My ventilator. Read, comment and judge me not.

Monday, December 26, 2005

So Lahore is under a massive flu spell. Everywhere I go I see people sniffing their noses off; a crumpled up tissue paper in one hand, watery eyes and sneezing like there's no tomorrow. But nothing beats the cool nasal tinge to the voice. Thats the best part of flu. You get to sound 'cool'! Anyway, I've had my rightful share and don't wish to be flued twice in winters.

Alhamdolilah the exams have finally dropped out of the scene and now I can relax and think clearly. Not that I was studying like crazy before but still now there's no sword of an upcoming exam looming over my head. I gave my last exam for sociology and was reuqired to prepare for only one topic 'family'. While studying it, something continually kept on striking me; how much energy and time do we waste on trivalities. For example numerous sociologists and especially the feminists have spent their lives examining the diverse families found in different societies, explaining their functions, causes of existence, practicality, benefits etc. These people have laboured for years and painstakingly magnified the minutest details of matrimonial relationships to prove their point. While there's nothing wrong with it, I just find it too worthless a task to spend time on. Because we're not to sure as to what we're supposed to do, we keep on indulging ourselves into details that are not even important. Like what's the point of trying to prove one form of family superior than the other?

Anyway, yesterday was Christmas for the merry Christians and Quaid-e-Azam's birth anniversay. I didn't get to see any celebrations because I have not been in touch with newspapers but thats alright. Tomorrow we're invited at a friend's place for a fake dholki, I hope we're able to make it as original as possible. Then the day after is the school bonfire. Mayya, you're invited to join in, if you don't have any weddings to attend. School will reopen on 15 th January and that gives me 15 days of pure holiday. I think instead of making plans of my own, I should just help my mum around the house. As prudish as this sounds, I know sooner or later I will have to turn myself into the stereotypical domesticated eastern lady. Not that I have a problem with it, I just hate the way its overly-emphasised in our society. Its no big deal learning how to make chapatis, or to learn cooking/baking etc. I know these are boring tasks but its always a plus point to be able to run a house, in terms of food supply. I think I've made a whopping mistake by nottaking Arts and subjects related to cooking/baking. And I don't think I harbour a hatred for these subjects as intense as my cousin. I just felt these subjects were too...feminine for me. But now that I take everything into account, I see that I would have done good had I been an Arts student. But its almost the end now, I should gather whatever little skills I have unnaturally created in myself and move on. If anyone will ever need a secretary, please hire me. Because with my glamours future prospects I don't see myself earning grands! Earning not to support but earning for fun, that is.

posted by Niqabi at 5:00 AM | 14 caw-ments

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My exams are still under-way but I'm almost done with the major ones. Its relieving, though not very satisfying because I did not do well at all. Anyway, I've already made plans for my post-exam time. Insha'Allah I want to read Quran thoroughly, with the tafseer. Because honestly speaking I don't know much about the Quran. I've read it in Arabic plenty of times but now its just a repetition of words that I don't understand. That means I've not been able to take guidance from it, which was the original purpose. I think I must really get into it and make an effort to absorb it, comprehend it and take it in completely. I need to have my first-hand reading as well before referring to people for knowledge. So Insha'Allah this is one of my first priorities. Next comes buying alot of folders. I don't need them, no and I'm pretty sure I won't use them either but I still want to have them. Israaf, isn't it? Total israaf.

I need to meet a few of my friends who'v come down to Pakistan. They are my online friends so that means I've never met them in person and this will be the first time. I hope everything goes well because I'm sort of a social outcast. OK, that would be a strong word, let's just say I'm not very talkative with people. I might even come across as being very reserved and zipped up intitially. Its just me, I don't open up so quickly. Proabably thats why people think that Niqabis are arrogant. I don't know their reasons but mine are not due to arrogance and pride.

