Archive for September, 2010

My parents were in the kitchen fixing tea and baklava for dessert and I was in the dining room working on my stupid RLUIPA appellate brief, when this happened. And yes it will make your mind boggle and your teeth gnash. Then you will know my life, you guys.

Mama Hoomster (“MH”): So it turns out that [redacted] lives right down the corner from us.

Papa Hoomster (“PH”): Oh?

MH: Yeah. I think she wants me to give her kids a ride to and from [redacted school name] every day.

PH: Really. 😐

MH: Yeah, [redacted] was like, oh, I hurt my [redacted] and ever since then I’ve been in so much pain and I really really really need someone to take [redacted x2] to school every day.

PH: Aw, jeez.

MH: So yeah, she’s [redacted Indo-Pak ethnicity], so she obviously wants me to chauffeur her kids around. Bleh.

PH: Yeah…don’t do that.

MH: I’m not going to. I’m going to make up some excuse or something so that she thinks i really can’t do it.

Me: …Or you could very plainly say that you’re not comfortable assuming the risk of driving thirty miles round-trip with two children that are not your own, and very politely turn her down.

PH: No.

MH: No.

Me: …Because that’s totally a whorish thing to say, right?

MH: Don’t say whorish.

PH: 😑

MH: I think I’m going to tell her that I’m moving. I can’t drive her kids around if I’m moving!

Me: …Yeah, OR instead of making up complicated lies that can easily be exposed as lies when it’s three months later and we’re very much living in the same place we’re now living, you could tell her, very plainly and politely, that you simply aren’t comfortable with driving other people’s children around every day.

MH: I can’t say that! :-O

PH: Beta, no, you have to be diplomatic.


MH: 😑

PH: 😑

Me: 😑

MH: Huma, no. That is not how we do things.

PH: Yeah.

MH: I’m just going to tell her that we’re moving. And that I leave home every day at 6:30AM. Which I do. Is that not early enough to get her to stop asking me? What about 6:15AM?

PH: Yeah, totally 6:15AM.

MH: Yeah.

PH: That’s the problem with you and me, we’re not diplomatic enough.

[cue me sitting there with a self-inflicted concussion from the dining room table]

And for the record? Diplomatic: using or marked by tact in dealing with sensitive matters or people; “the hostess averted a confrontation with a diplomatic change of subject.

Hm. Google:Define spelled “letting a culturally informed, misguided concept of ethics and tact make you butt-paralyzingly stupid'” oddly.

I swear, my parents are so [redacted] sometimes. It’s part of their charm, I guess. πŸ˜›

Here’s a picture of my dad when he was around my age. He and his buddies lived on State Street in Chicago and one of them just bought a station wagon, so they road-tripped it up to the Dells. None of them had ever seen a station wagon before and my dad admits that they ‘didn’t know what it was for.’ They just saw it and were like OOH WE CAN FIT LOTS OF STUFF IN IT.

Hahaha. Foreigners. πŸ˜›

(In the words of Stewie Griffin, “you know, if it weren’t for 9/11, those guys would be adorable.”)

Sorry for the crap pic quality. Snapped it with my phone because no one dares to disturb my G-ma on the PC (with the scanner) when she's reading her news stories.


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Yes, I’ve been terrible about updating. Even random, short little posts that have nothing to do with anything. I haven’t approved comments in a timely manner (they’re all up now), and I know this throws your universe into a tizzy and I’M SORRY EVERYONE. I’M NOT PERFECT, NOT LIKE YOU. I’M JUST A HUMAN BEING.

Status update, you ask, with baited breath? Why, certainly. I feel like it’s the least I can do after all the turmoil I’ve brought into your lives with my lack of updates, turmoil that has caused you to retreat to the corner, curl up in the fetal position, and suck your thumbs.

Eh, things are still kind of crazy on my end. I’ve got this appellate brief writing competition that is totally insane and rigorous, even though it really shouldn’t be. I mean, come on, it’s a freaking brief. As a 3L I should be able to churn those out like nobody’s business. And I am – it’s just that they somehow found a way to make this whole thing insane and a giant time suck. This is why my school is not getting a cent from me after I graduate.

Ah, but I kid the Alumni Relations Department that is probably monitoring my blog. 😐 (Love youuuu.)

The good thing, however, is that I’m done this Tuesday. Everything is due on Wednesday, but that’s my no-class-day, so I’m just going to get it all done by Tuesday at 3:20PM and turn it in and then do cartwheels in the street to let everyone know that awesome has been accomplished.

