Wednesday, 29 August 2012

It's up!

Don't misinterpret the title, I'm talking about the guest post I did for Michaels blog which I told you about in the last post!

here it be:

It's a re-post of my 'The wind and the sun' post, so if you've already read it, then skim through that and check out some of Michaels wonderful posts instead!

Just to warn you though, Michael requested a pic to put up with the post, and he had a look through my instagram and picked the ones he wanted (My teeth look gi-nourmous in the first pic!).
Chances are if you've peeked through my instagram or follow me on twitter then you'll have seen my face (also referred to as the 8th wonder of the natural world).

There is sooooo much I want to blog about. My gran has gone back to Pakistan.  She flew with my dad yesterday, and we spoke to them earlier to let us know they're back home safely.

My mum and dad went to Geneva for their 27th anniversary, and they had the best time!  My brothers and I also reaped the benefits of their travels by gorging on the yummy swiss chocolate they brought back for us!

We were  invited to a few dinners by family members last week when my grandmother was over.  In the pakistani community, if you're welcoming someone to someplace, family and some friends usually invite that person and their fam over for dinner (like if someones just got married, or come over from another country etc.)
It has not done my waistline any favours....

I was at yet another wedding today!  My best mate fizz's little sister got married today, so I went to act as a mini-photographer and have a catch up with my besty's family (due to some circumstances, I've not seen my best mates family for a couple of years! It was like re-uniting with family when I saw her sisters and brother after so long :D).
Because fizz was busy getting ready with her sister, I was to meet her at the wedding hall, but because I didn't know anyone, I was just standing in a corner, alone, avoiding eye contact with strangers until she came!
It didn't help that I stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was a Bengali wedding, and Bengalis wear the most beautiful Sari's on special occasions (and just daily-traditionally), and people could just tell that I was Pakistani......Asians just know these kinds of things about other Asians! (I'm pretty good a differentiating between Indians, Pakistanis and Bengalis! I like to think, anyway)

But yes. busy busy.

I'm going London tomorrow to watch Les Miserables in the west end!  I'm very much looking forward to that, especially since we're staying till friday instead of rushing everything in one day trip.

Well that's everything I can think of at the moment!  Im sure there's plenty I've missed out, but oh well!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

guest blogging, and confusing families.

Guess what?  The wonderful busy bee that is Michael Patrick McKinley has asked me to do a guest post for his blog!  No one has ever asked me to guest post, so I am extremely flattered, and excited!  Especially since his blog is so diverse and interesting!
His post's usually make you think about things you would never usually consider, and have a sweet humour to them too :)

Check his blog  'Let's start with a metaphor, shall we?' out:

I'll let you know when my post has been published.  Sadly, I think it will just be a re-post :(
I would love to write something original, but given that my gran is over from Pakistan and we're constantly having people over to see her, or taking her to see people, anything original written right now would be half-arsed, and Michaels blog is too good for that!

Also, I thought I'd explain a bit about Pakistani families in this post briefly.
One of my friends txt me yesterday after reading my last post, and was confused about be referring to my gran as my 'Dadi Ami', so I told her i'd explain it in a post.
In Punjabi/Urdu, each relation has a particular name you refer to them as, not strictly, but just in general, like your dads parents, brothers and sisters have a certain 'title', I suppose you could say, and the same for your mums side. 

So here goes:
Your dads mum and dad= dadi ami and dada abu (literally translates to dad's mum and dad's dad)
Your mums mum and dad= nani ami and nana abu

Your dads big brother= Thai Abu (his wife would be your Thai Ami)
Your dads little brother= Chacha/Chachu (his wife would be your Chachi)
Your dads sister= Phupho (pronounced pup-oh..sort of..) (Her husband would be your phuphra)

Your mums brother, older or younger= Mamoo (his wife would be your mami)
Your mums sister= Khala (her husband would be your Khaloo)

Borthers, sisters and cousins don't have a particular title, but you usually call your big brother, or older guy cousin Bhai or Bhaijan, out of respect, and your older sister or older girl cousin Baji or Appa/Appi out of respect.  

