Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fridays will be different....Thanks to Melanie!

So another Friday and another week to stop whining and taking time to being thankful. If you are new here then go check out the Friday rituals to see what we have been doing here: the first where I was thankful, then Janine and Samantha.

This week I have the grand Melanie Kissell of Solo Mompreneur. I met Melanie through a blogging club and it has been wonderful knowing the lady with the long comments! Yes, she writes the most amazing comments that are thoughtful, genuine and has taken effort. If you have a blog, then you should definitely have Melanie there to comment on it; makes your day! So here’s what the lovely lady has to be thankful for:

The lovely Melanie!
Migraines and dirty dishes.

Who can say they're thankful for those two things?

I can!
Now don't think I'm not grateful for things like good friends, nice neighbors, a wonderful blogging community, a reliable vehicle, and a pulse ... because I am!

But the following are what I'm REALLY thankful for.

1.) I loved kaleidoscopes as a child - all those really cool geometric shapes and colors. Now that I'm an adult, I'm so thankful I suffer with ocular migraines. I get to see all those beautiful shapes and colors flashing in front of my eyes again!

2.) I'm really thankful for the absolute *guarantee* it's going to rain as soon as I've spent hours washing and detailing my car. It's an amazing phenomenon. We get lots of "dry spells" here in Southern California. No problem. I've discovered a way to end the drought. Wash my car. How empowering is THAT?!

3.) The dishwasher is broken in my apartment. It's never worked since my daughters and I moved in almost two years ago, and I couldn't be happier. I'm so thankful to have piles of dishes to wash each week and the opportunity to prove Palmolive dishwashing liquid really does soften your hands! I've used so much of their product, I'm sure Palmolive is going to contact me to do a television commercial.

4.) There's nothing finer than paying almost $200 a month for T.V., phone, and internet service (you know, the infamous "bundle"?) and having your service fail on you at least every other week. I'm extremely thankful for those outages! I get to use my cell phone and talk to all kinds of interesting customer service representatives from foreign countries. I feel so lucky. Not everyone can say they've spoken to someone in the People's Republic of Bangladesh!

5.) I'm very thankful for the 7 - 10 loads of laundry I tackle every week. It's a nice diversion from dusting and vacuuming. With two daughters, seems like the dirty clothes bin is never empty. The only thing that's empty around here is the toilet paper spindle -- the minute "I" need to use the bathroom. I can't thank my girls enough for doing their part to make sure I never have any leisure time. And anyway, mothers weren't put on this earth to have fun (were they?).

So, that was Melanie’s thankful Friday moment. Say hi to Melanie and tell her how much fun you had reading the post! Also, do visit her blog and pretty please her to visit yours if you want some amazing input to your posts!
P.S. It was her Birthday…wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I always get that question. And I find it hard to answer. Oh no, not because I don’t know where I am from. Just because people confuse me further.

I was born in India. But when I was four, we shifted to the UAE. And that is where I stayed till I was 17. Finished school and went to India for higher education. Finished my Masters and now I am back in the UAE.

So every time I am asked that question, I launch into a big 500-or-more-words-essay-type-answer of telling them how I was born in India, raised in UAE and then did my higher education in India and now am working in the UAE.

And that is usually followed by… “I meant country” and “Am I talking to a crazy person” look.

So when we were young, my dad made sure we took our annual vacations in India. So vacations there were spent by our cousins telling us, “So, Dubai returned kids, don’t like the weather here, and don’t like the water here…eh?” And poor me, all of 10 would answer it by saying, “Why do you say this, I AM from India, I just live there, that’s it.”

In college, during our introduction, I identified myself as from India and then one professor mentioned this… young lady, aren’t you from the Arab world. No I am not, I just lived there. I am from India. No use, they all kept referring to me as the Indi-Arab.

Now, what raises that question…the color of my skin, the way I dress, my accent, my bright jazzy Mojris (the most comfortable footwear ever!) or just plain curiosity. Not that I hate answering it, just that the question implies that it should be answered by one country and that is just not possible anymore.

So maybe I look like a Pakistani, maybe my habits are Arab, maybe my likes are Indian, but I keep thinking… should I, just should I just show them my passport? I mean…technically.

Had trouble answering the question? Born here, lived there, and worked elsewhere and totally from all the way over there? Isn’t the world just a huge, huge thing! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fridays will be different....Thanks to Samantha!

Friday again! Time to pause the kvetching for a day and shout out our thanks! If you haven’t been following and are new here, I KVELL on Fridays instead of kvetching! The first Friday kvell was done by me and the second by Janine Ripper.

 This week I have the lovely Samantha Bangayan to join us in doing her thankful duties! I met Samantha through a blogging club and she soon became one of my favorite bloggers. She blogs at What Little Things about her life in Huancayo, Peru.  

