Rishta Talk

Post-Graduation Reality Sinks In

May 13th 2018 is a day I will never forget.

On one hand, it was the culmination of all of my previous schooling. It was the moment my parents had been waiting for the second they stepped foot in America in 1998. It was THE day! My dad’s boss came, my family friends, my best friend…people who believed in my dreams since they met me came to celebrate this day. And yet, when I walked into the stadium along with 3000 other graduates in Carolina Blue, I felt the beginning of what adults tell me is an “existential crisis.”

Not only was I graduating college with absolutely no idea of what to expect career-wise, I was unprepared for the harsh reality of adulthood. I had accepted a job in January doing something I was passionate about, but the echoes of my parent’s past arguments over bills freaked me out about not setting myself up for a lucrative career path, like finance. (can you feel my eyes rolling?). So after spending most of May doubting myself and my choices, I quit that job before I could even start it. (Lesson #1: Don’t make hasty decisions based on fear). 

Suddenly, I entered a very uncomfortable space where I questioned everything I knew about myself and what I wanted. Did I still want to go to law school? Did I want to pursue a Masters first? Should I take time off to work? Should I switch paths and go for an MBA? Should I do an ABSN? I pretty much considered every option I could take to set myself up for some security because for the first time in my life, I had none. The future was vague, my days lacked a routine, and there was no structure dictating what the next three years of my life will look like. When I realized that none of those random options made sense, I thought deeply about my passions & goals. Yup, still wanted to go to law school! Great! So…now gotta study for the LSAT!

But when I cracked open that book.. listen y’all, here’s the thing about graduating from one of the best universities in the world… we are not used to failure. Every day I looked at the questions and doubted myself. What if I don’t do well? What if I never get in? And then I spoke with some alumni and one who is actually going to law school this upcoming fall told me this:

You’ve got to FIGHT for yourself. 

I constantly worried about my ability to push through, to fight for my dreams, to make time to work towards my goals, but if I don’t believe in myself, who will?

It dawned on me that it is not as simple as knowing what you want if you are too afraid to take the steps to get there. It also dawned on me that due to fear, I made terrible choices since my graduation when I could have simply been happy with the job that I had (that I truly, truly wanted in the first place) and taken the extra summer time to study for the LSAT, travel, and live my best life.

I wish I could tell you that post-grad life is as glamorous as graduation day itself but I wish someone had been honest with me so I could mentally prepare for this transition. It is not like the movies where the protagonist has a cushy job as a journalist in NYC, or the male lead is a corporate hotshot. Maybe for some people it is and they’re very lucky, but who knows? In five years, they may hate their jobs and quit. Some people may go back to school for an entirely different career path. If you’re like me, you may wake up every day questioning everything but here’s the thing: if you’re not asking questions, then you don’t care enough to find the answer. Complacency is the most dangerous thorn on the stem of success.

Stephen Hawking said “one has to be grown up enough to realize that life is not fair.”

Dating and Relationships · Life

What Would You Tell Your Teenage Self?

I have been on this Earth for only 21 years but throughout those years, I think I’ve learned lessons that I hate seeing my younger friends make, but alas, this is how we learn. However, don’t we all wish we could go back and undo some of the mistakes we’ve made? Don’t we all wonder if we just hadn’t done that one thing, how differently the outcome could have been? I know I do. I don’t particularly enjoy sitting in regret, and I wouldn’t necessarily say I regret anything, but there are particular lessons that I am learning now that could have been avoided. With that being said, how selfish would it be to sit on this pile of knowledge and not share it with someone out there who may be looking for some guidance? If that’s you, then you’ve come to the right blog.

If I could go back in time, here are the things I’d tell myself.

Your friends are not always your friends.

Growing up in a small town meant that the people I called my friends were the same group of kids until the day we graduated. The very next day, something happened. That was the last time I saw some of the people I came to consider my very close friends. The time after high school is revealing to say the least. Sometimes we learn that we were friends with the same people for so long because we were stuck seeing them every day. Being forced to find ourselves, we realized the only things we had in common were homeroom and AP Calculus. And to be honest with you, that’s okay. Memories were made and for that I am grateful. Things fall apart to make room for other things. We all went our separate ways as life took its course.