In this wretchedly cold month of December, I've heard of the deaths of two people that are not distantly related. One was of a friend's healthy grandmother and the other was of my father's cousin's 20-year old son; bright and young, ready to take on the world but shot down by a bunch of boys on motorcycles. Murderes. I can see no better word for them. He was standing outside his house in broad daylight when some thugs came up to him and asked for his mobile at gun-point. He handed it over and they shot him down. Just like that, with the click of a gun an old man's eldest son, his only support went down. My father's cousin was literally crying on the phone. Previously he had lost his wife to cancer and now this heart-breaking incident. Can anyone even imagine the state of his mind? What he must be going through? The agony and the pain and the loss of something that cannot be replaced, gone forever. Death is inevitable but in times like these it catches up with you so quickly and so abruptly, its scary. Especially in Karachi, its horrible.

I'm interested in Judaism. Very much interested. Not because I'm curious to experiment something other than Islam but because I think in some ways its very similar to Islam. I want to study those links and similarities that are found in all three major religions of the world; Christanity, Judaism and Islam. I've heard that if you read them in one go, they almost form a chain. Although, I'm not very sure about this considering the fact that both Torah and bible have been distorted. Anyway, its just a far-fetched dream. I don't even know any jews! I had one Jewish friend but she turned to Islam and reverted back in 2003. Plus I'm not even in touch with her. But I'm hoping that internet would be a great help on its own. Let's see...I wanted to study about sufism but now it all seems very ambiguous to me. Its a bit of a hidden religion. You have to have those layers of depth in you or endurance to truly understand it. It seems a bit impractical to me. I'm most certianly not willing to give up 'everything'. And even more importantly, why should I? Giving up everything would get me to God? I know its not as simple as I'm making it seem, but thats one of the important doctrines. Sufism is too cryptic and too vague for me. Anyway, I'll read on and let you know how my study of Judaism goes. Take care everyone.

posted by Niqabi at 5:47 AM | 18 caw-ments

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hijab - differing views.


posted by Niqabi at 8:38 AM | 4 caw-ments

Saturday, December 10, 2005

mid-exam insanity

I perfectly understand that I'm trapped in the prison of exams and the only thing that I should indulge myself in should be studies. But inspite of the knowledge, I'd rather sleep my time away. Wisdom, eh. Because honestly, doing the right thing is not at all interesting. In fact its the most boring of all things. You know you're right and thats it. There's no danger, no chance, no risk, no excitement! So I've decided that I'm going to pamper myself. In all ways possible. Which means even less hours of study. Ah, justifying myself when I'm so beautifully wrong is the best. Simply priceless!

posted by Niqabi at 1:33 AM | 21 caw-ments

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I'm about to start some very serious exams. I will remain crushed under the pressure for almost an entire month. And that would be our wonderfully frosty December. What a complete waste... AnywayI will reappear near the start of January, insha'Allah. Till then take care and remember me in your duas.

Signing off.


posted by Niqabi at 10:02 AM | 8 caw-ments

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Two years ago I used to talk to this Australian girl who wanted to embrace Islam. At that time she was still studying about it, so I helped her out in any way I could. We exchanged a total of about 10-15 emails in a months' time and used to talk for long hours on MSN. She was at some university in Sydney, probably second year of her bachelors. At her university she met this Muslim guy...Husband. He is a Pakistani, but born and bred in Australia. I figured that Rehan directed her towards Islam. While being interested in Islam, she also wanted to know everything about Pakistan and its culture. Thats when I came. I formed detailed e-mails that covered just about everything on Pakistan, its colonial history, the culture, the language, the people, the places, the attitudes, the rituals, the Pakistani Islam etc. and sent them to her. I used to be very particular and regular in these teaching history lessons cum emails. I think I preferred teaching her urdu over my homework. And I suffered greatly because of this. Because of my heavy internet addiction. It all took its toll on my studies. They didn't matter to me, at all. I thought knowing about people and interacting was priceless and studies could be resumed at any time in my life, but clearly just not that. So I just typed my days away and was in a state of bliss. Anyway, lets not deviate from the point.

