Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Time for an update!

Greetings people! I know I’ve been horribly neglectful of the blog recently, and guess its time to bring you all up to speed! My Absence was the result of more than a little chaos (that sounds like those notes for school you used to construct yourself without your parents knowing!). Seriously though, my health has deteriorated quite a bit, the arthritis in my hands has spiralled way quicker than doctors expected. I’ve had a number of bone scans, and while doctors debate what to do with me, I have to ware huge hand splints for hours on end, and don’t have the same computer access that I used to (self-imposed, yet necessary exile). This probably wouldn’t seem like a big deal to most people, but for me, it felt as if my world had fallen apart: I couldn’t read my favourite blogs, study the news or do my online shopping. My Emails were piling up, as were incomplete job applications, and then, some one suggested voice recognition software, and I cried!! For days!! I hate these programmes, and while governments try to move us away from Braille, our own written medium and language, they want to stop me typing as well! Writing, deleting and expressing my own thoughts through the liberation that is writing! I was devastated, stopped going out, answering the phone, having any thing much to do with the outside world! Then, I had to go to London (and things got better by the Grace of Allah!). This trip was the last thing I wanted to do, as I was too lost in isolation: and as well as the new pain I was experiencing, the medication is causing quite horrific stomach upsets (I don’t think I want to go here, but suffice as to say leaving the house can be challenging!). However, going was what I had to do, and with lots of dua and a heavy heart, I boarded the train on the 16th May! The trip was all about the Iran Embassy: yeah! Remember that saga? Turns out that they really did need to fingerprint and interview me, and there was no avoiding it! The agency who have been acting on my behalf, advised that a certain known individual (lets call him MR. Leader of the community), had the power to pool strings and negate this responsibility! So, I sent a very diplomatic Email, politely requesting assistance: I’ve never been particularly close to MR. Leader in the community, but his family are very good friends of mine, and I was certain he would assist! Now, I should point out here, that my hubby-to-be has never been a fan of MR. Leader in the community, and others like him. His logic: well! He’s lived in Iran and seen the best, and indeed the worst of religious/power abuses on the part of such self-made leaders! He feels that the Iranian regime in particular has corrupted the pure shia legacy they are supposed to be cherishing, and it is for this reason, and this reason alone, that we would not consider settling in Iran after we get married!
Back to the situation at hand: it seems that MR. Leader in the community had been doing his research too, and decided he wasn’t going to assist me after all, why? Yeah you got it! because my husband, when interviewed, discussed his views on the so-called Islamic state! I was so angry! What do these people get out of creating barriers for others? These people, none of whom ever helped me to find a husband during my 7-year search! None of whom offered any kind of support when I was out of work or too ill to hold down a job and had barely enough money to heat my apartment in the winter! These people, who preach on about how the blind are to be “pitied”, (not that I’d want that, but some empathy might have come in useful on occasions!). I was angry, bitter and broken, but as is usually the case, Reza was the voice of reason, reminding me that ultimately, Allah (SWT) is the sustainer and the best of planners! It is he, and he alone who will decide our fate, and grant us the outcome that is best, whether it’s the one we want or not! And so, with this heart, I went to London: and from the moment I arrived, the old ‘Roshni started creeping back in to the forefront! It was sunny, busy and just so …., London! I was with good friends, those I loved and who loved me, and I hadn’t seen them for ages! It felt good, liberating and almost like coming home! I did the rounds, had lots of laughs, visited green street and, despite my resolve, I just HAD to buy a suit from Bareeza: you hear? I had to!! I woke up each morning I was there with circles of birds sitting on my attic window (and yeah, the Bob Marley song rang true: every little thing, was alright!). On Tuesday of last week, I began what I’ve recently termed ‘mission Iran! That is a journey across London, picking up documents and required pieces of paper, before hot-footing it to the embassy to submit them! The journey was long, hot and tiring, and we were even sent to the wrong building and had an extra 30 minutes walk to the right one towards the end, but the interview its self went like clock work: mashallah all of your duas, support and good wishes paid off! The Embassy staff were warm, professional and helpful, and a few days later, I learnt on very good authority that the visa would be issued! This is a huge relief for both of us: I’ve caused my in-laws enough stress already, and I was already starting to fret over how I’d tell them if I didn’t get the visa!
I came home on Wednesday, and dad offered to pick me up from the station: a very kind gesture, but something that worried me: he wanted to go for lunch: (again, why worry you may ask?), well, dad never goes out with me in hijab: he just won’t! and of course, I wouldn’t be taking it off: so, how in the world did we move forward from here! He picked me up, I was tired, weak and with a pounding migraine, but didn’t show any of it: I met his growls with smiles, and then he suggested I go home and changed before we went for lunch! I don’t know where I got the courage from, but I smiled again, calmly informed him I didn’t require to get changed, and how if I went home and then come out again, I’d be late as I was having my online grocery shop delivered and needed to get back at a reasonable time! I expected him to fly in to a rage, to take me home and call it off, but he didn’t! we went for lunch, and that too in a small place opposite his work! Granted, it was 2.30 and there wasn’t much danger of colleagues dropping in, but a risk none the less! And one that made a huge deal to me! I was floating on optimism for a good few days after: mum didn’t share my happiness, she still thinks hijab is optional and I use it to cause a fight: but hey, happiness is a blessing, and should be shared, whether others embrace it or not!
The stress of the trip etc came out then, and I spent a couple of days in bed, but Saturday I was back in full form: in the evening attending a fundraiser for a school for the blind in Calcutta. We had the customary dodgy language being used, the sympathy votes and the pleas for money for the “poor stricken blind in their dark world” (that was a real quote from the film they showed), but I like to think I countered some of that in my own speech: I got positive feedback at any rate, including a few who suggested I think about a career in politics! …, Those on here who suggested the same: do you see a pattern!! (grin).

Other than that, we began the new Environmental project with GCIL on Monday (will write more on it later), but despite the initial logistical problems, we had a successful day, and I’m allot more optimistic about its success than I was in the beginning! So, there you have it! my update, all is …, well, not right, but at least improved with the world! And to top it, a close friend has invited me for dinner tomorrow: my friend, who cooks the most fantastic biriani in the history of biriani cooking in Glasgow: and I am more than a big bit excited!

I’ll leave you with One born every minute (late this week I know!). Short and sweet: here’s a bit of bangra for ya! Why? Well, because its summer, and this is my ultimate summer tune right now. If my friends had kept the car, we would have been chacking the phatay to this at every traffic signal in green street, and, yesterday I was found hoovering in time to some great bangra tunes while this song blasted out! Even if you don’t do pindu music, you’ll love this, and for all those idiots still listening to ‘amplifier, THIS IS THE MUSIC YOU WILL LIKE, acha? Cool, now that we’ve got that out of the way, enjoy! Oh and if any one has this in mp3: please send my way as I just can’t find it!

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