Monday, 18 May 2009

Gratitude to Life !!

You, Reader…. I’d bet my socks that you probably wouldn’t know more than half the people on this list, coz it’s My List. But I would also bet that you have a list just like this. Chances are that every person you read about here, you have them in your life as well….just under different names. There are many ways to file such a list, but the best way is to go Chronologically.


~ Thank you Allah… for deciding to unleash me into this world, as a boon for some, and a bane for many. And I specially thank you for the conditions and circumstances under which you let me loose on Earth, specially the fantastic genetic donors whom you sent me through.

~ Thank you Mom and Dad, for deciding to have me.
~ Thanks Mom for carrying me for 9 long months, through smiles and grimaces of pain. I am sorry for all the twists and turns and all the kicks, which caused you a lot of discomfort, specially in your sleep and other unexpected times. It was unintentional. Honest!! And ever since, thanks for the amazing upbringing, the way you taught me to love ppl and to try to help everyone I could and how to be a great friend.
~ Thanks Dad for taking care of mom through those 9 months, for those un-relenting teary prayers for my safe arrival, for the Flower of Maryam and for the un-explainable joy with which you celebrated my home coming. I’ll never forget the magic in your written lines declaring “I have a Son.” Thanks for the ethics and morals you have imbibed in me, the gift of reading and being my most influential teacher in Islam.

~ Thanks Mom for bearing me through those stupid nights where I ruined your sleep with my incessant crying and still having the patience not to throw me out of the window. Thanks Dad for singing me to sleep every time. Although I didn’t get the songs then, I heard them again when you sung Faiz to sleep. You rock Guys !! I Love you a lot !!

~ Thanks again Allah n My parents for giving me Faiz, the best brother a guy could as for. Sure he cried a lot, fought a lot, was a stubborn ass. But I don’t think anyone would stand up and tease the people who bugged me like he could (although he took personal sadistic pleasure in making ppl weep)
~ Thanks Faiz, for being so loving. I’d rather have you beside me in a fight than any beefed up wrestler. Thanks for all the times we’ve laughed to tears, when we’ve spent late nights talking, and thanks for listening to my stories even though they made little sense. I pray we stay like this forever inshaAllah.

~ Thanks Dada-Abba for the great legacy you’ve left me with. Although I never met you or saw you, I’ve heard so much about you, and I want you to know that I truly respect and admire you for being such a great man, a giant among your peers and a legend in the old circles of Mysore. Thanks for all the blessed prayers you made for me and Faiz years before we were born, They still continue to decorate our lives.
~ Thanks Daadi-Maa for holding the family together for as long as you lived, and being the support system for the huge family. Thanks for the amazing pickles and the smuggled 2 rupees you gave for my pani-puri escapes. Thanks for all the blessings and the shade you cast upon the family through all sunny days

~ Thanks Nana Abba for the gift of Education. I am sure you would have been the proudest and happiest person on earth to see me Graduate. I missed you when I held my final report card. I miss you still. Thank you for inspiring education and making me understand that wisdom & true success is not in marks you obtain, but in the marks you leave behind.
~ Thank you Nani Ammi for the bedtime stories, the baths you gave me whilst reciting prayers, the amazing dishes and the protection from bad nazar you always gave us. Thanks for being a strength to me in my bad days, and for all the duas you still make for me. I pray you live long enough to tell bed time stories to my kids and more

~ Thank you Aani and Qalu for being my second parents, for the prayers, for the awesome spicy gosht dishes, and for the late night scoldings and relentless care through my engineering. I am sorry for all the worries I caused with my carelessness.

~ Thank you Ather chacha and Saeeda Chachi, for looking after me in the most delicate years of teenage, from 10th grade to 12th, thanks for all the protection from my environment. Thanks for the unwavering trust in my abilities, and the prayers which helped me be where I am.

~ Thank you Bhaiju & Bhabi for my first influences in lateral thinking, and for giving me my first bug in photography and for being the first people to inspire me to write poetry. (Coorg Photograph).
~ Thank you Mummy for those discussions and explanations about Mirza Ghalib's stupidity and his genius, the forced lunches and faux anger. Miss you a lot.
~ Thank you Afshaan aapi, for the continued inspiration in everything, those lessons in Micro-biology and wisdom, and for teaching me the invaluable lessons in courage and strength. I learnt more from you than from most of my teachers. Not to mention, the tag of L.B.B.