I stopped emailing her regularly after a short time of 3-4 months and eventually fell out of touch. I kept a track of her life from her internet nicks. One fine day, it was 'married'. I sent her an email filled with congratulations. She had accepted Islam and was very practising or so it seemed. Then around a few months from now, her nick was changed to 'delivery today insha'Allah' and then finally 'baby boy!!!' So I followed the circle from her reversion to Islam to the birth of her son. It felt complete and satisfying. And now after the birth of her son, she's been writing about the progres that he makes as a human being; 'baby's first step', 'baby's first word' etc etc. Last night her nick was ' life is so depressing' and that made me worried. She was NEVER sad/depressed or any of the other synonyms. She was generally very bubbly and talkative. So I decided to renew the long chat sessions, even though I'm just a week away from my send-ups. This is how it went and it completely broke me to learn about her 'ultra-religious, pakistani' in-laws.

????? says: [smiley]
????? says:Thanks for the msg before. Are you available to talk
?????? says:I just need to ask you a few things..
????? says:Alhamdulillah
????? says:Sis... I have a problem
????? says:
????? says:You know I'm married to a paki brother right
?????? says:Well.. we've just told his parents we wish to move out and they've gone crazy..
????? says:I don't know what to do
?????? says:His Dad is saying that we don't do this in our culture
????? says:n his mother is balling her eyes out
????? says:Mother
????? says:But this isn't islam sis
????? says:No.. I know.. he's the only son,
????? says:But so
?????? says:This is my right..
????? says:I can't take it anymore
????? says:I'm considering asking for a divorce
????? says:He said.. he doesn't think his Mum can handle it
????? says:So he thinks it's best if we stay
????? says:But I can assure you I've cried more
????? says:I don't want to disrespect his parents
????? says:But if it was going to be this way, why didn't anyone tell me in the beginning?
????? says:She won't talk to me

????? says:But sis.. my husband is religous masha'Allah, but he won't go against his mother and she's made it very clear where she wants him to be
????? says:Just lcoally
????? says:No
????? says:She was thinking inter-state.. n started crying even more.. but what about my parents
?????? says:They live far away
????? says:And they can't come and visit me because we don't have our own place
????? says:They live 16 hours away
????? says:She said that because we're close it's worse..
????? says:Because there shouldn't be a need to move out
????? says:But I need my own privacy
????? says:Quite honestly I'm sick of being interrupted all the time
????? says:And being expected to cook and clean for everyone
????? says:My SIL treats me like a slave
????? says:and leaves her 4 kids for me to watch

