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Verily with Hardship comes Ease

2014, in essence, thus far has proved to be the worst of times and the best of times.

It started off as [relatively] horrible as it possibly could, with the c-word scare and surgery soon thereafter [and the not so fun recovery]. It started off with the many “what if’s”, “how could this be” and “why” questions. Not to mention the most stressful months of my life.

I often had to remind myself that this, too, shall pass.

And in the midst of all this chaos… in the way both spectrums intertwined at the same time… there is truly no other way to explain it in my mind other than: He, above, once again proved: Verily with Hardship comes Ease – [94:5-6]

Most of my family and friends, by now, know that  I am engaged as of early March.

In the days after, someone jokingly said to me that I apparently don’t do anything the normal/typical way. But that is my life. So why would this be any different? For the first time since leaving Pakistan 19.5 years ago, I will travel back to Pakistan mid December. And not just to visit, mind you; to get married there. Why not, right?!

Never in a million years would I have imagined traveling back to Pakistan, let alone to go back for the first time after so many years to get married AND move to Australia immediately afterwards.

 

But alhumdulillah. He is the best of planners.

 

Last year at the this time, it was all about planning/preparing for hajj. This year? Wedding/Pakistan Trip.

Texas Trip

Texas. What can I say about our trip? It was disgustingly hot. That pretty much summarizes the trip for me.

While our five day stay earlier this month was a lot of month, the heat and humidity more than took over the trip.

My brother Faraz and I have been there once before a couple of years ago to visit our uncle and his family; last time we went, it was May so we didn’t have to face the heat that time. Instead, we had to face their crazy, random, and unpredictable thunderstorms that year.

The night we got there, we had a BBQ. It was like 11 PM and it was around 100 degrees. If I lived in Texas (which would NEVER happen), I doubt I’d leave my air-conditioned house!

Last time my brother and I went, we went to the Sixth Floor Museum (from where JFK was shot). The musuem is really neat (for those interested in history and politics like we are), and I knew the rest of my family would like it too and so we made another trip. It was like the only tourist thing we got to do because everyday was packed with wedding festivities. I don’t know what else there is to see in Dallas, Texas anyways. Anyhow, the museum was a neat experience even the second time around. They did make changes this time around and now it comes with an audio tour.

Highlight of the trip? My cousin’s wedding.
Best food? Had the best bihari kababs (probably ever).
The downer? humidity.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

On Our Way to Texas

After months and months of planning, our trip to Texas is finally here!
Ironically, my uncle lived in Dallas for years, and always called all of our extended family to visit… and my brother, one of my cousins, and I were the only ones to go visit him now. My uncle just moved from there last month, and the WHOLE family is going to Dallas now.
It’s a family reunion of sorts… in a completely random area… because my cousin is getting married! Sitting here, at Newark airport, because yes, we arrived way too early anticipating both traffic on the way and long lines inside. Luckily, we got neither.
For the longest time, we weren’t sure who from our family would end up going because my mom just didn’t want to fly while my brothers and I didn’t want to drive (it’s TWO LONG DAYS WORTH OF DRIVING to get there). I was put to ease a few months ago when we finally booked our flights, etc.
I gotta say, I know the media over dramatizes everything… but boy did they do so for airport check-points. I don’t know if it was just a random occurrence (I’ll have to update after our trip back home), but it was like when we traveled before in the past. Take your shoes off, put your stuff through the scanners, walk through the metal detector. Simple, and easy. The only different thing was that the lady told me she would need to pat my hair down because I wore a hijab. Before I even put my stuff down though, she told me, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then she told ME to pat MYSELF down. Like come on, WHY are people complaining and making such a big deal out of nothing? If anything, people should be willing to go through extra security to ensure a safe flight, no?
Anyhow, back to our trip… besides all the wedding events and festivities of course, I am looking forward to going back to the Sixth Floor Museum and hopefully some other tourist spots. Not sure what there is exactly to see there, but if you have suggestions – I’d love to hear them!
Will update later, about to board for our flight! Most likely, I won’t update until at least our flight back home.


