Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A restless soul.....

means that something is amiss, right??

For the past few months I have found it very hard to concentrate when making my prayers. At first I hadn't realized what was happening until recently, when I found myself doubting the amount of raka-aats I had performed. I was so disorientated, it was scary!! My thoughts were elsewhere!! 

Being one to fast on a Monday & Thursday whenever I was able to, was also something I had prided myself in. How did this habit fall on the wayside?? I know that I am human and prone to mistakes & weaknesses but the state I find myself in lately has me questioning my actions as a believer. Surely Allah is most Merciful, most Forgiving!! 

I couldn't quite put my finger on the cause of my disorientation. Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we do things out of habit. Instead of trying to get out of the rut, we continue because it feels comfortable. We fear the consequences if we change it, not knowing that with change comes the opportunity to better yourself. 

I hope that I get the chance to redeem myself fully, as our time on this earth is very short & we should definitely use it wisely Insha-Allah Ameen!! 

Oh Allah, please keep me steadfast in my attempts to gain Your favour & bountiful blessings. I have so much to be grateful for!! 

Monday, May 25, 2009

A day sightseeing with Asmah & her husband

Arrangements were made Friday evening to meet Asmah at their apartment for brekkie Saturday morning. All went well, until the ATM machine decided to swallow my bank card!! OI!!

Luckily for me, the bank was to open in a few minutes, but that would also mean that I would be late to meet Asmah. What a way to make a first impression eh??!! I only arrived at the Waterfront just before 10am and I should have been there by 9am. I missed breakfast & a chance to become acquainted with the couple before setting off on our day of sightseeing. But all is well, that ends well, yes??!!

Our first stop was the Grand Parade to see if they could find some Cape Town products to take home. The price of curio products on the Waterfront were too exorbitant, specifically aimed at the tourist market. Asmah & her husband did a good deal of shopping, hehehehe!! Asmah's squeals of delight had me laughing most of the time. She spotted a Muslim man with a kuffiyah on his head and said, "There's my uncle!!"

While shopping Asmah's husband received a call from home, bearing bad news. Her grandfather had passed away. Innalielahie wa inna ielayhie rajieoen. May Allah have mercy on his soul!! This was the reason why their stay was cut short. And because her youngest son was missing them so. He had called a couple of times complaining of his older brother, hehehehe!!

After the parade we made our way to a place offering safaris, they're based in Durbanville. I had never heard of it until the taxi driver mentioned it. Clara Anna Fontein?? Ring any bells?? But we were turned away unfortunately, because the safari had to be booked 48 hours beforehand. Spier Estate located in Stellenbosch was the next stop. Cheetahs and picturesque landscapes were the order of the day!!

By the time we were done it was way past the lunch hour. Noon Gun restaurant was the stop for lunch. Located right at the top of Longmarket street in Bo-Kaap, this restaurant offered Cape Malay cuisine at it's best!! Karlie (the taxi driver), Asmah's husband & I ordered bobotie & Asmah had some breyani.

A stop at the local masjid for prayers was next & thereafter it was back to their apartment at the waterfront. More pics were taken there & I was given a beautiful coffee table book on Malaysia, as well as 2 beautiful scarves!! Thank you once again my dear, it is very much appreciated!! I cannot wait till you visit our shores again, hopefully this time, we'll get to spend more time together Insha-Allah!!

When I visit Malaysia soon, I will definitely be stopping by Insha-Allah!! Just wish the Home Affairs Department would speed up with the passport already!! Sheesh!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A nostalgic start to the day

After all the cold & wet weather we've been having, I was ecstatic when this morning dawned bright & beautiful!!

After disembarking the bus for work, I decided to walk to the office instead of taking the taxi up. I had forgotten how beautiful it was in the city centre. I took the route through the Company gardens & what an awesome sight it was!! I haven't been there in ages and as I walked with Kenny G playing in my ears, the walk triggered memories of a younger me.

Memories of Nadia & I walking the same route on our way to school every morning and afternoon during the week. On a weekend it was just me, making my way to the part time job I had as a cashier at the then Grand Bazaars in Rheede street. Funny enough, I now work a road away from there, the only thing is the buildings have changed some what. But the area still has the same vibe, very yuppie & very hip. So, I've kinda come full circle eh.

I remember when Nadia (high school friend) & I made application for the casual jobs, we were so excited!! Being the legal age children were allowed to start working, we couldn't wait to be earning our own money. Now, my dad couldn't understand initially, when I started working there because we had a video store. And Nadia (sister) & I used to alternate working there over weekends. But me, being the stubborn & independent *wink, wink* person that I am, decided that I wanted to get another job.

