Holiday meals and holiday drama

This week we are asked to share some of the celebration/ holiday meals from our past.

The celebration in my culture are usually centered around the two Eids and birthdays and anniversaries.

For Eid, we would go to our parent’s house for lunch. And when my in-laws were living, to their homes. But when they passed away, we used to be the hosts for both sides of the family. Now we only invite our children and their families for Eid lunch.

I have mentioned food in one of Share Your World posts. We are big on traditional cuisine on festivals.

Our food is rich and revolves around meat/ poultry and fish. It’s also influenced by the weather. In summers, we go for light easily digestible dishes while in winters, the dishes are richer and more calorie-rich.

A typical Eid lunch menu in summer would have a variety of biryani or pulao ( rice cooked with chicken or mutton), some gravy made of meat or chicken, kebabs, haleem or karhi ( curry made of yogurt, chickpea flour with pakoras added in the end) salads and for dessert, we have kheer ( rice pudding in milk) or ice cream.

In winter, the menu would also contain Barbeque meat, paye ( mutton hoof curry with mutton), fried fish, and maybe some Italian dish like lasagna and for dessert, we typically have carrot halwa!

Wherever you have some or all the family together, there’s bound to be drama.

People arriving late and at odds with each other is very common. We have instances where people ( family) were hours late and not talking to each other. People have heated arguments during the meal and then someone would be unhappy at the eidi ( money given as a gift on eid) being inadequate. These were usually children as the tradition is that elders/ parents give eidi to their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Older brothers and sisters hand over money to younger siblings too.

I have great fun memories of Eid lunches, from my childhood to recent years.

Written for Throwback Thursday- Holiday meal hosted by Lauren and Maggie



Sharing my world, squirrel edition- 2

Melanie, our host of SYW has some new fun questions for us in collaboration with the amazing Evil Squirrel and his band of merry shelf critters.


If you had the power to strike one person in your life permanently speechless, who would it be? (Real names aren’t necessary, vague descriptions are fine… and yes, this is being asked in fun and not to be mean)

My choice is obvious!

I would strike MR DT speechless permanently! And if I have any more of that special power left, I’d strike all politicians semi-dumb. They can only say the truth. And that would practically leave them permanently dumb because who has heard of a politician who says what’s true.

If you could relive your childhood over again, what’s one thing from this modern world today you’d want to take back with you?

What a tempting offer! I think I’ll take a laptop connected to internet back to my school days. I would Google all the information for which I had to spend hours in the library. I’d be a know it all!

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple are the standard colors of the rainbow.
Name something you love (or greatly admire/appreciate) for all six major colors of the rainbow! (Sorry indigo, you’re just blue-purple. Hot pink? You’re too flashy!)

Red; Strawberries

Orange; Oranges

Yellow; lemons, mangoes

Green; Emeralds

Blue; Sky, sea/ocean

Purple; Amethysts, aubergines

If you were to open the world’s most accurate fortune cookie, what would your fortune inside it read?

“You will stumble and suffer a lot in your younger days but will find peace and wisdom In your middle age”

Santa’s tired of people leaving him out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve night! If you really wanted to get on Santa’s good side, what would you leave out for him to eat/drink instead? (This question applies whether you celebrate Christmas or not. It’s just for fun, so imagination? Welcome! )

Santa needs to watch his diet. I think he would appreciate low fat milk or cheese cubes, apple slices and perhaps some peppermint gum, too ward off hunger attacks.

GRATITUDE SECTION (Still optional)

What plans do you have for the upcoming holiday/celebration/festival season? 🎅🏻🤶🏻❄

Nothing is planned as yet for the two-week-long break from school but we’ll think of something fun to do. Meanwhile, if you recall my post asking advice from you all regarding the purchase of a camera?

Well………..ta da!

Now I just need to remember to use it!

Thank you so much Melanie for these ultra-fun questions.



Do not give up!

This week Dr. Tanya has asked us to opine on this quote in regard to blogging insights;

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.”


I have followed so many bloggers that have quit blogging. I don’t know why they just abandoned their blogs but lack of motivation is one of the reasons. Some of them had some issues which prevented them from blogging.

So while it’s very understandable that life intrudes in the blogging journey, quitting it altogether may not be the only option. Taking a break, a hiatus can be one way of dealing with this. Another way is to reduce the number of times one posts during the day, week, or month. Posting less is always better than stopping completely.

When I started to blog I used to post infrequently at first and then I started to post daily. When I discovered the daily and weekly prompts, I was at times posting 6-7 times a day. This was a schedule that I was finding quite hectic. So to suit my convenience, I reduced the number of posts to 3 per day. And I stopped doing the daily prompts, regretfully. The merging of 4-5 daily prompts into one post/poem was a challenge that I enjoyed but it was stressful for me.

Currently, my way of organizing my posting schedule is to write the posts for the next day, the evening before. Sometimes I leave a slot free for the prompts that will be posted the next day so that I can respond to them the same day. Dr. Tanya’s Blogging Insights is one of them. And so is Melanie’s SYW. The rest of my posts are mostly pre-scheduled. This way I can relax for the day and blogging never becomes a chore that I have to do!

