Posted in Book review

Mrs.Funnybones and her insight

While some people find solace in music, some others  in chocolate, or even smoking, I find myself in tranquility when I read. It simply clears my mind of all my internal battles and conflicts. 

I was reading this book ‘Mrs.Funnybones’ by ‘Twinkle Khanna’ recently. The author was previously a Bollywood actress and currently an interior designer and wife of one of Bollywood’s popular stars of current times, Akshay Kumar. Until recently, I didn’t even know that she writes and has a monthly column in Times of India. Somehow, I came across this book and boy, I am so happy by my discovery. Her writing is so fresh and vivid. The humor it exudes has just the right balance of depravity and morality. Humor aside, I could connect with her observations of this funny world, it’s lies, deception, and superficiality. 

The whole book subtly offers wisdom to those who seek for it but the lines below made a remarkable impact on me. An impact that propelled me to write this post.

    
  
Although I shamelessly wish if Twinkle could also let me know how to distinguish a situation’s worth to decide whether one should keep trying or holding on. I wish I could buy a device (or use my engineering tools and invent one 😜) which could measure a task or situation and decide when it is time to let go. Isn’t that the toughest deal? To know when something/someone is not worth the effort anymore. Following one’s heart can be tricky because at one point, it becomes difficult to comprehend the difference between deep faith and raw intution. 

The future will always remain a mystery but the path we tread on is a consequence of our choice(s). Our choice(s) between trying, giving up and letting go. 

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Chapter 1: Meet & Greet

My bestie’s blog! Check it out guys! 🙂

Mirroring Perceptions

Good Morning, my lovely friends! 😀

It’s a beautiful day out here( by “here” I  refer to  U.A.E. ), it’s a Wednesday- 10th of February, 2016. I’m at my workplace trying to do some work, but then i felt like first i need to get myself introduced to you folks out there. High Priority, huh! ha ha…. YES! B)

So….I’m a person filled with heights of extremism. Either I’m too happy or too sad or too excited or too anything! I just can’t stay calm. “Weirdo” was what I called myself earlier.

Our Creator has made us all unique in our own way. We all are different. So am I.

Everyday I drive to work which is around 2 hours away from my house. This is the time I get to spend sometime alone, which I really don’t like in the entire day. That’s ’cause I hate to keep quiet! And lots…

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When some dreams die…

So I am back from yet another mini vacation and this marks the end of my holidays for good (for the current year anyways :P). Kerala was a beautiful place with cleaner and fresher air, roads lined with tall coconut and neem trees, most people blessed with a variety of vegetation in their small haven- bananas, mangoes, coconuts, tamarind and guavas. They are probably more of which I can’t recount. And yes, my best friend got married.

As much as it is definitely a life-changing experience for her, I felt that her marriage also had a significant impact on me. It made me think of issues I had been avoiding for so long, putting them off for the right time. But in reality, the time is never right. Its only a matter of whether we are ready to understand, reflect on and accept the issue or not. As her wedding ceremony progressed before my eyes, I felt a weird pang of uneasiness in my gut. Snippets of past conversations with my parents, their plans for my wedding, my belief in my plans, a pact that was made between us after a compromise, defining moments of my life so far, all of these managed to trigger a flood of panic in my mind. I did what was best- swallow it all and put it off for later. Not when my friend was at the altar.

But the wedding is over now. The time seems to have come. The issue, even more unavoidable. The demand for a decision growing stronger. I conclude that no matter how hard you work for something to happen, how much you pray to the Higher Power, sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I always liked to believe that if I think something will happen to me, it will happen to me. But I am proved wrong now. People say that whatever happens is for the best. That years later, I will realize why this didn’t work out and that did, and I would be grateful. Even if that’s true, I still have to go through my emotional turmoil, cringe and weep for God knows how many cycles of despair. What about that? Who or what deserves to be blamed? My stupid courage, my too-good-to-be-true dreams, my desperate determination to make it all fine or just the whole of me? I don’t even know what I want anymore. And nothing could be worse than that. Period.

