Monday, December 3, 2007

Marital Bliss- Now “Mrs.” from “Miss.”


I have noticed a soft hue on me lately. This is a glow that I always wondered about and found on new mommies to be or people who’d be truly happy within their lives. Now that I am a newly wed myself, this glow hasn’t left my side and I wonder; it must be my inner happiness that is recognizable on my face, therefore the glow?


The beauty of marriage is leaving its fruits in many forms. By finding a true companion, a good friend and supporter, all the good things in me have multiplied in massive velocity. It is true what they say, a girl blossoms into a woman the moment she is loved and cherished for. This strong willed, independent girl before marriage never knew that a man’s loving touch and practical approach would change her world so drastically that she’d be a little afraid of all the newly added blessings in her life. The beauty of it all is the wait and anticipation for the right time, the right person for the marriage to become this spiritual bond that still leaves me in awe and I find myself flying in cloud nine.


The sky looks brighter, the birds seem chirpier and the winds bring soft music to my ears. The sight of him coming home still makes me want to take a quick glance at the mirror before I open the door. The presence of a man, this strong built, sometimes scruffy looking programmer I can call my own who is simply normal, maybe a bit sarcastic and distant to the rest of the world, but it is the key to his heart that I hold and know exactly when to open and close, ha ha!


A woman is an incredible species; she has insight and carries a lot of love to share. Not only does she take care and makes her family feel at home, she is also always eager to help and doesn’t think twice when happiness is at stake, she will make the necessary sacrifices to ‘glue’ all the pieces together. This can be achieved with support and I emphasize SUPPORT alone, from the man that is a driving force behind her super powers. Reaching for the stars seems attainable when your other half is there standing in admiration and applauding your every move. Also, becoming each other’s greatest critique is very important for future improvement. The art is the delivery of criticism however; one can not just rant away a negative speech and expect respect in return. Keeping in mind that you still respect the other, the one negative comment that is about to burst out, should be converted into a “caring comment”. Changing the tone of your voice and pointing out how much you care, makes a whole lot of difference in the result that follows.


The bonding between husband and wife grows stronger over the years, especially when raising a family and the challenges are put on parents to perform as a team…communication is the golden key.

I look forward to that day when the house is full of laughter and fun. Where I am making cupcakes with my tiny helpers and 'baking flour' is spilled on their hands and faces, with the incredible sense of joy that comes with it.


As for now, I am taking it all in...hence; ”Marital Bliss”. :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Domestic Coma - “A reeling, dark sleeping character”


I am trapped in the darkness of my consciousness. The walls are creeping on to me like a wave of boiling lava, but I don’t move. I let it all come down until it dissolves the every pore of my skin and a heap of debris is left with a slight hope of survival.


Before the 'dungeon darkness' hits, I am trying to give my beloved home one last look; the chique damask wallpaper I carefully handpicked during my long quest for interior perfection is haunting me as I slowly drift away into nothingness. The beautifully laid out Persian rug and the Moroccan lanterns majestically hanging from the ceiling, unwillingly make me look small and insignificant as I go by like a blow of dust.


What am I? A mere being whose oxygen to breathe is purely more of a burden than a necessity? My perfectly painted finger nails may hold a diamond set or two, but these impeccable looking hands have seen days of labor, that of trembling and sweating when life’s struggles crossed their path. My nails remained ‘undone’, until the very notion of manicure stroke as exciting up till now.


The unbearing pain is opening doors to my very naked soul, whose capture is released of all fears, tearing its skin apart, digging deep down into the reality of me. Maybe it’s trying to grasp some truth behind this cut-throat fa├žade?

I am unveiling myself to myself for the very first time. The dying fear of losing will not block me as I am in perfect harmony with my robotic actions;

From early awakenings in the morning to the washing of the dishes; throwing the every day waste is purposeful and in compliance of what I feel... empty.


Where’s life? I ask.

I am Home.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Writer’s Strike- “I don’t like”


Your favorite sitcom, drama or comedy show may be on for one more week before the reruns will start pouring down the tube. Comedy shows like Jay Leno have ancient reruns playing of more than ten to fifteen years old I am estimating. Although, it is hard to tell with Jay Leno’s set of gray hair even back then, but his awfully wide, out of proportion suit, easily gives it away and of course the lighting and background set aren’t of this Era, one can immediately detect.

My favorites? I must say my guilty pleasure on Sunday night is none other than Desperate Housewives followed by Brothers & Sisters, which I only happen to like because of the focus on family and the quarrels between siblings I find so universal, don’t you think?


