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Posts tagged ‘family’

Shame

So I usually find myself writing/rambling when my feelings are all over the place. I guess this is one of those times.

I got the results from my second sitting of the actuarial exams yesterday. I passed one and I failed one. Let me clarify that; I, Aliya Khalid, who has never really failed anything before, failed an exam. So this whole thing has been a rather novel experience.

I’m fairly accepting that I failed this exam. I knew it was borderline and I have a hundred excuses to justify it but the honest truth is, I should have prepared more. No, the part I was worried about was how my parents would react. I must have asked them a dozen times:

‘How would you react if I failed an exam?’

‘Yeah but you didn’t.’

‘But what if I did?’

And now, this was my great opportunity to find out.

I thought it was my mum I should worry about and that my dad would take it on my chin. I couldn’t be more wrong if I tried (I must be really off my game).

My mum was perfect; the poster ad for supportive parent. It’ll be fine; you were busy at work; we went to the wedding in Scotland days before your exam; you can sit it later; this won’t hold you back; it’ll be fine. And I thought great- what was I worrying about- now I just need to tell my dad.

Do you know what he said?

‘I’m so disappointed.’

It was like being doused with cold water.

Disappointed? I haven’t put a foot wrong (academically) like ever and the ONE TIME that I mess up a little bit, I’m a disappointment. That’s fucking great.

He topped it off with ‘so all your other friends passed that exam? What went wrong with you? Why did you sit the exam if you weren’t ready? Oh so over 50% of the people who took the exam passed- that makes it
worse.’

I feel furious and hurt and more than a little betrayed. It is easy to be on someone’s side when things are going well but it is a mark of character to stay on their side when things aren’t.

I never expected that from my dad in a million years.

Breaking into my house

So we recently took up the opportunity to buy the house directly next door to us. No one has lived in it for 20 years. Opening the door feels like opening a time capsule. The decor, the furniture, everything is so so old. It needs a lot of work; the whole thing is a mess. The roof needs fixing. The central heating needs updating. The God damn bath tub is made out of cast iron. And the garden is basically a network of homocidal stinging nettles.

This week we have focused on central heating. The way it was originally set up is actually illegal now because it is so inefficient. They didn’t even separate the supply from the return which is plumbing 101. Anyway this entire week I have been dashing from one house to the next fetching tools and keeping my poor dad hydrated and engergised. This means opening and closing the shoddy front door several times a day. This door is so dodgy and awkward that you have to kick it (hard) in just the right place or it won’t open. This evening however the door threw a strop and didn’t budge even after we nearly broke our legs smashing it. We were essentially locked out of our house.

What to do?

It’s pitch black outside but we need to get back in. We got a ladder and climbed onto the kitchen extension roof and walked across to next door. From here we had access to the bathroom window. But of course it was too small for my dad to get through.

Guess who had to pull her sorry arse ungracefully through this damn window in pitch darkness and land on friggin floorboard with nails poking out.

That’s right, me.

My butt hurts.

162. Graduation

I did it- I graduated! I survived four years of attending lectures, frying my brain over mathematical theory and stressing over exams and you know what, I’m damn proud. Some people think a degree is just a glorified piece of paper and whilst that statement is not completely inaccurate, for me it feels like something I earned.

Graduation has felt like something a long time coming. Imperial really make you wait; I was done in June but the ceremony was in October. What’s weirder is that I’m working now and don’t feel like a student any more. Going back to uni felt like walking into a previous life, like I was retracing old footsteps and reliving memories. It just goes to show how quickly we move on. But it was totally worth it. The venue, the Royal Albert Hall (a stone’s throw from Imperial), is just spectacular. How many people can boast of such a fine graduation setting?! And it was lovely to see everyone again and hear what they’ve all been up to #reunion.

The day itself was pretty manic- a mad dash from one place to another. Get to uni. Get the gown. Get some informal pictures. Get some official pictures. Attend the ceremony. Attend the reception. Keep track of my family members at all times (very difficult btw when one person needs the loo, someone else wants to wander around the campus and someone else wants to get food). I’m so glad I bought a change of shoes because I really was running around like a headless chicken.

As for who attended; my proud parents of course (who were literally beaming all day), my cousin Mele whose graduation I attended a few months ago and my aunty who came especially from France. It really felt like a family affair which is exactly how I wanted it to be.

Because I was super eager I bought my dress months in advance which turned out to be a very good decision because I seriously don’t have time to shop these days. I found the dress online (from Next) and I think I fell in love with it on sight. It is ivory colour (shutup that’s not the same as white) with embroidery on it and it’s just so well made and a very flattering shape. Better yet it was friggin 65% off. Hell yeah.

But enough chit chat, here are some photos.

 

And if you’re really interested, here’s a video. Skip to 52:20 . Notice my stupid wave to the camera, immortalised forever on YouTube. But hey at least I didn’t stack it.

157. The Last Few Weeks In Pictures

1. I attended my closest cousin’s graduation in Manchester which was a fantastic experience. I got to be involved in the drama of the day and cheer embarrassingly loud when she got her three seconds of glory strutting across the stage. But it was the simple things I loved the most, like helping her to decide which shoes to wear and reminding her to smile big!

mele grad pic

Proud bunch of people right there!