 

 

 

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On my way to fly

So I am back at the airport in just 2 months and am going for a much-awaited holiday of 2016 (yes,already!  😜) because it’s my best friend’s wedding. There are many factors that are predictably going to make this trip one of my most memorable trips of my life so far. It’s a first for many aspects. My first solo trip to Kerala, a place I have never been to before (although it is one of the most popular tourist hubs of my country), my first stay at a friend’s house ( I know that sounds crazy but sleepovers have always been a NO-NO with my parents) and the first wedding of a friend I will be attending. And also a first Christian wedding I would be witnessing. So yes, I am super excited. And I love airports. I love the eclectic mix of people I see here. Although I must say, traveling without company makes one feel lonely, even though they are surrounded by so many people. Strange, huh?  

Alright then, the announcement has been made. Boarding gate has been opened. So I shall post next from ‘God’s own country’, Kerala! 

 

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New Year and stuff…

“You need to write, Lubna. You need to write. You have to write. About the trip to Singapore. About the world and what your brain comprehends it as. There is so much going on around, so much to opinionate. WRITE!”, urges the writer in me.  “Maybe later”, replies my lazy alter ego. These constant internal battles have prevented me from blogging for so long. But today, I finally felt that ‘later’ has come and my mind is buzzing with thoughts that need to be placed somewhere. In a virtual post, in somebody’s thoughts.

So season’s greetings first and wishing all of you a very Happy New Year! I frankly do not understand what the hype is all about, why top cities of the world compete in releasing the most extravagant of fireworks (like we need another contributor for Ozone depletion), why people start making resolutions (that mostly remain just that) and why everyone feels that its the start of a new life ahead. I don’t mean to be an antagonist here, but my point is why should New Year be chosen particularly to make changes to one’s life or start over again when it can be done at any point in the year. Why wait for 1st of January to start a healthy, happy and peaceful life? Every day is a new day and each day offers you the chance to start over, undo the worst, outdo the best. New Year has become just another event of extravagance and glitz courtesy of excellent marketing skills of huge business banners. The whole meaning of this ‘family’ holiday has thus been corrupted by many, if not all.

This New Year’s Eve, I (and many others who had flocked off to Burj Khalifa in Dubai to witness the fireworks) saw ‘The Address’ Hotel burn. And this burning building impacted me profoundly by teaching me something new about life. About humans. How selfish and foolish we sometimes can be. We are taken aback when we see a hotel on fire. Some of us say a silent prayer for the possible victims. Some of us take photographs to update our social media with live news. Some of us take selfies with a building on fire as the background. Yes, selfies. Some of us are impatient and just want to see the fireworks we have been waiting for the whole night. This over-optimism can also be interpretative of ignorance. People are ignorant of the dangers of society and the pains of fellow human beings, of course until they face the same ordeal someday. I guess our brains our just wired like that. I just have to get used to this idea.

Leaving you all to digest this bit, I shall return with something happier next time.

 

 

 

 

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Thanks to all fellow bloggers who took their time out to read my thoughts. One of my most important new year resolutions would be to become more committed to this blog and provide more valuable content for my readers to justify my existence here. Thank you all again!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 840 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Law of attraction 

I remember I was in the 8th grade of school when I first came across the philosophy of ‘Law of Attraction’, and by this I am not referring to the physics behind the attraction of opposite poles of a magnet, it has more relevance to the idea that one achieves what one believes in. I can still replay the scene in my mind’s eye when my curly-haired, tall and skinny, English teacher was giving the class a dose of philosophy that was centered around the belief that our thoughts somehow play an important role in what we achieve. Negative thoughts generate an aura of negative energy around us that leads to failure while optimism uses its positive energy to lead us to success. It was quite a simple fact to accept at that stage of life but as I grew older, I found myself questioning the ideology, especially when I or any of my loved ones went through trying times.

Today yet again, I found this question pricking my brain cells and  I felt that maybe writing it down would help me read and understand my thoughts better. 

