Monday, March 31, 2008


What the f*!$ (bleep)

I have these wtf moments in my life.

You know...
-You stub a toe.
-Are hit smack dab in the face with reality.
-See something amazing and phenomenal.
-Realization strikes.
-And so on and so forth....

Well I've been thinking. A very popular pastime with me, thinking, but I digress. Ahem. I've been thinking. I am reframing my Wtf "?" moments with Wtf "!" moments.

You see Wtf "?" implies unexpectedness and negativity. Wtf "!" implies, unexpected but Wtf! lets-make-lemonade-while-we-do-have-lemons-ness.

It is a completely and positively re-framed wtf.
Laura Veach would be so proud of me!


LMAO funny!!!!

My Beau's anathema
My "ohmigoshIcan'tbelieveImadeafriendonlinethatIcansorelateto"!!
My blog readers most requested comment expert
My mom's "how sweet of her to call to make sure you were okay?"
And last but certainly not least

Love having you in my life...

Gotta say, the day we made contact was a F!@#$%' GREAT day! (I know... I know... but in my defence- I typed it, looked at it, capitalized it, and then deleted it... :P)

Sunday, March 30, 2008


My daughter's drawing of what I look like while I am on my laptop downstairs. I sat at my kitchen table across from her, and today she drew me peeking over the monitor at her sweet face! (Yes... it is a Sony Vaio!)

I danced with her in my arms, to this one...
Her response, "I felt like I was flying!"

Meda Ishq vee toun..

"meda ishq vee toun... meda yaar vee toun... meda jism vee tu, mera ruh vee tu, meda kibla, kaaba... masjid, mimbar... qura,an vee toun..."

Subhan Allah.... kya shaeri... It tugs at my heart, fills me with longing. Generates understanding, and is thought provoking. It leaves me feeling both unfulfilled and satiated at the same time. It makes me want to get up and dance and chant along like a malang lost in myself. I have a zillion feelings bubble and spill over... and achieve lives of their own and dance before my eyes like separate entities and yet still stay connected to me. I feel a linking of souls with someone who listens to this with me, because in that moment they and I are there in that elevated plane of existence as part of something shared and greater than the mundane everyday.

Saraiki is such a delicate language. The nuances of it cannot be translated.
The poetry of my people.

I was at a friend's house last night, and he had selected some choice ghazals to play for me, choicest among which was this one. I have always loved this piece and yet never knew who had originally sung it. I have heard Abida Parveen perform it, but Mian Pathanay Khan is in a class by himself...

Thank you Saadi, for this gift!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Square One...

Shimmy, shimmy, quarter turn... take it back to square one!

Ahhh.... my life! What do I do with it? And I'm back at square one. With what seems like a mountain of hurdles in my way, here I am yet again. I used to run track. I won gold and bronze at the SAAF games once. That is until my trainer thought I would be good at hurdles. The thing is I have never been very good at hurdles. I trip and fall and hurt myself. I've been there and done that this past week already. And yet square one is where I'm at. I must be a fool. What am I doing? Why am I doing this? You say you have faith. How come you have faith? You say you believe... tell me how can you be so sure?

It seems like I am plummeting at a zillion mph, your uphill record is 17 mph! Babe it's uphill here all the way. What are we doing? What makes you think we've got what it takes?

Shimmy, shimmy quarter turn, I feel like I will never learn!
Shimmy, shimmy quarter turn, Take it back to square one!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Ever felt unsure? Restless...? With the mind churning and yet unable to focus on a single thought? Your every thought consuming... of them. A feeling of getting so close that you fear you may lose yourself in someone? Ever felt vulnerable? Ever felt confused? Ever felt that you need to run so fast just so you can be still? Ever had your past come crashing into your present? Ever felt like your present just did not realize that it had to hold on to you so tight so you would not get lost in the past? Ever felt like you had to be needed. More than anything else. Right now. Right this moment. Ever felt that if this moment was lost that there would never be another quite like it? Ever felt that time was passing by, but the person had far too many commitments. Ever felt that the "one" in your life was letting everyday get in the way of making memories with you. Ever felt that they did not see it? Ever felt that they lost precious moments? Ever felt that they were so intent on getting somewhere with you that they just forgot to be there with you, right now, right this moment? Ever felt that they lost you over and over again- while you sat by helpless and wished they would not? That they would just reach out and get you. Ever felt that they missed a moment when you were there 100%... only they were not there to see you there, because they were elsewhere, when they should have been here with you. Ever felt like if they were here you would be theirs just for the asking. Yet because they are not... the moment passes... Ever felt that?

