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.
Kathy, Thank you so much for introducing us to Munira. Munira, I love that you call yourself a hobbit. Imagine a world where we could all just live like hobbits in peace. I look forward to learning more about you from your bubble.
Hello Lisa! Yes, we definitely need more hobbits in this crazy violent world.
Would love to have you visit my bubble! Looking forward to knowing more about you too 🙂
Welcome to you Munira! It was a pleasure reading your guest post. You have an easy style of writing that is appealing and enjoyable. Thank you for including pictures too. You are a beautiful woman and your family looks lovely. I love how Kathy introduced you..”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?”….What a precious thought!
Again, Munira, it was so nice to meet you. I wish you a life of peace and contentment in everything you do.
Thank you for such a lovely comment Brenda! This guest post feels like a party where I get to meet all of Kathy’s friends 🙂
Thank you again for reading, and for the wish. And I love Kathy’s intro too!
Munira – What a pleasure to meet you! Don’t we live in a wonderful time when I can sit down with a cuppa tea and virtually meet someone on the other side of the globe. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your guest post and looking at the photographs you shared. Now I’m promptly going to go over to “Munira’s Bubble” and follow 🙂
Lovely to make your acquaintance Laurie! Thank you so much for reading, and for the follow 🙂 This is such fun! I look forward to visiting your blog soon too.
It is so nice to meet you, Munira! Thank you, too, Kathy, for the introduction. Writing is the best way to share a piece of ourselves and to make connections around the world. ❤
Likewise Stacy! And a big thank you from me too Kathy!
Spot on about writing connecting people. I used to feel a bit anxious (I still do sometimes) about the things I feel brave enough to share….but now I see, after blogging for so long, that the more I share, the more people reach out to me, and I love that. 🙂
Love it, love it, love it! Kathy, thanks for sharing Munira here. And Munira, wow, keep writing whatever you do! I was really struck by the “doing something constructive” every day in your description of your mother. I inherited that trait from my own mother and have just very recently chucked that too! I donated huge stashes of yarns, fabrics and now the art supplies are next. I only want to write —- and PLAY. (and I won’t be shamefaced either!)
Great to “meet” you here, Munira! Many hugs,
Thank you for sharing me Kathy! And thank you for reading SuZen, it’s great to know we share similar traits! Do you knit too? Must pop over to your blog and find out!
Teehee, no we won’t be ashamed of ourselves! Hugs back!
Nice to meet you, Munira! Nice too to see your beautiful country through your bubble rather than through the political haze. Thank you Kathy for reaching your hands across the planet.
Thank you so much Lisaspiral! 🙂
I very much enjoyed reading your post Munira. Thank you Kathy for showing another unique blogger. I think I am a hobbit too. Much happiness and success to you, Munira.
I enjoyed writing it Bonnie/fellow hobbit 🙂 Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a sweet comment!
Beautiful woman, family, pictures, and blog. It is delightful to meet you here, Munira. Thank you for sharing part of your bubble with us. It’s lovely in there! I look forward to spending more time with you 🙂
How sweet of you to say such lovely things Susan! Thank you so much! It’s a pleasure to be a part of Kathy’s blogosphere 🙂 I hope you enjoy my bubble…you’ll find an odd assortment of topics there. There have been a few troubled posts of late, but by and large it is a peaceful place 🙂 Hope to see you again soon!
I loved finding this today, Kathy and Munira! Especially since I just wrote this morning about “Why bother blogging?” Munira, your world of growing things and reading and writing speaks to me from Pakistan to northern Michigan! We have a LOT in common. I am very happy to make your acquaintance. – Pamela
P.S. The photographs of mountains remind me of my trip last spring out to Arizona to visit another blogging friend. We are many, and we hold hands around the globe.
Love the way blogging has turned our world into a warm cozy hobbit village! Great to meet you too Pamela, and can’t wait to read the post you wrote today 😉
That was so great to read about your life, Munira. Thanks for sharing it with us. You live in a beautiful place.
Thank you for reading Barb 🙂 It was all Kathy’s idea!
Munira, thank you for taking Kathy up on her invitation to guest post. It’s lovely to meet a small part of you. I’ll be seeing you at Munira’s Bubble soon.
Kathy – thank you for introducing us!
Kathy is such a gracious host Heather, how could I even think of refusing?! Impossible I tell you!
I look forward to your visit 🙂
Dear Munira, Nice to meet you. Of course, I’ve heard a lot about Pakistan. I’d love to know more about your life in Karachi and I shall hop onto your blog soon. Its nice that you have the art for stitching, painting and the like.
@Kathy: You are such a wonderful person that you invite dear bloggers for blogging into your space and lets all of us know more about the world around! Thank you for being so kind! 🙂
Well hello Sonali! I would love to have you visit my blog….and you will definitely hear a lot about my life in Karachi there! 🙂
What a pleasure to meet you, Munira! I enjoy your writing style, and will be looking in to your “bubble”. Thank you! And thank you, Kathy, for the introduction!
