions but gladly I'm getting used to it and the parties that my friends keep throwing every now and then are making life less boring. But a lot of interesting things happened last week. I ran into an old friend in college.She was my best friend in the 4th grade and infact was the first friend I had made in Pakistan after we moved.She had changed schools in the 5th grade and I had lost contact from her. But then just last week a girl walked upto me in the Girls Common Room and asked " Najwa, right ?", "Yeah" I said trying to shuffle through the many faces I know in my mind without any success, she went all smiley face and said "Its me Anum from school,remember" , imagine my surprise and ofcourse the embarrasment at not recognizing her ! We chit chatted for a short while and I came to know that she did her matriculation and thus was a year ahead of me in college ( I did my O levels which takes a year more than Matriculation).It was great meeting her but I realised that the 12 years that we were away from each other had changed a lot.We were both different individuals with different interests and different friends and perhaps the relationship between us could never be the same !.But I'm just glad we met after such a long time.We can atleast be friends if not best friends !.
Other than that ,there came 14th August which is the independence day of Pakitan and a national holiday.The preparation for the celebration begins from the 1st of August and patriotic TV shows are aired on Television.We had a week of celebration in college with a debate competition,poetry competition,painting competition etc..It was really fun.
Other than that this week was filled with birthday parties, 9 of my friends have their birthdays in August and so does my Dad ! I hope all those cakes dont give me digestive problems ! :)
There is so much I want to share but I guess I'll keep some stuff for next time..:)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

One of the best cures for influenza !

It's been weeks since the sun has'nt shone properly, hence this is the peak time for the flu to spread. Sadly, I've fallen victim to the evil virus.And all I can do is blow my nose and cough as the proteinaceous alien grows and multiplies in my body ! I'm taking medicines but more than that I'm drinking as much hot drinks and soups as I can drink,or rather as much as my mom can make me drink !. One of the various things I'm treating myself with is a therapeutic herbal tea called 'Johar Joshanda' by Qarshi ( The company that makes it) Its the most effective and miraculous cure for flu,sore throats and other flu related symptoms that I've been able to find. I believe every household from every strata of the society in Pakistan would agree on its effectiveness and would testify to its being miraculous. And incredibly I'm not the only one who says that..

Here is a link to page from the Times magazine..Its an article by Aryn Baker

Just to add, this tea can be found internationally at shops that sell Indian/Pakistani products.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Meeting locals at a foreign country

Two weeks back we were coming back to California after a trip from Ohio.My grandma was with us too and since she suffers from breathing problems we had asked for a wheel chair at the airport. As we landed after the long flight at LAX airport we sat at the entrance until the wheelchair arrived.When it finally did ,the person pushing the wheel chair looked like he was somewhere from the subcontinent.I was guessing South India.Anyways he had my grandma settled into the wheelchair and we walked to the elevator. I was waiting for the elevator with my back against the wall at the side of the elevator door looking here and there absentmindedly when the elevator door opened and a man pushing a wheel chair came out of it, I had n't really noticed him but as he passed in front of me, he looked at me with a big wide smile, bowed his head slightly and said 'assalam alaikum' ( thats a greeting muslims use when they meet each other, it means may God's peace be on you ) with such energy that it startled me ,he was a brown skinned guy, and seemed to be Pakistani by his accent. I smiled back and said 'walaikum salam' with much pleasure to have met a Pakistani guy. After that brief exchange of greetings he went his way and I entered the elevator.

I realised that he must have noticed that my grandma was wearing a shalwar kameez (the traditional Pakistani dress) and my looks must have confirmed my Pakistani roots to him. Even though I did'nt know him nor do I expect to meet him again but the pleasure I felt in meeting him was amazing.It made me realise how good it feels to meet someone with the same background at a foreign place..

Well that was n't it.A little while after we entered the elevator the man who was pushing my grandmas wheelchair asked me what language I spoke.

'Urdu', I replied (Pakistan's national language).

" You are from Pakistan ?" he asked back.

" Yeah " was my short reply..

" I'm from Sri Lanka" he said with a smile

"Oh " and then I smiled back not knowing what to say any further.

After a brief silence he continued " Do you know your cricket team is in our country these days,there's a cricket match between your team and our team today "

" Oh really ? I didn't know that"

" You don't like cricket ?" he asked with an astonished look on his face ,and I dont blame him, every person in the subcontinent usually likes cricket.

