Category Archives: Laugh out Loud
By Aaisha Zafar Islam
A few weeks back, I read this article on NYT, on how to fall in love with someone, anyone, in 36 questions. For me, this came in a bit too late; eight years to be exact. While Z, my husband as I refer to him online, can claim he saw me and decided I was the one, I did make him jump some hoops before giving him the go-ahead to send his parents over with a formal proposal…and my ring size.
Let’s start with a quick personality profile. I do not believe in the saccharine, mass media portrayal of love. Love at first sight? Puhlease! As far as I am concerned, there’s just one love, the love our Creator Allah (SWT) has for us and we ought to have for Him and the Prophet (SAWS). The other type is a parent’s love for their child, unconditional, unfathomable. I know of the first one, it is my anchor through all times good and bad. Of the second, I have to see no further than my parents to know that it exists. Now the kind of love that would make one want to stay with one person for the rest of one’s life, it was slightly scary. I was a commitment-phobe till I signed my marriage contract.
Short-listing to the One
How did I get married then? Z and I had some mutual friends, but that’s not when it began. My sole criterion for getting married to anyone was that the candidate won a unanimous approval from everyone in my family – and I come from a large family. That was the first hoop, One candidate that everyone said ‘Yes’ to. It sounds way easier that it was; you don’t know my parents, or brothers, or sister.
The second was a formal application process. When my Brother in Law wanted to marry my sister, she had just one condition: that he get my approval. Since I was not in the country to grill him, I asked him to email me his resume. I am sure he was taken aback, but he did it right away. To marry into Clan Khan you have to be amenable to such ‘eccentric’ requests. That was the second test. My sister asked Z to send in his resume, and he did. The subject line: ‘Application for the post of Brother in Law.’ It’s difficult to look away from such a sense of humour!
When Z’s proposal came by, I was thick in the middle of an interview and selection process, screening students to enroll in the academic program I headed. We really put the poor applicants through the wringer with our questions, to assess how quick they were able to think and reply.
Once my sister and I had gone over Z’s resume and decided he could move onto stage three, I asked him to call me for a formal interview. He was in Dubai, I was in Pakistan and it was to be a long distance interview that would decide our fates. Long story short, I skewered and grilled him. There was a rapid fire round too – a succession of questions, one after the other. No breaks, no time to think. I asked him anything that came to my mind, including the number of white socks he had!
White socks were a sure deal-breaker. One of my mantra’s in life is: ‘Never trust a man who wears white socks, or dyes his hair.’
Z informed me that he did not own a single pair, but he could buy a pair and throw it away. I could not ignore such dedication to a cause – marrying me!
The Ever After
I am not the kind of woman who inspires paeans. I was more Medusa than Helen. However, Z was able to see through the prickly façade and find someone to love and live his life with, have kids with. He says that he saw me a mutual friend’s house and decided I was the one. Now he pleads temporary insanity.
For me there was no love when I got married, but I knew I had met Mr. Right. And we’ve been working all these years to perfect each other.
Love, in a marriage, comes gradually; it ebbs and flows. You have to find the right person who is NOT perfect, then whittle down through your own traits and his to work out a relationship that is as beautiful and meaningful as it is supposed to be. You get to know your spouse, you talk things out and make it work.
Everyone’s ‘How we got met and married’ story is unique. I still consider it the second most important job in the world and you should give it meticulous thought. The most important job in this world is that of being a parent, luckily Allah (SWT) does all the screening and vetting for us before blessing us with a child.
About the author:
Aaisha Zafar Islam is the executive editor of MuslimMoms.ca. She was incurably cynical about love, then Allah (SWT) blessed her with S and J to show what love really is. Now she believes in true love, miraculous ‘mommy’ kisses that can cure everything and chocolate in any form as the antidote to all life’s problems.
By Muneezah Jawad
I am a typical desi mom and I am proud of it. Desi, for those of you unfamiliar with the term means ‘of South Asian descent’. There are a few *ahem* ‘charming’ traits that we all have, some of which I am proud of and others I won’t admit to. There are also those traits that make me wait for the day my children become parents themselves. Then I will sit back, grin like a Cheshire cat and purr out ‘I told you!!’
So sit back with your chai and cake rusk and enjoy my list of things typical desi moms do. Read this listing of ‘traits’ with a healthy dose of laughs, it’s all in good humour!
