Saturday, December 10, 2011

Religious Reckoning

My husband, Faisal and I are kind of confused about whether HRH should start reading the Quran in Arabic. While most of his friends/class-fellows have been receiving religious instruction as far as starting to read the Quran goes for a while now, we are still debating about what the point is if he doesn't understand anything.

While our respective parents have been begging/pleading/telling us off about how lax we are as far as HRH's religious studies go, neither of us thinks, having been through the same process when we were his age, that it added anything to our lives at that point in time (apart from dreading the hour the qari saab was supposed to appear).

I suggested I would read a page of the English translation with HRH every day. This was vetoed by Faisal who thinks (and on further pondering about, I agree), HRH is a little young for the intricacies that lie therein (or in other words, we wouldn't know how to answer the questions that would be bound to come up).

The other day HRH and I had the following conversation (much to Faisal and HRH's amusement) -
HRH: Why were all prophets men?
Me: I dunno..
HRH: Maybe Allah thought women are nasty.

So, yes, I don't think we'd be able to answer the queries that are bound to crop up (especially as we seem to be pretty clueless ourselves).

Can we simply stick to just be a good human being and take it from there?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Religious Medication, How to Draw Booty, Vowing Vengeance & More

HRH: Plants and things like cars are lucky because they are safe.
Me: Safe from what?
HRH: From going to hell.


HRH: We are learning the doosra kalma in school...doosra kalma shahdat..shahadat manay dawai dena
Me: Dawai dena?
HRH: Yes it means give medicines


HRH  trying to eavesdrop on a conversation -
HRH: What are you guys talking about?
Me: You don't have to know everything
HRH: I do have to so I can be wise in future.


HRH (singing): I'm a coolio! I'm a genius!
Me: Are you modest as well?
HRH: Yes
Me: Do you know what that means?
Me: It means someone who doesn't praise themselves saying I'm a coolio or a genius
HRH: I guess I'm not modest


HRH: In Urdu we did fill in the blanks like "mein baray ho kay _____ banon ga". I wrote 'farmer'
Me: You want to be a farmer?
HRH: No but that's the only word I knew how to spell..fay alif ray meem ray.
Me: Farmer is an English word. Do you know what you call a farmer in Urdu?
HRH: Kabooter?


HRH: I know how to draw booty..first you draw a C..then u put a straight line and then you draw another C but the opposite way.


HRH jumping on the bed -
Me: Stop doing that
HRH: Jumping gives my legs enthusiasm


HRH: Wouldn't it be cool if we were the Prime Minister of Pakistan?
Faisal:'s so much responsibility
HRH: But we wouldn't be greedy


Faisal and HRH fighting over who gets to play on the iPad -

HRH: When I grow up and you're my son, I will bully you too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting an Earful, Suggestions for Space, Clearing up Clarity & Watery Wisdom

HRH: I told my friends about when we went to Quaid-e-Azam's house and someone asked me if I met him..
Me: So what did you say?
HRH: I said he was dead at the time.


(This one's my favourite)
After an explanation about something -
HRH: You are absolutely right Ammi.
Me: I usually am, aren't I?
HRH: Yes you are....Baba is mediumly right.


Faisal and I arguing –
HRH: Can you two stop quarreling
Faisal: We aren’t quarreling…we are just discussing something
HRH: Then you should do it politely
Me: We are being polite
HRH: No you’re not. I have ears.


HRH: Are there people on other planets?
Me: Only on planet earth in our solar system
HRH: So what are the other planets there for?
Me: I'm not sure how they were made..we can look it up
HRH: Maybe they are there to make space look good


HRH: Can I get a balloon?
Me: No you can't because you misbehaved earlier.
HRH: That's a bit hurtful.


HRH (cleaning up his room): How come it's so easy to make a mess and so hard to clear it up?


Me: Why do you need to drink water as soon as you sit down to do homework?
 HRH: Water is good for your brain.


Me: Hurry up and finish your work or you will sit all alone working while the rest of us have fun
HRH (looking disappointed and muttering under his breath): ...scaring your own kid..


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Siri Silliness

Like everyone else with an iPhone 4S, HRH and I have been messing around with Siri.

HRH had the following conversation with Siri the other day:
Desperate for homework help
No philosophizing and no jokes either
If I tell you, I'd have to kill you
The meaning of life series/Siris -

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

New(s) Headlines

HRH has started reading the headlines of the daily newspaper every morning on the way to school. After reading the biggest headlines he demands an explanation for them.

Today's headlines were:

Later during the day I overheard him informing one of his khalas what the news was for today.

PPP ready for frontal attack on Qureshi was interpreted as -
"So lots of people and Zardari are having a party and they are going to say bad words about someone called Qureshi."

NA passes pro-women bill unanimously lost a lot more in translation -
"Pro-women....that's about women who are professionals...NA means National Anthem...that's it."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boys Don't Hug, Faulty Flagging, National Analysis & Freedom

Me: I'm going for coffee with my friends.
HRH: So it'll be just me and Baba?
Me: Yes
HRH: Thank God...Baba always says yes to whatever I say.
HRH (looking intently at a pic of our president in an old newspaper): Was Zardari always a crook, since he was a child?
HRH: I know the source of oil
Me: Wow..really? So what is the source of oil?
HRH: Oil tanks
HRH: Who's Nawaz Sharif?
Me: He's the head of the PML-N party
HRH: And Zardari?
Me: He's PPP
HRH: Pee pee pee..lots of peeing
HRH (after drawing the flag of Pakistan): Ammi, I know what the colored parts of the flag mean..the white part is the Muslims..and the green part is the maulvis.
Me (giving HRH a hug): You're my baby
HRH: I am not. I am a big boy..I have my own life now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pushing Literary Boundaries

Yesterday we were at a dinner which began extremely late due to the usual Lahori problem of having no concept of time. Since HRH was already about to fall asleep as soon as we arrived at the dinner venue, I had the unenviable task of amusing him till we could all leave.

As HRH's current (read for the past three years) favorite obsession is toilet humor, there was no better way to pass the time than to write gross rhymes for each other.

HRH begins - A golf fan speaks

Can't go wrong in HRH's eyes with nose related rhymes

Lovely. Not.

HRH really enjoyed this one

Illustration for poem included (the thing at the end is a grasshopper apparently)

Desperately attempting to keep HRH from throwing a tantrum in sleep-deprived state

Spy game
HRH ended up falling asleep anyway.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

When I Am 40+ (Or Hell, Any Age At All)

I am someone who is not very adventurous with what I wear. I'll wear anything which I feel comfortable in and which looks alright.