Have you ever felt that?

(the picture is one I sketched just a few moments ago...)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yesterday... Champagne Supernova ...Birthdays...and new traditions!

Days go past, time rolls on, people come and people go and yet some faces- precious to us... last through time and linger on. Loves are lost. Friendships made. Faces stay and our roles change. Those whom we could have loved- who knows, perhaps we even loved... last the test of time. From almost lovers to great friends. New roles we take. And then again some thoughtful moments, starlight in a park on a blanket can make you wonder, what exactly happened there? How on earth did we get here?

Champagne Supernova...

(Supernova- A rare celestial phenomenon involving the explosion of most of the material in a star, resulting in an extremely bright, short-lived object that emits vast amounts of energy.)

Some relationships are like supernovas- rare, beautiful, extremely bright, emitting vast amounts of energy but short lived. How poignant. Especially in the context of He and I. I could not help but wonder as I lay down and gazed up at my very own champagne supernova...

Blackbird fly... you were only waiting for this moment to be free...
Champagne bubbles, chinese food, picnics in the park, serenades just for me, golden sunsets, starry sky, beautiful friendships, you and I.

I had a fabulous time darling!
Hello to the penguin...
Same stuff next year.

Lazy Saturday Afternoons... being in love... and "Falling Slowly"

I love lazy Saturday afternoons... laying out in the sun and rolling in the warm afternoon grass. Thinking of loves... and times past, present and those yet to come... Days like these make it easy to see how truly fabulous it is to be alive.

The first feeling of "falling slowly" in love is the most exquisite one. There is the innocence and freshness and anticipation. Times when you just have to see the other. Now. Waylay them...Lure them away from other commitments and engagements simply for the bliss of being with them. Even though you just saw them a few hours ago... you never seem to be able to get enough of them. That feeling is just compounded and amplified with the glorious sunny weather of a new spring- when everything is just beginning to bloom again after the long, cold winter. Hearts that have been numb are warmed again and burst into song with happiness and excitement.

MS to MP
Oh behave...(6)
And please do protect yourself!

PS: Parents were great. Dad was in the bag within the first few minutes... and Mom, well let's just say I think she liked me.... but then is there ever a mom who loved the woman her son loves, the first time she met her? 1 out of 2 ain't bad!

The HUN loves moi and that, darlings, is that!
Enough said.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Meeting the parents...

What is it about meeting the parents of the "hun" in your life that can render even the most self assured person unsure. Maybe it is the "I-hope-they'll-love-me-ness" or "will-I-love-them-ness" or even the notion of being put on show for approval... it leaves one feeling flustered. What shall I wear? How should I sit? Where should I sit? What should I say? What should I not say? What gift to bring? Sigh..... Too many questions and no right or wrong answers.

I guess the best one can do is be themselves and let come what may. It certainly does not help the churning in the mind. But at least it leaves control freaks with (some?) control.

Deep breath. Sigh......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I bawled today... like a baby, at length, in front of people! The crux of being a counselor in training is the excessive self evaluation that one must suffer through. I am exhausted most days and yet the torrent of awareness seems to be never ending. I am not one to be emotionally demonstrative in public. The Brit in me takes care of that. It is therefore quite perplexing that I felt no shame in today's display.

On the contrary, I felt a remarkable sense of peace. My mind lay still. Normally I need to jump out of a plane at 18000 feet and plummet to the ground to experience that state of extreme peace and emptiness while being completely aware and present. I felt so good.

Which make me wonder... what is strength? Remaining stoic and composed while your world is falling apart around you. Or having the courage to say, "Here I am, this is what I am dealing with and I am doing the best I can."