~Thank you Rumi, for being my first sister. Although we were cousins, I loved you like a real sibling. Rest in peace Angel !

~ Thanks Ameen Bhaiya for the amazing times I had as a Kid, You were my brother before Faiz was born, Thanks for the long baths in the bathroom with the worst possible singing we could manage, and the long bike rides singing PAPA KEHTE HAIN along the streets of Mysore. Thanks Muzzy for all those long talks and the amazing Algebra lessons. I’ll forever remember the force and acceleration formula F=MA (maaaa !!)
and Ehtesham Bhaiya, for the long late night walks and the laughs and gossips about the world. You guys are amazing cousins. I love you guys a lot, I wish we are all together once again like old times.

~ Thank you Edris Bhaiya for being the source of so much happiness for me and my family.
~ Thank you Zareen Bhabi for those amazing dahi vadas in the Ramadhan of 2007.
~ Thank you Irfan Bhaiya and Seema Bhabi for a Home in this lonely city of Dubai.

~ Thanks to the rest of my relatives for Not believing in me, for thinking I was not good for anything. You pushed me to achieve whatever little I have managed to. And you taught me some of my most important lessons in life. In everyway, I owe you guys for creating the situations which have made me the person I am today. I hope someday, everything returns to normalcy.
~ Thank you Nasreen Aunty for being my first Baby sitter, Tasneem aunty for having us all through our holidays and hosting the most amazing holiday getaway at the Al Sadd home, Adila aunty for the games and jokes, Nishad Aunty & Arifa aunty for considering me with so much regard that you put me in charge of your little ones. Its been an honour having all of you as mother figures.

~ Thanks all the corresponding uncles of the above mentioned ladies for marrying them. You are really lucky men. Alhamdulillah

~ Thanks Farhan & Shazaan for being my first partners in crime, I mean, wow, its been a helluva ride growing up with u guys, The Volcano experiments, Power Rangers, Night outs at farhan's place, reruns of the Champ and Ace Ventura movies and all the hogging on chocolates n snacks..Its been a pleasure guys.. Thanks Faizaan for being another li'l bro to me, you're an awesome kid, Pray u grow up in2 an awesome human. Mannan & Aiman too, Stay awesome guys.

~ Thank you Vipin and Vinod, for being my best friends for whatever short time we had together. Its been fun guys !!

~ Thank you Shagu,Salma, Hajira and Mahera didz for being adorable sisters..Hope married life gives u all the joy and happiness you girls always dreamed off..

~ Thank you all my teachers in St. Josephs, for the amazing 2 years of schooling which were a million times more awesome than the 8 years in Qatar. You Ladies rock, (So do you Ramsingh Sir). Specially Ms. Joyce, Ms. Nirmala, Ms. Shaylaja, Ms. Mathur, Ms. Carmel, Ms. Veena, Ms. Asha and Ms. Rosy... I miss you alll soooo much.... Love you all

~ Thank you N.R. Rao sir, for the amazing Math tuitions. They have been unforgettable. We Miss you !

~ Thank you Faraz Affaq Sir, for urging me to write. Thank you for deluding me into believing that I could write ;-)

~ Thank you Neethi, for being an amazing pal through 9th n 10th.
~ Thank you Anu, for the wisdom you showed at that age too.
~ Thank you All my class mates from school, The goa trip rocked.
~ Thanks James, for being a pain in the ass in school, and such an amazing buddy after. And Thanks for making me a proud teacher by being such an amazing Snooker player today ;-) But your biggest gift to me was Maa. Dawn Aunty You rock, Wish I was in Mysore more often. Miss your pampering. And I miss Kingsley uncle’s talks too. Love you loads. Yo Zane, thanks for being so cool.. Stay Awesome.

~ Thanks Cindy and Preetz for being such sweet pals. Cindy, ur the best gal I could imagine being teased with..haha.. I pray u smile all thru. And Preetz, You’re a rock dude…Thanks for keeping the group together. keep those poems coming.

