Thursday, September 30, 2010

Unity among diversity, 1

One thing I really miss about being a student in the UK is meeting people from different countries and cultures. It made me realize that we don't need to fit in a particular box and the box doesn't neccessarily have to be a square nor does it have to be black or white. The first person I met was a friend I actually "met" on facebook almost 5 months before we left our own countries and it was totally by accident. I was having fish and chips with my dad under a construction site as it was raining and I saw her walk by and in my mind I knew i knew her and at the same time both of us were like, "hey, are you...?"... my poor dad didn't understand anything. For him facebook, online chatting etc didn't make sense. This friend was Canadian American and she taught me to be calm when there's a raging storm outside. She also helped cure all my throat aches thanks to yogi chai!
The next few people I met, I do not remember to be honest.. some were American, Japanese, Hungarian, Polish, South American, Australian. They were people passing through my life when I was new in a foreign country and needed people to talk to.
Then I met someone while struggling to carry my bags up the 3 floors of my residence. This pretty exotic bubbly girl who told me she'll carry my heavy bag (she did! while i carried a small one) and told me to hurry up so we could go to the University together. This girl, a Persian Indian (I told you she was beautiful) taught me that it's okay to make mistakes once in a while and to love myself and she brought me out of my shell. She also cooked for me, looked after me, listened to all my boring sob stories and helped bought me cheesecake when i needed it! God brought her in my life for a reason and today she's my sister, has been my wife and has been a mother in some sorts. My family.
Then I met my lovely classmates, my lovely Omani sister who taught me what to expect in a marriage and who has been a great help in many ways.. My friend from the land of the Nile, gorgeous with lovely curls always full of life, and always calm, she taught me that nothing is really worth getting worried. My mediterranean friend, always laughing and who knew how to make us laugh. My beautiful Nigerian sister who was taught me about life, love, God and how to handle my future husband, her daughters are blessed to have her as their mother. My gorgeous Russian friend who taught me to have fun in life and not to take things too seriously :) And i must mention our British friend who taught us to be on time and to take work seriously. And then the "Chinese gang" as we called them, who taught us that with diversity there are always clans and that people stick to what they are familar with. I loved the mix.
Then I met my American Vietnamese sister at church. She was my mentor, my friend, my sister. Always there when I needed to talk and still is. She radiates God's love to everyone she meets and I thank my God for bringing her in my life. Our Canadian sister who is always bubbly, active and has the most adventurous, funny stories taught me to love and forgive those I couldn't. Sadly, she didn't approve of our chip and cheese :)
Then I met my very own little Tamil friend... she taught me to laugh when i thought I couldn't, always listened when I was venting and is the best person to facebook spy with. With her, life is never boring and i'm sure a lot will agree! She also taught me that most problems can be solved with a bit of chips and cheese. Be cool, stay cool, have fun my friend!
One thing i especially loved about being there was meeting our Pakistani neighbours. My own Pakistani sister, a fiery, sassy, sexy diva you don't want to mess with, senstive yet strong, deeply in love with the Divine.. she taught me that every individual is pretty much the same yet unique if you can learn to look past the borders. I really enjoyed listening to her outlook on life, love and God and miss it now.
There were others but this is long enough for now.
I miss you all and pray God keeps y'all safe :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Facebook ... or not?

It's been over a year since I "blogged". I'm not going to fill in the gaps as my life really is not that interesting(I went to Scotland to study for a year and now i'm working). I'm making a wee list of the pros and cons of Facebook.. Feel free to tell me your fors and againsts.
On the positive side:
1. It helped me make friends even before I left India through the University "networks" and student halls network. Hence, I knew I would know someone when I reached there.
2. I was aware of all the "get togethers" that happened through the "events" pages.
3. People thought I lived an exciting life since i got tagged in some pictures and they thought all I was doing was having fun- Sadly,no one took pictures of me studying in the library!
4. It was my newspaper. Someone died- I knew through facebook, someone got engaged, married and "is currently single"- Thanks facebook! I even knew world events through facebook since most people would put links to world affairs that they were passionate about- be it the middle eastern crisis or Tiger woods!
5. It let me vent feelings about people I liked or disliked publically which is a good oppurtunity for attention seekers. It also helped my creativity as I would sometimes take ages to think of a clever status and finally no one would comment on it :(
6. I could be :) or :( or :-O or :-S or <3 someone without using many alphabets!
7. On a boring night in, our favorite pasttime would be to spy on people's facebook profile. We had a few favorite ones that always provided much needed entertainment.
8. At work I use facebook when i'm bored...which I think is essential. It also provides entertainment on lonely boring nights (but for some reason it was much more entertaining as a student though I have the same people on my list).
9. It helped me reconnect with a lot of people I never thought I could reconnect with.

Cons of Facebook
1. I still haven't met some of the people that I "met" on Facebook before leaving India.
2. We would get excited for most of the events but would finally stay at home with some take away and look at facebook profiles. It didn't help much with the social life.
3. I got tagged in some very ugly pictures.
4. I stopped reading actual newspapers.
5. Some of those awesome statuses of mine ended up in arguements/debates and me being "unfriend"ed.
6. I started getting paranoid that other people would look at my profile on their boring nights in and make fun of me :(
7. I started spending too much time on Facebook I became an Anti-Social but since Facebook was a social network, I thought I was fine.
8. There was a reason why I didn't reconnect with many people but now I am obliged to, thanks to Facebook!
9. It's quite embarrassing explaining to some people why they can't "see my wall" or all my pictures.

That's all I can think of for now. I better go, I have some new "notifications"... :D