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This lady I know…

There’s this lady I know, she’s been through so much.

She’s been to hell many times and back, yet her flame of courage has not died down.

Glowing bright and strong in the blackest of nights, she lives on. 

She has strengths that amaze men.

She smiles when she wants to scream. 

She sings when she wants to cry. 

She goes without so her family can have.

She loves unconditionally.

If there is one flaw in this woman, it’s that she doesn’t know her worth.

This lady I know has shown me the power of woman.

This lady I know is my mother.

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Rumi

When my coffin is being taken out; you must never think I am missing this world…
don’t shed any tears; don’t lament or feel sorry
I’m not falling into a monster’s abyss.

When you see my corpse is being carried…don’t cry for my leaving.
I’m not leaving; I’m arriving at eternal love.

When you leave me in the grave; don’t say goodbye
Remember a grave is only a curtain for the paradise behind.
You’ll only see me descending into a grave; now watch me rise
how can there be an end when the sun sets or
the moon goes down it looks like the end; it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn.

When the grave locks you up; that is when your soul is freed

Have you ever seen a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life; why should you doubt the rise of a seed named human

have you ever seen a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty;
why lament for a soul when for the last time you close your mouth your words and and soul will be freed
Rumi

Rather, pray for the dead and ask God to forgive them.

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Do you still remember?

Do you still remember, how it used to be?

When you were a father and I was a daughter

Just like things should be…

 

Do you still remember?

I was six, my first day at school,

I cried for you when you dropped me off

Then I looked forward to everyday of school

Carefree and ignorant of the world.

Oh how I wished to live

 

Do you still remember?

I was ten, in fifth grade,

I bought my impressive report card to show you

The smile on your face, do you remember?

Oh how I wished to live

 

Do you still remember?

I was twelve, in seventh grade,

You married another, yet I was easily fooled

in high spirits and grateful.

Oh how I wished to live

 

Do you still remember?

I was seventeen, in first year of uni,

I met another and thought you’d approve

Hopeful and anticipating

Oh how I wished to live

 

Do you still remember?

I was twenty, near completion of uni,

When a calamity befell our family, I stood by your side

Shoulder to shoulder, provided you with support.

Oh how I wished to live

 

Do you still remember?

I was twenty one, just the other day

In this war torn country,

I assisted you every step of the way

And still… how I wished to live

 

I’m still twenty one, on my wedding day,

Do you remember?

The time when I needed you most, you went and married another?

This time nothing is forgiven

The pain, the sadness, the grief.

Oh how I wish to die

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Oh so sweet…

A friend who told me to post this asked me to title it ‘By my love’ or something of the like. W, if i had remembered, i would have titled it as such.

You have no idea
how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
Whats the point of bringing gold to a gold mine,
or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with
was like taking spices to the Orient.
Its no good giving my heart and soul
because You already have these.
So – I’ve brought You a mirror.
Look at Yourself and remember me.
-Rumi


Last night we went out for dinner. After, we went to Intercontinental hotel for coffee. The view was so pretty. I took plenty of photoes but unfortunately i do not have my camera with me to upload the pics. Will do tomorrow, bakhayr.

Got home to see that we already had guests. They left quite early (930pm) giving us the chance to spend some quality time with family. i hit the bed at 1am.

Will put pics up soon!

Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar!

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Che begaam az dasteh tu ay roozegaar, be tu chi mereseh az shekasteh mann…
A bus carrying dozens of Afghan soldiers in Kabul was ripped apart by a powerful bomb on Saturday morning, in an attack blamed on Taleban insurgents. (Source: BBC News)

