I’ve been a long time lurker at Sister Tasmiya’s blog. She writes with such honesty and humour that I’ve learnt quite a bit about parenting in a most enjoyable fashion! Check it out! It’s wicked!

Anyway! I decided to step out of lurkdom and participate in her Interview Game. Here are the questions she asked me … followed by my rambling (as usual) answers:

1. What’s your favourite meal?
Hmmm… where do I begin?! :) Maybe it is being away from Singapore and missing my life there… but I will say that my favourite meal is the `Eid feast that we have there. There would be delicious pilaf accompanied by a host of dishes – prawns cooked in a chilli and tomato sauce, chunks of beef in a rich and spicy coconut gravy, grilled chicken and a thick lentil gravy cooked with meat. My favourite though is kuzi – a delectable dish of chicken, aromatic spices, some mince meat, raisins and almonds. My mother had once tried to change the menu but I remember raising a big hue and cry, protesting that the `Eid feast just would not be right without kuzi.

My mum and aunts come from a long line of wonderful cooks so the food is nothing short of gratifying. I must be honest though… it is not so much the food that makes this meal so special. It is that it stirs up many beautiful memories. When my father and grandmothers were alive, our house would be packed with guests on `Eid. My relatives would come over and it wouldn’t matter if they had already eaten or had been invited to a meal elsewhere… they would HAVE to eat at our home or face my grandmother’s wrath. Very few could get past my father anyway – he would keep urging them to “have more”. Resistance would be futile *S*

My grandmothers and father have passed away. I am now in Islamabad; my sister is in London and only my mum and brother are back home in Singapore now. I miss those `Eid meals.

2. What’s the one thing about you that you want to change (if anything)?
ONE? *sigh* OK I guess I have to narrow it down then… I would say that I would want more patience and ‘stickability’. I have so many ideas running about in my head… so many projects I have running… so many dreams and goals I want to fulfil for my children… I want so much that I sometimes I allow the stress to get to me and forget that I have to go about these things with love and a LOT of sabr. I forget that lofty goals need dogged perseverance.

3. What’s your favourite book (or movie if you hate reading)?
I do love reading… and my favourite book has to be the Qur’an. It is truly a miracle… beyond compare. I keep learning something new and find it profoundly beautiful. My favourite book of fiction is (of course) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

4. What do you love about being a mother?
The love…

My friend Maria, who is a mother of 3, mentioned once how having children has changed her life. She said that before she had her first daughter, she would get pangs of loneliness from time to time. She added emphatically, “I’ve never ever felt lonely since Shabaani came along. Never.” I thought it was beautiful…

Anyway, for me, I know that I feared having children – I was afraid of the responsibility… afraid that I would completely botch it up and afraid of being accounted for that on the Day of Judgement.

I have just had my second child (alhamdulillah) and I still get those panic attacks sometimes, but I’ve learnt to look at motherhood not as a burden or something to be feared but as a challenge. It IS hard work and ever so taxing mentally and emotionally but every once in a while, you stumble across a gem and you are reminded of the blessings that Allah has promised.

I said before about my first, Marz – she has opened up deep crevices in my heart that I never knew existed. She taught me about unconditional and unlimited love… Now I have another daughter, I feel even more positive about motherhood. Alhamdulillah.

5. If you could be “boss of the world” for one day (no restrictions on what you can and can’t do and everyone has to do as you say… you’ve got political, financial and moral clout) what would be the first 3 things you’d do?
(a) I would get rid of all the dictators and corrupt politicians and individuals and institute an Islamic state. I think about the how the Messenger of Allah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam and the 4 caliphs ruled and wonder how we have allowed ourselves to fall to such lows. `Umar radhiallahu `anhu took his job as caliph so seriously that he said: “If a camel died at the coast of the Euphrates out of negligence, I would be afraid that Allah would ask me for it.” I would want people like that looking after the people.

(b) I’d establish an Islamic economy – no more riba! I’d want an economy where the poor would be taken care of… not this crazy dog eat dog world where everyone wants to get ahead no matter what.

(c) I’d make everyone and I mean EVERYONE study Islam, the life of the Prophet and the lives of the pious predecessors. There is a saying where I come from, “You can’t love what you do not know”.

OK, I think I’ve talked too much already :) I’m done!