Monthly Archives: April 2014

Cravings and ravings.

My efforts to get my daily goals accomplished are are getting dismal lately. I think one of the main reasons would be lacking this overt sense of accomplishment that’s dragging me down. Even though April has been all about earning and learning, I still feel very unsatisfied.

On a rather random note, I feel like packing up my camera gear and and going to the picturesque north or, if I dare to feel luxurious, on a tour dé Europa! Contrary to the anticipation of capturing the sceneic beauty, I want to capture the faces, the diversity of native’s expressions and consequently, the myriad of stories these faces treasure. I can still visualize myself paving through long roads not oft travelled and meeting people and listening to them go on and on while they allow me to etch their faces on my camera. I see myself stopping by patissieries where I munch on the treats and sip on unorthodox flavors of tea while my eyes feast on the Magnificence of Allah. I envisage witnessing His Divinity morphed as the vast green field with intermittent crests of hills, the clear blue sky furnished with soft floating clouds and then after dusk, studded meticulously with innumerable stars on a background of beautiful hues of purple and black. And then thrown in the scenes is the architecture gifted to us by medieval men and structures embodying the culture that once settled and perished along the way. Wow. This just has to make my bucket list before I get married. Stressful times like these necessitate a travelling break because even raving about them eases me up a little. Imagine their site as in images like these.



(Photos courtesy: Ayesha J. Khan.)

Sigh, back to  the harrowing reality. Gotta try harder and pull my mess together. This can wait but the tirade of tasks ahead, can’t.


Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


AIR: Part One

THIS is how I want to pursue it.

Jess Dewes

On January 30th, 2014, a woman walked into my photography studio carrying a tote bag full of oxygen tanks and jewelry. She smiled at me from under the hose that disappeared into her nostrils and I fell for her instantly.

On film, first meeting, 1/30/14.

A few months prior to the day Julie VonderHaar came to my studio for a portrait, I was invited to be part of a group photography show at a gallery called SOHA in South St. Louis, MO.  I was informed that the theme of the exhibit was simply AIR. Each photographer (8 total) was to interpret the theme however they liked and create something for the show. As a businessperson, exhibiting in shows like this is rarely lucrative, but the artist in me couldn’t resist the opportunity to stretch a bit beyond my work portfolio of baby portraits, corporate head shots, and wedding documentation.

I knew…

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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


Hope in the Most Hopeful.

I had attended this recent series of talks held by Al-Kauthar last week (of which I shall enlighten my readers very soon) where one of the things stated by Shaykh Furqan Jabbar absolutely hit home! He said that whilst Iblees was trying to justify his blatant insolence towards Allah SWT and was being rejected again and again, he asked by Allah SWT’s Mercy, to be granted time till the Day of Resurrection until which he would persistently misguide every single human on earth. One of the things to highlight in his statement (as mentioned in Surah Al-Araf: Ayah 17) was how he promised to attack us from every angle but above. If one is to wonder as to why Iblees chose to particularly exclude ‘above’ from his navigation system of waswasas; it was because even he, the epitome of arrogance, couldn’t intrude that zone as it is from where Allah SWT’s Mercy descends upon us.

This got me pondering over the sins we commit and the subsequent lack of repentance we seek from Allah (SWT). Whenever we sin, we either render that sin too minor to be worth seeking forgiveness for or we consider it to grave a crime for Allah SWT to forgive. Both these reactions per se are webs spun by Shaytaan that we entangle ourselves in. And why wouldn’t we? When Shaytaan seeds hopelessness in our hearts and we turn ahead of ourselves, we find ourselves likely to commit the same mistake due to prospective lack of will power. We then look behind and we see our past versions far too worse to be worthy of obtaining redemption. Then when we look to our left and right we see our present inundated with various sins we commit alongside that aggrandize the forlornness to another level. If, while drowning in such despondence, we don’t turn our heads above and devour Allah’s Mercy like we gasp for air, then truly there wouldn’t  be any hope for us and we would succumb to the plot of our timeless nemesis; because we gave up hope on the Mercy of the Most Hopeful. Hence, no matter on what scale of evil our sin lies, we ought to immediately seek forgiveness from the Ultimate Forgiving Diety (SWT). This serves as a reminder to myself, firstly. May Allah make us those who constantly seek refuge in his Shelter, Ameen.

Here is a little du’a that could prove helpful.


Time to start a new post-Wudhu regime, Inshaa’Allah


Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


Halal M&Ms.

If you’re reading this, then know that one of the major things stopping me from pursuing what you want is the entire venture being at the expense of another individual’s contentment. I need to be assured otherwise because I don’t want to even remotely feel that I have snatched something from a helpless person. I was once helpless too. 

That is my pride in myself and you.

I need to be at the zenith of it when I affirm. Have a good day, beautiful.


Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized


Steps May ’14. (Inshaa’Allah)

Ever since I found myself brooding over how much I’ve lost the preset of colours I had once claimed and that personified me, I accepted the grim reality that I had grown up. The physical changes that occurred weren’t bothersome, albeit I was taken slightly aback the height and the eruption of oil that could potentially make my nose and excellent ground of invasion in the next world war.

However, what deemed most resentful was how I lost my colours. These were elements that translated as strokes of paint and lead on paper designing beautiful catharsis’s, of words that would shamelessly expose the immature crudity within me, of faces and nature exaggerating it’s beauty in the lens. But then, the right brain subsided under the cumbersome medical texts that filled it’s spaces and compressed my creativity into sheets of mere, atrophic existence. I had been in dismay trying to hopelessly rejuvenate the creator in me and it took me a long time to accept that it was gone and I had officially been grasped by the hands of the adulthood  where we need to invest most of ourselves in our pursuit towards higher, albeit monotonic, objectives. But I still retain some of the colours that resonate with my drive towards being constantly chirpy and bubbly and enjoying these seemingly formidable demands.

I’ve learned to constantly calculate and evaluate my prospects and simultaneously expecting little for my puzzle pieces to fit in unless Allah (SWT) wants. But that doesn’t mean I work any less towards achieving my goals. In fact, I want to make it as means of propelling myself towards the said objectives with all the more zeal. Why am I writing all this? I am so that whenever what I decreed for my own self finds me slipping, I open this bit up and remind myself again. The motivation I feel right now along with the right amount of prayer can just be the tip of the ice berg. My goals are grand but not entirely elusive. I want to take my USMLE Step 1 at the time decided and work for my CS and tread fluidly towards my residency, I think I can Inshaa’Allah. I know I can and I will, if Allah wills. It reminds me of this beautiful Du’a.

رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي

Initially invocated by Prophet Musa (A.S) asking Allah to remove his speech impediment, I ask Allah for removing any impediments and making my up-taken task easier for myself. Ameen.

I may not have that same present of colours but the colours have changed, maybe they’ve been replaced by colours that complement that change in me. But whatever that is, I have accepted and even liking the energy they emanate. Here’s hoping this year goes good and makes me successful in both Deeni and Dunyawi perspective. Make Du’a please. 🙂


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Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized