Ice breaking with cousins!

You might’ve noticed that I avoid treating this blog as a diary of my daily encounters, but last night was an exception. A memoir I’d like to include. Something I’d like to go back to and enjoy re-living the memory.

Wednesday early morning, I fought the H1N1 controversies currently surrounding the world and got the H1N1 JAB, not because I’m freakin out and plan to avoid it like the plague, but because it is compulsory for those who go to Hajj, and my urge to perform Hajj (specifically this year) is stronger than my urge to avoid the vaccine! YES.. I have decided to perform HAJJ this year Inshallah (Coming soon -> Hajj-dedicated post)!

The afternoon was uneventful, just runnin’ around to prepare for THE evening ahead.

The evening was a gathering of cousins in my house. Sounds normal, casual and sorta what’s the big deal, right? Wait..wait.. let me explain. We are a huge family (Mashalla), not only that but intertwined to a great degree. My father-side cousin is married to my mom’s aunt who also happens to be the sister of my grand-mother, oh so so complicated you don’t even want to go there. The point is, it’s difficult to mingle with everyone in a family gathering (we have loads of them gatherings by the way!). What happens in all gatherings across the years is that cousins of similar ages hang out together and I’m talking about hundreds here, and we slowly miss out on the other ones, the younger specifically. We do ask about studies/work and the formal stuff every now and again, but we do not talk much about the juicy stuff if you like!

They were always there, always around us but not until one of those younger cousins got engaged, did we stop to realise that time took us by surprise! Now they’re grown-ups, they are ladies and are  getting married one by one. We’ve missed so much of their childhood, we do not want to miss out on their young adult phase. We urgently needed to break the ice, I repeat: urgently! 

Last night, we (myself and my sisters) invited 13 of those cousins. The once young and annoying (Sorry! if you’re reading this, that was when you were way younger, runnin’ around, screaming, crying and laughing out loud!), now mature ladies, aged 13 to 25, of elegance and rigid viewpoints!

In fact, they themselves had a not-so-cool image of us, they were flabbergasted when they first entered the house, seeing us fully groomed in young trendy fashion and ready to rock n roll, oh not that rock n roll, but ready to kick some fun! Lady Buth (one of the cousins) said she expected a formal dinner, everyone with their abayas on, on a dining table with plate mats and home-made dinner, obviously that was not the case!  We kicked off the gathering with some sight-seeing around my house, then random chit chats dipping nachos in rich cheese dips, jalapeno and the must-have salsa dip, gulping down popcorn in bulks and munching away chocolate bars! Then came the PIZZA! 3 large pizzas served with cheese sticks dipped in a sauce of choice (tomato or garlic – see, healthy ingredients!). Had the pizzas with chilled fizzy drinks to fizz us out even more!

Then, then, then… the serious bit starts, the GAMES! Hide and seek? No. Find the hidden object? Nope. Hang the donkey tail with your eyes shut. Nah! The games were confessional games to further break the ice and add some vibe to the gathering. The first game involved each one of us writing a personal question down, putting all questions in a bowl, each picks up a question and is forced to truthfully answer it. The game went super super good. For the second game, we had our names written on a piece of paper, folded and placed in one bowl and the same names again in another bowl. Two names are picked up at a time, those names exchange comments or things they “like” about the other. That was an eye-opener, we never knew what they thought of us, they never knew what we thought of them, so again this game went beautifully perfecto!

Junk without the sweets? A sin. We had rich red velvet chocolate cake served with frigid vanilla ice-cream, also, marshmallow chocolate (again!) cake done and brought by the cousins, the cake was as sweet as they are! The 3 course meal all in all could not get any better, or actually could not get any junk-ier, but let’s be logical here, one time won’t hurt, right? It’s not my fault if they don’t make up for it now, I suggest go for green salads, vegetables and fruits for a week to wash away the junk. E7m, I myself had more of the nachos during lunch today. So…Do as I say, not as I do!

My guests left the house at 11.30 pm, all dazzled with the amount of ice-breaking we did, very unexpected, very casual, very random. In 3 hours we managed to reveal the most discreet of life matters to each other. We managed in those hours to strengthen our bonds, to crash down the formal boundaries, to dissolve false perceptions, to achieve a level of equality and mostly to dig into each others’ lives like friends of the same age.

