Motherhood Chronicles-1

Motherhood brings with itself a lot of things new role, responsibilities , lot of love, sleepless nights, fatigue , lots of advice , criticism and lots of judgements.

From now on you will always be judged as a good mother or not ! And then good enough or not. My baby was only 2 weeks and I had already heard the phrase ‘ never saw a mother like you! ‘ which in my opinion wasnt in a very good way and it came when I wasn’t willing to lift my newborn to change his diapers alone outside in some restaurant (which means taking him to restroom few meters ways and holding him up all this while climbing all the stairs) .

So the story behind it goes below.

I havent seen a newborn around me until I had my own and I was always scared to handle babies, they looked so delicate and fragile to me so you can imagine me with my child the first few days ! I have played with few months old babies from time to time but thats it ! no first hand experience with infants and then there was another reason I refused to lift my baby . I had swollen hands and feets during pregnancy due to water retention which continued for few weeks after giving birth as well. I was not able to pick up anything heavy (even 1 kg was heavy for me that time) for long or without dropping it first so imagine lifting a newly born. I was scared to death and already having nightmares of having dropped the baby so to lift this tiny whiny creature with my then clumsy hands which were dropping things left and right I was so nervous and scared careful . I was doing it only when I had my husband next to me .

I had eventually overcame my fears , my hands were better and I had starting doing all things for my baby but those words will always echo in my mind.

I think we all need to be really kind to new mothers .

Blog updates 2019

Hi Everyone.Yes , you are reading it right! Its a blog post from me after a very long break and it was a happy break .Alhumdolillah I am a mom to a 7 weeks old baby boy now. We are both doing fine. The pregnancy brain fog didnt allow me to write or think anything except the baby. Now the things are settling in slowly and so is my brain so you will see me more often. See you soon with my next blog post.

A sad observation !

What do people with pain

Have with them

to give to others ?

Kindness , empathy may be

Or sometimes

it is just the pain.

A part of pain here

and a part of pain there.

Turning someone’s smile

into sadness becomes

their daily chores.

Mean , vile , poisonous

Words that sting and hurts.

Wicked smiles and shrewd

minds they become.

A pain they have gone through

An ember of pain which

they hold on forever ,

And refuse to let go.

Refuse to let it heal.

A pain which they share

With the world as Ripple effect .

The Blue Scarf

On a sunny autumn afternoon a  woman sauntered a shop to check scarves and under scarf caps( used by women who wears Hijab). She was checking few things for a while and then got stuck by the striking navy blue pashmina shawl , something similar she had been looking for a while . The scarf was put on display at the door.

She inquired from the shop keeper  a tall guy with a dark beard, skull cap on his head and a big prayer mark on his forehead. ‘Where can I find that blue scarf  inside the shop ?’  he pointed her to a row of scarves without looking at her.

The woman went to that shelf, there were indeed pashmina shawls, she checked them one by one , much to her disappointment the blue shawl wasn’t in there. She picked up other two colors that she liked thinking the blue shawl might be over. She went over to the counter to pay ,there was another woman before her so she waited for her turn.

The shopkeeper to the woman : ‘Why are you  not buying the blue shawl ?’

W: ‘ I wanted to buy it but  I think it’s over, couldn’t find in that section .’

The shopkeeper turning red, raising his voice : ‘ If you could have used your eyes, you would have find it, Allah gave  brain to women as well but they dont want to use it. Come I will show where is the shawl, Learn to use your eyes and brain. What do you mean you cant find it, it is there ! See. ‘

The woman heard it disbelievingly. No it can’t be true what he said, she must be day dreaming , he cant treat a customer like that, For a lot of people the response could be a fight , but hers was freeze. She couldn’t utter anything from shock. Meanwhile her eyes met the helper standing next to the shopkeeper , his hand on his mouth , and as soon as his eyes met the woman’s he pleaded her to ignore the guy .