"No,actually I wasn't able to follow cricket while all this travelling" I replied a little embarassed

The elevator bell rang just then and we had to step out breaking the conversation.We walked to the waiting area and he had my grandma settled onto the waiting area chairs, more helpingly and courteously than I could have expected. As he began to walk away with his wheelchair. I said a little good bye and " Best of luck for the match" He walked away with a big smile.

I still don't know who won that match !!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A note of appreciation and recommendation !

I just came across Shehzad Roy's blog and started following it.Shehzad Roy came to Public attention as a singer back in 1995 .His songs were greatly praised and liked by the public but soon he gained attention not just as a singer but as a humanitarian when he started his organisation by the name of 'Zindagi trust' zindagi literally means life and his organisation works to provide education to the underprivileged children in Pakistan. He has been awarded for his hardwork and selfless dedication to his community both at national and international level..I too admire him.His blog appears on my Blog list, lower on this page. Please read it to support this individual who is striving to help the poor kids in our society !

Sunday, July 19, 2009

My day dreaming problem

A pic from the Northern areas of Pakistan - The Himalyas

I'm a day dreamer and always have been, but unfortunately now this habbit is proving disadvantageous and problematic to mention the least.I'm growing absent-minded beacuse of the constant day-dreaming. Sometimes its just a moment of my thoughts drifting away to some imaginative situation and at other times its a good long phase when I completely lose track of time. I forget what people say to me or what instructions I'm being given.It does n't just annoy me it irritates the people around me. My 'glass half- full' approach to this situation is that philosophers and scientists are always absent minded. They say Einstein forgot to attend his own wedding while another scientist (I've forgotten who it was ) boiled his watch for a whole 20 mins thinking it was an egg !!!

My mom's 'glass half-empty' approach to this situation is that every scientist may have been absent minded but every absent minded person does not turn into a scientist !!!.

(I know she's right but I'll continue with my optimistic approach while trying to improve :))

Friday, July 10, 2009

Away from friends

Uzma and Faryal and their oh so teasing looks !

Its Summer and I'm away from home at my uncle's place in California, USA..Well obviously its good to be on a vacation and enjoy the relaxation and roaming around but its always sad to be away from the fun my friends keep having back home...They keep uploading pics of their activities and day outs and make me jealous :) But thanks to facebook we all keep connected.By the end of summer our mail threads are a good 50 pages long !!..I was wondering what friends did a 100 years back when the only way of communicating was mails which took months to arrive, distances must have felt so bad and depressing then !

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wedding dresses for the bride and the groom

A model wearing a traditional bridal dress called a lehnga

The interest in my last post made me realize that wedding rituals and practices are a popular choice for readers So here's a little more on the wedding on the festivities.This time its the dresses of the bride and the groom.
A Pakistani wedding is a very colourful occasion and is rich with culture.No matter what people wear in their everyday lives on a wedding every one makes sure they adorn a traditional dress.These dresses reflect the glory of east and the charm and grandeur of the once mighty Mughal empire.Embroidery,sequins, and other intricately crafted details are often hand made with amazing precision. The pictures below are from the online galleries of various fashion designers.The pictures are from photo shoots in studios and not a traditional wedding setup :)

Notice the detailed design
Brides usually wear a sharara, the dress in the above pics.The groom wears a sherwani (shown in the pics below).Both the lehnga and sherwani come in various colours and a vast variety of designs.

The model is wearing a traditional sherwani designed by Amir Adnan

A closer look at the sherwani.
This one has embroidery done on it by golden and silver wire

This one's made of a fabric called Jaamawar which is silk weaved with golden threads

This ones a subtle black sherwani with emroidery only on the collar and sleeves.The red turban gives a great contrast with black.

So this was a little about the dresses.I hoped you like this post as much as I liked writing it.I'll be posting some other stuff about weddings very soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The shoe stealing tradition !!!!

The bride and the groom.

All eyes set on the shoes !!
The traditional shoe that the groom wears is called a Naagra.

Yes you read it right, its the shoe stealing tradition ! and yes ofcourse the pictures above are of a wedding.How does the shoe stealing relate to the wedding you ask ? well because the shoe stealing is done in the wedding , and whose shoe is it? The groom's !!!!. Yeah its a strange , but interesting practice which I witnessed at a wedding I went to last summer. I had heard a lot about it but I witnessed it first hand only then.

