Archive for June, 2009

Ten Years Later

// June 28th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

This weekend has been one of nostalgia and reminiscence.

Every June, the alumni association of my school holds a reunion dinner. This year, special invites were sent out to my class – the class of '99 – to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

I knew straight away that I would not be attending. For one, it's in Leicester; for two, the ticket cost £30; and for three, there will be alcohol a plenty, which, on the grounds of both religion, and personal comfort, precluded my attendance.

Still, I couldn't keep my mind off the gathering.

In school, I was your average nerd: 'four eyes', train tracks on my teeth, overweight, hair always neatly braided, A-grades in every subject – except Phys Ed, naturally. Thank God, I was never really bullied; rather, incessantly teased, and the victim of more than one practical joke.

Therefore, ever since leaving school, I have dreamt about returning to a future reunion, as a smart, successful – and yes, gorgeous – individual, who didn't let her geekish tendencies hold her back in any way (if anything, they would help to mould me into said “smart, successful, gorgeous individual”). The typical 'ugly duckling turns swan' teen fantasy.

What I didn't expect, however, was that midway between graduation and reunion, I would undergo a complete moral and spiritual makeover; a personal revival that has altered every previous misguided notion of what makes someone a success, and truly beautiful. Now, the idea of attending a reunion to simply show off how great I have it, would be anathema to the principles that I hold dear.

Besides, I imagine the entire dinner would be such a superficial experience, especially as I detest small talk. Further, I have made contact with many of my past school mates via Facebook. If I really wanted to catch up with them in person, I would have done so by now, especially as several also live and work in London.

Saying all that, I'd still like to meet up with a few people from my past; especially my teachers. Thank them for their hard work, guidance, and inspiration. I'd also like to walk around the old school grounds, as they were quite beautiful, and are home to some great memories.

Anyway, until I marry Noah Wyle, my original reunion fantasy would be incomplete. Really, without him, it wouldn't even be worth the bus fare. Ten years, fifty years: some dreams will never die (even though we do become more realistic about how unattainable they are with every passing year).

:)

Definition of Friendship

// June 28th, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

I just wrote a mini-paper on the meaning of friendship, in response to a contact's status message on Facebook. It kinda sucks to take over someone's profile like that, so I am transferring the rant from there, to here, and replacing it with a much shorter URL. :)

Plus, I want a longer term record of what I said, because it's the kind of advice that will bite me in the bee-hind one day, if I ever forget it – this post will hopefully serve like a post-it note, for when I will inevitably need the same 'talking to'.

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Daughters Say the Funniest Things…

// June 28th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

A sequel to “Mums Say the Funniest Things…“.

Scenario: iMuslim enters the living room, illuminated by the soft glow of the tellybox, and sits next to her mother on the sofa.

iMuslim proceeds to kiss her mum on the cheek. However, this time round, it is Umm iMuslim who picks up the flowery scent.

Mum: “Can you smell something?”

Me: “Good or bad?”

Mum: “Good. Like flowers… Are you wearing perfume?”

Me: “No.”

Mum: “Oh. I smelled flowers when you came in the room”.

Me: “No idea.”

[silent pause]

Me: “I WANT A Wii!

Mum: [shocked expression]

Me: [suddenly realizes the double entendre] “Noooo! I mean the computer thing!! Y'know, the Wii?!”

Mum: “Oooh… I was thinking: if you need a wee so badly, just go.”

This is classic sitcom material, people.

Minaret Silhouette

// June 23rd, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Photos


Click to enlarge

A freeze frame from some footage I captured in Regent's Park on Saturday 20th June, about an hour before sunset. The minaret belongs to London Central Mosque.

I Love Lightning

// June 12th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I swear, I feel the air cool every time I watch this.

50 First Reactions

// June 12th, 2009 // 6 Comments » // Blog

A meme I borrowed from Biscuit In A Basket:

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Why I Could Teach, But Most Likely Never Will

// June 10th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Blog

This post on homeschooling reminded me of a recent realization about my own aversion towards taking the PGCE route that so many PhD graduates seem to pursue, having realized that they can no longer tolerate the research environment.