The woman still in shock, paid quickly , thinking there must be a problem with the guy, after all who treats customer like that. The shopkeeper now turning soft, ‘oh are you an Arab ? ‘ The lady shook her head to say no,  ‘oh it doesn’t matter ! Here is your change, have a nice day! ‘

The woman didn’t say anything and leaves with a trail of thoughts not willing to leave her mind for a day or so.

To calm herself down, she was constantly explaining herself, he must be a sick guy , there might be a problem with him, while her alter ego was provoking and shaming her for being such a meek and a fool in front of that guy .

‘Why you didn’t throw the stuff on his face and walked off,’

‘Why you didn’t shout at him ! ‘

‘ You know you have just encountered a pathetic misogynist ‘.

The voices in her head, didn’t want to shut . She had indeed been insulted by a misogynist. She really wished and hoped that this  guy should learn his lesson one day .  Her heart went out to all such women who are living with these men and suffering every day. She has just felt an iota of that hurt and feelings that those women go through every day and sometimes some of them didn’t have a choice to even walk away.

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And you can imagine who that stupid woman was that day!

 

Self Love or Selfishness ?

I have often wondered about the difference between Self Love and Selfishness. How much of self love is okay and when does it become selfishness. Mostly the people that I have seen growing up were either in Self denial or Selfish. I have always come around the black and white brushes of Selfless and Selfish classification of people , the term  self love was new to me in early 2000 where people were writing books about it, sharing motivation quotes on it where they were changing the game of society . for example the mothers who were going out to work leaving babies behind were  called Selfish , or working daughter in laws were selfish for not taking care of in laws and house chores. Where as on the other hand , self negligence and self denial were highly appreciated and admired qualities of being an ideal woman of 70s and 90s. Unfortunately what was often seen was a selfless person surrounded by bunch of selfish people sucking his/her blood and occasionally thrown with admiration remarks  and the poor one only thriving on these remarks.

Then comes the new era of people who are indulged in self love but are not selfish . They will take care of themselves and of others too . More of themselves and less of others 😉  almost negligible. They will force themselves on others because they think it is their right. They need the things that they need irrespective of situation around them. There is problem in their moral compass which fails to tell them where lies the problem. They are always just and right in their opinions , only others have done injustice to them so far. The difference between the previous era and current is the diminished paint of black and white and it is no longer easier to point finger who is selfish now. Everything has been neatly hidden under the carpet of self love without their conscious thinking.

I think the idea behind the post was not so much of rant which it turned out to be  but a conclusive and educative one,  to be aware of our own behavior and its impact to people around us. Where and how  do we set the limit to our self love ? I am not a fan of being in self denial, we should all strive to be happy which is our right but it shouldn’t be at cost of somebody else’s happiness. Our comfort , pleasures should not be come from somebody’s discomfort . Empathy is an attribute that we all need to learn and always keep  practicing it because there is never enough. There will always be situations where we will lack empathy and then we have to ask ourselves deliberately  practice it. Self love is good , much needed and deserved but we need to keep an eye on our subconscious or conscious evil self that it should never become selfishness.

 

The not so funny side of being funny!

Hello Everyone ! I am hoping you are all doing fine in your lives and blogs 🙂 I was not so active on my blog because I didn’t have much to say. My talkative mind was sober these days with my new found hobby of painting, well not so new, painting for an year now. I am not a born artist, drawing a straight line without a scale/ruler is difficult for me but I am getting better at it, though I am good with colors, love to mix and match , I do much better at canvas , just throw in some random colors, put in my palette knife and try to bring out some abstract art, my every weekend game 🙂 Sounds fun isn’t it ?

Apart from it, I want to thank you all for following my blog and reading my posts for which I am truly grateful to Almighty that out there , are some souls reading  your thoughts , connecting and responding .

The reason for today’s post: There was always one topic I wanted to write about but I never did it , always kept it for later and I think the later has come . Humour .

