Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mullahs Gone Wild

My eyes.
So its not only young American grad students who get to enjoy spring break...eventually the Rhythm Will Get To Anyone.
Excuse me while I look for the link to the mujra the former Chair CBR subjected us to. I seriously want you to start voting on who would do it best in a potential dance-off.

Edited to Add:

you can watch the former Chairman Board of Revenue dance off at


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kissa Number Ka

Kiran tagged me with this and well I needed something to get me writing again.

One in my last nerve...and you are getting to it if you have to exclaim "Oh but the baby is JUST like the father"..of course he is, Gman is the father, are you trying to hint something? In fact please dont for I realise it irritates me more when you joke "so at least we know who the dad is" or "Oh so its not the neighbour" (actually even if the spirit was willing it would have been quite the Mission Impossible as our neighbour at the time of Project Conception was a gay Anglican priest, ha ha). And for all those who ask in a concerned tone, "so does it bother you that the baby is nothing like you", well the baby has my sense of humour, dark and wicked, and its very obvious even at such a young age, and this is what I was praying for, so Im content with how the genes are playing out thank you very much.

It takes two to tango ...and to procreate...but it takes a whole village to raise the bub.

It took us nearly three months to get to a stage where we could take this pic...three hours of chasing after the cat and three weeks of getting around to download the pic of the FOUR of us together.

Ok so we look disheveled, and I know my mother will scream when she sees this as how I never make the bed properly, how Gman and me need a new wardrobe and a hair cut and a million other things you may find wrong but finally finally I have a shot of the FOUR of us together. Pesho and Baby Arhaan have finally made us a family. The number four has been pretty significant to me and mine (yup Kiran if you are reading this the similarities in your life and mine are spooky at times)..July 4 my birth date..Jan 4 the date I met Gman for the first time...Jan 31 the bub's birth date ...four the number of my niece and nephews (who rock my world) and well the list goes on.

Five rupees ...what I got as my first pocket money...not much even for those times but SO much and more if you knew the whole story to it. Good times Aneela Good Times.

The number that has figured in EVERY house/apartment Ive lived in...whether it is the house number, lane number, apartment block...Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Bangkok (held true for two different apartments!!)Hanover, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. Freaky!! Until I moved to our recent could be because its the start of a new life for me or there is a number 6 connection and I havent discovered it yet!!

The seventh month of the birth month...Yup, born on the Fourth of July...Im a Fire Cracker Girl...meant so much as a kid, random strangers on finding out would comment Aap Ko Tau Amreeka Ka Visa Aisey Hee Dey Deyngey and one would beam with pride. How things have changed. I miss a time when I didnt cringe with embarrassment on disclosing my birth date.

Eight years old...thats how old I was when my first essay was published and I caught on to the writing bug..I dont know if that is a good thing for all of you or not!!

Well thats how long a pregnancy should be...and should be spent with your feet up. Too late for me...silly silly Aneela spent it at the dentists nursing a wisdom tooth...renovating houses...teaching a crazy semester...finishing writing research projects no one was much interested in. Crying her eyes out over the nightmares visiting all the homes she has loved. Telling herself just this one project and then I will relax and catch up on my sleep and lie in for the 72 hour weekend all the baby books tell me about. And then the baby was here even before the ninth month had started. And now she goes around advising people who probably wont even dream of following it until they learn for themselves NINE MONTHS AINT ENOUGH!!

Ten years to the year Gman and me met we have received a ten-year anni present that rocks our world. Who knew eh?

Ummm who should I tag? The Karachi posse perhaps?
Jammie, Khizzy, kAy,'re it!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How Much I Love Thee Let Me Count the Ways

umm actually five to be precise...I have been tagged by Mad Momma to list five things I love about my 'mommy life':

1) To never miss your sister, niece et nephews and husband (mine travels) see their eyes in his, their glee reflected in his smile, the way arhaan channels gman as he sleeps, his cousin's tantrums in his scrunched up mouth, his father' furrowed forehead as he worries what his mother is up to next.

2) The community of fellow 'conspirators' he has introduced me mommies old and new help me with their tricks of the trade... of friendships through networks I never imagined. Of old dreams of a 'commune of women raising the next generation' being realised through new blog friends should band together to form a Justice League of their own as they take on all the challenges mommy hood poses.

3)To finally have an answer to the question...Will I burn in hell fire for eternal damnation if I question my parent's ways? Do mommies really have it right? Know everything? They dont. Well I dont...and I know Im flawed, I know I dont "do it best". I have fears, complexes, dark days which will influence my judgement and my son should know that. But I will still pull out the Because I Said So card, phir aadmi bachey hi kiyoo karey (some reason to have a kid).

4) That I have stopped being judgemental, and expecting high standards. Hell there are days when I even forgive the Pakistan government for their shenanigans. Gman found me one day muttering how one could expect them to handle the Taleban mafia when I couldnt even put one little terror to sleep.

5)The way he makes a volatile cocktail of vomit-farts-Johnson baby-fabric softener-poop smell so good, him startling mid-nap and reaching out to me, his warm breath on my cheek, the fake crying as he pouts his lips, his cheekiness as he puts his dad to sleep EVERY TIME, him staring me down into opening my eyes as I fake sleep to lull him into slumber--no fooling him, the drunken smile on his face post-feed, the RARE days when he acts baby and sleeps in his crib, his generosity of spirit and forgiving me each time I falter, of helping me discover strengths which cliched though it may sound I never knew.

Mad Momma was right, its tough putting it down to five.