I agree with this quote in context to blogging. Don’t quit but find ways to manage your blogging. Use features like “pre-scheduling” to make life, and blogging easy for yourself. Remember that the community you build with your first post and first comment has taken a lot of effort and when you quit, you’ll lose this wonderful community.

Many thanks, Dr.Tanya for your continued discussion on blogging!



American political system

Fandango provocatively asks this week;

If you’re American, do you concur with my assessment that our country is rapidly going to hell in a handbasket? Or do you believe that everything is hunky-dory and America’s light is shining as brightly as ever?

If you’re not an American, based upon what you’ve read, seen, and heard, do you feel that America has, indeed, faltered? Or do you think that America will weather this storm?

Since I am NOT an American, I don’t know much about the politics in this country. When we moved to America in 2015, Obama was the president. The elections were near and we saw how the GOP selected Trump for their candidate. We never thought that he would be elected the next president. But it was to be so!

I give this context because of the difference I saw and felt between America under the two presidents. In Obama’s time, people were more tolerant, there weren’t any racial slurs cast on us as Muslims and brown people and the atmosphere was way more peaceful. When Trump took power, things went downhill. Open racism was common. People would say nasty things in passing and the entitlement of some white people grew by leaps and bounds.

What happened during the last couple of years of Trump’s rule and after the elections was unbelievable. It reminded me of any third-world country which sees power struggle at the hands of despots. More like what has been going on in my country since we became an independent country.

What Trump did was to unleash all the racism, hatred, and intolerance which some people already had inside their minds but now it became okay to be openly racist. This smells like beginning of the end of the tolerances and acceptability that was a hallmark of American society.

The recent acquittal of a white man for the murder of three people openly was another example of why sensible people feel that justice in America is totally blind and lopsided.

Too many issues have cropped up in recent years and many people are losing hope.

How can you fix this?



SYW with gratitude 

Melanie is our host for SYW

Image courtesy of Paula Light of Light Motifs II
Badge is my design 


What are some red flags to watch out for in daily life?

I think my cynical side will be answering this one!

People being too nice without reason ( they want something?)

Things too cheap, again no apparent reason ( Faulty, expired goods!)

When the day dawn clear and sunny on a day of an outing

You start from your home in plenty of time to reach your appointment! 😜

What obstacles would you include in the ‘world’s most amazing obstacle course”?

Just navigate around a room where a kid has thrown his lego pieces in a fit of rage.

Who is the best movie or book villain in your opinion? (‘book’ is included because some folks don’t watch movies)

I liked professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. He was one seriously intelligent guy and quite the planner.

What, in your opinion, is the most beautiful/handsome part of your face? (no dissing yourself please, we’re all beautiful/handsome!)

I’d say my eyes which I’ve inherited from my late father. I am the only one among my siblings to do so.


Next week on Thursday, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.   What are some foods you enjoy for your festive celebration dinners?  (Doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving, as I realize the whole world isn’t participating in ‘our’ holiday)

Our festivals are our Eids. We normally invite the family over for lunch. The traditional dishes are;

Chicken biryani

Seekh kebabs



Kheer ( milk and rice pudding) for desert

Sometimes I make roast chicken (whole) or roast leg of lamb on eid-ul-Adha. ( It’s the eid where we sacrifice a goat or lamb in the name of Allah and distribute it among the poor, keeping some for our use)

Thanks Melanie for these interesting questions.



Sharing my philosophical world

This week Melanie is asking some deep, thought provoking questions in SYW

QUESTIONS   This week is a philosophical (chewy) question week.

In your opinion, what should be humanity’s goal?

In my view, humanity should be above selfish goals. Instead of doing everything for us, ours, and our country, do something for everyone. Some people may not agree with me but even thinking of your own country ahead of the rest of the world seems selfish to me. This is one reason that global environmental controls could not be implemented effectively as people want to keep their jobs and money developing fossil fuels.

Saving the planet is an admirable goal. Peace in the world is another. Feeding everyone, so no one goes hungry is another. Vaccination against deadly diseases, so that others don’t get sick because of our irresponsible behavior.

Are you hesitant to speak your opinions?

When I was younger, I was hesitant to talk about my opinions for the fear of being ridiculed. Now I am very outspoken and vocal regarding my views. Maybe too much but I feel it is up to us to spread awareness.

In what ways has society changed during your lifetime? What do you think caused these changes?

Oh, in the last 60 years I think we have witnessed major changes in our way of living. Society has changed too with this lifestyle change. One thing that really stands out is the degeneration of moral values. When I was younger, people would speak out against anything wrong they saw happening around them. But gradually this has stopped. Now it is alright to mind your own business and bad manners to interfere. This has resulted in a downward trend in us as a moral society.

If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend?

I have a couple of friends already like this. They will immediately point out if I’m doing something wrong or harmful to myself or others. In fact, I value this characteristic very much and that’s why I think they are sincere friends. I do the same for them.