Humour is good , it adds an extra spark to your personality , lits the surroundings and throws in roars of laughter and keeps life light. We need humour in our lives otherwise life is too boring but have we looked beyond that light hearted humour or evaluated the cost of that half a minute’s laugh, what is the price of it, Is it expensive ,where is it coming from , who is paying the cost ? There is a darker side to it, the evil sinister side, the bad face of our society which ward offs all bad and mean things to people in name of humour and I totally hate it!  Pick up any comedy show and you see our comedy is nothing but  a true reflection of who we are . I remember watching The Comedy Nights with Kapil Sharma which was nothing but making fun of people , saying mean things to them just in the name of humour.The only difference was his characters were fictitious but his jokes were taken from real life situations and later these were  reapplied by our young generation in their daily lives to create fun and jibes.

Is it really funny to make fun of somebody’s size and weight , their color or face, their failures or shortcomings ?

I think it is very important to lead a mindful life , to be aware of our actions and words and their impact on us and around us. Humour is good but we need to careful and watch what are we saying in name of fun . ‘ Just kidding‘ or ‘ just joking ‘ could be injurious to you and others as well. With this internet thing people are getting really creative to make memes and being funny , what if the same joke is done on you? Perhaps it could be a no issue with you, you play it game but  the other might be too sensitive. Someone might be struggling with weight issues, skin issues or has a height complex , someone trying to overcome his possible shortcomings and you might just rub it in.  As a human being it is our duty to live responsibly and take care of not hurting others.

A humble advice out to some cool guys out there : Stop being cool and playing a bully just in name of humour, don’t hide behind it, if you have guts say those things on a person’s face and allow him/her to smash your face.

Say No to Body Shaming #saynotobodyshaming

Body shaming has not much explicitly mentioned in our societies, It is  only non serious small little hilarious remarks or advices  you get from people every now and then regarding your weight ,height or color of the skin. Your body could be a topic of discussion for people and sometimes direct remarks are shot as well.This is so normal  and acceptable practice in our South East Asian societies  and we can hardly protest, those who dare to , are often regarded as misbehaved ones.

I have always been taught to never reply back to elders for any such remarks  otherwise people will question  my  upbringing ( what kind of a daughter my mother has raised , an audacious and shameless girl! ) so sometimes words just remained in my mouth and much longer they remained in my mind .

I have seen women going into depression for not losing weight even after trying everything , people making fun of them at social or family gathering, even family members don’t spare them. Somewhere  while trying to keep up the smiling face they were probably crying inside. At the end of the day either white , brown or dark, short or tall , slim or bulky , black or blue eyes , these are all diverse ways how people can vary from each another based on their region , climate and living  like any other species vary ,  we don’t want to end up looking all same right ? so why worry so much for how we should look then rather how we actually look and be happy with that . The current parameters of beauty are in contrast with what it were in the past,  having a belly  was sign of prosperity and richness, Being  thin  was a symbol of poverty and starvation ! so  let no parameter  define your beauty except on moral and spiritual grounds or limit your confidence, let no fashion police put down your spirits. We are all beautiful in the way Allah created us, We are all struggling with our own issues and problems so why put an extra stress because someone stupid thinks you are not beautiful so next time you see someone body shaming you or any third person in your presence , better shame them for being outrageous to talk about other’s bodies and not minding their own business.

A few from young generation I have observed,  stood up against it but they are more taken as rebels, their arguments are plainly rejected because  they got angry at first place or said something mean before putting their arguments ! I  don’t think blunt replying will only help, People might shut up in front of our faces but will continue behind our backs ! We need to fix the problem at root level by creating more awareness and educating people  for this issue which is lying so unseen and not enough dealt with. What you can do is share such posts on your social media , write about it , talk about it with your family and cousins and you will be done with your bits 🙂

While I was going through the post about Body Shaming of Women in Pakistan by Saadia Haq , I always had wanted to write about it , I have spoken on it various times but this time under a dedicated post. You can read her post in link below :

https://saadiahaq.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/body-shaming-of-pakistans-women/

Does your wearing Hijab or Jilbab guarantees you will not be eve- teased ?

