Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Amazing Son...

Happy birthday Rayyan.
I cannot believe Rayyan is already a young man. He was just a kid few months ago. I think he is a kid even now, what do you expect from my child. I haven’t grown up yet ;). 
 I am so happy that I have lived to see him grow into a wonderful human being. As I reflect back on the years he has been with me, I feel quite overwhelmed by his character. He could set a Guinness record for behavior. Never has he fought with anyone, never landed a blow on a single person or animal, not once has he fought with me, never pestered me for anything he needs, and never has he been the cause of pain (either physical or emotional) or anyone. The ‘never’ here is not a general once in awhile never. It is zero; actually a zero score.
m I lucky? You tell me. A young man who will never be awed by a person others will consider big,  nor will pretend to act big against someone who others consider small is a keeper for sure. A sense of equality Rayyan possesses makes me feel guilty. He has changed me a lot in the past 22 years. My daughter has been the reason why I fought cancer fiercely but Rayyan is the person in my life who helped me fight cancer. Even as a young child he would be there to comfort and encourage me. The worst emotional trauma for him was to watch me go bald due to chemotherapy which was confusing for a child. It was more tough as it was so close to we having lost my sister to cancer. It was too much for a 5 year old to feel he may lose his Mom like he lost his aunt. It tough to understand how scary it must be for him. He was very close to my sister and he loved her very much. He never let me feel hurt though by asking questions or making fuss about how he felt. He suffered silently and I was worried about him.
No other child could have deal with his father the way he does. He is understanding, patient and comforting to him. He is smart enough not to argue with his father like he does with me, my friends and his friends. LOL. He knows which tree bears the fruit.
He has a talent for coming up with some wonderful quotes at times which makes sense perfectly for the situation which has me rolling in laughter. I think he is compensation for all the rest of the shit I have in my life.
Thank you Rayyan for being such a wonderful son any mother would be proud of. Never once have I regretted having you as a son nor once have I been frustrated. I may never have dared to ask for such a wonderful son ever. Thank you God for considering me worthy enough to have Rayyan in my life. He makes such a huge difference to me

I really have a good laugh at my Mom whenever I see Rayyan. I was a naughty kid and she said, “As per the rule of nature, you are going to deal with all the problems I have dealt with -> because of you. You will realize my struggle when you will have your own kids”.
Even as an cute little baby, Rayyan disappointed my mother by going against her rule of nature. Though she loved him the most, she was very upset that he did not do unto me what I did unto her. LOL
He has passed through his teen’s years quite smoothly. I wonder how he could not worry about those pimples, girls, clothes, hair style, friends or any other teen related problems.  Another surprising fact about my amazing son is his openness about happenings in his life. He never tries to keep secrets. I have never discovered any of his secrets so far, so either he could be a extra smart person that his secrets are so well kept that I have no clue he is hiding anything from me. He appears so crystal clear, that I never worry about him at all.
He handles every relationship in a way that I feel, if he had been there earlier in my life, I would have had better life from the one I have now.
He has a matured and balanced attitude towards Farheena. He has never allowed our love for her to spoil her. He reminds her often to get her exercises, be independent as much as she can and finds innovative ways of teaching her. If not for him, I would have never realized she could handle smart phones and computers as well as she is doing now. He takes out time to be with her and reminds me to do the same.
He is an amazing brother, son, grandson, nephew, student and friend to the people in life. I am proud to have known such a wonderful person in my life.. leave alone the part that I am a very happy Mom.

 Wish you all the happiness in your life dear Rayyan. May God Bless You

A Successful Animator......