So not to tempt fate or anything, but I will never:

1. Wear any item of clothing resembling a cheetah (or any other feline). No scarves, tops, bottoms..nothing.

2. Have blonde streaks or have a hair color tending towards blonde.

3. Have a handbag that has a giant blingy skull on it (really, really, really wanted to get a picture of this but had to stop myself from appearing too uncivilized).

4. Wear black nail polish with sequins or anything else which is shiny stuck on top.

5. Wear thigh high leather boots.

6. Adorn myself in a velvety dress combined with knee high suede boots.

Having said that, hats off to those who do wear the above and think they look good.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tentacles, Religious Remix & Political Awakenings

Profound political discussion -
HRH: Who's the next biggest crook after Zardari? Something Ali?
Me: Gilani? There are too many crooks unfortunately.
HRH: Too many pottys.
HRH: When you were small did you tell your teacher she's pretty?
Me: I don't remember. Why? Do you want to tell your teacher that?
HRH: was just a hypocritical question.
Me: You mean hypothetical?
HRH: Yes
Adele's 'Rolling in the deep' - the HRH remix : 
'There's a fire burning in my nose..reaching a fever pitch and its bringing it out the butt'
HRH: Are you sure Sandoz On works? I haven't seen any mosquitoes bouncing off me..
NanaAbu: Come pray with me
HRH: I don't want to. I wish I was a Christian then no one would ask me to pray.
HRH: Who's Imran Khan?
Me: He's someone who played cricket for Pakistan, then he built a hospital and now he wants to be the leader of Pakistan
HRH: First he was a cricketer, then he was a builder and now he wants to be a leader? He should make up his mind what he wants to be.
The day Steve Jobs died - 
HRH: How did James Bond die?
Faisal: James Bond isn't real..he's just a character in books and movies
HRH: No Baba..James Bond the one who made the iPhone and iPad
NanaAbu sleeping -
HRH: He looks like a little orphan.
Me: That's a terrible thing to say. Do you even know what an orphan is?
HRH: No..
Me: It's someone who's parents have died
HRH: NanaAbu's parents have died
Me: Ya but u still don't say that to anyone. They'll feel bad.
HRH: You can say it when they're asleep cos they can't hear you.
HRH (climbing on Faisal): I'm an octopus
Faisal: Actually you are a quad-ropus cos you only have 4 tentacles and an octopus has 8
HRH: My pee thing also counts, so that's five.
Me: We're buddies too right?
HRH: Yes
Me: Yay! So who's the better buddy..Baba or me?
HRH: You are both equal. Now stop with the buddy business.
HRH: If you're looking for fun..all you need is a gun.
Me (horrified): No..What? Where did you hear that?
HRH: Looney's wabbit season!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wills, Cucumbers, Prayers & Punishments

HRH: When do you write your will?
Me: Before you die
HRH: But how do you know you are about to die?
Me: Well that's why you do it way before..why do you want to write a will anyway?
HRH: For giving away my toys.
HRH: I want to eat keeras.
Me: You want to eat insects?
HRH: No..that green vegetable..
Me: Oh kheeras.
HRH: You are being very rude today. I am very disappointed in you, mother.
Me: Go pray with NanaAbu
HRH: I'll pray when I'm 7. I'm only 6..that's a small number.
Me: You went to Eid namaz and to one Friday namaz also remember?
HRH: Ya so that's enough for now. I'll pray in a few months.
HRH (complaining to Nano about me): Nano, she snatched the phone from me
Me: Who's 'she' Eisa?
HRH: That's your punishment for snatching from me. I will call you 'she'.
HRH: Why did Allah make bogeys?
Me: Umm...I don't know..
HRH: You always don't know anything.
Me: Eisa come and talk to me
HRH: I'm watching TV..
Me: You can watch TV later can't you? I'm so bored
HRH: Hmm..I'll let you know in 15 minutes what my suggestions are.
Me: Go and wash your hands. Don't make me say it again.
HRH: Please stop gritting your teeth at me. Otherwise I have a long list of punishments for hiding your phone or telling your mum.
HRH misbehaving -
NanaAbu: I am going to get really angry with you now.
HRH: Uh oh. NanaAbu is going to squash me like a bug.

My Mother by HRH

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homework Horrors...and Some Hope

HRH not interested in homework on the importance of cleanliness - 'How would you feel in this room and why?'

I really don't think they loved the zoo that much. 

A Busy Day with a busy evening planned -

Make a sentence using the word 'nature' - 

Make a sentence using the word 'princess' (Attempts 1 & 2) - 

An optimistic conclusion to an essay titled "All About Me" -

English comprehension -

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hateful Homework, Swearing Guidelines, Marriage Miss & More

HRH: The moment I hear 'homework' I feel like there's something disgusting in my ears.
HRH: Do I have to get married?
Khala: You don't have to if you don't want to
HRH: What a relief.
Me: There's an insane amount of homework to do in these holidays
HRH: Torture for both of us.
Faisal: What the...
HRH: Don't say the word. Just say 'what the' and 'why the'.
Me: Hurry up and practice your Urdu imla words
HRH: Forget it Ammi
Me: No I can't forget it
HRH: Ammi you don't have to win everything. I'll just do my best...without studying.
Me: Please don't be rude to me. It makes me sad and I feel like crying
HRH: ...more like pouncing.
NanaAbu: Come here and give me a hug
HRH: Men don't kiss men.
Faisal force-feeding Eisa breakfast -
HRH: If I say bad words in my head then that's ok right?
Faisal: No it's not.
HRH: But they aren't coming out of my mouth
Faisal: ...wait..are you thinking those about me??
HRH: *grin*
Me: Do you need to pee?
HRH: No.
Me: So stop touching yourself then
HRH: It’s part of my body so I can touch it
Me: We are not going to play after school today ok? We'll come straight home, got it?
HRH (with a sigh): I know when I'm beaten.
HRH (sitting on the pot): I can do stink-bombs....from the air-conditioner in my butt.
HRH: Allah can't see us when we do bad things right?
Me: Yes He can. He can see us all the time.
HRH: So why does He need the left and right shoulder angels to write and send messages about what we're doing?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Misery and Morbidity

