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 !!