~ Thank you Niki, for being my sister from another mother. Thanks for being my sibling, for all the love, care, prayers and thrashings. For all the fights, and the long talks. Thanks for listening to me whine, for giving me so much care, for being my biggest strength through my weakest days in life. Thanks for believing in me when even I doubted myself. And thanks for never letting me miss my relatives. For all the long hours we spent with our group in coffee day, cross words etc, and those crazy moments of uncontrollable laughter. For standing up for me and thrashing the ppl who hurt me, Thanks for being my angel in disguise and for giving me another Mom in Aai. Tell Aai that the Biryani was amazinggggg. I Love you loads.

~ Thanks Sammy and Wahid, for the adorable stupidity in life. For the moments of amazing memories we created. For the hide n seek game in the Malls, and specially for the Teary Hugs. They mean the world to me.Thanks Wahid for those longgg nights on the hostel terrace, star-gazing and talking about all the inconsequential things in life, and the crazy rolling laughter over our jokes....not to mention, my last sem of awesomeness..
~Thanks Tannu for being my sunny sunflower..met u just a couple of time, n spoke even less, but I still have ur duas, wishes and thoughts in that li'l blue book of mine....n i carry it with me always...may you be happy and peaceful wherever you go..inshaAllah

~ Thanks Ausaaf for being a cool friend, we’ve had our moments of craziness, sorry for the yelling. I hope we remain buddies forever inshaAllah.

~ Thank you Gudiya for bringing so much joy into my life. For being the gullible li’l angel that you are. For adoring me so much and trusting me so much even though we never met. For that innocence which makes me wanna pull ur cheeks everytime. For making Bhaijaan such an awesome word and a title of such honour.

~ Thank you Reyaz Sir and Bhai. You guys were the best seniors I could ask for. Thanks for those amazing moments of support, and the best times of laughter and un-matched stupidity which we had. Thanks Reyaz sir for the amazing hostel cooking, and Thanks Bhai for making us study with those angry eyes.
~ Thanks Umar for being such a great buddy. You are one of the most amazing human beings I have ever come across. You are deadly unique. Stay that way. Wish You all the success Umrao Jaan ;-)

~ Thanks Mohsin, Shanu and Sandy for being part of the most amazing study group ever put together. I’ll miss the night outs, the tea breaks, the music in the darkness, the sheer anxiety before the paper and the chilled out moments after. The splitting of syllabus, teaching each other and the amazing synergy through it all. We rocked Guys !!!

~ Thanks Kashif for those amazing jokes and those nights of unstoppable laughter

~ Thanks to the rest of the Amazing gang in Hostel, Zafar, Rizwan, Farhaan, Musta, Shafquat, Shanawaz, and everyone else.. You were the most amazing gang EVER !!!

~ Thanks Shadab Hali for making Bakr-eid so unforgettable in the hostel. That 3 kg Dish and 40 Rotis was the Best breakfast we ever had in Bakrid away from home.. Missed you lots, I hope wherever you are, you're rocking.

~ Thanks Baba Safiullah for making us fall in love with Engineering Graphics. And for being such an amazing professor. Not to mention the most adorable one too. I don’t think in the history of education, an over-weight teddy bear has mastered the art of drawing 3D machine assemblies on a blackboard.

~ Thanks to all my juniors and the gangs of Ramadhan party, for the hysterical water wars on the 2nd year rooftop, for the last minute rush before the iftaar and yet managing to put on a great spread. And also for the madness unleashed during college days. Specially Khalid, Ehsan, Musavvir, Siddiq, Hasan and Ibrahim.

~ Thanks B.P. for the amazing dinners which made us survive through the college years.

~ Thanks to the college mess, for making us eat vegetables we didn’t know existed.

~ Thanks to the entire Auto Rickshaw Drivers in Bangalore who taught me Kannada, and also the rally-adaptive talent of riding on Bangalore roads.

~ Thanks Nauman, Bumble Beez, Nuu and Asif..for all the solid times at Qwickies and CCD. And our picnics too. Cant wait till the next one.

