Author: bushrak05

Tartar Sauce

So I attempted to make tartar sauce today since I figured out I like relish but I don’t like big slices of pickles and it also has to be mixed in with something. Only problem is, there are too many different kinds of mayo and I think I got the wrong one. It’s Actually super easy to make. I just put Mayo, relish, onion, and lemon. I didn’t really measure. Since it tasted weird I added some roasted garlic & herb powder and black pepper. I ended up with this big bowl cuz nobody else wants it. I guess I can put it on a bunch of foods. I need ideas on what to cook in Ramadan


Good morning!

So I just woke up and I think I poked myself in the eye while I was asleep. Good thing everyone now knows I can be funny when I first wake up.

Anyway, a lot goes through my mind in the morning so here goes on my process to clear my head so I can write properly:

1. I feel like Sherlock Holmes where he says he has to delete certain information in his brain to make room for the important things, I think that’s why he acted like he didn’t know who Margret Thatcher was, but it could’ve been a different episode.I’m talking about the show not the book.

2. My eye hurts and is watery. Is that a bad thing?

3. I had a dream last night I was in Makkah and I was walking and I touched the Kaaba. Oddly enough it wasn’t very crowded. I think I noticed a tear in the Ghilaf? I’m not sure what that could’ve meant for the dream. Maybe I gotta fix my faith, not maybe-probably. Anyway, the thing is I was Walking. Like in zero pain. This part could be because I’ve been focused on my immense disdain for a certain physiotherapy. Is it Supposed to make said injury feel worse? My parents are wondering why I have it 3x a week. They seem to forget I had it that much as a kid and I was Probably in as much pain as I am now which is why I blocked it out and just seem to want to announce my hatred for it without giving a sound explanation as to why, every time people try to force me to do it.

4. For some reason I can’t write a post in one sitting and I have to try to learn to do that otherwise there would be no point in calling this post, “Good morning”

5. I just saw this on my cousin’s Facebook status, “Wishful thinking is not a strategy.” I agree, but it could be step 1.

6. Step one to what you might ask? Goals. Goals that I have had for years and yet always felt like I’ve had an obstacle. This morning I texted my sister and mentioned that Riz Ahmed was at the National College of Arts in Lahore. My intention was not to start talking about my celebrity crush this early in the morning (although there ain’t nothing wrong with that!) my intention was to start talking about what he was Doing at the National College of Arts. I’m following his posts on Instagram, partly for the celebrity crush reason, but mostly for his work. His thoughts on being a 3rd culture kid. His thoughts on this hyphenated identity, whether being a Brit like him or an American like me, both with Pakistani heritage. He was at a Literature event which made me think about my goals of becoming a story teller even more. Right now I have an idea cooking finally and I want to use the mountains of Islamabad as my scenery. Anyway, back to the obstacle. Instead of responding to that my sister starts telling me about some guy she works with that’s been in a wheelchair for 10 years and has never let his disability get to him. I messaged her back and was basically telling her to think back on my life and mention one time where I’ve ever used my disability as a crutch or said I was tired. Even as I write this now it’s very difficult for me to write because it’s just something I do Not discuss. It’s not me who is willingly going to physiotherapy , ok it is me, but what I meant is I’m not willingly doing it. And I’m not even doing it for Spina bifida!! For the millionth time. Even the kids in my stories, they have obstacles, but they aren’t disabled. It’s not something I “let get to me”. I let others get to me. Maybe that’s one in the same? Kind of like Jane Austen, everyone gets married in her books and yet she never married. I told my sister maybe I am doing something with my life I just haven’t announced it because people will put nazar on it. I freaking believe in that now. Didn’t before.

