Monday, November 17, 2014

Scents and Memories.


There is a face wash that sits in my shower area. I bought it in 2008 when I was visiting my family for a few months in Karachi1. That trip of mine was the last time all five of us were together as a family (the only time after that was when my dad was sick and in the hospital). This face wash, by Johnson's has a pretty typical light-powdery smell. And I just have to close my eyes as I lather it on my face, to be transported to that time all those years ago. I inhale the scent and I remember it all. Standing under the cold water in that small bathroom I shared with my sister on those typically Karachi hot summer days… The comfort of my parent's house knowing Mama and Papa were just around somewhere.. Going for walks with Mama in the evenings through the dusty Malir2 roads and sitting outside on the road with Papa at night when the lights went out.. So many random memories go through my head as I close my eyes and let the scent carry me away.

There is a perfume, a men's perfume by Junaid Jamshaid that my mom got for Papa. During that time in the hospital, my dad always smelled of that, his things that all came back from the hospital after him, the clothes, his rumaal or handkerchiefs, my mom's pink and blue flower pillow that he used to lay his head on, his chaddar or long scarf that he used to wrap around himself, everything had that perfume and his scent in them. My parents gifted Bilal the same perfume a few years earlier and I'm glad that he never got round to using it much. Now it lies safe in a drawer under my bed. I can never smell that fragrance again without being reminded of my father, but also cancer, that hospital, the fear, the despair, and just a wrenching feeling in the heart, but yet also my father. So whenever I miss him, and want to feel his presence, I take this perfume out, and as my heart tugs at my soul, I slowly open it, close my eyes, and surround myself with him, his fragrance and the memories of the days when he was there.

Memory is a strange thing, how these precious moments are just a thought/ a whiff of a scent/a familiar song/ away, but yet, however much we want to relive them, too far beyond our grasp.

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Please say a little prayer for my father and my family as you read this. Some days it is still hard, the realization that he’s not there.

Thanks for reading.


1Karachi, a coastal city located in the south, is the largest city of Pakistan.

2Malir, is a neighborhood of Karachi, where my parent’s lived.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Friendships and Traditions.

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I thrive on friendships, making memories and traditions and this one that happened on it’s makes me smile. Three consecutive fall seasons.. One spot close to Duvall.. Two little hyper girls.. And two crazy moms who will go to some great extents to get pictures, even if it rains! The past three autumns, after similar semi-lazy days at our home, we’ve bundled up, buckled our girls in our cars and driven down to this spot on the Snoqualmie River Trail. We’ve dragged tripods (only the first time, and learned to not do it again because of how crazy it got) and umbrella’s (only this year as it was drizzling through out). We’ve begged these little girls to catch up as they’ve trailed far behind us or screamed at them when they’ve run too far ahead of us. We’ve waited for strangers so we can get a picture of all four of us, and taken some terribly framed ones with our tripod. We’ve laughed hysterically, danced ‘leafy-leafy’ dances, collected leaves (one little adorable nature-lover particularly has apparently not outgrown that love as visible from the pictures below), wondered aloud about the foliage and how it compares with previous time(s), and we’ve (two particular little girls) fought over umbrellas and who should get which one!

There is something about traditions. They make everything feel more special. They force us to make time for the ones we love and the things we love. And they help us look at the past with fond memories! Even though sometimes you might have to drag yourselves/your kids/your friends along to continue them, they are totally worth it, I learned that from my mother and it finally makes sense to me!

Sharing these series of pictures from the last three autumns with our beautiful friends!


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Do you have any traditions with friends you’d like to share? Would love to hear:)

Thanks for reading, lots of love.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014



Enjoying the last bit of those warm days in early October.


Finally got a full-frame camera and enjoyed trying it out on Anya as she played around.


Had a simple kind of Eid Ul Adha this time with Namaz, Gupshup at a friends’ place, followed by dinner at one of our old time favorite Seattle halal places.


Wasn’t able to get any gifts for the kids this Eid (traditionally Eidi is given out on Eid ul Fitr), but decided to do some quick one-trip-to-target favor bags instead. Anya loved helping me with them:)

Gift Bags from Oh Joy for Target. 

Eid Mubarak freebie gift tags via here.


Credits for above photo: Sumera Naveed


Quick photo walk amid some beautiful fall color with my fabulous, new friend Sumera. Remember this post? Well, as life turned out, she moved to Seattle from Singapore last year:)


Anya’s first ‘recipe’. She saw it one of her TV shows and came to me with instructions for making a ‘banana swirl’. I helped her with the blending and all and she loved sipping what she helped make.


Favorite fries in the house these days. One of the cooks in my mom’s house when we were growing up used to make ‘chicken-cube fries’ and after more than a decade I thought I’d give it a try. Turns out super easy and tasty!


An afternoon of sensory play with some stale sunflower seeds before I threw them out. Looks like Anya finally figured out that we eat animals!


We finally got one of these for her room. My husband has been wanting to get this for her since the first day of her life and I don’t know why I never let him because it is fabulous to sleep under these stars! Really! I secretly love her coming to our room in the middle of the night even more now, because she brings her ladybug with the stars along! lol


Continuing the tradition with these girls after an afternoon spent making cookies, watching dramas and lazy-ing around, only to take pictures afterwards, while it rained and these girls fought over umberellas! Bliss. Haha.


Loving doing photo shoots this fall/ And bringing in some fall berries which always remind me of my mom and her bringing all sorts of branches in from her walks around the area.


Messy artwork afternoons.


There is just something magical about driving through a blur of yellows and oranges and greens.


Experiencing fall through her eyes.


First Pumpkin Patch field trip with her preschool.


And this perfect little sugar pumpkin that we brought back.


And a wind storm took away our power for 27 hours or so. We made full use of Anya’s starry ladybug, our wood burning fire and the lantern we bought for camping last year. Despite the cold and scarcity of food (and tea), it was fun reading and playing lego by the fireside:)


Our little kitty for Halloween. 


October ended with some beautiful sunsets and my little girl bringing out her camera to take photos of it alongside her daddy and I.


More in this series here.

Thanks for following along and lots of love.