SWIRLY.

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I have all these thoughts in my head, whizzing in and out, left and right- they’re creating some kind of magical, kaleidoscope in my brain! And yet, with all these thoughts, I have not been able to bring myself to blog in the last little while. It’s true that I have been busy, but I should have managed some time to myself. My blog is ‘me time’.  I certainly wish I could make this a full time career, and maybe some day I WILL, you never know. Right now, however, after the wedding, after the honeymoon ended, I faced a new reality. I was busy discovering life as a married woman, and I continue to discover what that really means anyways. I suppose everyone does- men and women recently married are finding out what their partner is like.

I don’t know about anyone else’s beginning or journey to married life, but my own has been…well, i think mine has … been my own [READ: OBVIOUSLY right here] and it’s been different. I don’t know many people who leave their husbands to go on vacation 2 and a half months after the wedding ! I went back for a visit and now I find myself back at my parents house, on a whole different continent. And before you worry, everything is fine. I think we shocked ourselves at how ‘weird’ this turned out, but it’s been good too- and that is … shocking, in a good way.

Everyone has their own dream of what married life will be like after the wedding and mine wasn’t exactly what I thought for myself but I am not complaining because Life just panned out the way it was supposed to. How odd is that man!?!?!!??!!? Things work out without you thinking they could work out. Your relationship grows in ways you didn’t think it would. Your life changes in ways you didn’t know it would. All of a sudden, you’re not alone and you’re learning to compromise in ways you had no idea you could even compromise in! You do things differently before you become your own person in your marriage…That might be difficult to understand, but i have no better way of explaining it!

Marriage is a funny thing. Who ever tells you that you will not argue while married has found the secret to living! My first argument was 4 months after getting married and that set the tone for how we dealt with all future arguments. So what was it about? Finances? Friends? in laws ? It was none of these. Our first argument was on communication. And we dealt with it pretty well Alhamdulilah. I know we have two very different backgrounds, but we looked beyond that difference.

What I learnt from that first argument was that listening was super important. I’m also not the only one with feelings! I have a new partner and he has ways of expressing himself differently. Different shouldn’t be intimidating, it’s something you should embrace. If you think that life stays the same for you, and you think you can mold your partner according to your desires…it isn’t happening. A marriage is just this two way street. If she’s angry stay calm; if he’s sad, work to cheer him up- those efforts you make for each other pay off. Everyone likes to see the efforts being made by their partner- even when you might have a tough time embracing the differences!

As it so happens, my husband is cool with bollywood…me…not at all. But i sat thru ‘Sultan’, ‘Ki and Ka’, ‘Fan’ and i can’t even remember the other he took me to see because frankly, i fell asleep. Instead of nagging about the fact that we saw an Indian movie, i tried focusing on the fact that my husband was taking me out, was spending date time with me, and that while he might like bollywood and i might hate it, i get caramel popcorn and that’s pretty good ! He noticed that I hated it and of course asked me to pick movies to watch the next time we went to the theatre. Thankfully, my husband DOES like English movies as well…He just wanted to try and show me something different. I have had enough bollywood to last me a while, so thanks but no thanks 🙂

To completely change the topic, the weirdest thing… Why would anyone want to keep in touch with someone who has exited their life? It is odd but i’ve been getting these texts to help someone who is in no shape or form related to me, and we just…i mean, i know this uncle, but…argh, ok, an ex-rishta’s dad is contacting me to look for a rishta for his kids, not including the one who was a proposal for me. I mean, I am confused as what to do.  I understand that finding a spouse is HARD and that people need all the help they can get, but when you have successfully engaged your younger son on your own, what do you need me for? So yeah, that is WEIRD. Everyone is on the ‘ignore bandwagon’ and everyone is right, but i did pass two #s of parents looking for their kids as well because lets be real, this is a real situation.

