Monday, May 14, 2012

Be the Change

I've always had profound admiration for all things Gandhi. His story moved me and in his quiet resolute way made me think about the many things I've encountered in this my life journey.

Every one has the innate need to be remembered long after they're gone. I would hate to know that my life lived was all in vain. 

This quote seems to be the one to get me off my behind and do something.

What can one simple woman do with limited resources and a severe case of the "Don't do it'itis"?

I've decided that I can't possibly traipse all over the world in search of things to "Be the change..." to. I can't even begin to spend money I don't have on others. (Try living off a private school teacher's salary and that being the only income in a household of seven people, with two soon to be three kids in college).

I can't share my time volunteering anywhere as I do have obligations in said household.

So what's a girl to do to make "Be the change"?

I look around myself, my job and my domicile and the answer is clear and apparent.

To "Be the change....", I need to start with myself. Duh you say, but scoff not. We forget our purpose in this life and we get entrapped in the "glamour" of people, things, events, social media and other fascinating, yet trivial pursuits. Remember that game? Trivial, yes trivial. Mind blowing drivel and time wasting mind play. Yet we become embroiled in such. 

Sometimes, it becomes mandatory to step back and look within and evaluate and critique the person hiding behind your own smile. 

Who are you and what are you doing in this time and part of your life?
What will you change today?
Where are you going in this direction you're headed?
When will you get there?
How will you accomplish your journey?
Who will benefit from such a journey?
Why do you want others to benefit, or not to benefit?

Tough questions to ask of self, especially as I stare my mortality in the face.

To be the change, Gandhi is not asking us to stormily take the world, but to take the world. Be the best person you can be. Start with your world and yourself.

Love yourself.
Be kind to yourself.
Forgive yourself.
Take care of yourself.
Be good to yourself.
and the list continues....

When you are the best person to yourself, you will be the best child, the best daughter, the best friend, the best best student, the best employee, the best fiance, the best spouse, the best parent, the best grandparent.

The ripple effect from all of these duties will be felt in every aspect of your life and every human you touch simply by being the best you.

We can't change the world....
"Be the change you wish to see in the world"

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Baby, baby, baby...

A baby has been born into our family. A new Khan. The newest Khan. He is the son of my only brother and I hope the first child of more to come.

He was in a rush to meet us as he arrived at 1:52 am on a beautiful sunny day on the 14th. March, two weeks before his due date. Much anticipated and worried about by his aunts, uncles and twelve older cousins. He arrived  amidst much rejoicing and celebrations, and he entered our hearts.

When babies first begin to make their appearance, they bring feelings of apprehension, anxiety and pride, love and many many questions. When my first was nothing more than a bump the size of an apple on my then oh so flat tummy, I turned sideways to make sure there was confirmation of what the doctor had found. Yes there it was, a small bump below my belly button that told me I was carrying life. I couldn't believe it!! Life in me! An over whelming feeling to say the least. Motherhood has it own pit falls and wonders all in a given hour.

My husband always remind me of how I would say, "Never, never, never again would I ever have another child" every morning when the bathroom sink got most of my face time and witnessed the heaving and hurling that reminded me that my gastro intestinal tract was being rudely re arranged to make growing room for a new human. When she was born, I called him as I was being wheeled back to my room and told him, "I don't mind having another one". He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Five kids later and I don't believe the audacity of my words and my body's ability to support five babies. But mothers are tenacious and  seldom back down from their responsibilities.

Mika Khan is our newest Khan and he has entered a world where technology is moving sometimes faster than the speed of light it seems. A world that seems upside down with everything that's going on. A world where beauty, hope, love, compassion, intelligence, freedom and everything worthwhile exits. He will be surrounded by love, friendship, care and devotion

I know his parents will give him the best life possible for him and he will have the benefits of many older cousins and aunties and uncles. His dad is still considered the "cool uncle" with his wide horizons and broad spectrum of interests, and if I know my brother well, he will be exposed to a world of experimentation, exploration, and excitement.

Hello world, here comes Mika Khan. Oh baby!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bibi Part Deux

Here we go again with the Bibi name. Please feel free to revisit the blog post from June 2011 ~  Bibi

It has been a while since I've blogged and I've missed doing so. I've decided to re open or re hatch the discussion of the name thing. Most people when they choose the name to be given to their offspring, chose names they think will be the best one for their new person.

I was given the very pretty and unusual name of Shaeeza. Well, it is my official middle name with Bibi as my first name, but that is the subject of another blog post mentioned afore. I gently suggest you read it so the rest of what I say would make some kind of sense. I was thusly named Shaiza, so spelt by the registrars who thought it very unwise to have the parents of babies born in the British colonies fill out official name forms. Many a sad story has been told about the mistakes made in registering babies' names. Most misspelt, horribly documented with extra or missing consonants, vowels, or just plain butchered beyond recognition. Many just learnt to love their name as is and many changed it as soon as they could by deed poll.

