Monday, February 26, 2007

Blue Monday

This weekend was not a particularly good one for me....

I decided to be the better person and go to my friend's baby shower (btw Naima where the heck were you?!!!). It was an Indian thing - this friend of mine had gotten a divorce and remarried within like two years, while I still sit on the shelf. To say it hurts a little is an understatement. That is one of the good things about b-school, most of the time I don't feel these things so acutely, life is so busy here. Anyway, I went (though I really didn't want to but I didn't want to seem like the spoilsport), put on a smile, but inside it was so painful. I sat there realizing that I'm an old hag and even if I do get married and pregnant, there will be no baby shower. Indian society doesn't do baby shower's for old women, its unseemly, like having a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party when you turn 40, it just isn't done. Plus I didn't want to get to close to my friend because like the Scarlett Letter, God Forbid should something happen to her baby, the witch (that's me) will automatically be blamed. You know how it is, (read the Crucible), anyone remotely non-conformist is going to have the finger pointed at them first.

To top that off, I have been royally tired of late - and all I wanted to do Saturday night was sleep and than leave for school the next morning. My mother wouldn't hear of it, because DC was to get hammered with a snow storm early Sunday morning . So I had to drive down, after the horrible baby shower, to Richmond. I spent the time crying in the car the whole way, from sheer exhaustion.

But wait there is more...I'm bitter because I still haven't heard from a single internship position, am I that bad a candidate?? I made straight A's last semester? What is better than that? My undergrad G.P.A. was a 3.87 out of 4.0, I have work experience....what more is there? I think I should have gone to a better b-school, one with a better reputation. But my standarizied test scores were not good enough to get me into a top-rated b-school. This gets me thinking...maybe I shouldn't have gone back to school for my MBA? Maybe getting such a low GMAT score was an indication that I'm not cut out for this stuff. I don't have the math skills, which it seems all employers want (but I'm not opposed to learning, I think I have the brain power). As I ponder this I feel sad again....what am I doing with my life.

Right, sorry for this rambling..maybe because its Monday, maybe its because I'm still super tired that I'm feeling a bit down. But I'm trying to smile more, hopefully that will positively affect my mood. (hey at least the Oscars were funny!).

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Violence against Homeless

Molly Malone sent this article to me and its truly disturbing...

(its about middle-class teen boys beating up and killing homeless people and how this violence is on the rise)
A lot of things about this bother me - what kind of human being are you that you would so violently harm a person who is already down on their luck? What goes on in your brain that allows this behavior? That finds it acceptable? Where is your right and wrong reasoning here?

What kind of society are we raising that has these children do this? We speak of charity, most American colleges require some volunteer work before you can get accepted (and I bet if we looked at these kids records, they did do some charity work and that they were on the track to college, [isn't it interesting that those perptuating these crimes are not the poor on poor but those more fortunate onto those less]), yet there seems to be a dis-connect between these ideals and the reality.

Finally how do we combat mob mentality? Is there anything that can be done so a person doesn't get swept away? Mob mentality is one of the things above many others I fear. We have already seen examples of mob mentality following 9/11, with the rush to brand everything "patriotic," pointing fingers at anyone who remotely looked suspicious and jumping into war, no one thinking, no one stopping to say, "wait, a minute, is this right?" We only have to look to history to see thousands upon thousands of examples of what happens with mob mentality i.e. WWII and the death camps, Iranian revolution, even down to soccer match brawls.

My heart cries for these poor homeless people, the victims, and their families. These homeless usually have severe mental problems, they have nothing, they are at the absolute bottom rung of harm them is sick to me, turns my stomach (it also makes me think, where was religion in these teens lives?). I pray that this man and all the other homeless who have been tormented by anyone is blessed in the hereafter, may God engulf them in His warmth and light for eternal serenity.

(As for the kids involved, I pray they find spirituality and devote the rest of their lives to helping those less fortunate, only then would I feel they have remotely re-paid for their sins.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Why Muslim Guys Only?

It's 1:30am, I should be sleeping, I have a test on Tuesday...but I actually really enjoy this part of the day the best, right before I go to bed, just sitting at my desk, with my soft yellow lighting casting a circle around my laptop, my National Geographic map of the world in front of me - listening to my favorite Bollywood tunes, the rest of the world around me asleep. Its so calm, peaceful.

Lovely dear Blog God-father Pax asked me a question about my previous post that made me smile. Why? Because what he asked, has been poised to me a number of times. In my last post I said how one of my goals was to be married to a nice Muslim boy. He asked, "Why Muslim?" Many of my good friends from Mary Baldwin would reiterate the same thing - they felt I was limiting myself. All through I've been asked this question. Besides as one of my closest friends pointed out, almost all the guys (prior to my trips to England) that I had crushes on or liked were not Muslim at all.