GRATITUDE SECTION  (as always, optional)

Please feel free to share your moments of gratitude here. 🙂

Though I had a great visit to Lahore, it’s good to be back. The air quality in Lahore is pretty bad while in Islamabad, it is way better. No smog or for. A clear blue sky everyday.

Few flowers from home in Lahore

Thanks Melanie for these thought provoking questions.



Diversity in blogging

Tanya, the host of blogging insights says;

Last week we discussed the definition of blogging in that we rearranged the parts of the process that make up the sum. Today let’s take the conversation a little further and talk about the diversity of blogging

“A blog is merely a tool that lets you do anything from Change the World to Share Your Shopping List”


Who could disagree with this quote!

Personal blogs are as varied as the people who write them. No two are exactly the same.

Each of us, when we start the process of Blogging, we have some aim in front of us. Be it just to share our random thoughts or to air the stories when we have written or plan to write. Some share tips and recipes on cooking while some blog on spiritual topics. Photography and art are another popular blog genres.

Professional/business blogs have a bigger impact. But they are geared to promote their business and not change the world as we know it. Many change their own lives by earning money from their blogs which the personal bloggers seldom do.

A blog is definitely a tool for self-expression. A very useful tool which lets us spread our thoughts all over the world without spending any or very little money. The reach of a blog, whichever platform one uses is astounding. I have people from nearly all over the world visit my blog. This is amazing and quiet an honor.

I have yet to see a blog, personal or professional to have a world changing impact but maybe I’ve missed something.

Thanks you, Dr. Tanya for this prompt.



TV Memories

This week for Thursday throwback, Lauren asks us about our TV memories

The first time I watched a TV was when my grandparents got one. My mom had recently passed away and my father had gone to America for a Masters’s degree in public administration. He reluctantly left us with our grandparents, his parents, because this was a US government sponsored scholarship and he had to go.

My grandparents thought that we needed to be amused and entertained so they got a black and white TV. We were quite young at the time. Ages 9-5 years. So we didn’t know much English. My grandfather would sit with us and translate the English dialogue into Urdu for us and my grandmother who didn’t know English either. Thinking back, I feel it was very kind of them.

There were Urdu tv programs in those days but not many. Television industry was just starting in Pakistan. Most of the programs we watched were English, mostly American.

I remember;

The fugitive

Man from U.N.C.L.E



Perhaps there were more but it was a long time ago. There was one cartoon program of five minutes duration which we waited for every day. I think the cartoons were loony tunes or some earlier version of them.

As we grew up, so did the television in our country. Now we have exclusively Urdu programs. I still think fondly of the time we were first introduced to tv.



What has changed in the last 20 years?

Fandango Provocatively asks;

Think back to the year 2001 when you were twenty years younger than you are today. Are you a very different person today than you were back then? That’s what this week’s provocative question is about.

How much have you and your priorities changed over the past twenty years? If you’re on the younger side, answer from the perspective of the past ten years or even five years.


Was 2001 twenty years ago! Unbelievable, but true.

Twenty years ago I was 40, now I’m going to be 60 in a couple of weeks.

At 40, I was just realizing my independence. But I didn’t know it then. This secret was revealed to me a few years later that after 40, you don’t have to bother about the opinion of others about you. I took this advice to heart.

At 40, I was giving my three kids my whole attention. They were in various stages of their schooling and needed me to be there for them. My own health wasn’t very good either as I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was learning to live with it. My thinking was mostly all over the place with my hyper-sensitivity. It wasn’t a very calming phase of my life.

Now at 60 ( almost), I’d say that things are much better. My three children are now fully qualified professionals, married with families of their own. I am a mother so I still worry a bit about them but mostly they are managing on their own. My health is much better as I have gotten rid of the two bad knees that were making walking and doing daily chores difficult for me. I can walk 3-4 miles a day, do anything I want regarding housework, and I am eating healthy ( mostly)!

My priorities have changed too. Instead of trying to change the worlds around me, I have started accepting things as they are. The family will always be my priority but I don’t obsess over it. There is just that much one can do for the family and the rest is up to them.

I think the older I am getting, I’m more relaxed about life!



I’m being truthful!

Frank asked these either/or questions;


  1. Do Housework or Yardwork?
  2. Clean the Kitchen or the Bathroom?
  3. Do Laundry or Dishes?
  4. Mow or Edge the lawn?
  5. Get up early or Stay up late?
  6. Cook or Eat Out?
  7. Go to a restaurant or Order take-out/delivery?
  8. Vacuum or Dust?
  9. Have a Large Party or a Small Gatherings?
  10. Read Fiction or Non-fiction?

My answers;

1. House work is easier for me.

2. Either is fine if done regularly, otherwise the kitchen would be my choice.

3. Laundry, any day.

4. Mow the lawn. I can do that standing up.

5. Get up early. And that what I do daily.

6. Eating out if someone else is paying.

7. Go to the restaurant so that I don’t have to do the dishes.

8. Vacuum!

9. Small gathering of friends or family.

10. Fiction!


Thanks Frank for these fun questions.