Love is ....

Do you ever think about love? Do you know what it is? Have you ever felt the magnitude of it's strength? 

How we define love could vary from person to person. I believe its because of the different experiences that we all have had in our lives. Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that we live a life where love is absent or scarce. 

Well, love is all around us. If you open our hearts and look for it, you'll never miss it. You see, if someone loves you, they don't have to articulate it. Yes! If they remember you all the time, throughout the day....what else could it be? If they text you for no reason or calls you just to ask you about your day...BINGO! You are lucky...because someone loves you....and someone cares about you. 

The little things people do for you like opening the door for you or waiting for you to catch up before crossing the road...or simply asking you to handover the water bottle with which you were struggling to uncap...that's simply...love. 

If you are the first person to be thought of at the start of the day and if you get a goodnight text...you are constantly of someones thoughts...mind and heart. 

When someone loves you, they drop whatever they are doing and rush to be by your side when you need them. They don;t ask questions...they don't complain...you are important...they just come and be with you. 

One could say that...simple acts of kindness doesn't necessarily fall under the category of love...but I think love doesn't necessarily have to be the kind of love men and women elope and explore. There are different kinds of love and love is what makes our life beautiful and meaningful. Without it, our world would be dark and scary. Nothing would be consistent, nothing would matter or be important. Life would be dull. Love makes everything beautiful and heart warming. 

If you are loved, be thankful...be grateful and love whomever loves you with all the might you have because it is the most rare and precious gift one could have in this short life we live in this little world. Without it, you'll lose yourself and life would be a bitter medicine that you have to force yourself to drink everyday. With love, nothing is impossible because love conquers all. Love will lift you up and protect you and heal you...no matter what life throws at you. 

like I've said before, even if someone doesn't say 'I love you', you'll still know and feel it if you are being loved. And if you want more of it, do your bit as well. Spread love wherever you go...in return, you'll be loved and you'll see strings of hearts following you. And if you look up at the big blue sky, you might see a white fluffy heart that is so smitten with you that it keeps on following you wherever you go. 


Happy Birthday My Love

I wish you a very happy birthday my darling husband. Can you believe it, this is the eleventh year that we celebrate your birthday together. I'm sad that I'm not there with you today and I'm that you'll love the gift I sent for you. After all,  we've been together for more than a decade. So I know exactly what you want and what you'd love! 

From miles away, I send you love and kisses on this special day to you. May this be the only birthday we celebrate away from each other. Any way, we will celebrate your birthday properly once I come home in September and I promise that I'll make it up to you. 

And as usual, our precious daughter made a very special card for you.

I bet this card would go into our treasure chest eh? Well, we might need a bigger box in the future. You see, though we do not realize it, we've been together for ages. We share so much of sweet cherished memories together and the pile is getting bigger with each passing day. 

Once again, happy birthday my LOVE. I love you more and more with each passing day. May Allah bless you and give you good health, wealth and prosperity. May we always be together and content. Ameen. 


Pine Cones

My daughter use to collect them whenever we went for a walk. She called them pine cones and so I'm sticking to it. I never bothered to check what they were actually called. So even if I'm wrong, it's okay.

You can find them all over the ground near STO building and many other parts of the city. She liked them so much and wanted to bring them home. And once home, she would throw them, keep them in her bedroom and literally...the pine cones would be littered all over our apartment.

The funniest part is, it was me who always stepped on them. And boy did it hurt! Oh yes it did! It was pure agony and torture. I sometimes threw them too....I'm sorry Mal and Mummu. Yes, even my son started bringing them home. Probably because his big sister was so fond of them. And my son loved to throw things. So go ahead and guess what he would do with the pine cones. Oh yes, he would place then in the living room and on the exact spot mommy walks,

Any way, I never thought back then that these little pine cones that we find on the ground could be something so meaningful to me. Now, everyday as I walk up and down the lane that leads to our faculty, I'm reminded of my children running around picking them up. I'm reminded of how much my daughter loved to keep them in a jar. I am reminded of how much my son loves to throw them around. And the memories of stepping on them zillions of times in the past brings warm happy feelings to my heart. It's so huge that it bursts through my hurt and flows from eyes in the form of happy tears.

