Monday, January 15, 2018

Black Mirror

Mr H and I have been watching the show every now and then. There are four seasons so far and we probably watched about a few episodes from each season. The last episode I watched sent me into an anxiety attack. In my life, I have only had a few attacks of anxiety: the first practical assessment in chemistry in year 12, the final statistics exam in my third year of psychology, when I forgot how to cut some veggies in what sizes in the first year of marriage (my MIL has different rules for different curries, and I still can't remember them. Nearly four years on, I still ask her if my sizes are okay... lol.), about a month after M was born and we were supposed to have dinner for fifteen at our place and... last night.

Black Mirror is set sometime in the future, although no one is sure when, at a time when technology has a much greater influence in our lives. Each episode is stand alone, so there is no need to watch them in order, or to watch all of them at all. I just googled the names of the ones I watched and they are: Entire History of You (s1, e03), White Bear (s2, e02), Arkangel (s4, e02), Hang the DJ (s4, e04) and Black Museum (s4, e06). This is quite surprising, for some reason, I was sure I watched more than five episodes! Maybe this says something about the weight of each episode on my mind.

The one we watched yesterday was White Bear. Right from the beginning, I could feel myself tense up and finding it hard to breathe. It follows the journey of a woman called Victoria, who wakes up and can remember nothing of her life. Just that notion sent chills down me. There was no music as far as I remember, instead, her breathing and certain other sounds were amplified. You could tell that she was clearly distressed. This happens to me when I am feeling anxious or severely sad - I feel like certain sounds are much much louder than others. The story goes on and she goes through a journey of survival despite her confused state, and ends up feeling betrayed in the end. There's people that try to kill her and there are a bunch of other people who are seemingly filming the whole incident, without offering any sort of help. She can't make sense of any of it. All of it seems unexpected. She has flashbacks to certain memories, but she isn't clear about what they are. The whole notion was just so, so suffocating but at the same time, gripping. I just couldn't stop watching.

Turns out that its just all a big show. She can't remember anything because her memory has been zapped. Her boyfriend abducted a child and killed her while she filmed it, he got sentenced to prison where he killed himself. She was sent to this correction facility which is also an amusement park. The killers/chasers/helpers/anyone who interacts with her works at the park. The people who were filming are visitors. They pay to see her live in uncertainty and fear the entire day, and then be humiliated at the end of the day when she finds out what her real situation is. Every night, her memory is wiped off in a painful manner. She falls asleep after that, and then the next day she wakes up and the whole thing happens again. Every night, she wishes she just died instead, but she can't. She is pushed to the point of insanity and then her memories are wiped.

It shook me. First of all, the whole concept of judgement. Humans are not and will never be perfectly just. It was a park to serve her justice, however, it was unjust! She committed one crime and she was being punished for it over and over and over again, even though she may have repented and changed her ways. Secondly, it reminded me of the concept of Jahannam. Allah is the most just judge. When He punishes, the punishment will be suited for the person it is for. We are given so many chances in this world but as soon as we die, our chances are finished. Knowingly doing wrong and not repenting and changing our ways can have grave consequences. It is said that people in Jahannam will wish to die, will wish to come back in the world for another chance, but they will be punished severely and over and over again. The reality of the next world is not like the reality of this world. In this world we may be forgiven just by asking for forgiveness, and changing our ways. In the next world, that chance will be gone.

And then there was the issue of identity - she did not have any idea of who she was at the beginning. That is so suffocating! Imagine waking up one day and not recognising anything at all. Not knowing who you are. My dadu most likely had Alzheimer's, although she wasn't diagnosed due to time and place. Even at ninety years of age, she thought her kids were little, she was telling my father not to play outside because he would hurt himself. My chacha has now gone a little crazy. This time that we went to see him, he forgot everything. He just remembers his name and his father's name, and he kept repeating that over and over again. This was such a stark contrast to how he was the time before this, three years ago - he just sat quietly and said nothing, did nothing. I am scared of losing my memories when I am older. Of not knowing who I am and feeling disoriented day in and day out.

Anyway, so those were my fears, I guess. I just need to remind myself that Allah is Merciful as well. Allah has more mercy and love than anyone and anything we know.