When I say that your friends are not always your friends, I mean that just because you see them every day does not mean they have your best interests at heart. Sometimes your friends can also be a poor influence on you, forcing you to conform and keeping you from learning who YOU are. The relationship you have with yourself is precious. Never compromise it to fit in. Also, don’t make major decisions based on friendship. You have to follow your own heart! I know it is scary to think that someone you love could very well forget who you are in ten years but that’s the harsh reality. Life will take its course and you have to realize who YOU are outside of a circle of other people.

Relationships are great but you will hate yourself if you allow a relationship to hold you back, change you, distract you, or force you to compromise. Until there is a ring on that finger (and please wait until you’re done with college for there to be a ring!) then you do NOT owe anyone, anything – especially not a compromise on your goals and dreams. He may or may not be the one, that’s never certain. You know what is? YOUR EDUCATION.

This is something I cannot stress enough. Hey – we’ve all been there. One cute guy and suddenly our world flips upside down. It is the curse of being a hormonal 16 year old. Luckily, no relationship ever got in between my education, however, I’d be lying if I said it did not keep me from wanting more for myself. The fact is that relationships are distracting whether you’re 16 or 30. They take time and effort, but at 16 years old, time is fleeting and VERY IMPORTANT not to waste. Homework is stressful! College applications are LONG. Figuring out who you are? That’s some difficult stuff! How do you expect to find yourself with your identity attached to someone else? Trust me when I say that the boys are not worth it. A guy can be many things: amazing, charming, incredible…etc. But I don’t care what he is because NO ONE is going to be as important as your education. Put yourself and your education first, ALWAYS! You’ll thank me later because there’s a 99% chance he will wake up one day and not find you so cute anymore but you know what’s cute? A degree. ‘Nuff said. There’s a time and place for that, but it isn’t when the most captivating novel you’ve read is probably just Gatsby. Girrrrrl. There’s a whole world out there!

You’re not fat.

At 16, I was not fat, but I thought I was. I still get insecure now and then. Look. Weight shifts up and down all the time. If we spend so much time stressing over it, it just becomes annoying for the people around us who love us as we are. Spend less time worrying about your looks. Take care of your skin, drink water, eat healthy, and be okay with treating yourself!

Be patient. Your time will come!

Everyone is in such a rush because a lot of us want to get to the “perfect” life stage with the job, kids, and loving spouse. But life does not follow a linear narrative or perfect path. You will see your old friends doing great things, or maybe you’ll be the one doing great things. Every big event in someone else’s life will make you feel like you’re doing something wrong if you’ve not reached that particular milestone yet. You might never land the dream job you thought you wanted but land the job you NEEDED to switch career paths. Life happens when we’re busy making plans. So relax! Enjoy the time you have to make mistakes, change your mind, and discover new things.

So, there you have it!

Being young and innocent is wonderful. Every new experience is a new lesson to learn. New knowledge to apply to our lives. I don’t think I’d go back and change the mistakes I’ve made but it would’ve been nice to have been told these things growing up. So, if you’re out there and you’re reading this, I hope you’ll make the choices that are right for you. Either way, we live and we learn!

Rishta Talk

Dear, Heartbroken…[repost from 2015]

Hello, I just want you to know that you are stronger than you think and you are smart enough to know that you deserve better. You do. You deserve to be happy within yourself and find that inner peace. I suggest you look deeply inside yourself for the answer you already know is true and take action. One day, everything will be okay and you will be happy. You will be so in love with yourself and your life that you will be bound to meet someone who loves you the way you deserve to be loved. But that will never happen unless you make some changes right now. There is no use being with someone and being unhappy and full of distrust. I think you know what you have to do and you may think you’re weak or you may even be scared because you don’t know what is on the other side of the door once you walk out – but I promise every day you’ll be grateful you walked away. You may lose him, but you will find yourself. And that’s a greater gain. Much love.