You may have thought that I have been on some kind of strike myself, due to my absence. But rest assured, I am always willing to write….no strikes for me, unless there is gain for pain; count me in! ;) Although, most of the time I am craving to write, I do find myself having mood swings as anyone else, ruining my appetite to share even the slightest bit of detail with the world. But then once I repress my feelings, I try to find outlets by talking people’s heads off….I go on and on and feel as if a void has to be filled by pure communication alone. I surrender. Writing is truly dear to me than I thought and I find it quite therapeutic. I wonder how the writers are doing? Pacing the curbside for hours and hours, holding elaborate signs in front of big broadcasting companies, trying to convey their message; more money for intellectual input! Oh, I wish I was one of them…I’d be happy to see Ray Romano or Robin Williams giving me support, bringing donuts to stand in solidarity. Striking for more dough couldn’t get any better, I tell ya that!

Let’s see how long the American public is willing to sacrifice their entertainment. Knowing that after upcoming Sunday, my desperate need for watching Desperate Housewives will come to an end, makes me feel like a true desperado…


Unless Heroes come along to save the day...uhmm never mind.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Epiphany; BIRYANIIIIIIIIII


Ever had the feeling
of something standing in your way and you’d be afraid to try out, underestimating your abilities to the very core of your being? Your heart may be willing to take the chance but your thoughts would contemplate and play tricks with your mind?

I have. It is a familiar feeling to me. Taking that one step towards 'knowing' is as exhilarating and nerve breaking as driving a nascar. (which I haven’t, but must be in relation to the above mentioned emotions)…Maybe I thrive to remain in the “Unknown”. The mystery of not knowing makes me live life excitedly…? Or perhaps not?


We make things difficult for ourselves which in reality they aren’t. They’re just mere obstacles in our way to overcome what lays affront; an action or reward of some sort.
We may not remember the very first step we took as a toddler when making the transition from crawling to actually walking on both feet, but our parents do. They have encountered our fears and encouraged us along the way, letting the challenges appear much easier for us with their countless support and loving words. The smiles on our faces with the growing of a teeth or two must have melted their hearts like candle wax. Those very sweet and unconscious moments saved in a stored corner of our mind, we can not travel back to, but relive the same moments in our lives as we become parents ourselves; repeating the very same humane actions of nurturing to our very Young and Adorable, hoping one day for them to turn into the self-caring Bold and Beautiful.


Life is certainly a journey of chapters we live by. Some of us, quickly skim through the chapters and don’t pay attention to the very details of the story and some make an effort to comprehend and imply the author’s teachings in our lives, so that the forthcoming chapters would fall into place as one complete puzzle. Your author can be God, your parents or you YOURSELF. I believe in being the author of my destiny and God is my ultimate Guidance. Sometimes it is the other way around, whereas I am trying to guide God to write my destiny just the way I want …but to no avail. God is much smarter than that, His Guidance can not be misunderstood.


As I am writing this, I am sitting in my balcony outside, enjoying the November cool breeze with the sun that is shy to fully reveal itself. I look behind and this enormous tree is covering my sunshine. A few strands of the sun fall onto my laptop and I enjoy watching the sun struggling to shine through the thick moist leaves and branches of the tree, just to reach me. The sun’s exposure as little as it is, is truly gratifying to my entire soul. I feel loved. And gone is my sun, leaving me abruptly in the shade of life’s mystery….

I recently made Biryani at home. Biryani is a moghul Pakistani/Indian dish that is originated from the Moghul era of Kings and Emperors filled with authentic spices and saturated with irresistible aroma. This is a rich meal made of meat and rice to quench your senses and is wildly popular among anyone who loves Pakistani/Indian food. The preparation for Biryani is a step by step process and requires full attentive love. Biryani was very intimidating at first, since this dish was a favorite of mine during childhood and all the aunties or my mom who’d prepare Biryani for me, I’d instantly consider (them) magicians.

My impression of Biryani held a very high level for me and I was afraid that in the making of this special dish, I may not do justice to it…until…

...I made it! I followed each and every step and integrated some of my fresh ideas, but kept the originality intact, resulting into a blendful of tender spiceful marinated chicken pieces mixed into the glorious Basmati rice with flavorful bay leaves, cloves and cardamom seeds . Hmmmm…my work was done; the complexity of spices and the lengthy preparation seemed attainable for me as I no longer feel intimidated by Biryani. I feel accomplished, triumphant, maybe close to the oblivious joy I felt when I started walking (?), and more so; delighted for welcoming the 'Moghuls' in my very home. The beginning of a new chapter written and lived through my own eyes;
A tradition of spices and flavor I’d like to continue for as long as I am here…


…My very own tasteful
Epiphany.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Excuse me, but I said NO...


