Today would you please welcome one of my dear blogging friends? Her name is Munira, and she lives across the sea in southern Pakistan. I think we met through Kathy McCullough’s blog back last winter. The name of her blog is Munira’s bubble and I am always mesmerized reading her stories about her life. She writes very beautifully, and humorously, and keeps you interested from the first sentence on. She also adds photographs of, say, her latest pre-dawn adventure at a nearby beach. She doesn’t like to get too political, so maybe we should keep our political comments to a minimum, OK? (I’m not particularly fond of politics, either…) Enough of my yammering. Please meet Munira!
P.S. Don’t you love it when the world becomes a smaller more loving place through meeting someone who lives across the sea and far away? Hands and hearts span the planet, don’t they? Please welcome her warmly!
Dear readers of Kathy’s blog.
I am here because Kathy surprised me one day by wondering if I would consider writing a guest post for her.
Not only am I very flattered to be thought ‘guest post-worthy’, I am deeply honored that she would think you would be interested in what a woman from Karachi, Pakistan would have to share.
Let me introduce myself properly. My name is Munira, the meaning of which has something to do with luminosity (In Arabic it means ‘the light of the sun’.)
I have been married for almost seventeen years to a man who claims his life revolves around me almost entirely (though I wouldn’t really agree, give the man some math books, a laptop, some solid programming work, a good internet connection and a sandwich and he’s happy.)
We produced a girl-child fourteen and a half years ago, a chubby, curly-haired, big-eyed beauty of a baby, but then, much to the chagrin of our respective families, stopped reproducing altogether.
There have been some chickens and ducklings in our life, but they didn’t stick around too long. What has stuck, however, is a charcoal black, extremely hairy Persian cat that we adopted a little over five years ago.
Karachi is where I was born, where I grew up, and where I continue to live, a city by the sea on the southernmost tip of Pakistan.
If you ever tune in to world news, you will hear all kinds of really bad things wafting out of my part of the world, and I must sadly confess, most of it is too darn true.
I try to avoid talking about politics or current affairs or anything else that is bleak on my blog. It is called ‘Munira’s bubble’ for a good reason.
For as I say in my ‘about me’ page, I am a hobbit. I love my peace. And despite everything that is wrong with where I find myself in this world, I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.
(Though perhaps I only say this because I have never lived anywhere else. I know that when I travel and find myself in a nice place, I say to myself, ‘Oh! It would be so much fun to live here forever and ever.’ But then I come back home, and I am glad.)
I used to design layettes for new-born babies for many years, a nitpicky operation that required playing around with pretty fabrics, lots of lace, ribbons and frills. It gave me something to do, make a bit of money with, and earned me a bit of fame in my community. Not a lot of people sew anymore, and if they do, they try to hide it. I guess it is not one of those accomplishments to be proud of in this day and age.
My little business was a one-woman operation, I did everything from shopping for materials to stitching, a bit of embroidery and a bit of fabric painting (cute little duckies and teddy bears and bunny rabbits) down to the buttonholes and bows, and I can say that every layette I produced was like a baby. I hated parting with them, but it was gratifying to have my skills appreciated and valued and even sought after.
There came a time though, when I could no longer keep up with the demand. It all suddenly got to be too much work, or maybe after twelve years of this, I finally got bored.
I remember the exact moment when I had my epiphany. I was walking down a road in the valley of Shigar, surrounded by the most profound beauty in a remote region in the North. There were wheatfields all around, rugged mountains, clear blue sky, crisp fresh air, beautiful rosy-cheeked mountain children following me, giggling at the ‘city woman’, and I thought to myself….I want to grow things. I want to just…be…not be answerable to anyone, not have to spend so much of my time making things for other people, when I should be paying attention to my family, and myself.
So that’s when I gave up my claim to fame, as well as my teeny attempt at being a viable member of society. It now feels like another life altogether.
I gave myself time off to regroup, create an outdoor space where I could throw myself into gardening and watching things grow (and die) stitch lots of clothes for my daughter and myself, cook good food, read great books….
Around two and a half years ago, while in the process of redefining myself, my husband got me interested in writing, and he suggested I sign up for a blog on WordPress. So I did that….and ‘Munira’s bubble’ was born, the place where I do my storytelling.
My mother, who has always been big on ‘doing something constructive’ every single day (and for her that translated into either sewing or painting or anything creative that you do with your hands) didn’t quite understand what I was up to. I think she felt I was just busy wasting my time (perhaps I am.)
Two and a half years, three different blogs, and lots of writing and photography later, I feel like a seasoned blogging veteran, and my mother is an avid reader of my sporadic posts Now, she keeps asking me if I wrote anything. No longer am I shamefaced about not churning out paintings or becoming a big-time baby clothes designer and making pots of money the way she had hoped that I would.
In fact, one of my blogs (called ‘Days of Yore‘) is entirely dedicated to my parents and their memories from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, and my father is so glad that one of his daughters would bother chronicling his history this way. It helps that I love doing it!
However, I am usually very content to sit around doing nothing at all. I am addicted to the internet and fritter away a lot of precious hours on various social networks. The latest obsession is Instagram, and I am often to be found taking pictures at odd angles and tinkering around with effects.
As a result, my cellphone has become an extension of my arm, and my daughter accuses me of being worse than a teenager.
One of these days I shall have to consider being more gainfully employed once again.