Posts Tagged ‘Random Happenings’

There Was An Old Woman Who Swatted A Fly…

// May 30th, 2013 // No Comments » // Blog

A big, fat fly, was buzzing around my room today. Odd, because it has been rainy and cold since Monday (i.e., not typical big, fat fly weather). In fact, I think it might have been the first fly of 2013.

As I feebly tried to shoo the little buzzer out of my room, I half remembered a Quranic verse – something about not being able to defeat a measly fly. I could relate.

An hour later, I am sat with the Qur'an as part of my daily ritual. I try to be consistent in reading a little every day, but the reality is, some days I read one page, some days three, and some days none (astagfirullah).

So it was a shock when I unexpectedly came across this ayah:

“You people, here is an illustration, so listen carefully: those you call on beside God could not, even if they combined all their forces, create a fly, and if a fly took something away from them, they would not be able to retrieve it. How feeble the petitioners are and how feeble are those they petition!” [Qur'an, 22:73]

When 'coincidences' such as this occur, it's quite an event as I know it is not something that I could have planned, even subconsciously. I always respond the same way: my eyes pop, my jaw drops, and sometimes, I even giggle – I think that's a natural response to a surprise, right?

There is so much that can be taken from this experience. But the lesson that touches my heart the most is that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) (glorified and exalted be He) remembered me.

Pathetic, little me is on the radar of the Supreme Being.

Honestly, I needed that reminder. Allahu akbar.

Macro Gone Mad

// May 9th, 2010 // 3 Comments » // Photos

I've gone a little 'macro' nuts, lately. I dig how the shallow depth of field makes the most mundane of things look, like, totally awesome, māshā’Allāh.

Scratched But Not Out

Alien Invaders Crystal Vision Entwined I Dream of Cream What A Load of Rubbish! Good Day

Btw, I've realized just how lazy I've become wrt my camera. When I bought my first digicam way back in 2002 (a Minolta summit or other), I was so excited by my shiny new purchase, I insisted on fiddling with every manual setting available. These days, I normally shoot on auto-mode. It works out okay in well-lit environments, but the picture quality becomes extremely naff (I mean, more so than I'd expect) in anything less than daylight. I keep reminding myself that I need to figure out the best settings for indoors – especially as I hate using the flash – but bah… laziness.

Then, the other day, I lent my Canon to another sister from the ISoc, and within a few minutes she'd taught me five new things about the camera, like how to control the flash intensity (I had no idea I could do that), and change the aspect ratio to widescreen (though I'll probably stick to doing that during post-processing). This is one of the few times in my life that I've been outgeeked by a fellow Muslimah! I am totally going to leech off of her knowledge, inshā’Allāh. In a good way.

In other news, the first meeting of the Sisters Film Club went well, māshā’Allāh, in spite of clashes with the Muslim Medics AGM, and general exam stress all round. We have our sights on the first project, which should be ready for June, inshā’Allāh. More details as they become declassified for public release.

Food Fotos

// April 22nd, 2010 // 4 Comments » // Photos

The theme of this photo post is 'foood, glorious foood'. Yes, food with three 'o's. I've been tweeting about the subject a lot lately, so I thought I'd follow it up with some pics.

Skating at the Museum on Eid-ul-Adha 1430

// November 27th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Photos

I continued my Eiding-in-the-park tradition this morning, alhamdulillah. I was stood behind the masallah, and had a great view of the jamaat. But I decided against taking any photos. It felt like I'd be breaking a trust. Plus, sometimes you just need to live the moment, rather than be distracted by your fervent attempts to capture it.

The good news is, on my way home from uni this afternoon, I discovered my camera in my coat pocket. Thus I was finally able to capture some shots of the Natural History Museum ice rink, which I've been eager to do ever since it was set up a few weeks ago.

The last shot is my favourite… I think it would make a nice postcard. Btw, am I alone in thinking ice skating is the most romantic of the winter sports? All that huddling, cuddling and giggling… Sigh.

Happy ‘Īd, everybody!

My Dream Boy

// November 13th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

Inspired by this post.

About a month ago I dreamt that I was on a journey with someone – a man; someone I'm somewhat familiar with in real life. We had stopped somewhere en route, and were using the computer room.

Swinging round in my swivel chair, I came to face to face with a young boy, maybe six years old or so. I said “hi”, in the kind of gentle way that you would with a small child… but for some unknown reason, he responded by launching into an unannounced bear hug! It felt like the type of sincere embrace that a child would give if they were scared, lonely, and needed reassurance.

I didn't know the boy at all, but I was so moved by this simple gesture, by his implicit trust in me, that I couldn't let go. As his chest lay upon mine, I felt my heart beat so strongly – almost painfully. I suspected that someone had abandoned him there, and that he had latched onto me like a lost puppy, hoping that I would love him. The whole experience evoked such a powerful maternal instinct in me; I just knew in my bones that I was meant to protect him.

I turned to my travel companion (whilst still engaged in the bear hug), who was sat on a nearby terminal. And as soon as I did, I saw a little girl do the exact same thing to him! I knew – as one usually 'knows' in dreams – that the little girl was the little boy's sister. They had both been abandoned.

We carried the children to our car – a large, black 4 x 4. I was so sad. I wanted to take them with us. I wanted to make them mine, and never let them be alone again. In the background, I listened to my companion share his opinions on how unfortunate the whole situation was… but I could tell without asking that he was unwilling to take the children. He was being the sensible man; I, the emotional woman – though I reluctantly understood his perspective, and didn't argue. I remember the solemn look on my face, and how I secretly hoped that it would be enough to make him change his mind.

