Saturday, 30 January 2010

Common - the 6th sense

Was listening to it recently and the below lyrics reminded me of you

I just want to innovate and stimulate minds
Travel the world and penetrate the times

Escape through rhythms in search of peace and wisdom

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I'm Too Young To Get Married 2

I can't believe it all happened, and quite smoothly. The food was gorgeous (of course it was) and even dessert was a hit. The channa went so wrong, but nobody knows its my fault so that’s ok. There was talking, conversation, and amiable laughing, and survival. Before I was freaking out. Like, freakkkkkkkkkkkiiinnngggggggg ouuttttttttttttttttttttt. Mini palpitations et al. so nervous. But there was reciprocation and good news reports and feedback. Alhamdulillah.

So I thought its time to rest, to chill and be peaceful for a while. But no, they want to drive drive drive forward. Ask ask ask when I’m so tired after a long day, all I want to do is nothing. Literally, nothing. I couldn’t be more grateful, yet I don’t have the patience to explain properly, nor make them understand. Its no mahusive big deal, well kinda...ok its not disproportionally unfair by any means...but sigh nonetheless. Even writing this = physically painful.
I just want time, to breathe, to see, to pray, to think, to know. And then to feel.

Is that selfish?

I can see their reasons though.

So much has happened in the past few weeks / days, and I just want to slow down, just for a bit. But I don’t know if the guardians will get that. I don’t think they will. They said we are a nice family, and that they liked me. And other nice stuff too. They were nice as well. Very sweet. Yes there are reservations, but they are reserved for another post.

Wow, kinda can’t believe it all. Alhamdulillah. And dinner yesterday was so nice. Aww.

In other news, was pre approved again (twice) and was actually even pre approved by the bank for a platinum credit card. Haha. If only the rest of life was so easy!

Wings were made for flying right?

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Muslim Driving School

WTF?! Like seriously? Are you actually serious? On prime time BBC2 on a Tuesday evening? A TV programme about Muslims learning and teaching to drive. Bloody hell.

Are we that marginalized that a special series has to be made about us in cars? Cos we aren’t normal are we. I mean, pirates on ships and terrorists on planes, but now we are learning to drive? What is going on?

Imagine if there was a programme called Jewish driving school, or black driving school. Wouldn’t that make for interesting news press and various court cases. But that’s ok you see, cos us Muslims, we’re not normal people or anything, we don’t contribute to society or talk to people or live and work and go to school with others. So we have a special programme made all about us learning to drive. Fricking heck.

Shylock comes to mind:

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses,
affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same
weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same
means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as
a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us
do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you
wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest,
we will resemble you in that.

But anyways, reservations, and initial disgust aside, curiosity enticed me to watch. I’d missed the first one and missed it from iplayer as well, so this was the second. And to be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. But I still feel my opening rant is totally justified. It showed Muslims learning to drive, and Muslims teaching others (Muslims) to drive (cos we can’t learn or teach from others now can we) in up north cities of Bradford and Burnley. So the context is different to what us southerners know and rightfully snobbily love here in London.

The programme focused on the stereotypes – oh joy. Recent immigrants who had settled here, young girls and forced marriage and looking for freedom, and the grandmother who has been here since she was 13 but still can’t speak English as one would expect. Or maybe it was that terrible northern accent. Haha. Yes I am in full snob mode and my mood dissuades me from being even one bit apologetic.

But it wasn’t all that bad. It was actually quite funny in places. It’s true that a lot of Muslim women prefer to learn from another female. That’s fine. But all the stories about arranged and forced marriages came out and led a lot of the narrative. Which yes is interesting. Cos that what we do – get married. And have babies. And then they get married. And have babies. And then we take over the world. Ha.

Ok, so we have the story of a husband and wife team who had set up a successful driving school, a divorced 18 year old finding her feet and looking for independence, the grandmother who runs the house and is now taking over her husband’s role as well. As the stereotypes became individual, it became more personal, and the stories became individuals. Funny, interesting, heartwarming, yes. But there’s something still unnerving about the whole concept. The other; the alien, the foreign…oooh lets see what they manage to do next.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

This was written a while ago.

You’ve made me fall for you. Or maybe you haven’t done it on purpose, but I have. This wasn’t meant to happen. I find myself on somewhat familiar looking but completely new ground. You have made me trust you; more than I ever thought I would again. I’m not quite sure what all this means, but I these words don’t turn into actions, if these promises aren’t fulfilled, I’m not quite sure how my body will take it, or how my temperament will react. Or if it will all just go numb, and on complete and utter lockdown. I’ve tried to hold up, I’ve tried to resist, but I’m too much of an open book at times, too see through. This wasn’t meant to happen. Not for a while yet. Don’t make me promises that you don’t know you can definitely keep. Don’t make me, or make yourself, believe in things that may not be 100% real. Yes, things are going to be hard and trying and testing, but let them be. Till words turn into actions, real actions, I don’t want to think about that stuff. All the stuff you say, all the things you promise, make them real for me, make them true and everlasting. Or don’t say it will happen, say you will do your best and try.


