Let’s talk about books. I was going through my Goodreads challenge to see the books I have read so far. And I have read some excellent books this year. Although I need to speed up my reading because I haven’t read as many books as I thought. However I have read a wide range of books that makes me very happy. So here are the top five books that I have read and loved in 2018.

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: Anything I say about this book doesn’t do it justice. I loved how he somehow related medicine and literature together. That was an amalgamation I didn’t see coming. If you read it, be prepared to have a broken heart. Continue reading

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Why Aren’t You Pregnant Yet?

I am going to talk about something that is kind of a taboo in our society. I am terrified because I don’t want anyone from my family reading this. But I think that it’s important that we talk about this. Having a conversation about a difficult topic is the first step in changing the perspective about that said thing.

I got engaged five years ago. And married a year later. Ever since the day my engagement was finalized, this jinn appeared out of a bottle.

I was on my ‘Shaadi Ka shopping trip’ to Pakistan when my Khala repeatedly told me to conceive immediately after getting married. Because apparently your uterus just doesn’t work after the first six months. I was a super confused 18-year-old, trying to enjoy all the shopping when everyone would shove their opinions down my throat. They meant well. Or they thought that they meant well. From my mom’s friends to my Nani’s neighbour, I was told not to use any contraception or to eat this herbal concoction.

Then there were the subtle hints from my mother and A’s mother. They would talk about how they would be fighting over the grandchild, who would get to name the baby that I would be producing. I had to sit through it all, smiling coyly, trying not to gag. Somehow our future was decided for us even before we were married.

On the actual Rukhsati day, one of A’s aunties said to me, ‘beta kal tu hamaye khushkhabri mil jayegi na ?’ I wish I had replied something, anything rather than sitting quietly through it.

The four years that have followed have included millions of such incidents, opinions shoved down our throats without asking us what we want. No. But what are you talking about ? Why would we ask the person who has to produce a child and give birth or the guy who has to bear all the tantrums of a pregnant person ? The two people on whom thus huge responsibility lies, unsay kon pochta hai ?

Time and again I have wished that there should be space for us to talk about it. To have it in the open. I don’t care about the rest of the world. I never have. But what about our parents ? What do we do about them ? I am very close to my parents and have a good relationship with them. I see the relationships around me and am thankful how good I have it with my parents. But somehow this thing hasn’t changed. Their conversations start and end with, haye tumhara baby nahi hua abhi tak. Or have you tried this thing?

Once I was over at my parents’s place, studying for an exam. As usual, my mother wouldn’t leave this alone. She was telling me about this herbal tea that someone had brought for me and was pestering me to eat it. I literally burst into tears and told her that I would stop coming to her place if she continued these shenanigans.

You would think that guys would be spared in this tragedy. But nope. Once there was this coffee with the CEO thing at A’s office and the CEO asks A, so how long have you been married?

He said, ‘Two years’.

CEO: ‘And kids?’

A: ‘No kids.’

CEO: ‘But why no kids? Have kids. Life is incomplete without them.’

Matlab CEO sahab, aap tu apnay kaam say kaam rakhaye. Reproduction kay tips tu na daina.

My point over here is why can’t we have a normal conversation about why having a baby is a big deal. And whether the couple wants to have kids or not. Or they want kids years down the lane. Or maybe they are trying but don’t want to share the pain that comes with it. Somehow there is this weird notion that you are old enough to be married but not to make your own decisions. Kya bakwas hai.

There is huge generation gap between us and our parents. And that is okay. The problem is that not a single person has ever asked IF we want kids. Or what do we both want? Somehow it has been assumed for us that without kids, life is incomplete. That frustrates me. Because why can’t we talk about it ?

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July 1, 2018

I am sitting in my study, surrounded by a lot of crap that includes a bowl with my Green Tea strainer, crepe paper that I used to make flowers, books on my tbr and a ton of tassels for a banner. I am always thinking of ways to relaunch this blog of mine, waiting for the perfect moment. I think this is my third blog post talking about the relaunch. I just like things to be pulled together, cohesive.

However I have been thinking that things are not like that. Atleast my life isn’t. And I am sure yours isn’t either. It’s messy, unexpected and chaotic at times. So this tiny little bubble of mine is going to be the same way. A reflection of my life, raw, unedited.

Mental health has been on my mind a lot recently. I am seriously looking to see a therapist. Somehow saying out these words is easier to you than my family. I have always been a very strong, confident person. So to admit that I might be struggling is hard. It’s often hard for our parents to understand our problems. Because there is a huge generation gap between us. Being jobless while married to a man with a good job might not be a problem to them. They have seen far worse in life so their measure of good verses bad is different to ours.

I am okay with the difference. Because I have seen far worse of a generation gap than my own. So I am always grateful for the fact that I can always say what I want to my parents. I don’t have to say something twice to have them understand what I am saying. Or bite my tongue knowing that what I say would be taken in the wrong manner. Things are never perfect. And that is okay. I don’t understand why we cannot be okay with that.

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What Does Niqab Mean To Me ?

