Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chanda Re (Oh Moon)

     "Mommy, I want to see the moon".
That's what my three year old daughter Imaan says to me every night as soon as it is dark outside. Then we go to the window and look to see where it is and what the shape of it is that night. She is always pleased when we spot it and exclaims happily "I see it Mommy, I see it, tonight it's a crescent shape!". And I always smile and say very good honey and think to myself, how sweet when kids are so young and innocent that the sight of something as ordinary as the moon gives them such pleasure. That's just one of the things that makes children so special, the ability to appreciate things we take for granted. 
     I remember when I was a child, there was a window seat in my bedroom and I used to sit there at night and look up at the moon and think about all the things I wanted to do someday and how life seemed full of endless possibilities.  I miss that feeling. For a long time I thought of it as a pleasure only afforded to young children and dreamers, but I don't think that anymore. I think I just stopped looking one night, and once we stop looking, we sometimes stop believing in ourselves and we forget our dreams and start just existing. Getting by. Making it through the day.
     But my daughter has forced me to start believing again. She takes me by the hand and shows me the moon and the happiness it gives her. She shares it with me. It's one of the many things I love about her.

                                 Chanda Re (Oh Moon)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Way Too Social Network

     I hate Facebook. There, I said it. I really really REALLY hate it!
Whew! That felt great............

     Why do I hate Facebook? First of all, I feel like I was forced to join. No, there wasn't a gun held up against my head. I was a happy member of Orkut for a few years. I was pretty crazy about Orkut, jumping on my computer as soon as I got home from work to read my latest scraps, (wall posts for you Facebook freaks) checking out friend requests, looking for interesting communities to join. I made a lot of friends there too. Then one day I noticed my friend Omar posted this little note "Facebook is better".

     That was the beginning of the end. Slowly all my friends started leaving Orkut. So I joined too so I could stay connected. But I never felt like I was having as much fun as I did with Orkut. There is way too much random crap on Facebook. I don't like that when I open my home page I have to read that Alison and Jessica shared a link or Cynthia liked Carlos B's video. Who cares? Not me. But I suppose a lot of people do care, especially the ones who who post something like this to their walls "Just got home from work, super tired...." Or "Just made a great cup of coffee!" Or even "Man I gotta pee!" Just kidding on that last one, but you get the idea. I don't care about Farmville, and I've got no urge to "poke" anyone. As for friend requests, I have to laugh when people I went to high school or college with that I never liked, never hung out with, or I remember them actively disliking me sending a friend request. What for? I just don't get it.

     I have to admit there is one thing I like on Facebook, but at the same time it's totally ruined for me. I love "Who Wants to be A Millionaire", and while I was on the Millionaire website I noticed there was a link to the Facebook version. It's actually a lot of fun, you play live with other people and the questions are pretty challenging. I got hooked pretty quick and then when I tried to play more games they asked me for Facebook credits to continue playing! You get one free game a night and then you have to pay??

Those bastards.

     I'm not going to let Facebook ruin the social networking thing for me. I just read an article about The Google+ Project and I think it might be the kind of site I'm looking for. What I really like is the "Circles" idea. Basically you take different groups of people in your life and assign them to different groups, like friends, co-workers, family. Just like in our real lives. So you can share certain information with  your family Circle and different things with your co-worker Circle. You have more privacy that way. You can take the Google+ tour here. I signed up already I'm just waiting for them to open it up for everyone. Hopefully I'll like it there, I'll keep you posted....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Orkut, It's Been A Long Time....

     It's because of Steve I ended up writing this post. I used to be crazy about Orkut, the way most of the world is about Facebook today I suppose. I joined it in the first place because my friend Amir in Iran sent me the invite. I wish I never deleted my account, because like Steve wrote, lots of memories stored in there. I started thinking about the friends I made in Orkut, most of whom I've been sadly out of touch with. It's my fault mostly. Life in front of us tends to get busy and it's easy to to say "Oh, I'll try and chat tomorrow", "I'll send an email next week.

     Joining Orkut changed my life in many ways. Not just because I made new friends in different countries. Most of what I knew (or thought I knew) about those countries I learned from watching the news, or just common stereotypical thinking many Americans like myself are raised with. I ended up traveling to India to meet some Orkut friends and I had a great time. As a matter of fact, I met Steve while I was there,( unfortunately it was only for about five minutes). God, now I'm remembering so many things about my trip there I'm getting teary eyed......
    Have you ever missed everybody all at once?
Thanks for the memories's been a long time....

