Relationship Myths That We Grew Up Believing

“Love isn’t always perfect. It isn’t a fairytale or a storybook. And it doesn’t always come easy. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go.” ~Unknown

But that’s love..when it comes to marriage, it doesn’t always mean that it ensures presence of love. There are marriages with love so strong that nothing can shake or break them. They get through everything in life together. Then there are marriages completely devoid of love or any sense of belonging at all (though I do not understand the purpose of staying in such marriages but people do, out of sheer pressure or other problems they may not be able to explain). Anyway coming back to the myths that we grew up believing. Let’s shed some light onto some of them.

Myth #1: Opposites attract and make for more lasting long-term relationships.

It may be true in some cases but in the world of today, if people don’t share similar interests, they tend to find people who do, giving way to infidelity and self created problems like lying, hiding things, etc.  We’re fascinated by people who are unlike us because they represent parts of ourselves that we’d like to let out and explore. We tell our friends we can’t help who we are attracted to, but often we are attracted to people who are wrong for us.
While it’s true that we can complement each other with some differences—if, for example, one person is more laid back and the other is more Type A—couples who are more similar have longer lasting relationships than those who are complete opposites.
Dating someone similar means we get the support and validation for our core life values. There will be fewer disagreements on the most important issues and opinions that shape our lives.
Core life values may be spiritual, religious, social, family, and health-related. Taking a closer look at what you prioritize in your life and where you invest your time will tell you your values. This also means that having similarities lead to more positive feelings because of the reciprocity rule in relationships: we like others who are like us. It’s exciting to date someone who is the opposite of you at the beginning. But as the relationship progresses two people with different life values will start to separate and head down different paths.

Opposites attract like strong magnets for the short term, but if you’re looking for the long term, it’s similar core life values that will keep you together. Unhappy relationships don’t get you anywhere. Instead of lifting you up, they keep pulling you down till you reach that point where you are buried in the mess you both created.

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Myth #2: Having conflict in a relationship means you’re headed for a breakup.

I formerly believed that fighting meant you’re not compatible with each other and it won’t work out. This was why I thought that love meant never having to fight and I was terrified of conflicts. In relationships people deal with fights by ignoring them, pretending they didn’t happen, and stonewalling, where they just don’t communicate or just walk away, thinking the problem would just disappear and we could return to a normal state of things, as if it never happened. Suppressing your feelings often means experiencing random outbursts of crying because we are so frustrated with pent up emotions inside that we eventually crumble at the slightest stress.

When you are choosing to be with someone in a relationship you are choosing a unique set of problems that cannot be solved. It’s important to learn how to deal with it, because conflicts can bring you both closer afterward.
So having conflicts is actually healthy for a relationship. It shows that you are being honest about issues that are important to you rather than headed for a breakup. It also shows that you care enough to find a solution than to add to the existing pile of mess you both seem to be in. Talk! Always talk! Be willing to listen. Be willing to control your temper. Be willing to show some signs of warmth, being cold would only make things worse. More importantly stop being afraid. Be open towards each other.

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Myth#3: If partners really love each other, they know each other’s needs and feelings. 

It’s a setup to expect your partner to be able to read your mind because when you anticipate that your partner will know your wants, that’s essentially what you’re doing. We develop this expectation as kids but as adults, we’re always responsible for communicating our feelings and needs. And once you’ve communicated your needs and feelings, a better measure of the quality of your relationship is whether your partner actually listens to your words.

Myth#4: Having a child will strengthen your relationship or marriage.

Having children is a decision that both partners need to make together in order to feel strongly about it and be happy. We need to stop telling women to have a child as soon as they can because it’s not necessary that your partner would be thinking the same. Studies have shown that relationship happiness actually decreases with every child. This doesn’t mean that you start loving each other less or that you won’t bond at all over your child but the mounting challenges can complicate relationships. In most cases, Mother’s are so busy taking care of the little ones, eventually not finding time for themselves. Husbands find parenting too stressful, thinking it’s a mother’s job to raise the kid while he is only responsible for the financial aspect of their lives, providing them what they need. This thinking leads to less hestitation when it comes to cheating on their life partners. (Though it may not be the case in every marriage) But it’s about time that we raise our sons and daughters teaching them core values since the beginning so their relationships won’t suffer in future.

