Who killed Malcolm X?

I am not sure when I first heard of Malcolm X, but it seems like I have always known about him the same way I have known of Martin Luther King Jr. He was  the more militant firebrand activist compared to peace touting MLK; the fire to MLK’s ice; the separatist to MLK’s integrationist (is this a word?). They both fought for the rights of Black Americans, and they both got assassinated. But aside from that I did not really know much about him, or MLK for that matter.

Superficially, I thought Malcolm X made more sense; why fight for integration with those who oppress you when you can create your own space? Why preach togetherness with people who are trying to kill you? Why force a brotherhood with people who do not want to be your brother? If people hit you then you protect yourself and/or hit them back rather than trying to sing hymns with them.

Continue reading

The Myth Of Compatibility

Originally written on July 15 2016. Parts of it are in another post here

Compatibility is a word heard quite often when it comes to relationships and marriage. For a relationship to succeed, both parties need to be compatible. That is why you need to test drive the car beforehand to ensure the engines are compatible. That is why the cars need to live together beforehand to ensure compatibility. If there was a way for the cars to get married before getting married, it would be best to do that to ensure compatibility. So that when the cars finally enter the institution of marriage, they are ready and compatible.

Only to end up getting a divorce two years later.

Continue reading

What’s pancakes got to do with it?

I am aware that there is a pancake day every year. There is a day for literally everything, it seems; World Happiness Day, World World Day, World this and that day. So I just thought hey, here is a day to celebrate pancakes, and why not? I would never have assumed the day had a religious significance.

Yesterday I got a notification that Today was Pancake Day, and I happily mentioned it to my colleagues who then remarked that they couldn’t believe it was almost Lent. My first thought was huh? what does Lent have to do with this? Thankfully I have learnt to google first, ask dumb questions later, so I googled it and turns out pancake day is actually Shrove Tuesday, which preceeds Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent which is the 40 days culminating in Easter. I learn something everyday.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day which comes from the old English custom of using up all the fattening ingredients before Lent, so that people were ready to fast. The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses were eggs and milk, hence why people began combining them with flour to make pancakes.

In case you were wondering what Lent is:

Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.

In summary, Lent is a period of self reflection in which Christians abstain from certain foods and activities. Shrove Tuesday is the day before in which people historically indulged in the things they will be fasting from, more or less. Read more here.

It was also even more poignant to me because for the first time ever, I was actually looking forward to Lent this year. Lent is religiously significant as it is the period of 40 days before Easter, but for a lot of people it is also a period of abstinence from one thing or the other. Like everyone else, I made some New Year’s resolutions and 2020 was going to be my year! Then I promptly resumed my routine of watching Netflix and Youtube until my eyes bleed.

Sometime ago, I read somewhere that it takes about 40 days to form a new habit/drop a bad habit and I feel Lent could be a perfect period for me to try this out. There will be other people observing lent, and it is a relatively short period of time with an end.  When the going gets tough I can just count the days till the end.

Now that I have decided to change my life for Lent, I have to decide what exactly to give up. The most obvious thing will be to drastically reduce my screen-time, and I mean drastically. Ever since I got my Samsung phone with the wide screen, my brain has gone to mush. I stare at my screen for hours; from when I wake up to all day at work, on the way to and back from work, when making dinner, while eating, while doing my nighttime routine, in bed waiting to sleep, and first thing when I wake up. My phone makes it worse because now I can easily access YouTube and Netflix, and Amazon video, twitter, instagram without even getting out of bed, where in the past I would have needed to turn on my laptop which was less convenient. Sometimes I find myself just staring at my phone, clicking on random videos on YT, clicking the same random posts on instagram, reading random news headlines on google, just mundane uninspiring stuff. I truly believe that I could be leading a much more productive life if I just stayed off my phone more. I have at least ten books that I have not read, so many things I want to write, plans to make, places to go (okay that last one is a lie). I wake up on the weekends, full of optimism for the productive day to come, but oh let me just check my phone for a minute and before I know it the clock strikes midnight and it’s time to go back to sleep. There are literally days when I pause and look at myself and sigh at what has become of me; my laptop is open to Amazon video, Netflix on the TV,  youtube/instagram on my phone, news app on my work phone. What the forkkkkkk? How is my brain not fried? Spoiler: it is.

So yes, it would be nice to reduce my screen time, but how? I already put the timer warning on youtube but I just ignore it whenever it comes up. I was going to leave Instagram for the whole period but where will I post all my pictures of trees and sunsets? For sure I want to stop wasting my time on mindless gossip sites that do nothing but drain me of my will and soul.

