Archive for October, 2008

She’s Growing Up!

My niece, Zara – now 6 months.

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The Namesake(s)

Occasionally, I get bored. Extremely bored. In my boredom and temparamental depression, I enjoy doing strange, obnoxious things. So, this time I typed my name ‘Diya‘ on Google Search. Although the initial purpose was to blow my own trumpets and undergo an ego boost from estimating my virtual popularity; I ended up making some pretty awesome discoveries.

Like for instance, this dude called Diya Abdeljabbar. I thought it was a chic when the name popped up in the search listings, but apparently, it’s a really smart dude from New Jersey’s Science and Technology University. NJIT writes:

“Diya Abdeljabbar, a recent NJIT graduate, will pursue a PhD in the fall at Princeton University, where he won a full scholarship to study chemical engineering. NJIT gave him many chances to learn and succeed, and Diya capitalized on all of them.

“If not for the great education I received here I would never have gotten into Princeton,” says Diya. “All the credit goes to NJIT, which gave me so many opportunities to learn.”

Diya is the kind of student that NJIT takes pride in educating. He comes from a modest economic background. His parents immigrated to America from Ar-Ram, a suburb of Jerusalem, when Diya was a baby. The couple settled in working-class Union City, N.J., and Diya attended the public high school there — Union Hill. His father, who went to technical school, worked as a sheet-metal contractor and welder. His mother stayed home to raise the children. He has an older brother, who works as a pharmacist, and a younger sister who recently graduated — first in her class — from Union Hill High School.”

He also has a really interesting picture of him up, so if you’re interested, you can read more about him here:
http://www.njit.edu/features/student/diyaabdeljabbar.php

Much to my joy, I also collided with two social work organizations that carries my name on their banners. Diya Foundation (http://www.diyafoundation.com/) is a vocational training center that provides for disabled people in Bangalore, India. Since I have an innate interest in community service, the discovery was quite a precious one. Next up was Diya – a social welfare network – based in Chennai, India. With an impressive website, it started off with a group of inspired students. Their motto – which comes in tandem to what 1di’s tagline does – advocates Winston Churchill’s famous line:
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”
To read more about Diya, click: http://diya.org.in/

Apparently, there’s also an artist on Last.fm  called Diya-Al-Din. I’m assuming he/she professes in Nasheeds since similar artist’s included the likes of Irfan Makki and Mina Seyahi. Very little information could be found on him, so if you’re interested (I wasn’t for some odd reason), you can visit:
http://www.last.fm/music/Diya+Al+Din

I had more surprises left for me. Like that real-estate company in Lagos, Nigeria labeled Diya, Fatimilehan & Co. They claimed to provide useful information regarding the right property for you and had a dandy looking photo of a family of three up on their website. Very cheerful, indeed. The house on the backdrop was really pretty and I couldn’t put the happy family and the pretty house together in one photo. It looked utterly fake and photoshopped – but maybe it’s because I come from a place where everything is so double-headed and forged that I find flaws in every bit of life. If you need a house up in Nigeria, feel free to contact them!
http://www.diya-fatimilehin.com/v2/main.cfm

A lovely discovery brought me home to a photo blogger who goes by the name Diya Peter (http://diyapeter.shutterchance.com/). A thought-provoking, heart-rendering image up front of a graffitti art caught my attention immediately. It was so raw, so true yet so aesthetic. The shot was taken with a Nikon D70 and with my weakness in photography, I felt blessed to have come across it.

The last, but somehow the most intriguing find was a blog of a guy/girl who’s got different meanings of my name on a post. I couldn’t his/her country or language, but I have a feeling it could be Malay.
http://crayonkakak.net/2008/09/22/d129-lingkaran-cahaya-di-planet-zuhal/
The photo in the centre really did the spell. It was so pretty! ❤

Diya means light. The light of a lamp. I think that information in itself is magic enough.

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No, I Do Not Want To Befriend You, Grisly Bear!

Recently, courtesy of my ’70s hairstyle and familiarity with the kajol, I have come across innumerable friend requests and personal messages on Facebook from a variety of old men. It’s not like this didn’t happen before. Being a young girl with an online account in Bangladesh pretty much puts you under the spotlight of ravenous ‘friend-seeking’ men who have a lot of time in their hands. However, the recent burgeoning of their numbers is quite alarming and I have resigned to changing my Facebook status (although they will never get to read it, thanks to privacy options).