In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)

It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon)

Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No one’s deeds will ever admit him to Paradise.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy. So try to be near to perfection. And no one should wish for death; he is either doing good so he will do more of that, or he is doing wrong so he may repent.” [al-Bukhari, Muslim]

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Carried away

Why does this song resonate with me so much?

--

Since my heart is golden
I've got sense to hold it
Tempted just to make an ugly scene
No I'm not as proper
My money's in copper
Ripped down from the brownstones to the street
Listen, I'm your friend don't quote me
But not a friend worth noting
Yes, please don't ever note me as your friend
Who says we have cold hearts
Acting out our old parts
Let's perform our favourite little scene oh,oh

I get carried away, carried away, from you
When I'm open and afraid
Cause I'm sorry, sorry bout that
Sorry bout things that I've said
Always Let it get to my head

All your appeal, once again we'll feel it
Higher education making sense
Justify your thesis, certain that you need this
Tell me what your point is in defense
Listen, I don't really know you
And I don't think I want you
But I think I can fake it if you can
Let's agree there's no need, no more talk of money
Let's just keep pretending to be friends.

I get carried away, carried away, from you
When I'm open and afraid
Cause I'm sorry, sorry bout that
Sorry 'bout things that I've said
Always let it get to my head
I get carried away, carried away, from you
When I'm open and afraid
Cause I'm sorry, sorry bout that
Sorry 'bout things that I've said
Always let it get to my head

Wake up in the morning, wake up in the evening
Wake up when you want to
Cause no one's really watching
Won't you have something to say about it
But we all have problems
We're all having problems
And we all got something to say


I get carried away, carried away, from you
When I'm open and afraid
Cause I'm sorry, sorry bout that
Sorry 'bout things that I've said
Always Let it get to my head
I get carried away, carried away, from you
When I'm open and afraid
Cause I'm sorry, sorry bout that
Sorry 'bout things that I've said
Always let it get to my head.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

You know you are old when

Nothing truly excites you any more. You have everything and getting more annoys you.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Parents

I love the way my parents implemented systems in their lives. They wake up before dawn every morning to pray, ask Allah for everything they need, recite Quran, study the Quran and then record all of these. They probably spend about an hour and a half doing all of that. They go to work, they dress well - modest (both in covering and in $$) -- and they work hard. Both of my parents work so hard. They don't equate hard work with money, if they did, neither of them would be teachers. But they equate hard work with the idea that every cent they earn needs to halal. They have internalised the fact that if they waste work time or resources then that portion of money won't be halal for them. They come home, garden, cook with the resources they have available. They don't go beyond their means. My mum has always repeated the mantra - 'cut your coat according to your cloth'. They eat healthy and they take care of themselves. My parents always put perfume on before they go to sleep so that they can smell good for each other.

I feel like I am failing in life even though I have had such great parents. They brought us up so well, but I am not doing well. I feel like I am sitting a test that I had ample opportunities to prepare for, but I did not. I have not adopted any of their practises within me. By the time my mum was my age, she already had all her kids. She was raising 3 kids and she had been working for 5 years. She had passions for other things like sewing which she expressed by making dresses for myself and my sister.

I think my passion had been writing. I am not sure if I was ever any good at poetry, but I liked writing them. I liked writing down my thoughts, sorting through them and changing my life as a result. I don't think I made anything of it. I am not a hard worker like my parents. I have no idea how to change situations around me and I am not working hard or consistently enough to change myself. This makes me feel bitter, terribly bitter. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

thoughts.

Sum told me she went through all my posts from 2017 recently. I think she's my only reader at the moment since my life consists of mostly baby stuff and assignments. Future L might also be a reader, so I shall keep writing! (Just out of curiosity, if you come across this post, please leave a comment.)

Baby M is napping right now. I am trying to get her into a routine at the moment - wake up around 7ish, breakfast, lunch, dinner, 2 naps a day, bath before bed time and sleep around 8 PM. She has started to have a range of fruits, some veggies, brown rice and cereal. We need to give her meat soon inshaallah. We are going away in about 3 weeks so I am a little worried about her food intake. I really hope she doesn't forget how to eat all the things she learnt to eat so far.

I have an assignment due in 12 days. I have not started it.