7. Touring Pakistan going to a Literature festival on my own would be amazing. Using the mountains as my backdrop for clearing my head. I think you get the idea of where I’m going with this. Ugh This is why I follow people like Riz on social media. Helps get creativity flowing. Here’s to hoping I don’t get obstacle in my brain…

The Unknown

The Unknown

Do you think being stubborn is a good thing? I honestly feel like I haven’t thought about my disability in my entire life as I have in these past two years. As I sit through Physical Therapy I’m constantly reminded how every member of my family is convinced I should be in it permanently for Spina Bifida when I’m well aware that I’m here for a torn meniscus and I’m trying to avoid surgery.

The other day I discussed swimming with my sister and I told her the only reason I’m reluctant to swim is because I might fall getting into the pool. She suggested a walker which is also a bad idea because I might permanently end up getting stuck with one and yours truly is too stubborn for that.

Anyway, along with writing I’ve started reading thank God. I got my fifth Paulo Coelho book. I started reading “Brida” and it already speaks to me. Paulo has a way of getting to my soul through his work. This book starts off with a woman who wants to learn magic. Anyway, by the time she’s done telling her teacher this, he asks if he can tell her story. The first thing she wondered was would her story be good enough and would people actually be interested. I was like Oh my God, Paulo, you read my mind. My fav author Paulo (Yes, I’ve decided we are on first name basis) said in the book, “Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” I have literally spent two years thinking about this statement. What is my purpose? Can my purpose change? Why do I feel as if I’m back at the beginning of my life? Which wasn’t fun by the way. All these thoughts coupled with anxiety to be written down in a story, but alas will it ever be good enough? Will it be something someone in this world can relate to? Are the things we read, the day-to-day experiences we go through a sign leading us to our chosen paths? Who chooses said path?

I started this post two days ago and updated it now. It was originally going to be a rant about my hatred towards physical therapy and the grammatical errors I hear while dealing with it. It turned into continuous unanswered questions of daily life. Also, Stephen Hawking passed away which could also be why I’m questioning the universe. So physical therapy has caused unnecessary pain and my family thinks I shouldn’t have to do it 3x/week. I think they forgot I used to do this daily. No wonder nobody has a clue why I hate it so much.

The unknown can be a scary place. Why is a place of wonder a scary place? Is it really fear of getting out of one’s comfort zone in order to pursue so-called dreams? All my life all I’ve ever wanted to do is prove I’m capable of doing as much as anyone else and now I’m not sure how anymore. It really doesn’t help when even people close to me question my normalcy. All this self-doubt rubbing through my mind when I totally think it’ll be fine once I take the step, it usually is.

Now I’m wondering if some force of nature or something is the reason I’ve chosen to read “Brida” before “Aleph” which I had originally started first. I think our environment shapes our thoughts, but more on that later…

I’m back….I think.

So a lot has been going on since I last wrote like literally anything. I have come to find that not writing is probably not the way to go. Writing helps release a lot of stress. My anxiety has been on overdrive as of late. As far as this post is concerned it’s just to announce that I’ve decided I need to keep writing or so I’ve been told. So far the only person’s advice I’m really listening to is the age of 7. As per request, I’ve decided I will be writing short stories which have morals in them…I think. An upcoming movie review will also be in the works.

The issue I have I think, with everything is taking the plunge. I discussed this with a friend earlier about a topic I don’t wish to discuss, but to be honest I think it relates to literally everything I do. I’m sitting here in Barnes & Noble and to be honest I’ve come across some pretty ridiculous and yet intriguing book titles. If someone can write a book called “Assholes” I think I can write about pretty much anything. Might be a long stretch to think I could come up with a major epiphany in a book shop and write as JK Rowling did in a coffee shop. Alas, I have no idea if I will ever be as great of a writer. Anyway, here’s to what’s on my mind.

Lately my anxiety has been on overdrive. Sometimes I don’t know if it’s a legit anxiety concern or I’m just paranoid. It’s like I’ve just gotten so much older and once I got old I’m not willing to take chances like I used to. This must change. I can’t keep stalling my life. I used to have this major desire to travel. Yah that’s no longer there. Nowadays leaving my house worries me, particularly given my latest experience of having car trouble on a highway. That was not fun.