I don’t just want to give up something however, I also want to form a new habit. With all the free time I get, I want to read more. I used to be a big reader (in my mind I still am), and I cannot stop myself from buying new books. But ever since ze internet took over my life, I have not read as much. I have only read one book this year (I started two others but they were so meh). It would be nice to read some of the many books I have,

I also want to write more, both on here and offline. The truth is that all I want to do is write. All day at work I fantasise about coming home to write. Then the moment I get home I am immediately glued to the screen.

I was also thinking of giving up junk food- this may require its own post. Long story short, I realised that I was maybe filling up the loneliness with food. Everyday on my way back from work I stop by the stores to get some junk for the evening. In my mind, I need something to eat after dinner. This may or may not be the cause of my skin problems but I really do not need to be eating nonsense everyday.

Now of course the whole purpose of Lent is to become closer to God and work on oneself. I am hoping that these new habits will help me in this regard, and I am looking forward to this. I don’t want to get all excited and make resolutions I cannot keep, and then feel bad when I inevitably break them. I have therefore tried to make it easy-ish for myself.

So in summary, for Lent 2020 (February 26th to April 9th) I am going to:

Reduce my screen-time: I aim to achieve this by reading a book instead, and avoiding mindless gossip.
Read more: I aim to read three books in this forty days. Back in the day I would have considered this to be rookie numbers.
Plan my meals and replace junk with fruits. I must understand that dinner is enough; there is no need to always have a snack. It’s also okay to say no thank you when offered a snack; it really is okay sweetie.
Write for an hour everyday-Whew my restlessness is going to make this one hard!
Talk to someone (family/friends) at least twice a week-I snuck this one in at the very last minute. I was going to write everyday but I chickened out. I do need to talk to people-other than myself. It cannot be healthy to go a whole week without any meaningful conversation.

So help me God.

Oh and yes I did have pancakes for dinner.

Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?

Ordering food at a restaurant is such a gargantuan task for an indecisive person like myself. I am desperate to not order something I won’t be able to eat, because that will ruin my day. Not only would I have wasted money on the food that I will not be able to eat, I will also still be hungry and have to spend more money buying something else to eat. So I sit and stare at the menu for ages wondering whether to just go for the safe edible option or whether I want to live a little. I almost never want to live a little but sometimes I order a new dish. Half the time it’s delicious and I pat myself on the back for daring to be adventurous; the other half it’s awful and I chide myself for daring to be adventurous. If only I could see and sample all the options before ordering, then I could confidently make a decision. But I cannot and therefore will have to take a gamble.

This indecisiveness leaves the restaurant with me and latches on to every decision I have to make, especially now as I am a young adult. There are so many decisions to made, and while it is exciting to be in control of my life, it is still quite stressful to be the one that has to make these important decisions.

The process of finding oneself and becoming an adult is terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. It is never easy to make a decision today that I know will affect the rest of your life. Just like in a restaurant, I cannot sample all the different paths my life could take before making a decision. I cannot always see the consequences of my decisions before making them which makes the whole thing even scarier.

I do not even order dresses online because I need to see and try on the clothes before committing to them. The title of this post is a quote by Sylvia Plath, and she had the right idea: how wonderful would it be to be able to try on different lives, like one does with dresses in a fitting room, see how they fit, even take a picture to send to friends for a second opinion.

Hmmn this churchgoing married mother of two doesn’t fit properly, can I try on the jet-setting creative consultant influencer artist with a brief stint as a pornstar?

I think I will go with the married to childhood sweetheart with twins and layer it with the glamourous financial analyst cum shoe designer.

Even worse, there is no CTRL+Z in life. We cannot undo a decision or safely return to a safe period in the past. So I remain in my comfort zone and live vicariously through the lives and mistakes of others.

Is it the uncertainty and the mistakes that make life interesting? Would a life without any uncertainty be boring as poo? Maybe, maybe not, maeby Fünke . All I know is at this point in my life, uncertainty sucks. I just want to know what’s next dammit. I need my life to begin, and I need it to be good.

Travel Series: DUBAI!

I was in Dubai a few weeks ago, and I did some fun things. Most of the time was spent relaxing, as this was not my first time in Dubai, and I had already done most of the sight seeing.  It has recently dawned on me that although I take pictures of everything, I rarely document my feelings and experiences, the consequence of which is that I soon forget the details.  I have therefore decided to try to make a post of each trip/fun day out, for posterity sake.