Those were certainly the days!! And we really received a good wage for our efforts Alghumdulillah!! If we worked the whole weekend, we went home with about R80.00, which was a huge amount of money in them days!! Groan!! That makes me sound so old!! LOL!! But I have so many fond memories. It's these memories that make me love CT so very much. The image of Table mountain against the beautiful summer mornings. The same image looming in winter with the city lights glistening below, aaahhh!! Home, sweet home!!

On another note, a Malaysian blogger friend has arrived in the Mother City!! Asmah had left a comment on my blog the other day. Wanting to make contact because she & her hubby were making a trip to Cape Town soon. She wanted some tips & places to visit & I was quite eager to assist. When she called me this afternoon, they were on their way to Table mountain. I'm so glad the weather turned out good, a visit to the Table top would have been impossible in wind & rain.

I have plans to meet them over the weekend so I can show them a bit of what the Mother City has to offer. Lets pray the weather holds out until then Insha-Allah!! Asmah, welcome to Cape Town!! I hope your stay will be a memorable one Insha-Allah Ameen!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's been a year since....

we met, albeit virtually. My life has changed so much since then. I am still the same person, just more fulfilled. I shall not say it is because of you this is so, more that I have allowed it to be. My fears have dissolved and the person looking back when I look in the mirror has a mischievous glint in her eyes.

It speaks of untold joy, purpose & the knowledge that whatever happens next, I will be ready for it!! I penned this poem almost a year ago and decided to re post it. 

What have you done to me?? 

by Shahieda

My life has suddenly changed,
the last few months have been a blur
How did this occur???
What have you done to me??

I look forward to every new waking day,
with a glow of joy on my face
How I long to visit your place
What have you done to me??

My mind is in a turmoil
The feelings that rage inside,
are very hard to hide
What have you done to me??

I've waited so long to feel this way,
I hope I get to tell you soon,
It won't take too many moons
What you have done to me!!

for A-H

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day

I have been so late to do this post, with my attention being elsewhere I just haven't had the time to do so. Most of my time has been spent attending interviews & stressing about the call backs and making it onto the shortlist. But Alghumdulillah, all is well that ends well.

Mother's day was such a riot, with the ladies in the family gathering for brekkie at Nino's Kenilworth. There was a bit of miscommunication but fortunately everything was sorted by the time it was time to leave for the location. All the cousins had a great time and so did their mums.

The beautiful view from Nino's

Shaheema, Nadia, Raihaana & I

We also visited a close family friend, Aunty Marel, who is currently under Idah. Her husband had passed on a few weeks ago. She normally attends all the family functions and helps in many ways, a reason why my mum & aunts see her as part of the family. An additional sister, so to speak. Since she couldn't attend the breakfast, they decided to go & exchange gifts at her home. I thought that it was a very nice gesture.

My mum & I at Aunty Marel's home

I am blessed in many ways, one of them being that I have 2 mothers to celebrate Mother's day with. Unfortunately for me, my stepmother lives in JHB which means I only get to see her when they visit. And that is coming June. YAY!! Who knows, perhaps I'll be able celebrate Father's day with both my dads being present!! Now that's something definitely worth looking forward to!!

My gran was sorely missed but my mum & aunts regaled in many stories about her, which made it easier for them. My late gran was such a strong woman, I was completely awestruck by her strength. The one thing that stays with me about her, is that she never complained while she was sick. She always had a smile on her face & her face lit up when her children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren visited her. Even when her health deteriorated she became upset if we visited without our children.

During Ramadaan, every weekend some of the grandchildren would go and break fast with her. Although not fasting herself, she'd enquire about the goodies that were made. One just had to tell her Shahieda made this, or Shahieda made that and she would want some. Not that she could eat it though, her diet then had consisted mainly of liquids. But just the knowledge that in some way she was partaking gave her some peace.

On one occasion, I had made some fancies and snowballs for Sunday afternoon tea. When Nadia fetched me, I decided not to go. You see, her condition was getting to me. I had always known her as this amazing woman of strength and to see her deteriorate the way she did made me very emotional. I didn't want to cry in front of her, so I'd often sneak to the bathroom & do my crying there. Nadia & her kids went on their own instead, taking along the fancies & snowballs.

Nadia told me afterwards, that Ma had seen everyone eating the little cakes & the look of longing on her face said it all!! To alleviate her suffering, Nadia told her seeing that she couldn't eat them perhaps just a little lick of the cream would take away her desire to have some?? Ma did just that and it was then that we all realized how we take everyday chores for granted. The ability to eat something without having to think of the consequences became a hazardous action for her.

After my divorce, she encouraged me in every way possible. And scolded when my health and well being was not my top priority. Her last words to me will always resonate to my core, "I am proud of the strong, beautiful woman you have become. Keep it up." This she said with a thumbs up, hehehe!! This time, I ended up crying in front of her but was firmly told that I shouldn't because she was ok, she was at peace.

