Ramadan Kareem.

July 31, 2011

Today’s Gulf News Tabloid’s cover page caption is: Switch On… Your Guide to the hottest Post-Iftar shows on TV this Ramadan.

So you fast full day, without even a sip of water, and as soon as you break your fasting, get your remote, switch on the TV and get the hottest shows! Isn’t that the most ‘spiritual’ way to end your fasting? No wonder the condition of Muslims around the world are so pathetic!

A Ramadan Kareem to all Muslims around the world.  Let us hold the spirit of this Ramadan through out the day, week, month, year and our life.

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Welcome to Ramadan

July 31, 2011

Phew…. It was a very busy weekend. With Ramadan at our doorstep, we didn’t want to postpone the cleaning again. Chose Friday for the Ramadan shopping and Saturday for the cleaning. We didn’t want to break the cleaning process in between, so we thought it would be better to do it on Saturday, ‘coz we had Jumua prayers on Friday.

Back in India, we used to do the cleaning on Sha’abaan 15th. Its a ritual over there. Some people fast on that day, but I think that’s against Prophet’s (PBUH) sunnah. People clean their houses, clothes and cooking utensils and they stack the food needed for Ramadan. In remote villages, they make rice flour, corriander powder, chilly powder etc themselves. So, welcoming ramadan is a week long festival.

We started our shopping after lunch. Shopping during evenings on weekend was out of question, shoppers will be hustling over the place. So we chose a less busy time, just after lunch. You don’t have to remind yourself  its ramadan, you will see it all over the place. ‘Ramadan Kareem’ boards hang everywhere, in parks, mosques and all public places. Ads starting with ‘its Ramadan…’ or ‘try your luck in Ramadan…’ or ‘Welcome Ramadana with….’ are all over the places. At the shop, there were special ‘Ramadan’ offer, ‘Ramadan’ snacks and ‘Ramadan’ food court. I wanted to take a ride through those special ‘Ramadan’ places, but due to the lack of time, Hubby refused with a big NO. Dates and drinks decorated the entrance of the shop.  Aisha was excited when she saw the colorful l-e-ds flashing and laser light dancing inside the shop. With the Ramdan so much consumerized, we didn’t have to ponder over what to buy and were able to make a quick shopping. As usual, Aisha became very annoyed in her stroller by the end of the shopping. 

Saturday began earlier than any weekend begins. Started with the kitchen, where we had to clean so many shelves, throw away expired food items and change old containers with new ones etc etc. We took turns in cleaning, me and hubby doing the cleaning while hubby’s brother S baby sitting Aisha, then S and hubby cleaning while me tending Aisha, and then me and S cleaning while hubby looks after Aisha. Each time I sit with I Aisha, I thought cleaning was better and when I started cleaning, I thought looking after Aisha was better. The other shore always felt greener. Aisha was thrilled, with the home no more baby proof. She slithered all around the place, and the baby sitter had a tough time! Cleaning, washing, sweeping and moping… (I’m not a Cinderella!), by noon everyone was very tired and hungry, although we had snacks in between. We ordered a chicken biriyani (cooking was already banned on cleaning day) and dug into it. S and hubby took a long nap after that, but I had much trouble to put Aisha to sleep, as she never sleeps during those hours. By 4 o’clock, she too fell asleep, after which I slept.

I thought Ramadan would arrive on Sunday, after all the work, I was like, eager to welcome Ramadan, but the night news said it would be on Monday. Well, it seems I’ve one more day to do the finishing works for welcoming Ramadan. Priority for washing the clothes. With much thought about fasting while lactating, I’ve decided to fast. I pray that everything goes fine for me and Aisha. Ameen.

Last Friday my cousin sister’s (S) husband (H) died. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’oon.

That was a shocking news, because H was a young and healthy man (as far as I knew). He was a teacher.

*Cemetery

*Cemetery

As expatriates, death always is a loss to us. We can never get a last glimpse of the persons who were once part and parcel of our life.  We can never be there, physically, to console the family of the deceased, who were there to share our happy and sad moments. We can never share our loss with our loved ones. We have to comfort ourselves, and bear the grief ourselves. We are alone.

Death is a double loss when it comes unexpected. Like that of H. When the old and/or sick persons die, we expect it to happen. We visit them when we go home for vacation. We know that sometimes, that will be the last time we see them. Even though it brings grief when they are gone, still, we can control ourselves a little.

On friday, after Jumu’a prayers, Hubby S came home chatting on his phone. I was putting Aisha to sleep, so I didn’t ask him about the call. After Aisha slept, when I went to him, he asked me, “Do you have a cousin BIL called H?”

Me: Yes, why, what happened?

S : Your cousin P called me now. He said H died.

Me: H died? But how can that happen?

(I even forgot to say Inna lillahi… (surely to Allah we belong and to Him we return), which we say when something bad happens or when we hear a bad news, esp of death)

S : What do you mean?

