February 25, 2009

Bridal Makeup in America

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 3:21 am by Marigold

For those of you who’ve gotten married in America, what did you do for your hair and makeup needs for your wedding day? I’ve seen the job desi salons do here and it’s hideous, to say the least. I don’t trust desi salons here… what are some of the other options? Thanks!

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Time or lack thereof

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:50 am by Marigold

I miss you guys. I really do. But I haven’t had this much to do in a long long time and as a consequence, I’m not much of a time manager. So I’ll divide my life into bullet marks below and give you the update I owe you.

1- I absolutely love my new major! I know it’s only the first semester but I know in my heart this is what I was meant to do.. everything is in Allah’s hands and He is the best of planners and the one thing I’ve learnt is not to plan to far ahead however, inshaAllah if all goes well, I’d love to do a PH.D. in Psychology and become a research Psychologist. I was a little perturbed by the long, arduous journey ahead and I was discussing the pains of it with my Professor and I asked her, “So basically I will be 35 by the time I’m done?” and she said a profoundly beautiful thing, she said, “Let’s look at it this way… you’ll be 35 anyway…” And immediately I went….. wow! (Actually, I’ll be 33, but still!)

2- As far as the iPhone update goes; my sweet, darling of a husband bought me a new one! I implored him not to but he went ahead and bought it anyway! Isn’t he the best? It’s not all peachy though because I’m always stressing about it and losing my breath every time I can’t spot it!!

3- Another iPhone update is that I’d actually filed a report with the campus police and the officer called me today and said he thinks he knows who has it and as soon as he gets it back, he’ll let me know!! This was early in the morning and quite woke me up! I later realized that he only think he knows who has it so it isn’t necessary that he will ever get it… what do you think? Also, when I asked him how he knew who had it, accompanied by the appropriate elation etc., he haughtily replied, what did I mean, ma’aam, he was just doing his job, that’s how!

4- I have an internal policy of keeping the best for last and this probably warrants it’s own post but I’m running out of time here so I’ll go ahead and announce it at number 4 that I’m now the proud Phupo (aunt) of a beautiful little girl! My SIL had an emergency C-section on 14th February and so we were blessed with a beautiful little princess who has stolen all our hearts and made some of us remember why we hate living so far away! Of course, I love her with all my heart and soul for her cuteness and the blood that ties us but one of the best things I love her for is that she has enbaled me to buy all those cute little pink things I always wanted to buy! May Allah bless her sweet little heart and protect her and be with her always. Amen!

That’s mostly it. There are another few minor annoucements but I will wait before they are confirmed, inshaAllah. Hold tight.

February 13, 2009

Public Poll

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:32 am by Marigold

Please answer the following honestly! This is an anonymous poll so I won’t know who voted what (or at least I think I won’t!) but anyway, be honest and if you feel like it, provide reasons in your comments. Thanks! I’ll tell you the final results in a week!

February 11, 2009

Lamb Roast Leg Recipe

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:14 pm by Marigold

Here’s the recipe, just for Meow 🙂

There’s actually not much recipe involved here, just a lot of patience! 4 hours worth of patience!!
1- So you buy the lamb leg, right? Make sure it’s the “raan” (the back leg)! Make cuts in it all over.
2- Then rub it liberally with garlic, salt and some other masala if you like. My chachi just used garlic and salt. I used Shaan’s Roast Leg Masala lightly. In the end it doesn’t make too much of a difference because the meat has it’s own rich taste and that’s what you’re after.
Sprinkle some vinegar to make the it all stick.
3- Wrap it tightly in that plastic wrap thingy (we call it sarane wrap).
4- Marinade it overnight in the fridge.
5- Next day, preheat the oven at your maximum heat. (Mine’s is 500F)
6- Then pop the leg in there for an hour at this heat in a deep oven pan. Make sure to cover the pan with aluminum foil.
7- After an hour, reduce the heat to 350F for the next 2 hours.
8- For the last hour, make it 300F.

At this point, when you take it out, it should be so tender that it should come apart with a fork. You can also make a gash all the way down to the bone and the meat should come off the bone easily too. If this is not so, pop it in there for another hour. That should do it. Temperature times vary depending upon the size of your.. er, I mean the lamb’s leg. If you like your leg extra crispy, you can take off the foil in the last half hour.

There should also be some liquid left over in the pan. This is precious. I dump it in a pan on the stove. Add some milk and water. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and it becomes my yummy sauce!!

There, I hope you enjoy yours!

February 10, 2009

The Phone That Will Break Your Heart

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:48 pm by Marigold

Before you decide to buy yourself that gorgeous, killer of an iPhone, you might wanna prepare to have your heart broken. If you lose it or it gets stolen, you will…

1- Not be able to get a new one for the same price. You will have to pay twice as much.

2- Lose your precious collection of songs, videos, photos, applications and basically, half of your life.

