Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

Happy new year -- 2012

Reflections of 2011

Looking back at the year 2011 and catching up with time spent
I recall how well it began and how smoothly time went
It has been a year when I discovered a new myself
A year when I won and with trophies decorated my shelf
A year with more highs and quite some good winning bets
My wishes being granted, my fears being laid to rest
I found the courage to do something I love and enjoy
Holding on to my dreams and not allowing it to destroy
I welcome the New Year still holding on to past memories
May the New Year bring not gold, diamond or rubies
But the wealth of peace, smile, knowledge and laughter
And bright future for my dear son and my dear daughter
I pass on the good wishes to my loving family and dear friends
May your life be prosperous by the time 2012 ends
                                                                  By: Farida Rizwan

2011 has been a very lucky year for me. I began the year by receiving a cash prize of 50,000 rupees for the blogging contest organized by Tata Docomo (15,000/- tax was deducted from it :( ). From then on I have been on a lucky spree. I got the Midas touch, minus his misery. I see my son doing well with studies, now that he is doing what he loves to do. My daughter has shown a great amount of improvement too. There is so much happening in life that I have to thank God for. The worst happening have been losing very dear friends  to breast cancer.
Hope the new year 2012 improves on the previous and allows me to complete my dream of being a graduate.
I send you all many good wishes for the New Year.

Happy New Year

New years come and new years go,
Pieces of time all in a row.
As we live our life, each second and minute,
We know we’re privileged to have you in it.
Our appreciation never ends
For our greatest blessings: our family and friends.
Happy New Year!
By Joanna Fuchs