Does your  wearing Hijab or Jilbab guarantees you will not be eve- teased ?  Unfortunately, It doesn’t ! There are many times this argument has been given over modesty of women where her covering up is directly linked to the response and behavior of eve teasers and molesters . A covered woman implies I am not open for harassment then what does  a women in shorts implies ? Is she is quite open to it ?  I don’t think any woman would like that. There is no guarantee if you wear Burqa or Hijab that nobody will stare at you, or harass you or pass lewd comments or might even try to touch you inappropriately on  public transports  especially if you live in third world countries. We are often so engrossed in thinking how a woman’s behavior and dress should be that we forget how  behavior of men should be ! Who is going to moral coach these men to  behave with women and respect them, irrespective of what women wear and  look like. Why our scholars not talk about it more often, than they do for pious women . If by wearing Hijab  I have done my part for modesty, then where is your part Brother or my not doing Hijab gives you a right to not do your part ?

There are pictures on internet floating in support of Hijab where there is a comparison of Hijabi and a non Hijabi  by showing an  open candy surrounded by flies  and a  wrapped candy safe and sound like a Hijabi in her Hijab , I mean really ? What are you reducing us to ? mere candies ! This is what you think of woman as? and it’s a pity seeing women supporting it. Are you wearing your Hijab because you feel you are fulfilling a command of Allah or you think it makes you holier than the other women and you can assume them as lower and less worthy than you , if that is the case , it is time for a Reality Check sisters. This  holier than thou attitude is like a pest and eating all your efforts and goodness. We have to let it go, we are wearing Hijab because we want to, because Allah asked us to. Us doing something and other’s not doing it  doesn’t make us any better . Even when you read Quran , Allah always mentions things as This is better for you  and you might now know or harmful for you that you do not know. He nevers says ,I will love you less and you are now less holy than others. We might be doing something more worrisome than wearing or not wearing Hijab  and we might even not know about it . Time to self introspect and improve .

Time to stand up for all women respect and dignity irrespective of her choice of clothes. It is time for men to start behaving than pointing fingers on women . If you say a woman in less clothes provokes you , what argument you have to misbehave with a woman in Hijab or full covered clothes, you don’t like what she has put on her head or that loose garment around her body, you have to admit it is your pervert nature and it needs to be cured.

The pressures of modern working women!-Part 1

Recently I have had some conversations with few of friends and I have gone through this phase myself ,the topic doesn’t  leave me for sometime.  The pressures of an urban girl, our modern working women!

The social progress and  development has given a lot of rights to women : Education, Equality, Work etc and we have excelled in all of the fields .We have dreamed , aspired , struggled and achieved our dreams to be educated and financially independent . While we were flying high  happily  in our lives  suddenly we had our strings  pulled back  because we have  hit 26 ,some 28 or 30 years in age and are still single. This pressure to be married and settled down is so much that it overshadows all the achievements of girls , from being an achiever  they  are reduced to a status of poor girls who are not yet married. Their families are in constant pressure to get their daughters married in our South East Asian societies . With each passing birthday , they have another year of being a ‘yet unmarried girl’. Not talking about the details of going into an arranged marriage and those pains of rejections or being forced to settle for someone who is not even their worth or match just because the clock is ticking.

Since the time we have remembered being ourselves as girls, we had this constant pressure of proving ourselves  to what boys  can do or are allowed to do . Infact this pressure of doing things turns into outperforming them and also became  passion . The performance had boosted  our confidence and self respect and we had got habitual of living with dignity and pride when all of sudden people around us starting stealing it in form of concern and pity. Why do we even  allow ourselves to be reduced to an object of pity for others.We have put all of lives to become what we are today and then this constant  pressure of marriage is draining all our energies (and later on it  brings additional roles and responsibilities that I have kept for other parts of this topic) and for some even deviating from their life’s goal. They want to study further or get a better position in their work , or travel and later  think about Marriage , Why not respect their opinions ?