So basically, I’m going to camp out at Iwan Ries, which is this promising little cigar lounge in the Loop, all of Monday and Tuesday and just get all my counter arguments in there, tuck away even more scholarly research and law review articles, and make sure my cites are perfect.

Two weeks after that, I believe we have oral arguments, but I’m not worried about those. My experience has always been that, once you spend all that time researching and writing the brief, you know your argument, you know your opponent’s argument, and you know the best way to counter your opponent’s argument. I expect that to go smoothly.

So basically, after this week, let’s say the first Monday of October, I will be back with my fashion posts. I’m thinking of creating a separate BusinessCasualSuperstar Twitter account just for the bloggy-fashion-junk. My personal account is too insane. I’m usually talking about unicorns or elf jerky or hatching crazy plans with my LawSkoolBFF.

That’s about the size of it, you guys. (That’s what she said.)

Keep the Islamophobic comments coming, turds. If anything, after a bit of serious reflection and a minor personality adjustment, they amuse me. πŸ™‚ Yes, I’m still fickle about whether I’ll put them up or not in the end. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Go ahead, try your luck! It’s like Russian roulette for tea party bigots. But that’s redundant…

In sum, I will be back on the first Monday in October! Set your alarm clocks! SET ALL YOUR ALARM CLOCKS. And would it kill you to keep a few party hats at the ready? God, it’s like I have to do everything around here. 😑

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Yeah, I said it. I commemorated the lives lost on September 11, 2001, when I was a sophomore in high school, by donating money via PayPal to Park51. Because if that masjid – yes, I’m rejecting the damaging argument that ‘it’s not a mosque, it’s just an Islamic center!!1!’ – isn’t built, then America’s promises mean nothing. They mean absolutely nothing.

And the people who died in the attack on the Twin Towers, including approximately 60 Muslims whose families still visit NYC and grieve, whose families reject the equivalency of ‘9/11 victim’ with ‘white Christian,’ did NOT die just so we could sit around and question our Bill of Rights and whether it applies to all Americans.

The 19 men who carried out those attacks did so without any regard for the religion of their victims, which, again, included around 60 Muslims. And yet they stand in for and represent more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.

They stood for division and enmity and hatred, saying that Muslims would never belong in the West, that America hates Islam, that this country would see the return of internment camps and the loss of civil liberties for followers of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (S).


I can’t say that they were completely wrong.

And that is why I am donating to Park51. Because I *WANT* them to have been wrong. I want them to have been crazy to think that. I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero. Not in the hallowed ground, because that’s not where it is, it’s actually a couple blocks away in an area that has a sizable Muslim community and has had one for years, but that’s beside the point.

(Also, what’s the difference between ‘hallowed ground’ and ‘normal ground’ aside from the lack of Muslims? No one’s ever been able to answer that for me.)

I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero. It is the best place in the world for a masjid, because aside from being a religious symbol, it will be a political, cultural, secular symbol of the fact that the terrorists didn’t win: that America accepts its Muslims, accepts their place in our society, and understands that a house of worship in no way means that we want a caliphate set up in D.C. and a Shariah amendment added to the Constitution.

(Moron alert: Most Muslims don’t even know the provisions of Shariah law. It is very complicated and nuanced and takes years upon years of intense study, which is generally left to the realm of Islamic scholars. But don’t let that conflict with the nonsense FOXNews tells you.)

I want there to be a masjid close to Ground Zero as a show to all the terrorists around the world whose ranks are surely swelling with this anti-Muslim sentiment in the US and Europe, that they were wrong. My country accepts my religion and accepts that I, as a Muslim, am not a threat to anyone here just because I touch my forehead to the ground several times a day, don’t wear mini-skirts, haven’t ever smoked pot, and may one day choose to cover my hair again.

The 19 hijackers on 9/11 didn’t care about the religion of those American citizens they killed that day. It would be very nice for America to show that it doesn’t care about the religion of its citizens, either; that it refuses to draw lines in the sand between different faiths in connection with basic civil liberties.

If you feel the way I do, consider donating to Park51 / The Cordoba Initiative by clicking here. One of my Twitter friends DMed me about Michael Moore offering to match the next $10,000 in donations if you forward him the PayPal receipt at webguy@michaelmoore.com.

Stand up for our Bill of Rights on this anniversary of 9/11. Stand up for the same rights the victims in the Twin Towers that day had, that they unknowingly died for.

My condolences to all who lost friends and loved ones on that day. God bless America, and the rest of the world.