Army checkpoints where there were none not so long ago.
Killing schoolchildren (Were they infidels too? These 'people' really think they're going to Heaven?)
People dragging their buffaloes, cycles and motorbikes through swirling waters.
Crime ('We got robbed at home the other day.' 'Someone snatched my phone at that traffic light.' 'Our mugger was rather nice thank God..such a polite young man..even apologized for traumatizing us.')
Kidnappings ('He was sold to the Taliban. Came back after 6 months.' 'At least he came back.')
Gratitude for things which should be a given.
Murderers serenaded as heroes. Loadshedding ('What are you waiting for yaar? Generator lagwao.')
Schools closed for 10 days (after being open for 7 after a 3 month summer break. At least it's only a dengue epidemic. Last time schools closed down it was because of possible terrorist attacks).
Politicians too busy fighting over who said what and who did (or didn't do) what (They have proof though so it'll all be okay now).
Apples are no longer apples and bananas are no longer bananas (At least we got a whole lot of jokes out of that one).
Horrible, hate-inciting humans on TV.
So much screaming.
A timeline for everyone.
Discussion on jumma prayers ('Don't force him to go...You never know.')
Religious or irreligious? Who cares? ('People do. They do. Don't talk so never know who's listening.')
'Where are we going? What's going to happen?'
'Bus it'll just go on like this. Things will be better in a few years.' (Been hearing that for the last few.
Reassuring or trying to convince yourself?)
Living in a bubble of self-denial.
Everything's slowly closing in.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Troubling Questions

Looking at the DAWN headline "Suicide blasts rock Quetta" and picture of the blast aftermath -
HRH: What happened here?
Me: There were some bomb blasts
HRH: Like bon voyage?
Me: No that’s B-O-N. This is B-O-M-B.
HRH: So who put it there?
Me: Some bad guys
HRH: What’s suicide?
Me: It means to kill yourself
HRH: So what’s suicide blasts?
Me: It’s bad guys blowing things up
HRH: How?
Me: They wear the bomb and then they get killed and they kill people around them
HRH: Couldn’t anyone see the bomb?
Me: They hide it under their clothes so no one can see and stop them
HRH: Good thing this wasn’t in Pakistan
Me: It was in Pakistan…Quetta is a city in Pakistan
HRH: Thank God it didn’t happen in Lahore
Me: It’s sad for all the people there and also for all of us in Pakistan isn’t it?
HRH: Yes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dengue, Donkeys, Deceit & Defending Dad

HRH: I wish I was a dengue mosquito. I wouldn't have to go to school and I would sting bad guys and people I don't like. I wouldn't have to take orders from anybody.
Me: What kind of orders?
HRH: Like come and eat, do your homework. That kind of stuff.


HRH: Can we eat donkeys?
Faisal: No
HRH: What about homemade donkeys?


HRH: I want to open my old toy castle again
Faisal: We gave it away
HRH: It's in that box. You lied to me. You lied to your own son. Now your left angel is busy writing down your lies.


Me to Faisal: Why is this child not eating his dinner?
HRH: I know why you aren't using my regular name 'Eisa'. It's because you don't like me very much right now.


Me: Are you enjoying Eid and all your Eidi?
HRH: I would but you are taking all my Eidi.
Me: I'm just keeping it safe for you
HRH: It's like you are taking it forever.


Gave HRH a long list of dos and donts before he left for his first Eid prayers -
HRH: Why do we have to be so serious? The masjid can be a fun place.


Me to Faisal: You are really mean. I told you I wanted to get out of Lahore during the Eid holidays.
HRH: Ammi he has taken you to so many places. Don't be mean to the poor fellow.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Easter Envy, Buddies, Homework & Hell

HRH: Did Baba ask you to marry him?
Me: Yes
HRH: How do you know if the girl you ask is not already married?
Me: You can find that out..anyway you don't have to worry about getting married for another 20 years at least..
HRH: I don't ever want to get married cos then I'll have to share all my stuff.


Faisal reversing car -
Me to Faisal: You were about to run me over
HRH: He didn't hit you. 'About' is ok.


Faisal throwing something over to me -
HRH: Good throw Baba
Me: What about 'good catch Ammi'?
HRH: Ok you're right. Good catch and are both equal..but I'll give Baba one point more cos we are buddies.


HRH: Do you think the angel on your left shoulder has written the bad things you have done?
Me: Yes I guess so.
HRH: I know some of your bad saying rude words. You shouldn't in case you have to go to Hell. In cartoons Hell is underground. When Allah puts fire on bad guys are they dead?
Me: He brings them back to life then He burns them if they were bad.
HRH: I thought Allah is very nice...why does He want to burn us?


HRH: Let me tell you about pee. When we drink water, it goes through all the meat inside you and becomes dirty and turns yellow. That's why pee is yellow.


Flattery will get you anywhere -
HRH: Ammi can you do me a favor and get me a glass of water? I appreciate your hard work.


After watching Hop -
HRH: When will it be Easter?
Me: I'm not sure but Muslims don't really celebrate Easter
HRH: I wish I was a Christian so I could have Easter and Christmas


Trying to get HRH to sit down and do homework -
HRH: WHY are you doing this to me?!! My hand will fall off!!


Me: Would it be ok if I went on holiday somewhere for a week by myself?
HRH: Hmmm...I can go with keep you company.


Faisal watching a movie on TV -
HRH: This is Hard Kill 4 right?
Me: It's Die Hard 4


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Religious Rhetoric

HRH: Do you think the angel on your left shoulder has written the bad things you have done?
Me: Yes I guess so.
HRH: I know some of your bad saying rude words. You shouldn't in case you have to go to Hell. In cartoons Hell is underground. When Allah puts fire on bad guys are they dead?
Me: He brings them back to life then He burns them if they were bad.
HRH: I thought Allah is very nice...why does He want to burn us?

A little later after misbehaving -

HRH (punching himself on left shoulder): I'm squashing the angel so he can't write the bad stuff I did.
Me: You can't do that. The angel would still write it down.
HRH: I better ask Allah to forgive me then 
HRH: He didn't answer
Me: He doesn't answer. But He knows if you say sorry. He knows whatever you are thinking.
HRH: Allah likes to keep quiet?
Me: Well He doesn't talk like us.
HRH: Does he have a magic wand to make things? What does He look like?
Me: I don't know.
HRH: Look it up.
Me: No one knows. No one has ever seen Him.
HRH: Before I was born if I was with Allah then when I opened my eyes didn't I see Him?
Me: No...I told you no one sees Him EVER.

Later -

HRH: How old is Allah?
Me: I don't know. He's just always been there. He doesn't have an age.
HRH: He doesn't eat, He doesn't sleep, He doesn't talk, He doesn't have a come?!

Government and Politics 101

Today's DAWN newspaper headline is "Govt comes out with strange warning". Next to it is a picture of a policeman standing guard at a deserted road in Karachi.

HRH (after staring intently at the newspaper): This guy is the government? He's a bad guy?