And that brings me in to the topic of actually getting married. Look- it is HARD and let me say that people need to support each other and help each other find matches. I am not asking you to go date or do something behind your parents back (because if you haven’t learnt by now, that is just a waste of time for the kids in the Muslim community; if you’re gonna do something, do it in front of your parents- for that you might as well TALK to them!). My whole point is that if you have married friends with single friends, they should either present you with someone or feel free to ask, do not feel like you are being desperate or anything because this is NATURAL, we all have to try our best, and i think not giving up is important. It is not easy people!

This issue is actually so important- particularly in the Muslim community that i feel that women need to get together to help their children. Because there are a lot of ppl who still go the arranged marriage way and no, it is NOT always awful. I have some families looking for their sons and daughters and I am trying to pair them up.

I’ve discussed this in a previous blog page (oh, its private) but anyways, the thing with women helping families find a match is that sometimes they charge and they charge TOO much. This is unfair. This should be a free service (and i am ready to help). The truth is that I will be unable to help a lot of people because volunteering takes up time- I have to allocate time to helping certain people first. HAVING SAID THAT, I have to be totally HONEST, that families come with demands. I cant cater to these demands because some of them are totally unrealistic. You can’t describe your dream girl for your son and expect me to find that ‘fair faced, hazel eyed, slim, tall, 23 year old MBA grad or doctor’ . I can’t. Be reasonable and stop putting damn age restrictions and location restrictions because let me tell you people, ALLAH changes the situation of people LIKE-THAT *snaps fingers*. I’ve seen quite a bit, and experienced something new in my own marriage. I wanted to get married here but Allah had my husband for me over there! And it was an arranged marriage. I can’t guarantee anything for you because ultimately ALLAH decides for you and you can’t leave things to just me. My role is only to connect people, that’s it. Do what you want, but please, no restrictions or complaints and whines about things like…pictures! Some families don’t want pictures…why not ask the people to send you one directly? One does something good for you, don’t come back and just put the people to work for you, this is something someone does as a volunteer; no one is your personal slave here- people who do this service are doing it for Allah but they have LIVES too…just reminding!

And after ALL THAT….I AM GOING TO BED! SHABAKHAIR

Romanticizing heartbreak

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Guilty.

I did it.

I once mourned long and hard for a relationship lost. I thought I had lost my very best friend, I just could not wrap my head around it and then I hated my ‘best friend’, and after all that I decided to hate the whole world. Nothing felt right and everything was out of place , I no longer knew myself and somehow i fell in love with the idea of a lost love and oh boy, what bull shit.

We all move on. There’s nothing remotely romantic about thinking about our doomed friendships or how we went through some ridiculous stabs in the back. PUHLEEZ. Here’s a box of chocolates and a treadmill.

Why would any one in their right minds go on and on and on and ON about how sad they felt at the loss of their friends? If you’re talking about it for more than 4 months without healing, then yeah, I think you’re out of your damn mind. I can tell you that because i was there.

Lost someone who meant the world to me and surprise, it took me forever to get out of my misery because i kept narrating everything to myself, I was in some sort of grieving mode for a whole year. Yeah, from like Dec ’14 to Dec ’15- i was in some sort of pain inflicted by myself to myself.

If you ever find yourself in that sort of grief, seek HELP from people who MEAN well. NOT people that will remind you of how things COULD have been. What is the point? It’s gone, it’s over and TADA, SOMEONE comes along who just fixes every piece of you. It was bound to happen, if your friend really adored you, they wouldn’t have left.

I might have lost a friend- but after meeting my husband, I honestly have to say that it was like…wow. I did not have the capacity to understand that you can fall in love with a stranger and he might be the exact opposite of what everyone had in mind…but…he works for your love, he knows your place…and it’s the sweetest feeling in the world.

If you’re going to romanticize something, romanticize the idea of love- real love. Love isn’t just a destination, it’s a whole journey that you embark on. You don’t just find yourself, you find your soul mate.

I’m not saying the journey is easy…it’s a challenge. You will experience change like never before. You will never really be the same because your change will impact those around you.

I wish you all well; when you feel happiness, you can only radiate it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been a while.

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So the wedding happened, the post wedding dinners happened, the mini-moon happened, and then we ran into a snag. May God help us, this too shall pass. IN SHA ALLAH. (Ameen).

