Purifying the heart

Purifying the heart !

Assalam Alai kum brothers and sisters. I trust, you are in good health and are counting your blessings everyday.

The link above is an excellent short video based on our existence and how we can remove the corrupt, evil sins from our hearts. It is a beautiful metaphor and I’m sure, you will like it, hence sharing.

The doors of Rehma (mercy/forgiveness) will remain open for us till the moment, we take our last breath, hence don’t assume you will not be forgiven. Allah swt can and will pardon the worse of the sins, provided the niyaah (intention) is sincere and the remorse is true.

A family we knew, had a daughter, who suffered at the hands of a chronic illness for all her tender life. We realized, perhaps,  she was a test from the Almighty. Eventually she passed away leaving her parents with a broken heart.

A few years later, the only other child, an older son, matured and carried forward the responsibilities of his fathers’ business. The father was beside himself. A young, charming, well-behaved, well-disciplined and responsible son, is a dream come true. The parents had him married and the following year, the young bride and groom, performed Hajj.

Although, they are our family friends, we barely kept in touch, over the years. Never the less, I have a deep-rooted respect for this family and upon hearing the beautiful news, I was overwhelmed with joy.

Sadly, it was short-lived.

A couple of years later, the said young boy, committed suicide.

Death of a child, in itself, is the harshest emotional devastation, but loosing your child to suicide can add an unbelievably surreal dimension to this trauma.

And then begins a string of speculations of why he took such a drastic step .. .. perhaps monetary issues, perhaps business decline, perhaps he did not bear children and perhaps a dozen other factors, which we may never know and in so many ways, its none of our business ! But here is whats really important :-

My dear brothers and sisters, suicide is haram. There is no other way to put it mildly.

Please remember, we are placed in this world to face the trials, to endure hardships while keeping our imaan (faith) intact. We CANNOT and MUST NOT give up.

Talk to anyone of your family members, friend, relative, a trusted neighbor, a colleague, the imam in your masjid ~ if nothing else, turn to a psychiatrist.  But DONT give up.  Whatever problems, you face, there is ALWAYS a solution. Sometimes, we have to persistently search for it, and sometimes, patience brings it at our doorstep, never the less, there is ALWAYS a solution. However there is no solution to DEATH.

That is the trauma this elderly parent faces and will continue to endure every single day, for the rest of their lives.

The young bride who probably has a life ahead of her, with a stigma so intense, to carry in our hypocritical society.

What he did ~ is not the issue here becoz he is no more and no one can bring him back.

But what matters is what we learn from this unfortunate tragedy.

Asian parents are highly emotional and less logical parents. They pin too many hopes and aspirations over their offspring. In a way, they almost live their youth, thru their children, which is fine , so long as they don’t start imposing their expectations on them.  If your raising responsible children, remember, when they goof-up(and they will) don’t remind them time and again, about your disappointments (they already realize their mistake) Reminding them will not bring them closer to you. It will only widen the barrier between them and you.

Brothers and sisters, No matter what your fix is, rely on your parents. There will be a temporary period of disappointments and you may curl in the feeling of being a let-down. But trust me, its far better, that they sort your hassle out than sort your coffin out.  There can be no excuse for suicide. Absolutely NONE.

The void a parent feels after loosing a child is unbearably painful but knowing and blaming himself, all the remainder of his life, why his child could not turn to him as a confidante, is far more painful for a parent.

This video demonstrates how wrong decisions, wrong habits and wrong deeds can blacken our hearts and our minds and misguide us in the wrong direction, but ……………………… there is hope.

Astaghfirullah.

Ask Allah swt for forgiveness, refrain yourself from evil practices and reprimand your ways and there is no reason, why the Almighty Allah swt who is Ghafoor and Raheem, would not forgive his slave.

He is waiting for YOU to raise your hands in dua and with trust in your heart, turn to him. He alone will set you free.

so what are you waiting for ?

 

 

Alcohol ~ Halal or Haram ~ 1

Please check my next post exactly on this subject. I did not want to use the images with this post out of respect for my religion and the beautiful wisdom imparted by the famous Judge.

A man came to Iyas Ibn Mu’awiyah, a Muslim judge famous for his wisdom, and the following conversation took place between them:

Man: What is the Islamic ruling regarding wine?

