Unfinished

In the draft part of my blog, lay unfinished blog posts. Each begun with a surge of emotions, that quickly died. I am in a stale state. I feel like a sunken boat in the depths of the ocean.

My arms ache. I cannot write further today. My body and soul, both are tired.

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Breaking own records

It takes me 15 – 18 minutes to walk from my home to the library. As my pregnancy progressed, my pace slowed down and the time gradually went from 20 to 30 minutes.

Today marks 2 month 2 weeks since my delivery. By God’s grace, using all the power I can muster, I convinced and forced my mind and body to get back in shape and fitness. When the summer began, I started walking. To the nearest park first, then to the furthest one. Then to the library slowly. Today, finally my legs and body held me together, I made that to 10 minutes tops. Including the pedestrian signal stops. I broke my own record. I congratulate myself today. I am thankful to God for this body. It failed me for a month so bad, it din’t even feel it was mine. I couldn’t get up from the bed without crying. If my torso was lifted, my legs would dangle. I walked like an old woman. Slowly, gradually, my back straightened. And slowly, gradually I learnt to walk again. I learnt to get up from the bed again. I learnt once again, all over again, how to make my body work the way my mind wants it to. It felt like my soul came back and settled in once again.

From the library, me and the kids walked to another park. The cool breeze put my baby to sleep in his stroller. Meanwhile my other two got a chance to run their energies to the utmost. I sat taking pictures. I am learning to take better pictures.

At the library, I returned the other books. Along with some more for my kids, I got just one novel for me. Its better this way. I can read only one novel till the time to return them crops up.

Besides this, I am moving forward towards launching my writing career. I felt the best way to begin with, is to gain ground knowledge first. There was this huge poster beside the Headmistress’s office in my school. It read, ” If I had four hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first two hours sharpening the axe“. So that is what I am doing, sharpening my axe. So I got this huge book on SEO.

I love to study. Stuff related to computers, gadgets and electronics, vehicles, airplanes, gaming. This is what I love to study. I am really behind on the current updates though. Hence, beginning…brick by brick. God has provided me with the river of free knowledge, the library. I must utilise it to the maximum till I have a chance. The novels are good to keep my imagination running. Just one prayer, I hope I get my laptop soon. When it does come, I hope it is worth the wait.

Toys… a bazillion toys.

When I was a little child, my parents bought toys for us on special occasions, like on the two Eids, after final exam results, and beginning of the two-months long summer vacations. I had a fair amount of toys, not very expensive ones, but also not the cheaper ones. Once in a while dad did buy some expensive ones too. I loved my toys. Especially Doctor sets. My uncle from Jeddah bought me a huge Kitchen set. Among my favourites were a Violin, a sewing machine that could actually stitch cloth, a Diana and Sara dolls set (mommy doll rocking baby doll in the arms singing my favourite nursery song “It’s a small world after all”.), a couple of Beetle Cars, the Big Bird from Sesame Street, a huge black fighter jet, an antique tea set and a wooden furniture set mini sized. These toys were really dear to my heart.

I was a child though. I wanted more toys. Everytime we passed by or went to the toy stores, I wish I could buy as many toys as I wanted on each trip. I always dreamt of a room full of toys. I never complained to my parents though. It was just a desire inside my head. Like there was this time in 3rd Grade, I scored a Gold Honour Roll in my final exams. It was a huge thing in school back then. That’s when I was gifted with the expensive Diana and Sara doll pair. For 4th Grade, I was wishing for another pricey Doll in a cute pink stroller. Unfortunately, I scored a Silver Honour Roll. I remember, we were all sitting in our class lines on the school ground. Our names were being called for the Honour Rolls up on the stage. My heart sank the moment the list of Gold Honours got over. It did not matter that in the Silver Honours list, I was the first one. I had missed the Gold Honours by 2%. None of that mattered to me. The rule was, if I secured Gold, I get the doll in the stroller. That day on the grounds, I knew I wouldn’t get it. I was right. I got to buy some other toy I don’t even remember what, because I was heartbroken.

Fast forward to today. I had decided I would give my kids as many toys as they wished and wanted and more. My mother safely kept all my precious toys in a huge carton and shipped it to me in India. I also randomly bought them more toys from Amazon India.

Slowly I began noticing that it did not matter if their toys got lost or broke apart. That bothered me, because I hated it when toys broke and I would cry about it like a heartbreak. But it did not bother to them at all. Also, the excitement of a new toy was limited to just that few moments when they got it. More fast forward, here in Canada, me and hubby bought the kids more toys.