We just call our uncles and aunties...Uncle and Aunty :P We've never really been traditional in that sense.
And I don't actually call my grandparents any of the traditional names above.  I call my mum's parents Barry mamy and Barry daddy (literally Big mum and Big dad :P) and my dads parents Ami gee and Abu gee.

Even if you don't refer to your family using the traditional names, they're still used a lot in conversation when explaining how 'so and so' is related to 'so and so'

Most Southern Asian cultures have traditional names for family members, but they'll vary depending on the language spoken and the country/region/area you're from. 

You can't say I don't educate you readers :P
Even if it is useless information you didn't need to know!

I was in a rush yesterday so forgot to post some eid themed pictures!
My lovely friend Sam (the one who just got married) came over and put mehndi/henna on mumsy, my cousin and I.

She's so talented! She does it all freehand, and does the designs from the top of her head!

Mums black mehndi


Monday, 20 August 2012

Eid Mubarak!

A belated Eid Mubarak to everyone who fasted during Ramadan!
We celebrated Eid yesterday (I think most of the world did, but some are celebrating today.  think it's cuz diff countries spot the full moon on diff days....).

Eid literally translates as celebration/festival (me thinks...).  It's the Muslim equivalent to Christmas! But we celebrate eid twice (teehee).

This Eid is Eid-ul-fitr, where we celebrate the end of Ramadan, and the beginning of the next month, Shawwal.
Most people see this as the end of their temporary religious phase, and fall out of the good habits that they got into during Ramadan.  Hopefully this wont happen to many people!! (Or me, at least!)
It's Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet Mohammed p.b.u.h) To wear your best outfits, spend time with your loved ones, and just generally be merry and happy on this day :D
So it may explain why you suddenly see all the muslims in your community (mainly the brownies) look like sparkly christmas trees, strutting there stuff about town.

I like to think that I am not one of these.  (Sadly, I probably am....)

Basically, you get dressed up in your nicest, newest clothes, cook lots of yummy food, host your family/friends or go visit your family/friends and exchange presents/money.  It's pretty fun :)

Then there's Eid ul-Adha, which is celebrated on the 10th, 11th and 12th day of the last Islamic month of Dhul Hijja, and the celebrations start after Hajj (the islamic pilgrimage).  This Eid commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (as) aka Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail (as) aka Ishmael, as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead.
This act is further commemorated by sacrificing sheep/lambs on Eid, and distributing it amongst family, friends and generally to feed the poor, so we always end up with a freezer full of lamb around this time....There's probably a significant dip in the lamb/sheep population around Eid ul-Adha, come to think of it....

So my Eid consisted of getting up, sitting in my PJ's, watching telly and eating left over pizza from the night before for breakfast (also known as the breakfast of champions). Then I got up, showered, sorted my face out and got dressed up all fancy, and then went to my uncles house to go spend some time with the family and stuff our faces.
My dad's mum (my dadi amee) has come to visit us in the UK from America, before she heads back to pakistan, and she's been staying at our house and my uncles alternatively while she's here.  She's at my uncles at the moment, so we spent some time with her there.

Then we went to my other grandma's house (and grandad!), to meet up with my mums side of the family and have a chinwag and take pictures and blah blah.

Then we came home and chilled for a bit, before taking my grandma and my uncles family out to dinner in the evening.
We went to Wilmslow road, and any british asian who's from manchester, or has been to manchester and knows about this road probably has a furrowed brown and is thinking 'Ayesha, how could you!?' right now, but I assure you, I had no choice in the matter.