Judge: It is Haram (Forbidden).

Man: How about water?

Judge: It is Halal (Permissible).

Man: How about dates and grapes?

Judge: They are Halal.

Man: Why is it that all these ingredients are Halal, and yet when you combine them, they become Haram?

The judge looked at the man and said: If I hit you with this handful of dirt, do you think it would hurt you?

Man: It would not.

Judge: How about if I hit you with this handful of straw?

Man: It would not hurt me.

Judge: How about a handful of water?

Man: It surely would not hurt me.

Judge: How about if I mix them, and let them dry to become a brick, and then hit you with it, would it hurt you?

Man: It would hurt me and might even kill me!

Judge: The same reasoning applies to what you asked me!!

Alcohol ~ Halal or Haram ~ 2

This post is actually a part of the  previous post of Wine being Halal or Haram in Islam.
There are scores of authentic Islamic sites which will explain the position of Alcohol in Islam.
The Learned  Dr Zakir Naik himself, has explained elaborately why Alcohol is haram for Muslims.
His explanations are par excellence.
However, for all those of you, who “assume” that you know how to handle your alcohol aka “Keep my liquor down”, please tell me, do any of the following images show you how much respect you gain in this state of intoxication ?
 
The excuses are endless like, “I drink to release stress, drink only socially, drink very responsibly, drink to ease my worries, drink to forget my worries”  ……. I can jot down a dozen excuses why people prefer drinking. But the basic reason, that I believe in, is that they are simply following what Shaitaan is whispering to them. They are slaves of their habits and they are puppets to peer pressure.
 
Any one with an ounce of sense is not going to consume something that is going to cause his body harm (in the long term or short term in large quantity or small quantity ), embarass him becoz he now feels “released” enough to do leave behind his social inhibitions and could possibly cause harm to others around him (socially, physically, mentally)
 
It is purely disgusting to see women, disgracing themselves ~ all in the name of “having some fun”  !!

It all starts with having a good time !

Until it ends in such a shameful state !

There is no dignity left in either of these pictures ~ ONLY DISGRACE.

How easy do you think, it is, for a man to take advantage of her, in the state she is in ??? And then who’s to blame ???

How do you think these women deal with themselves in the mirror the next morning ???
 
They have even coined a term for this term. WASTED !!!! Exactly that and still dont realize that they are “wasting” that precious life.

This poor dude is now vulnerable to anyone who wishes to throw a prank at him. Who is to blame for in this situation ?????

Havent we heard that “like a million times before ?????   One of the many denials !!

ruined the moment ~ ruined your reputation forever !

And they still think that drinking is civil !!! that one CAN drink “responsibly” (yes, ofcourse I have heard THAT a hundred times )

So drunk that he does not have any realization of where he is …

so drunk that he does not realize he is floored with the can !!!

There are scores of pictures, that I can post here, but some of them are just so explicit and disgusting that I cant get myself display them ~ even if it is just to get my point across and show you that there’s a HUGE reason why ALCOHOL IS HARAM in Islam. Do you really need any more reasons ?? I have a dozen pics more if you need more reasons !!

Do you realize how easily one slips from being very conscious to being sober to be tipsy to being totally drunk and do you realize how deadly this condition can be and IS, if your behind the wheel ???

Ask her, and she’ll tell you :-

 Such a beautiful and promising girl’s life is a struggle today. She is not the only one ~ there are hundreds like her whose lives are destroyed forever, but she is an inspiration, none the less.

Thousands of lives are lost thru out the world when some drunk fool decides to drive his car back home !  So many families suffer, so many homes destroyed forever … … . . .

This is a poem by Caroline :-

A poem to get you thinking about the consequences of drink drivingI went to a party,
And remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink, Mum
So I had a sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself,
The way you said I would,
That I didn’t drink and drive,
Though some friends said I should.

I made a healthy choice,
And your advice to me was right,
The party finally ended,
And the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my car,
Sure to get home in one piece,
I never knew what was coming, Mum
Something I expected least.

Now I’m lying on the pavement,
And I hear the policeman say,
The kid that caused this wreck was drunk,
Mum, his voice seems far away.

My own blood’s all around me,
As I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say,
This girl is going to die.

I’m sure the guy had no idea,
While he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive,
Now I would have to die.