3- Have to make do with an average phone until your contract expires and you can buy the iPhone again for that cheap price.

4- Not be able to track it, block it etc. The person who stole it will be going on their merry way, using your iPhone while you wirthe in pain.

Last but not least, nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for the actual heartbreak of losing your phone. Not after all those times you lovingly installed those great applications that made your life easier. Now when you’re out and need to find a restaurant, you’ll be reduced like common people to call someone who’s pathetic enough to be sitting in front of a computer on a Saturday night and google restaurants for you; provided of course, that you know someone as pathetic as that, which in itself is something you should reflect about.

Also, like common people, you will have to wait to get home before you can check what movies are on. Or what reviews they have. Worse of all, no more reading ebooks and back to lugging around real books and trying to keep that tiny book light steady lest it crashes to the floor with your book and you no longer know where you were reading… no iPhone application to save that last page for you or provide background light. Sigh.

In other words, your life as you knew it with iPhone, will be over. Every time you reach out for it and it’s no longer there, your heart will break all over again. I kid you not. So friends, think before you decide to lose your heart to it. Think. Think hard.

January 30, 2009

Reflections On A New Me

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:21 pm by Marigold

I’ve started school again. Major in psychology. Go figure. I feel like this has changed my life. I thrive on challenges and this is absolutely a challenge for me. I have no intention of “just getting by”. I’m going to put my heart and soul into this, inshaAllah and do great! I’m already doing pretty well and some of you might hate me for saying this, but after studying in Pakistan all my life, the style of studying here seems a lot easier to me. I know that’s setting myself up but what can I say, hopefully I won’t have to eat my words. Haha!

Ever since I started school, I’ve become a different person. I joined the gym and go there consistently, I eat better, I take care of myself and I feel wonderful, alhamduLilah. I feel like I’m the kind of person who needs to prove herself to herself and that’s the only way I’m happy. If you take that away from me, I wither inwardly. So now that I’m doing something I love and doing it so well, it revives my belief in myself and makes me want to be happy again.

I also had a wonderful trip to Pakistan and England. It was almost perfect. I feel like ever since I cast out unimportant people from my life, people who were leeching away on my kindness, I’ve started to appreciate my family even more. I’ve learnt that they will love you on your worst days, forgive you your missteps and actually care about your happiness. I’m blessed to have such a wonderful family, alhamduLilah.

Just imagine this, I love my Chachi’s lamb roast leg and she made it for me FOUR times.. among other things. I wanted to see Rab ne bana de jodi in the cinema and everyone had already seen it but they went for me again. I wanted to go to that restaurant on top of the mountain and my brother hates driving up there but he literally forced me there, knowing I was only saying ‘no’ because of him. Papa gave me lot of shopping money, it’s the only way he knows to show love. And Mama… well she’s just Mama, isn’t she?

It’s like I’m a new person inside. I don’t need approval from anyone. I know I’m special because of the love and happiness in my life. If I had so called friends who refused to see that, who were unkind and unfair and selfish… then it’s been their loss, not mine. Never mine.

Funny thing is, now that that “friend” virus has died inside me, more “friends” seem to be flocking my way. “Friends” who used to take me for granted are suddenly calling me and telling they miss me. It’s a cruel world where you have to rip out your heart before people will care for it.

However, gloomy, let’s not get. I’m happy.

January 3, 2009

Tears and Heartache

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:50 pm by Marigold

Me, my Uncle, cousin and some friends joined the protesters at Trafalgar Square in London today to raise our voices against Israeli attacks on Gaza. It was a touching and somewhat heart-rending experience. I didn’t expect such a big crowd, such zealous protests, such passionate speeches… I was surprised when my heart constricted and my eyes fought to hold the tears. Please pray for the innocent people in Gaza and if there is a protest walk in your area, do play your meagre role in standing up against Israel’s cruelty and showing compassion for our innocent brothers and sisters in Palestine. 

I was always skeptical of Obama and I was honestly shocked at the faith and enthusiasm that Muslim Americans showed in him. I think before he won, I posted a comment to that effect on Facebook and had several friends ask me why I was cynical of Obama (instead of thinking he was the next Messiah, I guess) and I tried to tell them what I thought but they remained faithful. My biggest clue that Obama wouldn’t do squat for Muslims was when he vehemently denied having any ties with Muslims or his Muslim dad… almost as if it was a crime to be Muslim or have any kind of ties with them. To be fair to him, he did deny it nicely but nevertheless, he needn’t have addressed the issue so often, so strongly.