So here is the first of many (if I can will myself to write); a brief post about my recent trip to Dubai.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dubai Frame

One of the things I did was visit the famous(?) Dubai Frame. I had read about it in the news and frankly was not interested at all, because I thought it was just a random structure in the middle of town put there for aesthetic reasons. But of course, it is actually a museum! Why did I ever doubt Dubai to be anything but extra?

From the website:

The UAE’s latest cultural landmark, Dubai Frame is an iconic structure that ‘frames’ impressive views of Old and New Dubai, while serving as a metaphorical bridge connecting the emirate’s rich past with its magnificent present. Offering spectacular panoramic views across the city, Dubai Frame celebrates the story of Dubai from its early establishment to its ambitious plans for future development.


Dubai frame during the day (about 6pm)


Dubai Frame at night


The frame changes colours- red and green are the UAE national colours.

The frame takes you through the evolution of Dubai from back in the day to the uber luxurious tech advanced playhouse it is today.  Once you get in, you are immediately ushered to the camera stand for a quick snap which can then be viewed and purchased at the end of the visit. The group is then moved to the first level which has pictures of Dubai in the olden days, as well as some molds of how people lived back then. Then the group is moved to the present, and finally to the future- which includes things like 3D buildings. Afterwards people move on to the area where one can take pictures, get food, enjoy the views of the city.



Views from  the top!


There’s a portion of the floor that is transparent so you can see everything below. It was a bit scary and some children kept jumping on it.

It was an alright experience, but I would not call it a must see. We went at night, after a long day of procrastinating. It may be better to go during the day to get better views. But this is definitely something to do once and that’s it. First off 90% of the time there was spent in queues; queue to buy a ticket, queue to get in, queue to see the exhibits, queue to the next level. As the pictures show, it is quite a slim building so crowd control is of paramount importance.



Waterworks performance to entertain us while we waited in the queue. This was much needed.

It cost about 55dhs to get in which is much cheaper than Burj Khalifa and offers just as nice views (I went at night both times, so how would I know really?). Burj Khalifa is another place I went to on a prior visit and I thought that was just alright as well.

Dubai Miracle Garden

This was my second time visiting the gardens, and it was as beautiful as ever. It is more than a flower garden, it is a work of art. It is the world’s largest natural flower garden featuring over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants. The flowers are presented so beautifully, as the pictures below will show. It is a great photo place, or you can just walk around and enjoy the scenery. There are also lots of food places, so it is a nice day out all in all.


The hearts passage, the site of many proposals


Floral Castle


Dancing queens

Global Village

Now this is a place I have been to over and over again. Global village is made up of quite a few pavilions, each representing a different country/region of the world. In each pavilion, one can get a little taste of the culture of the relevant country; from Japan to Iran to Europe to Africa.  In addition to these, there are live performances, tons of food places, and even an amusement park with fun rides. I always enjoy going there, entering as many stalls as I can, trying out different food and going on the rides. Last time I went, I got there quite late and it was so crowded. It is definitely better to go a bit earlier to make the most of the outing. As I had been here so many times, I did not get much pictures. I did take a picture of the Iranian pavilion as it was just so impressive to look at. Ripley’s Believe or not was also open during my visit but it cost extra to get it so we did not bother. It would have been nice though.



Dubai mall:

In addition to its numerous shops and restaurants, Dubai Mall is home to the Dubai fountain and Dubai aquarium. On my last visit, I went to the mall specifically to get some food and watch the fountain. As luck would have it, I managed to get a seat reasonably close to the fountain and got in my feelings when the waterworks came on to the tune of I will always love you by Whitney Houston.  Hearing her silky voice and watching the waters made me emotional. I cannot figure out how to upload my mediocre video on here, so here is the popular one from youtube. So beautiful.

The aquarium is visible to passers-by who are just walking around/shopping, but for a better experience, you can buy tickets and even experience the underwater zoo. On this day, it was pretty crowded (is it obvious now that I rarely left home in the daytime?) so I could barely see anything.


Other fun things in Dubai:

Water parks: Wild Wadi and Aquaventure Atlantis are the two main ones. I love love water parks, unfortunately no one else shares this enthusiasm anymore and I can’t go by myself.

Desert safari:  I went on this the very first time I came to Dubai and it was a nice experience. The crazy jeep ride is not for the fainthearted, although I personally found it a bit tame. There are also camel rides, belly dancing, henna, dune buggy and just a generally fun evening.