Whatever the ingredients of this night, it was sure a night to remember.

Family by chance, friends by choice!

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home..

where all the thinking takes place

where all the thinking takes place

My aunt was around my area at the time of prayers last week, so she called saying that she’s a 3-minutes drive to my house and is passing by to pray. In circumstances as such I thank God first and foremost, and then Linda (my housemaid) for having a home welcome to sudden guests 24/7! Otherwise, I would’ve had a panic attack, and some minor temper tantrums running from one corner to the other, making sure every piece of mess is well hidden (by that I mean; violently pushed under the bed, or forcefully shoved inside the nearest closet). With the presence of a maid, all you need to do is entertain your guest, offer some fresh fruit juice or even beg her to stay for dinner!

Linda is a blessing -most of the time, I must add- (details about Linda coming in another post Inshallah).

So yah the aunt comes in, she goes into the bathroom, one minute later, the door is wide open and I hear “Darling, you a need a new soap dispenser, this is useless, it doesn’t work” I go straight in and with a quick twist it works just fine and I say “you’ve just got to lift up a lil bit, then it’ll work”. She goes back in, I hear another shout from behind the door “Darling, the flush isn’t working”, I go “Oh for that aunty, all you need is to keep pressing and enjoy watching the junk flush away”. One last roar from the bathroom and I hear “Darling, the shower head fell down, it wasn’t fitted properly, you need to call your contractor, those people never do their job right” I go “Oh no aunty, this… Just keep it vertically straight and it’ll stay up and still”

For a moment I thought we’ve paid so much for the renovation of this house in the name of quality contemporary design and now we’ve got to deal with these unexpected itsy bitsy faults, damn! Then it occurred to me; isn’t this what we call home? When you’ve figured your way round things to work perfectly, just a twist or a pull or sometimes a pat on the item and it works just fine? Aren’t all homes like this? These quick fix-it moves become a natural habit and life goes on pretty smoothly day in, day out.

I love home…

Eight months ago, this place was barely fit for human habitation, now I’m lovin it to bits..

 

Dining area

Dining area

our relaxing space

our relaxing space

My special area

My special area

my wife, a detergent freak!

Shahrayar (my dear husband) has a contribution to my blog, do read and see what he has to say 😀

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My wife… a detergent freak!!

What can I say ?! yes, my wife is a detergent freak. The other day we went shopping and she forgot to buy her exotic shower gel. Once we were home, she found out that she had forgotten to buy one, the world gloomed in her eyes. To comfort her I said “dear, you can have a shower without a shower gel” and that’s how I found out who she truly is !!

Well, not really… I knew her pretty well by then, but she went on and on about how she can’t believe that I would suggest such a thing, and what about the germs? the sweat? the carrion?

So being a mars-ian trying to always make things better “or worse for that matter” I said “soap was probably invented as recent as two centuries ago, people had showers without soap before that and nothing happened to them!!”  well, a valid point but obviously not to her.

I, for one thing would jump once so often into the shower for a quick refreshment and not use anything but water. That – to her – was the sin of all sins. Not to dwell so much on soap, the conversation ended with me losing a point to my wife who would never, ever, ever think of having a shower without a shower gel.

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What’s your take on this matter?

5 years of togetherness

In celebration of my 5th anniversary with my very Dearest Mr.Shahrayar (just a nickname to go with Shahrazad), I thought I’ll share only “some” of my special secret recipe of marriage success, hmmm not really… Just a random note on a special day 🙂 

Before I even start to mention what we had done to make this successful, I must acknowledge and believe that no matter what we’ve striven to do in the past 5 years, it was God’s will that made us go this far, with His help with His guidance we saw light in every dark pit. “Alhamdlilah”, thank you Allah for the marriage I am in. I’ve been married to Shahrayar for 5 years now, I haven’t been granted the gift of motherhood yet, with all the sorrow that this may hold, I see a fruit with it, because it may be exactly that, that has brought me and Shahrayar close to each other. There is no one in our wee family but ourselves, we’re forced to bond :p

Marriage in many ways resembles a plant, any plant.