All desis are related
We have a universal adoption policy. We insist that our kids call anyone older than themselves, uncle, aunty, apa (sister) or bhaijan (brother). This is regardless of whether they are family, friends or the local shopkeeper as long as they are desi. If we could we would even assign the next door cat a title.
I am not going to apologize for this. We have been taught to respect our elders and that means not calling them by their first names. It’s as simple as that. Since non desi’s won’t understand and will think we are forcibly trying to adopt them I don’t push my kids to do this with others.
Future doctors, lawyers or engineers
If we had our way, we would dress our babies in white lab coats over their diapers and give them a stethoscope for a pacifier, then we would proudly parade said future doctor in front of the millions of uncles and aunties we adopted as explained above.
Food is love
Someone coming for dinner? Time to whip up 30 odd dishes. Not only is it about food, it’s about a lot of food. It cannot do to cook just enough. No! There must be leftovers for guests to take home.
This brings me to another key point. We hoard countless empty yoghurt tubs to send leftovers home with people. This means we can keep our precious Tupperware safely tucked in warm and cozy in its shelf at home. We fear we will never see it returned, so we just don’t hand it out.
Comparison is an art
Whenever convenient we never fail to use other children to our advantage. Recently my nephew got outstanding results in his exams. I used the moment to hammer into my kids about how intelligent he is, how hard he worked and how lucky his parents are. However the minute one of my kids comes home saying Charlie came to school with the latest of whatever popular items that’s going around, my standard answer is ‘We should not compare one family to another’. Out goes the comparison. Works like a charm every time. One of these days I will get caught I am sure.
Beta, when are YOU getting married?
We all have been dreaming of our daughters getting married since the day they were old enough to steal our lipstick and play dress up. So it follows that we simply cannot resist asking any girl or even boy when they plan to tie the knot. It doesn’t matter that they are barely even ready to vote, we just need to know. If we don’t ask them the next target we corner is their mother.
The sun is not our friend
Yes, we avoid the sun like cats avoid baths. We like to be fair and we will go to great lengths to achieve this. Our most common accessory is a giant umbrella ironically when there are no clouds in sight. We are seen ducking in and out of spots in outdoor malls trying to walk along the shaded sides. Since I am naturally tanned and no amount of shade can turn me into Snow White, I am least bothered with this one. (When out and about in the sun, remember to put on sunscreen though!)
Hell hath no fury like a mother scorned
If our children even so much as hint at liking another mom’s brownies more than ours, that is it! We get our feathers ruffled, we get all teary eyed and generally walk around with an injured look. It takes days for us to recover and it’s done with much sighing and sniffing.
We are nosy
We love to grill our children’s friends for information. What extracurricular activities they are doing, where they are planning to vacation, what their report cards said. Why you might ask? Remember we love to use the art of comparison! I usually extract the information by luring them with a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk when they are visiting. Once they are at the kitchen table munching away that’s when my inquisition takes place, slow and subtle.
Dress code: Shalwar Kameez
We make sure our girls wear shalwar kameez for every occasion. I’ve had this done to me. I would be roped into wearing whatever garish outfit that was hanging around in my closet. Remember that fad that came in the 80’s when the shalwar(flared pants), kameez (long tunic)and dupatta(scarf) were all a different color that did not complement each other? Well I do. Need I say more?
I forgive my parents though, because those outfits really were the epitome of our culture, heritage and style. I just didn’t see it that way. If we don’t introduce our kids to them, they might never wear it. It will be looked upon as a costume. It’s imperative that our children know their roots and our clothes play a big part. I advise that they should be given choices and never be forced.
Hospitable to a fault
Aside from feeding guests till they are ready to pop, anyone who ever comes for a visit will always be escorted out the door when they leave. It’s like we want to make sure they actually leave. We will stand outside and wait till they are safely in their car and have driven off. It’s difficult to know when to stop waving. We wave, then they wave, which obligates us to wave back and on it goes. Sometimes we are standing on the driveway a good 10-15 minutes and our hands end up very tired.
I am so proud to be desi. We are the most loving, hospitable people and I would never wish to be anything else. I hope to instill a few of these traits in my future generations as well. It is what makes us unique and at the same times makes us stand out in society.