You must have encountered situations where you feel stuck and want to take the easy way out by saying 'no', but while your mind is signaling the red alert flag, you go ahead… open your mouth and say YES. The second right after that, you scold your mouth and your whole vocal system for producing the sound, even as small as a three letter word.

Why can’t I say NO??? How hard is that? Why please the other person for something that doesn’t make sense and you know you won’t be able to put your heart and soul into it?
Saying no is not a crime, it’s merely the truth for a reality that grows and becomes bigger until it hits home.


It is known that women tend to be very hesitant in their career fields and often when increase in salary or promotions are well deserved, they don’t negotiate and miss out on the golden opportunity. Men on the other hand, take business very seriously and think of their time as a race to successfully climb up the ladder of the corporate world. Of course there are plenty of women out there, especially in the business fields, who are as much as qualified, aggressive, motivated and efficient as their male co-workers and don’t take
no for an answer. They are confident about their abilities and will challenge themselves to be the very best, a little bit of competition may just do the trick. ;)


I am definitely very competitive. My Real Estate career has always consisted of hard work, self motivation, self-education and a lot of willpower to succeed. I was working in the office with mostly men as my co-workers, but never felt different from any of them. The long hours and running around to meet deadlines, worked as an adrenaline rush and I’d easily be very disappointed if I couldn’t fulfill my own expectations. I had my own world of fabulous clients, piles of files and the energy boost “jamba juice” would give me during lunch
:). My presence in the office was always acknowledged by my co-workers and they’d respect me in return for sticking to the business, while I’d make witty comments here and there and say something out of the ordinary. “Bam Bam” (like a slapping sound) was the nickname given to me for being the go-getter I was.


I always laugh when I think back of those days. One of my female friends told me that I was intimidating to men since I wouldn’t open up too much. Although, people knew me personally, but I’d never just waste my time and was confident to decline any sort of entertainment that I thought was distracting to my career. I said NO.


With friends and family I’d be very different and would easily pull my guard down. In fact, if you’d known me any better; I always enjoy long, goofy conversations, impulsive adventures and hilarious laughter about nothing and everything. You’d barely find me saying
NO, I’ll be the one pushing everyone to get out of their comfort zone and live life to their fullest. I believe in moderation. One has to balance work, family and fun in a way nobody gets harmed and consideration should be given to everyone, such as our elders or our community.


The one thing that I find myself struggling with is declining favors/services for others.
I love to take care and help as much as I can, but sometimes I push myself to the limits. I wish there was a way for me to be in many places at one time. Saying 'no' in situations like this, when intentionally everything is good and the cause may be good as well, but my mind is not willing to cooperate, is quite hard. I love being selfless, putting others before myself, even if it requires sacrifice, I’ll do it. Not just for everyone, but for people and causes I hold dear to my heart. I can’t say
NO.

Here's a Flashback to when I was a growing teenager, trying to differentiate the good and bad. Spending a very regular day with my best friend since our days in elementary school:


“Danielle , where are we going?”

“I was thinking we could hang out in the Mall today, Naila”
“Ok, no problem, I said.”

After 20 min. of walking around, she approached a group of guys and girls I wasn’t familiar with and started talking. I stood there, lingering around, not knowing what was going on.

“Hey, I think we should go see that store, I said”

No answer. She was apparently very busy.

“Why did she change so much in High School?” I thought
. One of the punks started to lit up a cigarette, most likely filled with drugs and handed one over to Danielle. She handedly took it over and just as she was about to take one puff, I shockingly reacted: “What are you doing??? Don’t do that!”

Nobody seemed to care. They were enjoying each other’s company. What had happened to her? The girl I knew loved horses and acted in plays. What had gone into her?!
One of the crazy lunatics thought it’d be funny to offer me one. As disappointed I was in her, I looked at the guy with anger building up in me,
I yelled out NO!.. and walked away, never looking back.

The year 2001: Went back to Holland to wrap things up and eventually settle down in California. While I was finishing up on my wish list, I passed by my favorite bakery and couldn’t resist but stop to have one last look at my favorite Dutch apple pie.