So, a couple of weeks back, I received a message at my Inbox from a guy, who by the looks of his passport-sized photo was above 30, tried to appear handsome but failed miserably and has resigned to technology to find his life partner. He writes (and I quote):

“Hi, I am the Asst Manager in one of the largest group in BD. I am moderately pious and of a good family – all the members of my family (including both grand father’s family) are educated and gentle. Currently I am looking for an adorning life partner (22-25 & 5ft2inch-5ft4inch, decent, good looking, moderately pious with good education and of good family). I want her as my best friend also. That’s why I am seeking her through friendship. Consequence of that I would like to know whether there is any probability among us to enter in such relation or not.”

In a nutshell, as the long message proceeded, he was asking whether I was moderately religious (not a punk with scanty blue highlights on my hair, sighs) and of a family background decent enough so he could marry me. Excuse me?

Zabir and I were wondering whether we should set up a meeting with this over-enthusiastic ‘young’ man, make him pay for our date and then, Zabir would go up to him and ask him some questions and end the session saying that our ‘desperate seeker’ needed further improvement in character to be the best match for his girl aka me. Imagine a lover searching for a mate for his beloved and interviewing the guy – I could only imagine the expressions and choke with laughter.

Call me cruel, but I cannot help its facetiousness. Months back, I received another message from a dude living in Riyadh. He asked me whether I was interested to share my life with him. He mentioned he had a good salary, could provide love and guarantee a secured life for me. When I shared the experience with my boss – who btw, is known for his obnoxious sense of humour – he said I should write back to the guy, asking him whether he would provide oil to my country. With the recent rise in petrol prices and my boss’ obsession with cars, I suppose it would have benefited all three unconnected parties – my boss, my country and me. If the guy from Riyadh agreed to our proposal, I might reconsider his interest in ‘sharing my life with him’.

The more laconic messages that come attached to friend requests usually follow a basic pattern. It’s something like this:
“Hi. I good man. You look good girl. You want friendship? Come to me.”
The ones who’re a bit straightforward and don’t want to spend too much time ‘getting to know the chic’ would normally write:
“I great man. Call me now!! 01234567790!”
There are, of course, some men who try to look young. They’d have the first 4 buttons of their shirts undone and wear GayBan sunglasses with an eyebrow raised. If you’ve got patience and an experience of 10 years with friends who possess outright disgorge senses of humour, you’d have a guts to take a better look at the photo. You can see a small bit of the bhuri sticking out, desperately trying to be flattened and hidden using a tight belt and a mixture of grey-and-white curled chest hair. If you’ve ever watched a Dhaliwood blockbuster, this would clearly remind you of all the supposedly ‘powerful’ villains who would have call girls on their laps and rub their clean-shaved chins, saying:
“Eh heh he shundori.. tor eto shundor shorir’e toh kapor manaye na…”
Note the background echoing of a collective shrill of female voices chanting, “Mon chaile mon, deho chaile deho; shobi paabe tumi, jaanbe na keho!”
At this point, you’d switch off your brain and vision, and roll on bed either laughing hysterically or chocking on saliva because you want to throw up. For the more concerned viewers, well, they might roll on bed in despair and write heart-rendering protests on the ‘censored’ vulgarity of our film industry.

Nonetheless, I don’t understand why someone needs to resort to a virtual world to find their love partners. Has the real world gone so void of pretty women? I doubt. When clueless boys with spiked hair and bling bling want to be your friend, you can conclude he’s either homosexual or is extremely bored. You can blame his generation. But when a man with a bhuri as round as a football and aged as old as your uncle seeks your ‘hand in marriage’, the world indeed seems a very strange place. Like these men who’ve been trying to add me recently. Most of them have a medium-sized, serious-looking passport photos wearing formal shirts in a variety of colours and neatly pressed ties. I swear – if a guy with a bow tie adds me, I’m definitely sending him a reply message! It’s hard to imagine none of these men are married, and I’m sure almost 99% of them are sitting in their offices, posting messages to girls on Facebook while their wives are at home, cooking daal and wondering whether her coveted child will get 0.01% marks more than paasher-baari’r bhabi’s son with a baseball head. Some of the more daring stereotypes asked for my CV and whether I came from a particular region in Bangladesh, in tandem to their preferences. Dude, get a life!

In conclusion, I do not want to marry you, creepy old man. I am taken, I have a life and you are a freak of nature. Please go back to your home, put dye on your bald head and see if you could somehow manage to dress like Charlie Chaplin. That way, you might make a more productive career out of joining a circus. You’ve proven to be quite ludicrous already – so I don’t think making people laugh will be much of a problem for you.

Amen.

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Can You See Through Me

Reehan

Photo By: Reehan

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