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So normally lame promotional emails go straight to my Spam folder (thank you, Gmail!) but this one managed to sneak on through. Why? Because it was super targeted, you guys. These advertisers must follow my tweets or Facebook page or sit in the bushes outside my family room or SOMETHING, because only that could explain this:

… I’m kind of scared.

And also, I want peanut butter with honey now. That would cut my sandwich-preparation time in half. I could use the reclaimed seconds to make MOAR SANDWICHES.


It’s the American dream, you guys.

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You’ve all heard about Bishop Terry Jones of Florida, who’s threatening to burn the Qur’an on September 11, despite being roundly condemned by Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, General Petraeus (don’t you just LOVE how Greek his name is?!), and Saint Angelina Jolie. (Ooh, Terry better watch out – the Child Army is so coming after his butt.)

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=maddox+shiloh+pax+zahara&iid=8541301″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/8541301/brad-pitt-parents-william/brad-pitt-parents-william.jpg?size=500&imageId=8541301″ width=”500″ height=”750″ /]

Maddox will mess you up, man. That kid plays with KNIVES.

Let’s just get a little book-keeping out of the way.

1. Burning the Qur’an is awful and I find it personally upsetting.

2. Burning the Qur’an and other acts of protest are protected by our Constitution, and I’d find it personally upsetting if they weren’t.

The second one probably upsets some of my fellow Muslims, but that’s the way I feel about it. Things like burning books and flags and protesting [insert whatever here] are all protected, and they should be. Yes, there are certain things that normal, moral (?), tolerant people with any shred of understanding just wouldn’t do (usually, burning religious books or the American flag), but it’s important to have certain protections in place, anyway. So, yeah, I said it. Come get me.

Also, from what I understand from my Floridian friends – as well as TRPLS readers that have been kind enough to comment! – Terry Jones’s church is tiny. And they’re reputed fanatics that have done horrible things over the years. Basically? These people are trash and few take them seriously. So that’s cool.

Now that we’ve got all that stuff out of the way, let’s move on to the more important things.

With this playing out on a national stage now, another little story seems to be gaining traction, at least, in the most reactionary, least-fact-checked corner of our here Interwebz.

It’s the story that Muslims will be burning the Bible in retaliation.

Presumably, there are well-meaning Christians across the country who, even though they may not support Terry Jones’s brilliant plan here, will be up in arms at the thought of someone, somewhere, burning their religious text.

Anyone who’s read these stories or is concerned about them needs to know something: Muslims would never, ever burn either the Bible or the Torah.

We believe, as it is said in the Qur’an over and over, that the Bible and the Torah are the words of God, sent down to believers (people of the Book, ahl-al-Kitab) through His Messengers, Jesus and Moses, among many others.

(That’s right, we love Jesus as much as any other Abrahamic worshipper, but that’s a thought for another time.)

Since the Bible and Torah are the Books of God, we treat them with as much respect as we treat the Qur’an. Typically, in Muslim homes, Qur’ans are placed on the highest spot in the room, usually the top of a bookshelf, and oriented toward the East (Mecca). We only touch the Qur’an when we’re in a state of ritual cleanliness (after we perform wudu, or a religious ablution that consists of basically rinsing the hands, mouth, nose, face, top of the head, ears, neck, arms up to the elbow and feet up to the ankle with water), and we never put it on the floor, nor do we put our feet up when someone nearby is holding a Qur’an, nor do we put our feet higher than the book, or toward the book.

Some of these rituals of respect are cultural. Most of them, probably. But theΒ  Qur’an does tell us to treat it with respect, reading from it only when we are clean, and so on.

But if you went into a Muslim home that also contained a Bible or Torah, you’d most likely find those books on a high shelf, as well. Probably not the top shelf, and probably not reserved only for those in a state of wu’du, but you’d find them carefully tucked away to prevent misuse or disrespect.

We treat your religious texts with respect and care. We wouldn’t burn them. They come from our God, too, despite what you’ve been told.

And as far as those Muslims that might consider burning the Bible or Torah or disrespecting them in some way…well, let’s call them our Terry Joneses.

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I’ve been in a mood lately to share more about my personal life here on this blog. I figure that as a young, progressive, educated Muslim American, it’s my duty to do so. Sometimes, sharing my personal life means simply putting up a picture of me and Mama Hoomster from when I was a baby. Sometimes it means sharing Papa Hoomster’s little…um…instances of uniqueness. And sometimes, it means….well, sometimes it just means something.