I think it is not only  working women’s problem  who should somehow found a way to solve their problem  but we need a collective change in mindset of our society to accept that there is  not  only  a single  age bracket to get married and once you pass that age you will not get married. We need to come out of that closed box thinking of being limited to our traditions and cultures , Be kind enough to understand  these women who just finished their studies , started working, some of them still paying their education loans  are now grilled with this pressure and are piling up the stress . So many of us have started having health issues which mostly are result of chronic stress.The message is not only for these urban working ladies to be strong enough to handle this pressure of marriage but also to our society to be gentle enough , to be more kind and more mature to accept the change and let go of their preconceived notion of marriageable age.

I am not against marriage , there is nothing better than a good marriage and also nothing worse than a bad marriage so we need to choose wisely . Why rush or be sad for things not happening right now. Things will happen  at their own time , till then we need to continue living our lives. The ultimate goal of life is not only marriage . Do things that you love, increase your knowledge , learn new things , travel , practice kindness  and patience and most importantly never ever give up your confidence   !

More to be followed soon in other parts  🙂

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TheAcidAttacks#Reshmaqureshi#makelovenotscars#endacidsale

The newspapers few weeks back were flooded with New York Ramp walk pictures and story of Reshma Qureshi ,an acid attack survivor from India .Her journey from an acid attack victim to being a survivor ,an activist and now being model to walk the ramp in New York is inspiring, incredible and heart breaking. Her pictures will make you cry and her smile will bring back your smile. There are thousands of Reshma in India who have undergone such pain and horror in their lives and she is a representation of them all.

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Through my blog I want to congratulate Reshma Qureshi for her determination and spirit and as well the the NGO ‘Make love not Scars’ who are helping these wonderful women to create an awareness to ban the unregulated sale of acid and their efforts to integrate the Acid Attack Survivors back in the society .

There are lot of NGOs in India and subcontinent working to help such victims by giving them counselling and medical aid. They are doing commendable jobs to connect these isolated  women  to social media  and normalize their lives. One of the issue they have raised is to regulate the sale of these acids in normal drug stores and grocery stores .The local  people use it as a cheap replacement for toilet cleaners. Although the ban has been announced by Supreme Court of India but still acid is sold publicly in some parts of countries where these incidents are more common.An ongoing activism and regulation is required to bring this law under full implementation. The major cause is average Indian’s ignorance  to root cause of this ban,  they need to be educated about the gravity of acid attacks and one of the reason behind them is its easy and cheap availability . These acts not only ruin somebody’s face but their complete life and lives of people connected with them. A trauma of lifetime can be completely avoided if people will stop buying it  and the illegal sale will eventually decline.

The end of acid sale will meanwhile help to reduce such incidents but real root cause needs to be handled at core level of homeschooling/parenting and moral educating the children. We need to invest more into educating our boys teaching them to respect women and telling them women are not mere objects to be enslaved but an equal to them in creation and they are in no way better than a female except based on their actions . I would count this offence more on terms of gender inequality as a residue of damaged  male ego  going down the level  to disfigure and destroy identity  of opposite sex permanently . The questions :How can you ignore me, How dare you reject me ; perceiving themselves as higher beings  are ending up in crime against women. No doubt such perverts are mentally ill but that the little idea which ended up being a big crime in their minds is given from society. The social values that a male child is favored upon female or male is better and a female should be submissive have added fuel to it, all these have to go and replaced by better values to  respect women and giving them equal status and  freedom to select or reject their partners as men would like to  keep for themselves,  so we no more  have acid attack victims in 21st century.

Looking for a better world and hoping for better future.