Myth#5: Jealousy is a sign of true love and caring.

Though sometimes it takes something like this to wake up your sleeping partner but that’s not always the case. Jealousy is more about how secure and confident you are with yourself and your relationship (or the lack thereof), Take the following example: If you have a jealous partner, you might try to show them how much you care so they don’t get jealous. But you soon realize that any amount of caring isn’t a cure for their jealous reactions. Keep in mind while you can be supportive, your partner must work on their insecurity issues on their own. No matter what you do, you can’t make your partner feel more secure or change their self-confidence. Trying to make your partner jealous also can backfire. While men and women are just as likely to experience jealousy, their reactions differ. The big question that you should always ask yourself is that why do you feel the need to make your partner feel jealous.  Think!

Myth#6:  In order for the relationship to be successful, the other partner must change.

Okay now this is something commonly expected (mostly from women). Many times we’re very good at the blame game and not so good at pondering how we can become better partners. Instead, we demand that our partners make such and such changes.

Most of you may not agree with me but why is the woman who leaves her house, her parents, her entire life to begin a new one with you, expected to change in order to fit the mould you have ready for her. Why is she supposed to think, eat, dress, walk, talk, sit, smile, socialize, work the way you want her to. I’m sorry men but this applies to both of you. If you know what your chosen partner is like and you have accepted her the way she/he is then please don’t turn her world upside down to fit yours. By doing so, you are very slowly pulling away pieces of her that made her who she was. If you don’t like her/him then do yourselves a favour and don’t be with each other. Simple!

I do not disagree with the fact that there are times when both parties have to change certain things in order to make their relationship last. That should only happen when it matters to both of you and not just one person. Mutual understanding and trust!

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That’s it for now. These are just some of the myths we grew up believing. If you can think of more, please list them down in the comment box below. You don’t necessarily have to agree with me but if you disagree then let’s discuss your point of view 🙂

Much Love! xx

Surprise! Surprise! It’s Your Birthday!

Birthdays are supposed to be days that we can assume to be better than other days..we can be selfish and claim that day as it’s the only day in an entire year which is about us.. why not?!

But what about all those who plan surprises for you? So I want to write to your dear ones to talk about this a bit and express a bit of concern over the ‘planned’ surprise.
I can’t help but think how it all takes place. A birthday is supposed to be a day where when you open your eyes you feel loved..you don’t want to end up going to the bathroom to wash your face and brush your teeth thinking that yeah once you freshen up and go to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for everyone (that is still your job even on birthdays..what happened to good old breakfast in bed…hmmm) someone might just remember and make your day by wishing you and asking how you’d like to spend the day or maybe have something reallyyyyy exciting planned for the day (which does not include a trip to the grocery store lolll). Maybe it would be nice to think that once a year it can be about you. Once a year it would be nice to not have you wait the entire day only to be wished after dinner with a cake and a present (as that is what commonly happens in our society). That doesn’t leave much of a surprise as that is very much expected 😛

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Have you all ever thought about ways of actually making someone’s birthday special for them. I know its a debate whether birthdays should be celebrated or not but I for one don’t believe in cutting the cake but a nice fun day is not a bad idea at all. After all, like I said, that is the only day in an entire year which CAN be about us.

So let’s take a look at a few ideas that might just make someone’s day. (You don’t have to agree with me of course) but hey! What’s the harm in trying? 🙂