Married life is different. No matter how many times you prepare for it in your head, it’s just different. It’s not bad different, or scary different- it’s ohmygod-sharing-a-bed-with-someone-different. And you learn a few things about yourself when you do get married. I suppose you will keep learning as you grow, but the you learn a bit more about yourself when you have to share yourself with another person. It’s different!

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My veil … and the NONRed outfit

So my wedding was pretty …it was pretty much a BLUR to me. When I see pictures, I still can’t believe that was me a mere 3 months ago. I didn’t actually think my wedding would come together the way it did- so quickly and with no major disasters…I mean there was that issue of my karighar ruining my wedding dress days before my wedding dress, but the replacement dress was a gift from Allah. I really was NOT sure about it at all, particularly because it was a very A-Typical color, but it fit lovely, It shone so bright and when I put it on the day of my wedding, my husband was blown away.

I chose to go a little more traditional by veiling my face during my entrance, Nikkah, and rukhsati. My mother in law loved the idea and has been talking about it since I got married. Cool fact: my mom picked the fabric for my husbands shehrwani and it was GORGEOUS. Having a mom with great design aesthetic is FABULOUS !

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Jhoota Chupai DURING the Dhoodh pilai – two traditions in one !

My dhoodh pilai was filled with fun drama, completely enjoyed it! My best friend was in charge of the bargaining- she ‘made’ the glass (pretty sure she had help! 🙂 ) and she is the closest I have to a sister , right in the same league as my sister in law. I wish several other friends had joined in- notably absent from that was my friend who came from Karachi and had been staying with me… but i probably made the mistake of not saying anything and just assuming she’d be there …aye haye!  The only set back was my husbands flirty friend…who gave the dhoodh pilai- ers way less than the money my husband allotted for the occasion. But Ok… whatever. It’s over!

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The dhoodh pilai glass.

My rukhsati was pretty emotional… for my dad 🙂 Yes…dad cried. I didn’t shed too many tears because I knew I’d pop home for a visit the next day…and I DID! But i really did feel special and I always cry watching my wedding video and my wedding images.

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Saying Allah Hafiz…for the night

Saying Allah Hafiz to your dad is definitely hard work. Watching his teary ears elicits tears. That’s the only time I cried a bit but thankfully Mama calmed him down and my mother in law told me to not ruin my face because i had to show it to my new husband. I was like…oh man… 😛

So when I finally got home…guess what!? There was a photographer pushing for a photoshoot that no one had any energy for. I just wanted to let my hair down, take a pill and sleep. (I mean, this blog is rated PG and I for Islamically approved by my own conscience!)

SO THE next day was the walima and I was pretty happy that I chose not to have a mendhi (I had a dholki a whole week prior to my wedding) because getting ready a second day was a nightmare. I definitely think the whole getting ready process is overpriced; it’s also tense because it’s the most important day of your life and you want to look AMAZING and these Salon people keep throwing charges at you. HOWEVER, I will say that I was very satisfied with my make up artists at Ather Shahzad. Shahzad Raza saw me the day of my baraat and had a few compliments to throw at me 🙂 which was actually really lovely. I did recommend the salon to my friends for their special days but yes…I do believe the cost of getting ready is sky rocketing. It actually shouldn’t be so expensive because the amount of product being used on you is minimal. The expertise is there BUT it’s only for a limited amount of time.

I really worked hard to have my walima wedding shoot at my husbands old school- and it was quite the idea 🙂 A wedding shoot at Aitchison was a perfect idea! My husband was SO happy and the images turned out LOVELY!

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Walking down memory lane with my husband

Also, I wore a mint green- at least you can see this outfit versus my baraat dress, which you can’t see because i don’t have an image like this to show you.

I also have to mention my photographers … I found them on facebook of all places and they were so willing to work with me that it made the experience a lot better. They had to hear a lot of complaints from me, butttt they knew this was from a jittery bride and they took it all in stride. I definitely recommend them because they do TRY harder than a lot of other photographers out there. They wont break the bank either and tend to work with people with budgets.