I thought about writing about Women’s International Day, but I think pretty much every woman on the planet beat me to it. I have a lot to discuss about Black Panther. I will be writing stories which I mentioned earlier.

Right now the most pressing matter on my mind probably has to do with being the bigger person in a dispute. Is there any use waiting for an apology? Should I just let it go when it was something that really upset me? How can a person “respect a disability” when the disabled person does not want that to be their only focus of their life? I have never once asked for anyone’s pity and nor have I ever used my disability as a crutch for pity. I never say I’m tired because of it. So why is it even brought up? People I grew up with barely know anything about it and treat me as they would anyone else so why can’t the people who claim to be the closest to me see me like anyone else? And Why do I feel like I’m the one being tortured for this? I don’t know if I feel more anger or disappointment right now. Probably more disappointment. I just feel so exhausted in trying to prove that I’m more than my disability. People keep telling me I have to prove myself, but I feel like I’ve been doing that all my life. I want to be able to travel, but now I just get so overwhelmed because “how am I gonna handle it” has been etched into my brain.

Good God this post got depressing fast. I was just hoping that if I cleared my head a bit I would be able to write happy stuff. Happy stuff is good, but it’s also good to be real once in a while. I just realized that my dreams of being a writer haven’t changed much over the years. Signing off for now! Hopefully more posts soon!

Enriched through International Travel

This is a piece written about me from an organization called Mobility International USA. I love the work they do to ensure the rights of people with disabilities.

“From her experiences in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Bushra has learned a thing or two about traveling with a physical disability. She understands that planning for medications, bathroom breaks, and navigating the airports can make the overall experience go more smoothly.“I leave my house as early as possible. For example at the airport if I need a wheelchair, I have to get there earlier than usual just to be sure I’ll get the assistance I need. Sometimes the wheelchair doesn’t arrive early and I fear I may be late for my flight.”

Source: Enriched through International Travel

Lessons from a long week

This has definitely been one hell of a week. First of all, this has been the hardest Ramadan of my life. I’ve finally begun to understand what it feels like to be a convert to some extent because of feeling alone. It’s not easy being alone or being around people whom you expect to know everything about you. I really am not sure I’m gaining any benefits from Ramadan like I used to and I don’t know what to do about it. It’s just making me sad.  Then again a lot happened in the past few days that made me rethink my relationship with this month.

The next thing that happened was that Muhammad Ali died. His funeral was in Ramadan, having died just days before it.  This went from shock, to denial, to sadness, to appreciation for everything I could have possibly learned from his life and death. Muhammad Ali was the ultimate example of our time of what a Muslim should be. I can not stress this enough. In every single interview I’ve watched of him, he mentioned something about God and his desire to reach Heaven.  I honestly think that no one in this entire world got a send off the way he did. No one else really deserves that great of a send off, to be honest.  I was so proud that he firmly stood for his beliefs in life and death. I was so proud that for once an Islamic view was on television that showed prayers, not violence, which was on tv for two days. There was absolutely no report about violence in those two days.  He made sure that he got a proper Islamic funeral (Janazah) and that everyone could see Islam for what it really is. He openly spoke of his faith no matter the consequences.  His wife mentioned in her speech during the Memorial that Muhammad Ali wanted his funeral to be a teaching moment and that’s exactly what it was.

As a Muslim, Muhammad Ali’s death reminded me of a story of when the Prophet (PBUH) himself died. The gist of it was that a companion, Umar (rA) came out in the street so emotional and was shouting that whoever said the Prophet had died, Umar wanted to kill. Then another companion, Abu Bakr (rA) came out and had to calm him down and remind him that The Prophet was just a man and that God was alive and could never die. This story reminded me that people die, no matter how great they are. I honestly for a time I didn’t think Muhammad Ali could die. I was just like, he’s fine, nothin’s gonna happen. Boy, did I get my reality check last week.