I have lost count of the number of suicide bomb attacks in Kabul let alone the number of casualties. Yesterday, another suicide attack took place in Karte Parwan near Cinema Baharistan killing 27 police (numbers continue to rise). Reuters reported 10 killed, a flimsy portrayal of the tragic imposition of the bombing. Other sources immediately reported 27 dead. If the same situation occured in a western country, the ‘estimation’ would have been doubled increasing social alarm. However, Afghanistan continues to be forlon and Afghan blood contines to spill unnoticed by the world.
I will say no more, let the photoes speak. It saddens me to think about who have been killed. Men who have joined the army only to provide for their families, recipients of US$70 month wages. Fathers, uncles, brothers. all sole income earners for their families.
I have mentioned this before and i will entrench it again, men here play multiple roles in a family. Unfortunately, sadly but truly, women find it formidable to persevere in life without a male figure in the home. My heart goes out for these women. But i also admire the strength, courage and determination of those women who continue to struggle and strive for the future. Women who perpetuate the family name in a dignified and honourable manner. The mothers and wives of Afghanistan.
Unfortunately for some, most women who have lost their husbands tend to wander off and remarry leaving behind her children in the care of their paternal relatives and never hear from them again. One can only imagine the preceding occurences which a mother is forced to endure which results her in abandoning her children.
Later that day, i took my aunts shopping. Kabul streets continued business as usual- shop owners sold, beggers continued to beg and shoppers continued to shop. They have become so desensitised to attacks, it no longer frightens them but the anger is ensued.
We returned home in time for Iftaar. Again, visitors continued flowing in. Its afghan tradition to continue catering for people following the death of a family member for forty days. It’s appalling. We don’t get family time alone. But it’s Ramadan and it’s a blessing to have visitors, so for that i’m grateful.
Mum gives food away to those in need, like our maid. A young Hazara girl. Their family is ever so grateful for it. She told us of her story- her neighbour had little food to break her fast with so they came knocking on her door. They had nothing to give away except sharing the food which my mum had given to them. I can’t stand wasting food. Even in Australia, I felt very guilty throwing food away.
Ba omideh roozegaareh behtar, ba omideh azaadi millate Afghanistan.
If the sky is not in love, then it will not be so clear.
If the sun is not in love, then it will not be giving any light.
If the river is not in love, then it will be in silence, it will not be moving.
If the mountains, the earth are not in love, then there will be nothing growing
– Mawlana Jalaludin Rumi Balkhi

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Gone to the Unseen

I dedicate this poem to my grandfather. May he RIP.

Gone to the Unseen

At last you have departed and gone to the Unseen. What marvelous route did you take from this world?
Beating your wings and feathers, you broke free from this cage.

Rising up to the sky you attained the world of the soul.

You were a prized falcon trapped by an Old Woman. Then you heard the drummer’s calland flew beyond space and time.

As a lovesick nightingale, you flew among the owls. Then came the scent of the rosegarden and you flew off to meet the Rose.
The wine of this fleeting worldcaused your head to ache.

Finally you joined the tavern of Eternity. Like an arrow, you sped from the bow and went straight for the bull’s eye of bliss.
This phantom world gave you false signs But you turned from the illusion and journeyed to the land of truth.

You are now the Sun -what need have you for a crown?You have vanished from this world -what need have you to tie your robe?
I’ve heard that you can barely see your soul.But why look at all? -yours is now the Soul of Souls!

Pouring down like the rain of heaven

you fell upon the rooftop of this world. Then you ran in every direction and escaped through the drain spout . . .


Now the words are over and the pain they bring is gone.

Now you have gone to rest in the arms of the Beloved.

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If I had a wish…

if i had a wish
that one wish would be
to bring you nothing but happiness
throughout eternity
if i had wings like an eagle
i’d fly high up in the air
to be above you at all times
and keep you from despair
if i could write a song
the lyrics would be of you
you wouldn’t hear no lies
but everything that is true
if i could go back in time
i’d go without looking back
to change what i did wrong
and set things on the right track
but baby, im only human
and the only thing i can really do
is take the love thats in my heart
and give it all to you… NK

I haven’t been blogging for a while now, maybe it’s because of work and since I’ve had no internet connection at home.

