Hi Guys! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Eve. Christmas season is such a lovely time for me and reminds me a lot of Eid. Like both Eid celebrations that Muslims observe in Pakistan, people in America (and the rest of the Christan-majority world) celebrate Christmas with a lot of pride & pomp. I was blessed to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha in Pakistan this year (See HERE) and partake in all the festive activities Pakistan has to offer. Inshallah, I will try to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr at least once when it auspiciously falls in during nice weather time in Pakistan. Lol.
Mary Poppins Returns
On Christmas Eve, I spent a wonderful evening with my nieces in a movie theater. We saw “Mary Poppins Returns” which is a delightful remake of the original “Mary Poppins” (see HERE). I didn’t realize, but I remember my nanny, Ava, being very inspired by Mary Poppins as a concept. She had her very own unique way of child-rearing & my mother gave me & my siblings to her with full confidence. With Mary Poppins, it is not all about the beautiful imagery or the activities, but telling children she nannies to use their imagination when needed & when wanted. In other words, always use your imagination. The movies and their visuals are just to help you along. I was allowed to watch the original “Mary Poppins” only once as a child because Ava didn’t want me to be influenced by the teachings of the “movie Mary Poppins”. That one time was enough for me because I was trouble enough. I loved the movie so much that I “intellectualized” it meaning I used the word “imagination” to describe a gifted form of homo-sapien psychology. I described my thoughts to my good friend, Mr. Jack Dorsey, for example, that the attic scene is my favorite because the attic represents the mind. It is the topmost room in the house and filled with stuff you do not need and may need in the future. There are loose nails, cobwebs, and sheets that look like ghosts in the “dark”. Basically, you are always using the rest of the house, not the attic and it is forgotten. A frightening not comforting concept for me, of course. The 2018 version of Mary Poppins expands the scope of imagination even more with beautiful images, fun songs, and new scenes. For example, I don’t remember a theater scene dedicated to the art of reading books in the original movie. Most curious since they are truly the most delightful and heavily edited piece of literature you will ever read. So read a book, please. So and yes, the attic scene and the theater scene in the “Mary Poppins Returns” are personal favorites of mine.
iDIVA – YouTube
Last week, I came across a YouTube channel that my actress sisters or actress cousins started. If you guys are curious or aren’t following my Twitter page where I shared videos from the channel, that is okay. I am mentioning it again here. The YouTube channel is iDiva (See HERE) and digitally documents lives of four girls in New Delhi. Many of my young readers may not understand this yet, but the four female protagonists are all fake, meaning digitally altered (If you were a Pakistani in the 1980s, you will understand the joke) & literally they create lies calling themselves a component of the “New Delhi” culture.
To know me is to love me. So if you do not get this, then you can move along. You have not hurt my feelings. Another curveball is that these four female protagonists are my sisters playing me playing them as if we all were from New Delhi. So why did we do all this? The premise for each skit was that we all had to be from New Delhi, we couldn’t share this with anyone unless it was on some media, & we couldn’t wear costumes of any kind to enhance our character; all that was required was pure talent. Pakistanis, especially Muslims, weren’t allowed to travel to India so we imagined how fun New Delhi was because that’s where our ancestors, including our grandparents were from. And yes, all the jokes & situations are verbatim mine & I do not see a word altered. The accents that have been documented may have been “accidents” of mine, & the faces have definitely been altered. We would put on the skits after coming home from school, while my sister, Sara Ali Khan & others wrote down the lines or recorded them. Such talent must not be wasted.
Many Hindus living in Pakistan were mad at us for doing this, but I think they didn’t understand the satire. Anyways, I don’t feel bad since they also started a rumor that Bollywood is Indian (It is a Pakistani industry okay) right in front of me so I don’t care what they think or thought of us.
Me As An Entrepreneur
So as you have been part of my journey, I thought I’d continue with some more anecdotes and life lessons learned. In case you are new, please read Part 1 of the series HERE and Part 2 of the series HERE.
As written in my previous posts, there were many small, but very important projects I chose that helped me prepare for my big ventures & taught me important lessons I hope to pass down to children. Some of those small ventures can be found in these posts (See HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE).
Another act of service I committed myself to was to create situations for Credit Karma commercials (see the list HERE). With the dawn of the internet age, they were sort of hated because of the nature of their service. So it was only appropriate that I helped them out. Hence, I spent 9 months (I think it may have been my entire senior year at UC Berkeley) living my life and turned any life situation into a Credit Karma commercial. How? I reenacted many tricky and dangerous situations from my life (not necessarily mine of course) and gained control of them. When people would feel bad for me I told them it is not real and I am just acting out scenes for Credit Karma commercials. They thought I was an actress. Lol. It was quite comical to find some people love my ideas and “weird” people get angry.