I am quite annoyed with myself lately. My productivity has take a massive dip. I know exactly why and I should fix it, and I guess I know the first few steps towards fixing it as well. I don't know whether I am brave enough to keep taking steps. But life is so short. If we keep being afraid to change things then we will stay exactly where we are and become resentful, bitter old people in no time.

I have seen a shift in the kind of tests I have been facing. I need to learn how to deal with this one and master it. I was listening to a lecture by NAK where he was saying that to train the body, you need to slowly build up your resistance. You can't work out for one day and then expect to be strong enough to take a punch without flinching. Spirituality works the same way. Right now, I am at a very unfit spiritual stage, but that does not mean that I cannot work my way upwards.

No matter how old you get, it's good to hold onto a little bit of positivity and  hopefulness. How else can we expect to survive this journey?

Friday, September 15, 2017

life.

I have been reading a book called 'The Other Half of Happiness' on my Kindle. This book is a break for me, from the people around me, from my own swinging mood, from the loneliness that comes with M being with someone else but also the lack of concentration from my work that comes with M being in the room. I have an assignment due today and I can't finish it on time. Doing things now is so, so different than before. In my parents' house, I could've easily glided downstairs and got some food while I do my work. I was left alone for longer. My parents understood the importance of giving me the time to do my work. But then, I was also younger and they needed me less. Its definitely different now when I go over there. In this house, there's more kids (temporarily) and the adults seem to have no work that they bring home. My parents always had work to bring home because they're both teachers. If not work studies, they would have islamic studies to do. But there had definitely been a part of the day, every single day, dedicated to studying. This is not the case here. So I feel a bit uncomfortable. Is that why I feel uncomfortable though? I don't know. Sometimes I can't wait till M grows up so that I can teach her about all the wonderful things about life but sometimes I dread that time because life is a test. Sometimes I can't wait to go back to work, to help little minds learn, and at other times, I am so glad I don't have to deal with little monsters every single day any more. I wish I had a fridge or a cupboard in my room, filled with food. I am hungry, but not sure if I am hungry through my mind or my body. I don't think I am making sense any more. This assignment is massive. I don't think I can finish today, but I still need to work, and I hate the way people younger than me feel the need to tell me to do my work. I had a kid, I am doing my masters and nothing else in my life has stopped. I feel like sometimes these thoughts come from adults implanting stuff like that in kids. I also feel like my thoughts go in spirals and I am goin' a li'l crazy. Is it due to M or due to this subject? Or due to that thing I always complain about to B? Can't wait to go away in two weeks but I also feel a little guilty for going away so much. I need my space but also feel guilty about taking up so much space. I miss writing poetry. Was I ever any good? Not sure. It was a good release though. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Motherhood

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Time

I just realised my last several posts are about my assignments. I do often feel slightly delusional because of them. I have one due today and I am trying to finish as fast as possible so that I can get to my thousand other chores but my mind went blank and now I am here. Some people around me constantly remind me how other people seem to balance more things on their plate and they glide through life without stressing. This makes me feel inadequate. I need to learn to just focus on my life and not worry about other people's perception of it. The problem is, my life sometimes needs to be based on other people's perception because those are the people I am trying to keep happy. That sounds ridiculous now that I typed it out. Why do I need to keep them happy?

I need to renew my intentions. Shaytan gets in the way and reminds me of the things I do wrong on a daily basis, reminding me that I miss out on the most basic worships, so what good would renewing intentions do. That also sounds ridiculous after typing it out! Allah is Al-Afu', Al-Mujib, Al-Wadood. Allah is Al-Lateef.

I feel panicked at the thought of the list of things I need to do. Miffy told me once that my perception of my abilities should not stop me from doing anything, because Allah is the One that enables, and His abilities are infinite. Time can be a flexible concept, filled with or lacking of barakah.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Anxiety

I swing between panics out of feelings of uselessness and lack of time. I have a lot on my plate right now (note to self: be careful what you wish for) and although during the day I glide through chores happily, night times remind me how much I still have left to do. M is sleeping peacefully now. I have a cup of tea and I am planning to do my assignment that was due yesterday, but I am also feeling panicked at the thought of the long day I have ahead of me tomorrow. I have help, I know. But why does it still feel so lonely?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nights

We are leaving for M's first international trip in a few hours inshaallah! I am excited and a bit nervous, it wasn't too long ago that I was one of those people on the plane that got annoyed at a crying baby (or at the parent). I am not really sure how she will fare on a ten hour journey. Inshaallah it goes well.