So here’s what “Sammy” has to say about her Fridays:

haven't been spending the time to be thankful for all that I've been blessed with these days, so I was ecstatic when Hajra started celebrating Fridays this way and what an honor to be invited to share my "thankfuls" too! My first warm "Thank You" goes to Hajra for being such a supportive and encouraging friend!

Other tidbits I've been thankful for this week?
 Huancaino wear

1. I am thankful that they sell Pringles and Nutella in the one supermarket here in Huancayo. This is a new phenomenon and I don't know how I survived without them.

2. I am thankful that when my kitty, FĂ©nix, bites and scratches me, I only get real wounds around once a week. He is so vicious for an innocent-looking 7-month-old! Any cat training advice would be greatly appreciated!

3. I am thankful my partner agreed that gifts for his birthday should be gifts for me too. We bought an electric heater for his birthday a couple weeks ago that I now use right by my desk.

4. I am thankful that the rooster on the roof sings cockle-a-doodle-do all day, so I never feel like I'm alone. When the kitty refuses to stay in my lap, I can always rely on the various sounds and rhythms around my apartment building to keep me company. If it's not the rooster, there are always other cats meowing or salsa and reggae ton playing at the bar just a building away.

5. I am thankful that I learned to braid my own hair into pigtail braids because it helps me fit in with the traditional look of women in the Central Andes. Now I just need to tan a bit more, so I don't look so gringa!

So, that was the lovely Samantha with her kvellings! Say hi to her and tell her what a wonderful person she is! 

Join in, tell us what you were thankful about this week?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What do they REALLY mean?

I am tired of people not telling the truth – Ok, I get all the controversial stuff but every day ambiguous sentences are getting a little tiresome. I mean I wouldn’t call those people liars, maybe the diplomacy, guilt factor and nagging moms keep coming in the way and they are just “forced” to say things they don’t mean.
So over the past few months, I have been getting a lot of these and experiences just tell me what they mean.
·         I am busy, I will call you back: At many times, rightly translated it reads as follows “I didn’t know it was you calling, otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered taking the call. Hang up right now, I am going to save your number as “Don’t pick up or bother to call back”.
·         You are perfect for the job, we will get in touch soon:  Ok, we didn’t hear what you had to say, we don’t know whether we have positions available, my coffee is getting cold, hmmm…what should I have for lunch, didn’t I tell the darn secretary to call me with “something important” five minutes into this “interview”, wait what was this chap’s name.
·         I am on my way, just five more minutes: It will take me over an hour, I still haven’t changed, I completely forgot and stop calling me every five minutes because that’s not going to change things.
·         Just 5 more minutes with the TV: Coming from a 5 year old it definitely means this “Please, just stop nagging me; I am going to be saying the same thing for the next hour, stop worrying about my eyes and just please, oh please, stop blocking my view”. Coming from a 20 year old also, it probably means the same.
·         Everything looks so pretty on you, I can’t choose:  I haven’t being paying attention, why do you make me go through this, what time was the game on TV, 6 or 8…should I message someone, are you going to be buying matching shoes after this…I hope not, just pick one already!
Please if you are late, just tell me so. I might just go back to napping. If you don’t want to give me the job, just tell me, I will stop jumping every time my mobile rings hoping it is the job confirmation. Just say it nicely, there is a nice way to say bad things… except for when you want to talk about my weight, there is no nice way to say that!
So have you had enough of sugar coatings? What do you think they really mean? 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fridays will be different....Thanks to Janine Ripper!

So just last Friday I started a new weekly routine where, every Friday, instead of kvetching we will be kvelling (Thanks Roy for teaching me that word!). Yes, if you haven't read it, then do it right now! Every Friday I will be featuring a blogger who gets to be thankful for something! Last Friday, being the first, I started off being thankful.This Friday, I get to feature my favorite blogger, Janine Ripper.

I met Janine through a discussion on LinkedIn and from then on, it has been such an honor to read her blog, her reflections and about her beautiful journey through the crazy thing called life. 

So featuring Janine, the first blogger for my Thankful Fridays! Here's what she says: 

My blogging buddy and partner in crime - Hajra Khatoon - recently came up with a new way to celebrate Friday’s. For this I am thankful for. I mean, I love Friday’s - or rather, I used to. Lately, my Friday’s at work consist of a meeting from about 10.30am until whenever it finishes (the first week it was 6.30-ish pm)...of which for the last 4 weeks has left me feeling shattered for most of the weekend. I am endeavoring to change that, therefore, in the wise words of Hajra, here are my top reasons for what and why I am thankful for in recent times!