There are also a ton of clubs and lounges, if you are into that sort of thing.

Black Lives Matter?

Incoming rant.

The best thing about social media is that it provides easy access to a wide range of information and opinions. The worst thing about social media is that it provides easy access to a wide range of opinions.
Seeing so many different opinions stresses me out so much, mostly because I cannot respond. I am woman with a lot of opinions myself; I either discuss them here or most likely keep it in my head because I am lazy and when I do psych myself to write, I lose the interest and passion halfway through.

My latest annoyance is regarding Oprah, Gayle King, rapey men, and social media. Kobe Bryant’s death has brought about another conversation: rape accusations and the legacy of Black men.

Continue reading

For the love of God

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

One thing I have come to realise  is that opinions are rarely static. As we grow and experience life, the lens through which we observe reality changes, and so do our views and opinions. I am always amazed when I find that I have changed my mind on things I once felt quite passionately about.

My latest change is regarding religion and God; particularly the dependency people have on both. This is an issue I have changed my mind so a few times. As a child, I was raised in the Church and the concept of not believing in God was alien and just downright crazy to me. How can you not believe in God? How can you say there is no God? Unbelievable! Then I grew up and started to lose my connection to the church. I would sit there feeling bored, wishing I was elsewhere.  I also started to question everything and I saw gaping holes in the concept of religion/God. It just made no sense.

Continue reading

Waste as much time as you need

Originally written on October 16 2016.
I talk too fast. All my words come hurtling out at 100mph and collide with each other, collapsing in a cloud of incomprehension.

I also eat quite fast.

I walk quite fast as well.

I realised these sometime ago, particularly about me talking fast. For some reason, my words explode out of my mouth like a jack in the box. As I use this analogy, I realise there may be something behind it. I don’t speak a lot- to other people- I usually keep to myself. So could it be that being in the presence of others brings the words that have been bottled up.

Sometimes I talk so fast that I don’t think people understand me. I can speak calmly if I have to- in formal settings, when talking to someone I’m trying to impress- but for the most part the excitement is too much.

A few days ago, I decided to do something about it. Continue reading

Who am I?

Originally written on October 12 2016.

If only I knew what I wanted, I could try to see about getting it- Sylvia Plath

I do not know myself. I don’t mean this in a deep metaphysical way, but that I do not know the answers to questions about myself, even the little things. I would fail a quiz about myself. If I was getting married and my friends were to play the bridal shower game “how well do you know the bride?’, no one would know if they were right because I would not be able to answer the questions either.

One of my most used phrases is “I don’t know”. It is my filler phrase, it is also my response to how many kids do you wantwhat do you want to do after graduationchicken or beef. I truly do not know, because I never think about these things.

Not knowing myself has segued into not really setting any goals. I have just glided through life, unperturbed and unbothered. Not having goals also means no disappointments. I have never thought about how my life should be at a certain age- I’ve never been the employed and married with two and a half children by 27 person- so I have never felt any pressure. I see people bemoaning the fact that they are not where they thought they would be at a certain age and I cannot relate. The passage of time does freak me out, but that is more about losing my youth and becoming wrinkly.

It recently dawned on me that it is a daft way to live. I have reached the part of my journey where I can no longer get away with not knowing. After graduating, I was forced to ask myself what now? and I did not know the answer. I admire people with goals and ambitions. At least if you know what you want, then you can make moves towards these goals. I did not have a clue. I just wanted to continue floating.

I have dedicated this period to getting to know myself, to actually think about who I am and what makes me me. To think about what I want. To stop allowing the universe to make decisions for me.

What do I want? Where do I want to live? Do I want children? If so how many would I like? Would I like to get married someday? If so what kind of a man would I like to be with? What kind of a job do I want? What do I want to spend the rest of my life doing? Why do I do the things I do? What are my weaknesses? How can I turn them into strengths? What habits could I like to develop? Which ones would I like to kick to the curb? What are my passions? Could I write a good book? Am I a good friend? Am I a good daughter? Am I a good sister? Am I a good person?

Discovering oneself is a thrill. I am turning myself inside out and exposing me to myself for the first time. The next time I am asked for my favourite colour, I won’t shrug and say “I don’t know”.

Update: I still don’t know myself but I am learning everyday. I am amazed at each revelation. Now if someone asks me what my favourite colour is, I will say “I don’t have one”, rather than “I don’t know”.