JAS Photography did a wonderful job and if you have a wedding, they are an option to bear in mind!

I can’t remember who did the catering, but i heard good things about the food both days…I wouldn’t know because I didn’t eat a thing on either the baraat or the Walima – Not eating on your wedding days is not smart, don’t do that. You’ll go home and ask for food and no one will have food because no one has cooked food for the day because they cook fresh at home and lunch wala food was all finished. So don’t be dumb and EAT SOMETHING.

Also, here’s a religious tip for anyone who wants to take it: make sure to read Surah Noor before the wedding. That’s what my phupho told me to do and I dutifully obliged.

Tada! That’s it folks 🙂 Have a wonderful day.

SMILE and OOWWW!

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I am most definitely going through the worst toothache EVER. I think something is infected because there is definitely pain and its spreading and it feels warm and i think my gum is about to explode. OWW is an understatement. I’ve taken a pain killer and am headed to the dentist ASAP. I wonder if whatever infection is in whatever part of my mouth will spread…hopefully not 😦

So remember I told you guys I wanted to discover local brands? I messaged them and received the following replies 🙂

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So as you can see, the only brand that managed to give me a proper reply and pique my curiosity was Luscious. I’m giving MM cosmetics points for replying . OF COURSE i didn’t expect either Redah or MM to reply, but a good representative would’ve been sufficient.

Todays Adventure with W: So he comes over and, you guessed it, formality prevailed! And i’m talking, me not being there; me going to the roof to walk to wait till he leaves…Yeab, that’s too Sharmeeli- even for me. But i did it…for the most part until he walked back to the living room – he left to my dads mancave aka home office- only to see me and jump back out of the room. weeeeh me. A .5 second encounter with the man I am about to marry. The man who probably is getting as curious as I am to really know the person I have to share a bathroom with in 28 days. Freaking seriously?What if we don’t like the same brands of SHAMPOOS!EVER THOUGHT OF THAT!?!

We’ve managed to have a few serious conversations. Things that make me believe that there is hope…that things will be fine in sha Allah. I secretly (well, now it isn’t a secret) worry- just like anyone else about to tie the knot i guess. Perhaps it isn’t worry, it’s a whole bunch of emotions that just leave me…they render me semi confused to be honest. I enjoy these moments of silence, typing out what I feel…its gets it out of my system. I think every bride out there needs a way to get these feelings out- even if it’s utter joy. You need a place or a way to say or show it. And it’s gotta be your own way. Theres no right or wrong way to do it,say it, feel it…it just happens. I guess this is my way- I mean IT is.

One piece of advice people…stop butting noses in people’s business…Day before I heard of someone who stalked me on FB to find out what i looked like. W’s friends wife. She then sent W a picture of my Display Picture- W, by the way, is NOT on FB- and it was me on the couch at our ‘haan’ with an OMG on him, hiding his face. I am not hiding his face for any reason other than the fact that I want everyone to see him at the wedding, at the appropriate time. WHY does one have to do things the way other people want them to? This ‘well meaning friend’  can cause a lot of problems if she continues doing what she’s doing, feeding MY HUSBAND to be with ‘info’ . I’m lucky that W is smart enough to ask me, but I was absolutely grossed out by that dumb action. Realize that even small bits of unnecessary info can cause misunderstandings.

Over and Out.

Acquisition

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Technically, this post should be called ‘I-CANT-BELIEVE-THEY-BOUGHT-ME-THAT’ but i thought i would tone it down. A wedding, particularly a desi wedding, involves A LOT of shopping.

I think for once in my life, I feel incredibly overwhelmed.I also feel incredibly grateful but i haven’t been able to say thank you to my parents…its not that i don’t want to, its just that i feel so … shocked and it just doesn’t come out. Its an emotion that wants to thank them and thank God, but right now, i just don’t have words.  Lack of words. And here I am writing it down. I guess a card is in order.

I did write them a thank you not in my wedding invite- the printer made a mistake and forgot to write ‘A Message From the Bride’  on the top. I am horribly ticked off but can do nothing about it.