Such an unexpected treat from the Universe to spring Kathy’s invitation on me Cindy 😉
Thanks for the follow! And you can be sure I’ll be looking in on you soon too!
Munira, you are delightful! I look forward to stopping by your blog in the future.
Thank you John! I look forward to welcoming you there!
Reblogged this on munira's bubble and commented:
Hello dear readers and fellow bloggers! I am sharing with you today a post I was asked to write as a guest for my dear bloggy friend Kathy over at Lake Superior Spirit. You might get to read something you never knew about me……:)
lovely munira i always enjoy reading your blog and this is simply wonderful i feel so proud that i know you personally 😉
It’s an honor and a privilege for ME Nurafshan! 🙂 ❤
Well done, Mun and congratulations at the Guest Post invitation. Bubbles are fun but hobbitses have hairy feet. I’ve always been bald below the knee 🙂
Hahahaha, you must be an elf Alan! 😀 Thank you! And we women hobbitses have our depilatory ways 😉
Very glad to meet you, Munira! It’s wonderful that Kathy has these guest posts, I have gotten to know some wonderful people though them (and any friend of Kathy’s is a friend of mine)! I look forward to following your blog, and hearing more stories from Pakistan! 🙂
Feel free to explore my blog Holly! You’ll find tons of stories there 🙂 I do hope they interest you. So very glad to ‘meet’ you too!
Being on Kathy’s blog feels like being Freshly Pressed, not that I have ever been, so I wouldn’t know, but I imagine this is just how it would feel! 😀
Hi Munira, how fun to see you on this other blog! Your new claim to fame, wouldn’t you say? I’m looking forward to reading your blog about your family’s history. Keep it coming!
This is all getting to be too exciting Barbara, first you feature me on your blog (your first ever featured blog at that!!) and now this, my first ever guest post!
This is just nuts! I like it! 😀
Can’t wait to have you visit Days of Yore…..I love that blog.
I’m glad to read your words here, Munira, and get to know a little more about you as you introduce yourself to new people. Reading your posts has been a treat for me. Your writing, your photography, just you — I’m always drawn into the stories you tell. Now, there will be more people who’ll wait for your posts like I do, like visits from a friend we feel we’ve known so much longer than we have. ❤
The warmth of your comment leaves me speechless Re…..big hug! ❤
Hi Munira, it was so wonderful to read your story! Or at least one of your stories, I know you have lots. And what a thought to be reading about someone on the other side of the world who is so much like a lot of us. I know I’d like to just be, to grow things and write and cook. Maybe I am a hobbit too! I also think it’s wonderful that you are preserving your parents’ history on your other blog. That is so special and will be important to generations in the future…including your own daughter.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your guest blog and am grateful to Kathy for sharing you with all of us!
Hello Dawn, thank you so much for reading! It’s great to find so much in common with people all over the world. Thanks to blogging!
I’m glad you mentioned that you think it’s important to preserve history….that’s exactly why I felt compelled to do so. Didn’t want those memories to ever fade 🙂
Hello Munira, it’s such a pleasure to meet you! I have loved reading your guest blog here at Kathy’s place…. and am very much looking forward to reading more : )
Hey there Colleen! I’m just blown away by the warmth of my welcome here. Quite overwhelmed actually. A big thank you to you!
Kathy, thank you for sharing this gem — and thank you, Munira, for a captivating guest post. I suspect all of our blogs are “bubbles” of one kind or another! I look forward to exploring your bubble! ~ Kat
Travel, garden, eat…….sounds perfect to me Kat!! I think I’m going to love your bubble too. Looking forward to exploring with greater leisure…..:) Thank you!
Kathy, I can totally see why you would think of Munition as a great guest writer – she’s as terrific as you, and that’s saying something.
Munira, this is a lovely post! Have no worries about people being interested in what you have to say. Maybe my favorite thing about WordPress has been “meeting” so many wonderful people from all over the planet. I’m rather looking forward to visiting your bubble.
Grr! NOT munition, Munira. Geez.
Haha! Some mistakes are just awesome 😉
Thank you for your lovely, heartening comment! Meeting so many people with so much diversity yet so much in common in terms of interest and curiosity has definitely become the single most satisfying outcome of blogging for me. I am so glad you enjoyed reading this. It has been a very different sort of a post for me, because even though I blog about stuff that happens to me, I have never really described or defined myself much. Hence the trepidation 🙂
Hi, Munira! I’m glad Kathy introduced you. It’s fun to meet people from so far away. It makes the world seem so small, doesn’t it? 🙂
Hello Mywithershins! I’m glad Kathy introduced me too, in fact it is the coolest that has ever happened to me in the blogosphere!
Indeed, the world does seem smaller….
Hello Munira, It’s lovely to meet you. Your post was such a pleasure to read – informative, chatty, funny. I like the photos you included, and I look forward to going over to your bubble.
My mother’s family come from India. One of her uncles was a well known architect in Karachi about 100 years ago (sorry I cant remember his name) and several of his buildings are still being used.