A few days ago, I came across Huda’s instagram where she talked about this initiative to talk about the ban on Niqab in Quebec and other countries around the world. I loved the idea and decided to be a part of it. We are all talking about it under the hashtag #handsoffherniqab on instagram. The campaign is open for anyone who wants to stand up for women rights. Huda will include the best entries in the Affinity magazine. For more information, check out her instagram account. 

Also, be sure to check out the hashtag and look at everyone else’s contribution. Here is mine. 

Continue reading “What Does Niqab Mean To Me ?”

The Crap Called Lawn 2017

Let’s talk about every Pakistani’s favourite piece of clothing aka LAWN. Specifically Lawn this year. I admit that I love it as much as any other Pakistani. And I have paid the price of four dinners for one ‘Lawn Ka Jora’. However now it has become an industry focused on profit instead of creativity.

Firstly, all the bridal dress designers started coming out with their lawns. How could they not take this opportunity to benefit ?  Then where used to be one or two lawn collections per year, there started being a gazillion from Pre-Summer Lawn Collection, Summer Volume I Collection, Eid I Collection to Mid Spring Collection. What nonsense ! Continue reading “The Crap Called Lawn 2017”

My Top Five Favourite Childhood Book Series

I have been a bookworm my whole life. There isn’t a time where I don’t remember reading. And let me tell you, growing up with books is the best thing. I saw Atiya from The Good Life do this post and I had to copy her.

So in no particular order, here are the top five series that I loved as a child.

  1. Inspector Jamshed Series:

 

When we lived in Pakistan, one of our neighbour’s had a huge cupboard full of Ishtiaq Ahmed books in their store. Her son (Ali Bhai to us) used to read them as child. We devoured those books like cotton candy. The moment summer used to be in swing, we would run to their house and ask them to go straight to their store. We visited it on a daily basis. As much fun the series was, it was also great for kids because it would teach you valuable lessons. Through these detective stories, Ishtiaq addressed topics like honesty, bravery and hard work. Also, please don’t judge me. Keep in mind that I grew up with four boys. (two brothers and two cousins) So there was a lot of male influence. Continue reading “My Top Five Favourite Childhood Book Series”

Some Memories From Karachi

I am finally writing about my trip to Karachi which happened 7 months ago. Yikes ! We were there for two weeks. I was going through the pictures and I decided to write about some of my favourite memories. So here you go.

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1. One of his Mamu’s arranged dinner at his house for us and all of his extended family. (which in total is about 60 people) It was on day 1 of our arrival. I was super nervous because I come from a very different family. His family is Memon and Memon’s don’t marry outside of their clan. I was the odd one out because my husband is the only one in their family who didn’t marry a Memon. Anyway, one of his Khala’s gave me these Gajra’s and made me wear them. Ah ! Gajra’s ! I fell in love with Gajras and got to wear them again a few days later. Although I had been married for 3 years, I was the ‘Naye Dulhan’ (new bride) to them. So I was treated like one too. Lol. Everyone was super nice. No one made a fuss that I didn’t take off my Abaya. And the Nihari they served was to die for. So it was a very good start to our trip.

20170103_1046372. The morning after the Mehndi, his Mamu (the one whose daughter was getting married) called and asked my mother in law to come over because there was a lot of wedding food leftover. And it had to distributed among all of their siblings. No one except me was awake. So my mother in law forced me to take the keys and drive. We picked up the food from his Mamu’s place and gave it to everyone else. I was over the moon about driving in Karachi. I got yelled at by a Rickshaw Wala but they yell at everyone. So I am going to count this as a win.

 

 

 

 

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3. We were there in January, so none of the places I buy my clothes from had any lawn. I ended up going to the local market and buying clothes from there. Naturally I had to go to the lace shop. I spent 10 minutes just admiring all the colours, Kundan laces, buttons and the pearls. I asked the guy if I could take pictures and he got out of the way for me. Now I have been to lace shops but it was always with my mom, aunts or Nani. This was my first experience going by myself, picking out stuff without anyone’s opinion and bargaining for it. The best part was that I was mesmerised by it all and the guy let me take my time choosing everything I wanted.

 

 

 

20170104_1900044. One day, in between shopping and the next event, I had half an hour. So I texted best friend and told her that I was coming over, since she lived 2 minutes away. While I was there, I saw this mug that I had given to 2 of my best friends in 12th grade. And here we were, all grown up. Nostalgia hit me bad and reminded me of the people I treasure most.

I grew up hearing about her incredible Uncle and Aunt. True to what I had heard, I was there for 30 minutes and I had texted her 15 minutes before going over. There was a tray filled with pastries, pies and what not waiting for me when I arrived at her place. Just the way her ‘Phupho'(aunt) treated me, I felt like I was home.

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5. Something that annoyed me was that while I was asked to meet all of my husband’s extended family. The same wasn’t asked of him. That made no sense. I was there as his partner so isn’t he suppose to be there as well. Apparently, not.

I went to Karachi with the view to see things differently. And I did. The broken walls, tangled wires and crowds of people had a charm of it’s own. I had heard so much about Karachi, some of it good, a lot of it terrible. I for one, had a great time.

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