A creative student

Adventure lover and avid cyclist

 Loves and respects all his family

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Alter Personality

Many people say that they know me quite well. When I ask them what they know about me they usually come up descriptions that t I am stubborn, I am brave, I work hard, I blog, I have survived cancer, I am doing my M.S, I love my kids, I am lucky,  I am overconfident, I am counselor etc etc. It is kind of assumed by people who know me that they know everything about me. How wrong they are. I am much more than what any one person can know. The closest person in my life has been Rayyan who knows quite a lot about me, but even he knows just about 28% of my life.  
There are many things about me, some funny, few shocking, a few quite weird and some quite sad that many do not know. For example though simple these are important part of my life which is unknown to many - My first crush was for Batman of comics (not the movies or tv serials), I love the music of Linkin Park, I still love to read Dr.Seuss, I have bragging rights, or that I spend a big chunk of my time playing games. Like these there are many other things which though not guarded secrets are not known to many around me. Then there are secrets which I do not intend to share with anyone as well. Isn't that true about every person? 
Today let me introduce you to my alternate personality that is of Gamer.  OK! Time for confession. I am game addict! Not the bubble breakers or candy crush types, though I do play them occasionally when I have just a short break to afford between hectic schedules.
 Every now and then the kids wait for dinner, dishes cry in the sink and phone dies a slow death ringing and ringing when I am racing and knocking out cold anyone who dared to challenge me. Car racing games just take my breath away.  The next in the list of my favorite games are word games, quickly followed by puzzles and quizzes. Not many people … oopppss that would be an understatement………….none of the people I know (except one person) can beat me at the games I am passionate about. I play with fervor as though my life depends on it.  
I can beat many of the teens around me in racing games and I rule everyone around me in word games as well. Boys have tough time accepting this fact they got beaten by a woman with grey hairs and they tell me I got lucky, until I kick their ass 10 times in a row. LOL. Rayyan has a good partner at home to challenge for the racing games. NFS most wanted was something we both loved and enjoyed quite a lot. We go back to playing it even now every now and then, though there is a big world of new racing games we can pick from. I don’t think I waste my time playing games on my devices because the time spent being happy is not wasted according to me. Since I treasure my life and want to spend some more years in this world, I love to perform dynamic, high-speed aerial stunts and enjoy an intense driving experience only through the games.
Nothing beats Dell Alienware in gaming device. Rayyan owns one with 3D option as well(not for gaming, but for his animation work). That is the ultimate gaming machine, but then it is heavy, complicated and meant for work (at least according to Rayyan). He was shocked that all I wanted to do was play Wordament Snap Attack on the Alienware. He took it as an insult for the device.  LOL

If you want to throw me in jail, hand me a device which is compact, sleek, runs like a PC, has the latest windows 8.1 operating system and is perfect for games; then you need not build walls around me, the device becomes my prison. That is what happened when out of blue a Dell Venue Protablet PC landed in my hands. It gave me the chance to play two of the games I have been dying to play for a long time - Asphalt 8 Airborne and Wordament Snap Attack.
I could not play those games earlier due to lack of few features on the devices I have at present. These two amazing games entertain you to no end. For a small device Dell Venue 8 pro runs the racing games without showing any signs of hanging or getting stuck in between. Additional advantage is the size which makes it so comfortable for me to hold the device while playing the game. So, finally my question, why do we need iPad Mini when we have iPad, has been answered and I know why people are opting for miniature tablets.

Dell Venue 8 Pro is like having a gaming laptop on the go. Every game runs like a hot knife through butter. I couldn’t believe that I could run Asphalt racing game so well on this tiny device! It must the advantage of Atom processor. My cars shine on the road, since the resolution is quite high as well. The experience is amazing and I plan to try out some more games on the device once I am done with my practical exams which are fast approaching.
Games I plan to try out next
Civilization 5, League of Legends,  Shadow run Returns, Geometry wars, Mark of the Ninja, Walking dead and Fallout 2 or 3 whichever I can lay my hand on.
Don’t ever tell me to stop playing games and get a life, because why I would I need ‘a life’ when I have 3 lives left in the game I am playing at present.

Watch the video of me playing game ... because seeing is believing. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

