Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Rise like a Phoenix

“𝐓𝐨 𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐱 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫, 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐥.”⁣⁣

Sometimes we have to burn and turn our egos to dust. We have to suffer the worst types of pain and humiliation, often caused by the people we love and those who claim to love us. ⁣

This is often a reminder from God that we need to reinvent ourselves. We need to depend only on Him and let go of our unrealistic hopes and expectations from people. ⁣

So here I go again on my own, with my people on the sidelines, cheering me on as I strive once again to be the best version of myself that I can possible be. The kind of person that He intended for me to be.⁣


It creeps up and hits hard where it hurts

I find myself going from smiling to sobbing in zero seconds flat

I have been depressed before but it’s different this time

This time it seems like the tunnel will never end

The break of dawn seems like a delusional concept

I want to run away, from everyone and everything

I want to keep running until I leave this pain behind

All attachment seems like shackles

I don’t want to die though

I know I am needed and to some extent even loved

I know I can’t stay away from my kids for long

Eventually I will run back to them

But for now I just want to run away

I want to get lost in the hope of finding myself

The Best Day of My Life

I wake up to the sound of birds chirping outside my window

I smell the scent of my baby sleeping next to me

I see the flowers on my dressing and they make me smile

I drink my morning tea in bed and plan my day

I talk to my brother and he makes me laugh at the silly things happening back home

I play with my children and my little one gives me his five signature kisses and tells me he loves me

I hug them and hold them close

We play plants vs. zombies and I play the zombie like always

We take out the kiddie pool in our garden and have a water fight, me, him and our kids

The evening is spent having tea and snacks with our close friends and family with heartwarming yet laughter inducing discussions, we laugh until we snort out our tea and our sides hurt

The night is spent lounging around in our PJs, reading books and drinking tea 

How it Feels…

It gets overwhelming sometimes.

The depression sets in and starts to suffocate.

I feel the prick of tears at the back of my eyes, it stings.

I take deep calming breaths, just like they say you should.

Doesn’t really help because I’m drowning as I breathe in as well.

I recall all the verses I can and start reciting them, repeatedly, desperately, pleadingly.

Then I take some more deep breaths and start pacing wherever I am, hoping it will help.

Finally I remind myself as I often have to do, to take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time and sometimes even a few seconds at a time.

This too shall pass…..

Drowning In Pain Picture Quotes. QuotesGram

The Incomplete Woman

She was lying in the labor room of a government hospital as she saw a drug called methotrexate slowly drip into her body to kill off her unborn baby before it could rupture her tube, killing her. All around her doctors were examining women about to go into the delivery room, in different stages of labor. They were yelling at them to relax as they checked their vaginas to see how far their labor had progressed. She was all alone in the hospital and her worried husband was trying to sleep in the car. This is the point in time when the doctor decided to give her a lecture on respecting her spouse and referring to him as ‘so rahe hain’ instead of ‘so raha hai’. Her husband preferred her referring to him informally instead of using words like ‘aap’ or ‘woh’ as is considered more culturally appropriate.

She was in one of the rooms that are assigned to new moms once they give birth. She had just had surgery to remove a ruptured egg from one of her tubes. The nurse came to check on her in the morning and congratulated her and her husband on the arrival of their new baby. She turned to the would-be father and said. “Ye bachay ke mamoo hain?” She was trying to identify who to ask for money on the new baby’s arrival.

She was sitting at a dinner party where all the other women present were mothers. She was outnumbered at least 4 to 1 and had no choice but to sit and listen as the women around her talked about their children and their varying stages of development. They discussed the pros and cons of different types of feeding, their sleep habits and everything else under the sun. Normally she would have joined in and shared her experience of her siblings’ kids and her friends’ kids but not today. She just didn’t have the energy and she was feeling too triggered so she went and started playing with the children they were talking about instead.

She was in the baby section of a store looking at all the cute little things she might never get a chance to buy for her own little one. Her colleague looked at her worriedly as she asked for her opinion on something that she was thinking of buying for their co-worker’s baby shower. She felt tears forming in her eyes as she looked at all the baby related things around her. She wondered if she would ever look at baby related paraphernalia without her heart feeling like it had turned to ice and broken into a million pieces.

She had just returned from a visit to the doctor and he told her to get an ultrasound to see if the baby had a heartbeat and to come back to him immediately if it didn’t. She went back home, sat on the prayer mat and cried, beseeching Him not to take her baby away again. She couldn’t be pregnant a third time just to lose another precious unborn child. The next day she went into a full day managers’ meeting, the whole time worrying about how she would hold it together and not start crying until the ultrasound appointment.  