Me: No, that's just a policeman.

HRH: So why does it say 'Govt' next to the picture?

Me: The government is not just one person. It's made up of lots of people, like the President, Prime Minister, other ministers, all the people working in government offices and so on. They run the country together.

HRH: Where are they running to?

Me: No I mean they make the country function, for example making sure people have enough to eat, there are no bad guys around, building roads...things like that.

HRH: Are the police also part of the government?

Me: Well the army and police are supposed to be controlled by the government.

HRH: So the government told this policeman to stand on this road.

Me: Yes in a way. But our government isn't really doing a good job.

HRH: Why not?

Me: Because they are corrupt...which means they steal money. Also there are so many bad guys around. The electricity going all the time is also because they didn't do their job properly.

HRH: If the government have guns then why can't they just kill all the bad guys?

Me: That's not how it works. Will you try to make our country a better place when you grow up?

HRH: I'll try.

Monday, August 22, 2011

How Not To Explain The Concept of Hell

HRH: Why did Allah make ants? What are they supposed to be for?

Me: Well he has made all kinds of animals and insects…so sometimes we might not know what the purpose for everything is..

HRH: But insects bite us so why has He made them?

Me: Sometimes humans are also bad, like they hit or kill others…but He has made them too right?

HRH: Hmmm…can’t we write a message on a piece of paper and send it to Allah to ask him why he made ants?

Me: No, Allah doesn’t answer questions like that. You know He wrote the Quran and sent it to us, so we can just read that and try to understand it.

HRH: How did He send it down? With a machine?

Me: No He told an angel to come to Prophet Muhammad to tell him what the Quran said, then Prophet Muhammad learned it and taught it to everyone else and then they wrote it down and so we have the Quran. You know there are surahs in the Quran called The Ants and The Bee.

HRH: Really? Tell me about them.

Me: Well Allah tells us to believe in one God and in the Day of Judgment and to be nice and kind to everyone especially your parents. He also tells us about how we should be good otherwise we’ll be in big trouble…you know how right?

HRH: Yes. Hell. Does the fire burn you there?

Me: Yes it’s very hot and bad people burn, and they get boiling water to drink.

HRH (looking slightly terrified): I can be good now, but what about the other times before when I wasn’t good?

Me: No no, don’t worry, you can just ask Allah to forgive you and He will do that because He’s kind, but you must promise you won’t do those bad things again.

HRH: *silence*

Me (trying to make up for terrorizing child by changing the subject): You know Allah also talks about all the nice things He has made for us. Like the sun, moon, stars, animals, rain, trees, fruits and so on.

HRH: How did He make them? Which materials did He use?

Me: Well all these things are made up of different materials I guess, but Allah just says something should be and it is.

HRH (still looking worried): Hmmmm.

Me (thinking): Oops.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taliban in London, Spit Bubbles, Using Google, Independence Day, Censorship and More

HRH: I want to go to London...actually no I don't want to. There are too many Taliban there.
Me: Those weren't Taliban..they were looters and rioters


HRH: You know the bubbles I make with my spit? I try to make them as sturdy as possible so they don't pop.


During a homework telling off -
HRH: I am going to tell your mother you are misbehaving
Me: What will happen then?
HRH: She will teach you a lesson.


HRH (using NanaAbu's stethoscope to hear my heartbeat): ...I can't hear anything and you're still alive!


HRH: Independence Day is Pakistan's birthday? Quaid-e-Azam made it on 14th Aug so what was he doing all the days before that? Thinking about making it?
Me: Yes
HRH: He even made the trees in Pakistan? I thought Allah made those..
Me: Allah did make those but Quaid-e-Azam said this area of land is Pakistan
HRH: Why couldn't he call it London? Then it could snow here too


iPhone v Bleakberry debate -
HRH: It should be BBBB - Boring BlackBerry for Baba


Me (glaring at HRH): Do not misbehave.
HRH (backing out of room): Uh oh. I better get away before she pounces on a cheetah.


Watching Faisal pray -
HRH (in amazement): Wow. That's the first time I've seen him pray.


HRH: What's the name of that little store near LUMS? Heaven store? Future store?
Me: Paradise store?
HRH: Yes that one.


HRH (while eating dinner): Look I ate so quickly...I think some of my food disappeared. Maybe Allah ate it
Me: Allah doesn't eat or drink anything
HRH: How do you know? Won't He be starving and thirsty? Look it up on Google


After picking HRH up from Nano's -
Me: Were you good? Did you behave well?
HRH: ....hardly
Me: What did you do?
HRH: I can't tell you. You might banish me.


Faisal teaching HRH to use Google -
HRH's first few Google searches: 'potty', 'dinosaur', 'snot'


HRH: Can you copy The Sound of Music on the iPad?
Me: No I can't cos some parts in that need censoring...if you promise to fast forward those bits then maybe I could
HRH: I hardly promise.
Me: What does that mean?
HRH: Sometimes I'll watch the kissing bits and sometimes I won't


Me: Bloody hell.
HRH: Well obviously you will go to hell if you say words like these.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Schooling for Life

For all my partners in crime

I got a text message today from one of my best friends from school/college telling me that she had just watched Zindagi Na Milege Dobara (ZNMD) and was remembering how she, I and another friend watched Dil Chahta Hai (DCH) together so many years ago.

Not being a Bollywood fan, I truly feel that Dil Chahta Hai (and now apparently ZNMD, though I have not seen it yet) was an amazing movie that so many people related to simply because it brought back so many memories of friends and the joyousness of youth. In fact my first argument with my then-fiance-now-hubby was that DCH was a 'Boys movie!' (him) and 'NO! Friends movie!' (me).

Now, at the ripe old age of 31, I look back and think of all those people who told me when I was in school and college that 'these are the best days of your life'. It sure didn't feel like it then with the torture of teachers, homework, tests, exams, O levels, A levels, quizzes, assignments, GPAs, professors who thought you were 'shallow' and 'feeble-minded', intelligent chappas (DC na baith jayay yaar) and what not.

Now, through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, those really were some of the best days of my life. The sort of days which you hope will remain with you till the end. Bear with me here, but they really were the days when looking back now, you can smile and even laugh aloud at the antics that you got up to.