Friday, October 31, 2008

An Open Letter To God

Dear God,

I got the idea to write you a letter when I recently reread the book “The Color Purple”, but I think You already may know that. I have been told that You see and know everything that happens to everyone, and although I could never imagine how You do that, I guess that’s just one of the many powers You possess. I’ve been thinking a great deal about religion lately, and the fact that I don’t officially subscribe to a a particular one sometimes makes me worry if this disappoints or angers You. I’ve always felt this way somewhat, but have been thinking about it more and more lately, especially since I’m going to be spending the rest of my life with my boyfriend who happens to be a Muslim. We’ve already decided that our children will also be Muslims, and as a Christian and fellow “Person of the Book”, this is of course acceptable, but what about me? It’s not necessary for me to convert, but I keep wondering if this is the right decision to make. Because you see Sir, (is it proper to call you Sir?) I don’t want to make a promise to You that I will follow Islam, because I have tried a few religions already and never stuck to any of them, and I don’t want to repeat the same pattern. I would like to please my boyfriend Shahid by telling him “Honey, I would like to convert”, but I don’t want to hurt yours and his feelings by making such a promise and breaking it. That is what worries me. Again, I’m sure You already know about all my efforts to follow certain religions, but since this is an open letter that others will read, I will refresh Your memory.

As You already know, as an infant I was baptized a Lutheran. As a little girl my family attended church every Sunday until sometime after the birth of my little brother Brian, when we stopped going. Then when I was in 8th grade, I was attending a Catholic school when my Father decided that we should all become Catholics, so I took an after-school religious instruction class about Catholicism and was confirmed with the rest of my class in church later that year. Unfortunately, our attendance at St. Martin’s was no better then when we belonged to our previous church, and soon we only went on holiday’s, later not at all.

For a while I didn’t really think about religion, although I never forgot about You. For a while I tried praying every night, but it didn’t last of course. I read the Tao of Pooh, and although I really liked the concepts of Taoism, I thought it sounded like too much work. Later on I read about Buddhism and was again quite impressed and even though I admire the Dalai Lama very much, I knew there was no way I would keep succeed in following Buddhism properly either. I tried to make a plan to meditate everyday but anyone reading this will already be able to guess that this plan fell through also. So after this, I decided that I would never follow an organized religion again because I supposed that I just wasn’t cut out for it, and it was only recently I started to experience those familiar “should I try again” pangs.

Living with Shahid the last couple of months I have been thinking a lot about Islam. He bought me a Koran, and I have “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Islam”. I think it is a very good religion, but I don’t consider it superior to any other. I have respect for people of all religions because, after all, they are all praying to you, they just do it differently. Like I said before, I would like to say I will convert to Islam, but will I really follow through this time? I tried fasting for two days to see what it was like and while I succeeded at it, the whole time I felt like a whiney child crying for a cup of coffee. I know I could not do that for a while month straight, although I really liked opening the fast because I liked that I was sharing something special with my boyfriend and that made me feel good inside. I certainly would not be able to promise that I will pray five times a day, when I couldn’t keep a promise to do it once a day before. But do I really have to do these things to be considered a true Muslim? Shahid doesn’t even do these things, and he was born a Muslim. What makes someone religious anyway?

I know people who consider themselves followers of certain religions, but I don’t consider them to be worthy of example. My Grandmother always considered herself a very good Lutheran but she stole from the school she taught for and tried to bribe me into going to church with her every Sunday by saying she would buy me a car. I know people who converted to Islam and then decided that they were superior to other people whilst being so ashamed of their past lives that they denied knowing people who knew them back then. But they believe that they are very good Muslims because they fast during Ramadan and pray five times a day. It really makes me wonder what You think of such things. How I wish I knew!

I feel that this letter has left me with more questions than answers. The bottom line is this; if I decide to convert, and I already know that I will not follow Islam so perfectly, how will I be considered a true Muslim? Although Shahid is not a strict Muslim, he was born one, so he has no such issues. Is it correct to convert and say “I’m a Muslim” and then have someone say “Ah ha, but do you pray five times daily, did you fast” and when I reply no won’t they say “Then how can you say you converted”? I know there are people in Shahid’s life who would love to hear that I converted, and who think I should, and in a childish way that knowledge keeps me from converting also because I don’t want them to say gleefully ‘Oh, I knew she would do that” or “She’s a good girl to convert, now I consider her a sister”. I don’t need that kind of validation from those people, I’m not trying to impress or prove anything to anyone. And if I did convert, I would not consider giving up celebrating Christmas. The holidays have always been one of my favorite times of year. So will I be considered a true Muslim?

Do I have to pick a religion to please You, or is the knowledge that I believe in You and put so much thought towards Your feelings that You are already satisfied? I don’t know where to find that answer. But one promise that I will make You that I will never break, is that I will continue to think about these things. Hopefully soon we will both have our answer. Thank you for listening.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Car, No Problem

I have to say I love not having a car anymore. In the past two and a half months I'v lived in Queens I've become quite accustomed to the NY transit system. Every morning I hop on the F Train, put my feet up, and sip my coffee while someone else does the driving. No traffic, no searching in vain for a parking spot. Love it. I admit to being a bit spoiled, because I work the 4 am shift, I usually get an empty subway car, save for the random drunks and homeless people, but usually they are fast asleep. When I go out at night, I'm horrerfied by the crush of people smashed into the cars. There's barely a free pole to hold onto, and although at every stop people get off seems like twice as many get on. I'm so glad I don't have to face that on a daily basis.

