BOOK REVIEW: Its not about the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan.

It’s a non fiction , list of 17 essays on varied topics of what it is like being a muslim woman in UK but each worth reading.

When the voices are about Muslim Women, their choice of clothes are discussed on National TV without a proper representation , the book came as a response to take a stand and speak up about themselves rather than being spoken of or about and yes their issue is definitely not the burqa.

I took my time to read the book and have enjoyed reading it few essays per day .There wasnt a dull moment in the whole book.

Some of the essays I really loved were on topic of depression in muslims , divorced muslim women , issues arising due to unregistered muslim marriages and being a feminist muslim wearing a Hijab.

The book clearly speaks of othering, racism, marginalization, misrepresentation, falsifications , public harassments , fabrication of lies by media to get TRPs and feeding the news hungry vultures.

I was shocked to see the extent of hate mails, comments , trolling, condemnation received by muslim women authors, writers, journalists and leaders when they write or speak up for themselves and the effect of all that on those individuals. The hate mails and death threats were from both muslim extremists and white supremacists.

Anything non white , non conformist in speech, or even in dress up is unacceptable in general public. The white savior syndrome and its harmful effects on all Intersectional women all the while dealing with patriarchal mindsets within their own communities itself .
So much to know and learn from this book .
I highly recommend .

Cherry Blossom

I have a cherry blossom at home and these Mourning doves are regular visitors during the sunsets. Sometimes there is one singing his sad song , sometimes there are a group resting but yesterday it was a pair and Beautifully captured in my camera.


It was amazing how my mind signals me one dove for lonely , two as in couple and group as merry.
Perhaps one was just a happy single and singing his freedom .
However the ones which captured my attention most was this pair finding comfort in their company.
How good it is to be home with in the warmth of your loved ones and under the security blanket of their love .
This covid has made some people feel real loneliness and others find solitude .
What about the ones who lost their partner or family member due to covid ? and got further alienated by lockdown rules where nobody could come to share your grief or you cant travel to them or anywhere just for the sense of wandering .
I cannot imagine what it is to be like in that situation.
I can only pray for them and express gratitude for everything I have.


A short poem I wrote recently.


Empty branches
missing leaves
and the birds.
The lonely nest
ownerless , rests
On a cherry
blossom tree .

Nothing but
a black cat
roams around
Once on a
Wintry dark
night.

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Doves on a cherry blossom tree.

December Introspection Series – Part 5



This is also the last part of this series .
So here we are at the end of 2020 , an incredible year in every sense. In the middle of the year I couldn’t wait for this year to pass and here I am to all honesty admitting that I will miss some parts of it.
Thank you 2020 for bringing me closer to myself and my loved ones.
Also thankful to everyone I am following here , glad to be connected with you all wonderful humans and learning from you about the books , authors , writings and so much more.
Gratitude has been the mantra for this year.

I had enough time to think, reflect , peel my own layers of vulnerability, unexplained behaviors and understand why I did certain things or felt a certain emotion at a certain time .

There is nothing more joyful when you feel at peace with your own self and your inner and outer self are aligned.

Few things I did this year :
✳️ Picked up habit of binge watching Netflix in 2020 which I also left in 2020.Yay !
✳️ Resumed my reading. ( 5 books if that counts for an year 🙈)
✳️ Resumed my blog and writing.
✳️ Created new instagram account for this blog (skrblogs) .
✳️ Resumed my painting after a 2 year gap 🎨
✳️ Mindful eating, focusing on my health and losing some of my pregnancy weight.
✳️ Practicing Gratitude.

I am still thinking of my 2021 goals to be..Perhaps just continue the good habits I have developed in 2020? What about your 2021 goals, have you been thinking or decided already ?

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Book Review: My past is a foreign country by Zeba Talkhani

* Book Review time *


My past is a foreign country by Zeba Talkhani .

Absolutely loved it and recommend it .


I have got my bunch of ordered books on Tuesday and I thought to start with it first because it’s almost 200 pages and it will be quick to finish.
It didn’t matter what size is the book but what’s inside, it’s a powerful read and since I picked it up I couldn’t put it down until my eyes were no longer agreeing to stay open .