Today, in the midst of my tears I felt strong. I was also terrified. But this is my growth. In the words of my friend Cathy, "The bulb spends a majority of time under the earth where it appears that nothing much is happening- but there is... and when it finally blooms, the progress is there for all to see." That my friends is growth.

I generally feel that I am a most flawed human and have a hard time affirming my successes... but today a friend said to me, "I don't see you as a mess. I see someone who has made significant progress". Interesting that I need to view myself through the eyes of others in order to see myself. I can see others clearly, but am completely blind when it comes to me. I will take my friends' point of view at face value and say I believe you. Because today, I too saw my strength. Not in the composed, withheld and stoic way, but rather in an honest, real and vulnerable way.

I was strong today.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I am a FLFT! (pronounced flif-fit)(said really fast) :)
It is an acronym created for and by me. It implies a "Finger Licker Food Toucher!"
The origin of the acronym is in the aftermath of a trip to a coffee-shop after dinner for dessert with some friends of mine. Among the friends was a lot of Czech "goodness", and an unsuspecting law student.

Now, I am impartial to dessert. I enjoy salty foods and can never grasp the idea of sweet stuff (I am missing a sweet tooth...hmmm... Oh well I am sweet enough as it is .... :P) for breakfast especially. You wake up... you are hungry... you need real food... filling food... of the salty kind... you know... forget the pancakes and tarts... have omelettes and potatoes and meat! But I wander off the actual topic! (I am an ENFP!) (I shall explain about that one another time too)(Focus Shahnaz!)

Anyway... what was I saying? Oh yes... FLFT. And the origin of it. So Myself, Czech Goodness and Law student go to a bar, er... coffee-shop! (I've been listening to too many "a priest, a Rabbi and a monk enter a bar jokes!) Moving on- We go to this coffee-shop after dinner, before the ball, for dessert. The other two order coffee and dessert, I BTW order milk (again... another story :S). So we order and sit down. Now Check Goodness gets the brownie and Law Student- he gets the molten lava cake. I sit by and purr and sip on my milk.

In time, I lean over and (very unconsciously) scoop off a little icing off Czech Goodness's brownie and proceed to lick it off my finger. It tastes great and I proceed to do it again. Czech Goodness's eyes by this time are getting extremely large and she is getting quite miffed. Being polite she holds her tongue. I next proceed to lick off the second scoop off my finger as well and attack Law Student's cake. That lava cake was good! He gets a little startled (or so I was told). I meanwhile am completely oblivious to the general angst surrounding me at this table, and shamelessly continue with this behavior.

At some point, Czech Goodness could take it no longer and sputters out something along the lines of "Will you desist in licking your fingers! And my food! In that order!!"- in as polite a Czech Goodness way as she can. Law student (a placater) sits silent and uncomfortable. I believe I giggled at this point. Even more miffed Czech Goodness proceeds to give me a play by play of my Finger-Licking-Food-Touching behavior.

I am deeply surprised! I wasn't even aware of it. Hmmm. Yup. I am a FLFT. Not only that- yesterday Czech Goodness informed me that I also never ask to try some one's food. She was having biscotti. I said, "I want some of that" and proceeded to break off a piece. I liked it. I said, "I want some more of that!" Repeat!


At dinner one night, I informed my date, "If I like your food more than mine... I am most definitely going to take yours." It was a statement. I figured if I give fair warning, they know what they're getting into with me. Needless to say I did eat theirs.

The funny thing is, it works for me. Czech Goodness totally loves me! Even though she sputters! (You know you do!) And "date" actually asked me out again! Hmmm.

I am a FLFT.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Surprises and little joys in life....

Orange popsickles, mushrooms in the grass after the rain, sunny afternoons, running around in bare feet, splashing in puddles, dancing in the rain, kittens nuzzling my neck, body rolls down the hill, climbing trees, hot fudge, fish and chips and mudpies....When I was a little girl these things gave me joy.

I don't know how, I don't know when... but it happened. One day I grew up.

Now I am still blessed for the surprises and little joys in life that still come my way. A friend sent me this little song and it completely made my day!

I am so grateful to all my dear ones for the joy that they bring to my life...