About the author:
Muneezah Jawad is the Social Media Manager at MuslimMoms.ca
By Aaisha Zafar Islam
I have seen scores of ladies ask for a good instructor to help them train and pass their road test. Never have I seen anyone solicit advice on how to fail their road test, but I feel that one should. I say this because I am a veteran of sorts, an expert in failing my road tests. The sole time I managed to pass my road test in first attempt, I attribute to stars aligning in my favour, or the examiner getting his head conked as I drove over a bump. Who knows what fluke got me through that test and qualify for a G2 three years ago. I grandly let my license expire and all my attempts since, to get a G or even a G2 have been dismal failures.
My repeated failures have also awakened my enterprising side, and now I want to give classes – pro bono – online and in person, to those who seek my road wisdom or lack of it thereof. Without further ado, here are my tips, some tried and tested to make sure you do NOT pass your road test.
Before getting on the road
- Deliberately mix up your signals before the actual test starts. When the examiner says right, flick your indicator lights to left and vice versa.
- When he asks you to brake, with all your might, step on the gas. Oh yeah!
- Sit back and make sure you do not have your seat belt buckled in. When he points it out, make a great show of how cumbersome you find it.
- Finally, when he asks you to start the car, do not change gears and attempt to drive the car in the Parking gear. He should be the one to point it out to you.
On the road
By now, the examiner must be furiously scribbling away on your report sheet. If not, there are more things you can do to get that fail.
- Never follow the posted speed signs, always go a good 20 kph over or under the speed limit. Particularly in residential streets and school zones where it says 40 kph, do not worry and cruise breezily at a good 60 kph.
- On main roads, where the speed limit is 70 kph, move into the ‘pass’ lane on your left, and take your foot off the accelerator. Slowly and leisurely do a 50 kph. If someone honks at you, honk back, roll down the window and wave happily.
- At stop signs you are supposed to stop for a good three seconds, make a dead stop and then count out loud, ‘1, 2, 3, GO!’ and then step on the gas. Do not check for any on-coming traffic etc.
- Or don’t make a dead stop, a rolling stop is also great at getting you a fail.
- Never stop for pedestrians, if you see them crossing the road, honk at them to hurry. You have a road test to fail.
- When changing lanes, ignore blind spots and careen wildly into the lane your examiner has told you. Also it helps to chant ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ out loud when attempting lane changes.
- Never stop for a school bus unless the examiner shouts at you to.
- When making turns, left or right, steer the wheel with just one hand. Perch your left hand on the window, we all know how ‘cool’ and ‘stylish’ that looks.
- At traffic lights, adjust the back view mirror to check your make up. Every single time. Take your time to adjust it back into position and then accelerate onwards. This should annoy the drivers behind, getting them to honk at you. Honk back, roll down the window and wave at them cheerfully. Also grin at the examiner and ask him which team he’s supporting.
- While driving ask the examiner if he’s heard your phone ring. Then ask him to check it for you and hand it over if there is indeed an incoming call or sms.
- Brake hard, every time. You should feel a lurch forward at the sudden stop, make a great show of it and go, ‘Ouch, ouch!’
- 3 point turns are passé, perfect your ‘U-turns’ and when your examiner points out your mistake, tell him that 3 point turns are outdated, your prefer the seamless-ness of a ‘U-turn.’
- When the examiner asks you to park, parallel, reverse or front, ask him, ‘Do I have to?’
- Or ease into a spot that clearly says ‘No Parking’ or ‘Disabled’.
- Make a great show of checking for blind spots, incoming traffic, pedestrians, and then step on the gas to park. The examiner should be the one to brake, and that is a definite fail.
At the end of the test when the examiner tells you that he has bad news for you, start bawling right away. Ask him, between sobs, what was it that you did wrong?
And there you have it, my select few tips to fail your road test. Remember to share which one of these you tried in your test to score a fail.
About the author:
Aaisha Zafar Islam is the executive editor at MuslimMoms.ca. She is not as dense a driver as this article suggests, her failures should be attributed to colossal bad luck.
Disclaimer: This article is written as satire, MuslimMoms.ca is not responsible if you ‘follow’ any of these ‘tips.’
By Mona Ismaeil
Hijab is more than a head covering, as many a muhajabah can attest. It can take on many roles depending on your needs. Here are a few of our favourite ones!
With all these distracted driving laws you need a safe and secure way to use your cell phone hands free. That’s easy when you have a hijab. Just slide it inside your hijab, against your ear and talk/drive away!