(It was then I got it, H has died. Anyone can die any moment. But H… he was a young energetic man, a teacher, always active and enthusiastic. He was also an active member of the Islamic organisation, KNM or Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen in Kerala, India. With so many humanitarian and Islamic events to organize  and with a busy academic year, he was always hustling around. I never thought he could die so fast.)

Me: Ok…, ok. What did he die of? Any illness or accident?

S : P said of some internal bleeding, he is not sure though. Better call home to get the details.

*Muslim coffin

*Muslim coffin

Well, death is always near to us. Just don’t know who will be next. But I wish I could be there, to see the loved ones for a last time. To pray for them. To console their family.  But I’m here, sitting alone, pondering about it all. I don’t know who all will leave me again. And I don’t know when I’ll leave them, where it will be. I don’t know if they can get a last look at me. Allah knows everything.

May Allah forgive H his mistakes and gather H and us in His Jannah, Ameen.

 

* Photos for illustrative purpose only. Photo courtesy: Google.

Friendship

July 17, 2011

Yesterday, one of my hubby’s friend called him. That was after 23 long years. They (hubby, hubby’s twin brother and this friend) studied together in ninth standard, and then both of them changed their schools. After that it was yesterday when they contacted again. They got the contact details from FB, thanks to FB.

I heard them asking question like, “Did you become fat?’ and “How many kids? Are they naughty like you?” etc etc. That really brought me into tears and smiles.  I wonder if I’ll get such a call from any of my friends, whom I haven’t heard of for a couple of decades. I too got many long-lost friends through orkut and FB, but it wasn’t after a long time gap. May be after 10 or 15 years. I got in touch with many of my school friends.

Hubby says, his friend , who is in KSA now, will come to meet him and his twin bro. Isn’t that great? Re-union after 23 years.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Don’t buy me everything I ask for. If you do so, I’ll never learn to face miseries and disappointments in my life. Sometimes I’ll be obstinate, I’ll shout, roll  on the floor in a public place. But never submit yourself to my persuasion. You know if you should buy it for me. Think twice before selecting things for me.

Sometimes you do opposite to what you say, making me confused. Please keep to your words and don’t always change your opinions about certain matters. If so, you will never teach me to take bold decisions.

Don’t always scold me. I will listen to you and obey you when you ask me to do anything. Scold me only when necessary.

Keep your promises whenever you make one to me.

Always correct my mistakes or I’ll repeat them. I’ll also believe that nothing will happen if I do something wrong.

Don’t compare me with other kids. It will make me sad and less confident. You know that every child is special with different abilities. Why do you want me to do as other kids do? Why do you want to prove I’m an idiot?

At the age of eighteen, if I still keep asking you, “Mom, which dress should I wear for the party?”, then its your fault. Don’t do everything for me. 

Don’t point out my mistakes in-front of my friends. Why do you want to hurt my feelings? Explain to me about my mistakes when I’m alone with you. Why do you create a chance for my friends to laugh at me?

Every son of Adam is a sinner, including you. Then why do you shout at me for my mistakes? Why don’t you lower your voice and choose a peaceful method to explain to me about my mistakes? I like it that way, and I’ll listen and understand you more. Moreover when you shout, I understand that shouting is a good habit. I too will start to shout.

Don’t lie in my presence. Don’t ask me to say “Dad not at home” in a phone when you are at home. You will make me lose respect and faith in you. When you take a false sick leave from your office to watch the cricket or football final, you teach me how to stay away from school for a day or two.

Confess when you do mistakes. Saying sorry to us isn’t wrong. It will teach us to confess our mistakes.

Don’t prevent us from our small mischiefs. What is the difference between adult and child if it is not for our mischiefs? Let us enjoy our childhood.

Treat me as friend when I reach my teens. This will help me bond closer to you. I’ll open up my mind to you if you are open with me. Don’t always treat me as a baby. I love your friendship.

Never ever fight in my presence. I need a tranquil and happy life. I have my own tensions, and I don’t want to take yours into it. If you need an argument, do it when I’m not at home or when I’m sleeping.

Don’t compel me to be the first one in everything I do. Make me understand that participation is better than achievement. Teach me to use the maximum of my ability. Everyone cannot be a winner. Show me that ways to enjoy life. Make me apt to face failures so that I can make my failures the stepping stones to success. Or else, a failure will double my distress and will decrease my confidence into half.

Explain to me about your income or expenditure. If you don’t teach me to maintain a budget, I’ll never have any savings left. As I said, don’t buy everything I ask for.

With love,

Your Kid.

(NB: Slightly adapted. Indebted to an article from the Malayalam news paper Mathrubhumi.)

Rainbow

July 3, 2011

God gave me some rain,

And then some sunshine.

Now I’ve got a rainbow,

To color all my life!