Another uncle owned an hotel there called “Marder’s Palace”. He ran it until the second world war when the British Govt took it over.
Hello Dearrosie, it was such a delight for me to read your comment! Now I want to know more about your mother’s family 😐 What an interesting snippet of information you shared, my mind is all a-swirl!
Thank you so much for reading and for dropping by my blog! 🙂
Hi Munira. It’s great to meet you. I love how Kathy brings people together on her blog and she does it with such a loving heart. Thank you for sharing your life with us. And, thank you for sharing your gift of writing with us. I also enjoyed reading “Pre-dawn adventure.” Ciao for now.
Hi Marianne! I feel grateful today for the way Kathy has introduced me to all her regular readers, it has been such a joy for me. Thank you for dropping by my blog and for enjoying the debacle that was my pre-dawn adventure. Let no one ever have to endure mornings without a good strong mug of tea! 🙂
It’s so nice to meet you, Munira, and learn some about your interesting life. Pakistan feels like it is a world away from here, but I was enchanted by the view of the sea you have so close to your home, not so different from the shoreline views we have here. Mother Ocean links and loves us all!
I love the way Kathy made it seem like we really do happen to be just on opposite ends of a connecting sea!
It has been a pleasure to be a guest in her virtual home…..she is an amazing host and threw a wonderful party just for me 🙂
Thank you for dropping in Barbara!
Oh, Mun, I have been so busy I almost missed your guest post! Loved it, cause I learned new things about you. I didn’t even know about your previous business. However, I don’t think you are wasting your time blogging. I LOVE your posts! And I love that you and Kathy have connected. That is so cool! I love you both!
I am SO glad you didn’t miss it altogether Kathy, cos I know how busy you are these days. I think it’s great the way our bloggy community develops and grows and I love that both you Kathys are part of mine! ❤
Hey M!! So so wonderful to see you here…well deserved and I got to know a little bit more about you and I think this is the first family pic of you that I’ve seen 🙂 From one hobbit to another…Hugs ♥♥♥♥
And through this post I’ve been introduced to more fabulous writers and writing 🙂 I’m going through a bit of ‘inertia’ these days – in blogging as in everything else…so I’m spending my days not so much ‘doing nothing’, as ‘just getting on with it’…you know what i mean…hopefully the next few months will bring…well something 😛
You know I love you ♥♥♥
Hey H!! It’s so great to see you here too, and I’m glad you feel like you got to know me better. I don’t really talk about my baby clothes much anymore, it’s THAT out of my mind and life now. Hard to imagine I made hundreds and hundreds!
I know you’re getting on with it H, so much has happened in these last few months and it’s good that you’re busy living it. But I also know how much you LOVE to write, so I know you’ll be back with a bang! 🙂
And I hope you know how much I love you too ❤
Yes I do M ♥ Heading off in a couple of days for a much needed break in Gir (to see the Asiatic lions) and Diu (A sister Portuguese colony of Goa) 🙂 After that, it’s Goa for Diwali…am sooooooooo looking forward to both!!
Wonderful to meet you Munira! Thank you for sharing with us. It makes me teary eyed to think that we can connect from so far away and also from close by….Kathy and I live in the same area…I loved reading your guest blog and I will visit your blog soon too! I don’t have a blog at wordpress but I think I iwll have to start one!
Thank you rehill56! So you live in the Big Woods too?
I’m glad you enjoyed reading about me and I look forward to you visiting my blog as well. Hope you do seriously sign up for your very own blog! It’s fun! 🙂
It was lovely to read your post Munira, and thanks kathy for introducing us.
Thank you for reading me2013 🙂
Thank you for introducing me Kathy!
Munira, I’ve really enjoyed reading about your life in Pakistan. I can relate to so many of your feelings (even the phone photos!) Your smile is wonderful. Thank you to Kathy for introducing us.
Your comment made my day Barb!
Hello Munira ! How nice to meet you here thanks to Kathy. Her blog is a beautiful place to sit and chat or just sit and reflect. I like both. You know, you and I have a few things in common : first the fabrics, I sew quilts for my pleasure, for my loved ones, for the ones in need too. The Swiss Alps around me look a bit like yours. Aren’t we lucky ? And then, history. My paternal grandfather gave me his passion for history, country, family. I am thankful to Kathy for having introduced you to us all. I will be visiting you too. Au revoir !
Well hello there! I agree, Kathy’s blog is beautiful and peaceful and so conducive to thoughtful contemplation 🙂 Love it.
You sound a lot like me. I make quilts too sometimes…love patchwork!
I hope you do drop by. A bientot!
Hello Munira! It is very nice to meet you. (And a big thank you to Kathy for introducing you to us!) I, too, gave up a job I was doing in order to grow things, and to just be. We also have the internet addiction in common, as well as being content to sit and do nothing. It’s nice to find someone else who appreciates the fine art of doing nothing. 😀
Hi Robin, how great to come across a kindred spirit! *shakes Robin’s hand*