How to answer.....I suppose why I have this one big criteria of my future spouse is that religion is very important to me, despite my constant gripping about this or that about my fellow Muslim's, I feel very connected to the faith itself, its an intergral part of who I am. I think a Muslim guy would understand that best, along with all the customs and traditions that come along with that. I think I would be more comfortable with someone who was comfortable with this, with Islam and believed, faith-wise, the same I did (which means he would have to be a liberal Muslim). I guess I just think that I would have real difficulty being with someone whose faith that I perhaps respect but don't believe in - does that make sense? Am I articulating this correctly?

Also to a large extent I really want a Muslim guy because its imperative that my children are Muslim. No questions about it there. I think it would be easier for me to raise my children Muslim if there dad was Muslim also.

Goodness, I hope this is coming out right. I don't mean to offend anyone. I have no issues with people who marry out of their religion. I don't think its bad, I just don't think its right for me. To each his own, no?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Virginia Gal's 30th Decade

A friend of mine (interesting story on how we met, I'll have to tell it one day) sent me this list to do for my 30th Decade. It took me a while to get around to this (perhaps because I still have difficulty believing I'm 30, urgh). Its suppose to be sort of a blueprint for my 30's.

Anyway, here it is, what do you think? Too lofty or not lofty enough?

Places to visit: Salzburg Austria, Mecca Saudi Arabia, Antarctica, Egypt, Siberia, British Columbia Canada, The Andes, Japan, China, Napa Valley California. Repeat visits to: Lisbon, Madrid, Scandinavia, London, Edinburgh, India, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Paris, Italy, Greece, Prague, Moscow, South Africa, Germany and San Francisco.

Places to live: London, England!!! I would also like to spend some time in India (and than return to America).

Career path/diplomas: Graduate with my MBA and get a fabulous job in the HR department of an airline or an organization closely linked to the airline industry. My dream job would be working abroad for an international carrier or international alliance.

Marriage/Kids: Yes please – both! A nice Muslim guy, someone who respects and loves me – three or four kids (twins would be nice). All of the same sex if possible (doesn’t matter which sex, but all the same), but healthy is most important. If he looks like Nathan Fillion, all the better : )

Lifestyle/yearly points: I think the biggest thing I’m going to strive for is more positivity in my outlook on life. I’m going to enjoy just being alive and live in the moment (or at least try). Less pity-party’s and giving into my inherent depression.

Friday, February 09, 2007

MBA Elitism

I'm applying for internships for the summer and I'm so fed-up of seeing this on the applications regarding the applicant, "should come from a top-tier MBA school." oh! Because I don't go to Wharton or Harvard, somehow I'm not as good? Is that the implication? Are they saying that the only people "smart" enough to lead business come from these elitist schools, that people who go to these schools are endowned with some magical business power that us leser-beings can't possibly possess?!

I'm so tired of this class society drivel, what are we - England?! If we are in any doubt about the dubious business accumen or creditials from these insititutes of higher learning, let us not forget both G.W. Bush and Jeffrey Skilling (of Enron fame) went to Harvard Business School. Yeah....they produce the best.

Ironically, one of the places I've applied for, a travel company, that purports on their website about how different they are, "out of the box thinkers, breaking traditions"...blah blah - has plain as day on their application that the intern-seeker should come from a, "top-tier MBA school." Yes (nodding head sarcastically), that's really, "being unusual."

oh who am I kidding, why don't we just keep the status quo - those families who have the money and now claim more than 50% of the slots at these "top" schools (admission slots in most of these schools go to kids with money, I saw a PrimeTime live special on it, something like less than 30% of the kids coming into these schools were admitted based on merit alone) should remain there. And those of us not fortunate enough to have those advantages of life, well either pray you are extremely smart or just be grateful for your meager position, upward mobility is not in your future.

I'm sorry I'm sounding like such a grouch, I'm just having a really bad day - I have no summer internship prospectives, struggling miserably in my financial management class with potential flunkage, no love life to speak off, no money in my bank account and to top it off.....I just got reprimended by some Muslim guy because I was reading my afternoon prayer too early (by minutes, mind you). Oh God save me! Its now either tears or anger...Aye!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What an Idiot!

I'm sorry for the lack of posts - blame school, its back to being incredibly busy again. Sheesh. Don't they know, I want a life?!