  1. Make their day by wishing them first thing in the morning (why wait till evening)
  2. Stick a birthday message on their bathroom mirror. (Trust me you can’t beat that)
  3. Serve them a breakfast with a little cupcake and a candle on top. Pancakes with a little candle could work too.
  4. Ask them what they would like to do or better yet come up with a list of 4 to 5 things and ask them to pick what they would want to do.
  5. If you don’t believe in all this then try giving them a day off from their regular chores and let them relax.
  6. Get them an appointment at a Spa (don’t wait till evening even for that, it’s always nice to get done with spa in the morning so you feel refreshed throughout the day)
  7. Take them for an adventure (could be a sport too) that they like.
  8. Take them on a shopping spree.
  9. Take note of what they’ve been wanting to buy for some time and fulfill their wish by getting them that.
  10. Plan an awesome party. You can have a chocolate party, dance party, FIFA party, makeup party, dress up party, movie party, trek party (which would include a trek and a little birthday party up the hills), superhero party…be creative..think what your birthday person would like the most.
  11. Plan a roadtrip. Celebrate the birthday after reaching one of the destinations.
  12. Gather friends and family for an old school type of surprise where you all gather up, turn off the lights and then scream “Surprise” once they enter the house.
  13. If you are big on spending time with each other then plan a day together and do things that make you both happy.
  14. If you can sing and play any kind of instrument, then make good use of it (add a few dance moves to brighten up their day).
  15. Take them to a concert, play, movie, match…whatever the preference.
  16. Plan a fun sleepover with friends.
  17. Find out where Karaoke takes place in your city. That is always fun and could follow a great dinner somewhere.
  18. Get some friends and play some fun board games if you are not much into celebration.
  19. Or go all out and throw them a big birthday bash. Well, why not!
  20. Bring back the postal joy by posting them a card. Nothing beats that even today.
  21. Do something unexpected and be the reason behind that huge smile on their face.

I have kept this post simple and tried to list down things that are pretty doable… if you have any fun ideas, feel free to share them in the comment box below. I’d love to hear from you.

In my family August, September, October, November and December are total birthday months. Lots of birthdays..so naturally there is a different way of wishing each one.

Happy Wednesday people! Weekend starts in UAE tomorrow. Enjoy and relax!
Laughter is truly the best thing in life.

MUCH LOVE!

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Jehanzeb Aftab a.k.a JZ

We come across many people in our lives who are good at something or the other, the person that I’m about to introduce you all to today seems to have mastered skills in many fields. He is a brilliant photographer, an entrepreneur, a designer, a traveler, a foodie, he is into planes (ladies ahem) he can sing, dance and he is very charming 🙂 Ring any bells? This name does not need too much of a pretty introduction. He is the latest sensation in the world of men’s fashion with the launch of  J Squares and has neatly taken care of the health conscious lot at the same time with LeanBox.
This handsome young man has been a household name for long. Ladies & gentlemen, I give you Jehanzeb Aftab.

W&S: Tell us about yourself?

JZ: My name is Jehanzeb Aftab, I’m a small business entrepreneur. I shoot people as a hobby and that’s how I got into photography

W&S: It’s often been said that mathematicians do their work best when they are young, philosophers when old, and photographers..?

JZ: Photographers do their work best when they are in the best of moods.

W&S: What inspired you to be a photographer?

JZ: I grew up looking at my father and playing with his camera which always made me curious about the black box (camera) and what goes on inside it.

W&S: If you were to pick one moment that describes your entire past life, what would that be?

JZ: I don’t think there is just one moment that can describe my entire life. I believe in living in the present. All your past moments be it good or bad collectively shape up your life.

W&S: As a photographer what do you specialize in?

JZ: I specialize in portrait and events.

W&S: What type of camera do you shoot with?

JZ: I use a Nikon

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W&S: What lighting equipment you like working with?

JZ: I love working with an off camera flash used with an Octagon softbox.

W&S: Can you as a photographer relate to the importance of using Photoshop?

JZ: I think softwares and technology have had a great impact on photography and skills used in producing a final image.

W&S: A website or blog you often visit?

JZ: Flickr and Pinterest

W&S: A photographer who inspires you?

JZ: Gavin Bond

W&S: Each location can have many different stories so how do you decide what you want to craft out of it?

JZ: It’s usually the clients pick as to what location they want to shoot at, as a photographer I give my best opinion.

W&S: Books that have inspired you? 

JZ: Forty Rules of Love  

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W&S: Most memorable childhood memory?

JZ: Long road trips with old Bollywood songs from Dad’s collection.

W&S: You are known amongst your friends as?

