Sat Sri Akal! A warm welcome to you all on this chilly winter evening. OAH is finally back and it’s a girls’ day out this time.
We all in the blogging world know a person through their blog or the interaction with them in the comments section. But many times we form a bond with these people, we often look forward to seeing them in the blogging world and then we realize we have found a great friend! Or else, there may be personalities whose works are a big inspiration to you. Though virtual, these friendships and fan followings are real. And so here’s OAH, where we more than just meet and greet a fellow blogger, we see some unknown aspects of their life and we have loads of fun doing that!
Now, I hope you all are tucked tight in the blankets because if you are not, you just might forget to, once you start reading head. So my audience, hold on your thoughts, wrap the blanket tight, focus on the screen and welcome this month’s guest blogger at Living the Dream – Ms. Ameena K. G. author of the blog ‘Randoms by a random‘
I first met Ameena when the episode #1 of the series was published, and after almost a year, I’m here having the same person as my guest for the evening. Though, we did not greet each other at that point of time, we did get to know there’s a person out there in a corner of blogosphere worth knowing. And all that I know of Ameena, she is fun loving but reflective at the same time. You will find great depth in her poems, which are often inspired from real life emotions you can relate to. She hails from Nigeria and is currently in Fourth year of her medicals. She is yet to decide her area of specialization, two more years of clinical duty and one year of house job should do the trick, she says. An interesting thing about her is that though she does not listen to music, She loves Indian movies and Zee TV ‘s soaps! And rest about her will be apparent from our chit chat below. Let’s go!
Hi Ameena! A hearty welcome to you at my place.
Like me, My readers are intrigued to know that you hail from Nigeria and surprisingly know Hindi. And on top of it, you watch Bollywood movies and zee TV’s soaps of all! Please elaborate on this mind boggling desi- firangi connection before we proceed further.
Hahaha, well, it was just something I grew up doing, part of the daily routine of our house I guess. After the daily activities, school and whatnot, 6-6:30, saat Phere would be airing, after that, banoo mein Teri dulhaan, then mamta and kasamh se… It was kind of a normal routine. I’ve always been fascinated with the Indian language and culture; as a kid, I used to think I’d marry an Indian and even question my mum, asking how sure she was our ancestry lineage wasn’t from there; and so that’s probably what drove my desire to learn the language.
I can’t exactly say when I started to understand it, I just realised that some days, I’d watch movies in Hindi without English subtitles and would understand what they were saying. Also, had a small jotter, where I’d jot down difficult words.
Haha..these have been a part of my childhood too and I’m pleasantly surprised to know Indian soaps and movies are popular in Nigeria too! Now that you have mentioned, I can recall watching some of these with my mum 😀
And I have learnt you have been very mischievous child, just like me. I have pranked almost everyone- my family, my cousins, my schoolmates and I feel nostalgic thinking how the class of fifty would to accompany me in the adventures. But at home, being the eldest child in the family, I was always discouraged from these harmless pranks. Elders need to be responsible you see. But You are the middle Child and I’m curious to know how was it growing up sandwiched between an elder and a younger sibling. And yes, I’m expecting it from the angle of that Ameena who lived life carelessly, breaking articles at the drop of a hat and pranking the unsuspicious siblings and cousins 😉
I would like to say it was “amazing” but let’s face it, anyone who has siblings knows that’s an understatement. Being the middle child is kind of like being in any other position but first and last. I mean, first-borns got such high respect and responsibility; last-borns get away with things other siblings wouldn’t even dream of doing. But then again, being a middle child has got its pros.It meant when my two older siblings were tired of playing with me, their “baby sis”, I could coerce the younger ones to.It meant whenever I did something wrong, it was automatically blamed on my elder ones cause they were supposed to be the responsible ones keeping me in check.
It was being compared at school to my other siblings and seeing an expression on the teachers face which clearly translates into “Can you really be their sister?”
Being the middle child was having the circle come back around to bite me, in the sense of being blamed for my younger ones atrocities.
It was being able to do and act as I pleased in high school because I had a big brother.
It was teaming up with my siblings when our parents weren’t around to do the “unthinkables”. That way, whatever mishap happened, we were all in it together.But the best part about being a middle child is after having a long day of keeping the younger ones in check, I could crawl up to my older siblings and be sure to get babied and placated.
Aww, Childhood is always beautiful especially when siblings are around. I would love to see our Little Ameena with her siblings now! Please share some photographs of yours.
I’m the smallest girl in the first pic. In the second pic, I’m the girl without glasses, those are my siblings.
Ameena, in the first one, your big black eyes look so inquisitive. And you are five..Oh, it must be a tough for your mum handling so many pranksters. But I’m sure you guys must be enjoying to the hilt. No place for boredom 🙂
Okay, now I have planned something exciting. I suggest you take a deep breath, and have that glass of water beforehand and be ready because I’m going to shoot some rapid fire questions now! I hope you are all set…here you go!
