Nature v Nurture

This place disgust me. These people are horrible. The music is too loud. These people find everything hilarious (said to people being pushed around on a skateboard – which did look very fun). London is too busy a space. 

And on and on he went. His pessimistic views grinding me down. My lips sore from the tight, fixed smile I would show at each of his statements. My heart growing wary, my mind bored. My eyes glancing round for anyone else I knew, anyone at all, who I could escape to.

People have genuine hardships in life, I do not wish to trivialise this mans hardships. Graduating with a 1st class degree from a university employers don’t seem to acknowledge. Then completing a Masters course at a more reputable place, to still be ignored. Struggling to start his career and having to apply for a job he is very much overqualified for. All this with many other struggles – financial, disabilities, academic. No, I do not trivialise his hardships.

I just wonder about the various outlooks people can hold. The glass full and glass empty kind of people. I am definitely the former. Always trying to find the lessons in hardship, trusting that this is for the best – and leaving everything to the best planner of them all.

But why am I like this? Some characteristics we are born with. Others we gain due to our interactions. Nature and nurture. Nature: my academic ability that has allowed me to achieve the grades at the university I did. But it is also nurture: my mum’s constant positive outlooks and unfaltering faith that pushed me to even dream. It is the very strong network of friends who are, on the most part, positive and encouraging, that allows me to make mistakes but see the lessons in them. I believe both play an important role, but lean more towards nurture.

I asked him, “why are you always so pessimistic?” He replied, “it’s what pushed me to achieve a 1st.”

Interesting, how he used his negative attitude to achieve, and me my positive attitude.

Speaking to him further I learnt about how unsupportive his parents are, how he grew up with few friends. I wonder if things would have been different, had he the support I often take for granted.

I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. – Stephen Covery

This post is the start of my weekly Fine Fridays – a time when I will reflect on the things I am grateful for. Fine – as in beautiful, hot. Friday is the perfect day for this: jummah & it’s the start of the weekend. This is a task set by Blogging 101.

Those perfect days

“Baby, you light up my world like nobody else.”

Yesterday was one of those rare perfect days. The sun was shining – and doesn’t everything feel better when the sun is shining? – but there was a gentle breeze in the air. The world was in technicolour, the sounds louder but somehow softer. It was one of those days where I could not bare to stay at home, my mind yearning to go exploring and skin yearning for some golden magic.

I painted my lips plum, lined my eyes dark and picked out florals. My attire projecting the bursting brightness I could feel burning inside. Overdressed for a lunch with old friends but I didn’t care. For today demanded notice, excitement and courage. And I would take heed.   Continue reading

Life without Google

Making plans in a group chat like – @tbhjuststop

You would assume with all the information we have access to at our fingertips, planning a simple meal out with 6 would take, at most, a few minutes. You’d be wrong. With practically unlimited choices – but then factoring in the various limitations: cuisine, location, price range and the added requirement of halal – you end up with hundreds of Whatsapp notifications, frustrating searches through blogs, reviews and Instagram, and waiting for that one person who just goes MIA in the middle of a very important decision making process.

Do you go for somewhere local because you just know you’ll feel lazy? Do you go for somewhere safe and trustworthy but boring or try somewhere new and exciting but risky? Burgers or curry? Can we all afford a treat?

We did get there in the end and I am looking forward to finally catching up with my oldest friend group for lunch. No doubt we’ll have a great time irregardless of the food – but when you’re spending money, you may as well spend it well.  Continue reading

Calling Londoners: Free food and epic vibes 

If you’re around London in the evening I recommend you pop down to the Ramadan Tent in Malet Street (nearest train stations: Russel Sq, Euston or Euston Sq).

This is an awesome initiative that provides hot, fresh food and water to anyone who comes along so the community can break their fast together. Muslims and people of other faiths and none, and people from all walks of life (students, parents, the homeless) are welcome to share a meal and get to know each other. And the best thing – it’s completely free!

I’ve been a few times this year and each time I’ve been blown away by the warm atmosphere and loving feels. Families bring along children and the whole tent is just buzzing. I’ve been able to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while and make new ones. So you can come along alone or with people – either way you’re bound to have a great time.

And the food is scrummy too! So far we’ve been treated with rice and chicken curry, mince pasta and lahmacun (Turkish pizza). Vegetarian options are provided and there’s dessert!

So heartwarming to see initiatives like this blooming at times where we’re told to fear and hate each other.

Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is associated with the company. – Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Check out their website for more details. The London tent opens from 8.45 – 10 PM on Monday – Saturday. Most cities have similar initiatives so try finding yours. There is a place to pray in congregation for Magrib and on Saturday they also pray Taraweeh together. The project will continue throughout Ramadan.