The Backup Hijab
Layering two hijabs can be a great fashion and style statement. It can also SAVE YOUR LIFE! If you have an emergency like a sprained ankle, a cut or if you spilled grape juice on your mother-in-law’s white leather couch, imagine how relieved you’ll be to have a second handy dandy hijab to act as a bandage, a sling or a towel!
Meeting someone for the first time? No need to walk around awkwardly, asking random people if they are so and so. Just tell the person, what color hijab you will be wearing and it should be easy to find you!
Gain a little weight eating too many Eid treats? No problem! Wear your clothes a little looser and say that you are practicing extra modesty.
Sun: You have a hat
Rain:You have an umbrella
Snow/Cold: You have a winter hat
Pins To The Rescue
Camping and got attacked by a scurry of squirrels? Use your hijab pins to fight them off as they are trying to steal your halal marshmallows.
Bad Hair Day No More
When you friends are complaining about their bad hair days, you will be secretly smiling knowing your hair is back in a neat little bun protected by your fabulous hijab!
Allergies? Got a cold? Reaching in your bag just to find that someone’s used your last tissue? No problem! Carefully and discretely dab your drippy nose with the inner side of your hijab. Be sure not to wipe as it may be too obvious and harder to hide.
What fun uses do you have for your hijab?
About the author:
Mona Ismaeil is mother to a sweet little toddler, owner at Modern Hejab and a blogger.
By Uswah Ahsan
The Immigration Lecture
Every immigrant child has this etched in their brain. This lecture goes as follows:
Kid: Mom, Dad, it’s the last day of school, can I go to my friend’s house?
Father: Your mother and I worked hard to get you to this country. We only came here with ten dollars in our pockets and we had to get entry-level jobs to provide for our children so that they could get the life we hoped for and become doctors, engineers or lawyers. Instead of wasting your time at your friend’s house, you should be studying so that you could live up to your parent’s dreams… and so it goes on.
Yes, we understand how hard you work and appreciate it, but the lecture has no meaning left after it has been repeated dozens of times.
The boy/girl assumption
God forbid if a girl and boy are seen talking to each other – instantly rumours will spread like wildfire.
News Flash for Muslim parents of the world: not every guy is in love with every girl. Your children of either gender will have to eventually interact in this country- teach them their boundaries but don’t go gung-ho over it.
Know thy child’s friends…
This one is special as I’ve had the pleasure of encountering this on numerous occasions. It goes like this:
Kid: Mom, I’m going to Sana’s house…you know my friend from English class?
Mother: Okay, leave me with her number. And her mother’s number. And her father’s number. And her brother’s number. And her dead great aunt’s number. And also the address of all these people, their occupations, age, blood type, the hospital they were born in and their dietary habits.
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a tad but that’s the gist of it. Muslim kids need to work on building comprehensive directories when they make friends. There is no privacy in a Muslim home, is there?
The double-ended grade speech
Now some immigrant parents love to embrace the western culture by ‘talking about grades’ but old habits are hard to break. A short synopsis of the double-ended grade speech:
Before report cards: ‘You know we love you and we are proud of you no matter what. All we want is for you to try your best and whatever grade you get is fine with us.’
After report cards: ‘What do you mean a 90%? Did we come to this country to see these grades… *insert immigration speech* No using your phone for the next month!’
Shopping with your parents
There is not one day that goes by when I am not thankful that my mom did her Masters in Fashion and her taste in clothing is good. I have friends who show up to school in winter with four layers of mis-matched clothing, two gloves of different colors and shoes that light up when you walk (I’m 16, folks).
Many a times I have sympathized with teenagers with ‘please-earth-swallow-me-whole’ expressions while their mothers question bewildered sales staff if there is a further discount on a $5 sale item. And then they buy $50 worth of stuff you have clearly stated that you’ll never wear. Don’t get me started on the coupons… To top it all up, you can be sure to encounter one of the cool kids from your school shopping at the same place with their friends. That’s right…teenagers shop without their mothers too. It can happen.
I miss the time when parents did not know what social media was. At least then you could live without the embarrassing baby pictures, their constant tagging you in every picture, the humiliating comments on your statuses and last but not least…sending your friends a friend request on facebook. That, I shall never understand.
Do you like us or do you hate us?
Immigrant kids love to have guests over for one reason: their parents become nice. As soon as any friend of the family comes over, let the bragging begin!