~ Thanks Fasi for being a hilarious friend, your stories are always fun to listen to, I hope you and Afshan have a great life together and may Allah bless Yousuf with a lovely future embedded in deen and duniya

~ Thanks Guddu for being a sweetheart. You’re a great kid, and I hope you will grow up to be a greater human inshaAllah.

~ Thanks to the guys from Calvin and Hobbes, who thought I had a sense of humour, and who accepted me as a part of the looniness. Neo, Sanjog, Lava, Ajay, Farheen,Suzie, Darthy, Sangy, Saurabh,Lazy-Crazy (ravi), Adi, Ani, Sammok, Sorcy, Jaycee, Anshy, and not forgetting Owner Mama, my partner in crime from Andaz Apna Apna and everyone else at TCS for making it an online home. Thanks for the SHARKY Tag. It’s one of the best names I’ve ever had. Hope we all get together someday and really crack it.

~ Thanks Lava for being the wackiest teen I’ve come across, keep rocking.
~ Thanks Shaivy for the never ending shayari tennis we've had..Keep writing.
~ Thanks Sana for the Grunge Tag..

~ Thanks Zaid, for being my Soul brother. For the amazing jokes we’ve laughed our guts out on. For the “Samandar Khan Dreams”. And for the li’l miracle smile machine Maddy.
~ Thanks Farah for being an amazing friend. Even though we’ve never met, feels like I know you very well. May you become an awesome doctor n fulfill all your parents dreams like you wished :)
~ Thanks Ayesha for opening my eyes to Human Hibernation.Its awesome in its logic and its relation to the Holy Quran.

~ Thanks Moin for making me a part of the Wacky group in Dubai. Its awesome.
~ Thanks to All my roomies in Dubai. Specially Zubair, Irshad, Tabraiz, Fahad,Jinnu and Zulfi. I'm so glad that I have you crazy bunch as my roommates. Thanks for all the support and the care through these almost 2 years. Specially the weekend fun..Its been awesome..
~ Special holla to Irshad for being my partner in crime out here, for the crazy laughs and long night outs and for our sheer awesome bonding (Chal ab paise de tera naam liya aur ek baar :P)

~ Thanks Meetz for being the most amazing friend anyone could ask for. Not just a friend, an amazing teacher. You’re one of the most exemplary people I’ve ever ever EVER seen. And words will never be enough to tell you how special you really are. You are a Gem, and trust me when I say this, I am not the only one who believes so…. You are an integral part of many peoples lives, and as much as you hate to admit it, they admire you more than you will ever know. You like a shooting star, who doesn’t know the impact it carries, or how beautiful it really is. Cant wait to meet you ;-) I hope you write many many more books and publish em too. Thanks for making me Hobbes :-D
And since the first time we met, thank you for adding so much value to my life, my character and my every single day. You are truly an angel and I cant even begin to describe the amount of heartfelt prayers that come for you my friend. I hope Urmi grows to be awesomer than you are.. Paresh bhai rocks and it was amazing to go on that drive with him and spend the weekend being pampered by Aunty :D and cuddled with Urmi :D

~ Thanks Serdar for the amazing friday lunch in Furstenfeldbruck. I was close to tears that day out of happiness and how a simple halal dish of eggs and sausages made life in a foreign land so much better. Your mother is truly an angel, SubhanAllah. I Pray you and your family is blessed always

~ Thanks Toufik for taking me around Munich. It was spectacular to see those sights and I am glad I had you for company bro. Next time inshaAllah we will visit Neuschwanstein as well.

~ And last but not the least, Thanks Arjun. I dunno if I should call you my buddy or my li’l brother. But whatever I call you, I want u to know that ur spectacular. You’re the best fruiter in the world. Thanks for the amazing time in Mysore. Next time I promise we’re gonna go on a Road trip to a far off place. Oh yeah, thanks a lot for the idea for this article.

And all of you up there, A big thanks once again...It's been a real pleasure knowing you all. And inshaAllah will continue to be so...