Some of the things I remember off-hand from my O level days:
- A middle school science teacher's jeweled bra (She was also the first person ever to kick me out of class for something that wasn't my fault. Really...)
- Locking the Physics teacher in the science lab (Why would you put bolts on the outside of a classroom door? That's just asking for trouble.)
- Locking juniors on the school rooftop (Again, seriously, the bolts? Who decided on the placement of those?)
- Pretending to have misunderstood that C-II meant Class 10 and not Class 2, and waiting for the Physics teacher to show up in the grade 2 classroom where 15 year old girls were sitting on tiny pink chairs)
- Udhar at Yunus' canteen
- Riding the bicycles of the school gardeners around the school playground
- Seeing a Math teacher stand arms widespread, sweat patches on the shirt, in front of an AC in the middle of summer while the class tried to hold their breath
- Switching off the electricity supply of the school from the main electricity switchboard (again in the middle of summer)
- Getting kicked out of History class for reading a 'Seventeen' magazine under the desk
- Switching the canteen boards for where particular classes were supposed to line up before break so that chaos ensued
- Drooling over Take That
- Being informed by the Chemistry teacher that we were a 'nailakon ki toli'
- Stink bombs + fake vomit in English class (Backfired as the teacher went and stood outside while the rest of us had to sit inside and bear the stench. Resulted in one student actually throwing up.)
- Saturday lunch at Zouk
- Spray painting the school cat

....A level days:
- Making up a concoction of various items including expired food products for a Math teacher's milkshake (he survived so no harm done)
- Stealing eggs from the food and nutrition lab and egging the principal's car
- Bunking Saturday morning Math classes and going on self-organized field trips with the majority of the class (some nerds obviously refused), which included trips to the zoo, Racecourse park, nihari at a really shady spot which had a stage with mirrors all around it in the basement
- Stealing a girl's shalwar which had got wet when she slipped in a puddle and asked another friend to dry it for her while she waited in the loo (said friend obviously lost possession of item of clothing when pounced upon by a group of bullies)
- Roaming all over the city in a friend's 'dabba'
- 1 Mehran. 10 girls. Nuff said.
- Udhar at Yunus' canteen
- mIRC and the torture of having a dial-up PTCL connection
- Princess Di's car crash

......Uni days:
- Discovering uni friends from mIRC (Usually from sitting in the computer lab, chatting and then saying aloud 'Who's this XYZ person?' and someone around would say 'Err...that's me'. Many a friendship sprung up thanks to mIRC)
- Forcing a group of friends to go for a walk outside campus to the nearest 'super store' to buy items not sold on campus
- Playing cricket with little boys in park near super store
- Borrowing spoons from the university cafeteria to play Spoons
- Playing hide and seek around campus
- Chasing a friend with a box of kebabs around campus as smell of kebabs made her retch
- Bunking countless classes (yes you can graduate even of you attend only 4 out of 20 Discrete Math classes)
- Dreading the day GPA slips were put into lockers (one particular quarter it was '2.9...2.9.....2.9....2.9)
- Roaming around in a car with friends during the summer holidays sulking and unable to decide what to do and where to go
- Queuing up for McDonald's on the first day it opened in Lahore
- Watching DCH
- Q:"Khana khaya hai?" A: "Pata nahi..."
- Hearing the news of the Twin Towers plane crash while at the campus store.

I did my O levels in 1996, my A levels in 1998 and graduated from university in 2002. A lot has happened over the years. My friends are either married, unmarried or divorced, with children and without, with careers and without, living all over the world. Some I have met off and on over the years and some I have not. And yet, when we do meet or talk, it's a surefire way of being transported back in time to a former 14, 18 or 22 year old self.

While most of us manage to fool everyone with the disguise of being responsible adults, deep down many of us still can't believe we are as old as we are and can no longer be as youthfully exuberant as we used to be (at least not when there are too many witnesses).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Super 6

Faisal chasing lizard out of room -
Me (to HRH): When can you start getting rid of lizards for me?
HRH: When I'm 6 Me: That's day after you promise?
HRH: Maybe.


At midnight -
Me: Happy birthday!!
HRH: But it's still the 27th
Me: The date changes at midnight so it's the 28th now
HRH: Allah has a calendar?


Me: Please eat your breakfast yourself
HRH: No I can''s too hard
Me: You promised you would eat by yourself when you turned 6
HRH: I said we would talk about it.

HRH: I don't want to eat anything
Me: don't have to
HRH: Are you posilutely sure?


HRH dressed in his pirate costume -
Me (while feeding him lunch): Look at you...Captain Hook has to be fed?
HRH: Captain Hook has servants to do everything for him.


Call from HRH while I was at work -
HRH: What time are you coming home?
Me: In an hour. Are you being good?
HRH: Sort of….Sort of bad.
Me: What sort of bad things have you been doing?
HRH: Attacking people with a sword. Things like that.


HRH: If I grow up and become a pirate I'll make you walk the plank..without a life jacket


HRH: I want the iPad 5
Me: There is no iPad 5...3 will come out soon. I want the iPhone 5.
HRH: And I want the iPad 3.


HRH: Does everyone die together on the Day of Judgement?
Me: Yes those who are alive at the time do
HRH: I think when everyone wakes up there will be cranes and construction vehicles everywhere Me: Why do you think that?
HRH: 'Judgment' sounds like it has something to do with construction


At Fujiyama after trying wasabi -
HRH: What was that? Hibiscus?
Me: Wasabi. So what did it taste like?
HRH: I had a pinched tasted like fire...Hell fire. -


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baba's the Best (apparently), Babies, Burps etc.

HRH: I'm going to attack you with my vampire claws, kung fu legs, head-butting head and punching hands


HRH: What is Christmas?
Me: Well it's celebrated by Christians..
HRH: We are Christians
Me: do you say that?
HRH: Cos I want it to snow


Me: My friend was at the wedding I went to and she really wanted to meet you...will you come with me next time?
HRH: No thanks. I want to hang out with Baba.


HRH: Can I help it if I have to burp
Me: Yes of course you can. Just don't do it.
HRH: It's hard for a little kid.


On being informed HRH has forgotten all his Urdu (re: summer holiday homework)
Me: Have you forgotten all your Urdu?
HRH: No..only most of it..I know alif bay pay tay tay say jeem chay..ha-ha.


Me: Please try to behave while you are at Nano's ok?
HRH: I am outraged. How can you say this to me?


HRH: I don't want to eat anything
Me: don't have to
HRH: Are you posilutely sure?


Faisal traveling for a week -
HRH: Yay Baba's coming tomorrow!....Ammi why don't you go somewhere for a few days? Me and Baba will have fun!


HRH: How did you pick me to be your baby?
Me: We didn't pick you..Allah sent you with a stork to us
HRH: No..the nurse brought me to you.
Me: No I think the stork brought you..
HRH: Maybe the nurse threw me up in the air and Allah caught me and then sent me with the stork. Like pass the parcel.


