Sunshine Too Brief


All Contents copyright of
Tazzy at

I'm a self-absorbed Bengali-Torontonian;
Fish comes to me raw, wrappend in seaweed, not cooked in curry;
I love watching thunderstorms and rain;
Sad endings make more sense to me than happy ones;
I hate empty walls.

In the News

Craving of the week-
Dark Chocolate
Reading List-
Midnight's Children
Movie review(out of 5)-
127 hours- *****
Buried- ****
That Girl in Yellow Boots- **
Love of the week-
Seeing James Franco
Aim for the weekend-
Watch 'Going Postal' The Movie

My Novella: Samosa for the Arranged Souls

Introduction & Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapters 3, 4 & 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 continues

Chapter 7 & Epilogue

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    Perfect moments

    While I wait for any sort of artistic inspirations to hit me and say 'poot'......I'm gonna borrow some of other's and list perfect quotes from my favourite movies:

    -“Oh, Hello”, says an astonished and evidently soaked to the bones Mr. Darcy(Colin Firth) running into Elizabeth(Jennifer Ehle) on the grounds of his estate after having taking a plunge in his lake / Darcy watching Elizabeth play the piano/ the wedding kiss: ‘Pride and Prejudice’

    -Clementine(Kate Winslet) to Joel “I'm not a concept. Too many guys think I'm a concept or I complete them or I'm going to make them alive, but I'm just a fu*ked up girl who is looking for my own peace of mind. Don't assign me yours”, in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’

    - “There is no spoon”, spoon boy in the ‘Matrix’

    -“Everyone knows diaries are stupid”, Ms. Jones(Rene Zelwigger)
    “I know. That’s why I got you new one”, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth)
    in ‘Bridget Jone’s Diary’

    - relating the last words of the orphan slain by the Hutus “ Please don't let them kill me. I... I promise I won't be Tutsi anymore.” : ‘Hotel Rwanda’

    - “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”, Rob(John Cusack) in ‘High Fidelity’

    - Sean(Robin Williams) laying down the truth for Will(Matt Damon), "You're not perfect sport, and let me save you the suspense, this girl you've met she's not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you're perfect for each other " : 'Good Will Hunting'

    -Summing up the entire superhero business, "No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!", Mr Incredible.

    - "You should always wear my clothes", Joe Bradley(Gregory Peck)
    Princess Ann(Audrey Hepburn, "It seems I do. " in 'Roman Holiday'

    - On being rescued, Princess Fiona, "What are you doing? You know, you should sweep me off my feet out yonder window and down a rope onto your valiant steed. "
    Shrek," You've had a lot of time to plan this, haven't you? " in 'Shrek'


    On looking over your shoulders

    *Warning: A lot of sappy and lengthy self-reflections ahead *

    There is an old superstition in Bangladesh(and other places maybe), faithfully propagated by my mother of course, that says that if people are stepping outside the threshold of the house, you are to never call out to them from inside the house. If they look over their shoulders to answer the call, something bad will happen- to them .
    Like all superstitions, it's never been proven and is pretty silly when you really think about it- eg. What happens if the person is about to get run over or fall into the sewer (or manholes, as they are called in Bangladesh and with good reason too since the covers are usually stolen) just as he steps outside the door?!!
    Yes its silly.
    And yes I follow it.
    I've been conditioned to over the years!
    These days I wonder about the deeper meaning of this superstition.
    The idea, it seems, is that- you are to let people, who want to leave, go.
    No matter what they are leaving behind-

    Okay, so its about not holding people back in their journey.
    But what about the person doing the leaving? Do they have to fulfill some part of this superstition?
    What if no one is calling, but you feel like someone is calling out to you and you DO look over your shoulder to check.
    Is it bad then too?
    Readers be assured that I'm not pulling 'A Beautiful Mind' here.
    But if you are someone who always got dragged around from place to place, country to country all your life (To my count, I've been to 9 different schools in three different countries with three different language systems, before I finally went to University), you cannot help but take the thresholds you are crossing seriously. Even when the choice isn't yours, you still have to wonder if the place outside the threshold of, what until that point had been home, is going to be good or if its the right direction at all. Most importantly- having crossed it, can you ever go back? And if someone wants you to go back, should you?
    (gawd I'm dropping commas like autumn leaves there)
    Anyway, Bangladesh has always been a weird threshold for me.
    I was born there but I didn't grow up there, not entirely.
    I've been going back and forth over that threshold a number of times though and not only as a passing visitor.
    At one time in my life, I had considered it my home, even though I wasn't living in Bangladesh. And then, when I did live there as if it was a permanent home, I couldn't wait to get out.
    Maybe that explains the term- 'Motherland'.
    You love them, but can't wait to get out of their reach. Once out, you feel like you'll never be more at peace unless you are back under their loving touch even if for an instant.
    The cycle repeats.
    You can get mad at them for not understanding you, for being old fashioned and decide to never return; but at the slightest thought of danger/illness befalling them you'll fall apart.