It's not that I don't enjoy teaching – even teaching kids, and young people. I just can't deal with the discipline issues; or should I say, lack of discipline issues. I can already predict that having to deal on a daily basis with rowdy adolescents that are intent on pushing every button and testing every boundary, will eventually reduce me to one of those babbling, stuttering, post-nervous breakdown teachers that we've all been taught by at one point in our lives (for me, it was my year 9 History teacher. There were rumours that his odd behaviour was a result of him being locked in a cupboard by his students for several hours. And this at a private school).

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Have You Thanked Allah?

// June 9th, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I was e-mailed the following by a friend, and thought it contained some great bite-sized chunks of wisdom.

Have You Thanked Allāh?
by Imâm Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

Salmân al-Fârsî radhiyAllahu anhu said:
“There was a man who was given many of the luxuries of this world, and then they were taken away from him. But he continued to praise and thank Allâh until everything had been taken from him, even his bed. And then he still praised and thanked Allâh. Another man, who had also been given many of the luxuries of this world asked him, 'What are you praising and thanking Allâh for?' The man said, 'I am praising and thanking Him for blessings which, if others asked me to give them to them in return for all that they have, I would never give them up.' 'What can they be?' asked the second man. 'Can't you see?' asked the first man. 'I have my eyesight, my tongue, my hands, my feet…'”

Allāh/#more-2094" class="more-link">Allāh?">(more…)

Taking Advice From the Past To Save the Future

// June 2nd, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

You know those Sci-Fi films where the protagonist receives an unexpected visit from their future self, heralding grave news of a disastrously sticky end if they don't do an incredibly important task, that can conveniently be achieved within the 75 minute remainder of the movie?

The kind of scenario that always throws up the problem: “Well, if they complete the mission, then that version of the future will no longer exist. Therefore the character won't be able to return to the past to warn themselves about avoiding said disaster. But without such a warning, the bad things will happen anyway. Ah, but then if they… no, that won't work… unless they manipulate the space-time continuum…? Yes! No. Wait… using the graviton emissions of a nearby worm hole…. perhaps… Multiverse theory would allow… would allow… wo- Oh look: time for Hollyoaks!”.

Anyway, I experienced something like that this evening, at a sisters-circle I attended – but in reverse.

Continue reading my post at MuslimMatters.org…

Enjoying the English Countryside

// June 1st, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Photos

I spent the weekend in Blackburn, which is about 300-odd miles north of London. I was there for my cousin's wedding, on my father's side, but ended up being person-napped by my cousins on my mother's side for a outdoor birthday party at a picnic site in the country. As you can tell, I have a lot of family 'up North'.

The weather was gorgeous, māshā’Allāh… just perfect for a BBQ.

Smokin'

Chops on the BBQ Birthday BBQ Cake Cute Baby Tee

After lunch, we took a leisurely walk in the woods and fields surrounding the picnic area.

Walk in the Woods

Bleached Buttercups In the Spooky Woods In the Woods Grrrass Breathtaking Cows From A Distance Cows Up Close Cows! Sheep!

These were the shoes I was wearing during our little Nature walk… not good for wading through patches of mud. Alhamdulillah, I survived, unscathed.

My Chappals

A nice shot I managed to capture from the car on the way home. Click here to see a larger version.

Show Me the Way to Go Home

My parents and I used to travel to Blackburn at least once a year, back when we were living in Leicester. However, moving to London added another 150 miles to the car journey. That, together with my studies, meant that in the last ten years we've only bothered to drive up there for two important family occasions: deaths & marriages.

Upon leaving the wedding house yesterday evening, we exchanged the usual pleasantries with our hosts, not-so-subtly acknowledging the fact that only another wedding would likely reunite us in the near future.

inshā’Allāh, it'll be your turn next, Mehzabeen!”, my aunty chirped in Gujarati, as I put on my shoes. Luckily I was looking down at the time, so she didn't notice the eyes rolling in my head.

Oh well. At least they'll be the ones making the six hundred mile round-trip next time, if she's correct.

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