Musings ● Ravings ● Qualitative Observings

My dear divine,

The first time my eyes met the light of your soul, I had known. Your existence was one that had tipped the balance of this world. He had surely sent you down as a favour to humanity, privileging us to witness a glimpse of heaven’s perfection. So that we may we find tranquility amidst the chaos of this fast paced world. It’s as if He wanted us to find Him, through you.

I imagine what it was like when your clay met clay, as they placed you into the ground. I imagine the coolness of the soil when it touched your body, bringing you great comfort as it rejoiced its union with you. I imagine the rays of the sun finding their way through your grave, only to welcome you back home. How lucky is the afterlife to have found you back. And how Magnificent your Creator must be, I can hardly put into words.

I find myself seeking His forgiveness, likely until I find you again, for you are surely his beloved, and I had failed to water your petals. How I wish I could have seen you bloom in your fullest. Patiently, I wait for the Last Day, when He shall give you glad tidings. How beautiful are you, how deserving you are my divine.

With love.

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Memoir |quatre

My sky. My rain. My sunshine. My provision. My sources of sustenance. How blessed am I for this great big world, and especially this little world within, of my little family. For me, each person is certainly a representative of life in ecstatic motion, so unique and so significant. How I thank them for taking me to their unique places of love, each so bizarre, sometimes frustrating, but always a source of light. And greater than that, a reminder of the Divine Light. His Light. His Love. That which transcends the affection of seventy mothers.

May Allah (SWT) allow me to find comfort and happiness under His Love, in this world, and the world that transcends this one. Beyond that, may He allow me to be reunited with my beloveds of this world, so that we can enjoy the fruits of the hereafter and each others’ company in infinity. May He favour us with His light and mercy and benevolence. Ameen. Ameen. Ameen. 

Memoir|trois

The pitter-patter of my fingers against the keyboard. The sound of lemonade being made from lemons. How unfamiliar a feeling, to concentrate the whirling musings in my brain and put them forth, on my screen. Despite so, I have not forgotten its sweet comfort, of having tea by my side, with the smell of freshly baked cookies in the air, as I give life to my thoughts. Hello In Between Roses. I’ve missed my little corned in this world wide web.

Life in its absurdity, has yet again placed me in an unknown territory. The impeding promises of my future seem so close and so far, all at the same time. I’ve always been fearful of uncertainties and loose ends, and have been struggling to come to terms with all this entails. There’s so much advice to take, yet I have this single, one life and a fear of making mistakes. To make a Plan B (backups are good, something to fall on)?, to remain steadfast on Plan A (would this be a way of the fool, or the persistent)?, to wait with gracious patience? to move my limbs and stop waiting for something to happen? My brain in the tiniest of nutshell. SOS. perpetually.

But then again, I am reminded, my life to this moment, is akin to an ant making its way through a Persian rug. In its entirety, such intricacy, such beauty, all in the Divine plan. He knows best.

Memoir |deux

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The poignant pathos attached to finding yourself “in between roses” – as Mirchi had in Behind the Beautiful Forevers, is as I have in my own narrative: The Child of the Diaspora.  The Child of the Diaspora, that who is the living embodiment of two different continents. This narrative entails that I humbly maintain my ties to the motherland (that which we parted from) and to the houseland (that which we crossed seas for).

I say humbly because amongst the two lands that I have known, neither assumed the homleliness of a homeland. The motherland has made me a foreigner, upon parting with me a few of its gifts – namely my sandy skin colour, the little Urdu I can manage, an appetite unsatisfied without strong spices and a few hazy memories of Karachi streets. The seas worth of distance has made the motherland an inaccessible terrain. The Canadian dream entailed a hefty cost in memories, of sitting by the feet of my grandparents and soaking in their wisdom, of sleepovers (i.e. lack-of-sleep overs) with cousins, of weddings and shenanigans, of roaming in the sweltering Karachi heat in loose shalwar kameez, of going through the uniquely adorned bazaars and markets, of enjoying Ramadan with neighbours and family.

But alas, I know that I have also become a foreigner to the motherland, for there are things that I can no longer stomach, my bodily rejection of its food and water, my disdain for its politics and priorities (this has a lot to do with economic disparity), my uncompromising standard of living (the houseland has certainly blessed me with running water, light, safety, and apt law enforcement).