May Allah illuminate your kabr with Noor, and may He grant you Jannatul - Firdous Ameen!! This duah is extended to all those who have lost the one we call Mother, may Allah ease your pain & make the grieving process a bit easier.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rabia Al Basri

O my Lord,
If I worship You
from fear of hell, burn me in hell.
If I worship You
from hope of Paradise, bar me from
its gates.
But if I worship You,
for Yourself alone, grant me then the
beauty of Your face.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reading Sessions

You would think that having a bookworm for a mother, it would be easy to get into the habit of reading. That couldn't be further from the truth!!

There are so many books laying around the house, O mags, novels & non-fiction. I could blame it on technology?? But then again I do limit the time the kids spend in front of the telly & they're not allowed to play games on the computer during the week, only on weekends.

Uthmaan & Ghaalietha have been bringing books home from the school library, that's a good sign, yes? Aqeedah, is another story. After scolding her the other day about reading being the only way to improve your language skills, did she decide to put more effort into it.

I remember my nose being stuck in a book from a very young age!! It did help that I had two aunts who were bookworms as well. That was where I started reading Mills & Boon as well as Silhouette romance novels. I read at least five books for the week. It got to such a point that even after lights out, I would still be reading. I'd keep the book at such an angle that the passage light, which would be left on during the night, would shed enough light for me to continue reading till very late, hehehe!!

Anyhow, Uthmaan has started reading Treasure Island recently. Also one of my favorite books by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was then I decided to pass on the hardcover version that I had received from my dad when I was in standard 8. YEP, I still have it!! I was given three hardcover, unabridged works. Robert Louis Stevenson, The Bronte Sisters and Charles Dickens.

OMG, I just realized that the books are already twenty years old!! They have so much sentimental value that I haven't had the courage to lend them to anyone. And Uthmaan has promised to guard it with his life!! Happy reading!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Updated: Birthday fest

When it comes to this time of the year, there are so many birthdays to celebrate. During April it was Aqeedah's then my mum's too. And now with May month being on our doorstep, the birthdays to remember increases too, don't even talk about June month as well.

I've already done a post on Aqeedah's birthday but haven't posted any pics, so I'll do so here. We also celebrated Aneesa's birthday 2 weeks ago. The friends went out for supper & Aneesa, Sedick & I went to catch a movie afterwards. Unfortunately Shiehaam & Cindy couldn't join us for the movie because they had other plans.

Shiehaam & Cindy at Dodge

Aneesa, the birthday girl & Moi

Sedick with Aneesa's gift

When it comes to birthday presents, I always try to make something, instead of buying. A birthday only comes once in a year & as I like to feel special & spoilt on my birthday, so would the next person. So, as gifts I would bake one of 'those' chocolate mousse cakes or whatever the birthday girl / boy fancies.

Aqeedah wanted a triple layer chocolate mousse cake. I also ended up trying out Nazrah's carrot cake, which was a big hit. This time Shiehaam could indulge because there wasn't any raisins in it. ;) I also made a batch of snowballs as well as some cuppie cakes for the younger ones. Nadia made some cheesecake & a chocolate mousse desert as well. OI!! All the sugar went straight to my head!!

Aqeedah's spread, YUMMEH!!

Shiehaam enjoying the spread :)

Good food & good conversation

My mom is not one for flowers, jewelry or perfume. So unlike me, wink, wink!! Food, glorious food is what my mum loves, hehehe!! Lekker eet, in other words. Having a surprise supper or taking her out to dine is our best bet. This time around I cooked a prawn dish Nazrah had posted on FB, which was very hot!! Everyone ran for the water, hahahaha!! Next time I make it I'll go slow with the chillies. But it was absolutely yummeh. I had been dying to try a dish with coconut cream as an ingredient. I also made her a batch of 'Shahieda's specials' as the family's coined it, hot chocolate pudding as desert & the never fail chocolate mousse cake. The 'specials' were supposed to be just for mum but everyone else put up such a raucous that mum had to share, hahahaha. And this now means that I'll have to make another batch for mum to stash away!! :)

Chocolate mousse cake

Shahieda's specials, chocolate peppermint crisp biscuits

Mum's spread, YUMMEH!!

Coming up is Shiehaam, Raihaana, Adiela, Nazrah, AbuHafidz, Nadia, Dad, Imtiaaz, Uncle Isgaak, Aunty Fayeeza & Shaheema's birthday. Flip, I can't keep up any longer. LOL!! Not forgetting Mother's day & Father's day coming up too. I need to check my diary to see if I haven't forgotten anyone, please forgive me if I have. These are only birthdays for May & June. So for the next couple of months I'm going to have to do extra Taebo workouts to get rid of the excess kilos, EISH!!