A few good “F” words for the new year

Published: December 31, 2011
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PHOTOS: REUTERS

The year 2011 sped by just like all the years before it. Glorious on many counts, it also had its downsides that come with the package of any given chunk of time. Standing in my balcony, braving the rare chilly Karachi winds against my face, I am taking inventory of the year gone by. Some unresolved resolutions are jumbled up in the knapsack of my mind while some new resolutions have also found their way in.

‘What are going to be my focal points in the year to come?’ I wonder.

Somehow, a lot of ‘F’ words spring up in my mind – good ones, I must add.

Family: They may be irritating, annoying and an eternal encroachment on my personal space, but they are what makes life worth living for me. They demand a lot, but also give much more in return. If there is anything that is the ‘real’ thing in life, it’s your family; and if the real stuff sucks out the best out of you, it also gives you the best life has to offer.

So in the coming year, more cooking for my daughter; more walks (and simultaneous talks) in the park with my husband; more evening tea trysts with my mother, whose eyes light up when she sees me; more patient time-spending with my sisters, who feel I ‘need to be more available on Skype and phone’ ; more brainless laughter over childhood jokes and discussions about Pakistani politics with my brothers; more hanging out with my nieces and nephews (a price one pays for being the youngest aunt); more one-dish dinners with my in-laws, and lastly, more visits to the distant aunts and cousins.

I mention all these people because they will be the first to arrive if I am in trouble. I know for a fact that they will stand by me even when I have a runny nose and a swollen face owing to allergies.

Friends: What could make life more enjoyable than the company of a good friend? As the years speed by, friends become even more important than before, and here I mean all kinds of friends; the ones who pump up my ego by giving me a healthy dose of compliments on how I look and how well I write; the ones who can say anything directly to my face when I need to hear it because they have known me since I couldn’t even tie my shoe laces; the ones who will swing by my house uninformed, plop themselves on the jhoola (swing) in my lounge and tell me their sob stories till my head spins; the ones who will go all motherly on me and make me tea and kebabs when I go to them in need of a pep-talk; the just-for-fun friends with whom I go out to share crazy laughter over coffee; those who are ready to mentor me in unsaid ways; the ones who will accompany me to the Imran Khan jalsa; the ones who call me a day before the jalsa, worried sick that I am going to a public place, and tell me ‘it’s so dangerous, you idiot’.

So in the coming year, more time-spending with my besties, if that’s possible, because they are already a major time-drain – one that is so worth it.

Food: Being a  hardcore foodie, this one should actually top the  list, but this year I plan to have yummier but healthier food. More concentration on fish, fruit, figs, and fresh greens instead of the regular doses of nihari, garlic-mayo fries, cheese dripping pasta and cheesecakes that all go and deposit themselves straight on the ‘troubled zones’.

So food, my first love, you are (still) on top of my priority list, baby. I am going to relish your each morsel and not gulp you down in a hurry. I will enjoy my cups of tea steaming hot and not let them get cold while other things, like phone calls and door bells, get in the way and destroy the taste of my chai because I have to micro-wave it endless times. I will also not serve food in pots, pans and degchis. I will make an effort to garnish it with ginger, coriander, parmesan, and fresh cream. Food will be a work of art and a sinless joy this year (ok family, don’t get your hopes high!).

Fitness: Looking good, feeling that extra spring in your step, experiencing that non-lazy bouncy feeling that makes you upbeat every morning – that’s what fitness gives you. And this poor ‘F’ was so neglected last year. So here is a solemn resolve; more healthy food, more walks and aerobics, less stressing, and most importantly more sleeping on time. However till 2011 lasts, let me enjoy a few last days of couch-potatoing, brooding over useless stuff, and sleeping at 2 am.

Fun: Being a serious-about-life and I-will-make-a-difference kind of person has a downside; you become too purposeful for your own good and at times forget to do brainless stuff just for fun. Things like watching an old Govinda movie, going out impulsively to have chaat, sleeping in late and buying yourself an extra pair of shoes just take a back seat.

So, I plan to have  more fun next year, which would incorporate all the above mentioned ‘Fs’  but also include writing just for fun; some frivolous blogging, not merely journalistic endeavours that reek of activism, but also stuff like food blogging and a bit of dabbling with utterly emotional romantic poetry that makes my heart sing. Sounds like a plan!

Faith: My mainstay, my anchor, which sometimes gets buried under endless chores and to-dos. I feel that my time has drifted away with nothing actually useful done when I spend less time in prayer and a strange weariness clouds my happiness when I talk less to Allah (on the prayer mat or otherwise).  So more of prayers and zikr in 2012, and of doing things that will please God, which will definitely entail making His creations happy; serving, loving and spending (both money and time) on people I come across in my life.

Hence, my ‘F’ list comes to an end with Faith, and my faith says that I do not know for sure if I even have the next 24 hours to live. However,  I  have hope in His Mercy, and I will strive to live a life of better quality in the days and years to come, and leave the rest to Allah.

2012 – Bring it on.

Farahnaz Zahidi

Farahnaz Zahidi

Farahnaz is a writer and editor, and has worked as the Features Editor with The Express Tribune. Her focus is human-centric feature stories. She now writes as a freelancer, and works in the field of marketing and corporate communications. She loves literature and traveling. She tweets on @FarahnazZahidi. Her work can be seen at chaaidaani.wordpress.com/

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Interesting write up Ms. F Zahidi MoazzamRecommend

  • Parvez

    Fee,fai,fo,fum you’ve written something that’s just fun (to read).Recommend

  • Godhpur

    @author: faith and fun? you are not doing one of it right then!:)Recommend

  • Raja Salman

    Interesting!!! but I think ur ‘F’ list should have began with Faith,Recommend

  • MK

    The title is very misleading.. a few good “F” words..umm..sorry, but twisted minds that we are, the F word that came to mind is nowhere on ur list :PRecommend

  • Talha

    I thought you would include the F word.

    You know, F for Fudge, like what the fudge?Recommend

  • Chachi jaan

    You’re a good writer, keep it up.Recommend

  • Cynical

    @Author
    “I have hope in His Mercy, and I will strive to live a life of better quality in the days and years to come, and leave the rest to Allah.”

    Well, you now have ‘hope in His Mercy’, not beliving in or having faith in his mercy.
    That’s not bad as a start.
    But then why ‘leave the rest to Allah’, why not leave everything to him.
    Surely he knows better than you.Recommend

  • Aakasa

    It lift up my spirit Ms.Zahidi. Thank you so much.
    At times words of wisdom and assurance bring inner peace.
    Happy new year. :)Recommend

  • Mohan

    Not bad but this is too. Try to tell few words. Any way your f is goodRecommend

  • Mohan

    Nice but it too, but your f is good.Recommend

  • abhi

    what the FRecommend

  • http://afuzzyrants.wordpress.com Fuzzy

    What an arid article.Recommend

  • T Mohsin

    A very nice article indeed. Faith and Family should be the top priorities for all of us :)Recommend

  • http://amnahhussain.blogspot.com Amna

    nice one. :)Recommend