In front of the guests:
‘My daughter just finished grade 10 with straight A’s! Masha Allah she is so smart!’
‘My son has gotten so tall because he plays basketball after school every day! He is so athletic!’
When guests leave:
‘What do you mean you got an A? Where is the plus? Why didn’t you get 100%?’
‘You spend all day playing basketball and spend no time studying or with your family!’
You can understand why we are a little bit confused…
This is by no means a comprehensive list. The real list is constantly being updated in our collective conscience and it is endless. In reality, we love our parents and respect them. This article was only written to produce loud fits of laughter.
Ahem…excuse me while I go back to my studying.
Uswah’s mom: Are you wasting your time on the laptop again? Your exams are near, you should be studying! *Insert immigration speech*
About the author:
Uswah Ahsan is a sixteen year old. This article has been read, vetted and forwarded by her mom for publication on MuslimMoms.ca
By Aruj Sipra
We love to hate them but still can’t imagine life without them. They annoy us, know all our strengths and weaknesses and are usually our first best friends.
If you haven’t already guessed, these descriptions belong to the wonderful individuals known as siblings.
Sibling relationships are love, competition, friendship and jealousy all overlaying each other to create complex emotional reactions to family issues and situations.
In the past, people tended to have large families in almost every culture. Five or more children were common in a typical family. My father had eight siblings and throughout my childhood, I saw him juggling with relationships to keep harmony intact in the family. My husband comes from a large family as well – seven siblings. Once out of curiosity he asked his father jokingly – why so many children? Luckily my father-in-law was in a good mood so he smiled and candidly answered, “We had no television like you do nowadays”. I will leave it to the readers to decipher this one, but his witty answer filled the room with laughter.
Siblings don’t choose the family they are born into, they don’t choose one another. They may be of different gender, are probably of different ages and temperaments, and worst of all, they have to share the one person or two they want for themselves the most – their parents.
We are three siblings, two sisters and one brother. My sister is the eldest, with a brother in the middle and then me, the youngest. My sister has always been the apple of my parent’s eye. She is the first born with the confidence and social savvy inherent in an eldest child. Our parents always had a special pride and affection for her. It does not mean that my brother and I were ignored by our parents but her bold personality got everyone’s attention.
My brother, the middle child, always felt sandwiched between two female siblings, though he was a favourite of my grandfather. Since he was a boy, my parents decided to get him admitted to the prestigious Aitcheson College in Lahore where he would go on to complete his high school. Later, when our father due to his professional career, had to move to Karachi for few years, my brother stayed back with my grandfather in Lahore to continue with his education. For this he used to blame the ‘poor parents’ for neglecting and leaving him behind and moving to another city with their beloved daughters.
Parents always know what is best for their children. Their advice might infuriate their children at times, but actually it is one of the depictions that they want only the best for their children. They want their children to be successful people by getting higher education and better opportunities in life. Now that my brother has grown into a cultured, handsome man and a successful journalist, my parent’s decision and love for him seems to have paid off.
Now my turn! Being the youngest, I can write on and on but don’t want to bore the readers with my stories. All I can say is when the youngest child is born, the first thing she discovers is that she is surrounded by more capable adults who can do many things that she can’t. As a consequence, she usually becomes overly ambitious and highly competitive. I always admired my sister’s confidence, my brother’s intellect and so with time I managed to infuse some of their most admired qualities in myself.
My sister and brother had a very close relationship right from the start. They would share their secrets and always ignored me – like I never existed. They did fight over some petty things but not too much. With me, it was always ‘you are a baby’ or ‘you know nothing’. Trust me, my brother says the same things to me even today!
Being the youngest has its downsides. Being referred to as ‘the baby’ your whole life, for instance. I mean, come on, you are dealing with a grown up lady now! My sister would always share her things with me but I, on the contrary, would never. I was a reserved, disciplined, protective child who made sure her things were organized and always in top notch condition. Once shared, they had to be returned in the same condition and if returned with any sign of impairment then it would be the last time I would see the person and the thing would go to the garbage bin. Later in life, the demise of my mother taught me that people have more value than material things.
Now let’s see how birth order plays a role in sibling relationships.
Firstborn: These children tend to be conscientious, ambitious, organized and dominant in relationships. As with all birth-order positions, gender plays a role too. In the case of firsts, oldest sons usually tend to take charge as leaders. Oldest females on the other hand, are more likely to be bossy, confident and aggressive than their younger sisters.