So why am i blogging now? Because i feel really down. I miss my friends and my home- Australia. I’m going through an identity crisis, i’m looking for myself but i can’t seem to find me. I never knew i’d go through something like this. But believe it or not i don’t feel like i belong here. the people are completely different.

i had a few international colleagues speak to me about office issues and the atmosphere. they were really nice about it, they explained the differences and how i should be or shouldn’t be around people here. TRUST doesn’t exist in this place! They told me i should go out with them. i wish i was allowed.

I’ve decided i’m not going to leave work for lunch because i’ve been warned that people will follow me.

I’m at work so i better log off…

ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar

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With a drop of my sweetheart’s blood,
Shed in defense of the Motherland,
Will I put a beauty spot on my forehead,
Such as would put to shame the rose in the garden,”
– Malalai (Afghan heroine)

Lately, I have been caught up with home duties and studies as it’s my final semester! But here are the highlights.

We were invited to mums relatives house where I met X- a relative who was captured by the Taliban (while they were in power) at the age of 15. She was forced to marry him. She escaped with the help of her father to Pakistan! In retaliation, the Taliban held her mother hostage for months. Eventually, she was dragged back into her ‘husbands’ home. At the Taliban’s downfall, X escaped for good and joined the army. Currently, her story is wanted by many internationals who want to publish her story. She has refused, afraid of her identity being revealed as she lives in fear of her ex-husband. Her story has dominated BBC and taken tabloids by storm.
Surprisingly, she wants ME to write her biography so long as i don’t reveal her identity. It is an absolute honour! We exchanged contact numbers. Cool huh?
Sunday shoot outs- BBC News

President Hamid Karzai said 10 people died when coalition forces opened
fire on civilians after a suicide attack in eastern Nangarhar province on
Sunday.

Another issue which really worried me is the state of Kabul University. During the 50’s and 60’s the university was one of the finest in Asia- currently, it’s still prettier than any university i have seen so far. However, one of the students i met complained about the lack of facilities available. Basic necessities such as electricity and water or even chairs. In some cases, students have to take notes throughout the entire lecture, standing up! These students are the future of this country, they should be made a priority.
Kabul University in pictures…

I also visited, Lycee Malalai. A French school my dad’s sisters attended. Afghan and French flags greeted us, waving side by side. Tall and proud. The school hasn’t been destructed at all. Very well architectured. Inside paintings of a young afghan girl hung loose- it was the same girl, just different paintings. I knew Malalai was a name, but who was she? Mum explained who she was.
Malalai was a young girl, yet to be married who went along with the Afghan army to help tend to the wounded and provide water and spare weapons. Eventually there came a point in the battle where the Afghan army, despite their superior numbers, started to lose morale and the tide seemed to be turning in favour of the British. Seeing this, Malalai took off her veil and shouted out:
“Young love! If you do not fall in the battle of Maiwand,By God, someone is saving you as a symbol of shame!”

This gave many of the Afghan fighters and ghazis a new resolve and they redoubled their efforts. At that moment one of the leading flag-bearers fell from a British bullet, and Malalai went forward and held up the flag (some versions say she made a flag out of her veil), singing a landai:
“With a drop of my sweetheart’s blood,
Shed in defense of the Motherland,
Will I put a beauty spot on my forehead,
Such as would put to shame the rose in the garden,”

But then Malalai was herself struck down and killed. However, her words had spurred on her countrymen and soon the British lines gave way, broke and turned, leading to a disastrous retreat back to Kandahar and the biggest defeat for the Anglo-Indian army in the Second Afghan War. http://www.garenewing.co.uk/angloafghanwar/biography/malalai.php
Speaking my mind, exhausting my right to ‘freedom of speech’ has caused people fear for my safety. As a result, I edited previous posts and will try to maintain an objective stance in political issues which is extremely fragile. However, the media has finally shed some light on the French and Afghan workers who have been held hostage by the Taliban in Nimrooz- here’s the article from BBC.

Video footage has surfaced of two French aid workers seized by the Afghan Taleban several weeks ago.