Book plot :
It’s a past memoir of author born in India but spent most of her life outside her home country . She spent her childhood and teenage in Saudi Arabia. she has stayed in India , Germany and UK for studies and work .
Each of these journeys has shaped her life and her thoughts to be the feminist she identify herself to be in today’s world.


The memoirs also revolves around the issue of her early hair loss which started at an age of 12, her worried parents , her distant relationship with her mother , the insensitive remarks of people around her and how it all took a toll on her in the beginning.


I think it was all very traumatizing. The book also highlights the problems arising due to deep rooted patriarchy in muslim societies living in India, South Asian community living in Saudi Arabia and in UK.


Zeba did her best to not influence the reader with her side of the story, it was narrated very unbiased and brutally honest.


Loved it how she found peace within herself and the confidence to move forward in life and achieve her dreams and goals . Her technique of radical self care is worth practicing.

The book is also close to home , being an Indian Muslim woman trying to break open the patriarchal doors myself I found it very relatable.
It even opened some old wounds.



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December Introspection Series – Part 3

In mid of 2020 while I resumed my  work after 3 and half month break , I found myself struggling with home working for online  meetings or conf calls or even remote working with my colleagues.

The idea of being hidden behind the computer , not sharing my  coffee breaks or chitchats or lunch breaks with colleagues and friends at work  or no human contact in general was intimidating.

  Soon I adjusted to it then I started liking it  and now it’s like being in love with it. I rather now have nightmares of going back to usual work life .

I now can plan my breakfast otherwise was skipping or eating a toast on train, cook myself a fresh lunch which used to be leftovers in a lunchbox  warmed at work  and  an  early dinner, no time wasted in travelling. I can even use that extra time to sleep a bit extra in mornings .
I got so much time to spend with my son and my family  this year  which otherwise  couldn’t  be possible. ( sometimes it gets difficult  too when he comes running in between of a meeting shouting mummy mummy )

I think it also taught me to be more responsible and to manage my work  time better with no body really minding a team , after all we are all adults . We don’t really need bosses to watch us all the time. It has definitely evolved a new level of leadership – self leadership.
For all of this and more I am truly grateful for 2020 .


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December 2020 Introspection Series – Part 4

It was September this year when I had really low energy levels and fatigue , I fixed my appointment with physician and went to check if my sluggish thyroid had got more sluggish and  needs a  dose adjustment. He did a few tests , took  blood samples and asked me to call back tomorrow for my results.
The next day I was surprised by the call from Doctor , his voice quite low and serious and he  asked me to come back next morning to run more tests. He found the kcrf reading of my kidneys problematic.
We needed to do more tests and ultrasounds  to make the correct diagnosis and analysis.
It took a week of redoing so many tests and finding out that everything was good  alhumdolillah .
And that week was longest week of this year , hanging  in between and hoping that results should be okay. With the second round  of tests my kcrf reading came normal, it  can be that  low if you are really dehydrated and me being me I am always  bad at  drinking water.
It took me as a shock that here  I was taking care of my health, trying to lose pregnancy  weight, fussing over covid , planning my life for year ahead, and then if  I really had my kidneys functioning at 60 % only then what would my life had become  and that too for how long .
Thoughts were coming and leaving at lightning speed. I thought of the cancer patients , nobody wanted a cancer and it happened , nobody wants an accident or illness , it happens or even death it just happens.
Are we ever ready ?
Have we done the things that we always wanted to do if that moment is here ? ( Not counting my travel lists )

There is list of things that I have been wanting to do and am  just procrastinating .

And if this is my real second chance and a narrow escape from could have been my life with that first diagnosis.

Here I am trying to revive my readings, writings , introspection , soul searching and awakenings.

2020 has really been a year with lots of reminders, gratitude , patience and a needed thrust to do the things I always wanted to do..
Still another week to go ..


Stay tuned for another or two more posts on this series.


Love and hugs

December Introspection Series : Part 2


Looking back in the nostalgic month and thinking back all that had happened.