So why do people do it, Mum
Knowing that it ruins lives?
And now the pain is cutting me,
Like a hundred stabbing knives.

Someone should have taught him,
That it’s wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his parents had,
I’d still be alive.

My breath is getting shorter, Mum
I’m getting really scared.
These are my final moments,
And I’m so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me Mum,
As I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say, ‘I love you, Mum!’
So I love you and good-bye.

DRINK DRIVING KILLS

Caroline

Need I say more ????

Are you a WINNER or a LOSER ?

Personally I dont like the term “Loser “. Its a heavily loaded term full of negativeity. I doubt any one likes to be teased as being a loser. Although I understand from my own kids that its one of the “in” terms to use, when teasing or naming someone you dont particularly like.

Here is something I came across in my inbox, but by no means is this some sorta standard bench mark about losers, however, it does show how one could improve ones attitude and fall on the other side of the court.

  •           The Winner is always part of the answer;
  •            The Loser is always part of the problem.
    • *********
    • ♦ The Winner always has a program;
    • The Loser always has an excuse.
    • *********
    • ♦ The Winner says, “Let me do it for you”;
    • The Loser says, “That is not my job.”
    • *********
    • ♦ The Winner sees an answer for every problem;
    • The Loser sees a problem for every answer.
    • *********
    • ♦ The Winner says, ” It may be difficult but it is possible”;
    • The Loser says, “It may be possible but i t is too difficult.”
    • *********
    • ♦ When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong”;
    • When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault.”
    • *********
    • ♦ A Winner makes commitments;
    • A Loser makes promises.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners have dreams;
    • Losers have schemes.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners say, “I must do something”;
    • Losers say, “Something must be done.”
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners are a part of the team;
    • Losers are apart from the team.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners see the gain;
    • Losers see the pain.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners see possibilities;
    • Losers see problems.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners believe in win-win;
    • Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners see the potential;
    • Losers see the past.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners are like a thermostat;
    • Losers are like thermometers.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners choose what they say;
    • Losers say what they choose.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners use hard arguments but soft words;
    • Losers use soft arguments but hard words.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things;
    • Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: “Don’t do to others what you would not want them to do to you”;
    • Losers follow the philosophy, “Do it to others before they do it to you .”
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners make it happen;
    • Losers let it happen.
    • *********
    • ♦ Winners plan and prepare to win.
    • The key word is preparation.

SAYING GOODBYE TO MOTHER.

We were dressed, and ready to go out  for the New Years Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering  machine on, covered our pet parakeet, and put the cat in the  backyard.We phoned the local cab company and  requested a taxi. The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the  house.

As we walked out the door, the cat we  had put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We didn’t want the cat shut in the house, because she always tries to eat the bird.

My wife goes on out to the taxi, while  I went back inside to get the cat . The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot  pursuit. 

Waiting in the cab, my wife doesn’t want the driver to know  that the house will be empty for the night. So, she explains to the taxi  driver that I will be out soon, ‘He’s just going upstairs to say goodbye to my  mother.’

A few minutes later, I get into the  cab. ‘Sorry I took so long,’ I said, as we drove away. ‘That stupid bitch was  hiding under the bed. I had to poke her ass with a coat hanger to get her to  come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to  wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled  her fat ass downstairs and threw her out into the back yard!’

The cab  driver hit a parked car.

Toy Garage Sale

Alittle after Sam came home after his surgery, one of the enormous tasks pending on my to-do list was arranging the boys room and organizing the toys. Now organizing the toys also implys getting rid of that huge mountain of toys piled up for the last 2-3 years. Every 8 months, we get rid of toys that have either broken or the boys have just lost interest in them coz they have grown and moved on to a more challenging / attractive toy. There is a very nice masjid in Bur Dubai, close to the Imperial suites, which accepts toys, clothes, household stuff etc. Thats generally where I would donate the toys in good condition.

However, Bilal, having moved on to more gadgety toys, with sawaab in tow, Eman is left with a huge heap of toys. The little guy likes his tiny army men and forts and ofcourse his war hammer and stuff. So we decided to put up a garage sale.