I walked inside and was instantly welcomed by the buttery aroma of cake and pastries. While I was waiting for someone to appear at the cash registry, my eyes were fixed on the one cake I loved.
“How can I help you”?
The voice said.
I halfway looked up and finally decided to buy the cake and was ready to indulge.
“Well, I’ll have the apple pie”. As I leaned forward to take out my purse, I caught a glance of the girl behind the counter. When handing over the money, I looked in her eyes. My instincts were telling me it was her, but this girl looked way too old for her age. She looked more of a stressful middle aged woman than her actual 19 years.
That is when I blurted out;
"Danielle! Is that YOU?!"

I couldn’t find the same excitement in her I was looking for and decided to tone it down a bit. I asked her how she was doing, but her responses were as lifeless as she looked. I remember leaving the bakery with a weird feeling. Silently praying for her, the friend I shared such good times with I now discovered withdrawn and somber as if someone sucked it all out of her.
I was sad...feeling so helpless and questioned 'destiny' for pushing me into the bakery, facing her outcome.


If only she could’ve said
NO

Saturday, November 3, 2007

.Geek Invasion.


I wanted to touch upon a more lighthearted subject. A subject that is close to my heart and I have had a good amount of experience with; not anything like poetry or shopping, but a more personable & lovable geek I live with, whom is recognized as my husband and mr. gridviewguy himself. (of www.gridviewguy.com)


What is a Geek and to whom, what kind of people can this term really do justice?

“ A person with a devotion to something in a way that places him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity, depth, or subject of their interest. This definition is very broad, and allows for mathematics geeks, engineering geeks, sci-fi geeks, computer geeks, various science geeks, movie and film geeks (cinephile), comics geeks, theatre geeks, history geeks, gamermusic geeks, art geeks, SCA geeks, literature geeks.” geeks,


Such devotion towards subjects, computers and scientific studies usually fall under the expertise of bright people and when this bright person happens to wear glasses or maintains a nerdy/simple look, unaware of any worldly attractions, he/she is declared a geek. Geeks are often neglected or remain secluded in their world of analysis to further perfect their skills. Changing the world in many ways, they work behind the screens and contribute to society in valuable aspects we may not find mesmerizing. Here’s a great description of a typical computer geek I found, alas my husband:
“A bright young man turned inward, poorly socialized, who felt so little kinship with his own planet that he routinely traveled to the ones invented by his favorite authors, who thought of that secret, dreamy place his computer took him to as cyberspace -- somewhere exciting, a place more real than his own life, a land he could conquer, not a drab teenager's room in his parents' house.”


The inevitable Bill Gates with a personal fortune of $56 billion hasn’t made his Microsoft empire just overnight; a lot of dedication and determination must have gone into his work. It’s the early years in a man’s life that can make all the difference. The harder you work with fewer distractions, the more fruitful your future is. I have to admit, in my early teens, I was quite the geek myself. I was wearing Elton John glasses (the very round ones), wore braces, always sat in the front row in class and had my hair tied up almost every day. Also, with the grim weather in Holland, one was keen to snuggle up with a book and a cup of hot chocolate. Aahh, sometimes I miss those very cold days when my main concern was to cycle back home and embrace my mom’s cooking with the opening of the front door and I’d take in the warmth of our home.


You may be familiar with the reality TV series; Beauty and the Geek, produced by the very hilarious Ashton Kutcher. Women grow up having a vivid image or fantasy of Prince Charming. In these series, a bunch of good looking women, not necessarily smart, are teamed up with ultra alpha geeks to compete in a contest of intellectual games and social knowledge. The beauty queens aren’t attracted and somewhat distant to these men, but what I find fun to watch is how they slowly appreciate their opposite sex and become intrigued by their talents and intelligent strategies. This show puts a spotlight on geeks and makes them look capable of being more than just geeky. Some of them turn out to be pretty handsome looking. ;)


Beauty and brains is a fatal combination, a total package men look for in women and vice versa. Maybe deep down you are geeky, but the expensive cologne or pounds of make-up makes you feel like a million bucks. Let’s face it, the world accepts anything less than geeky and as a result we are rejecting people left and right, only because their simplicity isn’t infatuating for us to be willing to give them one other look. Keep in mind, clothing and style are changeable, but character and intelligence is build over the years and cannot be replaced, it’s rooted from within and generously given through inherited genes. You may think your position is powerful enough to change your ‘hunk’ or ‘babe’ into solid sincere material, but be aware of artificial side effects. ;)


Let’s get smarter and convert ‘Beauty and the Geek’ into ‘Beauty and Brains’, starting right here. You may pass by another Bill Gates at school or work and not pay attention to this humble & modest being while you’re waiting for a Greek god/goddess to arrive and immensely impress you with looks, but as it turns out, hasn’t read any books ;)


Seriously... be realistic, what are the chances?