I feel super relaxed right now. Both M and Mr H are sleeping. I had a long shower and I finally smell good! It took me a good hour to brush out my hair and another hour to scrub myself. M slept through it alhamdulillah. Because I feel super relaxed, I can't sleep. So I got myself a cup of tea and I am going to try and work on yet another assignment. I have written about 500 words out of 2000 and its due in ten days. I should be fine inshaallah I hope!




Friday, July 21, 2017

Time

I wrote 827 words. I don't really know what else to write but I definitely need to make it up to 2000 today. I also need to reference and finalise the essay. We've got a lunch and a dinner invite tomorrow and a henna invite the day after. We are staying over at my parents' tomorrow night. I have so many other assignments to do. I need to clean up our living space too. I need to run some errands on Monday if possible. I need to make some phone calls and book a few appointments. I need to cut my nails and brush up on my fiqh.

So much to do, so little time.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Essays

I finished the essay that's due on the 28th of July, except for referencing. Inshaallah I will do that after the 24th. My brain was feeling overloaded with the content and I could no longer understand what I've been writing. So I started the essay that's due on the 24th of July. I have five days. Two of which are weekends, which means, absolutely zero time for uni work. I've been telling myself that a crappy-okay-ish job is better than not doing it at all. I wrote about 250 words out of 2000 words. M fell asleep and I have my chocolate ready to go, although, a cup of cappa in just the right temperature and texture and taste would have been divine right now. Oh well. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Ease

I have to finish three assignments for my masters in the next 5 weeks. I always find these things so difficult until I finish it, and even then I'm not sure until I actually get the mark back. So the bottom line is, if Allah helps, anything becomes easy and until He helps, things will keep being difficult.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Songs for M - 1

I made this up on the way back from work on the 3rd of December, 2016. You were inside me for about five months by then.

You make my tummy flutter,
You're my little butterfly.
You make my heartbeat quicker,
With the light that flickers in your eyes.
And in my minds eye,
I can see your tiny hands;
And when you grow up
I hope you understand -
How much I loved you from this moment on,
Even before you were born.

P.S: She was 10.5 weeks in that last post. She's 11 weeks now! Already losing count. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

9.5

M is nine and a half weeks now. The crazy hormonal thoughts have almost subsided, alhamdulillah. I still do get the occasional bouts of irrational thoughts, but Mr H has been absolutely great about it. He buys me chocolate and let me keep all the money that M got on Eid. My caffeine finances for 2017 sorted!

M shows her recognition quite well these days - she flashes the biggest smile her tiny face can hold and throws her arms and legs around. This morning, while she lay on the bed and I sat at the computer trying to get started on an essay, she stared at me with super sad eyes. Every time I made eye contact, she smiled so bright that I almost gave up on my work. She coos and aahs with anybody that would spare the time for her. My mum is amazing at talking to M - she responds to her so, so well! She spent the last four days with her cousins in a different state, Z, now 5, and K, nearly 2. Z and K loved to talk to her as well, and M loved the attention.

I need to start filling out M's baby book regularly and properly. There are some things that are not relevant, I am thinking I can stick photos on top of those. I need to start compiling her photos and print them out. I ordered some books from book depository for M. I am thinking I will also make an anthology of poetry for her. Words that I love, bound for her, to read whenever she wants, if she wants. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

And then she came.

Little M was born at 3.17 PM on Friday the 21st of April. When I went into labour, I realised two things:
- Dua is an amazing tool. I made dua for an easy and quick labour without any pain medication and a natural birth. I got all of it alhamdulillah. Looking back, I don't know how I survived the contractions towards the end, but I did. Allah eased and facilitated it for me.
- Allah facilitated something for me that's considered to be one the most painful pains in the world and he allowed me to go through it without any sort of pain killers at all. Anything else I would ever face would possibly be less painful (physically at least).

I had strange sensations of deja vu for a day or two after the birth. I can't explain it now, but I had random images in my head, images of places or situations from my life, right from my childhood to the present, and my body would feel like it's almost paralysed, and my mind would feel numb of some sort. I felt very lost and scared for about a week, always worried that something will go wrong. Alhamdulillah, that time passed.

