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! :)

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,


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.