SelfV - Survivor Stories

Photo: SELFV - Survivor Stories receives stupendous response . Memories from the awards night.
For once, it was not just the battle with cancer that the survivors won; in addition they won Harley Davidson Super Bike, a Samsung Led Smart TV, merchandise from designer label Armani and many more. 10 winners were chosen by a special jury and I am glad to say I am one of them. 
My SelfV trophy, batch, Galaxy tab and certificate 
What touched my heart the most was the likes and comments my status on facebook received for this announcement! There were survivors, fellow bloggers, gamers (yeah, I have some friends who I have known through the games we play online), students, classmates, counselors and many more who shared my happiness. I feel blessed.
It all began nearly two months ago on the eve of Cancer Survivors Day when HCG and Pink Hope, a cancer support group came up with a unique concept of SelfV. The idea was to share the survivor stories of those who had won their battle with cancer or those who were bravely fighting and holding their ground through a 1 minute self made video which was named SelfV ( inspired by the selfie).
Nearly 150 people from across the world shared their stories or showed their support through amazing SelfV’s which was posted on facebook page of HCG oncology. The most wonderful part of the whole campaign was the positivism that oozed out of every video. I am sure that these videos have brought down the fear and stigma attached to cancer a great deal among the masses. There were tiny tots to senior citizens who participated in the campaign with equal zest and they all had a common resounding message - Cancer can be Conquered and We Will Survive to Tell our Stories. The winner’s stories will be made into a book that will be available globally soon and will be titled 'The Survivor Stories’.
It was kind of difficult to share my experience of 18 years as a cancer survival in under a minute but finally I could manage it. I feel a great sense of accomplishment to see the huge response the event received. The winner said that he shed tears for the first time in 6 months because he could not cry in front of his parents. More than for himself, he wanted to survive for his parent’s sake. There was a young boy who was diagnosed before he entered college and announced with innocence he would love to win the Harley. Every message shared felt connected to me in one way or other. The whole event when concluded left a pleasant feeling in my heart.
Hope this will be the beginning of change……………..

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

SelfV --- A Campaign Spreading Smiles On The Faces Of Survivors

It is amazing to notice that nearly 150 selfv's were shared on facebook page of HCG oncology. Today is the SelfV awards night - finale of the event, which is not an end but a beginning of change in the way people look at cancer. The positive attitude, survival spirit and sense of humor among the survivors expressed through the selfvies have touched many hearts and have reduced cancer from an all consuming demon to a mere obstacle to be overcome. Today is the day when survivors will smile as they go through the transit of being ill fated people diagnosed with cancer to being the lucky winners of goodies which will include even a Harley Davidson. Best of luck to everyone who participated and shared a part of their lives for a cause. I shared my selfv as well. What amazed me was that I could actually shut my mouth within a minute. That doesn't happen too often. Off to enjoy an entertaining night at Hotel Royal Orchid with my two companions - Rayyan and Farheena.

Check out the entire collection of survivor SelfV's on HCGOncology

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Color Black Revealed

Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, "I've been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black."
Black, the mysterious color! What does it indicate to you; mystery, elegance, power, secret or authority? Since ages unknown, Color black is one of the most misunderstood colors as people often relate it to dark. Though pitch darkness looks black, we should notice that it is not the color, but our lack of inability to see in the absence of light which makes darkness eerie. Many of the established civilizations in the past have held the black in high esteem. For example - Native Americans had high opinion about the color black. They considered it to be color of fertility since black soil gave life. In Japanese culture, black is a symbol of nobility, age and wisdom, thus black belt is given as a mark of highest achievement in martial arts. The color of the Abbasid Caliphs was also black, which is why we see the black flags so frequently in Arab countries.
Even in modern days there have been people who have made the color black their trademark. Johnny Cash, the famous country music icon was lovely referred to the ‘man in black’ for his love for the color. Chanel, the famous company is identified with color black too.
Scientifically black is not a color at all. When all the light is absorbed and no color is reflected, the object appears black to an eye. One of the reasons why black is associated with hidden, fearful or bad experience and linked to the unknown or the unseen. But we also have to acknowledge that black is a color of power and authority, which is skillfully used by people to overwhelm others. Black sets itself aside from others with its heavy and intense energy. It keeps others at arm's length. Black implies self-control and discipline, independence and a strong will, and giving an impression of authority and power; a reason why many professional prefer the color black and it almost compulsory for the Lawyers, and judges to wear black robe.
The fashion world considers black to be stylish, sexy, elegant and powerful color which sends out a strong message. Though many colors come in and go out of fashion, black constantly remains there, steadily holding its ground and never going out of fashion even for once. Hence, the colloquialism "X is the new black". No party has ever gone by without a beautiful lady in black taking your breath away.
We all use black at various times to hide from the world around us in one way or another. Some of us use it to hide our weight; others among us use it to hide our feelings, our fears or our insecurities.  But we cannot rule that black can be an intimidating color, which does not encourage overt friendliness because of the power it exudes. The salesman wearing all black will make a lot of sales, but no friends! It radiates authority, but creates fear in the process.
 Affluent and success orientated women often choose black as it can give an impression of elegance, sophistication and confidence. Black is often associated with sexiness and seduction, as in the temptress in sexy black lingerie creating an air of mystery and intrigue. It can also imply submission to another (including a sexual partner). Teens use the color black to show off their maturity, because it adds some seriousness to their personality.
Personally, I never go out and buy dresses in black but they end up in my wardrobe occasionally. I do go for black purse and shoes though. They are must in my life all the time.
As for the 5 black things that I desire and why……here is the list.
I own a black laptop, desktop, mobile and Dell Venue Pro tablet. Unfortunately my computer and study desk is of light wood color, which does not go well with the gadgets I own. Hence, the first thing I would like to replace is my desk with something like this. I love the idea of corner desks which makes working and accessing things around easier.
"People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black." – quoted Henry Ford. But I would prefer to have The Vorsteiner Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Widow, which is a breathtaking beauty. A look at it reminds me of ‘Black Beauty’ by Anna Sewell which we had to read as a part of our English classes in school. Back then I yearned to have a black horse of my own, but today with the heavy weight (literally) I have become, I would spare the horse and settle down for the Mercedes.
Next in my list is a well fitting black trouser with material that feels good on my skin and which does not fade. Nothing can be uglier than faded black trousers. You will never imagine how convenient it is for me to pull out my now near death black trouser to go with any top instead of looking around for matching colors. I have four black trousers at present but they have seen better days. In earlier days when I used to wear sari, the black blouse did the job.
black pearls
A set of black pearls is another thing that has made its way into my wish list of ‘Must have blacks’. No jewelry has ever appeared more tempting to me than the black pearls with bit of silver to enhance its beauty. Like the black trousers, the black set would be befitting for every dress and occasion.
Fresh Caviar is another thing on my list. Since ages, I have been reading about this rare dish but have never got a chance to taste it. The delicacy has been a part of stories I have read so often that I find it so familiar; yet contrasting the familiarity, I don’t know what it tastes like. I wish to have the taste of the black caviar (not orange) on my tongue and relish it to my heart’s content.
So, good or bad there is no denying we all love black and I would love few of the color black in my life as well.
This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at