JZ: The photographer

W&S: As a child, you grew up wanting to be? 

JZ: I wanted to be a pilot.

W&S: Favorite cuisine?

JZ: Pakistani.

W&S: Favorite vacation spot? 

JZ: Puerto Rico

W&S: Qualities you look for in people?

JZ: Honesty

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W&S: One thing you wish you had designed?

JZ: Something I would really like to design is men’s suiting. Everyone is doing suits that are nice but there are specific cuts and the way they sit on your body..there is so much to it. I would really like to do this.

W&S: Any particular assignment you would have wanted to take up?

JZ: I came across this assignment sometime back that I would have wanted to take up, it was basically about real estate photography focused on architecture for a huge hotel chain where they wanted seven properties being shot over a period of six months. That really wasn’t feasible for me at the time as I was really busy with work and i couldn’t take 6 months off for another project. Nevertheless I wish I had that kind of time and resources back then to take that up.

W&S: What have you learned from your journey?

JZ: Work hard. Work smart and that is the only way to go in life. The harder, the smarter you work, it will get you places.

W&S: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

JZ: Not very sure what I’ll be doing but I’m guessing that I probably will be moving deeper into the fashion industry, coming up with new projects, new lines. Let’s see how that works but that’s what I aim for.

W&S: Your thoughts on Wings & Strokes?

JZ: I think it’s a great platform for like-minded people to connect and share their thoughts. Very different and interesting content that flows through the blog and is always very helpful in many ways.

W&S: Thank you so much for your time Mr.Aftab, its been a pleasure. Wish you all the best for all your future endeavours! Cheers! 

Signing off

W & S

Connect with Jehanzeb Aftab on Instagram: jehanzebaftab1

 

 

 

|Faces| Huda Kattan

Like most successful people, Huda Kattan started small.  While holding down a job in finance that she hated, she launched a beauty blog in 2010, soon after which she quit her finance job. Kattan then started her Instagram account in 2012, followed by a beauty business selling false eyelashes in 2013.

Luck seemed to be on her side and in her case small got huge very quickly. The Dubai-based Kattan is now unchallenged in the makeup world. She has a breathtaking 20.7 million Instagram followers and has smartly leveraged that social media following to grow her business. She now offers liquid lipsticks, lip strobes, highlighter palette and eye shadows in addition to her lashes, which are available through her online shop and Sephora, which has 11.9 million followers on Instagram.

Kattan was born to Iraqi parents. She attended college in Michigan where she studied finance, a career she quickly gave up to become a makeup artist. Kattan met her husband at college and they moved to Dubai in 2008, where she now happily resides with him and their daughter.

When asked about the way beauty is perceived in Dubai she said  “Beauty in Dubai is on another level. I grew up in Tennessee. I loved to wear full glam. I used to want to wear flash lashes every single day. I remember wearing them once and someone was like, “Are you wearing false lashes?” I felt embarrassed. In the U.S., it’s perceived as though you’re trying too hard.

In Dubai, people respect you if you wear lashes to the grocery store. I’ve been at the gym at 5 in the morning and seen full glam, which, I think working out with your full makeup is just crazy. But it’s more over the top here. Middle Eastern women have very strong features, and makeup tends to accentuate those features really well without looking like too much.”

She says “I took beauty so seriously before, and I do still, but not in a way where I can’t have fun with it. I’m passionate to learn more, passionate to know how we can change people’s lives by giving them one tip. But when it comes to the look, it should be fun. You should just be like, “Yeah, I’m a cake face — so what?”

It is said that she makes an astonishing AED 66,000 with each instagram post.  Huda Kattan has changed a lot over the years and that simply proves that you CAN be the best version of yourself. She never feels shy to talk about her surgeries, fillers etc. unlike other public figures.  She is extremely humble, down to earth and truly inspirational. She is on the Internet’s most fascinating people’s list

Enjoy the slideshow!

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What’s cookin good-lookin?