Monday, December 26, 2011

Who Should Be Punished? Changing the Rules

I was a fierce person from my childhood, or precisely I was a fiercer person in my childhood then I am now. I have never been chicken heart, but rather like the hot fiery grilled chicken from KFC.  As a part of the contest post for the KFC Fiery Grilled,"Sets You On Fire!" contest, where I am asked to describe a fiery event or situation, either real or imaginary;  I don’t have to resort to imagination which can never match the fierceness of my real life.  I am sharing an incident, from my childhood which looked normal to me back then. Anyway thinking of it now, I feel, I really achieved something to be proud of.
My Mom was an extravagant person. As a result; though my Dad had fairly good income, she could not plan the budget the right way. She ended up leaving out some necessary things not attended to or spent upon. Food was the main agenda on her budget and we could never starve. Once we were stuffed to the full; she would look into other things. If children would make more demands then she would get it for them by hook or crook. Sadly, in all this love and care, the electric bill, our school fees and other such necessary payments remained to be paid. Once, my monthly school tuition fee was not paid for 8 months. Our convent had provision for free education of poor students, but I did not fall under that category. My dad worked in Joy Ice Creams Factory, which was located just opposite my school and his income was good enough.
There were few very rich students in our school, as well as poor students who fell under the category of free education. These children had no problem. Then there were the in between students like me, who had to struggle to pay the monthly fees. So, by the end of 8 months time, Mother Superior lost her patience. She called upon the class teachers to send all the students who had not paid their fees to be made to kneel down near her office until she comes over there to punish them. There were 19 students in all, two among them being me and my sister.
 I always enjoyed something different from routine life. Initially it was fun being led out of class room and being made to kneel down near the office. I was small and this did not mean an insult at that stage. Those feelings come over only when we are adolescents. Within a few minutes my knee started to hurt very badly. It was fun no more. In no time my mind started to wonder why I had to suffer the pain. What wrong had I done? I was a studious student in lower primary school, who did all the work allocated to me. I could not kneel down for long and so I stood up.
Everyone gave me the look described by Charles Dickens when Oliver asked for more porridge. No one had ever gone against the orders given by the school so far. My sister gave me ‘the look’ and indicated I kneel down quickly before anyone saw me. I shook my head and refused. All students were aghast. I saw a teacher rushing towards us. Mother Superior was walking from the convent house with a big cane. There was fear in me but I was not going to surrender to fear. I knew deep in my heart that I was right and I did not deserve the punishment. The teacher lifted up the stick and whispered harshly for me to kneel down before Mother Superior came.
I replied, “Miss, what wrong have I done?”
The teacher replied angrily. “You have not paid fees for past eight months”.
I did not understand how this was my fault. So I replied again, “My parents haven’t given me the fees, how should I pay it?”
The teacher was confused. She was losing her temper too. She hit me on the back and said, “I don’t know about it. You should pay the fees if you are to study here. Now kneel down”.
I was angry that she hit me. Now I replied loudly, “I will not kneel down. My knee hurts and I don’t like pain”.
By then the three nuns; Sister Claudia, Sister Lawrence and Sister Fatima had reached over to the place. They were not used to arguments and were kind of shocked to see a little girl answering back. Sister Fatima was the kindest one and Mother superior Claudia was the toughest. 
Sister Claudia: What is going on? What is the problem with you girl. Aaahhh it is you Farila! Now whose hair are we going to pull?
Her first encounter with me had been a tough one too. I had insisted that she pull the hair of the boy who had pulled my hair and in the process had praised him highly without realizing it.
I was quite embarrassed with the mention of the incident, but nevertheless, I wasn’t going to back up now.
Me: I am being punished for no fault of mine. I do my homework regularly, take part in activities, come to school on time and follow all the rules. Why am I being punished?
Sister Claudia: Girl, you have not paid the fees.
Me: Not me Ma’am, it is the fault of my parents. If you punish me they will not pay the fees. The stones are pricking my knee, not theirs. Make them kneel here ma’am because it is their fault. When their knees will hurt, they will learn their lessons. Beating me or making me kneel down is not going to change things.
(off course the above conversation happened in much simpler and broken English which I cannot repeat exactly because I have lost touch with that language).
The teacher lifted her stick once again as she was very upset, that I was arguing with mother superior. Fortunately, Sister Fatima intervened and took my side. She said there was a point in what I was saying. It was actually wrong to punish children for no fault of theirs. Sister Lawrence looked confused, though she agreed with Sister Fatima, she said that something had to be done about children not paying the fees. The three nuns stood there and had a small discussion which we could not hear. I did not look at my sister as I could almost feel her stare piercing my skin. Finally the nuns ended their discussion. They decided the children should be sent back home and not permitted to attend classes until the fees was cleared.
It all happened there and then. The rule of punishing the students for not paying the fees was changed. Mother Superior asked all of us to pick up our bags and go to our classes. She said we will not be allowed to attend classes if we did not bring our fees the next day. That did not go down smoothly with me. So I tried to talk to her again.
Me: But Ma’am, I want to study and I don’t want to miss my classes.
Sister Claudia: Oh no! Not again Farila. You have to learn to end things. This is final. One more word from you, I will make you kneel down and hold you down there myself.
Now I was scared and shut my mouth. Inside my heart was telling me that it was wrong to stop a good student from attending classes for their parents fault but I did not dare to argue anymore.
I have great respect for my teachers who had patience to look and listen to what a poor girl was saying. Back then it did not mean much to me, but today I think of them with great respect, hold them very high in my thoughts and look up to them for inspiration.
Later in life when I saw the children (not my son) being beaten for not paying the fees in my son’s school, I could not bear but intervene. The H.M. there said the owners have made the rule and she is helpless. I pursued the matter for quite some time but did not see the change. That shows the greatness of my own teachers.
This was neither the first not the last fiery incident of my life. Beginning from proposing to a guy boldly, asking the truth about swearing in the name of Allah, to fighting cancer, my fiery tongue and wits have not only got me out of sticky situations, they have landed me in there too. This cannot be avoided as my nature is fierce, and, I love giving back witty answers. There are not many regrets that I have left behind as a residue of the outcome. Therefore, I am fine with ‘ME’.
The fire filled answers are never pre-planned. They just pop into my mind spontaneously; I don’t have any preparations to be made, efforts to put it out or push myself to say something out loudly. That’s me without make up or pretentions.  Some appreciate this and some do not. Nevertheless, I cannot do anything about the way I am created. It was not in my hands you see ;). God could have given me some more attention or my Mom and Dad shouldn’t have married at all.  Now the people around me, who are bound to listen to me, have the option of either loving, hating or being neutral to me. Change is not possible
In my childhood everyone had so much of hopes pinned on their various skills through which they yearned to change me into a golden child. Not the metal one, the character one. I need not tell you that, the project was a huge failure which is proved through my Autobiography; a process of Discovering Myself.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some More of Rayyan's Childhood Art

Instead of answering the following questions I had given him, Rayyan ended  up painting this picture

Surfing through the old pages I felt I should share some more of Rayyan's childhood art on my blog, especially after writing the previous post. He would spend a lot of time creating pictures or colors. It is sad that some of his art was lost when I shifted to Byndoor. There is so much of emotions hidden behind the art of every child. We need to have that special vision to look through them. 

