2015 and behind …

This year, with every bad instance, there has been an equal and at times even greater good one. Sometimes, it’s the bad that directly leads to the good.


Those who know me know about my periodic vacations. However, they don’t know about the amazing people that make those getaways worthwhile. I can never tell my kids to not to talk to strangers online as that would make me a hypocrite. The amazing people I have met (all Muzzies) through social media made my year. In summary, I met 11 of my internet friends of which 5 of them were first time ever. First year, I have had ‘tweet-ups’ in Canada, USA and UK. Thankfully, all of them were more interesting in person than online and none of them were weirdos.

Gained 3 new life skills,  one will help me get out of dire circumstances … actually the sole purpose of all 3 is to get me out of dire circumstances. I shall hone these skills in 2016 and hopefully apply them.

Progress in every which way. Although I often feel like I’m stuck in a rut and seem to be in the same place in life, when I look back I realize that that I had accomplished quite a bit and took drastic steps for change. I never gave up, remained positive and trudged through the worst of times.

Not so fuzzy moments:

The changes that were forced upon me by the universe. They came out of nowhere and knocked the wind out of me. As per Le Chatelier’s principle, every change has a way of reaching equilibrium, which then transforms into the new norm.

When you reach a point you can’t ignore something anymore and you’re just fed up so you’re like, that’s it I’ve had enough of this shit. It’s scary yet liberating.


Closed a couple of chapters this year, said my Allhamdullilahs and then kept walking forward.

2015 rocked… it really did. At the same time I’m glad it’s over, because the past is behind and nothing but good to look forward to.

Even the last hour of 2015 was a mix of emotions, but two of my favourite people on earth came to my rescue showering me with blessings and pyaar and I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better ending :’) !

Sabr, gained a bit of this in the past year however I still need bucket loads of it.

Shukr, always always grateful for everything and I know I can never be grateful enough for all that I’m blessed with.

Salaam, I came in peace and l leave in peace. Reminds me of a Punjabi saying found on the back of Pakistani trucks:

‘Khair nal aa, khair nal ja…’



List of WORST matrimonial profile pictures IMHO

1. Passport picture (need I explain?!)

2. Pouting Selfies

– I hate selfies (I also hate that I’ve been coerced into the selfie revolution), I want to be reborn into an era in which selfies did not exist
– I hate duck faced selfies
– The absolute abomination is Men posting duck faced selfies on a site in which he’s seeking a spouse !!

3. Washroom mirror selfies

4. Washroom mirror selfies where the urinal is visible  … -_- !!!!!!!!!!!

5. Now here’s the one that has traumatized me the most, I need to explicitly explain. Bear with me.

Parents dress up their kids solely for the purpose of using those pictures to embarrass them in the future. Fine, that’s acceptable as per current social norms.

Desi parents have this odd habit of cross dressing their children: earrings, make up and frocks for boys, boy cut and shorts sans shirt for girls.

One such parent decided to take a picture of their (6-8 month old) boy with a pink flower on his left ear. Now years later, as the boy became an adult into his 20’s, he recreated this picture by sticking a pink flower on his left year and pouting his lips as he blew a kiss to the camera. His profile picture was a collage of these two images, one his parents took and the one he imitated.

In all fairness, he must have thought this was adorable and women may like his playfulness. However, in my case it had me running in the opposite direction.

Muslim Men of 2015, I request you with utmost respect to revive your manhood. Please and thanks.

Rant Over.

ridha & sukoon

Ustad Nouman Ali Khan on finding inner peace:


Praying for an answered Du’aa

I just realized something.

My cousin and her husband had really wanted a baby so that was the main du’aa they asked me to make for them when I was going for umrah in March. I got a Qur’an as hadiya for their du’aa at the Haram Shareef.

About 2 weeks after I returned from Umrah my cousin found out she was pregnant. Allhamdulillah, she gave birth to a healthy child two nights ago.

I just realized that she didn’t get pregnant because of the du’aa I made for her. She was already pregnant even before I left for Umrah.