The days of unexpected .......... Wow!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

All 3 clues coming for all three days

Finally what was it all about?

That's all folks!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Doing Justice to Life

If you care to do justice to your life, then live your life to fullest and also allow others to live their lives to the fullest as well. The new mantra should be, "Live happily and let others live happily". I consider anything done halfheartedly as not done at all.  I do things with a passion and add a dash of humor to spice things up. I took life calmly until it started throwing challenges at me. Instead of buckling under, I just started on the adventure of life fighting my way through it and enjoying it like a video game. Gone are the days, when I used to brood over things. Today, I cling on to happiness and fun like a hungry baby clings to mother’s breast.
Even if nothing great awaits me tomorrow, I look ahead to the new day full of anticipation, enthusiasm, excitement and hope, because life is unpredictable.  May be it is going to be my lucky day which will change the course of my life. Wasn’t the day I discovered I was pregnant, the day I was diagnosed with cancer or the day I won my first blogging contest start just like any other day? Not a single day is going to be an ordinary day in my life. I will see to it that it will not! If it cannot be good, it can get %^&$## bad, but not boring and monotonous. The bad days come with their own set of challenges and lessons which are important for me. How am I going to appreciate light if I do not know darkness?
From nature, ice creams, comics, jokes, movies, chocolates, long drives to video games there are many silly things included that make me happy and add zest to my life. It is going to be a big challenge to pick five from the list of 157 zesty things in my life. But as usual, I face the challenge, bite my lip hard and pick up the five things that add zest to my life. 
1.       Kicking Odds Against Me
That is odd you may say, but I really enjoy the challenges life throws at me. Without those odds set against me, I would never have realized my true potential or strength. Be it my club foot, challenge of societal and religious restrictions, being diagnosed with cancer or bringing up a special needs daughter, they have made me realize the value of life and helped me develop respect for myself. There was time when I had unknowingly slipped into the state of living life monotonously. Each day brought more boredom to be faced by me. The waking alarm was ‘cancer’ which came into my life at the age of 29. It shook me from the slumber. I realized that life is short and it can end any moment. Since then, I have lived my life to the fullest. Overcoming my limp, kicking the cancer butt, picking up my education after 20 years of gap and bringing up my special needs daughter with love, care and dignity are just few of the odds that I faced in my life. They have filled me with strength so that I can fight with gusto. If I had a choice, I am sure I would not pick these challenges for me, but now that they are – I love kicking their butts and overcoming them. In that way, I can say they add zest to my life.  