After watching a cooking competition

After his first visit to Lalbagh

His choice was to draw -- always. 

When I was in being operated upon for Breast cancer, Rayyan sat down creating this art. Kind of brings tears to eyes. 

Another of those art which came out during my Cancer treatment

After first Independence day function

The day I came back home from surgery. You can see me up on the left side corner holding Rayyan's hand.

The bad chemotherapy day had everyone tensed. Rayyan came up with this art.

I remember the day he painted this. It was when I was done with chemotherapy and happily declared so.

After watching a magic show

After playing hide and seek

After his first Christmas Party

After being done crying watching the movie 'Titanic'

On his visit to Byndoor

After visiting a jail

Just a page from his notebook

After our first bonfire 


A visit to exhibition

We came across film shooting on our way home .. Rayyan's depiction of the shooting. 


These was what he called thoughts...

Friday, December 16, 2011

The story behind my profile picture………….

The Little Animator
Many people have asked me about my profile picture. Some have assumed that it is one of those software applications which have sketched it out for me. In fact, this is the birthday present from my son Rayyan, which is the best gift I have received from someone. This picture is very close to my heart and it is going to be my profile picture on bloggers, facebook, twitter, Indiblogger and other sites until he comes up with something better for me.
Rayyan has been interested in sketching and drawing since his childhood. He sketched me when he was three or four years old. 

He loved arts and wanted to make a career out of it. But knowing our education system, it is easy to guess it was not easy. People kept holding him back, discouraging him that this was not possible. Everyone said it is good for hobby, but not for profession. Though as a mother I supported him, I too made a lot of wrong decisions along with him and other people who had a say in our lives. Finally he is now doing Animation Engineering course in Arena, Bangalore. He sounds so happy with what he is doing even though he has to stay away from home.
Within weeks he surprised me with his work and I have been a proud Mom. He secretly sketched this photo and sent it to me on my birthday. It was a lovely present and I love it so much. Thank you so much Rayyan. Wish you all best in animation adventure…..


Friday, December 9, 2011

A bloggers award after a long long time….

Two years ago there were many bloggers who would create awards and pass it on to other writers of their choice so that the connection would grow. I haven’t come across any blog for a long time. It was surprising to find one of Vidya’s blog. She is an amazing writer and great professional blogger and I am sure many of you who are reading this will know her. Vidya is the only blogger who I have met personally. So, she has a special place in my bloggers list.
Here is the wonderful award…

“Liebster” = “beloved” or “favorite” in German. Gives me a very warm, fuzzy feeling.

And now, I get to nominate five bloggers I consider “ Liebster” to me. This is almost impossible because it is virtually impossible for me to choose just five but rules are rules and I will follow them. This does not mean these are the only blogs I consider my favourite but they are among my favourite blogs.
Arti – I never believed I would be hooked to reading about religious places until I visited her My Yatra Diary..Her complete and extensive details with delightful photographs, will not only entertain the readers but will also help them plan a trip.
Joshi Daniel : Anyone interested in good photography should not miss out on this site which is the best I have come across. The photographs are amazing. I am not sure about the passing of the awards over there but sure would like to mention it over here
 Ege Denne: Though hailing from Norway, this blogger makes me feel as though I pass by home every day and wave a “HI” for her
Saru Singhal : Great poetry in simple words for everyone to understand and feel. No wonder her words has a big fan following
Sujatha Satya : Her conversations are very interesting and thought provoking.  This is what she says about her blog, “I got into blogging when i asked myself "Can I do it?". The answer was "Lemme try n find out!". So here I am - Putting pen to paper.Thinking out loud. Will go as far as it takes me.Come along :))”.
 It is quite tough to end this list and not mention another 100 bloggers but I am going to do it ..