A man came to the door today. We live in a cheerful but well hidden little cul-de-sac. Depending on the direction you’re headed, you don’t even see it until you pass it. Google Earth street view barely even recognizes us (you can’t even see our house from it).

For this reason, we rarely get Jehovah’s witnesses or Mormons (I usually horrify them by telling them I think Jesus was a great man, but when I’m feeling more charitable, I let them know that we’re very happy with the God we have now) or political-types canvassing for votes, or people trying to sell magazines so their kid wins a dirt bike.

But this man came to the door today. His name was Dennis Clark, a tall, clean cut, distinguished-side-of-middle-age white guy with kind eyes and a nice, humble smile. He was running for the President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

I was working on my Supreme Court brief for my fourth and final required writing class, my mother usually doesn’t answer the door, and my dad was the only one not in his pajamas, so talking to the guy fell on him. Dennis gave a little schpiel about who he was, what he was running for, and his qualifications. We are always very polite to anyone that comes to our door, even if they’re trying to sell us things we don’t want or convert us – Islam stresses hospitality to guests to levels that might seem ridiculous in Western society – so my dad listened patiently to the whole thing, bid him good luck, thanked him, and said goodbye.

Then this happened.

Papa Hoomster: Huma, here, this is more for you. More your thing.

Me: What is it?

Papa Hoomster: The guy left a flier.

[hands it to me]

Me: What’s he running for? Or who’s he canvassing for?

Papa Hoomster: Something about the Arboretum. Vote for the guy in the next election, okay?

I really shouldn’t be so surprised when little exchanges like this take place. But I am. I stared after him as he wandered off and barely remember calling out something about how you should never, ever vote for anyone without fully researching the candidate. But I knew there was little point.

My father has been here since 1971. Legally. He lived with his buddies in Chicago, then went to college in Alabama (ROLL TIDE!!!1!), then came back to Chicago because, like Frank Sinatra, it was his kind of town. He left in the early 1980s to go back to Pakistan to marry my mother. She got a full scholarship to Boston University, so they came back and settled in Boston. My mother’s citizenship was quickly taken care of (relatively quickly) thanks to BU’s interest in having her in their program and among their adjunct faculty, and she’s been a citizen so long that she’s forgotten what a pain the whole process is. In 1996 we moved back to Chicago and have been here since.

In all the time that they’ve been here as bona-fide American citizens, my parents have never once voted.

Never once.

And naturally, this horrifies me. It horrifies me as much as someone who does whatever he or she can do to get out of jury duty, or, once on the jury, plans to do whatever he or she can do to get the case tied up with a neat little bow as soon as possible.

It also horrifies me as much as garden gnomes.


I remember being just out of high school and hanging out in my friend Alex’s kitchen. Alex’s mom got me registered to vote, and I felt awesome when I filled out that little green card. It was like, bring it, political system, I’m armed to the teeth with the right to enact change.

My very first vote was for John Kerry. We all know how that worked out, but what can I say? A girl always remembers her first.

Voting, to me, has never been about a choice. It’s a right. And you exercise your rights to the fullest extent that you can, because otherwise? They mean nothing. I have a right in this country to an expectation of freedom of religion. If I let that right fall to the wayside and allow that right to be curtailed in any way, I do myself a disservice, I do my fellow citizens – Muslims, non-Muslims, monotheists, polytheists, atheists, agnostics, anyone that has any view in any sort of religious or non-religious thought paradigm – a disservice, and I do the Constitution a disservice by failing to take of what it gives me.

Voting is a right, a duty, and is non-negotiable.

As far as I can tell, my parents are hardly alone in their abstention from voting among the South Asian immigrant demographic. Whereas political and social involvement is very high in first generation South Asian Americans, our parents often don’t exhibit the same ideals. I’m not saying no South Asians vote. I’m not even saying that most South Asians don’t vote. I’m just saying that enough don’t that it’s a cause for concern about that particular mindset.

This isn’t about being all high-and-mighty about voting. Plainly put, there’s nothing to be high and mighty about. You vote because you can. You vote because you want change. You vote because you have a voice. You vote because there were people before you who didn’t get to. You vote because it’s American.

(Not to give America some sort of exclusive control over the idea of voting. Substitute a democratic foreign government of your choice in there and it’s all good.)

One big complaint, maybe the biggest, against us Muslims is that we fail to assimilate. I’ve been told that, like the Jews, Muslims in America should abandon the aspects of their faith that set them apart from mainstream social norms, because having this sort of ‘double-identity’ isn’t healthy.