Friday, October 19, 2007

" Guilty as charged, Your Honor "


We are either guilty or innocent.
Simple as it sounds, but when deciding the outcome of a battle, whether in court or behind your closed doors, it’s usually a complicated process one has to go through to be proven worthy of innocence or guilt.

And then there are those who have mastered themselves as being ‘innocently guilty’. With a pretty face or some other cover-up, such as wealth or fame, the innocently guilty ones escape their fates as if it’s a game of slots and fortunes.


Not to forget ‘the true innocently guilty’; those who are given the blame, but their decency and dignity does not allow them to get into pinpointing, therefore they remain silent and take on the innocent blame, hoping that time would tell the difference and reveal the truth. They aren’t saints, but they are aware of their patience and level of forgiveness. They wait and see, take on the bullet on behalf of someone else and if the opportunity is given, reign at the end.


The last described ‘type of people’ probably do not exist anymore and if they are, they’re either invisible or just totally cut off of society. In this Day and Age, I don’t think there is a living soul that does not defend their position when unnecessary blame is thrown to his/her face. The act of forgiveness through silence or approach is not practiced and many leave ‘the dilemma’ behind; not wanting to face consequences when fully ignoring and shutting off the occurred problems/people as if it’s a disease crawling up on them. People prefer to be left behind, since they already have other things to deal with. The society is merciless to those who sit still for a minute and self-evaluate the core of their existence when collecting the courage for compassion. Life should be all about having empathy for one and other and believing in the goodness of humankind, but for some reason we have forgotten to slow down by not questioning ourselves on the road to hastiness and materialistic happiness.


We are guilty as a society, as individuals for causing inner destruction in our minds, in our bodies and therefore in our surroundings. These are the same surroundings our kids will reside in, copying our every move and carrying on our habits as grown-ups later in life. We have taken away ‘innocence’ and we’ve surely become experts in sugar coating ‘guilt’ with purchases, luxuries and unnecessary desires.


When a foundation of a house isn’t built strong enough, the house will eventually collapse, either with a blow of strong gusty winds or with the pressure of heavy rains making the house, once called ‘home’, fall to its bits one by one. The same blow or push can also enter our lives as trials to challenge us of our strengths and faith, determined not to leave us alone, until we’ve proved ourselves worthy of living in total surrender to a power that’s higher than our realization. We must acknowledge and give in to the natural course of life and feel free of any imperfections we so deliberately try to hide.


If we’re not guilty of robbing innocence through massive influential ‘dirty’ media and allowing to befriend negative elements entering our children’s lives, for the sake of catching up on ‘latest’ desires, ...


...then what are we?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Grey’s Anatomy; What to wear?



I was trying to find something worthwhile to wear today. Something I hadn’t worn for like the hundredths of times. After another thoughtful glace at my wardrobe, I gave up and plumped myself on the sofa with utter dissatisfaction at the outfit that was literally ‘wearing’ me out; My “don’t care, am at home anyways- sweats”.
Now I do love wearing them, but after a long time doing my cooking, cleaning and chores one’s gotta get sick of them, and so I was…today. I finally was “over” my sweats I once so loyally adored. I declared myself officially out of love with them.


My taste in clothes changes like the seasons of the year. Presently, with the changing of colors in trees, I find myself leaning towards a more somber, deep palette. Hues of deep maroon and blues dipped in the darkest of night, pop to my imagination and linger in my mind until I find myself looking for that one outfit to quench my thirst. Ladies, I know! We’ve got a common problem here, it’s an epidemic. I, however, go a bit further and follow what’s on the runway in Milan, Paris and New York. Nothing obsessive, I’ve just always been aware of trends, call it my European influence while growing up in the Netherlands; fashion is something I certainly find in the utmost of glamorous Splendor.


This Fall season is all about the greys’, the metallics, the deep purples, the layering and furthermore the emphasis lies on ‘comfort’ in the oversized sweater dresses we’ll most likely find ourselves in, paired with comfy leggings that are decked in boots. My oh my….that’s what’s the LOOK for today! ;) Grey is a color that lies in between black and white and really stands out when combined with the darker colors. Grey’s a neutral color complimenting any skin tone and who’s brave enough to accompany you with formal or informal occasions, either layered with a nice blazer for work or accessorized with a belt around the waist for a night out with friends.


