Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Possible of the Imagined

Finding time to post everyday is not always a possibility so I asked my husband to post things on this blog too. Here is the first post from him, a poem by Noon Meem Rashid. Posting in Urdu is not that simple and this is not the best translation of this fascinating poem, but it should do. If you can read and understand Urdu, you will find Noon Meem, one of the most revolutionary and thought provoking writers the world ever produced. Enjoy and comment.

The Blind Hawker
(By Noon Meem Rashid translated by Hamid Rahim Sheikh)

Scattered all over the city are
worn out and disfigured dreams
of which the city dwellers are oblivious!
I roam around the city day and night
to collect them
Heat them in the furnace of my heart
so that the old rust on them comes off
Their limbs come out nice and clean
Their lips, cheeks and heads start shimmering
Like the desires of freshly dressed bridegrooms.
So that once again these dreams may find a direction!

"Dreams for sale, dreams ..."
As the morning dawns I go calling out in the streets....
"Are these dreams real or fake?"
They check them out as if there isn't anyone more
adept at judging them!

A dream maker I'm not either
just a face-lifter....
But yes dreams are the source of my livelihood!

Evening settles in
and I call out again....
"Free everyone, free, these dreams of gold..."
Hearing "free", people get even more frightened
and slip away lip-tightened...
"Well he says they are 'free'
could it be a sham?
Some hidden deception?
They may break on reaching home
or just melt away, these dreams?
Disappear with a pop somehow
or cast upon us some spell, these dreams?
No sir, of what use could they be?
dreams of this hawker?
dreams of this blind junk hawker? "

Night sets in
carrying heaps of dreams over my head
disappointed I reach home
Mumble all night again
"Take these dreams...
and take from me their price as well
Take these dreams, dreams...
my dreams ...
dreams .... my dreams ....
dr..ee..eaams ...
their pr...iii...ceee as welllll....."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

New Year Resolution

1. Lose weight.
2. Lose weight.
3. Lose weight.
4. Lose weight.
5. Lose weight.
6. Lose weight.
7. Lose weight.
8. Lose weight.
9. Lose weight.
10. Lose weight.

Yet Another Candle

I turned 34 on the 22nd. Last year on my birthday we were moving and my older daughter was sick. She had some kind of food poisoning after eating from a desi restaurant in Houston. This year it’s me and my husband who are sick. We did not do much on the birthday, had the cake with evening tea and went out for dinner. I got beautiful gifts from my husband and daughters. My little one is turning 3 in January and I am planning to have a big party for her InshaAllah .

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Baba Fain?

My dad sent this song to my little one yesterday. It is so cute and funny too i.e. if you can understand Arabic (I am sure you enjoy it no matter what language you speak). My daughter was picking up the words quickly and I was telling her what this song means and in the end she said "Ama ye baba fain nahi hea ye Nana fain hea"
Baba fain? means "where is your Dad?" For those who dont know Arabic this song is about an uncle calling and the kids making him go crazy....just like my kids sometimes do when their khalas (my sisters) call. Check out the song by clicking the link below.
Baba Fain?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Something unexpected...

Yes! It got real cold in College Station. We had freezing rain for the first time since we came here. Since it is never really cold here and in any case even if it is then never for so long, we don't have heavy clothing. My elder daughter did not have a proper jacket...the one she had was bought when she was in first grade (she is in 3rd now) and I think she only wore it once. Not only because she hates to wear heavy jackets but also because there was never any need for it. But as the temperature was in the 20's we had to go get a new jacket for her and guess what? There was not a single jacket her size, to be found in College Station. So we got her a new fleece shirt and made her wear so many layers. I was hoping that it'd snow and we go out to make snow angels...but it did not...hopefully it will next yr.... or maybe later this winter season ..

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A few drawings by a little artist

A baloon with a face


A cat or maybe a bunny


Me again

These are a few drawings by my little one. She started holding a pencil when she was only 8 months old and could make perfect circles.

My eldest also started to draw at the same age. She drew a detailed portrait of her dad when she was only a year and a half old. I will post some of her recent works soon.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Word To Husbands

To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
Whenever you're right, shut up.

by Ogden Nash

Sunday, November 27, 2005


We went to a Desi (South Asian) turkey eating in Houston on Thursday. This event was at my husband’s friends place (an old friend from Lahore) in League City TX, near Galveston. They have an 18 month old son. Another old friend came from Dallas (also from Lahore…college friend). This couple have a daughter almost Amani's (my younger daughter) age. Hadia, my eldest, played the role of baji and baby sitter. I am so glad she did and enjoyed it as well. I was worried that she’d be bored and won't let me enjoy either. I had asked her to pack a few books to read i.e. in case if she got bored but shuker hea she enjoyed a lot.