Janine at the Beach
Pic taken by her dear friend,

Ambreen Beg
1.       Hajra - If it wasn’t for Hajra I may have given up on blogging. I mean, we live in different countries, have never met, have never talked, but have struck up a great friendship and supportive blogging / writing relationship, of which I hope continues for a long time into the future.

2.       The beach - Over the past month I’ve managed to get out of the house on weekends with my Mum or friends, to hang around some of our local beaches. Of course, we are officially in winter here in Australia, but the days are still mostly stunning, and have presented some amazing opportunities to break in my SLR camera, whilst also experiencing some ‘natural’ therapy at by the sea side (the waves, breeze, smell, fresh air, peace...).

3.       My beautiful friends - I am truly blessed to have some of the most amazing, genuine, down to earth, beautiful souls as friends. I am one lucky person.

4.       Opportunities -  I decided recently to take this writing thing a whole lot more seriously.  I mean, I have always wanted to write, but I have never believed in myself.  Something seems to have changed in my thinking of late - I think it’s what some people call ‘confidence’ or ‘self belief’ (something I have lacked my whole life in pretty much everything). This has led to doors opening, and opportunities being presented to me.  Although I have also put myself out there to be noticed...which is what I probably should have been doing all along?

5.       Nature - As I write this post, I am watching a David Attenborough documentary on Gorillas. Even with their bulbous bottoms and big heads I think they are amazing. There is so much beauty out there in the world.

So that was Janine with her Thankful Friday! And she is thankful for me...Yippeee! See, that's how you get featured on my blog!

If you want to be featured, tell me! Please, just be as lovely as the amazing Janine!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What are you tired of hearing?

Some things are just said too often. Way too often. Very often in fact.

I don’t know the reason, I think maybe out of habit or maybe we don’t realize that the person on the receiving end is silently cringing on hearing that “phrase” for the umpteenth time that day.

So things I am tired of hearing and wishing “If only I had a penny…” yes, I am kvetching again!

From Peanuts 
·         If only I had a penny…: No one and I mean NO ONE, no one gives a penny, so it’s no use wishing.

·         Where do you see yourself…: I see myself successful, rich and a lot happier, whether five years from now, ten years, twenty years, fifty years, a century….that is how I see myself; always. Isn’t that everyone’s ultimate goal? Richer, happier and successful. What else?

·         What do you want to be when you grow up: This was as a kid. Spare me, I was 10, all I was bothered about was getting my math lessons right and shooting the duck in the video game.  

·         I am a complex person; I need to figure things out:  Aren’t we all? Psychology taught me that “Human is a complex being” and that remains. So stop saying that you are the only one. We all are; we all need to figure out so many things, just go with the flow.

·         Things will get better: Yes, they will if you just stop saying so ALL the time. Things do get better, only to get worse again, only to get better again…that is life’s circle. Just play along!

No matter how much I “kvetch”; I will be the one often using them again…If only I had a penny for every time I kvetched!
So, anything you are tired of hearing? Or are you slightly cringing and saying… things will get better!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Fridays will be different…. Thankfully!

Ok, enough of kvetching! Oh, no, no, I ain’t shutting my blog….just decided to add a new twist to it! Though I try to “kvetch” at least twice a week…life is happening pretty darn fast for me to catch up (there you go again….) so I thought we could crib and cry once a week and try to be thankful on Fridays!

Yes, everywhere I go I see people talking about how life is treating them bad, how they need to be inspired and motivated; how they feel the constant urge to prove themselves right, how plans are going crazy wrong and how everything is messed up. So although, all that holds true; we could still come by every now and then and kvetch! We could also, end the week on a happy and in your face laughing note on why the next week will be better!

So starting this Friday; here are my top reasons of why and what I am thankful for during recent times!

From my trip to celebrate weight loss!
  1. I am thankful the world didn’t end as was “suspected”. I got to meet my nephew and niece. I would have missed that if the world decided to shut down.
  2. I am thankful I came up with this idea to blog. Otherwise another week with no post!
  3. I am thankful that I lost some weight this week; no not running, jogging and all that; just really bad summer is sweating it all off. I treated myself to ice cream to “celebrate”!
  4.  I am thankful that humidity still hasn’t struck its high in my good hot city. July will be a month where I kvetch about humidity!
  5. I am SO SO SO thankful that only one of my friends got engaged in the past five months. Yes, many of my friends are married or engaged to be married and that makes us not-ready-to-commit types feeling a bit “left out”. So thank God, just one “I am happy for you but OMG-not-you-too” situation!
So there, my top five for the week! Want to join in, comment below or get in touch with me! I might want to feature yours next Friday! Yes, saves me the trouble of coming up with a post and you do all the “writing”!