faith, Food, Islam, life, life lessons, Uncategorized

BIRIYANI. Now do I have your attention?

Eid. Always synonymous with biriyani, to me, Eid equals new dress. It doesn’t matter if I get a new dress every single day of the year, the Eid dress is the most important and should kick all other dress’ ass. This year I found the perfect dress. But then again, I intend on finding the perfect dress every year.So all the duties on Eid have been done; wear new dress – check, go for Eid prayer – check, collect Eidi from unsuspecting adults – check, get shouted at by mother for not helping – check, stuff face with biriyani – check, distribute biriyani to friends like an MLA collecting votes – check.

Once all the duties have been done, regular programming resumes. It doesn’t matter that we fasted for thirty days and controlled our nafs (desires) ’cause the next day our body wants three meals a day plus snacks. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that a good portion of Ramadan revolves around food. Either making, eating or distributing food. Ramadan teaches you to respect food and not sneer at it if it is something you dislike. It teaches you to make do with what is available when you wake up late for suhoor. The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) taught us to never say anything bad about the food even if you don’t like it. Waking up late for suhoor to eat the leftovers is a very humbling experience. It makes you think of all those who do not have a morsel to eat and have to keep suhoor with just a date or a sip of water whilst we waste plates of food. So the next time you fuss about how you don’t like a single dish on the table just spare a thought for those whom even three meals a day is a luxury.

We need to remember that every single blessing that we have could be taken away from us at any second. In school we sang a hymn ‘Count your blessings name them one by one’ but I realize that it is impossible to  list out the blessings. We just need to be extremely thankful for everything. You and me, we are very lucky people. We don’t have to think about where the next meal comes from or worry that we have people depending on us. Thanks to one of the greatest mercies God has given us, we live in a reasonably safe place where we don’t have to be scared about bombs being dropped on us. We don’t have to worry about shelter or a plaguing disease. We don’t have to fear poverty and deprivation. Considering that we have it easy, that we have none of these battles to fight, we should be the most thankful people.

Although the little devil inside us is unleashed now I hope we don’t go back to our old ways but that we take away some lesson, no matter how small, from this Ramadan. This Eid let us be thankful for our education, for our wonderful families and amazing friends, for food and peace. Let us be thankful for our lives and for the opportunity to mold it in to a beautiful one.

Eid Mubarak.

faith, life lessons

The Day The Earth Refused To Stand Still

It was an off day yesterday what with the earthquake and everything. I was glued in front of the television dreading the after effects. Alhamdulillah, everything was okay. Except this news reader on CNN who deserves an Oscar award for his performance in “The Tsunami Will be Approaching Any Minute Now”. It is distasteful that the media wants to sensationalize situations like this. But I do not expect anything less from CNN.
Natural calamities like these are just a reminder to us that there is someone who is in control of everything. It is a reminder of the Last Day. It is a sign to tell us humans that the future is never in our hands. At times like this it really irks me that people go on Facebook and write “Earthquake! So cool!”, “Too bad I missed it!”. I mean, really? Why don’t you spare a moment to think about those who have been previously affected by it and are hence, scared out of their wits? Remember, it’s just that one second that separates the “coolness” from the possible destruction of your life and everything you know.
One thing I have to agree though, I check Facebook to confirm if the earthquake really happened. Even dedicated news sites do not update fast enough.
Today is a beautiful day albeit a bit humid. thanks to the weather. But I’m happy to be alive. Okay, you may think I’m over exaggerating all this but really, imagine if things ended badly yesterday, today would be the most depressing day even though the sun is bright and the skies are bluer than I’ve ever seen them. So thanks God, for just the trailer and not the main picture. I owe you one  many.
faith, life, life lessons


A few days back I was having a philosophical discussions with one of my friends. Somewhere in the midst of talking about love and faith she turned her big bushy head to me and asked, “Why do you believe in God?”. That moment I felt like I had slammed into a wall. Why did I believe in God? I did not have an answer at hand. I just stuttered, stammered and came up with a reason why, a reason that I just can’t seem to recollect right now. But today while saying my prayers I realized why I actually did believe in God.
As a child I followed the faith of my parents. I did what they did. I believed in what they believed. I never questioned anything. I believed in God because my parents told me to. I did not want to get all rebellious and say no. It just wasn’t worth the trouble. But as I grew up, from a pimply adolescent to an even more pimply teenager, life handed me a few important lessons. Lessons that were more important than Maths and Science. My future depended on how well I learnt these lessons. I was never a bright student in school and in life. Hence, I had to redo a few lessons in both.
I’m not here to judge those who don’t believe in God. I have no way of telling what is in peoples hearts. I cannot judge a persons belief. I just want to tell you the reason why I believe. I believe that faith is the very foundation of our being. Sometime we have implicit faith on people only to be let down in the most cruelest of ways. Trusting and having faith in someone means that you are willing to let go of your anchor and depend and trust that person so much that every fiber of your being believes in them. Having faith is like moving away from your comfort zone and showing them your most vulnerable side.
Many times in life we feel let down and cheated by the people we love the most. We, as humans very easily become unfaithful. We lose faith in things easily. If life don’t go according to our plan we lose faith.I’m a person who trusts people easily and in my life I’ve had incidents where I could not count on anyone be it friends or family.  At my most darkest days, when I hit rock bottom, the small iota of belief that I had in God is what made me the person I am today. Today I feel wiser because of all the tests that God has put me through. And I know that the important decision that I will make for the future will be inspired from the lessons I learned in the past.
It is very easy to not believe. It is very, very easy to turn a blind eye to all the signs that show the presence of a greater force. You don’t have to look for scientific proof or read ancient scriptures. All you’ve got to do is just look deeper into your life, your past and you will find something that you overlooked.
Belief is a beautiful armor

But makes for the heaviest sword

Like punching under water
You never can hit who you’re trying for

Some need the exhibition

And some have to know they tried

It’s the chemical weapon

For the war that’s raging on inside”

– John Mayer, “Belief”
faith, madras


It’s been raining the past couple of days and I love it. There is something about the rain that makes me feel so happy. Hearing the thunder and watching lightning light up my room somehow helps me put things in perspective. Granted the roads are flooded in the morning but it pales in comparison to the beauty of the rain.  Every night I sleep with the curtains drawn open. Lighting continues to flash and I don’t sleep for ages.
In the morning I wake up to bright, unadulterated sunlight pouring in through my windows. Seeing all this gives me some kind of hope. Seeing all the plants washed clean makes me feel that you can start over. 
During Ramadhan I stay awake till around 5.30 am to pray fajr (morning prayers) and I never sleep till I see day break from my window, every single day. To actually see the night become day is so magical. And it isn’t sudden  or abrupt. Morning comes very gradually, very elegantly. The sun is in no hurry to come out of the clouds. Everything is so serene. The dark night becomes an intense shade of grey. Then the grey has just a tinge of blue. In a few minutes, a dash of orange is added. The orange gets brighter, gradually and finally the sun comes out shining happily.
Just watching this play unfold scene by scene, every single day without a hitch gives me a feeling that everything is going to be okay.
I can fret and fume and agonize about the future as much as I want to, but I know that in the end I will find what I’ve been looking for and then, everything will be okay.

“Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.” (Qur’an 2: 286)

True. But so hard to accept.
Yet life must go on.

Persevere and pray for the best. Allah will surely give us what we deserve. If not in this world, in Akhira.