During my few minutes of solitude in the rest room, I was struck with facts of realisation. The process began when I started thinking of things I wanted to happen to me in life, dreams I worked for, some I didn’t work for but wanted to happen all the same and some that I am still struggling to fulfil, no matter how uncertain may their victory be. It dawned upon me that how perfectly timed my life’s situations were, how each adversity has its own part to play and how it actually ended up enriching my final reward. I realized that if I would have gotten what I wanted the way I wanted to, it would present possible difficulties later. Most importantly, I remember how I never gave up on those dreams no matter big or small they were. There were situations I couldn’t  do anything about but I realized how that tiny shred of hope within me gave me the patience to wait and the will to keep trying. So I guess now that it might have been law of attraction in motion all along huh? 

For instance, at the beginning of 2015, I had decided that I would travel to someplace new this year. The idea was going on strong for the first half of the year and I went around convincing my family for a trip to Singapore. Stuff happened and I let the idea drop. I just thought that it will happen when it has to. And so it will. On the 20th of November. Yes, I am flying to Singapore for a family trip! Woohooo!! 

So yes, back to the law. The only thing certain about life is that it’s going to change. It’s inspiring and uplifting  to know that the change can be a positive one if we believe it would be. Have faith everyone, it can work wonders. 

  

 

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Change is mandatory

Yes, I know I have been away for too long. But what to do? For me to blog well, change is mandatory. The past few (long) days were spent in feeling like I am stuck in a black hole. Where time is supposed to stop/freeze. It was one of those phases of life when one feels, how much more to go? When will I feel happier? When will things change? When will my life get a breakthrough moment, one of contentment, if not glory? 

But yesterday I realized that to feel better and reinvigorated, even a small break in one’s usual routine can do wonders. And this struck me when I was experiencing my first ride on a Jet Ski, while on a day trip with my college gang.  At first, I was apprehensive about riding one, considering the fact that I really haven’t mastered swimming and I would most likely drown in an emergency. But my friends encouraged me to go on and have faith in the jacket I was wearing and the bored life guard stationed near the shores. 

Going for it was the best decision I made in days and this struck me when I was literally  in the middle of the sea, breathing in the salty air, zooming against the crashing waves with the wind slapping my face. That was my moment of exhilaration after days that felt like months. That was my moment of rejoice, which I am so grateful to Allah for. 

Hoping days ahead have more to offer. Until next time, take care and get a break, you deserve it.  

 

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Looking closely at ANTS 

I know I have not popped in here since quite some time, but I was just waiting for some profound fact to be thrown into my face, because that really is my true inspiration to write.   I just don’t find myself able to blog about the irritating colleague, or last night’s dinner, I find these too mundane. Or it’s just because I am not so social. Anyways, I finally experienced a few moments of deep reflection last night while watching an amazing documentary on National Geographic, ‘The City of Ants’. 

The documentary was magnifying the lives of these ordinary creatures whose lives are anything but ordinary. Their structure and the chemical mechanisms within it are so intricately woven that I was baffled. They are known to have some unique capabilities and what sets them apart from most insects is their social behaviour. They thrive in communities and believe in group coordination to achieve their purpose. They don’t believe in individualistic goals. They divide work amongst themselves and their appearance decides what work they are best suitable for. They identify other classes of ants by their smell. So there are various classes of ants such as the carpenters or maintenance worker ants and army ants who are headed by a queen or queens. The queen ants ensure that the generation of ants in her colony never die by laying thousands of eggs. That’s their sole purpose of life. While the male ants have only one role- to mate with the queen, after which most of them die. 

A fact that really turned on my ‘reflection mode’ was that how these creatures thrive amidst all the dangers of the environment. Group work, ants joining for a common cause, fighting together, that’s what does the trick. 