Q1. One thing you absolutely can’t resist?
A cup of black coffee. I don’t remember ever saying no to coffee.
I was expecting that. I know coffee is your happy drink 🙂
Q2. If your cat could speak, what would you want it to say?
Hahaha, I’d want him to sing “soft kitty” to me before going to bed.
He he..now here’s the million dollar question: If your swayamvar was to be organized , which three Bollywood actors would you like to invite as participants?
Shahrukh Khan, Imran Khan, Varun dhawan
I see you are well versed with the oldest and the latest actors. Big Bollywood Buff huh? But I’m surprised there’s no Ranbir Kapoor in the list. :p
Q4. An idea that changed your life?
Writing! The decision to start writing has changed my life in the most amazing way.
Yes, I can imagine. Now here comes the last question:
Q5. One illegal thing you have done in your life ?
Illegal? Well let see, I actually have to think for this. And No, this doesn’t mean I am a goody two shoes. It’s just, a few of my respected family members might be reading this and you know “what happens in Vegas, stays on Vegas”.
Haha..! Yeah. So lets mark this as the end of rapid fire round. You played pretty well, Ameena.
Okay, now going over to the blogging aspect, You have been actively promoting the mental heath cause. As you know, it is very important for a person to come up and be vocal about his/her mental health issues so that others could be benefited as well. How and when did your realize this needed to be taken up?
Before, Mental illness was an alien topic to me. I was groomed to believe that things are clear cut. If a person acts crazy, then it’s due to Jinn Possession or substance abuse; What’s Depression?! It’s just laziness; OCD was a person being weird or a neat freak… Turns out that, was a narrow minded perspective.
There was a period, when I was 15, it was during my “Disney phase”. The Internet was circulating with the news that Demi Lovato had checked into a treatment facility after she’d snapped and was diagnosed with Bulimia and Bipolar disorder. I couldn’t understand how someone who appeared so perfect could actually be struggling. But more importantly, I didn’t even know what Bulimia and BD were. That was the beginning of my relationship with mental health.
I remember staying up late at night, just reading and researching on the various mental disorders and trying to understand the pathology and physiology behind it, it gave me answers to so many emotions, behaviors and helped me to view my surroundings through colored lenses. It wasn’t until I came to university that the reality of stigma dawned on me; People openly condemn mental illness. It’s heartbreaking, especially when there’s someone within an earshot who’s struggling.
To me, speaking about mental illness is something I consider normal. Everyone deserves a voice and no one has the right to dispel another’s illness just because they don’t understand it. The statistics is alarming and I find it illogical that one in four people just “can’t get over it” hence they are depressed. I’ve got five siblings and I want to be someone they can talk to about these things without feeling like they’d be judged or disbelieved.
Yes, I couldn’t agree more with you. People should support such person than ridiculing him/her saying its just laziness or their negative attitude. You are doing a great job supporting the cause. Keep it up!
Now as we approach the end, it’s a custom here that Every guest at OAH leaves his/her imprint behind – and since you are an awesome flash fiction writer, why not grace one of my clicks by basing a story on it? I know your love for roses and I think the picture I clicked of roses will be perfect. What do you say ?
Ofcourse, Here you go!
“You see that rose plant, with its bloomed flower?” Jason asked, pointing at the direction of the growing plants, “that’s me. All cards on display, ready to hit the mark.”
Leila rolled her eyes thinking, just when she thought he couldn’t get anymore vain.
“But you”, he continued, clearly oblivious to her reactions. “You’re like the other rose plant who keeps her flower hidden, only to bloom in adversity. Constantly on the defensive, with your thorns on your sleeves to push people away. You hide the rose you are behind your thorns”
“But you know what I think?” He asked looking towards her direction as she avoided his gaze, “I think Leila jaan, you’re just waiting for someone who’d care enough to look past the thorns.”
Jason had his perks like every other person but when it came down to it, he was an honest man. “Maybe it’s time to take a plunge into marriage again”, Leila pondered as she watched his silhouette fade away. “Maybe it’s time to say I do”.
Beautiful! I love your choice of names too. To me, it suggests that these two are from different backgrounds just as their personalities are. But as they say opposites attract, I think they will do just fine together. That’s what true love is, isn’t it? Bringing the best out in each other.
And thanks a lot for this lovely story. I’m glad you accepted to be a part of this event. It was pleasure working with you on this.
Now my loyal folks, I thank you to for accompanying us till the end . Its time to pack up. But I’ll be back next month- same time – same place, with a new guest to introduce to you. Till then, stay tuned – keep blogging!
Hasta la vista!
PS: You can catch on the previous episodes here.