2.       Reading and Writing
Starting from Amarchitra Katha and writing school essay about the journey of a coin, reading and writing have been an integral part of my life. Some of the books and papers have been replaced by e-books and the pen by keyboard, my diary by my blog, but the enthusiasm and passion has never dimmed.  I have fallen in love with characters that do not exist in real life, and prayed for their success. For people who do not live in books, this may sound weird but I am sure there are people who will understand what I am saying. My grandma was one of the people who knew how much I loved books. Once she tore up my favorite batman comic as a punishment for answering her back. That was the ultimate pain a person could inflict on me and she knew it. Boredom and books cannot live in the same room…. I prefer books on any day.

I don’t sing nor do I play any musical instrument. I enjoy the hard work and dedication of other singers by listening to music. Starting with Binaca Geetmala that blared from our radio as I got ready to go to school, I have listened to bhajans, Bollywood songs, Ghazals, MJ, Police, Billboard chart toppers and many other songs throughout my life. Today, music is associated with Linkin Park for me. The power of Chester Bennington’s voice adds zest to my own life. The lyrics of their songs are really captivating as is their music. Moreover, they do not lick the mike, put out their tongues, hold their crotch or go for the skin show to woo the audience. Thanks to Rayyan, my son, who introduced such a wonderful band! I do not believe in restricting myself to the music of LP though. I do enjoy good songs from any part of the world when it can really touch my heart or put a smile on my face.

4.       Work
Hmmm.. that would not go down easily with many people. How can work add zest to my life? Believe me, it sure does. Being out of work for nearly 2 decades made me realize the worth of work and how important it is for me. I have loved being a teacher, freelance writer and counselor. I cannot say I do enjoy doing all my household chores by myself, but that does bring some discipline in my life (and also in the life of my children who know there is no maid coming over to clean up their mess).  When I did not work, I had all the time in the world to read books and enjoy my free time as I wanted, but it did not give me satisfaction at the end of the day. I felt empty. Counseling gives me a chance to make a difference in the life of people, who feel emotionally traumatized. There is nothing more fulfilling then wiping tears off someone’s face and replacing it with a smile.

Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my children and I can assure you that they equally love spending time with me. In fact, I enjoy spending time with children in general, learning my life lessons through their innocence in the process.  My two children have been greatest motivators for me to have zest for life. They are also the best teachers I have come across. They made me what I am today. Nothing touches my heart more than the innocence of a child. I cannot imagine how people have heart to hurt them either physically, verbally or emotionally, because nothing appears more precious to me than the smile of a child. I am not only blessed with the love and trust of my two children, but also that of my nephews, niece and many other children I have come across in my life. Children have the power to wipe away the dirt from the face of the world and make it appear all rosy and clean. They are the instant energizers who can change the gloomiest day into a bright one with one single innocent sentence. If you care to know and love children, they can add zest to every single moment in your life.

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and

Thursday, July 17, 2014

First Prize Goes to Rayyan

Lost in the laptop is a short movie which brought first prize for Rayyan in his final year in Arena. The 4 minute plus video was something he worked on in his free time for months. He started it as a fun activity but then completed the movie on a bit of serious note. What I appreciate about Rayyan's work is his dedication and patience on working over a project. I am proud of the way he completed his animation course. Rock on Rayyan.... you have miles to go!

Here is the link the for more movies from Rayyan the Animator................

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Laptop in my purse….

You must be wondering what a big purse Farida carries around that can actually hold her laptop in it. Wait people, don’t jump to conclusions. I am talking about the Dell Venue pro (with windows 8.1)which I received from Ripple Links and Dell for review

Friday, July 11, 2014


Change! Isn’t that what is life all about? Yeah it is. The past few months have seen a lot of changes taking place in my life or specifically, in the life of my children. They have moved on from preparation stage to starting their careers. Farheena has successfully completed her course in FAME India and moved on to their vocational center. Rayyan has completed his animation course and moved on to starting his career as an animator.

Rayyan Lost in Laptop