The boys were so excieted. It was decided that the money collected would go into buying playstation cds or computer game cds. Needless to say, they all put up their socks and were fully charged up. We put up the advertisement in Le Marche, on the spinneys board and on the AR Website.  The boys even placed direction posters around the Al Reem area !!  Our sales was to begin from 11 in the morning. Our first “customer” was a couple with 6 kids who had been waiting since 10:15 !!!!!!!!

Please remember, recyling toys is helping the environment. Why dump or throw toys down the garbage bin, when some child can happily enjoy them for a couple of months or even years more.

Here are some of the pictures :

 

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Ofcourse the sale did turn out good enough to help the boys buy a handful of cds, however, it was my first time experience with garage sales and some of the things that i realized are noted below  :

  • Make sure, you have placed all your toys on the tables, shelves, chairs, cartons,  etc a night before instead of waiting for the 11th hour. It helps~ you feel more organized. An organized display is attractive even if someone is not going to pick something. Its like eye candy !
  • Never place your telephone number on the advert. You’ll be strangely surprised as to how many people call for anything but toys, inspite of writing in large bold letters “ONLY TOYS FOR SALE” !!!!
  • Keep the time short. I made the mistake of keeping it on saturday coz friday was the royal wedding so naturally the turnout would be expectedly low. But where I was wrong was that I kept it from 11:00 to 5:00. The real buyers will be there in the first two hours. So the best time for the sale should be kept between 9:00 to 12:00 or even earlier especially for toys.
  • We kept the prices in the range of max dhs 15 for furniture (and otherwise dhs 1 – 5 ) which was “extreme underpricing” .. why ? Becoz people are people and even at that, they wanted to know if it could be negotiated ?????? HELLLLLLLO !! Even a tiny dinosaur the size of my pinky, costs dhs 25 in ELC and here your getting a full size work table and two chair from Ikea in good condition and you want a discount on 15dhs ???? Solution. Dont price it at dhs 15. Keep it at 20-25 so if they insist, you can always throw it down to 15 !! satisfied ? I manged to sell the egg chair thru dubizzle for dhs 25. Original price being dhs 225 from Ikea ! Then again, the idea was not about “making” money.
  • To reduce the confusion and better traffic for the sale, make sure, you draw or print a map of your house location on the advert. Alot of people are visual based and it helps tremendously.
  • Best to keep some water ready at hand in glasses on the kitchen platform instead of rushing into the kitchen everytime someone asks for some water.

These are just a few of the points I figured from our first sale. We still have piles of toys stacked up in boxes which will be going to the Masjid soon enough for donation. But for now, we are a less loaded and crowded home 🙂

Oh and if there is anyone out there who stays in Dubai and is interested in picking up some/any of these toys, feel free to contact me. They will probably be sitting there in the boxes for atleast two weeks before they are donated to the masjid.

I hope this little article helps you in realizing :

  •  the less cluttered our house is, the more space, there is, to grow ~
  •  the more, we are relaxed ~
  •  the more, it is easy to clean and frankly,
  • there are only so many toys, a child can play with !!

If any of the points have :

  • helped you or
  • helped to make your sale successful or
  •  inspired you to put up a sale,

please do leave a comment. Your comments are always precious to me !

For now, thank you for stopping by and sparing my article, some time.

Naush

Birthday Treat bags and A special boy.

May 11 1999 My oldest son, Bilal was born, May 10 2002, exactly 3 years later, my youngest and third son, Eman was born. Now for those of you with kids placed so closely in birth dates, I dont exactly know how you go around making them feel special !  Well, in a way, I’m saved from all those complications coz we dont celebrate birthdays, well atleast not in the traditional way carried out, all over the world ~ Cake, song, birthday bumbs and whats worse is this new ‘thing” about smashing chunks of cake over the birthday persons face, clothes etc, which is not only disgusting but also being ungrateful to the food and the many bounties of the Almighty  (cake in this case).

When the kids were smaller, I would send some goody bags with them to school for their classmates and take them out for a “MOVIE” which we generally watch only on special occasions or visit their favorite activity parks like kidzania, lou lou al dagongs, magic planet etc. Now that Bilal is just entering his teens, its really difficult coz Eman being 9 still wants to do the same things while Bilal would prefer paint ball park or the bowling alley ! Now thats really a row between the two birthday boys.