Rishta Talk

“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
Rosemarie Urquico


Lessons Learned: 2016

  1. Sometimes second chances are worth it. But third, fourth, and fifth? Never. Obviously this is a lesson I am constantly learning because I am a forgiving person when it comes to the people I love. I will choose to give people the benefit of the doubt because once I decide that I am done, I cut people off 100 percent. It is a lot easier for me to constantly give chances because I want to believe in potential. However, people do take advantage of this and therefore, only second chances are reasonable. When people show you their true colors, believe them.
  2. For some people, your empathy is a weapon of convenience to use against you – do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Earlier this year, I had someone come to me with all this bad news in their life and time revealed that they were likely using me. Or coming to me to fill some kind of void. I cannot stand to see people in pain but I also cannot respect someone who only comes around out of convenience. Friendships like that are not real and not worth the effort. It is true that people who only use you will only come to you when it benefits them. They will make you listen to their sorrows without asking, even once, how you are feeling. They will tell you all about their day without asking about yours. We have to learn to cut people like that out of our lives for they are parasites who will use up all of your energy without even offering so much as a decent friendship..or respect.
  3. Love is a choice, not a feeling. After seeing so many broken relationships this year, I know for sure that when I fall in love, it won’t be blindly in the sense that I will never put myself in a position to be hurt constantly by someone who supposedly loves me. Nor will I hurt someone I say I love. Love is not butterflies you feel. It is a choice to love someone despite their flaws and the test of time.
  4. The most important thing in every relationship is respect. A lot of the people I know are in relationships that lack respect. They will cheat or lie to one another. Or they will have no trust for each other. There are people who will allow themselves to be controlled by their partners. If my parents have taught me one thing in their 21 years of marriage is that love cannot exist without respect. A partner is another human being with individual rights and they are not an object. People have flaws. When we choose to love someone, we choose to not only accept them as they are but to love them even more because of that. This extends to friendships too. If you cannot be your authentic self to your friends, they are not your friends.
  5. You have to surround yourself with people who want the same things as you do even if it means distancing yourself from your best friend. My best friend and I are growing apart because we want different things. For me, I prefer to stay in and she prefers to go out and socialize, party, dance. etc. There is no right or wrong way to live but it is okay to want different things. I used to freak out and compensate by going out with her. However, that’s not who I am and I am not comfortable placing myself in situations I don’t like. It’s okay to be different and you can either grow stronger as best friends or not. I think having different hobbies helps people grow as individuals.
  6. Loving yourself is a journey, not a destination. I used to think confidence is just there – you either feel good about yourself or you don’t. But there are days where I feel drop dead gorgeous and then there are days I avoid looking in the mirror. That’s okay! Being confident in your own skin while you are still learning and growing into the person you will become is a fluctuating thing. It is better to be flexible than stuck in one place because that leaves room for growth and improvements.
  7. Be willing to make time for people or eventually they will leave. I think the most important lesson I had to learn this year was to make time for the people who matter  family and friends – because when you fail to invest in those relationships, people will stop coming to you. I am finally in a good place with my family again and it is an amazing feeling. My family is my rock and it makes me beyond happy to see that they are happy just to see me. Putting in effort is hard work but it is worth it. Your family is your biggest support system.
  8. You cannot erase the past but you can work on becoming a better version of yourself. I’ve always been the type of person to dwell on past mistakes but this year, I realized I cannot keep doing that to myself. Am I proud of everything I’ve done? No. But it is in my control to become a better person. Every day I can do something to make someone smile, make someone else’s life easier, to earn good deeds instead of bad. Every day is  chance to become a better version of myself. I can use my past to grow as a person.
  9. When looking for a partner, you must become the woman who is deserving of him. I think at this age it is easy to wonder what kind of man will I end up marrying. Instead of having all of these expectations of what the guy should be, I realized that I need to be the kind of woman who deserves the kind of man I want. I want a good, decent Muslim man who cares about his family and religion. Often times people make the mistake of asking for something without doing anything in return. Allah swt expects us to put in effort – you can’t ask for something amazing without earning it. This means I need to improve in my deen so I can find someone who shares that belief.
  10. Learn to listen to people for the sake of listening, not for the sake of arguing. I am a confrontational person. Criticism is not always easy for me to take. I learned that in order to truly understand people, we must listen to understand where they are coming from, not to argue everything that comes out of their mouths. It is okay to disagree as long as you understand the other side.
College Life

The UNC Bucket List (ongoing)