And now to pass on the tag to post 5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country ..and to leave a link to the post at HBM

Now some of my Justice League has been tagged already ...looking forward to reading their take on mommyhood...the five who have still not been bagged:

Kat in Karachi

Parul in Mumbai

Mimi in Melbourne

Mina in Lahore

MayG in Dubai

Say a prayer for me and mine in the days ahead and ummm photographic evidence of The Baby Who Can Put YOU to Sleep.

Cheeky little bugger if I have to say so myself

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Jin pey takia tha

baaghbaan ne aag di jab aashiyaanay ko mere
jin pe takiya tha vohi pattay hawa dene lagay

-saaqib lakhnavi

There have been three constants in my life in diaspora. Articulated for some years in the form of three political cartoons. At the moment they occupy pride of place on my kitchen wall. They go a long way to tell visitors about "what defines me".

One has been my love hate relationship with cricket. Let me declare at the onset that I am not a cricket fan. But cricket, in fact one day cricket has played a big role in mapping out my "life trajectory"; when all else failed I would use the outcome of a one day match as an "oracle". Veeru et Jai had their coin, I had the results of a couple of one dayers. And fingers crossed, this oracle of the fall of wickets has treated me well. So when the terrorists came a calling one Lahore morning, I feared tempting the gods of cricket when I would steer my friends towards the framed Akhter Shah of a cricket player offering funeral prayers at the graveside of cricket.

The other two are a Vaiell of BB and a Feica of an exchange between two stalwarts of the ANP.

What can I say about my relationship with the Prodigal Daughter, and towards the end her personal fiefdom the PPP? I admit that in spite of all that had happened, the trials and tribulations of the party would still me.I would always wonder about what kind of self-destructive love was it that the party still had its hold on me. Albeit, in the days of the Merry Widower and his coterie of pseudo-jiyalas it was becoming increasingly easy to snap out of my trance. And this week as the (allegedly) great supporter of arts in Pakistan jackbooted down a Karachi gallery, the love affair was sadly finally over.

However, the cruelest cut of all has been ANP's betrayal of its non-violent and secular spirit. My Feica has Badshah Khan chastising a repentant Wali Khan (for the party's alliance with an army backed party)...that act dwindles to insignificance when we witness their political decisions of the past month. My head hangs in shame as I pass the kitchen wall every morning.

Do you remember the Shia Muslim sect Qarmatians who’s particular world view was one that every phenomena has and will repeat itself in cycles, so that each incident is replayed over and over again. But to witness the ANP and PPP step so willingly into the shoes of Messrs Zia and his cronies? Did you every expect this? To witness the 80s and the murder of human rights and freedom of speech but this time it is the ANP and PPP that has turned executioner?

I am sorely tempted to take down my three pillars and petition the artist behind the ill fated installation at the Shanakht festival, to send me his artwork to replace them. Can someone help me?

The ANP in Pukhtunkhwa and PPP in the Center, it seemed like a golden morning...Faiz says its best:
We are told
Your new dawn is already here;
Your tired feet need journey no more.....
But there is yet no relief in the darkness of the Night;
No liberation yet of our souls and our minds
So let us keep marching, my friends:
We have yet to find our Elusive Dawn.

P.S: Apologies for the quality of the phone sey bus itna hi
P.P.S: Reference the Lakhnavi, somebody tell Urdu Maám that I might have been dozing but I did retain everything.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Two months with You

Dear Arhaan,
When you were but an idea I would think of a day in future when I would be chronicling your ups and downs...unfortunately you are growing up in a time where the madness that has taken over my world has eclipsed all your quirks. I also realise that you are growing up in unusual times and perhaps it is best I forget what the books say and come up with a 'model' which is our own. I have a group of remarkable women who are backing me up and I cant wait till you meet them and hopefully thank them for allowing us to break the rules. We have already concluded that we will do away with good ol' Spock and his disdain for the ways of the "Third World" and lack of individualism. Your grand mother will despair that I am raising you as a 'villager' (we will not get into a debate on the burden of the post-colonial at this stage)but something tells me it will make you stronger and happier and as one clever woman has told me save you from years of therapy! So the cot and your daytime crib will only be visited when you are can be a 'holding area' for your cot toys and blankets and the hand mitts that you refuse to wear. We will demand feed and Im hoping that you will grow up to have a healthy relationship to food.
This month you attended your first book launch and made a group of jaded academics laugh and be a wee bit more optimistic about the world for a few also surprised me by spending a whole evening this Thursday without me with your father, there were no tantrums, you didnt go hungry (so my brief episode of sheer panic and tears during the coffee break was quite unncessary)and I guess this means you stay home rather than coming to uni on Thursdays.
There was a week when I was overwhelmed by the nitty-grittiness of raising you...I feel confused and guilty when I worry about your not sleeping when and where you should and by your neediness. This as these problems dwarf in the face of the enormity of the crisis that has gripped my part of the world.
I realise (and have been reminded) that you are but one of a million other souls who came into this world the same day and a very wise woman has cautioned me to stop fretting about the 'little stuff' as there will be a million other moms also marking the same milestones, fretting about the same things. But it goes to your credit that you melt my hardened heart...last night as you lay besides me on my pillow and and cooed and giggled me into opening my eyes (Cmon, I am not buying you have gone to sleep and there is no forcing me into taking a nap)I laughed as I have not in many days..and I prayed fervently that some where out there where the madness rules other sweet souls are making their mothers forget their pain for a moment too.

May you grow up to a happier world and may none of the demons that visit me cross your door step.
all my prayers and more.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

IN THE NEWS: Pitt-y Angelina
who knew Brad Pitt could actually make Gman feel better about himself?
Watching DVDs all day in bed, guzzling beer while poor angie baby slogs her butt off and the kids run wild eh.
and then refusing to answer, classic!!
Perhaps he picked up a thing or two from our Alpha Men when he swung by Pakistan and India.