Truth be told, its a celebration for me. I turned mom for the first time. All those beautiful and traumatic memories of their pregnancy and delivery come, flooding back on these days.  Its really all too special for me coz these guys are exceptionally understanding, well behaved and just a whole bunch of fun to be around with. Ofcourse, there is that one guy who feels totally out of place coz his birthday falls in July ~ he is not made to feel special by his friends becoz schools out for summer holidays. And you see “FRIENDS” is what its all about !!!

Well, for Eman, these are the goody bags I made for his school.

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For a couple of years, after Eman was born, when they didnt understand the concept of birthdays and such,  I used to take the guys to meet this particularly special little chap who has been in Dubai Hospital from alittle after he was born and probably will stay there for the rest of his life.  His name was Aboudi.

I was having a very complicated pregnancy with Eman. I was in my 6th month when they admitted me much against my wishes,  for severe bleeding. Sawaab was just 9 months old while Bilal was around 3 years. Even now as I pass Dubai Hospital, I watch the 5th floor visitors lounge window and remember how helpless, I used to feel, knowing that both my babies were miles apart in the day and were having such a disturbed time in the evening. Those were such desperate times. Sam would struggle to keep some order in our lives between visiting me in the hospital and managing the babies. And then just as things could’nt have gone worse, Sawaab’s bronchitis devoloped into pneumonia. I remember being on the 5th floor pre-delivery ward while my baby was admitted on the second floor. What a rucous I created when I found out that evening !!! Inspite of my state, nothing in the world could hold me back from being with him. I suppose you call that a “maternal thing” but at that point, I just knew I wanted him just as much as he wanted me. What a huge fight I had with my consulting gyne to release me and release I did get !!!!!!

 It was at that time, when I shifted on the 2nd floor to look after Sawaab that I saw little Aboudi. At that time, he must ave been around 3 years. Cerebral palsy. He was tied with bandages to the cot lest he harm himself. A fair child, drooling away with eyes that I felt were imploring. The nurses communicated with him and somehow he did make some movements to respond. A large part of the day we was sitting by the corner of his cot, watching and sometimes even made to sit of the stroller.  He was a futile cause … he was another one of those, children of a lesser God. My heart ached when I saw him for the first time, I remember, hugging him and later crying away when I saw my own child. No one ever gave away any of this background until one day, one of Aboudi’s favorite attendents, who had become very attached to me told me that he was dropped off at the hospital emergency department by a driver late in the night.  What a heartless mother or did I speak too soon ? No . . . .  She was a heartless woman. To dump a 10 day old baby just becoz he was probably never going to be like all the other kids !!!!!  Nobody claimed him. He was a waif. It breaks my heart to think, that no one in this whole world loves  that little tiny boy with such a huge disease. No one even knew of his existence.  No mother to comfort him, no one to hug him, embrace him with kisses upon kisses, no one to wipe his tears and fears. How cruel. 

Aboudi made me realize that I had no pain at all.  Aboudi gave me that first time feeling of what it feels like, to be in this world ALL ALONE with a huge handicap. The sisters in the ward treated him with affection and dignity and I am so grateful that they did not do it as a part of their job but for humanity.

For the next 3 years, I kept visiting Aboudi with my boys and some toys in hand. Until we moved to the Ranches and life took on a different pace all together. Often I have seen in documentaries and movies about orphans, abused children or such and my heart goes out to each one of them but Aboudi was the child who actually made me come face to face with that situation and I realized I was really no match for his spirit and resilience. I believe he has suffered tremendously but as if it is some solace,  in the hereafter, he will be one of Allah swts blessed ones. Inshallah.

Amongst the many many things that Aboudi made me realize long back was also that birthdays, anniversaries are not for spending lavishly on parties but on fullfilling small and big dreams with those who matter the most to us. Spending in the way of the less fortunate, a hospital visit, a trip to the home of seniors and yes, also creating special memories with near and dear ones. Bilal has has only three friends through out the year and he wishes for them to somehow be a part of “his” day while Eman has an entire school which has been his “BEST” friend. Now isnt “that” a task !!

If you are interested in knowing about Aboudi’s present state, please do comment and I shall reply.

A medical tip for mothers.