Canada’s CBC network published still images from the video, which it said showed a female hostage pleading for her life in a whispered voice.
The two aid workers and three Afghan colleagues were seized in the Nimroz province nearly two weeks ago. The French government has confirmed these are the missing people, the Canadian broadcaster said. The images, which the channel calls “disturbing”, show the woman saying she is a French aid worker who was kidnapped by the Taleban 10 days ago.

At one point, she pleads for her life. Another man, who identifies himself as Eric, appears on the video making a similar appeal.
The video also shows the three Afghan men blindfolded and shackled, according to news agency Associated Press.
The tape would be the first evidence that the two aid workers and the Afghan men they were with are still alive.
The two French nationals were working for an educational NGO.
The Taleban has confirmed it is holding the five, but has not said what would happen to them.
French President Jacques Chirac asked the Afghan government on Friday to help secure their release.
Last month, an Italian journalist was kidnapped in the southern province of Helmand but released after two weeks.

Hmmmm… I wonder if Karzai will abide by his ‘no more negotiations with the Taliban’ policy or will this be another ‘extraordinary case’.
A lady was shocked today to find out we had come from khaarij. She stressed that situation is critical and now is definitely not the time to have come to Afghanistan. Westerners are constant targets. I started freaking out considering I’m working for an international organisation.
Thankfully, we’re getting armed bodyguards soon. At least, I’ll feel a little safer! But then again, it’s a crazy world, it’s hard to trust people.
There’s a virus out in Afghanistan (apparently created by the Pakis) which involves death by a simple telephone call. According to my sources, one person has been killed in Jalalabad as a result of excessive bleeding through the eyes, nose and ears. SO WHAT DO YOU DO? Avoid answering calls from unidentified numbers!
It’s 1252am, extremely tired!
PS Just outside my office, there’s a door keeper whom I had a chat with while waiting for my lift. He said something which has been repeating in my head all day. He said even if a Western Afghan returns to Afghanistan and does something as simple as build a house- that within itself will help nearly ten families, let alone working for the cause of the country.
Until then……
ba omideh deedaar…….

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Belated entries

Sister ‘S’ is getting engaged!
Tuesday 3rd April 2006

I haven’t been able to enter any blog entries (poor internet services) so here I am typing it on Microsoft word hoping for a miracle to take place and ta-da internet is connected. YEAH RIGHT!

Once again, I managed to wield my way out of marriage. Tehehehe. But for how long? Never mind, I’ll tackle the proposals one at a time.
In the meantime however, my gorgeous sister S is getting engaged. Yay! She said ‘yes’ to the proposal so basically the pre-wedding procedure happens in three steps (thanks to Mama Haji- dads uncle, for explaining).
Firstly, you have the lafz stage -parental approval of the wedding. It basically involves the parents of both the potential bride and groom to sort out any discrepancies privately and at the same time agree to the engagement. Brides family hands sweets and chocolate to the grooms family. I wish I was told this three years ago! I thought lafz was publicised for EVERYONE. Where the hell was my lifeline when I needed it? Damn it.

Secondly, this is publicised by the shirnee daadan process where the entire world is given the news (okay fine- I exaggerated, not the entire world! Just the afghans which means that news will travel at the speed of light and eventually the entire planet is bound to find out). In all seriousness, this stage hasn’t arrived yet. So I really don’t have a clue what happens.

Thirdly, is the engagement party. Self explanatory, really.

So yeah, tomorrow is the lafz. End of topic, it’s boring me already.

Yesterday we had coffee at Kabul City Centre. I felt like I was in Australia. the shopping cenre, the social atmosphere (it was around 4pm so all the business executives and ‘normal’ people had gathered) it felt like home. I think I found my haven when/if Kabul gets too much for me.

I also bough a huge afghan flag from the famous tourist place- Chicken Street (aka koochayeh morgha).Why? I don’t know. Patriotism. Hehe.
There was another shop with long elegant coats made of mink or wolf skin, cat skin, rabbit- you name it! Animal rights issues aside, they were beautiful. They only cost $500AU for the best in stock. It also comes with fur hats. Elite, classy, stylish.