The menu was a bit weird though. Turkey, stuffing, baked potatoes etc, BBQ chicken, chappal kebabs and chicken karhai. I still don’t understand what were they thinking when they planned this menu. It was a potluck sort of thing...in such a way that everyone had to cook something (not brining a dish but cooking it there) I just made a Baseesa (corn meal cake) at home instead of making it there. My husband helped them grill the chicken tikkas. Another friend from Houston who did not bring his American wife with him (don’t know why) cooked chicken karhai or maybe he brought it cooked. The friend from Dallas made chappal kebabs. When the food was served I just could not make up my mind what to eat first. There was so much to eat and then the thought struck me that everything at the table was cooked by a bunch of men...wondering if they had washed their hands before cooking I tried my best to eat a little of everything at the table. The chappal kebabs were the best and of course my cake :) This is all about the food.

We all stayed up till late at night. It was very difficult to put the kids to bed especially my little one and the daughter of the friends from Dallas. They were dancing all the time pretending to be the princesses. I am so glad that they made good friends and played together all the time. Finally, after much talking and pushing and bribing I succeeded to put them to bed around 12 but they slept around 1 am. The dads stayed up all night. They went out around 3 AM to check out the thanksgiving sales…came back when they saw a huge number of people sitting outside all the stores...some were grilling and enjoying themselves sitting there all night for the store to open at 6 am so they could be the first ones to get something from the very limited number of items. I would never go and sit all night even if they gave me things for free.

The next day we decided to take the kids to zoo but there were chances of rain so we went to Chucky Cheeses instead. The kids enjoyed a lot and I enjoyed even more. From there went to a Middle Eastern grocery store plus Deli. Had some great chicken shewarmas and lamb shanks, did some grocery and said good bye to each other. When we got back home we found that one of our fish had died ... poor fish this one was the most active one...the remaining two, which survive from the original six, seem so quiet and slow or maybe they are still in mourning. Or maybe they know their time is near too…Huh! Huh!

Monday, November 21, 2005


This picture was taken by my SIL on The Family Reunion in Austin.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Stop Smoking

Harry Potter, Dragons, Super Man and The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Finally watched the much awaited movie last night. We all were counting the days since November started. We decided to go for the 5:30 show but it was all sold out and the only seats available were for the 11 o'clock show. We could not wait till saturday so we bought the 11 o clock tickets and came back home anxiously waiting for 11:20 clock. Had dinner and a cup of tea before leaving. I gave a cup of coffee to my 8 yr old so that she would not be sleepy during the movie....she loves coffee but is not allowed to have it otherwise...this was a special occasion (she has a very set routine of going to bed at 7:30 and getting up at 6 am even on the weekends so I had to give her coffee to keep her awake and she loved it). My 2 yr old had already taken a nap while we were getting the tickets so she was fresh and besides she can stay awake till morning if u let her play....she sleeps very little and is a hyper kid (this is without any sweets or chocholates...you can imagine what she would be like if she eats chocholate or anything sweet).
so we left house around 10:30 and when we reached there we were surprised to see that all the good seats had already been taken. The front 2 rows and some on the corner ones were empty. We decided to take the corner ones as sitting in the front rows give you a stiff neck after the movie. Anyway, The movie started and everyone was so engrossed in the movie when suddenly my two year old would yell "yay Harry potter...super man" and then "oooooooooooh dragons" some people laughed and some must have not liked this at all.....i could hear some laughs but i really could not see the faces so i could not judge the expression on their faces.....and then in the end this little devil in my lap decided to sing "itsy bitsy spider" and i told her to keep quiet or else the dragon will come out of the screen....she did not mind the dragon but she sure did not like my disrupting her singing and then she stared crying loud....thank God she stopped soon. It was not just my little one who did not let me watch the movie my eldest daughter also had to take a few trips to the restroom as it was quite cold even inside the theaters (could also be the full cup of coffee)
The movie was good. I could not read the whole book and i was telling my husband that they had cut so much that it was the first few scenes of the movie where i stopped reading the book....and he smiled.....got to watch the movie again....anyone willing to babysit my kids????

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Friday, November 18, 2005

College Station

Where nothing unusual ever happens

Yup! that is College Station. Nothing unusual ever happens here. On long weekends, summer break or winter holidays this town becomes dead. You can compare it to Islamabad during the eids, when the whole city just goes quiet. I am not sure how it is in Islamabad these days....things might have changed since we came to the US. After living for a year in Houston, College Station was like a blessing. I do like it here. The distances here remind me of Islamabad, especially after the crazy traffic scene in Houston!

The road less traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Family Reunion

Look at my new rubber duckie
Southwestern University, Georgetown, Austin TX

I want to erase it all
Southwestern University, Georgetown, Austin TX

Inspecting a dead cricket
Southwestern University, Georgetown, Austin TX

A Walk
Aquarina Centre, San Marcos TX

A pond
Aquarina Centre, San Marcos TX

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Rawal Lake

This is the back side of Rawal Lake. Took these picture last year when we visited Pakistan. I miss Pakistan a lot. Its been three years since we came to US. It still doesn't feel like home.
This weekend while watching the international channel (we get desi programs only on Saturdays and Sundays and only a few Pakistani songs)Watching 'channo' and some other Pakistani songs I thought that these singers do not even know that I exist. Why do I miss them so much. Can't wait to have another trip to Homeland. Only God knows when. *sigh*


just a try post. I dont really like this picture.