I saw this article in on Yahoo today:
Thai woman tells of 25-year detour after catching wrong bus
by Rapee MamaThu
A Thai mother who was lost for 25 years after catching the wrong bus home has spoken of her ordeal after being reunited with her family thanks to simple song.
The last time Jaeyaena Beuraheng saw her seven children was in 1982 when she left south Thailand on one of her regular shopping trips across the border to nearby Malaysia.
She never returned, and police later told her family that she had apparently been killed in a traffic accident.
In fact, Jaeyaena had simply taken the wrong bus home -- an error that would have been easy to fix except that she only speaks the local dialect of Malay known as Yawi, according to officials at the homeless shelter where the 76-year-old has lived for two decades.
"I didn't tell anybody where I was going on that day, because I went there quite often," she told AFP, crying as she spoke.
She was heading home from her shopping trip when she mistakenly hopped on a bus to Bangkok, some 1,150 kilometers (700 miles) north of her home in Narathiwat province.
In Bangkok, unable to read Thai and speaking a language few Thais can understand, she again took a wrong bus, this time to Chiang Mai, another 700 kilometers (430 miles) further north.
There she ended up as a beggar for five years, until she was sent to a homeless shelter in the central Thai province of Phitsanulok in 1987.
"I thought I would die in Phitsanulok. I thought about running away many times, but then I worried I would not be able to make it home. I really missed my children," Jaeyaena said.
Officials at the shelter told AFP that she was known as "Auntie Mon," because her speech sounded similar to the language of ethnic Mon living along the border with Myanmar.
But still no one could understand her, until last week when three health students from Narathiwat arrived on an exchange program to research the problem of homelessness at the shelter.
She sang a song for the visitors, one that the staff at the shelter had often heard but did not understand.
"She sang her same old song, one that nobody could understand until those three students from Narathiwat told us that she was sing in Yawi, a Malay dialect," the official said.
"So we asked them to talk to her and find out if she had relatives," official said.
Jaeyaena told the students that she had a Malaysian husband and seven children, recounting her entire story of the bus and how she had become lost in northern Thailand.
Her shocked family sent her youngest son and her eldest daughter to meet her and bring her home on Tuesday, the official said.

I'm sorry if this sounds cold, but what a freaking idiot! I don't understand this woman....if it was me, and I was seperated from my family voluntarily, I'd do EVERYTHING in my power to get moving. I wouldn't just resign myself to "being lost, no one understands me, guess I'll just stay here and beg for five years, la-dee-da" Everyday would be a day of movement for me, even if it meant walking and eating from trash, because I had no money. I just don't get it. Also if it was me, I'd try to have some geographic knowledge to know where I am and where I need to get too and because clearly this woman didn't possess that (knowing Bangkok was north of her hometown) maybe she shouldn't have gone shopping in the first place. Aye!

Could this just be a cultural thing?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Good-Bye to a Great Lady

Sadly, when in school, you sometimes live in a bit of a bubble. I missed the news about Molly Ivins passing away on Wednesday.

She was one of my favorite columnists. Her ability to hit bulls-eye on issues was just as amazing as her writing talent, which could have you laughing out loud. I loved to hear her speak - she had that gentle Southern tone that cloaked the harshness when she was reprimending, which unfortunately she had to do a lot in the last few years. When the rest of the media was jumping over themselves to be the Bush administration's lapdog, she was screaming about the injustices and wrong-doings going on in the name of freedom.

Like many of the women of Mary Baldwin College that I went to school with and to whom I have great respect, they taught me that you could face off against the CEO of a company while still wearing white gloves, she was a staunch liberal gal, with genteel Southern manners. There was no beating around the bush with Ms. Ivins, but no meaness either. She was one of the greats and she will be missed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Home Grown Menaces

I woke up this morning to hear the news about the 20 people arrested in the U.K. on terrorist charges, plotting to kidnap and behead someone.

What makes a person, who was born and raised in a country, hate it so much that they want to harm it? To me, the more targeted question is: why would kids, like me of Islamic Indian subcontinent hertiage living in the Western world, desire to do this?

As my faithful readers will know, I spent one year (almost every weekend) in London, so I do have a number of English friends of Pakistani heritage and after having spent so much time with them - I think I can see where a large part of this hatred comes from. Unlike here in America, where for the most part, kids of this background intergrate into the larger American society, my friends in England lived very isolated. It was very insular. None of them have friends who are not Muslim. They are no part of the greater English society, they have no claim or sense of community or even remote affection for the country to which they hold citizenship. Instead, I noticed a lot of animosity. Being the largest minority in the U.K, it feels like the hatred of the second class citizen to the owners of the place. Most of my friends in the U.K. identified more with Pakistan (and the subsequent psedu-Islamic culture that they believe [falsely] is an accurate representation of their religion).

This is so different from my experience - as an American Muslim. I feel as if I'm an American, this is my country and I love it. I love that people want to learn about the religion and that there is a dedicated effort to overcome discrimination on all levels in American society. To my way of thinking, for most American Muslims, until the G.W. era, there had never been a sense of injustice against Muslims in America (most Muslims I know still to this day love Bill Clinton, if we had our druthers he'd be re-elected ASAP).

I can't say with certainty, as I don't know every Muslim in America, but I do feel strongly that this country, because it is much more inclusive than others I've seen (and doesn't treat Muslims like horrible pests but as equal members of society) the US will not have the problems of home grown kids enacting violence on the home country.