The best part of today was Chelsea Supermarket. Everything is imported so they’re good quality stuff. I’m talking Cadbury chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, genuine designer perfumes, shampoos etc. Woolies has come to Kabul, YAY! I was so relieved. It’s pricey but who cares, it’s the closest thing to Woolworths.

Oh yeah, we bought a house. Finally! I’ve been living from a suitcase for the past three months. Argh!As I was saying, it’s a huge house. Twenty three rooms, five bathrooms and it’s four-five storeys high. Mashaallah! It was around US$260 000 (roughly 24 million Afghanis). The first thought that came to my head when I heard of the price was ‘imagine how many people that would feed?’

I have a job interview tomorrow. Found out in a very strange way. we were in the car, heading to Kabul City Centre today when a white 4WD with United Nations plates stopped on the side of the road. One of the men signalled for us to pull over. I thought it was trouble. He came over to my window and started talking to me. I had no idea who he was until my brother mentioned his name. he had recognised me (I had been to his office a while ago). He told me to call him later in the day and he’ll notify me abuo the job interview. How very odd! Called him, am due for an interview tomorrow at 1pm.

Returned home to realised that S needs jewelry and shoes to go with the dress. So we went shopping again. Walking to the shops, I noticed a black 4WD slowing down next to us with tinted windows. The guy inside was full on looking. ‘omg is that bejaan?’ the afghan rapper! My sister had a blank look on her face. The guys standing a few metres away from us caused a quick commotion ‘ohooo bejan jaaneh kunduzi’. That confirmed it! It WAS him. Anyways, we went on doing our shopping- we promised dad we’d be home before dark.

Erm.. I’m really very tired. Will write some more later. Dodgy internet.

OMG earthquaaake…

I just felt the ground shake like crazy. I woke Bro S and T, we started freaking out saying we should run downstairs. But outside everyone was pretty normal as if they didn’t feel it. Like it happens in horror movies- you sense stuff no one else can. But yeah, it was the first time something like that happened. Its over now.

Okay right now it’s 8.15am 4 April, I’m in bed. Still no internet connection, I’m tired as but cant sleep, work must be done. I’ve been up since 6am- todays S’s lafz ceremony. Lafz was given. Our driver came at 12pm to pick us up, stopped by at Kabul City Centre (shopping centre) picked up S’s dress (indian stuff). The guy that served us is so nice, he got the dress tailored to fit my sister and he bought my brother anti-acne cream.

Anyways, then we went to my job interview. I was escorted by W to the conference room where I waited for a while. One of the other workers was passing by, he stopped over to say hello and wished me luck for the interview. Interview went extremely well, was interviewed by a german who immediately picked up my Australian accent. She said I was a ‘fantastic candidate’ because of my business expertise and academic studies. She’ll get back to me within a week.

Next stop: mama Haji’s house for the lafz ceremony. I was running late- it was 2pm and people were due at 3pm. And S was asleep when I went in. took her to the salon, did her grooming. Went back, she got dressed. Went in to say hello to the guests. Lafz took place. Presents were distributed- the only recipient was S. she got gold, American dollars and more gold. eventually, they all left.

That was that.

Ba omideh deedaar khuda negahdaar!

Kabul Coffee House

Hezar ranjo aatash o gham..naamash ishq
Hezar dardo gham wa balaah.. naamash yaar
-Rumi

My new hang out place. Went there today for another job interview, atmosphere is so cosy and comfortable. Mainly for foreigners, the only afghans there were the waiters. Dad and I had a pretty long wait, an hour. We had coffee- my first in Afghanistan. Interview went well, got offered a job as a ‘civic development’ lecturer at Kabul University. But my only concern is I HATE TEACHING. But I’ll give it a go-I want to make maximum use of myself, I’m considering working 8am-4pm at my other office (if I get the job) and 4pm-7pm at the university. Hmmm….

Until next time…
Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar.