Life had been moving so fast in terms of speed of cars, internet , our thoughts and their switching time these pasts 10 -15 years that there was no pause ! Pause meant lagging behind, missing out  and Fomos .
The reducing speed of  our concentration and focus and increasing boredom was raised a concern by some experts which everyone listened but nobody followed their advices.
Until this Corona jolted us all , brought our  world to a hiatus.
It hit us so bad because the speed we were moving was crazy, we were bound to fall. There wasn’t any slowing down.

The lockdown made me realize how little we were actually paying attention to our body,  mind and soul  and how little we really talk to our own self.
I was locked at home in India ( with my family) and we  didn’t step out for about 62 days . The mind went bonkers , we were so habitual of not being in our own company , solitude was a foreigner’s land. The mind was so  accustomed to the noise that  silence  was hurting in the beginning.
I spent entire lockdown in 4 pair of clothes , no extra shoes,  bags or makeup needed only the  bare basic minimum. The hoarder in me was quite surprised to see this ! I still survived not eating my favorite food or cooking it. There was certainly the long walks I missed badly.I missed not seeing my cat and prayed that it survive without us and my indoor  plants too.
Amjad had no summer clothes because we didn’t intend to stay that long, we arrived in Feb and could return home in Jun, he had only pyjamas full sleeve tees which we folded both at arms and ankles . He had bad reactions to Indian formula milk , diapers, diaper cream even and was hard to find a doc in lockdown .
My husband had a hard time too , as he didn’t expect to stay that long at  my home  confined to 4 walls in his room with his tablet  and hearing a foreign language all day and food.
But all of us survived alhumdolillah and that’s what matters.

To be continued..

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Book Review : Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

Plot: The story is set in Instanbul and Peri Nazbantoglu is an intelligent beautiful girl who is confused about life, God and religion.The book revolves around the agnostic gap/confusions that lie between atheism and religious absolutism. The differences were present starting from her home where her father is a liberal non practicing muslim who question every religious act and sometimes mock them too and her mother a religious person and she a confused / agnostic with leaning towards her father’s way of thinking , basically her family symbolic to present day Turkey. She gets a scholarship to Oxford where she meets the other two protagonists Shirin and Mona, one an atheist and another a practicing Hijab wearing devout Muslim and all three became friends . In the words of Author : the trio as the sinner, the Believer and the Confused hence the title three daughters of Eve. The story revolves around the Professor Azur who conducts Seminars on God.

What I like : excellent writing style
connected dots and plots .
lot of great quotes.

What I didn’t like: The story is set in the past and oscillating from a present dinner scene where it begins and ends too and that part was boring in my opinion. The other protagonists Shirin and Mona on whom the title of book suggests, weren’t given much space in book either .It was the story of Peri majorly .

December Introspection Series Part 1

The time of the year has arrived when city is all decked up with lights and people are out enjoying food , shopping and Christmas markets. 2020 brings none of that .
Last year this Month I was booking my holidays for 2020 , my flight for India was booked , and I was booking my holiday trips to Istanbul and Budapest, some of my colleagues were discussing about a virus in China which has infected one city and it just hopped my one ear and skipped the other . Never would have I thought that it would change our lives in this way and for some forever those who lost their loved ones to this deadly virus.
I think we were all living in a cloud and this virus has shook us back to reality..I was watching series where there is speedster who can time travel , space travel, go to other earths and then reality hit so hard when we actually saw a pandemic and a crisis actually looks like ( don’t want to recall the horrors of Indian lockdown where thousands of migrant workers were stuck , temporary displaced, lost jobs, many lost lives not only because of corona but due to hunger , poverty and depression ) and with all advancement we have made in medical science we realized it takes time to develop a vaccine.

Coming back to my trips , they were all cancelled and I was stuck in India for 3 months in the lockdown.( That story deserve s another full post )
Have my goals for 2020 met : honestly speaking I don’t even remember or care what even were they. I am just so glad to be alive , healthy in my home with all amenities and my loved ones too
Alhumdolillah and shukran Allah for that.

Something Beautiful

Does this lake know
How beautiful it is ?
These trees, grass
The dirt road and
dried leaves
together,
All of them
making this
beautiful scene!
Do they know
their bigger
purpose?
Or they too are
in self doubt!

Are we too
like them?
insignificant,
small,
ordinary.
But together
a part of
Something
beautiful .
And someone
out there
Admiring it too
like we do
to these views!