However, the houseland has made no less of a stranger out of me, when people ask me where me I’m really from, where my hijab is subjected to ridicule and the raising of eyebrows, where where my religion is berated on a daily basis. But, despite all, I continue to love my houseland, perhaps even more than my motherland. I have known the houseland closer, I’ve gotten to know it roads by name, I’ve known its customs like they are my own, my friends here have become my family and my family here has become my strength. 

Certainly, the story of diaspora holds many intricacies. My father, parted from all that he knew, seeking for his children the most privileged life. Surely, he is the diaspora, in and of itself. My brothers, whose motherland and houseland is all Canada, have solely adopted the tongue of their country, with Urdu being a foreign terrain. With their exceedingly increasing vocabulary and English slang, I often worry that my father will never be able to resonate with them as well as he does with Urdu poetry.

As the Child of the Diaspora, the houseland and the homeland, respectively, are the breadth of my identity. But, rest assured, there is so much more depth in this narrative, an identity bigger, larger and always evolving. And through this all, I hold our immigration struggle close to my heart… so as to never forget… so as to never disregard… or God forbid, take for granted.

Dear February

I’m writing to you in your memory, so it would be fair enough to say that this letter serves to bid you farewell (while I usually write these letters to say my welcome). February, surely your name is a mouthful, but contrarily, your days are quiet and subdued. It would be so easy to forget you as the holiday season has passed, summer seems too far away and by now, we have become accustomed to the wintery cold. It would be so easy to forget you, but despite all, you have made yourself known. I think I have grown a lot in your span of 29 days (hello leap year). February, I had found myself battling insecurities – a feeling that had hardly touched me since my middle school years. I have been struggling with feelings of inadequacy for a while now and I had found myself yearning a sense of accomplishment or achievement. In any form. To remind myself that I am of worth. But February as you neared your end, something within me had shifted.

February, I thank you and your days. While I worried myself with things that had missed me, you taught me that they were never meant for me anyway. I found that the comfort of The Comforter is greater than any discomfort. And I am learning to stop measuring myself to others//measuring myself to the worldly scale. Surely, this is a journey, but I am grateful to you February and all your happenings. You have done both of us a favour by making your days ones to remember.

I have always known God but through His trials, I had found means to become closer to Him. And the more I sought God, the more I found Him. February, to those in a similar boat to mine, I encourage them to seek God in as many ways possible: establishing routinely prayers, frequent zhikr & istaghfar, charity, attaining further ilm, and surrounding yourself in company that knows God and reminds you of His glory. 

Canada, you have my little heart

20151210233130-nsd108314612.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoThis little heart of mine sings, for my people have finally found what they’ve been seeking all along, refuge.

On Thursday, December 10, the first planeload of Syrian refugees graced this country with all their light (/nur). And it fills me with glee that Canada took care of their frail and torn hearts. That Canada made place for the displaced. That Canada did not deny them their optimism, instead, promising them the future.

This is my Canada. My Trudeau. My people. Thank you to everyone involved in this process. Thank you for recognizing and acting upon our global responsibilities. Thank you for humbling me and this entire world with your big hearts and your open arms.

May God allow us to sustain such beautiful movements and may He give us all the opportunity to spread such goodness. May God fill the refugees of Syria (and everyone else around the world under persecution) with a multitude of blessings and allow them to find their new homes in love and peace. (Ameen). 

 

Memoir |un

11012088104 4a9e58048aYou never compromised yourself, and I always look back to you in awe. How did you do it? How did you survive the storms, make it through the tides, and tread, and tread, and tread? How did you not lose yourself, shed your pieces and feed them to those tests, hungry to eat you apart. And when today,  I find myself turning inside-out, you console me, you remind me. I’ve done it once, I can do it again, and again, and again. God willing.

You get scared.  You still do, but not as much. I won’t ever refute your fears – sure, this world is unpredictable, but isn’t that the glory of it all. Sure, there are consequences, uncertainties, fears, question marks, blank spaces, the possibility of your world turning upside down. Sure, sure, sure. But through everything, there’s this wild type of beauty, heaps of unapologetic optimism, wondrous types of dreams, unwavering sources of light. And above all, God and his limitless mercy. Get scared less often, young one.