PS My internet should be connected tomorrow. Oh yeah, got news today- grandparents are flying over from Australia within a matter of weeks. Spoke to my paternal grand dad, man was he happy to hear that S is engaged. Cant wait til he comes. My maternal grandma also arrived from Paki land today.

Not again?! Another suicide blast

Mr Suicide bomber detonated himself this morning at Darulaman, Kabul. He killed 4 instantly, one died on his way to the hospital and 5 were injured.

Left Kabul for the first time. We went to Maidan- mum’s hometown. Grandma wanted to take Nawroozi for her soon to be daughter in law (currently engaged to my uncle). A few days ago there was a crossfire between Taliban fighters and ISAF troops in Maidan. Basically, the city is full of Taliban sympathisers who are truly dedicated to their cause.

We had to cross a river through the water (bridge had collapsed due to floods a few days back). Thankfully it was a 4WD. it was an hours drive, not a nice scene at all (surprisingly!). Compared to Jalalabad and Laghman, it was very dry, plain and flat.

At my mums-brothers- in-laws place, everything was predictable. We had lunch, ladies sang around a dayra. Some ladies got up and danced while others clapped and sang along. Mum told me to dance, I told her I didn’t want to in a subtle way. She kept insisting- literally pulling me by the hand. Jesus Christ!! I don’t want to dance, just want to sit and watch- which part of that don’t they understand? Spent the whole time counting the minutes (our driver instructed us to leave at 4.30pm at the latest due to insecurity along the way). Mum and grandma ended up staying a bit longer- great, more boredom for me! Everything was in Pashto.

Finally, it was time to leave. I said my goodbyes quickly and left for the car taking the front seat. Yay! It meant hearing more jihadi stories from our driver. He told me stories about how he had fought in Maidan for one and a half years during the Soviet invasion and pointed out their tracks through the mountains which they travelled by foot.

Still no internet- DODGY AFGHAN TELECOM! Typing this on Microsoft Word. It was supposed to be connected yesterday!

There’s an engagement party tomorrow at 9am (what the?). Doubt I’ll go! I need to find a job… there’s nothing else to do here. They must have emailed me- but I got no net!

ARGH! I’m going to sign out because I’m getting F R U S T R A T E D.

Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar.

Untitled
Saturday 7th April

She takes burdened steps into her new life
Her heart cries, her eyes weep
My heart had always wanted you, only you
The wounds you left me with only adds to my beauty
Like the scarred moon…
– Devdas

Ajmal Naqshbandi is still detained with the scruffy Talibans! They have issued an ultimatum which declares for the afghan government to meet their requirements by Monday otherwise they will execute Naqshbandi. I’m dying to find out more, but everything is in Dari (or even worst, Pashto!) and I still have no net. So dodgy!

The song from Devdas came on TV. I’m not a fan of indian movies but I fell in love with ‘Devdas’ when I watched it. It’s truly a classic! Anyways, the song is from the scene where it’s Parvatis final moments with her beloved Devdas before being taken away to her new husband, whom she doesn’t love. It’s all very powerful and emotional.

S and older R went to the engagement party with my grandma and yes, it was at 9am. I stayed home with mum, cooked and helped with the chores (which I HATE). Had to get some groceries for mum so I went with lil R to the shops near our place. I dread passing groups of eyes, I can feel them staring as if they have never seen girls in their entire life. or maybe it’s because they can tell we’re from ‘khaarij’ (referring to the west). as I was walking past I heard two boys talking loudly enough for me to hear, the conversation went something like this:

Guy 1- these girls are from the same place as you are
Guy 2- oh really? From Canada? Where do they live?

I didn’t hear the rest but at this point I just watned to turn around and blast them off verbally. Instead I continued walking, if I had done that- they would have taken it as though I have lead them on. YEAH RIGHT! Wishful thinking!

Rest of the day was spent serving tea, lunch, dinner, tea, tea and more tea. One of dads relatives came over proposing for his son- NOT INTERESTED, MATE! My sisters in laws came over- they came over with sweets and bought her a chunky solid gold bracelet (typical Afghan gift). We too gave them gifts.