>for the photos from New York and sunsets just for me
>for notes and e mails and heart to heart soul searching chatter- the kind that I love, the kind that I crave
>for gifts of praise when I am feeling low down and so unsure
>for patience and understanding
>for caring and love
>for all of you

You make life beautiful.


Something my dear friend sista said reminded me of my Tao. Wu- means without, empty, nothing. The concept is to allow yourself to be empty. To simply be. To accept and exist. It is a concept in conjunction with Wu Wei... without action. Think of the trees, they grow without "doing". And thus must we simply exist without "doing". To experience complete peace we must be empty and embrace Wu Wei. It is not in our control. Simply BE.

Once we "BE", realization comes... truth comes... growth comes...

I have a pet rock. And in my turbulent times, I watch it grow... It has been ages since I have pulled it out to watch it grow. I think I almost forgot my rock, until just now. There is need for it again. I have a rock. I watch it grow. It teaches me peace. It teaches me patience. It teaches me acceptance. It teaches me truth. It teaches me to be empty. And once I am empty... in the words of my sista, I can be filled.

Much love to you sista for reuniting me with my Tao.
Be at peace Anonymous... just BE... it will be as it will be.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The dark side...

Hello old friend,
'tis you again.
I vowed I'd change,
but I'm here once more.
I get it all,
and one more time...
Toss it all away.
If only I wouldn't.

I say it's you,
your flaws,
my standards,
won't ever compromise.
And all the while
it sits in wait...
hungering for me,
The Dark Side!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


"Bad-e-Mukhalif say ghabra na ae ukaab...Yeh to chaltin hain tujhe uncha uraanay kay liyay" (Allama Iqbal)

Translation: Fear not the winds of opposition oh eagle... They blow only to make you soar ever higher.

My friend Mustafa Saad passed on this little pearl of wisdom to me today, in response to my self disclosing certain drawbacks I was facing. His words came to me at a time when I find myself struggling with several hurdles in life. I called him yesterday to seek clarity, but truth be told there is no one who can give us clarity. That has to come from within. And so it did come to me. Yet in its wake it left a hole. Which makes me ignorance bliss? We seek answers to obtain clarity, with clarity comes awareness and with awareness often more hurdles.

And yet those hurdles challenge us and we rise above them. Just like the process of self awareness... we must walk the dark tunnel of reality before we emerge into the light of complete acceptance. To truly soar we must first face the challenge. To win his Camelot, Arthur did first have to earn his spurs.

Had I not faced adversity, would I be thus strengthened?
Had I not erred, would I have this learned?
Had I not fallen, would I know how to get up?
Had I not broken, would I have seen healing?
Had I not dropped, would I ever have soared?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Selfish or Selfless?

If I do not love me can I love you?

I must admit that in responding to anonymous, my friend anon sista did make me think long and hard on "selfless love".

I've been there. It sucked. I wanted more. So I say no more selfless love for me. I want selfish love. Love that says I love me and I love you. In loving me I am loving you. In loving you, you love me too because I love you and all who love you.

I want to be selfish in love. It proves to me that I value my love. Both that given and that received. Love me as I am or not at all. Love all of me or non at all.
I am me. I always will be.

So anon sista, I feel you...

Selfish love!
I love it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
- C.S. Lewis

The Exquisite Burden of Living...

When the fall happens,
What is there to do but get up again....

When the heart is made numb,
What is there to do but keep on breathing...

When faced with fate,
What is there to do but accept it...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Supreme "ISHQ"

For my Urdu readers...

Tujhsey ishq kiya,
Ye jurrat ki.
Tujh ko patay hi...
Apnay app ko kho diya.
Jo paya phir khud ko mainay,
To tujhe kho diya.
Na hoti mai...
To tu hota...
Na hoti mai...
To ishq hota.
Gar ishq, ISHQ hota...
Na tu hota,
Na mai hoti,
Bas ISHQ hota...
tu ISHQ hota
mai ISHQ hoti
Aur kuch na hota
sirf ISHQ hota


I sat at night with a friend under the open sky. As raindrops fell we talked.... about life, choices we'd made, and hopes and dreams. And like those infinite raindrops gently falling, softly caressing our faces, we let our words fall... truthfully liberating ourselves, deeply understanding each other. We were at peace. The feel of rain falling on my skin is, incidentally, one of the most intense experiences....right up there with falling (read jumping) out of a plane at 18000 feet.