I had a good day today. Everyday seems to be different. Some days are good, some not so much. Some days - I feel like, okay, I've finally got the hang of it. Some days I feel absolutely incompetent. A mother I hold very close to my heart told me, motherhood is a lonely journey.

No one else can ever really know what its like.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Underneath my feet

I am really enjoying this journey, most of the time. I feel like I am hiding a secret inside me, a secret that is almost unknown to me too. I feel like I share a special connection to something that I don't know or understand yet. It feels incredibly honouring, nothing like anything I have ever felt before. At the same time, this mystery - an unknown future - is incredibly terrifying. I hear that your children are your best teachers. They are a reflection of who you are, there's no saying how they will become, but you keep trying and trying and trying and there's no right way to do it, but there's lots of wrong ways, but you cannot give up. That is unlike anything I am every experienced. Unlike any other tests that I have had. To be fair, I have not been tested massively so far. I am looking forward to it. Looking forward to this journey that will potentially, hopefully with change me, us, for the better and lunge us into Jannah. 

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Reminder

This world is meant to be a test - short lived and at times, ugly. Sometimes we do things that surprise us, or maybe it doesn't, but makes us hate ourselves. Sometimes we fall so deep that we look up at the mouth of the hole in despair, wondering how we will ever make it up again. Yasmin Mogahed wrote something a very long time ago that I still remember from time to time - something along the lines of - when you sink to the bottom of the ocean, that's when its time to collect some pearls.

I thought I will be strong for M. Everyday that I get up and do my work, work on my assignments, clean up, learn Arabic, exercise and eat healthy, I am reminded that if I can set an example for M, if I do this for M, it'll all be worth it. But I think I have been getting it wrong. I am falling into the trap that so many other people fall into. About three years ago, I asked a middle aged man why his wife is slaving away for something that is not necessary to provide for their grown children, and he replied - everything we do is for our children, isn't it? At that time,  I knew he was wrong. My parents have never made us feel that everything they do is for us. They have a separate life to us. Everything they do, they do for Allah. And that's how it should be. We blame ourselves when we fall short when we don't put our eggs in the right basket, when we have hope for the wrong things.

No matter how many times you fall, He promises He will pick you up again, if you have the right attitude.

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “A person committed a sin and said: ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’ His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave.’ Then as much time passed as Allah willed, then he committed a sin and said, ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’ His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave.’ Then as much time passed as Allah willed, then he committed a sin and said, ‘My Lord, I have sinned; forgive me.’ His Lord said: ‘Is My slave acknowledging that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for them? I have forgiven My slave,’ – three times…” [al-Bukhari, Muslim].

And He will provide, He will provide.

‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” [Nuh 71:10-12]

“If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].

Him (written on 20th April 2016)

'You're pretty.' He said.
He didn't see the freckles
or the falling hair.
He didn't see her creases
that she hated so much.
Instead,
he traced her broken skin,
healed her broken heart,


'You're pretty', he said.
He traced the creases on her skin.
Tucked hair behind her ear.


He is a cliche.
He takes care of me,
even though I'm twenty five.
He forgets dates
(But then, so do I).
He makes me laugh,
takes my hand,
and 
shows me the world
He doesn't pretend to be it.
He is a cliche,
But I wouldn't have it
any other way.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Doubts

They are tears that only spill at night
The urge to silence yourself in stillness
Your crooked eyebrows and disbelieving eyes
Songs and words mixing together
inside your head.
They are crumpled up papers in your brain
Lists made and thrown away
Promises made and broken
They are your tired wrists and paining shins
Nostalgia for a time long gone
Sleepless nights and meaningless words.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Heart

My heart beats faster,
Because you are there.
No, really, my heart is beating for you.
Beating to keep you alive,
Beating to make you grow,
Beating as its beat by yours.
Your heart beats faster than mine.
But, what do you know about the world?
You are only the size of my palm.
Safe, tucked inside.
Your heart will slow
when you know the truth.
Bitter, dark, tear jerking reality.
But,
I hope you can still keep the other heart alive.
The one that matters.
In the inside of inside of inside of you.