She was or rather is me. Her experiences are nothing compared to the kind of horrors and turmoil almost all women who are not able to conceive face. These incidents may seem small and insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, but they are were hurtful and triggering. I remember that time, when I felt inadequate and incomplete. When I felt that my happiness or rather my very existence in this world was worthless,, perhaps meaningless without a child.

Whenever I find myself thinking about these incidents, especially the first one, I relive the trauma of it all over again. I feel the same pain and sense of loss that I felt on that day, which is why I will say that she is still inside me somewhere. That scared, traumatized young girl still sits somewhere inside me, making me feel inadequate as a mother and as a woman.

Quotes - As the heart heals
Photo Credits: #astheheartheals

The Power of Words

We all use them
In speech or in writing
Sometimes we seem to forget their power
We fail to see them igniting and inciting

They can be healing
They can also be hurtful
We need to decide how to use them
To lift others up but never to make them miserable

Once spoken can never be taken back
The gash we cause can become a scar
These scars aren’t just skin deep
They burn the heart and make the soul char

They don’t have to be abusive
Sometimes good words can be used badly
They right compliment at the wrong time
The correction of a mistake publicly

The weapon we use the most
To cause the deepest wound
The ones we could use to heal
But instead we use to bully around

Someone used them to humiliate me
To break me down and debase me
I decided to use better words to rebuild myself
To tell myself that person doesn’t even know me

Please I beg you; I implore you
Use them carefully and cautiously
Think before you choose and use them repeatedly
You never know how they affect someone’s integrity

Lyrics from a Cher Song:
Day 16


Watch Your Words

This piece is based on the real life experience of someone very close to me and has been shared with her approval.

It had taken a lot of strength and courage on my part to attend my friends baby shower. I had pushed myself mentally, physically and emotionally to be there for her. I was struggling after another miscarriage and I had battled my depression by taking extra good care of myself.

I had hoped that looking good on the outside would help me feel less broken on the inside. I had worn a black dress with a red belt, red shoes and red lipstick and I knew I looked good. Good enough to make people turn their heads and look at me when I entered the event.

I was sitting with my daughter trying to appear calm and put together when I noticed two women looking at me and whispering to each other. I just smiled at them and continued to mind my own business. One of them decided to engage with me then and the words she said albeit unintentionally triggered my anxiety in the worst possible way.

“We were just admiring your figure. Is that the reason why you have decided not to have more children? To maintain your perfect figure?” One of them asked me with a smile, acting like she had just paid me the highest possible compliment.

I felt cold fingers grasp my heart and squeeze it hard and I felt a lump form in my throat but I managed to take a deep breath and appear outwardly calm. The hostess was well aware of the ordeal I had been through and she looked at me with concern in her eyes.

“I recently had a miscarriage, again.” That was all I could say to them before I got up and went into the bathroom to take some deep breaths and calm myself. I did not want to cry and create a scene but I was hurting and I wondered why people can’t be more selective and sensitive with their words.

If an aunty had done something like this, I might have been able to excuse their behavior thinking they are old and set in their ways but young girls these days are much meaner and more brutal. I found myself wondering when people would learn to choose their words more carefully.

Will there ever be a day when people will learn not to comment on things that don’t concern them at all? Someone’s weight, height, skin color, skin problems, marital status, employment status, pregnancy status, etc. are not matters that should concern other people. When will we learn that discussions can be non-personal and still engaging and that it is not okay to meddle in another person’s business?

You don’t know whose feelings you are hurting with your carelessly dropped words and whose anxiety you are triggering with your lack of self-control. Watch your words and show some sensitivity because what goes around comes around and no one likes it when it does.


The Alternate Path

Today he decided to be brave and break free
From the shackles of habit and familiarity
He bravely selected the alternate path
He took each step slowly but resolutely

It led him to a path with tall wise trees arching over it
The trees seemed to shelter the path to guide him forward,
The path led to a beautiful garden, colorful and fruitful
It seemed to buzz with life and coaxed him onward.

As the garden came to an end he saw a small cottage
With smoke billowing out of its chimney,
A warm and welcoming place it appeared
It seemed to have come straight out of Disney.

He knocked on the door and saw a pie on the window sill
It smelled like his favorite, apple and cinnamon,
It seemed truly to be a sign a good omen if you will
He experienced a slight increase in adrenaline.

An elderly man opened the door and gave him a big smile
“He’s finally here Emma, can you believe it? He made it at last.”
The old woman hugged him and held on for dear life
She looked, smelt and felt familiar, like someone from his past.

He was overcome by a strong sense of dejavu
How did he know these two beautiful souls?
They welcomed him into their home and hearts
They fed him pie with vanilla ice-cream in bowls.