Secondly, it is absolutely foolish to think any president of United States will ever do anything to benefit the Muslim world or that any president of U.S. will ever stand up to Israel. Time has proved only too soon that Muslims needn’t have gotten so excited for Obama. Look at what he has to say about the cruel attacks on Gaza;

“The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if — I don’t even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

“In terms of negotiations with Hamas, it is very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries. I think that Hamas leadership will have to make a decision at some point as to whether it is a serious political party seeking to represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people. And, as a consequence, willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce violence as a tool to achieve its aims. Or whether it wants to continue to operate as a terrorist organization. Until that point, it’s hard for Israel, I think, to negotiate with a country that — or with a group that doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Source.

They know and we know and he knows this is all bull crap! There is no contest between the poor, oppressed, deprived people of Palestine and Israel’s U.S + U.K – aided nuclear power. There is no “war”. There is only extreme unfairness and genocide. But of course, no American President will ever admit that. We, Muslims, are as alone as ever in our causes.

Perhaps the only good thing Obama intends to do is end the Iraqi war but even that end is vague at best and every time he promises to do that, he also adds that the real terrorists are in Pakistan and Afghanistan and “we have to go in and take them out”!!! It baffles me completely why Muslims were so excited when he won the elections! At least, I, for one, had no hopes associated with him and am not the least bit surprised at his outrageous remarks about the massacre in Gaza. At the end of the day, he’s just another one of Israel’s many puppets.

My warmest, heartiest prayers are with the brave people of Palestine. May Allah give them the freedom they so deserve and need. And for all those who have been martyred, may Allah give them a beautiful place in heaven. Amen.

December 31, 2008

New Year Shew Year

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:17 pm by Marigold

I hate things like new year celebrations… for as far as I can see, they’re totally pointless. I don’t mean to sound like a killjoy but seriously, something about new year partying makes me terribly bored and I’m glad to be spending the day at home, quietly, with my family.

I guess my biggest beef with it is that tomorrow is going to be just another day like all other days… it’s not like the sun will come up carrying a sign saying, “Hello and Welcome to 2009!!”… it’s not like there’s even a thing such as 2009.. we invented the whole thing.. didn’t we? Haha.. I know, I know, we invented a whole lot of other things too that we take seriously but celebrating the new year seems to be the dumbest of them all!!

Go on, tell me I’m Miss. Grouch but seriously people, if you’re smart, you’ll stay home and not join the throng of crazy people out there tonight “celebrating” new year… what’s there to celebrate? IT’S JUST ANOTHER DAY!!!!!!!

Alright…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:22 am by Marigold

So they changed the dashboard and now it’s all fancy shmancy. Well, awesome. I’m all for change! Go change!

I hope you all are good. So am I. I’m very good. I’m happy. AlhamduLilah.

I just have such bitter things associated with my “online life” that I just don’t want to live it anymore. Every time I come here, it’s like I’m there but my heart is empty. My soul is silent. I try but I fail. Sigh.

But how are you? How’ve you been? I’ve been trying to read some of your blogs and of course, I miss you and feel sad that I’ve had to miss you but life is life. 🙂

Take care and salaam!

November 22, 2008

Crush II; The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy!!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:14 am by Marigold

So I had this one friend who somehow found out that I liked Steve. Now she was a different brand altogether.. she changed boyfriends like socks and had no complicated scruples like yours truly. If she liked a guy, she went after him. So when she found out I liked someone, she took it upon herself to “set me up”. I tried telling her many times that I had no interest in pursuing a relationship. I was happy to just admire from afar. But one day, she actually called the guy and told him ” a friend” of hers likes him. He responded by saying she should meet him with the “friend” at so an so place at so and so time.

When my friend came to me, all excited and stuff, and told me she’d “set me up”.. I was absolutely mortified. I was SO mad at her for doing such an “outrageous” thing! In my conscientious mind, this was sacrilege!! How dare she take my secret, cherished feelings and make them public? How dare she actually communicate my pure “love” to the object of desire and mar it so? This longing was to be merely celebrated in the safe realms of my heart! By speaking it aloud and trying to turn it into an “illicit relationship”, she killed it’s very core… she ruined it… and I was so so upset! And she on her part was upset because instead of appreciating her efforts, I shunned them. She vowed to cancel her efforts immediately and undo what she’d done! I had no idea what this entailed but it sounded ominous! I suddenly felt scared! What was she gonna do??

This drama unfolded while we were out, on one of our walks. At this point, Steve happend to be walking right towards us and I felt dread creep up on me. Something awful was about to happen. He looked right at me. I wondered if he knew I was the “friend” who liked him? I felt sure my bright red cheeks and downcast eyes told their own tale. And my shock and mortification only doubled when I realized my friend was about to act right away! Right there!! While he stood before me!! To my complete panic, she chose that very moment, that very spot to walk right up to him and say,

“Steve, I’m sorry about what we talked about earlier. Apparently my friend is a complete fool and would rather pine away silently than admit she likes you!!!!!!!!”

