Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

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).


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).


Marshmallows: A Metaphor For Jannah?

// May 25th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

A TED video explaining how self-discipline can lead to success. Warning: the following film contains hilarious clips of kids trying their hardest not to eat free marshmallows. Wear some waterproof pants, if possible!

A Little Boy in Pain

// April 19th, 2008 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I received the following e-mail from a friend, in the form of a typical 'circular'. Normally, I am very wary about reports of charity cases that don't come from official sources. However, this message ended with a link to a video on YouTube showing the little boy in question, which convinced me that it may be genuine, though Allāh knows best.

I encourage you to watch the video and make up your own minds. Unfortunately, it is not in English… in fact, if someone can translate and write a brief summary in the comments, I would be most grateful.

The thing that got to me most is the fact he looks so much like the son of one of my closest friends, whom I consider as a nephew. I pray that they have already raised enough money for the operation, though I guess there will be post-op costs to consider too. It's so sad to think he has to remain in such a state for a second longer. :(

Did Allāh give you healthy children who don't suffer from any physical pain, that you can watch playing, eating and sleeping in peace?

If so, prostrate before Him in thankfulness, and remember that we will be asked about each ni'ama [blessing] He granted us from His immense Bounty.

Mounib, 2 years old, suffers from a rare kind of spina bifida. The tumour on his back is has become so large that the only position he can be in is prostration. He is in perpetual pain. He cannot eat or sleep, as the pain he suffers from gives him no respite.

Mounib lives in Algeria and his family cannot afford the operation he needs. Of course, if he was the son of an influential person in this country ruled by corrupt people, he would have been operated already. How can you leave a child in that state without doing anything?

His country did nothing for him, but brothers and sisters all over the world have already made donations up to 40 000 euros alhamdulillah, to help him to be taken to a hospital in Europe or Canada where he could have the operation.

Please join them, or at least find out about this story and make dua.

The video YOU HAVE TO WATCH with Mounib is at

For sadaqat [donating charity] BE GENEROUS see

Call Ilyes (London) on 0750 245 5411

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The Ultimate Reason to Completely Ignore My Last Post…

// April 1st, 2008 // 5 Comments » // Blog

If I'm sitting on the carpet, she [Bubbu] loves to 'sneak' up from behind me, and then 'surprise' me by appearing around my shoulder – and promptly breaking into chuckles “he-hee-hahahahaha's”, only to disappear behind me again, and 'surprise' me again at my other shoulder – repeat laughter, repeat disappearing act, repeat surprise, over and over again.

Her mirth is infectious.

One, two, three….

AWWWWWWWW… (māshā’Allāh)

Read more tales that make your ovaries skip a beat here.

Memories of an Earlier Self

// December 16th, 2007 // 7 Comments » // Blog

Photo by RonnieAtlas

I just came across a wonderful tag on Snowdrop's blog where you have to list five childhood memories. Considering that my mental age is still in the midst of adolescence, this should be a breeze:


O My Head!

// May 15th, 2007 // 17 Comments » // Blog

On the following morning, Muhammad [peace be upon him] found Ayesha [may Allāh be pleased with her], his wife, complaining of a headache, and holding her head between her hands, murmuring, “O my head!”. Having a headache himself, Muhammad answered, “But rather, O Ayesha, it's my head!” However, the pain was not so severe as to put him to bed, to stop his daily work, or to prevent him from talking to his wives and even joking with them. As Ayesha continued to complain about her head, Muhammad said to her: “It wouldn't be too bad after all, O Ayesha, if you were to die before me. For I would then pray for you and attend your funeral.” But this only aroused the ire of the youthful Ayesha, who answered: “Let that be the good fate of some else and not me. If that happens to me, you will have your other wives to keep you company.” (The Life of Muhammad, Cairo, 1935)

Now, it is time for me to complain about my head. Ayee, it hurts! This is the third headache i've had in a week… Subhanallah! Thank the Lord for soluble Paracetamol, that's all i can say. It makes me wanna barf as soon as i swallow it, but it does the job quickly, by the Mercy of Allāh.

I remember when i was little, all i had to do to get rid of a headache, was remove my socks (to reduce my body temperature), lie down and sleep it off. Sometimes, i could even imagine my pain away! I'd sit quietly, and think of all my favourite things: “I like… icecream, cartoons, playing cricket with my dad [yes – my poor dad had no sons!], sweets…” etc, etc.

Now, none of that stuff works. If i go to sleep with a headache, i will wake up with the same headache. A few (thankfully rare) times, i have gone to sleep with a mild, nagging pain, only to be awoken in the middle of the night by a nightmarish, intense throbbing in my skull that has me rolling around the bed, crying for my mother! (Not that i would wake her up for that). I often say to myself: “So this is what a hangover feels like… oooww”.

Hey, it's all expiation, right? Lord knows, i need it! It's just strange how my body has changed in its response to pain, over the years. Stress, no doubt, has a role to play in all this. No more carefree days for me. You rest when you die… At least, that's the hope, inshā’Allāh!

Protected: A Blast from the Past

// February 20th, 2007 // Enter your password to view comments. // Blog

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