Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where in the World is Affad Shaikh

Since my last significant post, I would say its been two months or so. I have been pre-occupied. I went to go watch my Aunt die from Leukemia in Pakistan, so slowly died from the pollution and inept treatment of the physicians and staff at a so called "cancer specialty" hospital. (more on my adventures there later) These past few years, I have lost so many loved ones, that death has almost been a consistent guest in my life.

Then I came back and promptly saw a friend, former apartment mate, get married then a few other friends get married, met my other apartment mates fiance, and figured out my own living situation. I guess you can say, I now am a grown up, with my own studio in Orange County, having to take care of myself the whole nine yards.

I do admit the solitude in my new studio seems liberating. I haven't had to much time to enjoy its wonderful environment, as I have spent a lot of time moving, sorting, organizing my stuff. I lived a pretty chaotic, disorganized lifestyle these past few years. I guess that is what they call the "college years" and the "post undergrad" lifestyle. Its apparently settling in that I need to have stability of sorts.

Though my trip to Pakistan, subsequently to Mexico as well, re-enforced the fact that there is ever so much more to life then living in my bubble. I am reflecting on this fact and finding that my desire to see, and experience, the world is to strong to be neglected. For instance the Islam in Malaysia I experienced was something else, worth investigating further. The Islam in Pakistan, was actually a bit of a disappointment, such clash of ideas, like I might have mentioned to several people, its like Pakistan has several tracks that its traveling on, it happens that right now they all line up. In the near future the tracks will veer and that will be a dangerous thing to see. (Sadly, never did I think I would fear people with beards, but there I seriously questioned my security and well being as I went to the market, or filled up at a gas station, worse ride in a taxi.)

Work has occupied my life mostly- since I have gotten back its been hectic catching up with cases, deadlines, reports, requests, event attendance and the list goes on. But also I have been busy with this stupid desire to create a space of my own in my new studio. I have sort of brought out the inner interior designer our of me. But its not without help! I turn to Apartment Therapy to be my shining light, to figure out how to give my eclectic nature a physical form in the space I call my studio.

I know its a space that I rent. That I am limited in my ability to change the space, as well as the fact that I might move to some other situation at any given time, but I almost feel obligated to give manifestation to a sophisticated style of living rather then the "card board box dining table" I have been living these past several years. I believe my car will thank me for this change, its served as my closet, sometimes my bed, other times my study area.

One thing that excites me is that in the near future, I will come home from work, clean up, eat dinner and sit down with my long list of books to read and just begin reading. I miss that a lot. I want to read the book on my desk "Eastern Origins of Western Civilizations" or the book on "Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence" by Kamali, there is the historical fiction "Saracean Blade" and the Sci-Fi thrillers "Song of Ice and Fire" (4 of them, I highly recommend).

I don't mind coming and sitting on my couch and watching a movie, maybe the ending of "Jab we met"- Bollywood movie that got interrupted in Pakistan because of the regular power outages. Or even, finally sitting and playing Half Life for XBox, its sad, but as a college student doing all the things I did, I forced myself to stay away from video games. I think, I won't mind going to an Al-Maghrib seminar, in fact, if all goes well I hope to attend the one coming up later this month "The Torchbearers"- THIS WILL BE GREAT BOOST for my faith, especially with Ramadan coming up.

Its time to slow things down in life. To take it with a bit more ease. I get to caught up with things here, things there, and everywhere. My weakness has been my lack of focusing on "me" and having a place of my own, I look forward to that self dotting. I deserve it. I do.

Possibly even posting up some actually meaningful posts for you all to read, rather then the half-arsed nonesense you sometimes see posted by me.


Anonymous said...

as salaam alaikum

Its interesting to see the inside lives of the authors on this blog. Thank you for sharing, its honestly a great article because I began to reflect on my summer and even went as far back as a few months. A few months ago our community has been hit with a few deaths, then the brother who was in the accident and (is/was?) in the coma. May Allah swt make it easy on their family and on all those who are suffering.
Now that its summer, we all have been going to a wedding literally every weekend - or at least a wedding related function, or community based function. Though I must say not too many with all the weddings going on. I was discussing with a friend of mine that with all these joyous occasions (May Allah swt put bless them all!) that there must be another big test coming to us as a community, and subhanAllah just last week we all felt the earth quake, and of course many other things that have rippled through our community. Jazakallahu khair for sharing your reflections.

Brad A. Greenberg said...

Welcome back, Affad. You're ponderings have been missed.