January 23, 2016

A few minutes after I finish hand-washing a load of laundry thanks to a just-gone-bust washing machine and head to the kitchen to attack them dishes while the baby is (finally) asleep, a plaque from my past taunts me from the wall. "The Queen" it says, "Doesn't Cook".

From rani to 'nauk'rani.


Such is life.


September 17, 2015

Another day, another story. At the rate I'm going my book will pretty much write itself, I had said. A long, long time ago.

On September 16, 2013, I wrote this. And I got a lot of helpful advice from friends and readers. I got a comment or two, an email or ten and had many conversations that resulted from this latest episode of rishta-boy-insanity. While most of them warned me against embroiling myself in a situation that ran the risk of yet more disasters, others told me not to take anything at face value and to decide for myself. Yet more told me to go ahead... if nothing else this new development would make for good writing fodder - which is, ofcourse, what all fledgling authors are on the look out for.

Frankly all of the helpful advice-givers could have saved themselves the trouble. Truth is, our first three-hour-long phone conversation - ironically prompted by the many-warnings-against - might have been the catalyst that sealed my fate.

So I came down to Seattle, prepared to to do many things as an extension of a fun-filled and much deserved US vacation. I intended to: befriend the bad-guy, explore an anthropological mystery (and assuage my curiosity in the process) and catch up with old friends.

What I was not prepared to do, however, is fall madly, utterly, completely in love. And not the kind of love I had ever felt before, but a feel-it-your-bones, I-accept-you-for-good-bad-beautiful-and-ugly kind of love.

The kind of love that makes you put aside the-new-job-with-the-fancy-title and stay on an extra couple of days in Seattle even though you spent the past three weeks searching for the perfect suit to wear to the first day of work in DC.

The kind of love that makes separation a gnawing ache in your tummy that just refuses to go away. The kind of love that rivals what you feel for your parents, your siblings - frankly anyone else you know in this world - and then one-ups it.

The kind of love that makes you feel like you're raw, and exposed and - for the first time in your life -  feeling something very much like regret that there was a life-before and there might yet possibly be a life after.

The kind of love that longs for things unknown and is terrified as much of a future-together as a-life-apart.

And that's just what was going on in my side of the universe. What happened in his conflicted world is yet another long story.

I really didn't expect to  get married a few months later. But even as I handed in my resignation, raced against time to put together a Pakistani-wedding-multiple-event-extravaganza, had more than a few wedding-dress-woes and committed myself to a man I knew so-very-well, yet not-well-at-all, I knew deep down inside (where all truth resides) this this is what I really wanted. And despite the huge changes that came with this decision - unemployment, moving away from family and friends-who-were-family, living life in a country both familiar and strange, this was what I was meant to do.

Two years, and a baby, later I still feel exactly the same. That for good or bad, better or worse, in sickness and in health this man who I met and loved so utterly and instantly was destined for me, as I was for him. That I love him more than I can ever express, in words or in deed. And that despite the doubts that may have cropped up once-upon-a-time, I made the smartest decision in my life when I flew down to Seattle, and opened my heart to love. 

May 10, 2015

Not just any day, certainly not every day, but every once in a while you realize that among the many lessons that growing  up teaches you, the most pressing is the irrevokability of life decisions. When you're younger (or just young-at-heart), jumping off cliffs seems like the thing to do. Everything feels like it's relatively simple. All you have to do is close your eyes, take that jump and let the future take care of itself. Because, frankly, you've never come across a situation that you can't walk away from. And with change being the only constant that you have known, it never occurs to you that a day will come when you wake up with a realization that 'this-is-my-life'. And whether you like it or not, everything in it is something you have to live with. Gone are the days when you could just pick up your (inconveniently-green) passport, have a visa stamped (or not, depending on where you decide to go) and catch a plane to-some-other-place. Gone are the moments when escape from your life had no consequences whatsoever - because, let's face it, who were you leaving behind? Gone are the days when your decisions had no impact (or none that you cared about at any rate) on anyone but you.

Gone are the days when you lived for no one but you.

And if you're honest with yourself, this is what you always wanted. Someone to belong to. Someone who belongs to you.

It's just days - like today - when you wake up to the spine-chilling awareness that whether you like it or not, there's nothing you can do about it. Contrary to past life events there's no 'k-thanks-bye' that you can say while you happily wallow in self-created life dramas and then move on to the next chapter.  Truth is after talking about it for most of your life, you've gone and done it. You've jumped off that cliff.

Whether you fall, or fly, is really up to you.

March 16, 2015

eclipse everything-else
softly murmurs
(somewhat apologetically)

I used to be important too

February 23, 2015

It's been a strange year. Relocation, job-less-ness, a transition to a completely-different kind of life. Not strange in a bad-kind of way, just 'strange'. Sometimes I wonder if any of us completely understand the consequences of decision-making until they are living them. But then I realize that knowing the unknowable is an exercise in futility-frustration best left to political pundits and religious zealots. Me, I've never really had a tendency to look before I leap - and so far this obsessive need to jump off cliffs and hope for a happy landing has served me well. And life - life becomes what I choose to make of it. And to tell you the truth, life is pretty-damn-good :)

How're you doing?

February 21, 2015

A year (and something) of marriage later, I realize that one of the repercussions is that I seem to have forgotten how to be alone. I've forgotten, I think, the years I spent waking up to only myself. Time spent, for example, with a single cup of coffee (or hot chocolate, actually make that hot chocolate), my laptop, a book and my thoughts. I've forgotten, I think, how to live happily inside my own head without the incessant need to share every little thing with someone else. I've forgotten that amidst the crazy-busy-talkative hours of my work-life, one of the smallest - but surest - pleasures lay in 'not' communicating.

I've forgotten, I think, how to spend quality time with me.

And I miss that.

February 12, 2015

Dear Religion (et al),

You impress me not. And depress me much. And make me wonder how many others out there appreciate the irony that the very force that insists on prescribing the formula for human-salvation is most certainly a key ingredient in the recipe for assured-destruction.

Just saying.

- Me 

October 14, 2014

September 12, 2014

I am a cucumber.

I think.

Why, you ask?

Why, not.

I say.