I was thinking how incredible its is to be getting married to people who don’t expect a girl to bring any materials to their home. Or if they do, they have not said anything. Having been through the rishta process for a while, I had seen and heard of people who asked for a dowry. And there are ways of doing it. And if you think a lot of us have it ‘bad’, think of people in villages who think this unislamic practice is NECESSARY and they spend their  energies saving for their daughters…sorry, the IN-LAWS of their daughter/s.

Marriage has me thinking of a lot. My rights as a woman, for example. Do I really have any? Will my husband uphold them? Will I be strong enough for myself? I think, I plan and then I think some more and tell myself that things will be alright IN SHA ALLAH. Truthfully, you can plan all you want, but ultimately, nothing is in your hands. You have a lot of work to do, but it has to be done in the moment.

In the weeks coming up to the wedding, I’ve noticed people say, ‘Haww, bataya bi nahi k shaadi ho rahi hai…mujay bula rahi ho na?’ [‘Haawww, you didn’t even tell me you were getting married…are you inviting me or not?’ ]  OR THEN, people have offered to help without having ever had a conversation with me before! ALSO I’ve seen people who assume they are invite, tell you they are really happy for you…and then they never call. You never hear from them…You hear they tell people they are psyched to go to your wedding but then they never call. THAT SUCKS.

Inviting yourself to a wedding IS AWKWARD people. Let me just say that we plan for a wedding and it would be a JOY to have everyone, but realistically, it is sorta impossible because you have so many things to think about…not being invited to a wedding does NOT mean I hate you or didn’t want you there, it means I just had no space. And lets be REAL, you will not always be invited to every wedding, no matter what, it will not happen!Don’t let that cause problems in your friendship. It’s not worth it.

I’m hungry for attention since like, last week. It’s not like I am NOT getting attention, I’m getting plenty of it, but i really want W to call. He has been MIA for the last 4 days because he has been working- wedding planning and actually working his little bottom off. It’s so difficult to have a conversation these days and, coincidentally, that’s all I want. I want to know what is going on on that side of the wedding preps. When will this end!?!?!

Also, getting married made me think of one more thing…i might need to know how to paint my face. Besides the general, MAC, YSL, CHANEL, etc, etc, I saw these two Pakistani brands and I almost got them, but not quite…Luscious and Musarrat Misbah …It just occurred to me that Nabila has a brand too..Maybe I should actually try and see if they work because they are all targeted for Asian Skin… what do you think??? Also,Musarrat Misbah says her make up is HALAL, How COOL is that! Any ideas what people recommend to the new bride???

 

Prem Ratan SCARY

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W had mentioned he watches bollywood movies shamelessly. I was pretty amazed at an open admission to it- every ‘man’ I had ever met here admitted to the typical hollywood movies. On this special night (please read: boring) I fluffed up my pillows, stared at the screen, einee-meenied my way thru a list of bolly films and finally settled on one called ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. I will admit that i KNEW the actors in this movie would suck, but i thought the costumes would give me insight into what ‘traditional’ was.

Truthfully, I cried through some of the movie. Parts of it were so stupid, I just had to cry. Who wrecks their saaris playing football? Hated all the music in this movie, I have nothing positive or negative to say, and my only observation was that Salman Khan was one tiny head on a massive body- it looks surreal. OH WAIT…isn’t Sonam Kapoor old enough to be Salman’s kid ?? WHY pair her up with him!?!?! WHY?!?! Please tell me no one sees Salman Khan as cute? How is this guy an actor??

Anyway… Bollywood films have potential but this one was unreal. I know I’ve seen a good Bollyfilm…’Huwa Hawai’ was one. As was ‘A Wednesday’.

My own bollyfilm is playing out; I’m constantly writing the script… ARE YOU READING THIS ??? BECAUSE, YOU’RE GONNA KNOW THE ENDING WHEN I FINISH! In sha Allah 🙂 So Like, YEAH. READ on babies!