1. Ride a full circle of the P2P route
2. Play in the fountain at Bynum Circle
3. Explore Wilson Library’s Rare Book Collection
4. Get frozen yogurt at Yogurt Pump
5. Have your picture taken with Rameses
6. Drink from the Old Well on the first day of classes
7. Eat a cheddar-chicken biscuit at Time Out after 2 a.m.
8. Celebrate Halloween on Franklin Street
9. Pretend to fire the ROTC cannon
10. Eat lunch at the counter of Sutton’s Drug Store
11. Go stargazing in Kenan Stadium
12. Pull an all-nighter in the UL
13. Get covered in paint at the Holi celebration on Polk Place
14. Listen to the Pit Preacher and argue back
15. Sunbathe on Polk Place
16. Eat breakfast at Ye Olde Waffle Shop
17. Hula hoop at Weaver Street Market
18. Tweet at a UNC varsity athlete
19. Play a round of golf at the Finley Golf Course
20. Play four-square in the Pit
21. Get ice cream at Maple View Farms in Carrboro
22. Visit a professor during office hours
23. Visit the Duke Botanical Gardens
24. See a star show at the Morehead Planetarium
25. Complete a DTH crossword
26. Have a snowball fight on McCorkle Place
27. Climb the Bell Tower on Senior Day
28. Persuade your teacher to hold class outside on a sunny day
29. Drink an extra-large coffee at the Daily Grind
30. Become a member of Local 506 and see a show
31. Find and eat at the taco truck in Carrboro
32. Sit outside Memorial Hall at night and listen to a show over the loudspeakers
33. Climb the rock wall in Rams Head
34. Hang a hammock and have a picnic in the Arboretum
35. Run the stairs at Kenan Stadium
36. Watch the sun set from the 8th floor of Davis Library
37. “Borrow” cutlery and dishes from Lenoir
38. Crash a prospective student tour
39. Run or walk a 5k on campus for charity
40. Get tickets as a senior to the UNC-Duke game
41. Dance in a library flash mob
42. Walk across the Morehead Planetarium sundial on your way to Franklin Street
43. Get a letter to the editor and a kvetch published in the DTH
44. Attend at least one game for every UNC sports team
45. See (or participate) in the library streaking during finals
46. Attend a Zumba class at the SRC or Rams Head
47. Visit the basketball museum at the Dean Dome
48. Have a drink and listen to some bluegrass at Fridays on the Front Porch at the Carolina Inn
49. See a movie hosted by CUAB at the Union
50. Play volleyball at a sand court
51. Grill some hot dogs at a residence hall grill
52. Sit on the Davie Poplar bench — with someone else
53. Play racquetball at Fetzer Gym
54. Eat a deep-fried candy bar at the State Fair
55. Swim some laps in the Bowman Gray pool
56. Stand on your feet for 24 hours with UNC Dance Marathon
57. Paint yourself blue for a football game
58. Trip on a brick in the Pit
59. Get a blue cup from He’s Not Here
60. Visit Gimghoul Castle at night
61. Fall asleep in a couch at Graham Memorial
62. Sing “Hark the Sound” and link arms with a stranger at a sporting event
63. Go to Duke’s campus wearing a UNC shirt
64. Watch a basketball game from the risers at the Dean Dome
65. Appear in an STV show
66. See a movie at the Varsity Theater
67. Pit-sit for a student organization
68. Go swimming in Jordan Lake
69. Take a weekend road trip to see fall foliage in Asheville
70. Head eastward and lie out on the beach in Wilmington
71. Eat traditional Southern food at Mama Dips
72. Buy flowers from the ladies on Franklin Street
73. Check out a book from each of the eight floors of Davis Library
74. Have a hot dog at the season opener at Boshamer
75. Make a gingerbread house in the Great Hall during finals week
76. Climb on the roof of a building on campus
77. Visit the N.C. General Assembly building in Raleigh
78. Play basketball in Woollen Gym
79. Feed a squirrel on campus
80. Participate in a football tailgate
81. Introduce yourself to Holden Thorp
82. Work on an election campaign for student government
83. Memorize the words to James Taylor’s “Carolina In My Mind”
84. Go to a Clef Hangers concert
85. Sign your friend up for clubs at Fall Fest — without his or her knowledge
86. Make money by participating in a research study on campus
87. Get a parking ticket and appeal it
88. Eat cheese fries at Linda’s on Franklin Street
89. Attend an “I Heart Female Orgasm” lecture
90. Paint a cube in the Pit
91. Read an issue of each student publication
92. Go to a UNC Board of Trustees meeting at the Carolina Inn
93. Eat one of everything off the menu at Alpine Bagels
94. Go dancing at Players
95. Attend a Durham Bulls game and buy a baseball cap
96. Peruse the ties for sale at Julian’s on Franklin
97. Win an intramural championship T-shirt
98. Continue reading “The UNC Bucket List (ongoing)”

Rishta Talk

I’m Not Afraid to be Alone – But The Thought is Unappealing!