HRH: You know mums are supposed to be panicky sometimes?
Me: Yes...
HRH: Well you are panicky all the time.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Talking Points

HRH: Who is Zardari?
Me: He's the President of Pakistan
HRH: It will be so much fun when he leaves...we will have electricity and gas again.


Faisal (panicking): Where's my phone? Help me look for it..
HRH (bored): Oh man. My parents. Always forgetting things. Especially their phones.


HRH: Am I disobedient?
Faisal: Sometimes
HRH: What is disobedient?
Faisal: When someone doesn't listen
HRH: Then I am quite disobedient


Faisal telling HRH off -
HRH: You say mean things
Faisal: Because you don't listen the first time. Should I take you to an ear doctor?
HRH: Maybe I should take you to a mouth doctor.


Faisal: Let's have dinner at the Lebanese restaurant today
HRH: Is that on the megamind floor?

(Megamind = Mezzanine)


HRH: I am stuffed of sleep
Me: That doesn't make sense
HRH: It means I'm full of sleep


HRH: I'm going to be a paleontologist when I grow up
Faisal: Will you be able to do that? Paleontologists have to be really patient and you are really impatient
HRH: I'll become patient when I grow up


HRH: I think all parents favorite words are 'No!' and 'Don't'


HRH: Why do you always threaten me about my misbehaving?
Faisal: Because that's how we get you to behave
HRH: When I grow up I will also threaten my son..when I don't have to live with you guys.


Me: Hurry up!
HRH (scowling): I'm going to tell your parents you are rude to me


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Life with HRH

School performance jitters -
HRH: You know for one minute I feel fearless and then for 10 minutes I feel shy.


Me: Why are people so daft?
HRH: Maybe because they are muddled up.


HRH: What's 'reluctantly'?
Me: That means if you aren't eager to do something but u still do it. Try using it in a sentence.
HRH: Reluctantly Ammi prayed after NanaAbu told her to.


HRH (at the top of his lungs, in the middle of a crowded restaurant): Let me tell you what the explanation of a fart is. It comes out of your bottom and has a lovely smell.


To me after being told off -
HRH: Oh man. You killed death.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Under Discussion

Me: Stop whining for God's sake and don't talk to me for the next 10 minutes.
HRH: What's the point of having a child if you don't want to talk to him?


HRH (talking about his little cousin): She liked me and Baba..but Ammi was deleted from her thoughts


HRH: Are you patient like a tiger?
Khala: Are tigers patient?
HRH: Yes...when they are waiting to pounce.


Khala: She looks like Cher
HRH: Sher who? Sher Khan?


Sulking HRH being force-fed lunch by his khala -
HRH: You are a Nazi.


HRH: I have a headache
Me (worried): Seriously?
HRH: No haha just tricking you
Me: I wish you wouldn't do that
HRH: You are a nervous wreck.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HRH on Rabies, Tennis, School & More

Me: Behave yourself or I won't bring you here again
HRH: I know you are just threatening usual.


HRH: I made potato wedgies in cooking class today.


HRH (pretending to choke): I have rubies!
Me: Rubies? U know those are gems right?
HRH: Oh what's that thing like mad cow disease you get from a dog bite?
Me: Rabies


HRH: Do u want to run a mile, jump a stile or eat a country pancake?
Me: Eat a country pancake I guess
HRH: Hahaha u want to eat a cow pat!

[Courtesy: Horrid Henry series by Francesca Simon]

During one of the French Open 2011 matches -

HRH: Who's winning?
Me: Rafa but Murray playing well too..Who do you want to win, Nadal or Murray?
HRH: Murray
Me: Why not Nadal?
HRH: If Federer isn't playing then I want Murray to win..but I'm on Fed's side.


HRH: What's soyool?
Me: Huh? That's not a word
Me: Soul? That means spirit
HRH: Don't crush my soul


HRH: I had my Islamiyat assessment today
Me: How did it go?
HRH: It was good. I got an A or a B or a C.


HRH: Today in computer class we learned to use Facebook..
Me: WHAT?!
HRH: Haha just kidding
Me: Thank you know what Facebook is?
HRH: Its for uploading pictures


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Don't yell.
Don't kick.
Don't whine.
Don't argue.
Don't punch.
Don't scream.
Don't do that.
Don't be rude.
Don't interrupt.
Don't stop chewing.
Don't make a sound.
Don't be a dinosaur.
Don't be so annoying.
Don't jump on the bed.
Don't head-butt anyone.
Don't make me say it again.
Don't lie down while eating.
Don't sit so close to the TV.
Don't pretend to have rabies.
Don't practice kung fu on her.
Don't make me come over there.
Don't talk with your mouth full.
Don't do flying jumps off the chair.
Don't make a fuss about your homework.
Don't do karate moves while having dinner.
Don't keep saying 'teapot' over and over again.
Don't say you have nits (especially when you don't).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vaccination Wackiness

There was a time when getting an injection caused no fear in HRH. Vaccination time was no big deal. Then HRH hit the age of about 4 and there was a sudden spike in the irrational fear of sharp needles.

For the past year and more, a trip to the paediatrician involves first being quizzed about what exactly will happen when you get there. First there is the 20 questions play (out of which 10 are a repetition of "Will I get a shot?", "Are you sure I won't get a shot?", "PROMISE me I won't get a shot!" and more along those lines). Initially we used to lie and say no you won't be getting an injection, even when HRH would be. That plan backfired though as it made even non-vaccination visits to the doctor, a torture.

Adopting the honesty-is-the-best-policy plan next, we started telling HRH the truth about what the doctor would be doing when we went for a visit. Unfortunately when it's time for a vaccination and HRH has been informed of the impending trip, a couple of hours before the whining begins.

"How much will it hurt?"

"How big will the needle be?" (Needle size options are demonstrated by HRH with hands being held apart between 1 to 3 feet)

"Show me how much it will hurt?" (With pleasure, I show him how much it will hurt with light pinches...really very light...)

"How long will it take to give the injection?" (Counting to 5 seconds is done to show him how long it will take, at the most. This leads to objections about how slowly I counted to 5 and to count faster).

"Where will the doctor put the needle? I want it on my arm!" (An argument ensues about how the doctor knows best and it will either be on the thigh or the bottom).

Repeat above line of questioning, for the entire time from HRH being informed of forthcoming shot to waiting for an hour or more in the doctor's waiting room to actually entering the doctor's room. Then there is a minute of crying while the injection is brought in and prepared. When the jab is over and done with within seconds, there is some sniffling and a "I was kind of brave right?"