Wilmslow rd, also know as Wimmy rd, also know as 'the curry mile' (the title is pretty self explanatory. It's just a mile of Indian restaurants!) is notorious to british asians around the north-west or the UK.  For some unknown reason, men and women alike (mostly the men) feel the need to regress and turn into raving mad lunatics. People come from far and wide, wear there most bizarre and unflattering clothes, hire out the fanciest cars, blast out the stupidest and most irritating songs from there car, and basically drive up and down this road, beeping at girls, blowing vuvuzelas (google that annoying shizzle if you're not familiar with it) and just generally make you feel ashamed to be of the same species. It's like an extended, annual, Asian version of Jersey Shore, basically.

Then we came home, drank tea, and went to bed!

In our family, the elders usually give us young'uns money instead of presents, which I much prefer :D but every house is different.

I'm off to see the Dark Knight Rises now! Ramadan has kept me busy, do I'm finally off to reconnect with society and see if Tom Hardy still looks good with a weird mask on.

I'll be catching up and commenting on everyone's blogs tonight hopefully! Excuse any typos in the post, I'm finishing it off in the car on my phone, so can't really be bothered to proof read (not that I ever do!)


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Why can't we all just be friends?

I've always thought the problem with the world today is the lack of tolerance and respect we have for one another.

Like, why do some people believe that we all have to have the exact same beliefs and live the same lives in order to be happy and have world peace?  What happened to agreeing to disagree and just judging a person based on their character and personality, as opposed to what religion they belong to, or what ethnicity they are, or whatever gender/sexual orientation they are/have etc.

As Muslims, we're supposed to follow the traditions (sunnah) of the Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w), and when he first immigrated from Mecca to Medina, due to the constant threats being made on his life by the pagan Meccans, he and his followers peacefully co-existed alongside the existing tribes of pagans and Jews in Medina, creating pacts and treaties for all the three tribes to adhere to as allies.
So it bugs me when I see hostile muslims around the world, declaring death to so and so (usually america and the west....womp womp), when the man who was the closest thing to perfection (in the eyes of Muslims), and who all muslims aim to be like, taught peace and love.

In the Qur'an, in Surah Al Kafirun, it says;

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
 Lakum deenukum waliya deen
"To you your faith, and to me mine".

I never have, and never will understand why people dislike others, to the extent of killing them,  because they're different from one another.

The most recent mind boggling thing I've found is this genocide that's occurring in Burma (Myanmar).
Bhuddists are massacring and killing Muslim men, women and children (including babies and infants), simply because they are Muslim! 
Like, what?
Muslims in the Rohingya area or Myanmar have been in Burma from as early as 1050AD! (Or so Al-Jazeera tells me....).
I don't even know why Bhuddists are killing these Muslims to be honest.  From every article I've read, it suggests that it was a completely unprovoked movement that has been going on silently for many many years. 

A similar thing happened to Kosovon Muslims by Serbians, as in they where persecuted because of their faith.

And the most famous example, the reason for WW2, Hitlers mass genocide of the Jews in europe.  How disgusting, the thought of killing and hating someone, just because of their religious belief.  I honestly cannot get my head around why people think it's acceptable!?

And of course, there was the Rawandan genocide which happened in 1994.  I had no idea about this until 2/3 years ago, which really annoyed me.  How could such a massive massacre of people not even be mentioned to the youth of Britain (or at least me in my youth), at least once, throughout our school life?  I was 4 when this happened, so I don't expect myself to remember, but I would have much rather learnt about the unfair massacre of people by their fellow countrymen rather then Henry VIII's inability to keep his bits in his pants in such detail (although I've never forgotten the fact that his corpse exploded.....that was gross).

But yeah, rant over.
I just wish everyone could respect and tolerate everyone, and agree to disagree, cuz' let's face it, there's no way every single person on this earth is gunna have exactly the same beliefs and outlook on everything in life.  It would make for a very peaceful world if we all did....but an extremely boring one!

Andy Warhol

In other happy news! After that little downer of a post, it was my parents 28th wedding anniversary yesterday.  My dads taking my mum away to switzerland as a treat! So uncharacteristically romantic of him.
So my brothers and I decided to surprise my parents with a swiss alps themed cake, and a personalised map, as our families crazy about travelling.  The map comes with loads of little board pins, so you can put pins in all the places you've travelled to! 