After almost a year residing here, me and hubby got enormously mad each time we found toys scattered on the floor, under the bed, behind tables, and beneath the chairs. My anger and swear words got polished whenever I happened to step on the toys, which was very often.

I began by screaming at the kids to clean up the mess after playing. This did not work. I then started sorting the toys and throwing away the old ones. This did not even bother the kids. I got emboldened and threw away tiny and sharp toys. From 3 drawers and 4 bags of toys, I gradually brought it down to just 2 drawers of toys. Then I placed a rule that no toys will be allowed in the bedroom. Playing to be done only in the hall. Worked wonders. Part 2 of the plan, I went back to my parents’ method of buying toys only on special occasions.

The result? My kids have become creative with their toys. They don’t ask for toys when they are at home. Instead, they build up forts, and make up stories and role play. It is so amazing to watch them. I now wish I had taken pictures of their creations. They aren’t bored, strangely. They value each toy and have an attachment towards them. I am a happy mom, now, in this aspect.

Less Toys…More Play…

I learnt it…the hard way…

Minds.

I am in the middle of the book, Still Mine, by Amy Stuart. The point upto which I have read, the main character, Clare, poses as a photographer and comes to a small mining town/village. That’s her facade, while she pursues a missing person.

The writer has mentioned over and over again, that the tight-knit town, apparently like most other tight-knit communities, was subtly hostile towards a newcomer. Somehow they could see through her farce occupation and everyone in the place did not believe that she is a photographer.

It made me feel very odd each time I read that. It made me feel that, like why would the writer make it a point to repeat this sentence and how is it possible that nobody, I really mean nobody believes that she is a photographer.

I then left the book because it was late at night and time to sleep.

I thought about that theme a lot. Earlier, while reading, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. As I thought about it, laying in the dark room, looking at the dim ceiling, it slowly made sense to me. Then it hit me like a speeding train. Okay, Clare’s cover was a photographer. Her mission was finding the missing girl. But about the thoughts of that community? They rang a huge bell home for me.

When I moved to India after my exit from KSA, I found that along with my inlaws, the entire town (my routeways through) had the exact same mentality. They thought about things in the same rugged way, even though there was a huge economic disparity. Sheep in a herd, all moving, thinking, working in just one direction. Heavily skeptical of change. Untrusting, unbelieving of anything thought differently. They would ask me the same questions over and over. For years. Never believing what I say. It was all so different for them. Hence, hard to accept. I was the outsider. Initially I felt like an alien. Really from the outside. I had absolutely no friends in the city, everybody outside always stared at me. It was all so awkward. Nobody understood my hobbies. There was no hunger for knowledge or learning anything new or old or skillfull.

Koi dost hai na raqeeb hai
Koi dost hai na raqeeb hai
Tera sheher kitna ajeeb hai
Tera shehar kitna ajeeb hai
Koi dost hai na raqeeb hai
Wo jo ishq tha wo junoon tha
Wo jo ishq tha wo junoon tha
Ye jo hijr hai, ye naseeb hai
Ye jo hijr hai, ye naseeb hai
Tera sheher kitna ajeeb hai
Mai kise kahoon mere saath chal
Mai kise kahoon mere saath chal
Yaha sab ke sar pe salib hai
Yaha sab ke sar pe salib hai
Tera sheher kitna ajeeb hai
Yaha kis ka chehra padha karu
Yaha kaun kitna kareeb hai
Tujhe dekh kar mai hu sochta
Tujhe dekh kar mai hu sochta
Tu habib hai ya raqeeb hai
Tu habib hai ya raqeeb hai

I used to sit listening to this Ghazal. A lot. It resonated my feelings. A question to my husband, for I had given up my hometown, my luxuries, my parents, my siblings, my peace, my folks, my everything. For him. For love. It made me feel so lonely when he went to work. After a while, my two cousin sisters befreinded me and I could bend a little to dissolve with them. At that time they were college students. So most of my time went in silence. In questioning myself if I did right leaving everything behind.

Years from then, now, while reading my novel, it all made sense. The outsider feeling.

I am a traveller at heart. I love flying to different destinations. I have a list of countries/cities/locations that I hope to visit someday in my life. I love to try differenr foods, meet different types of people and check out different cultures. I cannot change myself to fit in though. Indian marriages force a girl to transform into something else. Unrecognizable. But I couldn’t. And for the life of me, I wouldn’t. I am glad. I am thankful to God and then to my husband for moving me to Canada. Here where I can be myself. Follow whatever I want and eat whatever I want. Without crushing my upbringing or become backward, stagnant and narrow minded.