Everyone knew how proud Muhammad Ali was of his identity. They knew how much he stood up for it as well. He stood up for who he was no matter the consequences.  This is not easy even to this day.  He also never threw himself a pity party because of his illness. Unfortunately, this was the type of person I used to be. I never used to let things get to me. I say “unfortunately” because now I do let those things get to me.  I used to be called “Brave” and “strong” and a “fighter”.  I actually hated being called those things.  Now, I’m realizing that those adjectives were a part of who I am. I’ve only just forgotten.  Muhammad Ali has now made a final attempt to make sure that kids who want to quit, don’t.  It’s not easy picking up the pieces to your life when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, but Muhammad Ali did it when he came back after he had to quit boxing for 3 years.  He reminded me that if he can do it, so can anyone else.

With all the diverse groups of people watching both his Janazah and his Memorial either on a live stream video or from actually being there, I’m reminded of one final lesson from Muhammad Ali that resonated with me.  His wife acknowledged all the diverse groups of people and one of the speakers, a university student named Natasha (whose speech I loved), mentioned that Muhammad Ali would help anyone who needed it whether they were Muslim, Christian, Jewish, disabled, able-bodied, white, black, or LGBT.  Muhammad Ali wanted to leave one final message of peace regarding his religion. This reminds me of the verse in the Qur’an (49:13) that says, “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).”  All Muhammad Ali wanted was for people to get along and for everyone to be happy in their own skin no matter what.

This brings me to the events that unfolded just two days after his memorial service.  It’s very frustrating that Muhammad Ali spent his entire life refuting violence and promoting peace and just two days later someone commits an act of violence against people in a gay club.  No matter what someone’s views are, killing is wrong period.  Muhammad Ali would not have stood for this and neither should anyone else. If someone kills one person it’s as if he’s killed all of humanity, if he saved one person it’s as if he’s saved all of humanity (Qur’an 5:32).   The one thing I was quite proud of and quite relieved of was how the general public handled the situation. I was expecting tons of hateful comments on various social media outlets, but I didn’t see any! Literally, like none. I did see discussions regarding gun control, but I’m not getting into that.  When I woke up this morning and saw the news, my initial reaction was sadness that this had to happen in the wake of a funeral of a man who represented peace and tolerance and also how much backlash this would cause. Hopefully, in the coming weeks it doesn’t cause any. It seems that social media are doing what Muhammad Ali would’ve wanted and acknowledging that the actions of a few don’t determine the whole.  This is only the beginning of the struggle for peace and learning from one another, but hopefully Muhammad Ali’s legacy remains.  Muhammad Ali defended his religion and promoted peace for everyone til his funeral.  In light of recent events, in addition to praying for peace and for the lives lost, we as an American people should remember the lessons of an American icon. Muslims can’t stress this enough, but if we want to see peace it’s not enough to say peaceful words or even blog about them, we need to live them.  Actions speak louder than words.  No one knew this better than Muhammad Ali. ‘On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (ra) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (saw) say, “Whoso- ever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”’ Muhammad Ali changed evil with his actions and his words. He lived and died showing peace for all communities.  Even if condemning one act of violence after another gets exhausting, there is no way I will never stop fighting violence with love because that is what Muhammad Ali did and that’s what made him The Greatest.  Muhammad Ali taught us lessons of peace for all communities including LGBT and various religions.  So if someone asks me how I’m handling the latest crisis, I’ll just tell them to think of The Champ.  Maybe thinking of him and all the peace I could create in this world will help make Ramadan easier for myself.

**I welcome discussion on this or any of my blogposts.

No Ood


Yup, this pretty much sums up Ramadan. My friend sent it to me and I thought it was funny.  Although, no liquid is allowed at all not even Coca Cola. Also there are more requirements than not eating or drinking all day. One must be nice to others as well and abstain from other things they shouldn’t be doing. Lol this pic cracked me up!