I would be great if you accept this award. And to keep the happiness flowing, you might like to do the following; Not that I’ll haunt you if you don’t – but still. I think you’ll enjoy doing it. Just sayin’
1.       Copy and paste the award on your blog. (Right click and “save image as”)
2.       Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you, (Thank you Vidya)
3.       Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4.       Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

Thank you, Vidya for this lovely award. I treasure it.

Feeling honored
Farida Rizwan

Friday, December 2, 2011

International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December

Theme for 2011: “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development”

Farheena is off to Udupi today to participate in International Day of Persons with Disabilities. She is extremely excited and happy to off on her own with her teachers and classmates. The last time she had been there, she brought back home two prizes about which she is very proud. I would be so glad to accompany her and encourage all the participants, but at times she needs to be on her own and she feels good about it too.  
A tired but very happy Farheena with her prize

 Man is adventurous by nature. He hates monotonous life. A challenge is always welcome and if the challenge does not come to him he goes in search of it in the name of sports, investigation, discovery etc. But when the challenge is the form disability where a person is not able to perform everyday tasks easily, then it is not accepted as adventurous. People always have trouble responding in a right way to people who are differently able.
 Why should a person be called disabled or abnormal just because one (or more) vital parts of body aren’t functioning to the maximum? The question will not have an answer ever. I feel the word different or special is more suited in this situation. I haven’t come across a person who will fit perfectly into the category ‘Normal Person’. Before finding a perfect normal person I cannot say a certain person is not normal.
It is same with the term handicapped. Who is without any handicap? Who can proudly thump his/her chest and declare ‘I have no handicap at all?’ Most probably every person is handicapped in one or other way, but there is no way you can point out that particular handicap in a person clearly. Pedophiles, rapists, misers, murderers, sadists are all living with a handicap, yet not often do they get the branded. Some may just get away with it forever. Nevertheless, a certain person is branded handicapped just because you can point out exactly where the problem is. Nowadays the term special is used which makes it better.
Helen Keller is an inspiration to many people who are standing in the group of normal. Though born with multiple disabilities she earned the Bachelor of Arts degree and became the first deaf and blind person to do so. Anne Sullivan was her teacher who broke her isolation and found a way out for her to communicate. She was the miracle worker and Keller worked miracles herself.  
Albert Einstein is the greatest scientist of the twentieth century and notable physicist of all time. He was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, affecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history. Not many people know that he had learning disability in his childhood. He started talking when he was three and reading when he was eight. It is amazing that he went to win noble prize for his contribution to the Physics.
If a blind person who has no vision (Am I right in saying so?) has developed an alternative sense to replace the void created by lack of sight, I feel he should not be labeled disabled person but a highly able person. He is viewing something without the help of eyes. His way of seeing an object would be touch, sound etc. We do have the senses what he has, but we do not use them just because we have eyes. How many other senses and abilities are being lost in us just because we have the privileges? As the chapters of my life unfold and I am bringing up a special needs child I realize how spoilt we are. How we take for granted sight, speech, hearing etc. Time for me to wake up and be grateful to God, and show my gratitude in accepting those who are different from me gracefully.

United Nations Enable

United Nations Enable is the official website of the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (SCRPD) in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the United Nations Secretariat. The website provides public information on topics related to disability and the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How We React?

When surfing through the Indiblogger forum threads, I was surprised to see some bloggers considering my blog as inspiration. These were the people who have put up wonderful blogs themselves and are very popular in the forum. I am not very active on forum as I do not get to surf net too often between my housework and other commitments (sadly not all of them are smart).
I was talking to friend and mentioned to her how people consider my surviving cancer or bringing up a special needs daughter to be inspirational for them. What have ‘I’ actually done? Nothing much. I had to fight cancer to survive, and I did. I could not give up on my daughter, so I love and care for her like any mother would. What is inspirational about me? I was a person who gave up on education when I could have achieved so much. I did not pursue a career with gusto. I was kind of failure in life.
What my friend said rang a bell in my mind. She said what happened to me was just life and how I handled it, or precisely reacted to it was inspiration. It was not letting things pull me down but use it as a spring board to soar higher than I would have in normal situations.