What you’re meant receive in this world; be it in the form of a blessing or a calamity that’s already written. The objective of making du’aa is to reaffirm your faith and strengthen your relationship with the Rabb. It is absolute submission that you have no control and it is He who determines what you shall endure in this world. If that doesn’t teach you humility …

Is there such a man on earth?

‘A man who sees, or who seems to see, every gift that does not come to him as a disaster that is not visited upon him?

A man whose knowledge of the world is limited to his knowledge of how to leave it in peace, with a smile on his lips that greets the heavens as he approaches?

A man whose death, when he leaves the world, reveals his life?

A man whose life expressed his inner self such that a single phrase emerged from it whose meaning actually was the man it enveloped …and that phrase was “Praise be to God Alone” – الهمدلله …?’

The Destitute

Dhandhan Calling

If my childhood memories don’t fail me, London is the first city I said I wanted to go to. Actually it was Dhandhan as I couldn’t say the ‘la’ when I was 3. I distinctly remember watching my mom wrap the white cotton chador, which is a surefire indication she’s heading out somewhere. At the time I was a clingy toddler and I asked her where she was going. She sarcastically replied, I’m going to London. Now, I’m a 3 year old that believes everything her mother says and I thought it was some place nearby so I’d say, ‘Naanum varen dhandhanuku’ – I want to come to London too. She never took me with her. There was always a relative that accompanied her and I had completely forgotten who she was until last year.

I was at my uncle’s place in India last October, the same house where this memory took place. There were a few relatives in the house. Actually, we’re pretty much related to all the people living on our street so they’re always in and out visiting my grandmother. One lady sitting next to me was chatting with me and she asked,

‘Do you remember when you used to tell your mom you want to go to Dhandhan?’

‘YES, yes I do. Are you the one who went with my mom? Where did you guys go?’

‘I’m the one, we would go to your grand uncle’s house so your mom can talk to your dad over the phone.’

This was the early 90s and phones still weren’t common in our small town. My mom and dad (living in Singapore/Canada) sent letters to each other for  about 8 years into their marriage. The only phone was at my grandma’s elder brother’s house, which was a two hour bus ride away at the time due to awful roads and not so great buses. Fast forward two decades later and here I am chatting via whatsapp with my mom’s relatives back home.

I realized the other day that life had come a full circle, as it always does. Back in Ramadan I asked my mom if I can go on a mini Euro trip in October. Her immediate reply was,

‘TAKE ME WITH YOU! Take me to London!’

So here I am, on my way to Dhandhan with my mother :).

InshaAllaah, see you all on the other side of the pond.


A friend on FB posted a status (re: Palestine) asking why

‘Muslims unrelated to this issue are jumping up and down?’ … 
‘Why people are partial to one crisis and show no care for other injustice happening in the world such as Boko Haram Girls, Syria, ISIS…which makes it hypocritical to selectively care for humanity’

Lastly, they didn’t see the point of everyone posting #PrayforGaza statuses :

Here was my response.

1) You don’t have to be a Palestinian, a Muslim, or related to those lives lost innocently to speak up on this issue, which is evident from all the Non Muslims that have spoken out : Dr. Norman Finkelstein (a Jew who has lost family in the Holocaust), Channel 4s Jon Snow, CNN reporter Diana Magnay, and so many celebrities that have got the guts to speak up and not delete their support after being attacked by zionists: Selena Gomez, Crisitano Ronaldo, Coldplay, Mark Ruffalo and many more.

2) You probably never noticed but just as the Muslims are focused on Palestine this Ramadan by protesting, praying, fundraising. Last Ramadan’s focus was Syria/Egypt as that was major crisis at the time. Yes they have taken a backseat as social media has blown up with live feed of what’s happening in Gaza. This is the third attack since Obama came into power, 2008/2009, 2012 and now 2014. For the first time ever we aren’t relying on biased media to know what’s happening. We are seeing it as it happens. And if after seeing all those videos/pictures of the inhumane treatment of Palestinians, (who btw not ALL are Muslims, there are also Christian minorities) and the only question you and others have to ask is ‘Why are you not caring about other injustice around the world?’… Then is there any surprise how little humanity remains in the world?’