OMG!!!!!! I could have died at that moment and let the earth swallow me!! You think he suspected she was talking about me? Geez! He just sort of shrugged and muttered something like,

“Good for her..” and at that time it sounded cold and indifferent to me but in retrospect, I decided it definitely had an element of “grapes are sour”. I figured he was obviously a little embarressed himself. After all, he had agreed to meet this “friend”, right? And then the “friend” didn’t wanna meet him. So who looked like the real loser? I suddenly felt a little big. Haha.

I recovered from this incident in a few days and was able to move on. However, my feelings of “bigness” went away fast. I went back to my secret adoration but felt more than ever like a wall-flower. How come he hadn’t made more of an effort to get to me? Now he knew for a fact that I liked him… did he really not care? Etc. etc. I was consumed with the usual internal scuffle of a teenager in love. What can I say; it was pretty pathetic.

At this point I have to digress a little and tell you about Dina. Yes, Dina; The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy!

One fine school morning, she emerged as the single most scandulous girl in the entire school, no, entire, complex, no, entire world for as far as we were concerned! The entire school was abuzz with her story from the night before. She had been caught making out (read “worst possible sin”) with a boy in a deserted part of a building nearby! We couldn’t stop talking about her and her “boyfriend”! What were they doing exactly? The details were hazy but the rough story was that she was reported missing to the authorities. Her father had formed a search team with the PAF Police and were scouring the complex for her. They eventually happened upon her and her boyfriend in a “compromising position”. The father was quoted as having stated in distress and shame, “Where did I go wrong?” whereupon he grabbed her and dragged her home whilst uttering the afore-mentioned statement over and over again. Tsk tsk. Poor father. He’d been put to shame by his daughter. How will they ever live this down? From then on, she was no longer Dina, she was The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy!!

Dina wasn’t seen or heard of for the rest of the school year. This apt disappearence made her even more of a “legend”. When she eventually resurfaced the next year, all were curious to lay eyes on this girl who had done the unthinkable! She was persona non grata. At all times, she could be seen wandering the school alone. No one wanted to be seen with her. But all wanted to see her. I must admit I felt a little sorry for her and at the same time, I was fascinated with her. What kind of creature was she? Had she really kissed a boy? What had she done while out of school? etc. etc. So one morning when I was walking to school alone and saw her doing likewise, I couldn’t resist the urge to join her. By this time, the stir she’d caused had died down a little and hopefully, my reputation would survive being seen with her!

So we walked to school together. I didn’t dare ask her anything. I was just awed to be walking beside The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy!! I noticed how she looked sort of disappointingly normal. I wasn’t sure what The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy is supposed to look like but still…… So as she and I walked together, I asked her if she knew Steve, since he actually lived in the same building as her. She nodded and said,

“Sure.. we’ve been out a few times..!!!!!!!!!”

OUT???!!!!!! WITH A BOY??????!!!!! AND STEVE?????????? I felt the earth slipping from beneath my feet.. my voice barely audible, I said,

“You mean, like friends?”

She shook her head, “Oh no! He asked me out.. so I said yes.. we had a good time..”

I tried to fight down the nausea that rose in my throat. Steve asked The-Girl-Who-Kissed-A-Boy out????? The outcast and Steve? My secret love? My pure angel? Did someone yank out the floor from under me or am I plunging headlong into a bottomless abyss?

I tried to focus, “So what about.. er.. the guy.. you were with before?”

“Oh you mean Saif?”

Yes, Saif, the boy you shamed your whole family for, rememeber? I wanted to say. 

“Oh yeah, he and I still hang out.. it’s not like Steve and I are exclusive or anything…  he has a bunch of other girlfriends too.. I’m cool with that.”

BUNCH.OF.OTHER.GIRLFRIENDS??????????? Who are these people and where am I? What world is this? Where have I been living?????

“H-how..d-do you know that?” I stammered.

“What?”, she sounded incredulous, “Everyone knows that about Steve! A hot guy like him… All the girls are after him and so he sees them all. I’m cool with that.”

I could hear the shattering going on inside but I plowed ahead mercilessly,

“So you’re saying he actually makes girlfriends.. and in plural?”

She turned to look at me as if I suddenly grew two heads, “What’s your problem? You wanna go out with him too?” then without waiting for my answer, she added casually, “Just ask him, he’ll probably take you too, he’s certainly done worst than you before.”

I remember feeling completely naive and stupid at that time but I don’t remember more than that. I have no recollection beyond this point in our conversation. I musta been pretty crushed! I do vaguely remember though, going home and throwing some pillows around in a fit of rage. (Wouldn’t do to throw actual objects… too much mess!)

I later found out that he’d also asked another one of my friends out. According to her, all you had to do was smile at him and he’d ask you out. Did I also mention that he asked my maid out? To be fair to him, she was actually much prettier than your average desi maid.

Believe it or not, this story actually has closure. That’s next. 🙂

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