The biologist on screen was explaining that their social behaviour is very much similar to ours. But I feel that they are better off than us humans. They have a fixed purpose of life, while most of us don’t even know what we are doing day after day, year after year. Most of us are just living, biding time, but how many of us have defined a purpose for ourselves? Even those who define goals, they sometimes face defeat or don’t really enjoy the contentment even after being victorious. What could the reason be? It is because our goals and purposes are individualistic and self-centered, unlike ants. And because we are self-centered, we have nobody accompanying us on our downtrodden paths. That’s where we fall flat. 

So what is your purpose in life? Do you want luxury, fame, goodwill, happiness? Do you aim to be a helper, a political or religious leader, an owner of a business empire, the head of a happy family? 

I think it’s time we set our priorities or we can just settle into our fruitless monotony. Unlike ants, we atleast have a choice. 

Photograph credits: Andri Priyadi
Posted in Life, musings, reflections

Back to School!

It’s Sunday and unlike most countries around the world, this day marks the beginning of the week in U.A.E. So the last two days were weekend, and the popular topic of discussion in my family was ‘BACK TO SCHOOL’! My siblings start school today and the weekend was utilized in buying stationery, school bags and uniforms for them. When I went to the mall, I realized how much difference there is between my school days and my siblings’ time.

Thanks to excessive marketing and advertising, going back to school has become another reason to go on a shopping spree. School shopping was a necessity back in the late 90s and the past decade. It has now become more of a trend, another asset to flaunt. The concept of branding has influenced adults so much that even kids like my 9-year old sister want a ‘Hello Kitty’ than an ordinary pink-colored bag. Would you believe it when I say that we spent 4 hours at the mall to buy these goodies for 3 of my siblings? The place was sickeningly crowded and all around me, I could see innovative school merchandise. ‘The Avengers’, ‘Hellboy’, ‘Captain America’ bags, tiffins, water bottles, stationery for young, naughty boys and Cinderellas and Hello Kitties for the chirpy and excited girls. There were bright colored, beautifully designed notebooks that make you feel like writing all the time. There were cute pens, pencils and pouches that made me consider buying them just because they are cute. Deep down, I was actually harboring a bit of an envy. I was almost irritated that I didn’t get to choose from this much of a variety when I was a kid.

Envy aside, I also felt nostalgia hit me really bad as I realized I missed my school days. School was a place I loved, even when I was a kid. I remember that my friends would hate the thought of going back to school after vacations, but I actually used to count down the days when I would go back to school and read new stories in English class, visit the school library, eat the mini pizzas from the canteen and play dodge ball with friends in break and P.E. I loved (still do, as a matter of fact) the smell of new books and I always promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would write in them neatly (handwriting has been an issue for me all my life) and maintain my books really well. Promises would break but my love for going to school never faded. I am working as a full-time employee now and am at the brink of my career, but part of me misses the school and college days. Part of me thirsts to be back in a class, learn something new and make up for the time my teen ignorant self so foolishly wasted. I also miss how carefree I was back then. I was known as the ‘joker’ of my class in school. I had a weird habit those days that whenever I used to be scolded by a teacher or fall in any kind of trouble, I always felt like laughing. It was like an immune response. I was immune to scoldings and lectures. I never felt really bad, although I did feel embarrassed. But I always took comments from others in a positive way. I can’t say whether I really worked on my weaknesses but I never used to maintain an enmity or emotions like hatred towards anyone, teacher or student. I still try to maintain this habit in my daily life, but being a kid is simply less complicated I guess. The adult mind does not think so simply, it has a whole lot of influencing factors.

Another part of my brain is haunted by memories of a particular teacher of Mathematics I was taught by in Grade 6. She was evil and made my life hell for a year. I remember her curly hair adorning her face that always had a sarcastic smile on; I remember her soft, threatening voice, cold and terrifying and I still feel the chills down my spine and I ask myself, ‘do I want to experience that again?’ Haha, I guess not. Definitely not.

So, I come back to reality, thank God for wherever I am right now, and complete this post and get back to work.

My school, Our Own English High School, Dubai
My school, Our Own English High School, Dubai
Library22622584
My favorite place in the school- Library!!!
My class photograph of Grade-8.
My class photograph of Grade-8.