The art of conversation with your boys!

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Please don’t be fooled by the title of this blogpost! I’m still struggling with the subject with the three boys in my life: hubby, 12 year old J and a 7 year old S.

I bought this pack of ice breaker cards a few days back and what better way than to bond with each other at bed time! So me, J and S, we all sat down. The youngest wanted to go first so he picked up the first card. It read, “tell us about your crushes” J and I burst out laughing, S screamed at us, embarrassed and not very happy at the idea (in retrospect it was very mean of the mom to laugh out loud too). The cards were flying all over my bed by this time, having collected them all, a suspicious 12 year old and a still sobbing/grinning S (yes we can manage both emotions with a 5 second interval) I said hey boys let’s start again – it’s ok if S doesn’t want to answer this question. So we all took our turns, then comes S’s turn once again. He picked up the second card. It said, ‘how do you express your lov…” He stopped reading, threw the card and screamed again, “why am I getting love cards” By this time J was rolling down the bed laughing, I was stifling my laughter (read roars of laughter) I finished the card for S. “It says How do you express your love for God”. Oh come on boys, this is such a lovely question. S refused to answer and so I helped him. I heard myself tell S, “The best way to express our love for God is to thank Him for all his blessings” Ah, this seemed to settle S but he still looked suspiciously at the cards. Soon we all had about 5 turns each! And that’s when I called it a day. As my mom says, better to stop while you are still having fun so you look forward to it next time! S was the first one to protest, he still wanted to play!!

I took a photo later, of the first card, which threw us into fits of laughter but also led the way for a great time where me and the boys had so much fun sharing our fun facts! You should try it too sometimes!

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The Price of Love

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Observing Muharram away from home for the fourth year in a row – it grows on you, as I mentioned to someone. A small group of people from India, Pakistan, UK, Philippines, Iran with not much in common except the strong bond that brings them all together every night – the love of Ahlul Bait, the Progeny of Prophet Mohammad.

I was honored to host the first four Majalis in Manila for this odd group of 18-19 people at my place. Today was the fourth day, the last at my place.

My youngest son just came up to me, after everybody had left. He always offers me a tissue and gives me a hug everytime he sees me cry, during Majlis or when praying. Today he asked me, ‘Why do you cry when you listen to the Majlis?’ ‘For the love of Imam Hussain, my dear,’ I tried to answer him. ‘So love gives you pain? Because it makes you cry!’, said little S thoughtfully.

And it got me thinking that it all comes down to this – when all is said and done – Grief really is the price we pay for love!

Dear #Zoheb #Hassan

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Dear Zoheb,

Listening to Coke Studio’s version of your song, Chehra, was a very painful experience! Not that one kept thinking of Nazia, but also what she might have said to you listening to all that noise! I assure you, I even listened to it for the second time.  I really do believe wholeheartedly in giving second chances.   Your original, was such a romantic soulful melody! It was all about Zoheb Hassan! The coke studio version is no where close! It is, dare I say, nothing but a lot of noise, and your own voice, seems to be coming from a distance far far away!  Maybe I did not like the new version because, like all your fans, I am so used to just Zoheb being the star of the show!

While I welcome your return to the screen, but pray dont ever do this again……ever! For the love of Nazia and Zoheb on which us 80s kids thrive! For the love of all the times we would all pray to get a chance to listen to your song every time ‘naghma‘ (song) break would flash on the only state-run television screen! We did not have online collections/recorded videos so if you remember we only lived on those moments of joy to see you both on the screen! and we LOVED your music!

For the love of my memories of Nazia and Zoheb (The only man I ever admitted to my father of liking), I now present to you the original Chehra – does it not drown out all the noise around you? I am now listening to it on repeat – such is the ill fate of all my favourite songs!

Enjoy and you’re welcome! ;)

Here is the link!

 

 

 

I carry your heart with me

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I am reminded today of  a few lines from one of my favourite poem by E.E.Cummings

 

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go,my dear…
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

Ah, what if

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I was in school earlier today, to read a book to my 6-year old and gathered every other child whose parent did not turn up.  I guess, a working parent would understand this situation and can empathize better! Also, because I cannot go every Wednesday, the scheduled time for book reading with parents.  Its always a special day, for both me and my son, when I do actually make it.

We read many books, as I read out each child’s favourite who gathered around the table, but the one I liked most was about Mr. Bear who wanted to dance with the moon.  Mr. Bear was afraid to ask, because the moon is ‘so special’.  The book then shows you how little Mr. Bird suggests to him to try.  After all, how would he know if he never tried!

Wasn’t that a nice reminder to start my day with! We want all the wonderful things to happen in our lives, but sometimes, the sheer wonder of our awe-inspiring dreams make us hesitant to even try.  ‘Too good to be true‘, we check our thoughts.  But as wise little Mr. Bird reminds us, we should always make an effort and take the first step.  How else would we know it will not work if we never try? Moral of the story: it works when you ask!

 

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Far from the madding crowd

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My dearest Pakistan

I may have been away for almost four years now, but my heart still lies in Pakistan.  While I may be far from the madding crowd, my mind is constantly on what is happening in my country. I too get worried when I see the political antics and since my sources are limited to the crazy media, and word of mouth, it probably makes it worse.

I shall only say this – to all those who love Pakistan.  It is not easy being a patriot in the given situation.  Patriotism, like I mentioned to a friend yesterday – is like your Great Love.  It is loony, crazy and totally confusing! Hang in there, do not lose yourself amidst the ongoing stampede of what you thought was your political ideology.  Politicians, like any other person, disappoint us.  Anybody you consider a ‘hero’ will disappoint you – with great expectations, comes greater disappointment.  We do not fail with mistakes, we only learn to make a better decision next time! In a chaos, holding onto yourself and your patriotism is difficult, and there is no quick fix to the solution.  But remember that things do fall back in their place in their own good time.  This too shall pass. I hope.  One day!

 

Burning Bridges

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We often burn our bridges – seems like the best option, in addition to sounding so fancy.  There are so many problems with this one though.  Life is too short, there are only so many ways to cross (often times one-way, no way (!) or dead ends) and sometimes you do not even have much options to fall back on!

A bridge well-crossed gets better over time. It may not always be the easiest thing to do.  It may not always be your first or your best choice.

Do not burn your bridges, there was a reason why they were built in the first place.  Do not push through, knock down or walk over – you hurt both people as well as your reputation!