Thursday, October 30, 2014

USA Diaries - Thoughts in My Head

October 1, 2014

Dear Diary,

It’s raining outside. When I started writing my journal, I realized that it’s October already. Can you believe it? It’s October and I’m still not sure how am I feeling. There’s nothing to talk about, today. I just kept on thinking a lot. I have no idea where am I heading to. I say hello to a lot of people, everyday, but in the back of my head, I always want to find a peaceful corner and sit there. I’m receiving the background music of thunders as I’m writing. Did I ever tell you I almost never turn on the lights in my room? It’s always dark. I like it that way. I’m glad that my roommate likes to have lights turned out as well. There are little Christmas lights that are turned on almost every time. I do not turn on any light other than that.

I was wondering about happiness; it is so innocent. No matter how much of greed do you show to it, it’s never going to show up unless it itself wants to show up. If it wants to show up by watching rain outside the window, it’ll never settle for anything more or less. You can never bribe happiness. It's loyal to your heart. If you're not happy, then no amount of money can make you happy. I like the attitude of happiness. If a droplet of a special something can make you happy, then an abundance of something else is just futile.

Thank you for listening to me.

With love,

September 24, 2014

Dear Diary,

I am sitting on my bed right now. My roommate’s friend is here. He is a nice guy, and a very close buddy to my roommate. They are talking their hearts out, laughing like crazy, like all friends do. I don’t want to listen to their conversation, I don’t even know why. So I just picked up my headphones, shoved them in my laptop and blasted up the music. All I can hear now is a soft melody playing in my ears. I can still see this guy, sitting right in front of me on a chair, talking animatedly to her friend but I can’t hear him. All I hear is the music, everything else around me seems like a video playing along with this music.

I just felt my heartbeat and it made me think that it’s going to stop one day. I wondered what it would be like if it’d stop the very next moment. Am I prepared to die? What would it be like being dead while being so far away from all my loved ones? Would they get to know about it? Of course they would, somehow. How are they going to react? Would the process of my carcass being sent to them be a lot of burden for them? Would I get buried here? What’s going to happen to me? Who’s going to come to my funeral? Would they be sad? For how long? They’d forget me one day because this is how things go on but would I ever forget myself? Could I ever forget myself? 

I don’t know. 

Thank you for listening.
With love,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GUEST POST - Smartphone Buying Guide

Hi guys, this is a guest post by Sage Harman. Sage is a frugal living enthusiast, a wife and a mother. Sage Harman runs, a site dedicated to providing free information to consumers trying to find viable no-contract phone and internet plans. She wrote this post to promote her site through my blog. I hope this helps her.

Here's the guest post:

Smartphones, and the coverage plans that often come with it are expensive. These mini computers are so powerful that they have become a vital part of our day to day. With a handful of carriers and manufacturers offering great prices and cool features, picking the best handset can be rather confusing. Should you skimp on your purchase and possibly miss an important feature for a small price difference or should you go all out? Here are few things you should consider before buying a smartphone.

Android VS iOS VS Windows Phone
When it comes to platform, these 3 so far are the most popular options. Some people find that Google's Android is more versatile and customizable while others choose Apple iPhone's iOS because of its extensive collections of apps. Some say Microsoft's Windows Mobile is more user-friendly. There aren't probably that much differences with how these operating systems work so you can base your decision upon what's most important to you - security, customization, flexibility or user-friendliness.

More megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photos. Take time to review the specs and consider the phone's capturing features and settings like the resolution, lens, shutter speed, sensor and zoom.

Thin and sleek or bulky? Phones with large screens may be great for watching movies and videos, web surfing, and playing games but they can be a bit uncomfortable to carry. For ease of use and portability, phones with a screen size of 4-5 inches are perfect for me.

Battery Life
Your smartphone, with all the things you can do with it, I would imagine would require greater power supply. You might want to get one that comes with higher milliamp-hour battery, or one that has a user-replaceable battery.

Compatibility to Apps
Some programs may run on all existing platforms, and some will just work exclusively on one.

If you think you would need more storage space, purchase one with higher storage capacity or better yet, one that supports microSD cards.

No-contract plans may seem more expensive as you will need to purchase the phone upfront. If you have commitment issues though, this type of plan may be best for you as there are no hidden charges or termination fee should you decide to break the contract early. 

Anyone in the market for a new mobile phone? Compare plans and get free information on various popular smartphone plans at

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pardes - پردیس

Nobody understood what I wanted to have, today. This time, I hugged my soul and consoled it. We lay down on the grass in each other's company. We wanted to quench the thirst of our tongues that wanted to speak. We looked around to fill up the hunger of our starved eyes to see what they wanted to see. We lay down on the grass of this foreign land this time and screamed in silence:

Yeh kesi Eid hai?

This time, I felt out of place.
This time, I searched for faces.
This time, I yearned to hear Eid Mubarak.
This time, I craved to say Khair Mubarak.
A horde of human beings swarmed around me but all I could see in their eyes was estrangement.

But, the sky wasn't a stranger to me. The trees have been my friends for a very long time. The sun came out and showered down it's golden light just like it's been doing for me, every morning. It's just that, this Eid, in lieu of a swaying dupatta, the two strings of my hoodie jiggled as I walked. This time, the grass was my carpet, the sky was my roof, and the trees were my hosts. Today, silence was my talk and air was my food. Instead of people, the wind hugged me three times, today. This time, I heard the rustling of dry autumn leaves, in lieu of the tinkling bangles.

This time, the dewdrops made a pattern on my palm and I smelled mud on my hand instead of henna.
And to all of the nature around me, the only thing that established a rapport with me on this special day, I whispered:

Eid Mubarak!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just a Little Letter

Dear Abbu,

I hope you’ll be fine and happy. I wish you to be happy wherever you are. No matter what place, no matter what time, I only want you to have happiness around you. I am doing well, too. I am doing okay. Alhumdulillah. I was thinking about you and decided to write you a letter. I'll keep it very short.

I just want you to know that I know. Do you think I didn’t realize you were crying when I was lying with you with my head on your shoulder? Do you think I didn’t feel the tear drop that fell on my arm that was hugging you? I know you cried. I know you cried almost every night when my days of departure were getting nearer. I’m sorry I made a habit of sleeping with you every night even when you told me I was making it hard for you by doing so. I realized it later how you would have missed seeing me at that spot that I used to sleep in, every night. I’m sorry for that but I wanted to spend as much time as possible with you. I saw you in my dream and maybe that’s because I've been thinking about you. I won’t take a lot of your time but I really wanted to jot my thoughts down. I just wanted you to know that I know a lot of things that you think I don’t know. You can’t hide them from me. You can’t make me happy by hiding sadness underneath your skin that fakes a different expression.

No, I did not forget. It’s your birthday! Happy birthday, Abbu jee! I wish that out of all the moments that you’ll have in your life, not a single one would bring a speck of sadness around you. I pray to Allah that my life, my existence, and my presence would never bring unhappiness or sadness in any way to you. I pray that you’d never get sad because of me, ever. I pray that whenever you see me or hear my name, it’d bring a smile on your face and peace to your heart.

We’ll see each other soon, inshaa Allah.

With love,