Today's post Hepatitis B booster injection conversation went as follows:

Me: See you made a fuss over nothing
HRH: No I didn't. It hurt like a dog bite.
Me: No it didn't. Dogs have lots of sharp teeth.
HRH: It was like mad cow disease.
Me: You don't even know what mad cow disease is.
HRH: Ok then it was like a raptor's claw scratch.

With another injection scheduled in the next week or so, promises of bravery have been extracted from HRH. However, on the day itself I will be expecting the usual valour-less vaccine routine.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer of Cynicism

I hate the summer.
I hate the heat.
I hate the load-shedding.
I hate that every day we have to listen to bad news ranging from bomb blasts to journalists being tortured to death for daring to reveal the truth.
I hate the bubbles we are all being forced to live in.
I hate dreading the moment when mine will pop.
I hate that nothing will change here, not for as far as I can foresee anyway.
I hate that I really believe that now.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Grandparents are Grand

Yesterday an epic battle took place during HRH's Math revision. The second he sat down the whining soundtrack began to play.

"I don't want to do thissssss...."

"I want to take a breakkkkk..."

"I want to playyyy....."

"I am so tireddddd....."

"I am so thirstyyyyy....."

The stretching of the last letter should demonstrate how the whining went on and on and on....

Finally with nerves frazzled due to the endless sounds of misery emitting from HRH, and the final straw being the rolling off of his pencil from the desk for the 67th time, I unleashed a verbal assault.

As I continued my tirade, with each second HRH's face got sulkier and sulkier, which annoyed me more and more, and when I eventually stopped yelling, I realized I had made a grave mistake.

The mistake was to have censured the child in front of his grandparents. My parents who were witnesses to this showdown, thankfully waited silently, till he had left the room then proceeded to give me an earful of my own. It was all about being patient and calm and not yelling at him and how his self-esteem may suffer.

The funny thing is I remember being yelled at on numerous occasions when growing up and I believe my self-esteem wasn't damaged in any way. Nor have I been scarred for life.

Grandparents and their grandchildren generally speaking, share a loving, supportive and wonderful relationship that makes you the common enemy. Children have a survival instinct through which they can sense when they will find support from their nanas, dadas, nanis and dadis, and will exploit this to their own gain. On numerous occasions, when expecting a telling off from me for something wrong he has done, HRH will dash off to shelter behind a grandparent, who will grin sheepishly and signal with a shake of the head "Let him off the hook".

HRH is a lucky kid to enjoy the showering (read monsoon level) of love he receives from all our family members. At the same time I am lucky that (mostly) the grandparents keep their differences of opinion to themselves till HRH is out of earshot. While I may feel irritated by these suggestions at times, I love seeing the happiness HRH's mere presence causes among his grandparents. He seems to be the miracle cure resulting in the disappearance of all their aches and pains, which you would think had never existed at all when he rides on their backs and shoulders yelling 'Giddy up horsie!'

Monday, May 23, 2011

HRH's Taliban Analysis

Day of the PNS Mehran, Karachi attack -

HRH: Bin Laden was the boss of Al-Qaeda right?
Me: Yes.
HRH: Are they in Lahore?
Me: Well they are in Pakistan
HRH: Are they going to make me dead?
Me:'ll be okay..
HRH: I guess the Taliban are the most baddest people in the world.

Friday, May 20, 2011

5 Things I Hate About HRH's Exams

1. Implementing lockdown mode i.e. making HRH physically sit down to revise.
This involves the rising of both stress levels and voice volume, since he needs a 'break' after each sum he completes or after a couple of lines he writes, since he gets very 'tired'. Too tired to sit still and finish working, but not too tired to run around madly, jump around on all kinds of furniture, yelling during the work break.

2. Coming up with new threats each day.
These range from 'You will not be allowed to play/watch TV/use the iPad' to 'If you don't finish your work I'm going to cancel your weekend golf/going to Humpty Dumpty Playland (which I would love to do since the music on those rides drives me mad)'. Threats require a certain level of inventiveness. They need to be realistic while at the same time be creative, since issuing the same threat over and over again can become boring for both the child and yourself. After all variety is the spice of life.

3. Getting HRH back to the desk after a break.
This involves letting him know 2 minutes in advance when his 5 or 10 minute break will end. The first warning is ignored. When informed it is time to start working again, there will be an argument about how 5 or 10 minutes have not actually passed yet. There may be some truth to this as I try to cheat on a couple of minutes here and there. For someone who can't tell the time properly yet, HRH seems to know precisely to the second if his break time is being cheated on.

4. Answering unrelated questions during revision time.
HRH's philosophizing on life and the meaning of it, along with other fascinating concepts, all seem to happen in the middle of writing an Urdu essay on 'aam' or 'mera ghar'. What is it about finding out how many more apples John has (56 apples) than Sam (37 apples), that brings forth a sudden interest in my well-being with questions such as 'So Ammi tell me how was your day?' No, I'm not going to fall for that.

5. Discovering the way I am imparting knowledge is incorrect.
Me: So this is how you subtract by borrowing
HRH: No it isn't.
Me: What do you mean? Yes it is.
HRH will then show me another way of borrowing. (Who knew there were multiple ways of doing that?) After having to hear a scornful laugh along with 'You don't know anything Ammi', I am forced to concede defeat and agree that he can stick to subtracting the way his teacher has taught him.

Boo to B.O.

Time to rant. With the daily BBQ we all have to endure in the Lahori summer, the additional flavoring of B.O. can make things really unbearable.

It is understandable that some people suffering from this unfortunate affliction may not be able to do anything about it due to a lack of knowledge or resources. However, people who should know better deserve no sympathy, for there are plenty of products out there for this very purpose. These people can be found everywhere. In schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, on flights (unfortunately sitting right next to you), in supermarkets and more.

We have all come across people who enter the room and make you instantly recoil at the sudden atmospheric assault (as well as at the horror that such an odor can come from an individual who is apparently completely unaware of it). Trying to recover from the shock, holding your breath, writhing in agony internally, can be an exhausting experience (especially if aforementioned person remains in a space around you for more than a few minutes).

I humbly request all such nasal ninjas, please, if not for yourself, then for those around you, use some body freshener (for there are plenty out there) to make the environment more conducive to breathing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Too Much To Ask

I want my child to not ask me if a pile of burning rubbish we pass by is the result of a bomb; or pass by a building with broken windows and ask me if the Taliban did that; or issue threats like 'I want to sell you to Al-Qaeda'.

I want to have someone to vote for in the next election who inspires confidence and will not turn out to be an incompetent crook, like most of our 'leaders' seem to be.