Middle child: Middle children are the least defined of their type .They can be predictable in the best sense of that word. Middles tend to be good at compromise — a skill valuable to them as they negotiate between bossy older siblings and needy younger ones.
Youngest child: Beloved, treasured, and in many cases babied for much longer than their older siblings, the youngest children tend to be less responsible, with a devil-may-care attitude and with less of a hankering to take charge.
Only Child: They are pampered and precious, and thus will have trouble ceding the spotlight to anyone. They tend to be responsible as well as mature. In fact, many ‘grow up’ quicker than children with siblings, thanks to the company of adults.
People questioned later in life often say that their biggest regret is being estranged from a sister or brother. Sibling rivalry often persists into adulthood because in many families it goes un-addressed. My father often had clash of opinion with his siblings and at times it even seemed they would never see each other again, but they would patch up the very next minute or in the worst scenario, the next day. Such was the love and respect they had for each other that they never let their ego come in the way of mending relations. Sadly, this is missing today among many family relations.
Handling Sibling Rivalry
Sibling rivalry happens in every house with more than one child, and at every age. It’s a common challenge, but that does not mean it’s easy on your sanity!
Arrange for attention: Plan on giving each child at least 10-20 minutes of positive, individual attention every day, from each parent, and all of a sudden, your children will learn they don’t have to fight to get you to look their way.
Stay out of disagreements: When you do hear a disagreement among children, ignore it and busy yourself elsewhere. Give them a chance to work it out on their own, and at the same time, you’ll remove the payoff they get from your attention.
Calm the conflict: Listen to each child, encouraging discipline as they tell their story. Then without taking sides, ask them to come up with some solutions. If they cannot, suggest a few for them and help them reach an agreement.
A sibling is the greatest gift you can give your child.
I truly believe these children not only choose us as parents, but also pick their brothers and sisters.
About the author:
Aruj Sipra is the community manager at MuslimMoms.ca
By Naheed Ashraf
I wonder how many of us would agree when asked if they have ever been in situation where they wished they had a pellet instead of tongue. A bit harsh, but let us admit we all have been thrown in or witnessed such instances courtesy the colourful human breeds we mingle with. If only we can be a bit more courteous and follow some basic social etiquettes life can be more pleasant – for us as well as those around us!
Here’s a quick crash course on what to avoid, my version.
Me, myself and I: No interaction should solely be based on a me, myself and I . Unfortunately if you are at the receiving end, you are left craving for a “YOU”. I tend to shut my mental clock on such conversationalists and enjoy the bliss it brings.
Telephone monsters: Then there are those who constantly multi-task during a phone call, much to your annoyance. They will be screaming at kids, vacuuming, gulping the food down or just won’t be there to hear what you are saying. Block them or at least ignore their calls when you see their number if you want to be at peace
Needling / whining: Have you even screamed at someone in your head to stop being a drama queen? We have infinite things to be grateful for in life. Your search for a good house help, missing things, loads of laundry, clammy weather making your hair stick out doesn’t warrant sympathy so get your act together and deal with them. Also FYI, I understand why some of your friends avoid you, I am looking for an invisibility cloak as well.
You know it all: We get it, but don’t test our patience and stop your never ending interjections. It is totally acceptable to pull Aunty Acid on them and say “If you have comments, please raise your hands and put them on your lips”.
World owes you nothing: and neither do we and your need for instant gratification/ applause in life are totally unwarranted. Ever been introduced to the words“Earn it”?
BOSSY: Your interest in my life and that of others is acceptable ONLY to a certain point. I as well as many others are perfectly capable of selecting pattern for our dresses, school for our kids, colour scheme for our homes and don’t need your lecture on what we should or shouldn’t have said or done every time.
Assumptions, give them a rest: Don’t assume things or read between the lines all the time. Personally I find this the worst of the lot. You are not an archaeologist and we a historical site; you don’t need to dig deep to find hidden meanings “she /he said that but actually meant…” all the time.
Moral policing: There is also a tendency for some that the minute they bring change in THEIR life, they feel it is an obligation to lecture others about it as well. Worst among these, with due respect, are the religious constables. Again I apologize but people, your faith is for you and you alone if anything impress others with your actions, not words. I recently had the misfortune of a meeting which ended just shy of her calling me a sinner. I was told that I will be pulled in hell because my hair was not covered, my loosely fitted shirt was enticing whereas her abaya was a beautifully embroidered figure hugging piece. I felt like throwing her in the ditch first and then turning my life around – the idea was very pleasant for some reason .
