Monday, October 28, 2013

Again, on repeat!!

PS: Can anybody please tell me if you can detect musical instruments in the background of this nasheed? I was kinda sure, but somebody asked me to make sure and I am not so sure any more :$

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Life without a heater


It is the Fall season. Temperatures "soar" to only about 65 F in the day and fall to 45 F in the night (that's 7 degrees Celsius man) and for Karachites, this weather is nothing but ...

And the heating has stopped working in the new place we moved to (did I mention the moving dilemmas on this blog? Can't remember). And so the previous apartment was a little on the small side. This one is a little big and wayyy draughtier! The cold outside somehow seeps in (it's a very old house) and the lack of heating for the past 3 days now has left us wondering how do people live on the streets in the cold? Those people who don't have a home, how do they manage?

However many layers of clothing I wore around the house, socks and what not, the cold just wouldn't go away! The house just got colder.

There came a point where I agreed to go somewhere because the car heater would work and I will have some heat on my face!!

How do these people live?

These images are from this year's winter months (early in 2013) and the same will be the case in the coming months, because the Syrian crisis isn't any better now.

Their plight seems even more real now that I have to breath in the cold air (and due to a sinus problem), I get a cold/headache thing very easily, which again, is disrupting my focus on studies. But that's just it! I have food, I have enough clothes to keep myself warm and everything else Alhamdulillah. The only thing I don't have right now is heat! These people have been driven out of their homes, many have lost their family, they're living on donations and humanitarian aid! For such a long time! And they don't know when they're going to go back home and whether their home still remains in the places from which they fled.

I cannot even imagine what test these people are going through and these are my brothers and sisters in Islam. We're one whole body, right? One part hurts, the whole body hurts. So why am I getting lost in the worries of my own life without thinking about this very huge part of my body being plundered, and hurt by others?

And most importantly, what do I do about it?

These questions have been plaguing me for a long time now. Getting lost in the PhD program doesn't seem like a very right answer to this problem. But leaving the PhD program wouldn't help either.

What to do? I'm leaving it as an open question to whoever reads this. What in the world should a Muslim do whose various parts of the body are being hurt repeatedly and consistently for a long time now.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random thoughts and updates


Long time since I wrote a long post, no? :)

Hope everybody (if anybody still reads this) is doing really well and hope you had a really nice Eid ul Adha. I missed bakras (goats) and cows and sheep, and roaming the streets with your bakra and trying to get him to fight with his horns with other bakras belonging to others, and cheering (quietly) on your bakra, and when it won, beaming around in general.

I miss Pakistan.

I miss each and everything about Pakistan. Uh, maybe not ... everything.

So how's my research going? (lol, nobody asked. I'm just answering pretending I'm being questioned)

So research is going exactly like research goes. It's just stopping in its tracks and staring at me expectantly. Every now and then, I give it a gentle push. Sometimes, I give it quite a shove. Depends on my supervisor's fervour. And then sometimes the push becomes a feeble touch, and nothing happens for a while. I've read that its common for graduate students to feel that they are not good enough, and that they shouldn't have entered the program in the first place. I've also read that its common for women in math-centric graduate programs to feel quite alone actually, and feel like a big fake, whose fooling everybody with her "supposed smart-ness".


I can sooo identify with all that I've read.

Well, I've also read that since everybody faces and it and many overcome these feelings eventually and get a PhD degree, I've become a leetle more hopeful. Positive attitude is like, necessary. Hence, I've really decided not to whine much (so I say) and live a happy, contented life.

**amiable smile**

Apart from research, what have I been upto?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. The size of the hmm can say a lot. But since it was Eid a few days back, I had an all-girls tea party at my home and look what I (and a dear friend of mine) cooked up!

That's not much. But believe me, when you're trying out new recipes, like banana fritters (I call them kelay ka pakora :p), then a few things take a huge amount of time!

The brownies turned out to be hard from the sides, but gooey soft from the middle and the jelly custard was all right :). Kebabs (not in picture) and cholay were the salty items and juice and tea were the beverages. Overall, it went nice Alhamdulillah :)

On this weekend, we went to a barbecue as well as a surprise party hosted for another dear friend who is leaving in a few days. It was hilarious!! We (a group of a girls) trudging up a hill, to meet another group of girls who were with the girl who was being given the surprise. Since they didn't want her to know we were about to join them (and hence preserve the surprise), they were pointing at trees (which were in the opposite direction and would ensure that her back would be to us for a looong time) and asking her which tree she liked best. And poor friend of mine, she was actually considering it!! And all this while, we were huffing and puffing with the food and a baby in tow :D. It was hilarious! :D

When she finally turned around, we were ready and yelled SURPRIISEEE and she was shocked. Oh the look on her face :). Priceless Ma sha Allah! :D

So this was the fun weekend. Now all I have to do is to stop blogging, get out the fun mode, and hurry and read this huge document I'm supposed to read.

*huge sigh*

So long folks!