Does it ring any bells? Yes I’m talking about the crazy good-for-nothing stalkers on social media and their insane pickup lines. I mean it’s absolutely crazy!!! I can’t even begin to explain the number of fraaandhip messages I come across. I don’t open the filtered messages for weeks till I find out that someone I know was trying to reach me and there you have it. Your inbox seems plagued with fraaandship boysez! Do you guys even have a life? I’m not the only one who is going through this craziness or I’d rather call it alien invasion, there are million others like me trying to understand what goes on in the mind of these people. You post a household item up for sale and they start messaging you singing praises of your beauty, writing poems and sonnets in your name in hope that you will respond.You post a business opportunity or anything related to network marketing and don’t even ask the kind of responses you may receive.  You post your baby’s stroller up for sale and they start losing it again..you post anything and they start.. Creepers gonna creep!

So I’ve put together a list of how this can be handled, hope it’s useful for atleast some of you.

1. Trust your instincts. That’s the first thing you need to do. You girls your instincts are never wrong. If you feel something is not right, then it’s NOT right.

2. Ignore the Facebook “others” messages folder. There is nothing for you there except pick up lines and other ways of getting to know a woman. You should only access that if any of your acquaintances are trying to get in touch and their message is not reaching your inbox, that would be a good time to check that folder, otherwise ignore it.

3. Block the creeps. If you tell a creep you’re not interested, but stay connected with them, they might see this as a mixed message, and think you’re just playing coy. So just block them and make your life a little easier.

4. Think before you act. Always! Always! Always!

5. If you find something serious going on, then you have to take charge and act accordingly but if there is nothing big and can be handled with precautionary measures then do so.

6. Move forward. Don’t let your life come to a standstill because someone out there is crazy.

Life is too short and your time with your loved ones is too precious to be wasted on anything else.

Take care

Signing off

W&S

Weekend Chit Chat

Hey everyone! Hope Ramadan is going well for you all. I have not really been MIA just crazy busy with my little ones and home. Gosh we don’t realize how much of an effort goes into our days and nights. It’s only when you get time to be by yourself and really breath, is when you get to ponder over the fact that it’s a lot of work. So all the people out there, men or women, who take out so much of their time to be with their families and do anything and everything to make them happy, Hats off to US! 🙂 I do however try to stay active on Instagram so that I stay connected with you all. For those of you who are not on my Instagram can follow me, my ID is  sonyalee1. Let’s connect! 🙂

For those of you who don’t know yet, the official page for Wings & Strokes is www.facebook.com/wingsandstrokes. You can find Wings and Strokes on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube.

Moving on let’s talk about the weekend. Ramadan has us all busy here, but I do have to point out that it relieves us of the daily task of preparing lunch for the family. I still have to prepare something for the kids of course.

This weekend has been extremely lazy, I fell very sick and that drained me of the much needed energy. Still managed to take the kids out for a bit, they deserve a break as much as we adults do. Found some really neat things for the house (i’m obsessed with my home and home decor) you can easily call me The Desperate Housewife, most of my friends call me that. Watched a great movie with my kiddies, it’s not something new but definitely worth it. It’s called Game Plan. It’s super cute and my older one loved it. The Rock really does justice to his character and I adorrrrrrred him in this one. Parenting is indeed the most beautiful thing on earth. I feel fortunate to have been blessed with wonderful children who make my world beautiful and my life worth living. I hope and pray that I can help them become worthy people as they grow up.

Also I wanted to tell you that I am starting a new section in the blog talking about everything related to ‘Home‘. Really excited about that. I spend most of my time at home with my children. I have been working from home as well. As this is the place where I spend most of my time, I find myself doing something or the other throughout the day. This is something I’m very passionate about so expect a lot of home related posts. (Like seriously)

Big question for you all. I know most of you open W&S on your phones but I wonder if you have had the chance to open it on your desktops or laptops? Do try it once, and let me know what you think of the layout of the blog. I think you might just like it more, I prefer to open it on laptop (self obsession, yesss).  So the weekend ends here in UAE tomorrow and begins in most parts of the world. What are your plans? I plan to lose weight lol but then again that’s what I plan everyday 😉

Some of my friends want me to put my name on the posts which I never do as I didn’t really want this to be about me but I feel that it’s good to connect, it’s “time” to connect! I have been blogging for two years now, Wings & Strokes is two years old, I have neatly kept my name out of it for this long and spoken about people and things that inspire me. Even though I don’t post regularly these days but I promise to fix that so we get to know each other more. Thank you for visiting, reading and staying for a bit. Means the world to me!