Last 10 days, the boys and I have been absolutely sick to our throats, no literally ! It started with Sawaab and ended with me. Today Dr L, gave me a second course of antibiotics.  I have been wheezing and it hurts like hell when I have this huge spasms of cough which feels like all my chest is pulling and hurting. So back to the nebulizer. Just finished with Augmentine 1gm and now I have started with Klassic. Its really a bad time. As if, the knee and my back ache were not enough !

Please make a small prayer that Allah heals me soon.

Talking of sickness, I wanted to know from the rest of you’ll, which do you think is the most important medical investment do, you think, you made for your kids ? … I mean, I’m not talking about medicines or medical insurance. Maybe something like a thermometer, or a blood pressure machine or a kidney tray or something else.

I think, almost 7 years back, I made the best medical investment I could have thought of at that time. Sawaab is not asthmatic, but he would get these bouts of cold accompanied by wheezing. At one stage, the doctor suggested that if we could, we should buy a nebulizer which would help him with wheezing. With those of you who are wondering “whats wheezing and whats a nebulizer ?

Well, generally phlem which clogs the throat over a period of time, might in some situations land up in the upper respirator tract, and cause breathing difficulty. There is a particular sound almost like a slow whistle which can be heard while the child or adult breaths. It can be accompanied by pain in the chest. Next question: Generally in the olden days, the doctors would have to give a patient oral medicines which when swolled, breaks up in the stomach and then reaches different parts of the body. A bronco syrup would help in dissolving the phelm in the throat. However a nebulizer is an excellent machine used for breathing with a mask. In most cases, Ventolin, is added to the machine and breathed in. The results are instant and phenomenal. However, one should be a little experienced in handling this machine. Why ?

1: becoz we are inhaling directly what ever is in the container of the machine, we have  to be careful with the hygeine issues.

2: the medicine in the machine is going straight to the lung and heart in which case, we have to be careful with the quantity of medicine given, coz it can cause palpitation, in very few cases.

The nebulizer is given “ONLY” when recommended by the doctor. However as a mother, you learn to watch and understand the symptoms of your child over a period of time, and sometimes, When I am confident that it should be given rather than waiting over the weekend, before going to my pediatrician, I would just go ahead and do it.

Hope this little article helps some of you moms out there.

Dubai Tube family has a picnic.

We’re having a 4 day long long loooooooooong weekend and We have been completely enjoying it. Its really very rare to get so many holidays one after the other. First Eid holidays and now the UAE National day weekend have really been stress relievers.

I dont think we are a very traditional or rather conventional family. I realized this truly when on Friday, I suggested that since the weather is so super fantastic, why dont we go to the beach and thats when It popped to me, that we havent had a beach visit or a park visit in like ……… forever. Maybe once when the boys were 4 or 5 ! Thats nearly 5 years back ! Why have we become such a tube family. Mom ~ tube, dad~ tube and kids~tube oriented.

Suddenly there was an urge .. a need to break the spell. Although We were getting a bit late, I decided that we just had to enjoy the cool waters. Some of these pictures speak volumes of the fun that we had this friday. It was such a bliss. Scores and scores of families were there. Some in the water, some playing with the kids, some without families,  were just roaming around aimlessly.  Probably remembering their families and hoping they were here to share the moment with them.

One thing I never understand about some particular arab states of the middle east is their need to always carry the foldable chairs and plonk themselves and their shishas to enjoy any scene. But the good thing about the locals and the GCC folks is that they would carry their beautiful carpets with them and gladly spread it over the sand and enjoy their macrona meals over it. Different people different likes.

When we were a young Indian family living the dream in Kuwait back in the 70s. We carried everything from tea flasks, to soap with us in our tiny japanese cars. I suppose thats where I get it from. I too have my Yukon  stacked up with spare blankets, sheets, pillows, jackets, water and what have you ~ at any given time.   So much has changed, we have achieved so much in terms of progress but quite a bit is lost too. Amongst one of those things is that we have lost interdependence. We are more nuclear now, we prefer to move around as a single family as opposed to how we “needed” to move around as a group of families, dining together as “middle class restaurants” ~ far far from the reach of today’s fast food restaurants,  we found joy in sharing the hot homemade tea’s in thermos’s rather than hoping over to any one of the Eppco/Enoc fuel stations to grab a costa with some fuel ! All cars ran religiously behind one another and if one had a pit stop for the kids to answer the call of nature., everyone would wait coz there were no mobiles to communicate, remember !  And there were no bathrooms either 🙂

 For the older folks, it must be quite a change and they must never end with lines like,” back in our days . . . . . .  .”