????? says:Without asking me.. because that's the paki "Culture"
????? says:Mind you, she wears niqab.. I am so confused
????? says:I have to wear hijab all the time in my OWN house because my brother in laws are always over
????? says:I'm not sis
????? says:I know my rights ..
????? says:That's why I am upset, because this is my husbands obligation
????? says:He told his Mum and she said "then I'll tell them not to come"
????? says:Sis, she goes to a shariah college.
????? says:She learns about all this!
????? says:She'll tell her daughters (and their husbands) not to come
????? says:I personally think that's unfair
????? says:Because it's their parents
????? says:Yes
????? says:Thank you sis
????? says:This has been happening for a long, long time sis
????? says:I have manic depression because of it
????? says:n my doctor told me to move out..
????? says:She said that it was best..
????? says:I feel like I am a servant, seriously
????? says:We've been married almost 2 years
????? says:Why is it the culture to expect daughter in laws to do these things?
????? says:I had a baby, n 2 days later I'm scrubbing the floor
????? says:Why?
????? says:That's crap
????? says:WHY
?????? says:It's not islam
????? says:What's wrong with these people?
????? says:Very..
????? says:Even islamically
????? says:I don't want to commit ghiba, but yes and no
????? says:I mean, my mother in law prayers, but she covers with a dupatta
????? says:You know? It upsets me..
????? says:Because it's like they preach islam, but aren't prepared to do things the right away
????? says:She goes to a shariah college.. I mean, that's just not making sense to me
????? says:If you learn, you apply
????? says:There is none of this going on in this house
????? says:They act all religious on the outside, but aren't on the inside
????? says:You know sis.. my husband is giving money to his mother and my son and I are going without
????? says:My husband has bought one lot of nappies for him since he was born
????? says:n that's it
????? says:My husband goes on tabligh, but when it comes to his mother.. I am left on the side, and so is islam
????? says:He gave his mother 3/4 of our money one week and we were left with 100 for 2 weeks..
????? says:I said I was going to go back to work and he went crazy.. said no. But what choice am I left with? I have to provide for myself.. and my son
????? says:Maybe if it comes to that.. then we can get your Mum to talk to her.. insha'Allah.
????? says:But we'll see how it goes. Perhaps it was just the initial shock of finding out her son is leaving?
????? says:We were supposed to go this month, his cousin is getting married and they are very close but my husband can't go.
????? says:I was going to go with my Father in law, but I didn't want to go by myself
????? says:He just got a job with IBM..
????? says:So he has to start that
????? says:Alhamdulillah
????? says:My inlaws were just there
????? says:They came back last week
????? says:My SIL is in Karachi now
????? says:She didnt, but my Father in law did
????? says:Insha'Allah we're planning to come for Eid next year
????? says:September
????? says:
????? says:Insha'Allah
????? says:No..
????? says:It isn't common for women jamaat
????? says:(here)
????? says:There aren't enough women involved
????? says:It happens once a year
????? says:Really?
????? says:Ooh masha'Allah
????? says:Yes, I think I met them
????? says:Yes.. I think so
????? says:I cooked them food when they were at our masjid
????? says:I learnt to cook paki food
????? says:
????? says:I know
????? says:I am the maid
????? says:My Mother in law was saying to my husband that when she was young she stayed with her in laws n I said, yes, but you had maids
????? says:You had people to clean and mop and take care of your kids
????? says:and cook
????? says:I have enough trouble taking care of my son.. let alone having the sole responsibility of everything else
???? says:I haven't ironed clothes in a month because I have no time
????? says:My SIL had a baby recently
????? says:n I was watching 8 kids on my own
????? says:That's why I need my own place
????? says:Sometimes I can't even be bothered to pray because I am so exhausted
????? says:n it shouldn't be like that
????? says:Yes
????? says:Well, I know my deen alhamdulillah
????? says:So they picked the wrong one
????? says:You know sis I was sleeping once (I was 8 months pregnant) and we had guests come over at like 9pm. My Mother in law woke me up to make chai and food
????? says:I feel so used
????? says:and so hurt
????? says:They are good people sis, don't get me wrong. But they are stuck on this culture
????? says:n it upsets me..

????? says:I know..
????? says:I told my husband that I didn't want my kids growing up in this house believe that this is the way islam is
????? says:Well, he was the one who woke me up
????? says:If his Mum asks, he does it
????? says:Sorry sis, I'm going to have to go.It's almost 2am.. I have to see my friend tomorrow..
????? says:I am going home on Sunday for 3 months
????? says:I am thinking to go back to school
????? says:n my Mum will watch my son
????? says:I will only go one day a week
????? says:Oh
????? says:Another thing
????? says:Is it common for the MIL to watch the kids for the daughter?
????? says:I thought so..
????? says:My MIL has never watched my son
????? says:So I wonder which part of her culture she wants to live by
????? says:Sometimes I think they pick the bits they like
????? says:And leave the rest

????? says:Thank you so much
????? says:
????? says:Yup
????? says:Mobile :********
????? says:***********************
????? says:Australia
????? says:I don't know what it is
????? says:I will email it when I arrive
????? says:At my parents house
????? says:Coz I am leaving in 2 days
????? says:Insha'Allah I will
????? says:I will email you
????? says:Please don't speak to anyone else about this
????? says:You can talk to your mUm
????? says:Yes, that's fine
????? says:
????? says:Insha'Allah
????? says:Must go. JazakAllah khair for the chat
????? says:Insha'Allah I'll email you .. let you know what happens
????? says:
????? says:Take care..
????? says:Assalaamo alaikum sis

SIL- sister-in-law , MIL- mother-in-law

posted by Niqabi at 7:56 AM | 10 caw-ments
Name: Niqabi
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Occupation: Housewife
Religion: Islam
Interests: World War II, Jews, Hebrew, ancient sites, Muslim rule in Spain, revolutions, Vatican city and Islamic literature.
Books: The black album, Portofino, Ladies coupe, In beautiful disguises, The buddhist of Suburbia, The hidden life of Otto Frank.
Contact: niqabified [at] gmail [dot] com
Quote: "We plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners"

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