Immigrating Granny

This is an article I wrote for July 1st’s Dawn newspaper, the editor asked me to write about settling in a new country. Since I was moving back home and it was not a new experience for me, I wrote from the view point of an old lady moving abroad from Pakistan for the first time. If you want to read about interesting things that happen when you move out of North America go and visit this great blog : http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/

http://dawn.com/2012/07/01/rant-and-rave-allah-tauba/

Multicultural, confused and enjoying it.

I was feeling kind of homesick, which is confusing, because now I have two homes (Canada and Pakistan). If I stay at one, I’ll always be missing the other. This is a post I did for Karachi tips. Ever feel homesick?

Click to read:http://www.karachitips.com/blog/2012/04/26/love-from-abroad-i-miss-karachi-my-home/

10 Excellent Ways I Wasted My Time Today

I write and I love to write, the thing is I get a little distracted sometimes. Okay, yes most of the time, but I always try to learn from my mistakes and have developed really useful ways to get distracted. Here are today’s excellent time wasters:

  1. Since I slept late the night before (because I was writing !) I had a hard time getting up. I wasted time by continuously pressing the snooze button.  When I finally managed to wake up, I went to the kids’ room shook them all violently and declared: “This is the fifth time I have tried to wake you guys up, don’t blame me if you miss the bus now!”

2. I fell asleep in the bathroom while brushing my teeth.

3.  After kids left for school, I sat and watched the Weather Channel. I had originally meant to turn it off, but then I realized that they keep advertising Emily Vucovic’s wardrobe by Thyme Maternity because she is actually pregnant.  And then I fell asleep on the sofa.

                             

4.  I opened up all my email accounts, still didn’t find the Life Changing mail that will tell me some top literary agent is dying to sign me for every word I will ever write. I signed out of all of them, waited five minutes while trying to look busy in the kitchen, then checked them all again.

5.  Half an hour and no new mail later, when my eyes started to turn watery from staring at the unchanging screen, I again signed out. Then I explored all the interesting stuff on Yahoo like: “Rihanna shares bikini pics”, “Canadian fast food vs. world”, “Aguilera snubs Bieber”  and most important of all: “Pippa takes heat over racy party”. You know how besotted we Canadians are with Royalty (and all their relatives).

6.  Checked mails again, just in case those idiots wonderful agents realize what an awesome writer I am.

7.  Tried to figure out how Twitter works, still don’t get it. Husband thought I am busy in writing the next NYT Best Seller.

8.  Pondered what to cook for lunch, went through 47 different recipe websites, and saved 38 incredibly mouth-watering recipes. Then heated left-overs in the microwave.

9.  Looked at pictures of the awe-inspiring recipes I saved as I ate corn chips and drank coke that had gone flat thanks to my kids. Then I googled “ways to lose weight fast”.

10.  Facebook.Nuff said here.

So how do you waste your time?

(All pictures are from Google Images)

Meet the In-Laws

Meet the In-Laws (Click link to read on Dawn where it wasted originally published)

Are you still a bachelor? There are a few reasons you might want to stay one!

So you are about to take the big step?? You’ve given Mom the go-ahead to find the perfect girl. Good for you — it is time you settled down, not getting any younger right? Just some advice, don’t go for the looks (God knows what they look like under all that makeup), don’t go for the modern girl (she’ll keep you at the end of a leash), don’t go for the status (daddy will always be downsizing you at get-togethers). Go for the orphan. Really, I am not joking. Go for the orphan.

I know what you’re thinking, that this is some kind of pathetic joke; that’s because you haven’t met the in-laws yet. So you’ve seen a girl or two and met their families; nice quiet folks, polite and interested. It’s a trap, all part of the plan to snare unsuspecting, happily unaware innocent guys like yourself into the most complex and thorny role in the history of man. The son-in-law.

You think I am some jealous, lonely, scheming bachelor trying to keep you from marital bliss? Believe me man, there’s no such thing! I’m in it up to my neck, trust me. Married for five years now, or should I say I was sold into slavery five years ago by my parents with the connivance of my married friends. They couldn’t deal with my freedom — traitors. I am doing you a favour, giving you the inside story.

Before you are married, your soon-to-be mother-in-law calls up your mother to ask how you are and how your job is going. She cooks nihari (your favourite) and sends it over with your soon-to-be respectful young brother in-law. She and your future sister-in-law pick up the latest designer shirts for you when they go shopping and hope you like it, if not they get it changed. Future mother-in-law knows all your likes and dislikes; after your mother, she is the one who is most concerned about your well being. Until you get married.

You remember that story about the kids who get lost in the forest and this nice little old lady lets them into her candy house? That’s the stuff I am warning you about dude!! She’s gonna sink her teeth into you. After you get married the only time your mother-in-law phones is to listen to her daughter’s complaints about you and your family. She doesn’t talk to your mother because your wife always reaches the phone before anyone else, no matter where she is in the house she can hear the phone ring and it’s always her mother calling.

When Saas-jee does talk to you on the phone, it is to inform you that she needs to go somewhere and she’s giving you the honour of driving her there. While you are driving, you will have to listen attentively as she tells you how to live your life and the errors of your ways. You will be required to make sounds of agreement, and nod your head in the affirmative; never, ever speak, even to agree. What you have to say is inconsequential, you must only nod.

Gifts will be bestowed upon you on birthdays, anniversaries and Eid. The apparel is usually last year’s sale leftovers that were going at 80 per cent off. And if you think there is no way you would be caught dead in a parrot green kurta, think again my friend, think again! You have no idea how your sali searched every shop in Ramazan, whilst fasting, to find you the perfect kurta. Sali.

The only dish your wife’s rude little brother brings over is your wife’s favourite, which coincidentally, is some weird tasteless concoction with an even weirder name. You are informed it is French and given a patronising look by your sala, who has incredible tolerance in dealing with your inexperienced, simpleton ways. Sala. Beware of Daddy (susur jee), the once jovial, back slapping, ‘so pleased to have you as part of our family’ gentleman. You whisked his princess away, you don’t treat her right, and man he is no longer pleased to have you as part of his family. He will let you know this, often and publicly. Be prepared beforehand and have your doctor prescribe you some heavy anti-depressants. Always take at least two before attending his dinner parties, that way you’ll be totally out of it and won’t realise you are the butt of all his jokes. Susur(a).

Never think of older sister-in-law’s husband as an ally just because you are in the same boat. Big mistake; he’ll sink your boat to ensure smoother sailing of his own. He lets you believe he’s on your side, but after you get married, he gets promoted. He’s Big Daddy’s spy, he’ll sell you out just to get an approving nod from the old guy.

And that’s the inside story, just a second, phone’s ringing, “Hello? Yeah I’ll be there in 10 minutes. What? Be there in five? No, no it’s no problem at all. Five minutes, I’m coming.” Sali. Do you have a painkiller?

Chill

Chill

This is an article I wrote for Pak Tea House today. Read and follow advice…chill karo 🙂