Friday, January 23, 2009

An Island Again

There is something especially remarkable about reading a well written history book. Oh, you must know the feeling. You find it hard to come back to reality. You walk around for days wishing desperately for a time machine in your basement. You look at things and say “Gosh, that would have been different in so and so’s time”. I have spent the past week reading the story of Taj Mahal and have been so mesmerized by the Moguls’ realm that its all I can talk about for the time being (my family members, who were genuinely interested with the tidbits of info I gave them every now and then have been reduced to ho-humming now). The book follows the Moguls’ rule in India, since Babur first ruled and down to Aurangzeb, whilst giving special emphasis on Taj Mahal, that majestic architecture of eternal love.
When I was younger I used to read this series called ‘The Royal Diaries’, and they were basically historical accounts of different monarchies written in diary form for younger readers. I loved them because they were so fun to read and A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time instantly reminded me of those books. Let’s see, did you know that there have been accounts that mention Shah Jahan (the ruler who built the Taj for his wife) intended to build a similar mausoleum for himself across the river from Taj, only he wanted it to be black? Also, during the British rule of India, a lot of the garden plans were changed, and a lot of the precious stones used to decorate the Taj were looted?
Back in uni, I took a humanities course and we covered India, Persia and Andalusia. That course was one of my favorites and one of things I remember is that I first came across Ghalib and Tagore there. Anyhow, the title of the book “A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time” is actually a line from one of Tagore’s poem about the Taj. I highly recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in history. Whilst I can’t judge its historical accuracy, it’s a very enjoyable read. There was an amusing mention tho, of something as ‘a rule in Islam’ that clearly any Muslim would know it wasn’t. I’ll post that quote when I remember it.
Other than reading, I’ve just come back from a week in Malaysia. We visited Kuala Lampur and Portajaya, their new capital whilst sightseeing around the city. It was my first time there and although the weather was a bit humid, it was great to be able to walk around watching their celebration of the Chinese New Year and just admiring mother nature..and their streets. God, they were so orderly and clean. One Malayan lady told me I hadn’t seen the dirty part of the city yet, but still, I really loved the parts I saw mashAlla. It was just so heartwarming seeing the Muslims there. I mean, I don’t recall seeing this many Muslims in a non-Arab country before; and seeing the Muslim ladies and men there, in their headscarves and Malayan clothing just gave me goose bumps, know what I mean?
There is a slight chance of us going to Taj Mahal in the next couple of days and I am just praying that everything would go according to plan this time x.x
I'm so craving kushari now. My Alma Mater's kushari to be exact. Oohhhh, how I just loved it!! *stomach grumbles*. Does anyone have a good kushari recipe?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

10 Honest Things

I've been tagged by karamilah and chinese-eyes and libero anima (thanks you guys!), and I have to write 10 honest things about myself then tag others. 1,2,3, Go!

1)- Whether its what I'm going to wear tomorrow, or what movie to watch or even which college and major to choose, I seem to never be able to make a decision! I applied to three unis, got accepted then didn't know where to do. I didn't know WHAT to study cuz I liked so many different things. The other day I went to make an abaya and I couldn't decide which color to have for the trimings (the lady managed to talk me into grey lace with pink borders and now I'm just not so sure..)

2)- I Love books. I just love reading and have always had a book with me ever since I was a little kid. I also love writing. And cooking. And baking. And I definitely, definitely love eating.

3)- I get mad about ten times a day (3a9abiya 'shway') but I don't show it. I rarely show my anger to ppl unless the circumstances are really over the top.

4)- My favorite season is winter. I love it when it rains, or snows. I like walking outside when the weather's freezing. I don't get cold easily (my ac is a source of annoyance to my family) but even when I do get cold, I still enjoy it immensly.

5)- I'm a sport loving gal. I like playing karate, tennis and figure skating. I go for random gym and yoga classes. I hope to always have the time for at least one sport.

6)- I dread big social events. And I've found out that the ones I dread are the ones I have fun at the most. So that's kina a good thing for me.

7)- Nothing beats hanging out with a friend over coffee. Unless shopping is involved too.

8)- When I was a kid, I used to think my brother was my twin. He's 11 months younger than me (ok, y3ni almost a year), but I made him got to nursery when I was in KG and I only realized we weren't twins when my mother broke the news to me sometime after that.

9)- I day dream a lot. And procrastinate eva so much. I go through contrasting periods of times where I plan and make use of all the time management skills on earth, and then through times of staying up all night, frenzied, doing all the work I should have done.

10)- I love languages. I hope to one day be fluent in several.
I tag: Kath, Spring-Blend, Elhazard, Sadoya, Miracle, Natsu and everyone else that wants to do it!