Vera Wang’s new collection; ‘Simply Vera’, has noticeable grey’s and purple tones with frolic (this word originates from the Dutch: “Vrolijk”, meaning; happy, merry) & playful touches to the hems of skirts, blouses and sweaters.
I love it when a big designer finally makes an affordable collection for the normal public and incorporates the latest fashion. Not only are designers becoming smarter in marketing their products, but this mass production of brand clothing is easily available to us online through different markets, such as China.


Have you ever, even by accident, stopped to watch an Asian/Korean channel along the way and observed their culture through their soap series or other entertaining shows? Well, I have. In fact, I was recommended by someone to watch a Korean drama based on a very innocent love story full of mischief and fun. The one thing that really stood out in my eyes was the modesty of the show; the story lines and characters were heartwarming and fun to watch with the entire family. There was no indecency whatsoever and above all, the actors were splendidly dressed in the very latest fashionable brand clothing. From the ‘watch’ they wore on their wrist to the style of their hair, everything was impeccably presented and I was in awe, not only with their fashion sense and humoristic behavior, but also with the young flawless looking skin; has gotta do with green tea and seafood, I tell ya! ;)

* Back to Basics *

Let’s get an up-close look and dissect the neutral in Grey’s Anatomy (not the tv series! :)
From Wikipedia.com:


Neurology
:
The substance that composes the brain is referred to as "grey matter", and for that reason the color is associated with things intellectual.

Parapsychology: It has been asserted that those who are suffering from the mental illness of depression have grey auras. [5]

Parties: A "grey person" is someone who goes unnoticed, a wallflower.

Psychology: The color grey represents pessimism whereas its opposite, optimism, is represented by the color rose. A concept that is in a Grey area is a concept about which one is unsure what category in which to place it.

Religion: In the Christian religion, grey is the color of ashes, and therefore a biblical symbol of mourning and repentance, described as sackcloth and ashes. It can be used during Lent or on special days of fasting and prayer.

Sociology: Grey symbolizes mediocrity, the background noise of society.

UFOs: Tiny grey aliens, with large, tear-shaped black eyes are referred to as "little greys" in popular UFO conspiracy theories and in science-fiction.


Funny, isn’t it? How one word can have several different meaning in a variety of contexts? Whether the color is used in Fashion or scientific analogy, ‘grey’ has definitely a lot more depth than I thought! However, one dilemma remains unsolved; what to wear today? Oh well, I’m not obsessing today and neither tomorrow. As the Psychology section states above: “A concept that is in a Grey area is a concept about which one is unsure what category in which to place it.”

Let’s just say I don’t want to be unsure, so now I know to place my concept of the Grey's in the category of, surely enough…


Shopping!!! ;)

Monday, October 8, 2007

.My Nana. "Dedicating this blog in his honor"


“Today in the midst of rain and cloudy skies, I looked up and silently prayed for my beloved Nana Jaan. As I was breathing in the air of newly-mown scented like grass and a combination of freshly poured rain still dripping on the sidewalks of the street, raindrops fell on my shoulder when walking underneath the giant tree gracefully holding itself together looking tall, carrying all the tears of the world. For an instant I felt vulnerable in the openness of Nature, yet so alive to feel the rain on my skin. My realization of ‘life’ in the occurrence of those ten seconds took me in the realm of sweet embrace…”


My last visitation of my Nana Jaan (Maternal Grandfather) will always remain a vivid memory of mine; the day of his Funeral when we met on the glorious hill, standing beside his peaceful abode with family and loved ones. United we stood, mourning a loss of a personality that was of brilliance and greatness.

A writer was born within me the moment I laid eyes on my Nana Jaan’s praiseful replies at the letters I so carefully wrote in Urdu with the usual imperfections of a beginner, almost ten years ago. His appreciation for my work was inspirational in my teenage development and really helped me understand the poise of writing and the beauty of our Urdu language. I was always fascinated by his talented correspondence in English or Urdu, both languages he mastered so elegantly.

Nana Jaan must have encouraged countless students during his humble years of teaching art at the College of Lahore, Pakistan. Raising ten beautiful children, providing them excellent education and sending them abroad to become successful doctors, engineers and businessmen, didn’t come easy in those days. Fortunately, with the support of my lovely Nani Jaan (grandma) always on his side, they both seemed to accomplish the very best and were beautifully rewarded for their efforts later on in life. Their marriage of more than sixty years withstanding all hardships, yet filled with enormous blessings was a celebration on its own.