Well, it seemed to have worked! Because as the dream advanced to the next 'scene', it was several years in the future. The travel companion and I were now married (I assume we weren't before), and the children were ours.

There was more to the dream, which has now been forgotten, and so I assume it was less significant. The strangest part, however, happened after I awoke. I made the opening takbir for Fajr salat. I went to place my hands on my chest, and subhanallah, I felt the same strong, painful, feeling of empathy in my heart, as I did during my embrace with the little, lost child.

As I prayed, I wept. All for the love of my dream boy.

Guy Fawkes Fireworks 2009

// November 7th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Photos

I didn't take a tripod with me to the park tonight, so as expected, most of my shots of the fireworks display were immediately deletable. I did manage to salvage a couple of photos with a bit of post-process tweakerage:

I actually took the second one from the back of my friend's car, on our way home. In fact, I spent more time in the car than I did watching the fireworks! Oh well… it was still an enjoyable evening, māshā’Allāh. :)

First Steps

// October 5th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Today was Day 1 of my shiny, new Masters course, marking my first step towards a career shift into Bioinformatics, inshā’Allāh. For those currently scratching their heads in confusion: read my earlier confession.

I want to be all clever, and write some amazing account of the myriad of emotions that I've experienced over the past two months, culminating in the pinnacle of nerves that was my afternoon commute into the familiar territory of what was once my undergraduate campus. But frankly, I cannae be bothered. I can barely put a sentence together right now; I don't think mornings agree with me. Most of my day was quite “meh”, tbh. I only had two lectures, one of which was a safety induction. Yawnsville!

There are about 20 of us, maybe less, on the course. 1:1 ratio of guys to gals, with the majority of gals being bionerds, and a smattering of various other disciplines amongst the guys. One of the women was actually more research experienced than me. Not only did she have a PhD in Endocrinology (she worked on growth hormone, whereas I worked on progesterone signalling), she also spent a year as a postdoc afterwards. Isn't that a poke in the eye for the people hating on me for taking this course? Okay, maybe not 'hating'… I've just heard a lot of “Haven't you studied enough, Mehzabeen, har har”. Yeah, hilarious. Hrm…

Though, the absolute highlight of my day was when I asked the computing lecturer if having a Mac would be problematic for the programming aspect of the course. I have spent the last fortnight worrying that I'd have to buy a regular laptop, or figure out how to install Windows/ Linux on my MacBook. The head professor – the one I refer to as the 'bad cop', from my initial interview – gives me a half smile and says: “You have great taste!”. Then a few moments later, speaking over the computing guy, “We all use Macs in the lab”. And then, the cherry on the double chocolate sundae: “You know what? You've already passed!“.

Talk about making an amazing first (or more accurately, second) impression! Alhamdulillah – thank you God! Much happiness. And thanks to Apple too! Let's pray that it only gets better from here on in, inshā’Allāh. :)

Choc Chip N’ Walnut Cookies

// October 2nd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

I know you might be getting bored of these cookie posts, but this recipe turned out quite nice, māshā’Allāh, so I thought I'd share (it has nothing to do with scoring extra 'rishta' points, by proving that I am not allergic to the kitchen. No, no, no… ahem).

Sorry about the dodgy photo. My camera doesn't do very well in low light conditions, and I detest using the flash! Anyhoo, recipe and instructions below.

  • 125g butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla, alcohol-free
  • 100g granulated white sugar
  • 100g demerara sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 60g walnuts, chopped
  • 120g Cadbury's Large Buttons, chopped (this is the chocolate that we already had in the house, hehe – use whatever brand you wish)

Beat the butter, vanilla, and sugars together with an electric whisk until smooth, before mixing in the egg (both white + yolk). Add sifted flour, and remaining ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spoon the dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure to leave enough space between the lumps, as they do spread out. Bake at 200oC for around 13-15 minutes, or until sufficiently browned.

Results: I ended up with 24 medium-sized cookies, māshā’Allāh. My dad liked them, which I take to be a sign of a successful baking session, alhamdulillah – trust me, he's a harsh critic, and doesn't have a sweet tooth like me and mum – so I'm satisfied. :)

Impromptu American Cookies

// September 29th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

Well, they're probably not American cookies, per se. But the whole culinary experience has been American-ish.

First off, I had a 'mad' craving for summit sweet after dinner – but horror of horrors: no decent chocolate in the house. What to do? I suddenly came up with the idea that I would make raw cookie dough. Them US peeps seem to be crazy about the stuff, and actually buy it in packs ready-to-eat, so I thought it must be worth a go – especially as I have all the ingredients in the house from ‘Īd-cookies/" target="_blank">last week.


A Safe Space

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

I've noticed that I refrain from commenting on several blogs, even my regular reads, because I don't deem them 'safe'. I don't mean that I fear being tagged by intelligence services (I don't think I'm controversial enough for that; though Allāh knows best), rather, I just don't feel comfortable speaking up, for one reason or another.

I wonder, do people feel the same on my little corner of the web? I don't think I have enough readers to warrant attention from Islamophobes and general nasties. But there are many other reasons to be timid.

Which sites to you feel safe on and why? Do you do anything special to welcome and reassure your readers?

Speaking of fear, last night I had a mini-panic attack that took me a while to overcome. I was already emotionally vulnerable as I had been suffering minor illness for several hours.