The mandatory hat toss!

The mandatory hat toss!

2. My cousin’s obsession with Loom Bands. 

It's a masterpiece!

Isn’t it magnificent?

3. Chilling at home

How much desi can you fit into one picture?

I am armed with a MOP and I’m not afraid to use it!

Me and my mummy! Don't we look alike?!

Me and my mummy! Don’t we look alike?!

My dad 'training' me. Do you know how big and how heavy that wrench was?! Friggin' HUGE

My dad ‘training’ me. Do you know how big and how heavy that wrench was?! Friggin’ HUGE!

4. When I was four years old I met a girl called Dilpreet and she became my very first friend. Fast forward 19 years and here I am attending her wedding. She looked absolutely stunning and the whole thing was so well planned; I couldn’t be happier for the couple.

IMG-20140726-02376

Check out that ring!

Me and Dilpreet at her Mehndi event

Me and Dilpreet at her Mehndi event

Haha inadvertently ended up matching the bride!

Haha inadvertently ended up matching the bride!

5. Last but not least- Eid! A time to celebrate the the end of Ramadan and the tough cycle of sleep deprivation, hunger and annoying heat! 

Me and my bro

Me and my bro

Chilling at the family barbecue

Chilling at the family barbecue

(Some) of my cousins being silly

(Some) of my cousins (and me) being silly

Over and Out!

155. Types of People You See On the Dancefloor at an Indian Wedding

The Closet Professional

These people have to be physically dragged onto the dancefloor but once they get there, they’re busting out moves you’ve never seen before and they’re bruk-bruk-brukking it down like no tomorrow.

The Girls Standing in a Circle doing ‘Tali’

You know what I mean. Shuffle around and do the customary clap in front of you and behind your shoulder. Basically the brown version of ring a ring a roses.

The Bhangra Champions

I swear at every party, there’s a duo of Punjabi guys hitting such fierce moves that it makes your thighs hurt just watching them. Balle balle my friends.

The Uncle

Towards the end of the night, Coca Cola and/or alcohol lead to over confident uncles dancing the dances from three decades ago. I’m talking moonwalk, night fever, the standing-on-your-toes Jackson style and randomness.

Luna Lovegood

That one person in the corner who’s just doing their own thang oblivious to everyone else.

The one that wants to dance but isn’t allowed to

Sometimes people are forced to contain their enthusiasm in case they dishonour the family name with booty shaking. Doesn’t stop them trying though.

The kids

Their dancing basically consists of jumping up and down with their arms in the air. 

The Non-Indian People

Usually looking mildly uncomfortable and attempting to do the one hand on hip, other hand doing the lightbulb. They start getting really excited when a Western song comes on, only to realise it’s a Bhangra remix. Sorry guys.

The bride and groom

Ahh the awkward First dance. Here several things are observed. The couple maintain a safe distance apart. His hands are super glued to her side, no wandering allowed! And of course the mandatory sway/ shuffle. All the while the aunties look on tutting.

Over and Out!

153. Ten Things You Really Shouldn’t Say To Me After I’ve Just Completed My Degree

1. Oh- I didn’t even know you were at university.
What did you think I was doing for the last four years?

2. Mathematics- Isn’t that a boy-subject? What can you do with Maths?
1) Maths isn’t gender specific. 2) Plenty.

3. You got a First?! *surprised* I thought you didn’t specify because you only passed and were embarrassed.
-_-

4. Yes it’s all very well you can do this Maths-shaths but how are your rotis?
Edible.

5. Acha good, uni finished. When you getting married?
*sigh*

6. You know this degree paper means nothing till you find a good boy and settle down. Life isn’t complete without shaadi.
*sigh*

7. Did you meet anyone at uni? *suggestive look* You can tell me, I’m your Aunty.
*sigh*

8. Oh you’ve finished your degree. My daughter got married this year and she’s pregnant. She has a family.
Good to know.

9. Oh you have a job. Will you leave when you have children?
I haven’t even started my job yet. Gimme a chance.

10. Look at the girls these days. They all want to do the job-shob but can they run a home? No.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I am sad to say there is no embellishment in this post. In fact most of them are quoted directly. Aren’t people sensitive?

Ahh the plight of a brown girl!

 

Over and Out!

148. Run Forrest Run!

So with my final exam tomorrow morning, what am I doing? Writing this post of course. Huzzah for procrastination!

Actually I wanted to share this story.

My cousin had some PE test involving semi long distance running and like me she hates running. Unlike me however, she cared enough to practice and got her older brother to help her. I don’t know how he did it but he made her run laps and it turns out she’s pretty good when there’s someone barking at her. She lamented that for the actual run he wouldn’t be there… and he said well why not? I’ll come.

So her 24 year old brother strolled into her secondary school and just joined the line up of people running. Clearly her school has some security issues. He ran with her, shouting at her the entire time, AMINAH RUN! AMINAH HURRY UP! AMINAH WHY ARE YOU SO SLOW?

She came second.

And do you know who was happiest when she took home her trophy?

That’s right, her smug brother.