My Nana’s artistic skills are passed on to his children; such as his eldest son whose success as a Doctor and hospital owner in California, still made him bond to his cultural values and roots by his dedication for the Community. My uncle’s love for Urdu Calligraphy that is displayed as volunteer work in the community, beautifully reflects his Father’s, (my grandfather’s) teachings and upbringing. The Art of the Pen, whether through calligraphy or plain writing, is a form of cultural heritage that must stay intact and carried on to many generations to come.

When creating this blog, I was looking for an outlet to pour out my feelings and thoughts to raise opinions and question my intellect. At first, I did not grasp that in the absence of my Nana Jaan’s letters and honest praise, I’d miss him immensely through my writing. But deep down I realized to continue my passion in putting thoughts on paper, how mediocre or silly they may be. If Nana Jaan was adamant enough to write his daily events in his well kept journal each and every single day, then I’m proud to follow his footsteps to my own capability, knowing that if he was aware of my online journal today, he’d be overjoyed. As the brave man he always was, he would encourage me to carry on and not take any disappointments along the way.

“Hereby am I, Naila S. Azam, dedicating my journal to my late grandfather, my Nana Jaan; the very well respected Mr. Nasir Ahmed Khan, whom I’ll always love and remember in my every written word as a tribute to his Mastery of language and Sublime intelligence.”


Yours truly,

Naila~

Friday, October 5, 2007

.Soul Mate, "tWiStEd" Fate.


Weddings may be an essential part of our Pakistani culture, (speaking for myself here) but the Institution of marriage is also one Universal language that is understood by people from all walks of life. Whether you impulsively marry in Vegas with Elvis as your only witness or tie the knot in your very well and long planned lavish wedding…it all comes down to one thing; commitment and commitment only.

Now, it does fascinate me how different cultures, traditions and customs come to existence and especially how they beautifully come in affect when two totally different people from different families and backgrounds decide to live their lives with one and other, a union of two souls. The question however is; Are you the One happy soul in togetherness or the confused individual soul?

The matter related to ‘soul searching’, ‘soul mates’ and finding ‘true destined love’ is an ancient practice of astrologers when defining the search for companionship through predictions of stars, planets and galaxies. How it all wonderfully comes together as my friend “destiny” plays itself out. A very heartwarming movie; Serendipity, one of my favorites, starring John Cusack and the very lovable Kate Beckinsale who plays an interesting character in search for true love by challenging ‘destiny’ to give her a sign of assurance. What I mostly like about this movie, apart from the wonderful actors, is the concept that revolves around finding that ONE thing we all look for. The quest for inner happiness that exists somewhere around our aura (spiritual being) as we try to catch it in the fuzzy whirlwind of our energetic whirlpool (lots of whirling around here I see! ;)

Some of us succeed and some of us fail along the way and mistakes are made repeatedly until we ask ourselves what we truly believe in. The religion of Islam for instance, does believe in the making of destiny “Taqdeer” as we call it. One of the 5 pillars of this magnificent religion. When God and religion come into the picture, then it’s just a matter of holding on to your faith and truly believing that God has laid out a plan for you. Naturally speaking, every Divine Plan will not easily fall into our laps, so each one of us puts himself/herself out there to be recognized and eventually be ‘chosen’ to fill in the gaps in each other’s lives with the union of Marriage.

The issue on soul mates always makes me thinking in how I understand the Universe and the magical journey of Destiny. I truly believe that there is more than one soul mate out there for everyone. My definition of ‘soul mate’ is the person you connect with spiritually and are in sync with. This can be your husband, your very best girl friend or perhaps someone you may never have met and may reside on the other side of the world. Your soul mate can come in different shapes, sizes and colors and pouring out your ‘heart and soul’ for that person is not always literally meant in a ‘romantic way’. There are more depths to one’s soul than can ever be measured and understood by one companion alone.

We make friends as we go in life and always rely on their friendship to be there for us, a matter of give and take, but sometimes we asks ourselves whether the giving part was a bit too much since the return wasn’t so great in this friendship. You wouldn’t like to overdo it, since feelings and comfort levels are at risk. With a soul mate however, again whether it’s your spouse or class mate, the established connection is such at ease that it does not require much thought at all. There is a flow of camaraderie, a satisfaction in your every silence, and comfort in your every emotion.