This practice is not exactly a tradition, some people practice it, other's don't.What happens is that the siblings, cousins or friends of the bride (usually youngsters) steal the shoes or a shoe of the groom and hide it until the groom gives them some money.This practice started in the olden times when the couple sat on a floor mat for which the groom had to remove his shoes.This made the shoe very vulnerable to being stolen ,and stealing was thus easy.But nowadays the couple sits on a sofa with their shoes on so the sisters and friends either hold the shoe and not let go of it, or at other times ,like at this wedding, they just ask for money for the shoe without actually stealing it.What follows is a lengthy debate and persuasion from both sides with the groom trying to bargain the price of his shoe,while the shoe stealers try and make the groom give in to their higher demands.The persuasion is the best part of it all, filled with light hearted humour and sarcasm.The money that the shoe stealers get varies as per the financial standing of the newly wed. It usually ranges from Rs 500- Rs 25 000.

This seemingly strange and time wasting practice (as I used to think before I saw it) serves no main purpose except that it creates a friendly relationship between the brides family and the groom from the very starting of their newly formed relationship and brings them to closer to each other.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The city of Angels - Bangkok

Here a few pictures from my vist to Bangkok last week.We couldn't spend much time there but it was still a wonderful experience.Visiting the grand temples and palaces in the pictersque backdrop of Bangkok was an experience that I'm gonna cherish for a long time.Infact I cant wait to plan another visit !. The Thais' are very helpful and friendly.Most of them have a very poor English but they make it up by smiling and bending all the time( So much, it makes you feel Royal :) ).And oh yeah ! Shopping there is an experience of its own since stuff like clothes are very cheap (There is usually a great need to bargain while shopping in front of tourist locations especially if you are a foreigner). Food is really a 'No problem' since not only is there an abundance of Thai food restaurants but other cusines are also served at various restaurants widely spread in Bangkok especially in down town area like Sukhumvit (Sukhumvit has an entire street of restaurants serving Halal food).And the most pleasurable experience related to food for me was the fact that Mc Donald's and KFC are present almost around every corner..I felt good about it beacuse the environment, which is almost the same at every outlet throughout the world, gives me a sense of closeness to home! (Yeah Mc Donald's and KFC work that way for me :) !!!`)

My parents in front of The reclining Buddha at the Wat Pho (Temple of the reclining Buddha)

At the Wat Trimitr (Temple of the golden Buddha)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A hot, happening and interesting summer day

I've been crossing my fingers with a very high frequency for the past few days, the reason- today was the day we were supposed to get our result transcripts. This well anticipated day (today) took an odd start when I woke up half an hour late !! I hopped and galloped all across the room to get ready in time. Then when I was at a distance of 15mins from college, what greeted me at the roundabout was a huge traffic jam ( I'm jinxed to meet traffic jams whenever I'm running late), anyways my driver took a detour only to find it jammed as well, but my clever old driver who was once a driver with a railway officer and knows the city like his own house, made another detour to get to college. Now this detour took us from the other side of the city and costed me 40 mins due to which I missed my first lecture !! When I finally arrived, my friends were waiting for me so that we could get the transcripts togethor.We got in line, collected them and them opened them togethor.I got a GPA 3.88 !!!! I had'nt expected such a good GPA because of the problems I had listed in one of my previous posts. But a 3.88 GPA came as such a relief and such a reward after all the hardwork I put in. (Thank God)

Any ways then we had our second lecture where I sat next to my best friend,Uzma ( we have the same classes this semester). Uzma was in a hyperenergetic state today for God knows what reason, she kept bugging me, nudging me, kicking me under the table and made faces at me while the teacher wasn't looking, she was annoying and funny at the same time. But when I finally realised that I was missing out important stuff in the lecture, I swapped seats and left her to bother my other best friend Misbah who kept smiling despite of the storm underneath :p.

The devil grinning :)

Our last class today was a skills lab ! Its my favourite class beacuse of the hands-on experience we get about emergency management and other clinical skills. I performed my first venepuncture and inserted the first cannula of my life ! It was on a mannequin especially made for this purpose ( The dummy arm has a system of veins with fake blood in it ) It was fun to experience some clinical performance

The days are hot as ever but it was windy in the evening today. I hope it rains tomorrow.