Thank You/Please: Get a grip, it’s a myth not a reality that your face would crack in two if you use these words. Unfortunate as it is, there are many who are devoid of this simple etiquette. Worst are the ones who receive a gift/ help in cash or kind and act nonchalant. What manners are you passing on to your next generation?
Sorry: Don’t apologize with a mouth splitting grin – if you end up in a sorry state I am not apologizing for it either! Also, do not attend a funeral or a grievance congregation and try to be funny. This is completely disrespectful and we may have to visit you for that blunder – in the hospital.
These are just a few of many things that we can do to make life simple and social interactions pleasant. Some more that can be added are table manners , pick your own litter, save the sarcasm for yourself …. do you have some more to add to this list?
About the author:
Naheed Ashraf is mom to a beautiful three year old rogue . She loves to read, rant and is often in trouble due to faulty filters!
By Nabeela Ahsan
Everyone knows her, the desi woman. She’s the one who looks you up and down, inside out as you pass her in the mall- a look more invasive by far than any from the opposite sex. If she recognizes you she will ignore you, if she doesn’t know you, she’ll acknowledge you with a nod.
Here are some things you know about her.
1. She loves to play ping-pong with your dishes: If you take some food to her house, she will return the dish with food in it and more in her dish. Then you return her dish and so on and so forth. It just doesn’t stop.
2. As a shopper: The average desi woman is the last person you want to go shopping with. She will unfold all the clothing, drag merchandise from the shelves, tear open closed packs of underwear and let merchandise slip from the hangers. We are still talking about the merchandise she isn’t interested in yet.
3. Devout complainer: She will complain loudly that the product of the company is worthless- as if by doing so the owners will rush over from Sweden and give her complimentary products. Because that happens, right.
4. As a driver on the road: If the car in front of you is driving at 20 in a 70 kph speed zone, chances are you are tailgating a desi woman. Should you pass her, you will find her totally engrossed in yelling at her kids who are buckled up in the back seat. Let’s not even talk about the grey hair you get waiting for her to make a left turn at an intersection.
5. Let-them-eat-cake mentality: If you tell her you are struggling financially, she will let you know that there’s nothing like investing in a good Michael Kors bag to lift your spirits. Retail therapy and all. She will also do you a great service by informing you that there is a 20% sale on that darling little $800 bag.
6. Judging your upbringing: What do you mean your son/daughter doesn’t go to Islamic classes? Obviously you are not much of a Muslim if you don’t send your child to the $400/month Islamic classes her child goes to. Enough said.
7. Dress deducing par excellence: She can tell, to the exact date, the last time you visited Pakistan – all this by just looking at your clothes. Anthropologists have a thing or two to learn from her.
8. Public service: She will think nothing of disciplining your child – especially if hers is at fault.
9. Proud Mom: Her children are so intelligent, so smart…that even their “B’s” look like “A’s”! True story.
10. Oh those house-keeping woes: You have heard nothing if you haven’t heard the pitiful woes of the sad desi woman who has to attend to her household chores. Self-pity unlimited. She will move you to the brink of madness by the stories of her household servants back home. Honestly? We all had them. We all clean our toilets. Deal with it.
About the author:
Nabeela Ahsan is a mom of three, living and working in Missisauga. In her free time, she likes to watch “Dr. Who” with her boys and “Two Broke Girls” with her daughter. She has closet dreams of doing her PhD. She has co-foundered a companyInterCloDesigns that provides sustainable clothing aid in countries affected by disaster.
By Naheed Ashraf
Have you ever been in a position where the start of a conversation became the end of it? If not really the end but it truly sucked the pleasure out of that meeting? Unfortunate as it is, almost everyone has been in this situation and I find relief that I am not the only one.
There are many ways for you to avoid such an embarrassment simply by abstaining from some of these start up lines. Read on and avoid these top ten offending conversation starters!
Would you be angry if I say something?
It’s not difficult to get the radars up and antennas going when the conversation starts on that note or even ‘don’t be mad at me if I tell you something.’ So now I am supposed to be intuitive and promise to bear the crap that may await me? My answer usually is that you can certainly try your luck. This often deters many from continuing.