Earthquake and death and destruction and devastation. When things like this happen, I normally pay attention to the news, to the net, to general relief work and what’s happening. But this time, I don’t know, I seem to have shied away from it. The blood, the carnage and the pain. Is it too much or do I just not know how to react anymore. The feeling of helplessness and not being able to make a difference. I will donate, but is that all I can do? Is that all we can do? Charities and relief workers are on the ground, yet a headline I caught announced that Haiti is still in desperate need of international help. So what else. Will the people like you and me be left to their own resources, or complete lack thereof, to rebuild their lives and put together some semblance of reality or conventional normality? All with dealing with the grief of losing loved ones.

Having pizza with a best friend yesterday, BBC News was playing on the flat screen. Like the tsunami, earth quakes of Pakistan and Gujarat, hurricane Katrina…all worse than a film. Ashamedly, I was glad that my back was to the screen. I looked at the plate in front of me, the scenes of people and normality around me and outside the window, and muttered Alhamdulillah under my breath, feeling it in my heart. God tests those whom he loves, and does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. And that why I’m the princess I am. Quite sad isn’t it. Quite a blessing.

When my best friend said to me yesterday, this is sad, but people die every day, in wars, in conflicts, thought hunger and famine, and nobody gives a damn. My response was that this was a natural disaster, a case of the earth and its inhabitants, and nobody has any control over this. It’s also indiscriminate; if you are in the wrong place, or country or city, at the wrong time, it really doesn’t matter how rich you are, or how much education you have, or status, or fame, or power. And consider the sheer scale of the effect, hundreds and thousands in an instant. Yes of course humans can cause the same level of destruction, and often have, but not often in one fell sweep. And in a human conflict, there will be two sides of the story (apart from maybe Palestine and some others!) and truth itself gets lost. And its continuous, what humans do, the pain and suffering they cause to other humans and the environment around them.

How can news teams reach an area but aid cant? And the same goes for human conflicts. Reports on Haiti are playing on the news right now. It can be so hard to understand.

I’m not one of those who believes that God did this because he was angry with the inhabitants of an area. It doesn’t quite convince me. Maybe it’s a reminder. Maybe it’s a test. Not just for those directly affected, but for the rest of the world. Maybe it’s something for us to question and ponder, but maybe never truly understand. We can’t even comprehend the sheer scale of it all.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

I <3 Extreme Weather = 2.5 Days off Work :)

It is not the whiteness of the snow, freshly settled,
Blanketing earth
Hiding blemishes; a new concealer,
From which we allocate and infer its purity
The lack of shade, of nuance,
Of footprints on the crunchy powder, cooling the most layered of toes,
Indenting their way and leaving their mark
To be swept away by flakes from the heavens;
Colder, cleaner, but as usinique as they are.
The cleanliness, the coldness, of soft filigree ice, fresh and new
Sullied, stained, ruined by feet,of those who tread without care, with abandon, in the pursuit of happiness.
Ice causing danger, obstacles, dilemmas,
Till the fall continues and a fresh blanket is spread, out of the wash or brand new, fluffy and clean.
Or melts away, like it was never even

Now its all about 2010 (belated x7)

A new year and a new term has started. Dont really know what to say or how I should be feeling. I normally hate new years, but seeing the fireworks was nice. I love fireworks, I think they are amazing. Although the journey home was long and fighting the experience! I also love extreme weather. This seond bout of snow has been, literally and in every sense, a god send. School closed for the rest of the week is too good. Too good! Hmm I do hope I use it wisely instead of just chilling. Yeah right. And I left all my work, guess where, at work. Oh well. I think it was on purpose/subconscious. Some things may never change.

So new year and all that. Reading a lot of people’s blogs, they were all about resolutions, new starts, the assessments of the year just ended. I decided I woudn’t write something like that, not for any reason but that I didn’t want to. But speaking to someone, although it has been a really hard year, its also been amazing one, and I have so much to be grateful for. Alhamdulillah. So here are a few of those things, in no particular order:

  • · Going back to Spain and Rosales
  • · Being proposed to by the gorgeous Morroccan Spanish Imam (no I didn’t accept, but still very noteworthy)
  • · A best friend’s wedding (although it was traumatic for me in some ways, was very happy for her)
  • · Another best friend’s wedding (such fun, and I was asked to read out a poem which I had written myself)
  • · Going to India
  • · Being set up and getting quite a few offers
  • · Getting promoted at work
  • · Going to Poland (an arduous journey but it taught me a lot)
  • · Going to Bosnia
  • · Going to Ghana
  • · Getting closure
  • · Enjoying and appreciating being single
  • · Realising and learning a lot about myself and life and people and relationships
  • · Meeting someone amazing
  • · Starting this blog
For 2010...I want to see some action. I want to be part of it and act myself. Thats pretty much it. I dont make new years resolutions or anythign like that, but someone asked my what mine was. My instant reply was to dance more, and I’m going to stick to that one.

When Allah’s grace

And mercy

Falls from above, from no where you can see.

Perches on your eye lash, sits upon your eyebrow

Brushes against your cheek and lands on your lip, cold but soft, like a kiss.

Close your eyes opening them wide,

Take in the wonder, that will melt away in moments.

Be not to harsh, nor hasty, in blinking brushing licking away a momentous blessing.

So magnanimous, it has melted away before you realise it.

Lest you not forget, nor deny the favours bestowed upon you;

The magnitude of the Magnificent

His glory evident in His beauty.