P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Maria Baji’s Wedding Week

The last month has been hectic, insanely busy, and chaotic but SO much fun!
I thought I would get some relaxing time in after all the wedding events, since it’s been crazy since end of April around when finals were about to begin… but not yet.
As soon as exams ended, it was graduation week (Shazia’s, then mine, and then Faraz’s and Sheeraz’s a week later)… and then full into the wedding stuff.
In our culture, wedding festivities usually end up being about a week long and they lead up to the wedding itself; the evening of Faraz’s graduation (May 27th) was also the Mehndi event for Maria Baji’s Wedding.
It was also the day most of the guests from around the country and elsewhere (mostly Canada) began to arrive as it was also the night before the wedding… which made it seem more like a wedding house.
That night, Maria Baji got her bridal mehndi put on, and many of us girls and women put on mehndi as well… and did a few last minute things for the big day.
The day of the wedding was hectic, chaotic, tiring but so much fun! It’s crazy how much planning needs to be done for one event that will only be several hours long. The wedding was so much fun and so many people were there – one of the great things about weddings is that it becomes a family reunion… you see so many family members all in one place and it’s great.
For the whole Memorial Day long weekend, it was pretty much family time (and a lot of fun).
Congratulations Maria Baji and Raheel Bhai! I’m so happy for you. May you be blessed with a lifetime of happiness together!  


 P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Congratulations Graduate!

Congratulations Faraz on your graduation! I’m writing this up now instead of after the ceremony tomorrow morning because I know the next few days will be just as busy as the last few weeks and I won’t have any time to do so.

I’m so proud of you and hopefully this is just the beginning of a lot of successes to come your way in the future. Always give everything your best effort, as that is all you can do – no matter what the end result is. And never give up!

Actually, this month we have had four graduations (Shazia, then me, and now Faraz and Sheeraz later today) amongst us cousins from college alone just in New Jersey – and we have two graduating from high school next month (Samia and Shahbaz). And a few more elsewhere too.

This month has been insane with exams, then graduations, and then this Friday is Maria Baji’s wedding, so the last few weeks have been insanely busy but a lot of fun at the same time!

I’m definitely ready for some down time though ;).

Congratulations all around!

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Friday Fun

The semester is quickly coming to an end, which means I find a lot of my time being consumed by writing papers and studying (Monday is my last day of classes and I also have an exam that day). It is so unbelievable that Monday is my last day of classes as an undergraduate student! Where has the time gone??

Aside from the end of the semester, my cousin Maria is getting married at the end of May – so all of the preparations and events have been a lot of fun and a big part of the weekends nowadays. I can’t believe how fast everything is going by! Her bridal shower was last Friday, and it really got everyone in the wedding festivity mood because of how little time is left.

Part of my gift to her was a slideshow – with a montage of pictures, written messages, and video messages from family and friends – and it turned out pretty nice. I had NO clue how much work it was to make one!!

Yesterday, a bunch of my girl cousins and I went to NYC to hang out. It’s so funny that we live so close, yet hardly get a chance to go and actually do stuff. But it was a fun day! We went on the Staten Island Ferry too, and I still can’t believe it’s free, especially considering how expensive everything else is in NYC… but I’ll take it. The view from it is spectacular, and the weather was great too.

My goal has been to post at least once a week so I have it to look back on later, so this is a quick recap. Hopefully, soon I’ll have more time to blog.


P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Festive Weekend

What a fun weekend! Don’t you hate how fast time flies when you are having fun?

My cousin, Maria Baji, had her Nikkah (Islamic Marriage) yesterday… so the whole weekend has been a very family oriented weekend. Congratulations Maria Baji! You looked absolutely GORGEOUS, mashallah. Weddings are so much fun, but so exhausting… and I definitely can’t function without sleep.

Now back to the harsh reality of exams and papers!! 🙁 Is it summer vacation yet?

I think I’m looking forward to this coming summer vacation most because I don’t have any major plans – which means a lot of time to just relax… besides studying for the LSATs of course! I don’t have any internship plans, or even any plans to work.. which i probably will end up doing just so i don’t go crazy from having so much free time that I don’t know what do with it. But it’ll be quite the opposite from last year’s summer vacation… where I had hardly any “free” time, with the weddings, the internship, and whatnot.

Congratulations Javeria

Congratulations Javeria! As you move forward to this next stage of your life, I wish you lots of happiness and a very blessed life.

Trip to Canada

After a very fun-filled week in Canada because of all the wedding events and family events, we arrived back home late last night. The ride back home took forever! Getting from Mississauga to the United States and Canada border usually takes a mere forty five minutes… but yesterday it took us over three and a half hours! Traffic in general is horrible.. but when it takes over two hours to travel one mile – that is just ridiculous.. and very annoying! Fortunately we didn’t get too much more traffic for the rest of the way.

Congratulations Adnan Bhai and Dania! I wish you both a lifetime of happiness.

I can’t believe half of the summer is over already! It is going by waaayy to fast! 🙁

Yay for a Vacation!

I’ve been interning for a month now… and boy am I glad for a vacation! My family and I, on Monday, will be going to Canada for about a week for my cousin’s wedding. The week should be a lot of fun – and very exhausting!

So far the internship has not turned out to be what I had expected at all, but that is life… I suppose.

I can’t believe how fast the summer is flying by! 🙁