Monday, January 10, 2011


You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
- Batman, The Dark Night
When I woke up my roommate pulled the blinds to show me it was snowing. Just a day before I was thinking to myself who would believe if I said it was going to snow the next day. Winter's been pretty soft this season in Dallas until now. Last year it had already seen heavy snowing in December. Allah knows how February would be when it gets worse. Alhamdullillah Texas is so good with weather. Alhamdulillah I get to stay in Texas. Till now at least.

I moved to my friend's place after the lease of my apartment expired. I will be with him for a while. This place is close to where I was living previously - less than half a mile I guess. It's a studio apartment with space only for one. My friend was kind enough when I told him I needed a temporary accommodation. I understand it's an inconvenience for him to share everything here which has been designed for only one person. It was the most difficult move for me from my older apartment - it wasn't painful but included lots of mental discomfort - because of the stuff I had to trash, because of the people who were supposed to help me but didn't, because I wasn't moving to another place with the same people I was living with like how it was in 2009 and also because I won't be staying here for long.

Over the past two years I had accumulated loads of stuff - stuff I had bought for myself and stuff gifted to me. I had started thinking I had grown up to not having affection toward material things but I was wrong. I had to make some tough decisions and also let go things I needed but had no space to keep. I even packed a big bag and left it at an uncle's place so that I have less stuff to move for now. Then I left some furniture and a printer at another friend's place. He will keep the table and the chairs folded in his apartment's patio. I felt like I belong to nowhere except for this city I can call mine. For now.

It's been just two days since I moved here and even though the friend I am living with is one of my closest ones in the US, I want to live in a house I can call mine with people who would stay with me forever. Yesterday when I was out for lunch with a couple of friends at a Pakistani restaurant I was telling one of them how I can't take in even a half spoon of raw yogurt but I can eat it when it's cooked. We spoke of alligator meat that a restaurant named Razzoo's Cajun Cafe sells, of ostrich burgers at Fuddruckers, the jalapeno burger at Carl's Jr, the snails one of my friends had in Las Vegas and the sushi I am waiting to try at some Japanese restaurant. Every time I tell somebody I don't eat yogurt I think about a friend who has a similar taste. I miss her all the time.

Twice we had a chance to meet but couldn't. With her husband she was in Dallas for Thanksgiving but I was in Houston to visit my relatives. In Florida, Google Latitude on my phone told me that we were 3.1 miles apart but I couldn't see them. I was there with my cousins and not on my own. I am not sad we couldn't meet. It's the thought that I could have cherished a lunch or a dinner with them that didn't happen that is bland. There are two more friends I want to see - one's in Virginia and the other in Ohio. I have enjoyed their company in past. For the record, I don't eat alligator meat.

Since November I had been asking my parents to undergo a thorough medical examination and they had been avoiding it. I badly needed my mother to have it done because she was going to have an overseas travel in December. She and my father got it done after she went back to India and a 14 millimeter stone was detected in one of her kidneys which had also stopped functioning. She underwent a surgery last week and is still recovering. The doctors were surprised how she didn't experience any pain with a stone of that size inside her. I am more humbled that Allah keeps blessing us always. I can't thank Him enough.

The 12-day trip to Florida left me with great memories alhamdulillah. My cousin and her husband didn't let me pay for anything. I owe them for this. We visited many cities, stayed in many hotels, spoke nonsense, had fun and parted again each other. I even visited my father's one of aunts and cousins. The best part was our visit to Magic Kingdom in Disney World. And of course I will never forget the fun I had with my niece and nephews. The youngest of them is the most awesome kid I have ever met. One night I tried to bribe him with a bedtime story so that he would sleep in my room. 15 minutes after I finished 'Jack and the Beanstalk' he said "call my baba and ask him to take me".