3) Israelis, mainly Zionists (as there are many Israelis against the siege of Gaza; eg. Ilan Pappe) have made it clear of their hatred of Palestinians. I’m sure a simple Google search will show images of kids signing missiles ‘With Love from Palestine’, soldiers posting smiling pictures with mutilated kids,  an Israeli father telling his kid to beat up a Palestinian kid, slogans such as ‘Death to Arabs’, Israeli officials stating ‘turn Gaza into a parking lot’, ‘rape, kill and murder Palestinian women so they don’t raise any militants’ and so on. They want to wipe out Palestine from the world and they have been successfully doing so for the past 60 years.

As for Palestinians all they want is the right to live like a human just like you and me and everyone else that has commented on this status. Yet, they’ve have been treated worse than criminals for their only crime being a Palestinian.

All those that are speaking up on this conflict, they are never in support of Hamas or the attacks on Israelis, they are speaking up on behalf of those that are voiceless and have been completely ignored by the international community for decades now.

UN, Amnesty International, WHO, and other humanitarian organizations have pointed out all the international laws Israel has broken, all the war crimes it has committed, yet how has Israel NEVER been questioned for its infractions? I’ll give you examples from the current war itself. When the three Israeli teens were killed (which was NOT by Hamas) a Palestinian teen Mohammed Khedair was burned alive in vengeance crime. Those who committed this was caught, how were they persecuted? No one knows. Not only that, his American cousin Tariq Khedair who did absolutely NOTHING was arrested, beaten, denied health care and no charges have been layed on him till date. These are two amongst thousands that have been unfairly attacked in West Bank/Gaza. Here’s a thorough article debunking Israel’s justification for this war:

Also I’m ever so baffled at what part of ‘Illegal’ the world doesn’t get about THE ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS !!

4) Why is it only when people speak up for Palestinians people come and ask ‘Why don’t you care about other humanity?’. When there was outcry for Egypt and Syria, no one came and asked ‘Why aren’t you talking about the inhumane treatment of Palestinians?’ What makes one injustice greater than another? As others have pointed out it is human nature to care for one cause more than another. Just because I speak out for Palestinians doesn’t mean I am okay with the injustice being done in CAR, by ISIS, or what’s been happening in Syria/Egypt. Also, not speaking for a specific cause in order not be partial is like saying, ‘I’m going to care about NOTHING because caring about SOMETHING makes me seem hypocritical.’

5) South African Apartheid [1948 – 1991 : 43 years]
Sri Lankan Civil War [1983 – 2009 : 25 years]
Holocaust [ 1941 – 1945 : 4 years]

I’m pointing out the duration of the each of the events above NOT the scale of human lives lost/affected. It basically took that many years for the international community to wake up and realize what’s happening is WRONG and they did SOMETHING about it! Actually, to be precise South Africans fought for their own freedom and so did the Sri Lankans.. Only for the Holocaust was there a war to end it.

The duration of Israel’s overtaking of the pre-existing country Palestine starting from the massacre of Palestinians in 1948 is currently unknown as its ongoing for 66 years now.

If YOUR people and country has been occupied, sieged, massacred for 66 years while the world watches and does diddley squat ..What would you do??


Yes, we have no other way to help the Palestinians and THIS is why you’re seeing 65 #PrayForGaza statuses every five minutes on your TL.

I apologize for any historical inaccuracies as I clearly don’t know everything that is to know about all the conflicts that happen around the world.

Last FIFA, Last Taraweeh, Lost Ramadan…

A family friend was watching today’s football match Brazil vs. Chile whilst chatting with his elder brother in Singapore via text messages. They had their own commentary going back and forth across the Pacific from Singapore to Toronto. After a while the replies from Singapore stopped. The brother in Toronto presumed he had gone to bed as it was late there and he would soon have to wake up for sehri for the first fast of this year. He never woke up. Passed away in his sleep. Came so close to this blessed month yet it just wasn’t in his taqdeer to live through it.

إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ‎

For those who have been given the chance to experience another Ramadan, make it your best one yet. This is a reminder to myself as well.

Ramadan Mubarak.

Here’s Why…

This is one of the last passages from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran:

But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well.
The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it,
And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it.
And you shall see
And you shall hear.
Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf.
For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things,
And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.


That is the answer to all our ‘Whys’

The Shalwar that was never mine…

Two weekends ago I attended the first ever ‘Nikkah Bridal Show’ in Toronto, which is basically Suhaag bridal convention customized for Muslims. The main reason I went was to support a friend who is a professional cake maker. Also to meet up with other friends. As in every other brown/Muslim shows/conventions it had all the expected booths and vendors. I tend to gravitate towards the Indian/Pakistani clothing sections to see if anything catches my eyes. Lo and behold, one shalwar suit was calling out to me.

The colours were refreshing and the style wasn’t something I’ve seen before. I tried it on and loved it! Went back to the aunty at the booth and tried my luck at bargaining. She retorted once and accepted my second offer. I was happy and felt accomplished thinking my mom would be proud. Although in reality the aunty was just really easy and didn’t even put up a fight. I didn’t have cash with me so I told her to pack it up for me and I’ll come back later to get it.

Two things I should have done:
1) Given her a time so she’ll know when to expect me.
2) Given her my number so she could call in case she wanted to get a hold of me.

Unfortunately I did neither. Lesson learned!

I went about frolicking around the hall and then my friends and I went out for lunch only to return 2 hours later with the cash. I went back to the booth to see two girls( the daughters) sitting with the aunty. One of the girl saw me as I was taking out the money and started apologizing. She continued to explain as I stood there in utter disbelief and shock that they had sold the shalwar to another lady. This woman had looked at it and reserved it before me but the aunty didn’t know this. That lady had come back while I was gone and requested to purchase it. However, the aunty had tried to fend for me saying that I will be coming to get it. The lady had returned three times only to be rejected by the aunty who wanted to remain loyal to me. Anyhow, the luck just wasn’t on my side as I had taken a long time to return so they eventually sold it to this persistent woman who apparently walked around the booth like a hawk to see if I return.

Hearing this with dropped jaws I was completely heartbroken. I mean, I had already fantasized about what event I’ll wear the shalwar to. I had convinced myself this shalwar was mine. There’s a saying in Tamil, ‘Kayku ettunathu vayku yettala’.. Literal translation: what reached the hand didn’t reach the mouth. Basically, I came so close that I could taste it yet it slipped my fingers at the last minute.

The ladies tried to appease me by offering a discount on any other shalwar in their collection. I didn’t want it, the one I wanted was gone. I decide to go share my misery with my friend at her booth. As I was retelling the tragedy, another friend who was also listening said, ‘Imagine you see the women who bought it take it out .. What would you do?’ This reminded of the wedding dress episode from Friends where Monica fights with another woman over one dress. ‘If that happens I’d snatch it and run away.’ I replied still trying to swallow the bitterness of it all.
Not even two minutes after I said this, I see the woman, yes the perpetrator of my heartbreak behind my friends pulling out the shalwar from the bag. I let out a loud gasp and just pointed..no words were needed to express myself. My friends looked in the direction of my finger and immediately understood. It turned out to be none other than my friend’s family friend who snatched the shalwar of my 15 minutes daydream away from me right before my eyes. I would have been fine if I hadn’t seen who took it away from me. But to watch her take it out of the bag was salt on the wound and it bloody hurt! The conceited devil in me immediately thought that shalwar would definitely look better on me than her. Not that it mattered now … I consoled myself by the fact that I at least got to try it on. Eventually .. By that I mean after sharing this story with 10 other people I reached the zen state of acceptance that this shalwar was never mine and never will be.

How often is it that we go through the same cycle of emotions with material and immaterial possessions in life? With each let down, disappointment and heartbreak we’re supposed to become smarter, wiser and stronger… Right?

Anyway, there will be many more conventions and conferences with endless selection of shalwars.  One can only hope.

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