Moving forward…I love discovering more in the novel. It is slow paced, but well touched with emotions.

Shock Treatment

Isn’t that a synonym for parenthood? Yeah, there is the sweetness of the children, their loveliness, their innocence, their warmth etc etc. I love that and enjoy it thoroughly.

But today, was a particular hard day. My daughter took soooooooooooooo long to finish her breakfast which was almost like a lunch because we started it sort of late. She took a while whopping 3 hours. I had multiple tasks at the same time and I just couldn’t watch her. Every 5 minutes if I say Simrah eat, then she would put a tiny morsel in her mouth. Then another forever to chew it. I don’t know why. That 3 hour was one of the longest 3 hours ever.

I thought that was it. Then, came the time I decided I would make my son write. Practicing in the summer. Trying to keep him at par with the rest of his peers. His whole problem is holding that damn pencil right. Every line of every letter I have to keep saying Hold your pencil rightly Shahid. Once that got done, I tried making him learn new words. And new spellings of numbers. I don’t what could be more exasperating.

I did not know what is anger. Until I had kids.

Like they really know how to blow the whistle off the pressure. Or maybe….just maybe it’s easier to scream out at them than anyone else….

This isn’t rage. It is frustration. My intentions are right. Just like my parents intended the best.

My head was throbbing at the end of it all. So after lunch, we are back at the park. Peace. I need peace.

I spoke to my hubby about this and he made me look at this with a wholly different perspective. Like, I am angry at my son at the time he is feeling lost. Sounds so familiar to me. But why am I repeating it? He also told me I need to do it daily. The teaching part. So he gets the hang of it. If I happen to miss a couple of days in the middle, he forgets to hold that pencil properly altogether.

It is hard. This is so hard. There is no quitting though. I have to push through. And also wait for that damned laptop to arrive. Yeaarrrrghhhh!!!!

Patching up torn parts

It took you this long,

to ask me what went wrong.

Tears trickled, from both our eyes,

as we read between our sighs.

We tried to patch our broken hearts,

and mend our life’s withering parts.

Through high and low, we promised to stay,

through thick or thin, hence, we shouldn’t sway.

Its nice to see you hear me out,

feels good to see you notice my pout.

Okay, that’s about the max I could do with poetry. Yeah, it felt nice. Yeah, it felt great to be understood, even for just a while. Yeah, it hurt to see you broken. It felt madenning to see you troubled by your own peer and folks. It feels sad to see you brow beaten by responsibilty and trying to lift weight beyond your capacity. Its frustrating I can’t help right now. For even I, just like, are fighting demons. Demons od time, responsibilty, sanity.

Sanity. Most important component of the day. And I am losing it day by day. It takes all of me to not yell and cry and be an adult and fix my daily schedules.

I got so overwhelmed yesterday, I wanted to go to my mom and lay my head on her lap…..I miss my mom. And her warmth.

7:20 pm

So we’re at the park again. Its just mostly 1 hour to sundown. Hence, the fastest route to fun being the park.

Its a cool weather with a lovely wind. Extremely beautiful skies. Oh I so love this. I feel relaxed. And at so much peace.

Last night, hubby played a piety filled sermon. It instantly brought tears to my eyes. My tears stung, not my face but my soul. My tears stung my soul real hard. In trying to be patient and then giving up, in trying to do everything for the sake of God and then going what the heck it’s my way or highway, in trying to work things out and then forcing things around to fit my ideas and also all this about I deserve the best so let me be a bitch to everyone around, I lost myself.

I got too proud trying to be patient. I forgot that it is a test of God and not the people around who control my life. If something works or doesn’t work, it is because it is in my destiny written by God and not anyone around. What made me like this? I became a snapping snapdragon.

Not good. Not good. In trying to be a Phoenix, I became a duck instead. Pretending to be in control over water and waddling like crazy beneath it.

I thank God for showing me that I stopped being humble and was inching by the miles to arrogance. Forgive me, my Lord.

Okay, that said and done. Let me continue with my book.

……..

Or not. I am home now. I put down the book after a few pages. My son wanted me to play with him. I had a good session of kick the ball and playing catch. For a change, I took a lot of pictures.

Now, home, back to the grind.