For a marriage to succeed you first and foremost need good foundation. The seeds you pick should be of good quality. Similarly, for marriage to succeed you need to bring together a couple who are both genuinely good. Like Allah says “the good for the good” (al6ayeboon lil6ayyebat). You bring them two together in good soil foundation; they have the tendency to grow.

Then comes the season…you cannot plant a January flower in June. Guessed it? It’s Compatibility. The couple should be compatible, mentally, emotionally, physically! In simple language = Chemistry 😉 

There’s all that, good foundation and compatibility –> marriage is the result, any marriage, but not necessarily a “successful” marriage. For a successful one you need to provide a good environment for your plant to flourish. For a plant to sustain a living it needs, oxygen, water, light and nutrition (Have I got my biology right here?)

♥ Oxygen – fresh and clean with no boundaries = love.                                                                      

♥ Water – clear and pure = trust and openness.  

♥ Light = focus on each other, let him be your no.1 priority.

♥ Nutrition = love, intimacy, passion, compassion… many of it in varied forms!

 

♥ Happy Anniversary, Happy Planting ♥

Leave me alone…

Throughout my life, you’ve tried to lure me in every possible way. You were never satisfied with your mere presence in my life, you desired more. Your masculine figure, your sleek and shiny body, your rapid fast dances, your groovy moves, they were hard to resist I admit. But I always believed that love comes from deep within, when there is chemistry, when you love unconditionally. When you talk like there is no tomorrow, when you laugh together for no reason, when an eye-contact speaks a million words, when a touch is all that it takes. I searched for exactly that within me, sorry… there was none!  There was no spark, there was no love.

It was only a one-sided love and I was never a fan of emotional trauma. I did not want you to love me in vain, I made it clear from day one that you should find someone who speaks your language, I certainly don’t. But to you, love was blind..  you translated my facial grimaces and my twitchy moves as dances that quench your thirst of me. 

Yes I was once a single lady looking for love, but I am married now and to the love of my life, my soul-mate. You don’t seem to comprehend that. Even in the presence of my husband you don’t seem to care. You follow me day in, day out.. You stalk me. Leave me alone, will you? 

Today I have the courage to tell you that you’ve pursued your dream and you’ve highly succeeded. I certainly don’t love you but you’ve managed to install your presence in my life.  You’re locked within me… I see your shadow when you’re not actually there. My life now seems to be revolved around you and only you!

But……

……….Only now, when I need you most, you’ve disappeared to no existence. I look left and right, up and down looking for you but to no avail. You’re gone…. You’re gone when I finally have the courage to confront you, I, and after many years of extreme emotional torture, have the tool to make you see, sense, hear, smell and slowly die from Pif-Paf you little cockroach 🙂

This speech is dedicated to all cockroaches on this planet who intentionally frighten the ladies of our nation! Cockroaches, I will whisper in your ear for the very last time: change has finally come because us Ladies of this era are no longer threatened by your existence, WE SPRAY…..YOU DIE!

Fruit of heaven in a Salad

I’ve just had my all-time favourite salad and since I’m never selfish, I thought I’ll share it with ya’ll ;)..

I’m into healthy eating in general, when I eat anything, my mind swirls in imagination. I imagine numerous colourful nutrients of different shapes and sizes abosrbed by the organs, ah I know! Anyway, this is a super super healthy salad and you can’t go wrong with it.

You’ll need the following (in whatever quantity you like, according to taste):

  • Rocket leaves (jarjeer in Arabic)
  • Pomegranate sauce (Dibs Al-Rumman in Arabic), Pomegranate are said to be one of the fruits of heaven. This sauce is quite strong in flavour, add a few drops if you’re not sure it suits your taste buds. You can get it in speciality shops or big supermarkets.  
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon (I put half a lemon only)
  • Black olives
  • Parmesan cheese or Feta cheese (or both!)

(I’ve seen it served with tomato dices and onion rings, yummy too!)

Mix all the liquidy ingredients (add a few drops of water if it’s too thick) and gently pour over your rocket. Sprinkle your olives and cheese on top, and that’s you! 

Take my word for it, delicious and the best of all is that it’s also healthilicious..