I want to know what the results are of the 'investigations' that happen after a top official is assassinated or a suicide bomb goes off. Why doesn't anyone tell us anything? Is it because no one is actually investigating anything? Or is it because we are just supposed to be kept in the dark?

I want our news channels to follow up on these investigations and not just churn out tabloid journalism with screaming talk shows thrown in.

I want to know if our army really is as incompetent as it is being made out to be after the OBL episode or if it's actually playing all kinds of double/triple/quadruple mind games.

I want to not hear 5 different conspiracy theories about any event that happens.

I want to have electricity all day. I don't want to schedule my phone/laptop charging, ironing or microwave usage. I also don't want to have to dread when the power goes off at night whether it will come back on again or not.

I want someone to give me some hope that things will get better.

Since I'm 'wanting', I might as well mention world peace and a cure for cancer.

It's all too much to ask.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bedtime Bother

I hate HRH's bedtime as much as he does.

He doesn't want to sleep and I have to sit around with him until he does.

You would think an almost 6 year old would fall asleep himself. Unfortunately, he refuses to let me leave the bedroom till he's asleep. So while he fidgets around in bed, I have no choice but to sit and fume.

Typical bedtime routine post brushing teeth and lying in bed:

HRH: I'll sleep after reading my book for 5 minutes.

Me: Ok but just 5 minutes.

5 minutes later -

Me: Ok time to sleep now.

HRH: I asked Baba earlier and he said I can watch 10 minutes of TV before going to sleep.

Me: But you just spent 5 minutes reading didn't you?

HRH: Yes but I asked Baba about the TV.

Me: Fine.

10 minutes later -

Me: Ok now I don't want to hear another word. I'm switching off the lights.

HRH: Ok but I'm not sleepy at all.

Me: Just try and sleep.

2 minutes post lights off -

HRH: I'm thirsty.

Me: Your water bottle is lying next to you.

HRH: Ok switch the lights on so I can see.

2 minutes post thirst quenching -

HRH: My nose is blocked. I need Vicks.

Me (swearing under breath): Fine. I'll put some Vicks on your nose.

2 minutes post nose unblocking operation -

HRH: I'm really not sleepy.

Me: (silence)

HRH: Ammi did you hear me?

Me (silent scream of rage): I know. But you still have to try and sleep.

2 minutes post having made me acknowledge he's not sleepy -

*Sounds of rustling*

Me: What are you doing?

HRH: Nothing *sounds of things being hurriedly moved around in the dark*

I switch on the lamp to discover he has sneaked toys under his pillow earlier which he is now playing with.

Me: Will you stop playing and give me those things.

HRH: shouldn't snatch things.

Me: [refuse to be drawn into an argument (especially since he's right) while overcoming urge to throw something at him]

2 minutes after yet again settling him down -

*Sounds of wrestling emerge from his bed*

Me: Now what?!

HRH: This stupid quilt!

I turn on the lights to see him completely tangled up in the duvet.

After rescuing him from the coils of the quilt, I once again reiterate that if I hear another word from him he will be in big trouble.

HRH: Why don't you go, I'll sleep myself.

Me: Really?

HRH: Yes....I'll just read and play till I feel sleepy.

Me: I don't think so. I'll stay...JUST GO TO SLEEP!

After a few more requests ranging from 'I need to go to the bathroom' to 'I'm hungry again' to 'What does 'pitcher' mean?'/'When can I get married?'/'What's the plan for tomorrow?' and so on; eventually, at long last there is silence in the room.

This is due to HRH having fallen asleep....or both of us having fallen asleep.

Love and Live

I got married almost 7 years ago. It was in the most traditional way possible.

I had always thought there was no way I would marry anyone whom I met through a 'trolley scene' (This did not of course involve me pushing a trolley laden with tea-time goodies into a drawing room for a prospective husband, but means just that it was very much the traditional way of doing things). After all, how can you say yes I'll marry someone without knowing anything about them and just meeting them at occasions when they would be on their best behaviour?

The Parade of Prospectives began just before I graduated from university.

"What time will you be back today? So-n-so knows someone who wants to come over..."

Come over to do what? Inspect me to see if I am good enough for their beloved male offspring?

It used to make my blood boil.

I met various people in various settings arranged by various people.

Oh the stories I could tell.

There was the father of the 'boy' ('boy' being used very loosely to describe a 35 year old balding man) who asked me 'So what salary are you getting?'

Then there was the mother of her 'chand ka tukra' who wanted to know if I would stop working after getting married.

This is not leading to the logical conclusion of how much traditional trolley scenes suck (they do 95% of the time by the way).

Surprisingly, I ended up marrying someone who after I met him for all of 25 minutes, I decided was alright to marry.

A huge decision based on what exactly you may ask? During that 25 minute meeting we discussed our respective organizations mutual advertising agency and it's strengths and weaknesses.

As the visitors (not meant at all like the 'V' visitors...mostly not anyway) reversed out of the driveway and my mother cleared away the remains of the tea, I was asked 'So what should I say if they say they want to go ahead?'

I found myself saying very surprisingly and nonchalantly 'Okay.'

Faisal told me later, his mother asked him as they were reversing down the driveway 'So? What do you think?' and he said to his own surprise, just as nonchalantly 'Okay.'

As corny and cliched (and yes pass-the-bucket-worthy it may sound), that's just how it happened.

During the 6 months from our engagement to our wedding, we became the best of friends.

Today I can honestly say he is my best friend and I am lucky to have found him the way I did.

There have been countless stories of 'lowwe' marriages and arranged ones sadly falling apart down the road. There have been childhood sweethearts who after getting married have decided to go their separate ways. There have also been plenty of arranged marriages which fall apart for all sorts of reasons or (perhaps worse) last unhappily forever for a number of incorrect reasons.

The bottom line I suppose is that its all the luck of the draw.

I have been extremely fortunate to have married someone who I clicked with instantly, who I share numerous interests with and who luckily has a sense of humor and a unique maturity (I'm not saying he can't be pretty obtuse...because he can), but who ultimately is truly my soul-mate.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing of course. We have had our share of disagreements, arguments, not talking for days and more....and will continue to do so I'm sure. The happily ever after in the cartoons, movies and books don't take into account the frustrations of daily life, such as, there being no electricity all day, the child being a pain in the backside, your co-workers acting like morons or your just generally being bored and looking to pick a fight.

I sincerely hope everyone is as fortunate to find that special someone who ends up being their best friend/punching bag/therapist/cheerleader/partner in crime.

Since I can visualize the bags and buckets being passed around now I'll stop.

Faisal, this one's for you. (P.S. it's your turn to do the dishes)