The current election

Ok I honestly thought I would get out of blogging about this whole situation, but I can’t. 1. Trump is a douche, everyone knows that….He can’t figure out who Muslim American sports heroes are (Muhammad Ali RIP). 2. Hillary, well I can’t even right now. All I can think about is a popularity contest and she thinks she can win because she’s a girl. I will have much to say shortly about female leaders in the countries she wishes to “liberate” I can just give a LIST of female leaders in Muslim countries, enough said. 3. Bernie Sanders-He’s The Man. That’s all I got. So being an up and coming Doctor Who enthusiast, I found it funny when an avid fan of DW that happens to be a friend of mine sent me this: potato

That’s it. Strax for President! Holy crap we would all have to deal with his random urges for annihilation.  He would need Madame Vastra & The Doctor to calm his urges.

All I have to say is this: Rather than thinking of annihilation and thinking about “liberating other countries” Let’s just take a look at the fact that Muslim countries have already had female leaders.  America having the first female president, aint got nothin on these women:

  1. Benazir Bhutto-Former Prime Minister of Pakistan
  2.  Megawati Sukarnoputri-Former president of Indonesia
  3. Sheikh Hasina-Prime Minister of Bangladesh
  4. Khalida Zia-She was the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006. She was the first woman in Bangladesh’s history and second in the Muslim world (after Benazir Bhutto) to head a democratic government.
  5. Atifete Jahjaga- Not only is she the current President of Kosovo, she is also the first female President, the first female head of state in the modern Balkans and the youngest to be elected to the office.
  6. Tansu Çiller-Turkey’s first and only female prime minister to date, this academician and economist served as the Prime Minister of Turkey from 1993 to 1996.
  7. Mame Madior Boye-Former Prime Minister of Senegal
  8. Aminata Touré-Former Prminister of Senegal
  9. Cissé Mariam Kaïdama Sidibé-Former Prime Minister of Mali
  10. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim-The recently appointed president of Mauritius. She is the Head of State and Commander in Chief  as well.

I may add that many of these women are covered. Who says covered women are oppressed? These are just a few time Muslim women kicked ass.

Ramadan has come

So it’s the best time of the year for Muslims officially. It’s taken me a few days to actually blog about it.  I feel like I must post food pictures.  Ironically, in Ramadan, Muslims are Not supposed to eat all day, but all we think about is food.  There is the usual stuff, like thinking about the poor, giving charity, worship and all that.  However, food is also an integral part.  This food brings people together as Ramadan should.  It’s probably the only time of the year I actually have to make it a point in my family to eat dinner with my parents. Sad, I know, but that’s life.  I’ve decided I will be posting a series of Ramadan posts, either reminders, or songs that I like and Especially the food I may decide to make.  One such food plate is what my family traditionally makes in Ramadan.  You see, Muslims come from all walks of life, which for me is the best part.  We all break our fast as Muslims but we have our own traditional foods.  My family is originally from Pakistan, so that means FRIED FOOD YAY!!!!! I’m so happy! I told myself I wouldn’t eat fried food all month, so much for that idea! hahah!  I made a fruit salad which we call Fruit Chaat. It’s basically a bunch of fruit cut up and juice poured in a bowl, any kind of juice will do but I use Orange.  Only a little will do. I also put black peppar, sugar and chaat masala.  I don’t always put the latter because it causes heart burn unfortunately.  The rest is my favorite fried food, we make these wontons called samosa, some people make them from scratch with actual dough but I don’t, I make them using wontons. Makes it so much easier!  I fill them with either ground beef or potato and a bunch of spices.  The BEST are my pakoras. A pakora is like a hashbrown, it’s made with chickpea flour mixed in water and a bunch of spices and I like to add either potato or chicken and then I deep fry the pakora and samosa.  I like to side it with some chutney which I make with mint.  I also have dates and nimbo panni which is basically limeade.  This is like the best iftar anyone could ask for.  This is why we need to remember the poor who can not afford this every single