I should be enjoying the time between NOW and the wedding, but truthfully- it’s been a really hectic time. It’s not just the amount of work, it’s been the other stresses that get to me. Odd friends, weirdo family members. Are these people for real? Planning for a wedding has its downfalls- there are days I feel extremely lonely. Mama is the only constant and I am super grateful. However, sometimes you need a friend whose a little closer in age who you can joke with on a more immature level.

It’s difficult when everyone works or is away…why!Khair, I am still grateful. Alhamdulilah. I hope I see people at the wedding…!!!

Arranged

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It’s a Taylor Swift kinda night – WHO KNEW!!! But i’ll take it. Some day, when I revisit this particular post, i’ll congratulate myself on my composure and my calmness. 39 days to wedded bliss and I discover I my karighar hasn’t even started my bridal joraa. That’s right folks…I’m dress-less. I DO have a back up though sooooo…. the only thing is that I doubt my wedding jewelry for my main baraat dress will match my back up dress sooooo….

It’s incredible that I haven’t collapsed into a fit of tears yet. Good job ME.

Oh Shit. I just saw my first mosquito of the season. I hate mosquitos.

MOVING on, will someone tell me what the hell the issue is with the Salon people in this country? No one can give you a bloody price unless you VISIT them…what is with the secrecy?! Eventually Salons would divulge their charges via Inbox but I had a nasty little experience with Amina Raja. I enquired about a grooming class they were offering and blatantly asked them what the big secret was and that not everyone could come to the salon to just enquire about the course[ Amina Raja’s Grooming course ] . My comment was promptly deleted as was the comment of another young lady who said she agreed with me. I opened my inbox to read a reply from the salon – which they also deleted- which had me in fits of laughter.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 11.47.42 PMDecorum eh… I DID inbox them for the charges, which are BY THE WAY 50K , and yes i was told, but needless to say, i was quite put off by their ridiculous reply.

Why do people spend amazing quantities of money for MAKE UP. Make up you will wash away in several hours. Amina Raja charges a whooping 95k for Barat and 85K for Walima; Mariam Khwaja = 1lakh for barat, 98k for walima; Shahzad Raza = 125k to do your face and 95k to do your eye make up. Bye bye money 🙂

Coincidentally, my make up is being done at Ather Shahzad. Don’t say it. They told me IT WAS MY DAY…not OUR day, MY DAY. MEEEEEEE. But whats the point of booking my salon when I have no freaking DRESS. GIVE ME MY DRESS KARIGHAR!!!!!!!!!

I went to this wedding and I came out of it a changed woman…what style, what make up, what QUESTIONS…someone asked me ‘How much do you like your fiance?’ Like…is there a way to really quantify that??Needless to say, I did tell W, he was all like…what kinda questions do you women ask each other??

Seriously, women do ask funny questions. Can’t say I am not enjoying it now!

People keep asking me how I feel about this ‘arranged deal’. I can understand- the trend had changed and I too believed I would find someone on my own and he would ride on horseback to my house and make his intentions clear. That chapter of my life closed, I opted…er, was rather just introduced to the arranged way, and it is NOT SO BAD. I would appreciate it if some people would stop making an arranged marriage seem like a traumatic affair and a big deal. It happens. It was shocking for me, but i’ve settled into the idea. Move on people.

W is not some freak, and we do talk. Not often, not even very much, but we have cleared up certain things between us. W doesn’t come with a money back guarantee, just like that guy you’ve known for ages doesn’t either- and its true that you’ll never know someone until you live with them.

I am nervous, but I think W is too. The fact that our families do have a link somewhere in the back means that he has to maintain a very cordial relationship- the same goes for me. Being in the same field as my father, he doesn’t have it that great either. It means that daddy got my back man 😛

The idea of marriage itself is scary. What are you going to do…what will life be once you move in with someone else? Will you get enough space to breathe? Will you two get along after the wedding parties…after the honeymoon? Why can’t you just live at home and he moves in with you!!?

The anxiety hasn’t completely died down for me, but I am warming up to the idea slowly…I mean, there are only 39 days to the wedding(in sha Allah), can’t do much now 🙂