The taste was divine and oh so very familiar
It reminded him of someone who had made it for him before,
It shocked him and brought him to a crushing realization
Like his grandparents he too wasn’t alive anymore.

Day 58


Definitions of femicide

Female homicide (or femicide): the unlawful and intentional causing of a death of a female.
Intimate femicide: the intentional killing of a woman by an intimate partner (husband, boyfriend, cohabiting partner, same-sex partner (current or ex), or a rejected would-be lover, as well as perpetrators from incestuous relationships.
Non-intimate femicide: the intentional killing of a woman by someone other than an intimate partner.

This word has been in the limelight most recently because of the murders of women in Turkey however this term has also been applied to other places like Mexico and Azerbaijan. It is actually a global phenomenon and it is predicted to be at an all-time high this year due to the quarantine situation.

How is femicide linked to the black and white picture challenge online?

The Guardian reports that in 2019, 474 women were murdered, mostly by partners and relatives in Turkey. This is the highest rate in a decade in which the numbers have increased year on year.  Very recently, the country was rocked by the brutal killing of Pınar Gültekin, a 27-year-old student, who was allegedly killed by an ex-boyfriend.

The B&W picture challenge was to encourage people to post their pictures to emphasize how pictures of murdered women end up in black and white in the pages of newspapers. Most people who did this were not aware of the reason behind it. Prominent celebrities like Chef Nigella Lawson and Comedian Miranda Hart issued apologies for posting pictures without knowing the reason. I myself am also guilty of doing this.

What are the demands of the people protesting femicide in Turkey?

Turkey was the first country to adopt a 2011 Council of Europe convention on gender-based violence and domestic violence, a legal framework designed to protect victims and prosecute offenders, known as the Istanbul Convention. The protesters think that it is one of the primary laws keeping women safe in the country even though the Turkish Government is looking to do away with it saying it promotes immorality and breaks up the traditional family system.

What about femicide in Pakistan?

Pakistan ranks as the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, with cases of sexual crimes and domestic violence recording a rapid rise. According to statistics collected by White Ribbon Pakistan, an NGO working for women’s rights, 4,734 women faced sexual violence between 2004 and 2016. Over 15,000 cases of honour crimes were registered.

Patriarchy is the core reason behind these high statistics of abuse and other acts of violence against women in Pakistan. There are not however enough initiatives being created to address this primary cause of femicide locally.

The WHO report also blamed “unequal power of women relative to men” and the “normative use of violence to resolve conflict”.

What is patriarchy you ask?

In the context of our discussion, it would be defined as, ‘a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.’

There are simply not enough women at the table when women’s rights and protections are being legislated. The system is by the males and for the males and they enjoy rights and privileges that women simply do not. While we do see things improving slowly and gradually, drastic measures need to be taken to reduce if not crush gender inequality in Pakistan.

This gender inequality is reflected in all spheres of life from the moment a girl is born to the time that she dies. It is apparent in all the opportunities she is denied and her male siblings are provided. It is taken from her in the form of the best piece of meat in the food, her education, her property and even her ability to earn an income to support herself.

Let’s come back and focus on femicide.

“Many of the victims of ‘femicide’ are killed by their current and former partners, but they are also killed by fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and other family members because of their role and status as women,” said the UNODC. These killings, it added, do “not usually result from random or spontaneous acts, but rather from the culmination of prior gender-based violence. Jealousy and fear of abandonment are among the motives.”

In Pakistan these types of killings are usually terms ‘Honour Killings’ even though it can be argued that there is no honour associated with killing anyone.

If most of the femicides committed again women are by their partners why don’t they just leave?

This is a question that is often asked when a femicide news report comes up and people wonder why the victim stayed with an abusive spouse or partner. The answers to this question are often simple and quite horrifying.

  • Most of these women have no safe place to leave and escape to.
    • In most cases even their own parents are not willing to take them back if they decide to leave their partner.
  • Leaving can drastically increase their chances of being killed as opposed to staying with the partner.
    • It can often be a former partner or a rejected one that can kill or throw acid at a female he felt rejected or abandoned by.
  • As mentioned earlier it is not always a partner but can also be immediate family members who are a threat to her life.

 What can we do about it?

The first thing we can do about it is educate ourselves about the issue and accept that there is one. Then we can pass on that information to others and educate them about it as well. If you are a blogger or influencer then write about it or talk about it on whatever platforms you have access to.

If you know anyone who is in a problematic situation reach out to them but remember, never ask a victim why she doesn’t just leave, especially not after knowing the information you know now.