I’m getting extremely aggravated with the dodgy internet services here. By the way, water has stopped running but electricity has been good to us. You don’t realise it, but without electricity life is dull. When the power used to return after a day of no electricity my sisters and I would jump for joy yelling, ‘YAY ELECTRICITY IS BACK!’ as if it’s a truck load of chocolates. Believe me, it’s more than that. Imagine life without electricity!

I’m looking forward to tomorrow- I’ll be seeing Kaka Sidiq at the orphanage. Bliss!

Until then…

Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar!

Dreamy mood
Sunday 8 April 2007

Az roozeh ke tu rafti pareedeh rangeh shaadi.
Amma khursheed metaabeh mesleh yek roozi aadih
Chetoor haanoz parandeh daareh havayeh parwaaz
Magar khabar nadaran tu rafti az kenaram
Chera baret nagoftan bi tu che haaleh daaram.
Ba chashme khastayeh mann, Asemoon az sang shudeh.
La’nat ba een tanhayee, dilam barat tang shudeh

-Tanhayee (Persian song)

Baran mebaarad emshaab, dilam gham daarad emshaab
Araameh jaaneh khasteh ra mesparam emshab
Qatreh qatreh ashkeh chashmam mechakeh ba nam nammeh baraan

Rangeh chashmat rangeh darya seenayeh mann dashteh ghamha
Yaadem ayad zeereh baraan baa tu boodam, zireh baraan baa tu tanha
Zeereh baraan gerya kardam, bal ke barran shoyad goonah az jaanem.

– Baraan (Omid)

Emshab mikhaam mast beshaam,
Een jaaneh naqabeleh hast, hezar fadayeh tu besheh
Beyofteh zeereh qadam haat, ke khaakeh paayetu besheh

Kohneh sharaab, kohneh sharaab emshab baal o param bedi
Emshab mekham harf bezanam khandeh konam geryeh konam
Lutfee konn saaqi emshab chand barabaram bedi

Emshab parr o baal daram, shoor daram haal daram
– Omid

mmmmm..ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar…

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Let go of your worries
and be completely clear-hearted,
like the face of a mirror
that contains no images.
If you want a clear mirror,
behold yourself
and see the shameless truth,
which the mirror reflects.
If metal can be polished
to a mirror-like finish,
what polishing might the mirror
of the heart require?
Between the mirror and the heart
is this single difference:
the heart conceals secrets,
while the mirror does not. –
Rumi

Cooked today! I’m starting to like it because I’m getting better at it. I cooked goolpi (cauliflower).

I also saw the first proper proposal procedure today, for my sister. The family is a very well respected and educated family- so is the guy asking for my sisters hand. It’s not tradition for the girls family to give an answer straight away, usually takes days (sometimes weeks, months or years). My sister and her potential suitor sat across each other, I sat next to my sister. My sister was too shy to even twitch so I decided to do all the talking asking typical questions which I already knew the answer to (mum and dad had told us before hand). ‘what do you study?’ ‘which year of uni are you currently in?’ ‘Is it hard?’ blah blah blah. He replied in very formal Dari, beyond my comprehension. I tuned out. He would occasionally say a few phrases in English for my understanding (Okay, my Dari may not be the best but I’m not that bad!). Very decent dude. Sisters verdict: pending (yes, I am dying of curiosity).

Also went to Ustaad Sayaafs house (dads paternal cousin, also an MP). Sat, tea served, smiled and nodded. Left. What was the point of going? Just to keep mum company.

On the way back, I realised that women should come out more. This place is suffering from male overflow. If women come out more, then maybe it won’t be so much of a ‘‘man’s world’’.

The past few days I’m feeling better about this place but I ‘lost’ a friend, a soul mate and my confidant. I’m going to miss u a lot. Hopefully, time will reveal all. Farkhunda, if you’re reading this. I miss you!

Ba omideh deedaar, khuda negahdaar.

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