For those of you who didn’t find your names……….I’m sorry I am a forgetful person……But you’re still awesome.And you've made a difference in my life, for which I love you.. So Stay awesome ;-)
Addendum….
From my previous update….lets pick it up where we left off….
In the 2 years since, this list has just grown and grown well.
~Thanks Zubair for being such a lucky guy that Allah blessed you with an amazing life partner mashaAllah. Afshan Bhabi, thank you so so so much for being like a sister and a bhabi who has given us bachelors a home in this desert where we can come anytime and ask for any special dish and expect a motherly treatment :).. And Special thanks for giving us an amazing dude in Aasim to play with...I hope I am a good chachu to him
~Thanks Irshad for Raniya Bhabi's special care and for the little doll Isra. Its such a great honor that I'm her godfather and I gave her first azaan. I pray she is blessed with the best of habits and she illuminates everyones lives that she touches inshaAllah.
~Thanks Devika for all those awesome talks. It was fun learning so many things and teaching you so many things in turn. It is epic that we agree on so much and disagree on so much…
~Thanks Aaliyah baby for bringing such joy into the lives of my family. I mean, you have GOT to be the cutest, sweetest most adorable kid in the whole world. For all the laughs, for all the trips you made me take just to see your smile and hear you talk and play, for making mom and dad feel so full of life just by being your adorable self, Thank you. And I hope you grow up and keep your cuteness, innocence and sweetness intact. Thank you Fathima Dii & Shekhu bhai for gifting the world with Aaliyah... and of late...Aaishah :D
~Thanks Huda for making me appear in Gulfnews through the community portals. It is an amazing honor that you consider me and my picture worthy of the print space.
~Thanks Zaki bhai for making me join Heriot Watt instead of UOWD. It has made the world of a difference already and I’m still waiting to see what the next year unfolds.
~Thanks Priya for being the first friend in MSc. From the empty lectures of Process Intensification, to waiting for the bus, the “Cappuchino” nickname and responding to a gift with a “WHAT THE….?” :D
Thank you for being such an adorable pal and making the group so much more awesome by your presence. And for all the amazing laughs we had which I cant put up here coz they are wayyy to damn many….Stay awesome and remember your promise to be a friend for life (and your promise to come to my wedding with the rest of the gang below)
~Thanks Sarath for reading the damn newspaper and identifying me out of the crowd and that li’l spark which started a friendship with you which lead to the group coming together. Remain your bubbly self. And you are welcome (for the matchmaking). Remember “Over My Dead Body”
~Thanks DJ (Tushar) for all the crazy ass laughs, the pranks and being partners in crime. Lets make it a point to always get time to get together for a cup of Moroccan tea whenever life gets a bit tedious. You are playing the music @ my wedding and if you ditch us then, you will need a doctor. "Call me a doctor doctor...to bring meeeee back to lifeee"
~Thanks Vimal for being awesome fun. For the comfort of your home for our studies, for the crazy ass laughs and for the E-moron-ness !! You have a good heart dude, keep it that way. People can count on you and it is an amazing and rare quality. But don’t let people take undue advantage of you.
~Thanks Tina for being my little widdle sweety sis... I can’t believe how grown up you are and still how much of a kid you feel like to us. You have a lot of love in your heart to give out to the world kido, and it is a special special thing. Your biggest strength is your smile and your family….keep them close always (Both families I mean ;)).
~Thanks Ahmer for the great run we had together. Its sad we had some misunderstandings but the chat by the Sharjah corniche, the time at college and the long crazy chats are forever.. Good luck with your poetry bro….And hope we can sort everything out and return to being Bubbles & Butterfly.... Update: We are back...feels awesome to be back in touch bro..lets keep it awesome
~Thanks Nithin for the Prado drives, the long discourses about World of Warcraft, the stupid giggles and for understanding my jokes. Good luck with your career mate. And Indulgence FOREVER !!!!
~Thanks Rameez for teaching me photography (I learnt by watching), for the awesome BBQ days, the amazing pics and most of all, thanks for the madness of the desert safari in the Tahoe. That is one unforgettable night. Next time, we combine the camping and the dune bashing in one mad evening. And yeah, I’m bringing my Civic over again.
~Thanks Tijo for opening up your home for our final group studies. It felt like home truly. And for being such an amazing guy. Your jokes crack everyone up and it’s a startling revelation how we all thought you were just a serious career minded guy who was solitary but boy did you shock the crap out of us (Imagine that)…. For all the mad dumb charades (specially Saddi Gali)…Cheers
~Thanks Jovin for being an eye opener. Your honesty is both your strongest and weakest quality. But it is a quality I wish more people in the world have. Its been an honor to know you as a friend and also as a business associate (you still dint give me the order). I wish you achieve all your academic goals and change the world as you set out to be.
~Thanks Nida for being such a cutey pie. Your strength, resolve and confidence hit me hard when we first met, and it has just kept growing. You have an amazing talent in almost everything you do kido. And I wish you the best of both worlds inshaAllah. And I just love the fact that unlike most of the teens at your age, you are not uptight and love your family and your siblings and are close to them.This is a very big deal in today’s world. Keep it on.
~Thanks Asif for becoming a part of the group again. Its amazing having you as a roommate. I hope and pray Allah grants you amazing levels of success in this world and the next and fulfills your dreams ;)
And there we go….for now….
If your name is still not up there, Then know that its on purpose….its coz I don’t want the world to know about you yet ;) And Yes….I still Love you no matter what….