(Yes, those of you of Jewish faith, feel free to be as offended by that remark as I was. πŸ˜‰ I’m not granting myself any kind of exclusive license when it comes to offense either. Hah.)

Well, that’s just too bad. Because there are certain aspects of our religious identity that, if we abandon them, cause us to be outside the folds of our religion.

Women who wear hijab – they would never dream of taking it off outside their homes. Ever. Because that would mean, to them, that they were outside the folds of our religion. Eating meat in public places, like ordering a Whopper at Burger King? Those of us that practice Zabiha-Halal dietary restrictions would never dream of doing that, because to do so would mean, to us, to be outside the folds of our religion. Strutting around in a bikini in public? Those of us who understand that Islam prides a woman in her modesty would never dream of doing that because to do so would cause us to be outside the folds of our religion. Reading the Quran in Arabic and touching our foreheads to the ground five times a day in the direction of Mecca? We will never stop doing that. Ever. Because doing so is the best and most complete way of being outside the folds of our religion.

To abandon those things would mean to not be a Muslim anymore.

And for a country that proudly espouses freedom of religion as its first,Β  salient principle in the Bill of Rights, guaranteed to all citizens across the land, that is an impossible pill to swallow. It might as well be a cyanide pill, in that respect.

And it’s amazing to me how many simply don’t understand what it means to ask Muslims to compromise that much just to ‘assimilate’ as they define assimilation.

But for all the things we refuse to do, there are certainly things we can do. Things we should do.

We should participate in our community affairs. In a recent LA Times article (that I will be blogging about shortly), a California doctor said, “We’re not travelers. We live here. We’re Americans. We’re Rotarians!” That made me chuckle, I have to admit. But he’s absolutely right. We can and do and must participate in our community affairs. Of course, having a Muslim get elected to Town Council these days is another instance of “THEYRE TRYNA IMPOZE SHARIER LAW ON USSSSSSS,” but what can you do? We can’t afford to be chased out of community involvement this way.

We should continue with our charitable efforts…and draw more publicity to them. Islam has a very, very strong tradition against publicizing acts of charity. One of the most popular hadith regarding charity is that when the right hand gives, the left hand should not know how much. You never publicize what you do, how much you give, who you give it to. The main idea is that you should give charity for the sake of God, not to win glory and respect. And the person to whom you give should be safe in the anonymity of the giver; he should never feel beholden to that person, or feel as if he’s being made to feel beholden.

Our masjids are where we coordinate our charity efforts. Most food drives, clothing drives, charity gardens, fundraisers for local, national, and international disasters, etc, happen at the masjid. Aside from that, once every year, Muslims give 2.5% of their daily income as well as all their possessions (so if you have an expensive car, the value of that car is counted among your net income that year and included in the 2.5% calculation) in Zakat to the masjid. There are sadaqah boxes where Muslims give daily, freely, at will.

I don’t think anyone that doesn’t visit a masjid regularly can even conceive of how much charity is done there. Money, sure, but also acts of charity.

And the problem is, we never publicize this. Ever. That’s our mistake. In order to educate the public about our beliefs, we’re going to have to set aside the Islamic idea of charity in secret, at least for now, because there are bigger things at stake. And one policy seems, at least to me, to clearly outweigh the other.

We should continue to educate ourselves. They see us as fanatics. Mindless drones who pray to a monkey god and bang our heads on the earth five times a day and lock up our women and mutilate the genitals of our girls.

The best way to fight this is not with anger (I have to remind myself – because, hey, I’m a huge work in progress over here), but with intelligence. We must educate ourselves broadly, of course: go to school. Stay in school. Go to college. Go on for higher education, perhaps professional degrees.

We must educate ourselves socially: immerse ourselves in our heterogenous communities, not just our Muslim communities, to really tap into the pulse of social consciousness in our immediate area and learn what people think of us so that we can better learn how to combat those misconceptions.

And we must educate ourselves Islamically, and learn all about our religion that we can. It says in the Quran, over and over and over again, that our religion was perfected for us. The hard work’s been done for us; the least we can do is understand what we believe in, and if we already have that understanding, understand ways in which to better articulate it.

We should continue to speak. After 9/11, my parents told me to keep my head down and not draw attention to myself. Lots of my friends who went to school in public schools or were in college, etc, got that same advice. Do not ever speak against the war in Afghanistan. Do not ever criticize George W. Bush or Guiliani or Cheney in any way. If they’re speaking against Islam, just remove yourself from that discussion. Do not draw attention to yourself, because it’s not safe.