I must add that if you are on the quest for finding that special someone you can romantically spend your whole life with, believing in your destiny whether it’s through prayers or silent birthday wishes, nevertheless the powerful component of self respect should always be practiced. The more respect you hold for one self, the more paths are laid out for you to walk on.

Having an arranged or love marriage will at the end not make a difference, since the ones that are spiritually connected will always triumph over those who haven’t found themselves yet. Chances are higher when intelligent people reach to the bottom of their soul and question their existence in front of God, asking for happiness to come their way, speaking their own raw truth;….they become the fortunate ones, picked by Destiny to share that one special Soul Mate for life.


Even if that ‘Soul Mate’ has entered the room and is hurriedly asking to hand him over his clean socks, ha ha ;)
Even then….

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Seinfeld, a comic relief.


I am sure all of us have had favorite & not so favorite tv shows, the ones we can not live without and the ones we immediately zap right through, finding the slightest appearance of a face or character unbearable. I have to confess; Seinfeld was one of the tv shows that I could not stand. I never gave it a chance to entertain me or be amused by the loony Kramer and his wacky way of entering Seinfeld's apartment. To me, Seinfeld was too old fashioned and the glamour was missing. I also have to admit, that I wasn't too keen on their appearances. The short bald guy George Costanza and Elaine's irritating hairdo's, which by the way made her look very old, were reasons enough for me not to give it my slightest bit of attention when judging this intelligent show by looks and looks only. Such a pity I must say now...

My opinion and views about Seinfeld have totally changed since the day I got married to my 'Geek'. My husband Azam has always been a big fan of the Seinfeld series to such an extent, that he remembers all the dialogues and instantly knows by the opening icebreaker of every episode, the story line of that particular show. Now its just a matter of an announcement from him every night at 10 pm to assure me which episodes are a "must see" and surprisingly all the re-runs of Seinfeld seem to awaken new enthusiastic reactions from my husband, even though every scene is always predicted and branded in his memory.

Good comedy is truly priceless. I was always such a "Friends" viewer only, the glamour and looks were like a gem to my eye. Like an expensive pair of jeans at Macys rather than the simplistic pants at Ross for half the price. The quality always overdid the quantity in my eyes and media served well in the making of this concept; the so-called state of mind or 'frame of tv' we live in. Why are we so attracted to glamorous objects and ignore the simple, yet the most defining things in our lives that save us more at the end, whether its our pockets or our mental being?

I know I am going off topic here. Starting off with Seinfeld and slowly on drifting towards products? Well, the comparison I made got me thinking about the things I view in life and Seinfeld (or lets say my husband) is a driving force behind it. Believe it or not, but the intelligent comedy behind the simple 'average Joe' used in these series, targets everyone around us and makes us feel more human as we go through the very entertaining stories without being forced to believe in the characters, until we find ourselves laughing at the very rustic looking Kramer or the deadly sarcasm that is hidden underneath Seinfeld's smirk to make his mark while beating his opponent with his precious weapon of words. I love it. What more can a viewer ask for when looking at comedy that may seem a little blunt at first, but so addicting and entertaining once you get a taste of it.

Playing with words is like playing with fire in the comedy world. You must add a pinch of wit and a tablespoon of charm to your lines by trying to make a point to the audience for not forgetting the one thing we all need in this crazy world....and that is for sure;

...Comic relief.

Monday, September 24, 2007

.The awakening.

I am writing my very first blog in the wee hours of the night. I can't sleep. My mind is racing as I am creating stories for the next day. Stories with characters, my character. In my thoughts I invent, I enter places and discover possibilities that my open eye could never see in broad daylight. I come alive in a world that may seem dark at first, but oh so fascinating once thoroughly explored and creatively imagined.

What if my thoughts would create reality for tomorrow? What is so strong that holds me back from sleeping, from shutting my eye and thinking endlessly of happenings in life? The mind is powerful and it leads me to the one place at night; my ultimate dreams.

I have always wanted to become everything. I never knew what goal really to follow. Is there a writer in me? Or a Fashionista? Do I enjoy working with children or will my culinary domestic skills finally be recognized and I'd be a host of my own show? Questions from a mind of an all-rounder who wants it all, yet is forced back by nature to follow one path. One path alone.

I still am looking for the key to all these exciting places. My mind still wanders and will never stop questioning. You all may call it sleep, A nap time for your body after a hard day at work or perhaps the tiredness of life itself. I call it...

."My awakening".