However I learnt my name as Shaeeza, I spelt it that way, wrote it that way and knew myself as Shaeeza.  Imagine the shock to my tender self when a smart mouthed teacher told me my name was not spelt Shaeeza, but that it was actually supposed to be Shaiza. I didn't know who to be angry with, my parents for not teaching me the spelling on the birth certificate or the teacher (did I mention she had a smart mouth?) for pointing out my ignorance. My nine year old self was mortified as this was the first instance I actually dared to argue with a teacher. You'd think a child would know to how to spell her own name. So very reluctantly and very sulkily and not very happy at the prospect of changing my name, I began using Shaiza as my name. Part of my bone of contention with this rogue variant of my name was simple, people seemed to have a hard time pronouncing it correctly, making me more annoyed and sulky than ever, hence sticking to the Bibi, now they couldn't possibly mess that one up could they? Turns out they can.

Fast forward to my becoming an American citizen and while I considered dropping the Bibi from my name, I changed the spelling from that dreaded Shaiza to the much more friendlier Shaeeza. Although it can seem confusing, the three vowels in a row can be easily pronounced rather than the very confusing Shaiza. 
Sha  ee  za, see how easy? Now try Sha i za! Point proven.

In all my adventures with my name I have always wondered what the meaning of my name was. Finally a few weeks ago, my very best cousin in the world had her son find out the meaning for me. Turns out, the name Shaiza means ~ firm, raised, extreme, severe. I am beginning to think that I should have let sleeping names lie. But it is my name and depends on who you may ask, it suits me very well.
I am firm.
I am raised
I am extreme
I am severe
I am Shaeeza

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Bravery comes in many stages and we are often judged by how others perceive our bravery or lack of it. Opportunities for being brave confront us daily. Many scenarios come into play throughout our day causing us to question our sense of bravery or face up to it. Start with your morning call, whether it's coming from a clock, a phone or your significant other shaking you into wakefulness. It takes bravery to begin a new day and face whatever it may bring.

Bravery is the mundane task of driving to work or braving public transportation to get there. Think about it. You are brave entering stairs into the world under city streets to get into a shiny cylinder jam packed with humanoids to spend the day in a cubicle where you probably won't see sunlight until  the summer solstice comes around again. Driving makes even the most timid of personalities morph into a dare devil of a person who takes chances peering around blind spots and praying to god almighty that someone else doesn't come barreling into you or cuts you off. 

Opportunity for bravery can crop up when it's least expected such as taking the first painful step after surgery. More times than none are patients scared of taking that first step out of bed. Afraid of pain, afraid of popping stitches, afraid to breathe, afraid of going back to not being well again.

Bravery steps up when they realize that the first step wasn't as bad as they thought, the stitches are still tight, breathing actually helped with moving, they were going to get better and there is only of slight chance of them going back to where they were.

It takes bravery to be the first to break a silence, to write an inquiry letter to an agent or a publisher.
It takes bravery to be the one to approach the person who holds your heart.
It takes bravery to be the one to go against society and claim your beloved.
It takes bravery to be the one to let go of your first love.
It takes bravery to let your child walk into his Kindergarten class all by his lonesome self.
It takes bravery to sit down your family and tell the worse news they could ever expect to hear.
It takes bravery to know when to cut off the parasitic people in your life,

Bravery steps up when our hearts, bodies and mind reaches for it.
Go ahead, be brave.
The pain will diminish, the stitches will hold, you will get better.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bygones and New Year Resolutions.

It comes without saying that another year has past. Unless, you're some sort of person who relies on something other than traditional time keeping, I'm saying nothing new. And of course everyone will be saying how fast the year had come and has now gone. The speed of the past year is relative and to a child waiting on Christmas morning, it would have seem like forever, whereas other (ahem) older folks would be spinning thinking, "Are you serious? Is it Santa time again?" "I've only just paid off last year's credit card bills!"

The year two thousand eleven bought its own unique events, trials, joys, experiences and sorrows. Each year leaves a stamp on your heart and lives and this year was certainly no exception. For the most part, everyone stayed safe and I was able to witness how well my arm would fare when my entire bodily weight would fall on it. Excruciating pain, varying types of narcotics, a fifteen thousand dollar surgery, one neon green cast later traded for a bright pink cast and a number of hand therapy sessions would relate to me exactly how my arm would fare......... not so good.

Have I attempted any of my resolutions I made at the beginning of the year? I didn't make any. Refer to my post.......

Things have certainly improved since then and all those events have actually made us stronger and closer as a family unit. Many have said that it takes tragedy to bring people together and many times over it has been proven correct.

Will I make new year's resolutions this time around? Hard to say. A resolution I once made was "I'm never doing this year again". I don't think that applies to this year. For despite its many extreme downs, it has been one of the more rewarding years in a long time. The highs of this year were rewarding and brought new hope each time. Many of the lessons learnt this year will forever stay with my family and I.

Instead of making resolutions, I will instead try to cross things off my bucket list and live each day for what it is. A gift to spend with loved ones and a way to get my dreams. My biggest dream? To have an agent. To be published. To see my books in scholastic book clubs. One day......

For now, it's saying so long to the year two thousand eleven and recall fondly the many happy, loving, trying and challenging days it brought us all.


