Thursday, August 28, 2014

Conversations with Anya

A bilingual household means a bilingual kid! I'll try to post the translations of most of the conversations but sometimes its not that easy. Hope you’ll excuse that :)



Taking pictures on her camera and then handing it me saying: 'Ab aap issko apne laptop se connect karo and edit kardo inko‘ (Now connect it to your laptop and edit them)


Anya, in the car: Mama can I have a cupcake, kyunke mei ne icecream finish kya hai' (Mama, can I have a cupcake? Because I finished my ice cream)


After I explained the concept of privacy to her, at dinner time the same day.

Me: Anya, what should I put on your plate?

Anya: Mama ap mujhe privacy karne do. (Let me do privacy)

Me: ?!!

Anya: I'm doing privacy. You can't talk to me.


In Ramadan when I had just explained the concept of fasting to her. Me before dinner time, as she gets after me to eat one snack or another: Bass ab, you cant eat anything else before dinner time.

Anya, all confused: Kya mera roza hai? (Am I fasting?)


Bilal looking at Anya as she sits on my lap.

Anya: Baba don’t watch me. I'm not a TV.


Anya: Mama apka laptop slow horaha hai. I think usska aur gas finish hora hai iss liye woh slow horaha hai. (Mama your laptop is getting slow. I think it’s out of gas that’s why its slow)


Bilal: There are so many vitamins in the raspberries, eat them.

Anya: (in a really bad, whiny mood) But I DON’T SEE vitamins.


Anya bringing book to Bilal: Sunao yeh.

Bilal, looking at it: Lekin yeh to buhat lambi hai.

Anya: Noooo (whines) Lekin ap bhi lambe ho

Me: Hahahaha


Anya, playing with me: Mama first I'll throw balloon..

Me: Anya in Urdu please, like this.. Mama, pehle mei balloon… (I usually start off Urdu sentences for her to explain to her)

Anya: Mama, pehle mei balloon throw karungi, phir ap ussko.. ussko.. ussko.. (trying to find the word) thapar marogi.

Me: !!


Bilal and me discussing some stuff as Anya sits around.

Me: Anya zindagi to bari mushkil hoti hai. Ap enjoy kar lo abhi.

Anya, listens carefully, then begins to hum to herself: Zindagiiii gulzarr hai.


Thanks for reading and lots of love.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AROUND ISLAMABAD: Lok Virsa & Folk Museum


Hey lovelies, so here’s another photo journey from our time in Pakistan. Lok Virsa is one of the older sites in Islamabad and the center of many cultural festivals. We were going after a long time and thoroughly enjoyed the many little art galleries, handicraft shops and the live music. My mom has always loved taking us to museums and we have probably visited every museum in the numerous cities of Pakistan we have lived in, so it was bittersweet as we explored the cultural museum.


Lok Virsa Museum, also known as the Folk Heritage Museum, is one of the finest cultural museums in Pakistan. It works towards creating an awareness of cultural legacy by collecting, documenting, preserving and disseminating folk and traditional heritage. It depicts the history and living traditions of the people of Pakistan both from the mainstream and the remotest regions of the country. The location of this landmark achievement at Islamabad enriches the federal capital and adds to its attractions. Source

The museum was truly a pleasant surprise because of the detailed displays worthy of a whole afternoon. A must-see also if you have kids or visitors/tourists with you to tell them more about the history of the people and the land.

Thanks for reading and lots of love.

Go here for more in this series.


(I did not see any signs about photography inside so ended up taking pictures which I’m sharing here. I know it might not be allowed but I feel its important to share a glimpse of the dedication behind this and hopefully encourage others to visit it too. It was sad that the entrance fee was so nominal considering the work that obviously had been put in yet I personally had not heard much about the museum. Living in the States, I know that the entrance fees for museums and tourist sites here are not cheap and so I felt even more passionate about it and hence sharing these here.)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pakistan, you will always be home to us.

To Pakistan. To the country the great Jinnah gave his life for. To the soil of the motherland and to finally understanding the love for the mitti1 as our elders used to say, that overwhelming feeling as you step out of the airplane and the airport. Through the smoky air, through the very Pakistani smells, you can almost feel it. These are your people, this is your land, your language, your history. This is your home, my home, our home. 

To Pakistan. To home. Because more than anything, that is what it will always mean to most of us. Wherever we will go, whatever we become, the one place where we will always be welcomed, will be this. Like they say, you can take yourself out of the land, but never the land out of yourself.


all photos from our time in Bahawalpur in December 2013.

To the people, the land, the food, the beginning of our stories. To all that is good about it that we can never forget. To the country that continues to survive because of the hundreds and thousands of nameless everyday heroes that work for it and get forgotten amid the stories of the many that malign its name. And to the resilience and the courage of its people, to continue in the face of turmoil.

And to all of us that began our stories there, from its cities and its colleges and its universities, but then moved on to greener pastures, may each of us from our corners of the world, find something we can do for its cause and its people. We owe it to it’s mitti.

A very happy Independence Day2 to all the Pakistanis from around the world.

Thanks for reading and much love.


1Mitti is an Urdu world that means the soil.

2Independence Day observed annually on August 14, is a national holiday in Pakistan, commemorating the day when Pakistan achieved independence and was declared a sovereign nation, following the end of the British Raj in 1947.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hey lovelies, with 14th August just around the corner, I thought I would to do some Pakistan related posts on the blog throughout August. Despite the political/social turmoil my beloved homeland seems to be in eternally, when you’re there you realize it is so much more than the news stories that come out of it. The people, the places, the smells and sights and sounds, the colors, the clothes, the languages, the hospitality, the family ties, the FOOD. How could I forget the food. There is just so much more to this land that is worth loving, despite all the problems. Hopefully these posts will remind one of those other things.

I’ve mentioned this Islamabad gem earlier too in this post last year, and here is a picture story exclusively of that, Saidpur Village.

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These pictures above from October 2010

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These pictures above from December 2012. More here.





These pictures above from January 2014

Saidpur Village is a Mughal-era village on the foothills of the Margalla Hills in Islamabad. The village has the traces of various civilizations, including Gandhara, Greek,Buddhist, Mughal, Ashoka and the colonial periods. It was remodeled in 2008 with the help of the French government and is now a popular stop for both local and foreign visitors. It boasts a small little museum, several restaurants and cafes, handicraft stores and galleries, a tomb and a temple. A beautiful mix of old and new makes this a charming little getaway right in the middle of Islamabad.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

More in this series here.