The elements "au naturale" provide me with a bigger high than any drug ever could!

...I once missed a shuttle and consequently my flight... because I was mesmerized by the falling snow and so engaged in trying to catch one flake on my tongue and one on my nose in succession...(my daughter won that one!). The delicate sculptures floated daintily in the fairies and angels at play. It was the first time I had ever seen snow falling.

...I once completely missed my friend's house because of a full moon. A blue full moon to be exact. So distracted was I, by the moonlight ensnared in my eyes nothing else mattered to me at that moment. Except the beauty. The ecstasy of that experience. Two miles and a half later I turned back when I realized I had gone right past the house.

...I once stood in the midst of the majestic Rakaposhi mountains. Silenced in awe of the grace and might of them. Silenced in honor of their timeless knowledge and presence. Silenced because I was humbled by their size. Silenced because they knew so much... they had "been" so much longer and "seen" so much more. Silenced because the experience was overwhelming. Silent- as tears streamed down my face... because I saw the face of God in them.

...I once walked past a park and was overcome with the urge to feel the grass under my bare feet. I took off my shoes and gloated in the texture of the green, dewy moist, soft blades crushed beneath my feet. The tickling sensation as the stubborn stalks sprang back into shape when I lightly lifted my feet.... I finally arrived for my appointment, 30 minutes late... with green stained feet inside my pumps. Elated and happy.

...I once stood in front of the ocean in a storm. While winds raged, and waves crashed and the sky darkened and people ran helter, skelter into shelter. I stood still. I stood alone. In complete harmony with myself and the elements. The storm that raged within me was echoed and validated by the storm that raged without. The crash of thunder was the sound of my soul in torment. The battering raindrops were my tears that would not fall. The crashing waves were my desires that could not be unleashed. The overcast sky was my pain...suffocating. Through that storm I stood still. Shivering and drenched. Completely at peace. Completely understood. When it was done a few hours later I walked back to my hotel. My catharsis- my storm.

...I once stood in the vast desert in the moonlight. In the silver sands I danced to my own rhythm, my own song, my own drums. I was myself, just another element that night.

The elements...nature...raindrops...and me. I am them and they are me.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I corrupted and converted a friend to the "other side" recently. The pleasures of living in the moment cannot be denied. The joys of abandoning all responsibility... to simply be...with you, with me.

Rumi speaks of complete abandon, to be drunk on the wine of the divine, to live for love, to be... to exist only for your beloved. In Rumi's case, the divine is the beloved. To lose oneself in any manifestation of love is to be with the divine. Love for the mother, child, brother, lover... all are manifestations of the divine love. Our gift from the supreme to us. The one emotion that is celestial in its purity and thus keeps us connected to our heavenly place from whence we fell..that once upon yonder time....

What is it then that keeps us from letting go? To abandon ourselves to the galloping, swarming, engulfing crescendo of that emotion? To forever keep another at arm's length, fearful of the intensity of the emotions they create in us?

Whenever one soars to the sky and beyond there shall always be a return to earth. One must after all alight from flight for a brief respite- one cannot after all soar forever high. Yet what of those who have slipped and like falling stars incinerated themselves in the very flames of passion that gave them wings. What is their fate to be? Shall they ever climb up the sheer cliff face to observe the breathtaking view and promise it holds? Shall they forever stay looking at the cliff... fearful to climb and yet wishing they could? Shall they gather enough courage to make the climb and then all they do is stand in awe of the beauty that they witness is theirs... just for the taking, yet never have the courage to reach out and take it. Can they...will they.... have the courage, to close their eyes and lean forward, to tip over and dive, plummet, fall headlong into love?

Can you... Will you...soar into oblivion with me? Can I... will I.... take the plunge with you?

(Alka Seltzer settings.... the past, the present, the truth and the future.... your understanding, your patience, your presence, and me...)