Monday, December 5, 2011


This has been on my mind for a long time - brothers.
I just have one brother and every corny and/or inspirational quote circling in cyber space cannot effectively convey the love for brothers.

My four daughters have just one brother also and as much as they tease him and at times make him feel alienated, they love him to pieces and would give their lives for him willingly.

I remember the day my brother was born as if it were yesterday. My dad came home from the hospital that Friday and announced to us that our mom had a baby boy. To say the least, my soon about to be ten year old self was dumbfounded.
 A BOY!?!

My dad was known for his joking around with us girls and I was very skeptical at hearing what he was saying to us three girls. A boy?? No he was definitely joking. That baby was a girl, my mom had  a girl. We wanted another sister. What could we do with a boy? We had enough boy cousins around. We didn't need  boy to play with, we needed a girl.

 In the days after, everybody seemed to go a long with my dad, smiling and saying we had a brother. Seven years after her last baby, my mom came home from the hospital and sure enough she was carrying a brand new baby boy. I don't think we were too happy at the fact it was a boy. We were just excited that we had our very own baby to play with. And what a cutie he was!!

As my brother grew from a pampered baby to a cute toddler, he was often times subjected to many occasions when his three older sisters tried to fulfill their need to have a living doll to dress up. Yes, we dressed him up like a doll and boy did we get yelled at. But he soon learnt to run in the opposite direction when we came at him with frilly clothes and lipstick. And run he did, he stayed outside our house since to be in the house with three sisters would be a fate worse than death.

For those of you who have read my blog, you know that my extended family is quite large and mainly populated with females. At family gatherings, my brother would longingly and hopefully watch the door open, waiting to catch a glimpse of another boy coming in. I distinctly remember his exasperation at seeing only girls coming and him declaring in disgust, "Another girl!!" before stalking back outside the house.

When he was eleven, I got married and left for New York soon after. I did not get a chance to see him grow into adulthood. But was pleased every time to get reports of how he was doing.

My brother became the uncle to five boys and they all consider him the "cool uncle" as he was able to empathize and guide them as need be. All my nephews were often over at his house for boy weekends of just boy stuff happening. Video games, monster truck rallies, cricket games, movie night, car racing, motor cycling, fishing, boating and other boy important things that we girls think beneath us. (Well, sometimes).

Now my brother is an adult, a self sufficient, societal contributing member and a friend. Although, I am the oldest of our family, there are many times, where I have dialed his number and just said, "I need to talk", and he'd make the time for me. He has advised me and counselled me and helped me through some rough patches and I know he'll still continue to do so with each of his three older sisters.

My brother has been married for more than five years now, and will be adding to our family as I have often referred to him as untapped resource. I pray and hope the very best for his little family and I know he'll do extremely well as he has shown with his ability as a son, uncle and a brother.

Brothers................unmatched love.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Broken hearted

In our travels through life, we've heard that a heart has been broken. A friend's, a sibling's, a child's, or ours. It's likened to a loss, a death, the demise of  a relationship.

 It brings on anger, depression, confusion, fear, pain, sorrow, loneliness, and an insatiable need for sad songs, carbs, ice cream, tissues, chocolate and a warm fuzzy place.

 Along with that, other responsibilities tend to go south as the "broken hearters" soon move out of their normal living domicile to the more appropriate one as featured in Broken Hearts Digest, complete with unwashed hair, clothes, half eaten pizzas, opened jars of peanut butter, melted ice cream, chocolate wrappers, muffin bottoms, blankets strewn around, stereo stuck on "our song", telephone/laptop, smart phone within a one second reach.

The observed (may not have been true anthropologist observation) behavior of the ones who fall into the Broken Hearters category are not limited to:
* stare longingly at the phone, checking and rechecking, making sure the ringer is on and that it's been charged.

* reliving the last moments of the relationship, rereading the snippets of last conversation, last texts 

* stalking the loved one now obsessed about said person

* substituting inanimate and animate objects for the loved one now obsessed about said person

* dressing said unwashed body in the left over clothing left behind by the loved one now obsessed about said person

* self imprisonment in the domicile that would be the envy for every reader of Broken Hearts Digest

* severe anti social tendencies stemming from the abhorrence of anything jolly and not depressed

* developing the mask of the broken hearted, drawn pallid skin, hallowed red eyes, cracked dry lips, sucked in cheeks, swollen eyelids

Dealing with a broken heart takes time just as in the death of a loved one. The stages of grief are stated for us to be able to understand how the person deals with a loss.


These stages are most often dealt with and last in varying ways as with each personality. Some may spend more or less time on a particular stage, Some may rush through some stages and spend a considerable, pathetic amount of energy on some causing on lookers to gather.

A broken heart is nothing to be laughed at or ignored, a person going through a broken heart may never truly recover as scarring tissue from a broken heart leaves a permanent mark. 

But the broken hearters can get better if they so desire and some do eventually make it  and move on, some unfortunately succumb to the emotions of it and never truly move on, others give up and allow their broken hearts to lead them down a path that ends in their own demise. Others write songs, books, poems, music for other broken hearters to relate to.

But every broken heart also means that there was once love, deep love!