I honestly have the most amazing parents in the world who are truly one of a kind (or...two of a kind?).

Oh, and thanks for the sweet words about my doodles on the last post :) I'm practicing, so hopefully I'll improve! 


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Paper...My new addiction

unfortunately I'm not addicted to proper paper....but the app 'Paper by 53' (you can check it out here if you like).

It's just basically a notepad, where you can sketch, write and doodle etc. on your iPad or tablet.

I think my recent fondness for this app has come about since I have an exam to sit on the 15th, and I've not really been inspired to revise (My excuse is that it's multiple choice, so how hard can it be, right?).

Anyhoo here are some doodles I've done on ze app:


made this one for Tee :D
Alien in space

Allah in arabic
I used to be a pretty good drawer in high school, and at one point contemplated doing something in animation, but my drawings are a bit flukey in the sense that I can't really replicate things very well (e.g. characters) and I'm not very good at creating a story to make a decent comic :/

In other news, my lovely grandmother (my dad's mum) came to england on Friday, from New York where she stayed for a month with my uncle and aunties.  She's settling in pretty well, but I think the rain is a pretty big change from the weather in Pakistan!
24 hour electricity here though, unlike Pakistan.

Also, as I'm writing this post, Murray just won Gold in the Olympic tennis final! Well done lad!


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

He wrote back!

Do you guys remember this post, where I talked about my friend Josh?  Last year he started his mission, which is basically him being allocated somewhere by his Church to spread the word of the Lord.

He's on his mission for two years (I think..), and at the moment he's in Ireland, or Scotland? I can't really remember (I could just go in to the other room and check his address on the letter, but I think it's better to leave a little mystery.  And I'm too lazy).
While He's on his mission, he can't go on the internet, use the telephone or have his mobile phone, so basically anything that will distract him from preaching!  (He's allowed to make two phone calls per year I think? Easter and Christmas).

So anyway, before he went we met up for a coffee and a catch up, and he told me and his friends that we should write to him seeing as we wouldn't be able to txt or ring each other, and I was more than happy too!  I wrote to him earlier this year, and he wrote back in april I think.

It took me about 15 minutes to decipher the code that is his writing!  Once I de-coded the basic words like 'The', 'Yours' & 'And', I figured the rest of the letter out.

Now this may be an extremely sexist comment, but I very rarely see a guy that has nice handwriting! From school, college and university, most of my male friends have had pretty atrocious handwriting!! Now I know this doesn't apply to all men, but is it fair to say it applies to most? Or am I just over-generalising?

Anyhoo, back to Josh.
If you've read the post I've linked above, you'll have a rough idea of the humour Josh and I share with each other.  Part of it is our 'making-people-think-Josh-is-racist-when-he-really-isn't' jokes, which he initiated!

A running joke me and Josh had before he went on his mission was whether he would convert any Muslims or not.  In his letter back to me, he talked about how he came across a few pakistani people, and handed out some leaflets about his message in urdu!
It made me laugh so much, so in return, I drew him a little comic in my responding letter!

Et Voila!

I look forward to his response now :D

On another note, I ate out on Monday and Tuesday, spending time with my lovelies Tee and M-Dawg.
Since Ramadan started and I've been fasting, I've been craving steak! So I got to satisfy my craving last night at a nice place called Zouks.  It was soooo good, but the service was terrible :/

The day before that, Tee and I went to Franky and Benny's, and i got some tiger prawns and a calzone :D What better way to open an 18 hour fast eh?

Yummy Tiger Prawns
Bloggers being inconsistent and stupid again.  In my last post I had to upload pics via flickr, but today it's being ok and letting me upload pics normally without any weird notices!? How bizarre :(

Oh and thanks for ze feedback on the last post.  Not enough people have commented for there to be a clear winner in the iPad sticker battle, but I'm hoping if I leave it for a bit I might get more responses! If not, cookie monster is the current fav!