Related Personal Anecdote
The word “google” was actually coined by me in my 1st-grade classroom while my class was watching “The Flying Nun”. My 1st-grade teacher showed me the episode titled “May the Wind Be Always at Your Back” which literally read like a book to me when I tried to soak every bit of information from every word & every visual nuance. While I was “reading” the lines on the screen I accidentally misread the word “Goodness” and said “google”. I loved the word so much I laughed and went to my desk and wrote it down in my notebook. I knew I had the name of my invention, the internet formally known as the World Wide Web. And yes, children, it was a word web. Lol. Then I made four lines stemming out of it and wrote names, Kevin, Jack, Mark, & Mike. The names Larry and Sergey I put with the word Google next to my name. Adorable, but very meaningful. It was later discovered by Larry Page that “google” is an actual word. Yes, a “gleba” moment, my fellow “Friends” fans. Lol.
*The following is for adults and grown-ups.
Anecdotes From Pakistan
I read up on Freud and essentially used those tactics to survive. Yes, people who worship things are not in the right frame of mind. I respect Freud for saying that and I am confirming it again in 2018.
The “Sana’s Entrepreneurial Life” series essentially documents a personal journey I took to get to where I am today. While it seemed like I wasn’t paying attention to my important project, I was in fact “scaling” myself aka preparing myself for that major task. The presentation I did in NYC in 1998 (see HERE) meant more because of my knowledge and expertise in perceptions of beauty.
Pakistan was a real small country before immigration became an issue in the 1980s. The five province country was called “a little piece of heaven”. One of the odd things we learned through the process was the concept of beauty in other cultures. It was a sign of alarm for us to observe the heights in beauty obsession of Hindus (see HERE). For example, they hated anything black or dark, including the night because it reminded them of sin. We are still utterly confused by that. When I saw leprosy for the first time on their faces, I was left traumatized. What made it worse was when I asked a “doctor” from the United States to accompany me to that hospital, he said he can perform what he called “plastic surgery” to fix the problem (see HERE). The medical profession as it was derogatorily called starting then in Pakistan became phenomenal. These “plastic surgeons” performed some insane reconstruction without any calculation the long-term effects on the minds of these people & the people living around them. It got so bad that a normal person couldn’t identify between a healthy person & a person suffering from leprosy. It was during this time that “an experiment that started for monkeys” became a cardinal sin in Islam. You know where I am going with this. We almost got into a war because of “plastic surgery”. Really? Yes.
Then came the superficial stuff. I have seen with my own 2 eyes that “plastic surgeons” from Israel, Siam, & United States were worshipped like celebrities by Hindus (see HERE). Hindus would crowd around them and ask them for medical advice and all that we Pakistani Muslims could do was gape. These Hindus have actually insulted the way we look physically to a point that we suffered from low self-esteem until very recently. We were mutes for most of the time. If that was bad enough, rumors they are injections for diabetics with skin bleaching side effects spread. Hindus who were all suffering from a form of disease or disorder began taking and recommending them as part of a “beauty regiment”.
They looked further obsessed to us when they learned that gold makes them look “golden”. My family played a joke when we invited Hindus to our house (they stayed outside) and handed them all the gold jewelry we had. The instructions were to choose a girl they deemed ugly. They picked a healthy black woman. We told them to put our solid 24 karat (carat is for stones, Karat is for metal) gold jewelry on her. So they, while saying she is ugly & then saying she is beautiful put our 24 karat gold jewelry on her. You can understand why our family does not observe mayoun, a Pakistani wedding tradition. After this fiasco, Hindus actually requested these plastic surgeons to “inject” tree sap in their skin because it is yellow and makes them look pretty. They came to us angry saying we were abusing these “illegal” immigrants. War drums?
I have seen Hindus make fun of Kanye West because of the color of his skin and the way he talked and then tell Former Present Barack Obama he talks like a white person. I have seen them make fun of white people for being boring and not having enough personality. Blacks, I guess, had too much personality. Hindus were perfect to themselves & we Muslims were the enemies. You figure that out, you have been brainwashed.
I have seen seven women who look exactly alike call themselves Sikh twins. Yes, you are smart enough to know they were lying since identical twins in humans are non-existent in the first place. I was traumatized to see “robots” like them. Yes, you are hearing it here.
Women like me & other Christians/Jewish actually got bullied when we tried to stop our dads, uncles, brothers, friends from socializing with them. I was accused of being a promiscuous child, and so were “white women who should be okay with it because they are so pretty”. Horrible memories of polytheism. & as a Muslim who coined the word “Jihad” 😉 you can understand how bad this gets.
Have a great rest of the year and till next time!