Thinking back on her words I started analyzing in my mind how our reactions make difference to our lives. How our attitudes changes a situation itself. Soon I found myself writing a blog about it. LOL.
How we react to a situation is very important to the outcome of situation. When we talk about domestic violence, dowry deaths and other social evils we tend to ignore the fact that proper reaction from the victim can change the situation to some extent. The reaction could be one of the brave and strong, or witty and smart.
People who learn to cope and handle a situation properly have discovered a total new way of life. Everything about our lives is not in our control. Sometimes shit happens and we cannot do anything about it. In my family, four members were affected by cancer. We all reacted in a different way to it and we all had different outcomes greatly influenced by our reactions.
It is not only in traumatic situations that our reactions affect the outcome. Take for example a situation where a student may find a very confusing and tough question paper which may not fetch good marks; even after all the hard work s/he has put into the subject. If the student becomes nervous and tensed, s/he may end scoring even less marks which can be avoided if s/he can keep cool and access the paper properly. Similarly when we have to wait for a bus, train or a person; we find some people getting fidgety and impatient, whereas some try to make new friends or catch up with a book.

Major part of our happiness depends on how we react to life. Let us keep our reaction in our control because most of the things happening around us are beyond our control and reach.
We have to be extra cautious when we are bringing up our children. They are going to break some precious things, soil their expensive clothes or flunk in the exams. Punishing and cursing will not change the situation but will have bad emotional effect on the psychology of the children. If the kids are teens, then this may lead to verbal war with bad consequences. The situation or result never changes but the way you go through your day with a bad mood has effect on other work activities you do through the day.
For example imagine this situation.
A working wife is busy getting ready for work and preparing breakfast for the family. By mistake she adds more salt to the dish. If the husband calls her a bad cook and pushes away the plate, everything will wrong from there on. The wife will try to defend herself by asking angrily why she has to do everything. They will end up accusing each other and may carry anger against each other for the whole day. With a bad mood they may end up making mistakes in the office and having rough time with the colleagues. These tiffs at times become bricks, which slowly build a wall between two people.
If the husband would wait for the wife to have her breakfast, then she is surely bound to realize her mistake and say sorry about what happened. He can say kind words like “I understand you have so much on your hands early in the morning. Mistakes are bound to happen. Don’t fret about it; we can manage with this for today. It is no big deal”. May be he will be lucky to get something else for breakfast which is never going to happen when he accuses her. A proper reaction to such a situation will help in development of understanding between the partners and bonds them together with stronger love. These are the situations which weave the rope of love to bind two people together forever in their lives.
The above example will work in every situation we come across in our life. People passing negative comments on our achievements, accusing us of wrong doing, or stooping down to throw verbal abuses at us can make us feel sad only if we allow it to make us sad. When the water falls down on mud, it soaks it in and becomes wet, but the stone will not allow the same water to affect it any way. We have to become tough like stones and not allow such negativity to soak into us.

At times a bad or wrong reaction can cost us a dear friend, our job, our marks or our health. Blood pressure, depression and stress are highly related to how we react to a situation in our lives.

So simple is this solution yet it is so elusive. Time and again we react badly to a situation and ruin our lives. I am learning my lessons and trying hard to be in control of what is happening to ‘ME’ if not what is happening around me.

Here I would want to share one of my favorite story(Sam Levenson’s) with you……..

A poor family had been trying to marry off its only daughter for years. Finally, a very wealthy young man became interested in her.
The girl’s mother, being an excellent cook, decided to deliver the coup de grace by inviting the boy and his parents to a home-cooked dinner. They were of course led to believe that the young lady was doing the cooking. The mother strained the budget and purchased a beautiful turkey with all the trimmings. She outdid herself in preparing the bird. It looked almost too good to eat.
            The big event arrived, and it was time for the turkey. One could almost hear a drum roll as the daughter made her entrance from the kitchen into the dining room, carrying the beautiful and succulent turkey on a tray.
            As she stepped from the kitchen, her heel caught, she tripped, and the turkey flew off the tray skidding and rolling across the dining room floor into a corner of the room. There was an explosion of embarrassed silence. The girl’s mother saw the ruination of all their plans right then and there. She was backed into the corner just as the turkey was.
            She looked up the ceiling for a moment, as if praying for assistance from the Almighty. She must have gotten it, for her face lit up as she turned to her stunned offspring and said, “That’s all right, my dear, just take that bird back to the kitchen and bring out the other one!”


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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