So what do I do? Hahaa! Yes, I collect them and sit on the bench before coming back to the hostel. I hold them in my palms and feel the pointy sharp edges. I go back in time for a second or two and I can see my sweet Mal and Mummu running in front of me and picking the little pine cones and asking me to put them in my pocket.

I don't walk over them or step on them and crush them anymore. They are very special to me now because they remind me of my children and brings back sweet memories of my home that I miss so dearly.

Now mommy has her own collection of little pine cones in her room too! Yay!


Special Gifts

Have you ever wondered about the perfect gift that you could give to someone? Have you had to go bonkers because you really want to make someone feel special and happy and couldn't think of anything to buy? Simple things people do can sometimes make someone so happy. Yes, you'll probably won't find them in shops because money can never buy happiness. 

Well, let me tell you about some people who've made me very happy so far on my birthday today. Of course, I have a feeling I would be posting tonight or perhaps tomorrow morning, telling you all more about how some of my wonderful friends have made me happy. 

To begin with, the fact that my husband baked a cake for the first time in his life is so precious. In addition to that, my daughter staying up way past her bed time to just wish me made my heart over flow with happiness. Yes, they cut the cake and I watched them. My sisters and brother wishing me from wherever they are shows that though we are far apart, we are always in each others thoughts and we never stop caring. 

My darlings 
Secondly, my flatmates, Reem and Aikol wished me at twelve and we had a little late night tea party with freshly homemade bread by Aikol. There is nothing more precious than friends who look out for you and who's companionship is so entertaining that you don't realize that you've almost spent 2 hours just gossiping. Now this is the kind of friendship you want to treasure for the rest of your life. 

And Reem hasn't used her own photo for profile picture since 2009. For my birthday, she has uploaded a photo of us together. Yes, I'm blessed to be surrounded by such loving, kind souls. 

With Reem
With Muhammad
Jefferey and Muhammad also used a photo they've taken with me on their whatsapp display picture. You see, they didn't spend a single cent but made me feel very special and happy. Now if you have such friends in your life, treasure them. Because they are the rarest of all and you cannot buy such good friends even if you had all the money in the world in your pockets. 

With Isaac and Jeffery
Thank you so much for everything my dear friends and family. I will treasure you all forever. Love you all with all my heart. And of course, I will be writing more soon.

Happy birthday to us

Yay, it's my birthday and I'm turning twenty 21. You might be wondering how many 21st birthdays I've had. Well the answer is quite straight forward...yes, it is 11. Now you do your math and guess my age!

Thank you my darling husband for the cake you have baked for me. I know it's super delicious. Many miles away, back at home, my daughter, husband and son cut my birthday cake and of course they enjoyed it. I watched while they ate via a viber video call. I miss you all so much.  

And also, this birthday is very special because I get to celebrate this birthday with the sweetest girl in UBD who also happens to be one of my closest friends here in Brunei. Cherry is from Myanmar and if you meet her, you will never forget because she is that sweet and nice. 

Suad, Cherry and Cathy

Happy birthday my dearest friend. May you always be happy and content. May all your dreams come true and may you always be successful in whatever you do. 

Once again, happy birthday to both of us. 


Nine Years of Togetherness

1st December 2005 / AISHAZ4EVER

Today we celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary. Though we are miles apart, our hearts are forever entwined with love. Any way, I will be home soon and we will celebrate together.

Honestly! I can't believe that it's been that long! I mean, I feel as if we've been married for two to three years. But our daughter is seven and our son is just two and half! It doesn't make sense!

That reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with my seven year old  the other night...(viber video call)

Maleesha: "How did you and daddy meet?"
Me: "Well...we were..."
Maleesha: "Did he think that you were the most beautiful girl in the world when he saw you?"
Me: "mmmmmmm"
My husband: (sitting afar shouted) "Of course!"
Maleesha: "So you were like the princess and daddy was the prince...right?"
Me: "Yes....and.."
Maleesha: "And now you are the queen and daddy is the king...isn't it?"
Me: "Yes...and ...."
Maleesha: "And you lived happily ever after!"
Me: "Yes!"

She had this beautiful story imprinted in her heart and I just couldn't and didn't want to spoil it. When she grows up, yes...I'll tell her our story and it's quite a romantic story too!

We may not wear a crown and a fancy gown, but our home is our little castle where I am the queen and my husband is the king. You see, you don't need millions of dollars to feel like a queen. It's all in your heart and if you are lucky...your man would make sure that you feel like a queen by treating you like one. Alhamdhulilah, I am blessed.

I think the main reason why we don't feel as if we've almost spent a decade together is (well, if we count the year and two months we dated...yes!) because no matter what life has served on our table, we've some how managed to remain happy. We didn't have that much of a fancy wedding party! We didn't have expensive furniture and a brand new room and those people who thought I was jealous because they had nicer things! Well, they were wrong. You see, it was never about money or material things the world offered that made me love him. It was his character and caring nature that attracted me to him. I married him because I loved him. And I'm glad that I did because he has been the best husband a man could ever be to any woman.

Happy 9th anniversary to my darling husband. I love you so much and I'm eagerly looking forward to spend the rest of my life with you.


Meet Adventurous Suad

Its semester break and I've been working on assignments and revising what have been taught so far. Yeah, I know...it can be a little boring especially when you don't have any means of transportation here in Brunei.

Isaac, Reem,  Nizal, Suad, Inad, Athiek, Koi and Rinchen

But, Arefa came to our rescue. She organized a trip for us to visit the museum and the Water Front. Yay, we were super excited. 

First we went to the museum. We were not allowed to take photographs and we had to leave our bags and other belongings when we went to explore the museum. We were really excited when we reached the first floor! Guess what! They had displayed some of the gifts that were given to the King of Brunei from world leaders around the globe on this floor. Oh yes, and since our group consisted of international students, we were all so happy to see gifts sent from our countries. 

There were three gifts given to the King of Brunei by our former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. One was a model of a traditional fishing boat. The second one was something similar and the third one was a huge traditional vase (laqour work). 

We took some pictures on the ground floor. Yes, here we were allowed to take pictures!

And then starts our adventure! We went to the water front and there we met Arefa's friend Shavez and Bud. We hired two boats and started our excursion! We drove through the water village and its a breath taking sight. Its amazing how they have schools, hospitals and even their own police stations in their water village.



There were small mangrove islands and as we neared the first creek, the whole group fell silent. You see, we didn't want to scare the wild animals away. We saw one small python coiled up in a huge tree and nothing else. But the whole jungle and the water was so beautiful. 


We drove our boat through the water some more and entered the second creek. As we neared this creek, our guides told us about mud skippers and flying foxes! Mud skippers were fish that could swim in the water and also walk on land! Ahaa, I saw them and they are amazing little creatures. I saw lots of flying foxes from afar. According to Bud, they grew up to 5-6 feets! 

Me, Inad and Reem
                              Nizal, me, Inad and Reem                                  
And then it was just too quite! I smelt danger in the air! I turned around and to my horror, there was a python slowly crawling into our boat. I knew it was up to me to save my friends. The python looked hungry and was preparing to strike! I felt like Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider! Yeah, imagine a scene from Indiana Jones movie! Yeah, that's exactly what was happening! Without any hesitation, I jumped forward and grabbed the python with my bare hands and fell on the boat. After much struggle I was able to hold it's head in my palms and I squeezed it so hard that it died after fighting with all it's might to overpower me! When I looked up, I saw my friends looking at me with admiration and gratitude. I stood up and lifted the python up and screamed like Tarzon! My friends were all teary eyed and they all wanted to hug me. Then, they quickly took out their mobile phones and I looked at the cameras and smiled victoriously! 