I feel guilty for not blogging as much but recently, I realized I need to. There are so many things in my daily life that cause me to react but I can’t keep dumping all my troubles on my friends. Lately, I have been feeling so scared and I do not know why. There are things I almost never think about that have been on my mind and I cannot keep ignoring this fear that seems to grow every day. Everyone around me is getting engaged, married, or finding their soul mate and here I am too busy to make time for even grabbing some lunch with my friends. I am such an ambitious person and I have always admired this about myself but I am so afraid that while chasing my many, many dreams that there will come a day I wake up and realize I am middle aged and still single.

While I do not think being single is such a bad thing and I am all for women empowerment, that does not change the fact that I want a family. And now, there’s people who will argue – you do not need a man to have a family. Yes, you do when you prefer a traditional lifestyle and truly want a husband in the picture. Is it so wrong of me to want to be traditional? I told my friend that I was worried that my career will get in between me having the traditional life I want and she questioned my desire for wanting a husband and my own child, suggesting I could even adopt. Adoption is awesome, y’all. But is it so wrong of me to want to marry someone I love someday, have children, and be the kind of mother who makes paranthas every Sunday morning? Is it so wrong that I want to raise my kids with Islamic values? I don’t think what I want makes me anti-feminist or anti-liberal but there is just something beautiful about staying to your roots and for me, marriage is so beautiful and valuable in my religion that I do not want to miss out on that experience. My only fear is – will I even have the time for it?

You see, while so many of my friends are in relationships, I am constantly stressing over the next strategic move to make to improve my resume and chances of getting into law school. I am worried by the time I get to law school, most of my peers will have met someone and well – I may be too busy to even care for a relationship while I am studying. I already cannot make the time to care! lol.

And my goal is to move up in the legal field. Maybe become a district attorney. Ever notice how such top positions are almost always men – because women often make a sacrifice for family. Well, I do not want to sacrifice my dreams but I also cannot sacrifice family. Why should I have to make the sacrifice – why can’t there be a middle ground? If there is one, I’ll find it for sure!

Anyway, back to my point. I am so ambitious and there are so many things I want to do for myself but it leaves me with no time to consider someone else in the picture. And lately, my fear is that one day when all my plans catch up to me, I will wake up and realize I am all alone in this world. And that is a sad thing to be when you love people, and you do desire to love somebody someday as much as you love yourself. I don’t think my friends understand this problem because for them, they want simple things or they do not want the fast-paced world I want to be a part of. They have found someone and they are just, I don’t know, chillin’ meanwhile for me, I don’t want to chill until I can tell the world I am a judge, or a D.A, or someone worth having a Wikipedia page for. But I want that Wikipedia bio to include after successful lawyer, judge, etc that I am also a loving mother, and dutiful wife. I wish I had more friends who understood where I am coming from on this issue but I guess when you’re Muslim and want a decent person, the pool is so small that the fear of ending up alone, as ambitious and opinionated as I am, is inevitable. And that, for everyone else, is a difficult thing to understand.

Life · Uncategorized

Lessons Learned: 2015


A bit late in the game as I did not have wifi earlier but here’s what the past year taught me, mostly. With every year, there’s new chances for growth. I cannot wait to see what 2016 will teach me.

Lesson One: Love Yourself

I think the most important lesson I learned this year was to put myself above everything and everyone. It does not make me selfish. It makes me a strong person to recognize my needs and not feel ashamed of being who I am. I think I always let my love for others surpass my love for myself. When it comes to people, I give, give, and GIVE – without thinking for a moment whether I am getting anything in return. This year, I became depressed. I questioned my worth as a person because to me it seemed like everything I did just did not seem to be enough. But the truth is we have to go on our own journey in our own time. The only person you have, all the time, is yourself.

Lesson Two: Relationships

This may sound very pessimistic but I wholeheartedly believe there is no such thing as the one. There is no magical person who will solve every problem you have ever come across because the only person who can do that for you, is you. The reason I do not think there is one person out of a billion people made just for me is that there are toIf we only get ONE chance to get things right, life would be miserable. I think relationships are about the right time and right person. Those two hardly come together but once you find the right person at the right time, you call that a relationship.