I’ve never understood why you don’t believe in magic enough. Your existence, your breathing, your living, your kin, your mind. Light upon light. But still, you don’t believe enough. You can’t imagine yourself out of the perimeters of your comfort zone. Believe me, you will get the privilege to witness the grandeur of life and its unlimited possibilities. Do not be afraid to dream big. Get excited to see new places, do great things and to love more densely.

Dear September

Yesterday, I found myself conversing with my dear mother about the ways of our kin; some will take you home and bring you much needed comfort, akin (excuse the pun, will you?) to a good cup of tea. Others will test each drop of your kindness, but will take you home regardless, because, in the grand scheme of everything, they are still kin. And September, as my mother and I conversed, my wandering eyes found the window to my left, and all it had to reveal. September, at that time, I realized you were beginning to change colours.

It feels as if it was no longer than yesterday, wherein I was writing to Augus10392815304 402074f634t about its unapologetic, glorious heat. I almost felt a wave of dread overcome me as I began to anticipate autumn’s chilliness and back-to-university/mundane-routine. However, at another glance, my wandering eyes observed that summer’s luscious greens trading themselves for rich hues of golds, browns, and reds was not less than of a bargain. Certainly, a charm of its own.

September, you reminded me that life is in ecstatic motion and it would be entirely fruitless to lose myself in petty woes. September, you reminded me that there is beauty in everything, the all-kinds-of-kin, the always changing seasons and life, in its entirety. Thank you September. I hope I’ll prove to be a more gracious guest of yours when you come around next time, God willing.

Dear August

When I gathered the dishevelled hair of mine, forcing my black mane into a  hair tie, your heat penetrates against my bare back. But August, I feel no misgivings towards to you. In fact, I gladly receive your heat; the liberating warmth, the slight light-headed feeling that accompanies, the distant sounds of fans whirring in the background, the greenery and the life. You make me nostalgic for the climate of my motherland, where my roots first touched. You are beautifully warm and bright in your entirety. August, can I wish for you forever, before your bitter sister, winter hurriedly replaces you? (Photo credits: PeachyKeenJellyBean)

Taking Stock |1


(Picture source: in my studio)

Making: buntings of all sorts. If you’re feeling celebratory in the inside, make it known to the rest of the world. With the air filled with mercy and glory this Ramadan, I had felt obliged to lighten up our little dwelling. Our porch adorned with twinkling, gold string lights and beautified with pots of hydrangeas and marigolds. Our main entranced adorned with a banner or a bunting with warm greetings, be it Ramadan Kareem or Eid Mubarak. Find my (free) favourites in the link below:

1. Printable Ramadan Banner & Stars by Sakina Design
2. Eid Mubarak Garland by Sweet Fajr
3. Eid Mubarak Bunting Flags by in my studio
4. Eid Party Printables by Paper Couture Dubai

Reading: Between Clay & Dust by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. An interesting read that follows the life of a matured wrestler, alongside, a matured tawaif (prostitute/performer). It plays around the themes of honour, pride and redemption. It gives a look into Indo/Pak and the regions’ rich culture in performance arts. However, if you’re seeking action, adventure and lustful love, you won’t find it here. Unfortunately, the novel is not so memorable, although it is certainly rich in emotions and symbolism. Definitely, a quiet summer read.

Wanting: to explore the world. Stricken with ye ol’ wanderlust, I’ve been desperately wanting to go visit another country. After falling in love with Makkah & Medina, Saudi Arabia during my Umrah trip this December, I have been greatly wanting to see more of the world. I’ve been wanting to immerse myself into a new culture, meeting different people, seeing new sights, and feeling its history. However, with fall term calling my name, ever-growing student loans and time constraints, this might prove to be difficult.

Playing: Bollywood wedding songs. ‘Tis wedding season and with that comes all the heat-warming melodies I grew up withHence, with these songs stuck in my head, you’d have me playing them over, and over again.

Watching: The Good Wife on Netflix. Although, I’m a little deterred from continuing the show upon discovering the Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) and Will Garnder (Josh Charles) are no longer attached to the show. We shall see!

Feeling: grateful. Alhamdulillah. Lately, I’ve witnessed many miracles of sorts and cannot begin to express my gratitude to Allah (swt). With gratefulness comes many other feelings of graciousness and contentment, and it’s all greatness from there.

{Taking Stock inspired by Pip from Meet Me at Mikes}