 I am fine with whatever, I dont miss much, I am happy as long as “WE” are happy and having fun. To be very honest, I think life is so much more convenient now compared to then when mom used to spend half the night preparing for the picnic and a large part of the early morning packing everything.  It must’ave been so stressful but the women folk would do it ~ they’d do it for the family. If anyone has seen the movie “NAMESAKE” He understands what I mean and if you have not seen this movie, then grab a copy of the dvd at the earliest.

I broke the spell and absolutely enjoyed running, collecting shells, making a complete utter mess in the mud fight, making sand angels and just generally swimming around freely in the beautiful beach. 

By the time, the boys were ready to leave, it was nearly dusk and what a spectacular view we got, on one end, stood the gorgeous Burj Al Arab, and behind us was the magnificient Burj Khalifa. The shots, I got, are nothing short of amazing.

Back to school comes with a package …

Back to school has become a trendsetter. It actually means, get ready armed with new, stationery, books, uniforms, shoes, school bag, pencil case, lunch bag/carrier and probably a couple of other things which I hav’nt been indulging in.   Probably more than my boys, I enjoy the whole thing about “Back to school”. Although it reminds me of how it used to be when we were kids and appreciated the new school bag which would actually live for that entire 10 months period or the shoes that we would so carefully polish for the first month or so.  But even without the memories, I completly enjoy the process of filling up the kids bags with goodies (as I call them) 

And now that school has commenced in full swing, one of the jobs that keeps me busy for a good couple of hours in the night is and which incidently also reminds me of how my dad used to sit over the short weekend we had, ” back in those days” : covering/laminating books !

Strange how you can love playing with paper, scissor and glue and yet when you have to cover books which by the way is a very lame way to do books, can be so exhausting and back breaking. I know scores of parents all over the globe are involved in doing so but I wonder what they must feel, when I, atleast enjoy part of the process, being into alter art and all that.

Here’s a pic of some of the heaps of books being and having to be covered. Sitting on Eman’s desk in the study room.

A Mess on Eman's desk

    In fact, I think this just gave me an idea, I think I should actually make a tutorial of how to cover books for all those first time moms and dads !!

A Stranger in my home.

A while ago, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger…he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… Not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.
He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?…. .. .
.
.
.
.,
,
,

We just call him ‘TV.’

(Note: This should be required reading for every household!)
He has a wife now….We call her ‘Computer.’
Their first child is “Cell Phone”.
Second child “I Pod

this fantastic piece was taken from Facebook notes of Ameen Melhem Salhab

Should Kids witness childbirth ? A True Story .. ..

It was late at night and Heidi, who was expecting her second child, was home alone with her 3-year old daughter Katelyn. When Heidi started going into labor, she called “911”.

Due to a power outage at the time, only one paramedic responded to the call. The house was very, very dark, so the paramedic asked Katelyn to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see while he helped deliver the baby.
Very diligently, Katelyn did as she was asked.

Heidi pushed and pushed, and after a little while Connor was born. The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry. The paramedic then thanked Katelyn for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-year old what she thought about what she had just witnessed.

Katelyn quickly responded, “He shouldn’t have crawled in there in the first place. Smack him again!”

The Special Mother

by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice,

a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.


This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.


As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.


“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.”


“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”


Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles.


“Give her a handicapped child.”


The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”


“Exactly,” smiles God.


“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.


“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she’ll handle it.”


“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of it’s own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”


“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”


The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.”

“Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”

God smiles.

“No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

God nods.

“If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see–ignorance, cruelty, prejudice–and allow her to rise above them.

“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles.

“A mirror will suffice.”

The Special Mother.

I found this poem on a fellow bloggers site. It was posted there because she is a mother who knows the pain.   I hope it touches you as it touched me

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.

This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.


As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.


“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.”


“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”

Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.”

Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles.

“Give her a handicapped child.”


The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”


“Exactly,” smiles God.


“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.


“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she’ll handle it.”


“I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of it’s own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”


“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”


The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”

She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”

God smiles.

“No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”

God nods.

“If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see–ignorance, cruelty, prejudice–and allow her to rise above them.

God smiles.

“A mirror will suffice.”