Lesson Three: Do Not Dismiss People’s Individual Experiences

I think a lot of us make the mistake of comparing our lives to those of others and that’s where we become depressed when we notice something missing in our own lives. Truth is, everyone has their own individual journey. If we all lived the same lives, would life really be deemed worth living? It’d be predictable and predictability leads to lack of purpose, and so on…Therefore, just because someone’s experience seemed better than yours, or someone’s problems seem smaller than yours does not mean that their life is any easier. Everyone has their own set of obstacles to overcome. Life is all about challenges that never seem to end because once they do, we stop living. I’d like to thank my cousin for explaining the importance of living a life of purpose for this one.

Lesson Four: Patience

I get irritated with people easily because my mind has already decided an outcome or response, and I set high expectations only to learn that who I am is not the same person someone else is. And therefore, my expectations do not apply. I cannot expect people to be anything but themselves. That does not mean I should accept bullshit from people, but I should also not be so highly dependent on them either.

Lesson Five: Your Parents Are Everything

As I am growing up, I am realizing that my parents are growing older and in many ways, weaker. My dad’s balding…my mom is becoming more forgetful. My mom had an accident earlier last year where she could have actually lost her life. My dad – despite how strong and happily he presents himself, spends long hours of the day just standing around and working while I get to relax on a nice bed. Everything our parents do is for us. Everything. And though their lessons are hard, and their teachings can be outdated – their intentions are coming from a good place in their heart. They want the best for us. They do not want us to live the hard lives they have had to – they want us to go to school, get degrees, and have a nice family only because they want us to live happy lives. Is that so bad? I think not. Every lecture my mom has ever given me has been for a reason. These lessons that I am learning on my own now are ones my mom already taught me but I was too ignorant to listen to. To think – us American-born Desi kids try to come up with every reason to defy our parents but the reality is: they’re right about everything. At least mine were. Thank you mom and dad. I WILL succeed and work hard ALL for you!




Dating and Relationships · Poetry

It Takes Years to Know Someone [published 2 years later.]

Will you remember how we met and I told you I played viola and you thought it was the coolest thing because you never met someone who did that? You thought I was the next Lindsey Stirling.

You’ll never know my favorite Bollywood movie, but you watched a couple.

You’ll never remember how I taught you to say ILY in Urdu.

You will never remember me explaining to you the Partition of 1947 when we watched Veer Zaara

You will forget my love for Mariah Carey and Broadway musicals,

Remember when we watched Grease in your room on a rainy day and we made out during the songs? Good times, good times.

Actually, I can’t even remember how it felt to kiss passionately, our lips touching…how long has it been? I wish I could go back in time and pull you into me every single time, instead of soft pecks, I want to dive into you.

Nostalgia at its finest.

You will never know my passion for writing – though you know I have a passion to protect women’s rights in third world countries.

You will never know my deepest struggles. You’ll remember me as having a full-ride to college, having the easy way as you struggled to make ends meet.

You will remember me as cocky, because I was confident, but because you did not know me when I struggled to love myself. You did not see me starve myself, you did not see me have panic attacks at the thought of eating anything more than an egg per day. You saw this girl who said she loved herself…but had spent so long hating her body.

You will remember me as funny, I hope, but still I was getting used to being so open with you. I remember the first time I farted in front of you while getting Subway. One of our last several dates together, and you held me and said we’re good together. Was that doubt in your voice?

You will remember me being insecure, catty, starting fights for so long, being a total mess, but not the part where you caused it, not the parts where I apologized and cried all night wondering why I can’t keep it together, and wondering how to show the man I love that I love him so much?

You will remember me fighting hard, not wanting to let you go, not giving you space – but not see the tears I could not fight back every day knowing I had no choice, but that I could not let you go without a war. No, you were the one constant thing in my life, you were my best friend.

You will never know how I’d compliment you to everyone I knew, and paid respects to you even with you gone. I’d protect your honor even if you did me wrong. They don’t know you.

You will remember me telling you everything will be okay, but not me actively trying to find ways to make you smile, cook for you, anything to comfort you,

You will never know how much knowing your mother was fine got me through the day, how much I actually cared to know.

And you will never know how regretful I am for causing everything to be destroyed, and how angry I am at you for being a part of that – and not fighting with me, not growing with me, not realizing I was great for you – and being too stubborn to see we were worth fighting for

and I’m angry at you for making me believe what we had was special – cus if you never felt that way I’d have stopped fighting long, long time ago

You won’t know how much I regret being a fool, but not regret being foolishly in love with you.

You won’t see me pray every day you will become a better person and not leave another heart broken. The way you left mine.

And failed to even give me the apology I deserve.