Look at me! 
Yes, I'm holding a real python in my hands! 
*sign* that glorious moment!

Here is what actually happened!!!!!

As we entered the second creek, Rinchen spotted a dead python on the banks and Shavez went in and picked it up! Yeah, we all took turns taking photographs with the dead python! But hey, its not like you'll find a dead snake on the side of the road and you'll be able to pick it up, hold it and pose for the camera. I was indeed very lucky to get the opportunity to take this photo. 

Okay, you can stop laughing now! It isn't that funny!!!!

So we drove back in our boats. The sun was setting and it was magical. I mean the colours, the breeze and everything. I really did feel like I was in an adventure movie or something! 

So the whole group took one last picture together before we headed home and said goodbye to Shavez and Bud! 

Shavez, Bud, Rinchen, Athiek, Nizal, Inad, Nadheem, Isaac and Koi (standing)
Arefa, me and Reem
A big thank you goes to Arefa, for planning this awesome trip for us. You rock girl!

Arefa from Iran 


Once in a life time opportunities!

I came to Brunei on 4th August 2014 and its great here. Okay, they are times that I feel so homesick and lonely that I want to just leave all my belongings and catch the next plan and run home. When I got the scholarship I was a bit doubtful about accepting the offer. But hey, we don't get wonderful opportunities all the time. Leaving my kids behind was the hardest part, but then I know that they are in good hands and they are happy. 

Well, its been a month here and I have made wonderful friends. The best thing about all my new friends is that they come from different parts of the world. We tell each other about where we come from and have so much fun together. 

First, let me tell you about the most exciting experiences that I have had in Brunei. I would say that I am very lucky because I shook hands with the Crown Prince and took a selfie with the Sultan! YES! A selfie! 

On 16th August, Crown Prince of Brunei came to UBD. All the international students also got the opportunity to take a photo with him and shake hands too. 


These are some of the photos that I took before I shook hands with the Crown Prince. I was so happy that I got the opportunity shake hands with him. Of course I bragged about my encounter with the Crown Prince for weeks! 

And this is the photo that we took with Crown Prince. These are the international students who were present at the ceremony. 

Now, let me tell you about my grand selfie! 

6th September was UBD's graduation day. My friend Aai graduated and she invited her friend Mysara and I to the ceremony. Once the ceremony was over, on our way out, we lost each other. I wandered around and decided to go out and stand outside hoping that they would also gather there. 

When I came out there were so many people outside. People were lined up on both sides of the red carpet. I didn't realize what was going on. I tried to get close but there was no way I was getting in. 


And then, as I came down the steps I saw the King's car. I realized that they were all waiting to see the King and Crown Prince. I saw some of my friends and when I asked them, they told me that they didn't come for the graduation ceremony! They just came to see the KING! By this time I was also very excited and wanted to take his picture. We stood together and all of a sudden everyone was talking at the same time and everyone took out their mobile phones and started taking pictures. 


When I saw the King and the Crown Prince, I knew that I had to take a picture. So, I ran forward and somehow found myself inside the crowd! Seriously, I don't know how I did it....I WAS THERE! 

I took some pictures as they greeted everyone. The crowd was elated and everyone wanted a selfie with them. To my surprise, the King and the Crown Prince posed for selfies when students requested. So I patiently waited for my turn. Everyone was pushing each other to get close to them.  But I stood my ground and somehow penetrated and there I was standing next to the King! When I requested, his majesty looked straight at my phone and smiled. Since everyone was pushing each other I was going back and forth. So my face is a little blurred and I know my smile is weird! 


I don't think I would ever get an opportunity like this again to take a selfie with the Sultan of Brunei.

YAY! Here it is...  

It's amazing how much the people of Brunei loves their King. I believe it's because the people are treated the way they should be. This is a beautiful country with such warm and loving people. There is so much more to share, but this post is all about meeting the King and the Crown Prince. 

Yes, I was very lucky indeed to get the opportunity to shake hands with the Crown Prince and take a selfie with the King.