Enjoy the weekend!

Love,

Sonya

|Faces| Zaha Hadid

Google seems to be celebrating Zaha Hadid today, now for those of you who don’t know who this legend is. She was one of the finest Iraqi/British architects that the world has seen. How do I know? Because I’m obsessed with architecture. She has received a number of prestigious awards for her dazzling work. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. She was also the first woman to win the Royal Gold Medal in Architecture from the Royal Institute of British Architects. And she won the Stirling Award, the UK’s most prestigious architectural prize.

 

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Queen Elizabeth II made her a Dame in 2012 in honour of her commitment and services to the profession (wow). Hadid never had a family of her own, choosing not to marry or have any children.

I’m going to share a few of her marvellous creations with you. There is nothing more fascinating than stunning, mindblowing architecture and this woman certainly has blown my mind. As a child, I really wanted to study architecture but life had other plans for me (also I wasn’t so good with numbers).

So ladies and gentlemen feast your eyes upon the stunning architectural work of none other than Zaha Hadid

Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan

The Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan was completed in 2013

The Winton Gallery at the Science Museum, London

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery at the Science Museum

 

Port House, Antwerp, Belgium

Port House

Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza

Bridge Pavilion, Zaragoza (2008)

International Cultural Centre, China

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Bee’ah Headquarters, Sharjah UAE (unfinished)

Bee’ah headquarters

Opus Tower, Dubai

opus tower

ME Hotel, Dubai

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Sleuk Rith Institute, Cambodia

sleuk rith institute

Grand Theatre, Morocco

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Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi (2010)

Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Riverside Museum, Glasgow (2011)

New Beijing Airport Terminal (unfinished)

New Beijing airport terminal at Daxing Airport

Al Wakrah Stadium, Qatar (proposed to host 2022 FIFA World Cup)

al wakrah stadium

City of Dreams , Macau, China

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She died unexpectedly of a heart attack last year leaving many unfinished projects to her name.

Ramadan Chit Chat

Ramadan is here and I’m really excited this year. I wasn’t able to fast last year as I was expecting my little boy but this year I’m ready to embrace the month with all its blessings and goodness. Somehow just knowing that satan won’t be getting in the way for 30 days really get’s you going, or at least that makes me feel great. On other days we conveniently blame him for everything that we don’t do right, myself included. So let’s make the most of it. Let’s pray, learn to be more humble, practice patience, abstinence and self-restraint. It’s also seen as a way to spiritually and physically detoxify by kicking impulses like caffeine, smoking and snacking (mostly unnecessarily in my case, that explains my weight). It is a beautiful time to detach from worldly pleasures, and focus on our prayers.

 

Ramadan has started,of course, here in UAE and it was the second day today. I’m getting more time to really focus on my prayers this year but at the same time i’m also trying to ignore the fact that i’m the only one in the house fasting here as my hubby wubby is away. My little ones do keep me super duper busy as always but I feel like i could use some company 😛 so maybe it would be nice if he could return soon. The first day was nice as i didn’t have to prepare iftar as I got invited over at our relatives, second day was more hectic with kids being extra hyper and me fasting and not able to concentrate on anything (i’m sure many of you are feeling the same).

Also did i mention that my beloved fridge decided to ditch me a couple of days back which means that I have no fridge these days and it’s just adding to my misery here as I have no place to keep my food TA-DA!

So anyway wish you all tons of blessings, joy, peace and love this month. May you enjoy your iftar and suhoor as much as you enjoy praying and connecting or reconnecting with Almighty. May this month bring you everything that your heart desires and everything that is meant for you.

(Picture courtesy @rubab_artist. You will find her on instagram. She is super talented. This image has become my Ramadan favorite! )

Happy Ramadan folks! Enjoy the pakoras! 🙂