The best part about not having a car anymore is that I get so much more exercise. I believe having a car makes the best of us a bit lazy. I got my first car when I was eighteen and it was only when I got rid of it a few months ago that I realized there have been so many places I could have easily walked to that I'd become accustomed to driving to instead. A cup of coffee, groceries, a pedicure. All those things used to require a car. Now I just walk there or jump on the train. To challenge myself I force myself to walk even more than I have to. Every morning I walk 12 city blocks to the F train, bypassing the bus and the local 7 train that could bring me there in a matter of minutes. After I get off the train, I walk twenty minutes to my job, even though I walk past several bus stops that could get me there in half the time. Health-wise it's defintely paid off for me, I've lost more weight and feel healthier than ever. I really do encourage anyone reading this post to just get out and walk more. That coffee shop is only a few blocks away. Walk there. Do you really need to drive ten minutes to save ten? Walk for twenty minutes. You'll feel great.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Dear friends,
Sorry I was away for so long, it wasn't very nice of me to stay away for so long with no word. I was not only silent in my blog but very quiet online altogether as well. Why do you ask? I don't really know. It's not that I care about my friends less or don't wish you guys to be part of my life anymore. It's almost like I needed a break of some kind in order to pursue something else in my life. As many of you who know me solely from faithfully reading my blogs or from our friendships outside of this space I have long been searching for love and a relationship with a definite future. Security. Love everlasting. I've for so long yearned to have a relationship which is moving forward towards the goal of marriage and children. That is what I have been focusing my attentions on whilst I've been away. Building a lasting loving relationship is never easy. Love, no matter how quickly it is realized is always riddled with challenges. Obstacles which need to be overcome, especially when two people from totally different cultures fall for each other. No matter how "Americanized" someone from another country may seem, deep in their heart they are still the child of that country, with certain beliefs and ways of thinking. And no matter how "Open minded" to different cultures the other person believes she is, she too has her own beliefs and expectations. If two people are meant to be together, they will be, but they still have to work extra hard in order to find that middle ground where both will feel satisfied. Factor in meddling friends and nasty ex girlfriends and things are ever tougher. I'm happy to report that throughout all the struggles and the tears, this relationship seems to be heading right where I wish. "Think about moving in together" was the latest thing I've been asked and I am thinking seriously about it. I'm strongly leaning towards yes.
Besides this, I have made some other lovely friends in my life. My room-mate/friend Nausheen and I have become very close, sharing dvd's, cds, sugar, milk, eggs. Going out on the weekends to dinner, movies, getting our eyebrows threaded. Laughing as we trekked all over the lower east side of Manhattan looking for a movie theatre that doesn't seem to exist. And I also made a new friend in Tracie, one of the artists who works in my store. We mostly hang out on Thursday's at this little bar in Alphabet City bitching about work, and trading stories about our pasts over a few rounds. It's a fun way to spend a few hours.
Well friends I managed to catch you up a bit on my life. I promise to not stay away so long again. And now its time for me to catch up with you guys......
Your friend,
blue eyed girl

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Night of the Meek...A Christmas Story

The following story is an account of one of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone.
Henry Corwin is an unemployed alcoholic who once a year dons a Santa Claus suit and patiently listens to the Christmas wishes of small children who believe him to be the bearer of wonderful gifts. Henry, who lives in a tenement neighborhood filled with children of poverty finds himself disenchanted with the attitude of Christmas shoppers who do not realize there is more to Christmas then the simply pushing through the aisles of department store and spending money so frivolously when there are so many people in the world who have nothing. His empty life coupled with the the wistful longings of the poor children in his neighborhood who ask him for toys, and “please Santa, a new job for my Daddy” makes him wish that just for one Christmas that he could see “Some of the hopeless ones, and the dreamless ones just for one night, see the meek inherit the earth”. Much to his surprise, this year his wish comes true.

While walking dejectedly down the street after being fired from his department store Santa job, he hears the sound of sleigh bells, and comes upon a mysterious sack which at first appears to be filled with tin cans, and then magically is filled with gifts. Special gifts, which are later to be revealed as the heart's desire of anyone whose path Henry crosses that night. Joyfully he strides through his neighborhood happily giving every man, woman and child whatever it is they wish. At the stroke of midnight, the last gift is given out and the sack is now empty. A good friend of his whom was lucky to have received his heart's desire of a new pipe and smoking jacket comments to Henry “Nothing for you this Christmas, not a thing”. Henry’s reply is “Oh I can’t think of anything I want, I think I’ve had the nicest Christmas since the beginning of time being the biggest gift giver who ever lived…..although if I could have just one wish, I’d wish I could do this every year”.

A few minutes later as he is walking home he comes upon a sleigh, with eight reindeer waiting for him, along with an elf who is very pleased to see him. "Well Santa, I've been waiting quite a while for you, we have a lot of work to do for next Christmas, shall we go"? Henry's own hearts desire is then fulfilled as he hops into his sleigh and rides off into the night sky, knowing that he indeed will get to be the biggest gift giver that ever lived every year. What I love about this story is the reward given to Henry for being truly selfless, finding joy and fulfillment in simply making others happy. To me, this should always be the true message of Christmas, it is not about what we will get this year, but what we give to others, and the happiness it gives us.