Almost ten years have passed, and it’s still not safe. If anything, it’s gotten less safe. And we’ve learned that staying quiet just isn’t an option.

So we must speak. We must write, we must use our voices, we must use our thoughts, we must use our actions to fight back against these ideas that paint us as militants, as blood-thirsty, as medieval, as bigoted, as a threat to American society.

We tried removing ourselves from the discussion, like a child that covers his eyes and thinks the world doesn’t see him; the discussion found us anyway.

And we must vote. Our parents came to this country because they yearned for its opportunities and its freedoms and its safety. Even if some of them feel disenfranchised or ‘other’ to the point of wishing to abstain from one of the fundamental rights they’re granted here, we cannot make that a pattern. We cannot let that define our demographic, our population. We must vote to enact the change we wish to see; anything less is unacceptable.

Beyond eating a Big Mac, beyond getting offended over nothing, beyond drinking beer in a kiddie pool while watching Independence Day fireworks, voting is the single most American thing anyone here do.

They say we’re un-American. By not voting, we prove them right.

This post was not in any way an endorsement of Dennis P. Clark for President of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.

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We were sitting down for Iftar, which is basically our de facto dinner during Ramadan, since no one but my dad and bro eat anything else before bed. My mom was talking about various people in her life. This followed.

Papa Hoomster: OMG, so-and-so is such a kamina. [kamina = Urdu for asshole, let’s say. Not a good word.]

Me: It’s Ramadan, don’t you think you should lay off the swearing? Any time you hear me and Askari swear, you’re all I NEVAR SHOULD HAVE COME TO AMURRRICA.

Papa Hoomster: Kamina is not a bad word.

Mama Hoomster: Kamina is a bad word.

Me: Kamina is a bad word.

Papa Hoomster: Kamina is not a bad word. It’s a description. I’m using it to describe so-and-so.

Mama Hoomster: Well, I know so-and-so is that word, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a really bad word.

Papa Hoomster: It’s not a bad word. By that standard, everything is a bad word. Why do we bother saying anything?

[cue me sniggering as Papa Hoomster storms off.]

Mama Hoomster: 😑

Me: What?

Mama Hoomster: Why do you start things?

Me: Um, he saw the F-word in a QUOTE listed under QUOTATIONS on my Facebook page [note: my Info section is the ONLY part of my profile my dad can see, yet he still managed to find that quote] and was like, I never should have moved to America. First, I cannot even BEGIN to tell you why that statement is completely ridiculous and stupid. Second, HE SAYS WORDS JUST AS BAD ALL THE TIME AND LIKE ALL BUTT-PARALYZINGLY FRUSTRATING DESI MEN HE THINKS THEY’RE NOT ANYWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS ENGLISH SWEARS.

Mama Hoomster: 😑

Me: 😑

Mama Hoomster: Why do you start things?!

[the family disbands to pray maghrib. Yes, we pray maghrib/sunset prayers to Allah on American soil. I’m sure this really enrages @SCartierLiebel and @LauraMcLaura, who have basically said as much on this blog because they’re that word that Jennifer Aniston said on Regis & Kelly for which she still hasn’t issued an official apology for, which has angered lots of people, and which is mildly surprising because her PR team is so aggressive in most things.]

[I’m putting my dad’s dinner and a glass of water on the table when he comes back in with a big, thick Urdu-English dictionary that he’s probably had for far longer than he’s had me. That’s 24 years for anyone that’s counting. And for my stalker in the 2nd row with the binoculars and the vanilla wafers. Hello, Walter, good to see you, as always.]

Papa Hoomster: Let me tell yooouuuuuu what kamina means.

Me: *snicker* Sure, let’s hear it.

Papa Hoomster: [lists off long, OED worthy definition of kamina in all its forms with multiple synonyms at the end]

Me: Uh-huh. Really. Wow, you don’t say. Oh. Uh-huh. That, too, huh? Really. Wow. You don’t say.

Papa Hoomster: [slams book shut] THAT is what kamina means. It is not a bad word. Don’t argue with me.

Me: Uh-huh. So you’d have no issue with it if I said kamina in front of, say, Imran uncle?

Papa Hoomster: Of course you can’t. It’s always looks very, very bad if a girl is the one saying a bad word.


Ignoring the guy-girl distinction, did anyone else notice that he used ‘bad word’ to refer to kamina?

Not just me, then?

God, and people wonder why I need therapy.

(Eustace doesn’t wonder, though. He’s been discouraging me from seeking professional help since he popped up in my stomach lining.)

(Eustace, devotees will remember, is what I have named my ulcer.)

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