If you decide to help her leave the situation, make sure you provide her all the support she needs, like an alternative place where she will be safe.

Keep an eye out for the signs of abuse such as controlling behaviour, violence or threats of violence.

Seeing the surge in domestic violence cases the world over even Pakistan has introduced a helpline. The helpline is operational from 10 am to 10 pm all through the week. The toll-free helpline is 1099 for landline calls and 0333-9085709 on Whatsapp for both calls and texts. It’s effectiveness is questionable as most women are afraid to reach out and ask for help however it was much needed. We can only hope that over time it will prove to be valuable if even one life is saved.

Here are some ways to help a loved one who is being abused:

  • Setup a time to talk.
  • Let her know you’re concerned about her safety.
  • Be supportive.
  • Offer specific help.
  • Don’t place shame, blame or guilt on her.
  • Help her make a safety plan.
  • Encourage her to talk to someone who can help.
  • If she decides to stay, continue to be supportive.
  • Encourage her to do things outside of the relationship.
  • If she decides to leave, continue to offer help.
  • Let her know that you will always be there no matter what.

Honour Killings

Sources of Information:

Femicide: A global scourge







The Istikhara

“I want you to cover your head when you leave the house.” He told me.

“I don’t want any servants in the house so you will need to do all the housework yourself.” He said and I wondered if he had maybe not heard me when I told him I don’t and can’t cook.

“You can only leave the house with me.” He went on. I asked him if I could at least go out with my mother if she came to pick me. “She will come with a driver, right?” I nodded yes. “Then no. I will take you wherever you want to go when I come home in the evening.”

“When do you come home in the evening?” I asked him. “It varies but I usually come home at around 8 because I go to the gym at around 7:00.”

“Won’t you be too tired to take me out when you come home that late after the gym?” I asked him.

My head was a jumbled mess at everything he was laying down as conditions and I wanted some clarity on what he was expecting from me. “I might be but you can’t go anywhere unless I take you.”

“I can to the gym with you, though right?” I asked him. “No of course not. There are men there.” I was getting a little scared of this man my parents thought I should consider marrying. I shook my head and decided that he is probably joking.

“I don’t want you to have any guy friends either. I know you study with guys and you have family friends that you are close to, but I don’t like the idea of you having any male friends.” He told me and I was getting confused again.

I thought about all my female cousins and none of them had any guy friends so I guess it was doable but then none of them had studied in co-education institutions either. I was trying to rationalize his thoughts and demands and I was feeling over whelmed at his narrow mindedness.

“You can’t meet your best friend anymore. I don’t want you around people who drink.” He told me in the same discussion and it felt unreal. “Why though? They never drink in my presence.” I asked.

“People who drink are unpredictable and you never when they will decide to start drinking and how they will act. I know because I used to drink and I was even a bar tender for a while when I was studying in London.”

“Do you still drink?” I asked him worried. “No, my dad doesn’t even let me touch non-alcoholic beer anymore. I got some home the other day and he made me throw it out.” He replied, sounding frustrated.

I was so stunned at some of the things he had said that I actually asked him if he would also beat me up after he married me. To which he replied. “No of course not. I have a sister too if her husband hit her, I would kill him.” To which I reminded him that I have an elder brother too so he better be careful and he just laughed mockingly in response as though I was joking.

“Can I kiss you?” He asked me suddenly. “No of course not! I shouldn’t even be with you right now and you already told me you like to bite so definitely not.”

“I promise I won’t bite.” He said and I just shook my head no.

My parents never introduced me to a guy and his family unless they really liked them and we had all really hit it off with each other. I was getting worried about the things he had said to me earlier and the things he was telling me now.

I had told my mom the things I had seen as red flags, basic things like how I can’t drive or work and how I had to cover my head and she said those are good things. She said he wasn’t wrong and that I should listen to him because she agreed with him on these three things.

I was worried though, I had been okay with the demands he was making while I was with him but when I thought about them later, they filled me with dread especially since he stopped talking to me after saying everything and telling me that the ball was now in my court to decide what I want.

I spoke to my brother and his wife that night. I told them everything he had mentioned and they panicked and called me. They told me that these were all red flags and I should run away from him as fast as I could. My brother was very liberal and he had a love marriage. They lived abroad so he could be over reacting.

I decided to do an istikhara that night because that is what people tend to do when they are having trouble deciding on something. My belief was very simple when it came to the prayer. I prayed it like I was supposed to and trusted God to do whatever was best for me. I never waited for dreams or signs, I just waited for things to manifest themselves.

That night I had a dream though, I dreamt that I was surrounded by hungry lionesses, they pounced on me and I woke up shocked and scared.