Sunday, December 07, 2008

Serenity

This was one of the most peaceful weekends I've spent in ages (not counting the vacation) or at least it seemed so. Oh, the hecticity of the past week! It was terrible. I'm seriously wondering what kind of a life you have if your brain's completely frozen by the time you get back home. Or maybe it's my timings. Hm.

I was so overjoyed and grateful when I heard that college-best friend is going to have a baybee! Mom and Dad are away at Hajj (please pray that they return safely) so I couldn't tell them and pass on her message that they pray for her. It was night-time for Blister so I couldn't tell her either. But then I remembered telling MImmu about her fears about marriage and how they were completely in vain, so I called up M and told her. Lucky Immu was busy having a fantabulous time at Wonderla. Jealous, jealous.

So yesterday, I first went out with M2 to do some last minute Eid shopping (and maaaaan, the clothes!)and then we had Softy and popcorn (promised to her if she would not use the word 'bezaar' for the whole trip). And in the evening, the going-out craving was back and the kids had been talking about chicken-cheese-burgers the previous night, so five of us set out for Big Byte again (that still left 3 at home and well, I felt a little guilty about that, but I no have a limousine, no?). We walked back home with F1 telling us stories about how they were once at Famous Icecream and they heard a loud THWACK! which turned out to be some girl slapping a guy really hard. Why do boys always have such a collection of stories? No, I should make that my cousins.

Today was fasting day, though only I and mama were fasting. And when all the kids sat down to dinner, I hung about the doorway, finding it difficult to peel my eyes away from what was normal lunch-time food. T'morrow, a lot more of us will be fasting, insha allah.

YMami was telling me embarrassing stories about my childhood, no wait, mine and Blister's. I'm sure there's some conspiracy involved, cause every different set of family friends, uncles and aunts remember different foot-in-mouth stories. Hmph.

Also heard that sis made fantastic Caesar salad after having eaten the same fing at Lina's. I think it proves for the nth time that the first child gets the best genes and the latter ones are left with the oh-you'll-make-dos.

Dayum. My vocabulary's drying up and that's in spite of all the reading I'm doing! I finally finished reading Zadie Smith's 'White Teeth', I love how witty her writing is, very Rushdie-Midnight's-Children-like. She seems to know a lot about Islam and at a lot of places she seemed to be treading really thin ice, but it was a fantastic read overall. The story wasn't too great, but the imagery, the expressions, the humour and the few lines hidden between them all that made you stop and think for a while are enough to make it a great recommended-reading book. It did seem though that she was quite apologetic about those few thought-provoking lines, because just when you're getting really thoughtful and absorbed, there'd be some really absurd twist or situation and you'd forget all the profundity.

Then I read Randa Al-Fattah's 'Does My Head Look Big In This?' which seemed more like an Australian-Muslimized version of 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got A Life', only instead of Opal Mehta going from supernerd to Miss Popular, Amal goes from non-Hijabi to Hijabi at an elite school 'walking in naked was easier than walking in with Hijab'. I didn't like it all that much, for one, HOWGAL was quite funny in places (even if those were plagiarized)and this one had a couple of chuckle-worthy lines at most. Second, there was so much Australian slang that it was going more or less above my head, 'whinge, 'dag', 'pom' etc. There were a couple of things that did make me relate to the book, one being how defensive you can get when you know you stand out from the rest, (let's call it paranoia in my case) and another being how once you start using a conspicuous symbol that represents Islam (oh, the connotations), people will come up and tell you, 'Hey, have you seen this documentary about what they teach at Madrasas?', 'Hey, do you guys think Sania Mirza cannot be called a Muslim anymore?', 'Hey, did you hear about that Fatwa where...?' Most of the time, I'm understanding and patient, and I try to explain as well as I can, but sometimes the whole automatically assumed, Islamic-spokesperson status gets tiring. And we're not going to get started on the, 'Doesn't that pin hurt you?', 'Don't you feel uncomfortable and hot wearing that?', 'Do you like wearing it?' The last question was asked by a senior who warned me beforehand that, 'she likes making people feel uncomfortable' (though she said that in a mostly good-natured way) and I replied saying, 'I'm so used to wearing it that I don't think about it. It's like someone coming up to you and asking, 'Do you like wearing shoes?'' So she seemed to get the point. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not rude when I answer questions like this, it's just that it gets tiring to explain yourself all the time. When I was in Dmm, I was feeling grateful for this feeling that I really was part of the crowd (and also the fact that I could eat at any restaurant! ANY!).

Anyway, getting back to the book, I still find it quite surprising how many of the protagonists in these books, be they American, Australian or even Pakistani are obsessed with make-overs, cosmetics and make-up. It seems such a sin to have gone out with your friends without any lip-gloss, and what, not even lip-balm?! I know people who know me would probably say that I'm on the other extreme when it comes to normal-dressing up (not talking parties), but still, this obsession really makes me wonder if they don't have other things to worry about. (Yes, this is daydreamer, drifter talking).

I'm currently reading, 'Never Let Me Go', which is quite a dark book. For nearly the first quarter of the book, you keep wondering why these people seem abnormal and what these strange terms are, 'carers', 'donors' and why you feel uncomfortable. I was a little irritated with the way the author tries to draw you in though, it's a little like how in Nancy Drews you'd see something like this:
"It was only then that Nancy heard the loud screeching and realized to her horror that the walls on both sides were closing in on her and there was nowhere to run..."
or
"And then Nancy saw that he had pulled out a knife was coming after her..."
or
""George, Bess! Come here!" she screamed but it was too late. The attacker had caught Ned and...""
and then the chapter ends! Those chapter endings used to madden me but who can run from Carolyn Keene's sharp claws?

So this book was a toned down version of the same, and I'm guessing it's supposed to sound like that because the book is supposed to be like a long, (one-sided) conversation the protagonist is having with the reader, so this is how she tries to keep the reader turning pages (made-up):
"And remember, this was a few weeks before the incident with Madame, so when Tommy and I spoke, we didn't realize how things would change in a few days.

So what happened with Madame was that..."
or
"As I walked back to the Cottages, I realized that this was not the first time we went on a trip, the first time was when we went to Norfolk, a trip that changed many things between us.

NEXT CHAPTER

So it was a few weeks after the incident with Madame, that Ruth, Tommy and I decided to go to Norfolk. Now how that came about was..." Get the drift? But yeah, we still drift along.

It's nearly 11 now and a chilly breeze is coming in from the open drawing room door. It was quite cold today, though it was mostly my feet which were freezing, I still had the fan on 4 as usual until Mama came in and said, 'Yeh AC kaun chalaya?'

Tomorrow is office day, but day after is chutti! Then three more days offis, then two days chutti! Yayy! Though I'm sure all the yayyness will disappear once a certain lady gets into office tomorrow. Hmph.

See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya! ;) (Blister loves that yahoo audible).

3 comments:

mythalez said...

rofl and also a bit scared at the leftover genes for the younger siblings theory ..
and I used to think it was only leftover 'jeans' !! :P

and say my 'hellos' to bigByte

pitty said...

I liked that book! (Never let me go..) without quite expecting it to.. actually.

Also, please arranage to take chutti/come early tomorrow (Friday)? Please?

suhail said...

did you know carolyn keene and franklin w. dixon were the same person?