Thanks for Reading


- Faraz

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Heading Home -2

I land in Bangalore after a butt-aching 4 and a half hours of flying.
The MP3 Player is playing some sweet homecoming stuff which is kinda
emotional, I think its from Westlife (WIPE THAT SMIRK OFF UR FACE!!! I
DONT LIKE EM, but the song has a nice lyrics about going home to the place you love.)

So the song plays in my ears as I walk towards the aircraft exit. My eyes fall on the business class airhostess, and she looks like she’s younger than the rest (probably 45 years old I guess)
The pilot walks out and I can almost imagine him re-fixing his dentures (okay so I am making a mountain out of a molehill. But it’s the oldest crew and plane I’ve EVER been in a long time. The plane didn’t even have an inflight entertainment facility. NO TV !!!!)

The ol’ pilot parked the plane in some in-accessible corner of the airport, so we had to get a bus to the airport from the plane. I stepped out of the plane to a familiar smell of the Bangalore night… Ahhh, Home Sweet Home!! Its indescribable really, but even if you had blindfolded me, and put me on the runway at night, I’d have no trouble differentiating the greenery induced fragrance of Bangalore to the dusky sandy fragrance of Doha. I got into the transport bus, and unlike other airports, this bus driver waited until the bus was filled with enough people so that each one’s arm was jammed under another’s armpit… Ahhh, Home Sweet Home!!
Immigration check and collection of baggage was too slow, funny how Einstein’s relativity works isn’t it? And then I literally ran out of the airport and saw the taxi rental stand. Since no soul in India except a certain fruiter was aware of my arrival, I had to take the taxi. I smiled at the suited-up man in the booth and told him “R.T. Nagar Please !!”
And he goes, “Certainly sir.” And picks up a laminated sheet of paper to look up the rates. “That would cost you 800 Rupees Sir”, he says with a smile. And I feel a punch land in my stomach, (just so you know, a taxi from the old airport to my home costed 400 Rupees, and this one was supposed to be CLOSER !!!) Clearly, this guy was ripping me off with his BRANDED SERVICE. At 11:45 in the night, it didn’t look as if I had much choice, I reached for my wallet, Ahhh, Home Sweeeeet Home!!

This was my first landing at the new Bangalore airport. Not bad, the old fogies had managed to make a decent place. I walked towards the taxi stand and was welcomed by a dog snoozing on the road.. Ahh..Now I am TRULY HOME !!! The red eyed taxi driver started up and drove me home, along the way, there was this HUGE grin plastered over my face. The White street lights like 2 strings of pearls lined the road, I passed by signboards showing familiar Indian Celebs selling everything from a toothpaste to a Blue Whale, I passed by a road lined with red mud which smells all to familiar to me, instantly bringing a host of memories, the cool wind through the open windows beat every Air conditioning system I’ve ever enjoyed, how it caressed my hair like a loving mother, and how it threw a hundred kisses all over my face. And then, I passed by a small bridge, over an open sewer, for some strange reason, the smell of it, just made my smile a little more wider….I was Home….