    'Motherland' is not the same as 'Homeland', though.
    At least not to me.
    Kuwait was like the 'car-ride-home'. There was no loyalty there.
    Toronto, on the other hand, to me is 'Home' and always will be.
    I stopped being a child here and I'm still growing here. I understand it, it understands me. We work together and I feel a sense of ownership towards it. I'll forever remember the first snowflake I tasted or my first view of the city from the Island.
    But nothing in the element of Toronto binds me irrationally to itself.
    I don't and won't pine for its breeze, its tree shades, its sounds or grow an ache in the heart at the memory of running barefoot on its earth or even remember an entire lazy afternoon of listening to plays on radio in an instant of sunlight peeking through the leaves.
    I'll only do that with Bangladesh and it won't even matter if I'm in the north pole.
    Which brings me to my prolonged hesitancy in going to Bangladesh for a visit.
    Its been 9 years, 2 months and 24 days since I've been there.
    Surely I could have afforded it a long time ago - I went all the way to NZ for gawd's sake.
    I could have and still can take the time to do so.
    I'm not governed by my parents plans now either so I decide when/if I go.
    Still I hesitate.
    I tell everyone, including myself that its because I'm concerned that I'll get pressured into marrying some dweeb by my extended family.
    But its more than that.
    I'm afraid that I'll fall in love with my extended family again because I know first hand how truly wonderful they are .
    I'm also afraid of explaining how little I've done to improve anything there and at the same time hating all the changes that is sure to have happened.
    Mostly I'm afraid of realizing how rose-colored my memory of my 'motherland' truly is.
    Its simply a threshold that's far bigger than it looks and is only growing in height.
    Hopefull I'll have the courage to cross it one day.
    Can't be scarier than black water rafting.



    The screams in my head will never end it seems.

    A 100 bombs exploding in 58 of the 64 districts across Bangladesh, went off simultaneously between 10:30 and 11am. 2 dead, including a 10 year old boy in Savar and 73 wounded.

    "A muslim country" "Allah's Law" is what they want.
    I bet they even wrote 'Bismillahe Rahman ur Rahim' ('In the name of Allah most beneficial and most mericiful') in the beginning of the leaflets.

    Merciful indeed. You are really showing mercy there killing your countrymen.


    You dont want to know how I'm feeling postponing calling my grandmother for the last couple of days.
    Its lower than an amoeba.


    You know what this blog needs?

    .....more baby nephew pictures ofcourse!

    Here he is , starting to give us ghost smiles..... or letting out gas

    "Help! Drowning in soft-cute-plush-toys here!"

    All ready for car-ride or skydiving what ever comes first.
    "Come on daddy, gotto see Lamoni(aunty-i.e. me) and Mama(my bro)"

    "Gimme five Mama"

    The happy(mashallah), brand baby! ;)

    Doesn't he have perfect lips? and eyes and his wittle button nose and teenietiny fingers.......mmmmmmmmm wubdubwub.....happy baby smell all over this blog :D .


    Samosa for the Arranged Souls III, IV, V

    Chapter 3: The Talk

    In case you were under the impression that your own mother was an equally baffled and unwilling participant in the plans of the 'match makers', you're in for a mild ..erm...surprise.
    Having spoken to a number of these ladies, her own relatives etc, in no time at all your mother will soon get it into her head that she has been neglecting the most important duty of a South-Asian mother: seeing her child marry a good boy/girl from a good family!

    You could be sitting down one day lost in a book/TV show and feel you mother staring at you in the slightly unblinking way like she has never seen you before.
    "Your aunty Chutney called today from India "
    "You know, you dad's cousin's wife"
    "Uh huh"
    "Her sister's son is in Canada now studying computers in Windsor"
    "So......What do you think"
    "Think about what, mom"
    "Well, she saw your picture from last Diwali and showed it to her sister. They are very interested."
    "Why are you sending my picture to strangers?"
    "What strangers! They are like family. And the boy is it would be good nah....if you two get married?"
    "But I don't even know anything about them...about him"
    "He is a nice boy. Very quiet. A good educated family they are"
    "You say that about everyone. Mom, I don't want this arranged stuff. We are not in the middle ages you know"
    "Don't talk nonsense. Your father and I got married like this too. We are fine. And back then we didn't even see each other. Its not like that now. They have sent a biodata and a picture too. Just have a look. We are not forcing you"

    Chapter 4: The Biodata

    Taking full advantage of your baffled state, your mother will then handed you a copy of the said 'nice boy's' biodata that she has somehow managed to print out by asking your younger brother.
    At first glance it might look like a resume and you will be forgiven for thinking so, as just like a resume the biodata starts off with-
    -Full Name
    -Current Address
    -Education History
    -Past and present work History

    Where it veers off to become a 'biodata' is when the above details are noted, in badly written English, for each and every member of his immediate and distant family!
    Starting with parent, grandparents, aunties, uncles, aunties and uncles by marriage and ending with cousins if they happen to be doctors/engineers- everyone gets a mention.
    On and on it'll go, highlighting the 'educatedness' of the family while not saying anything personal about the 'guy/girl'. Yet.
    A resume will mention some working skills, but a 'biodata' will have
    -height (5-2 for girls and 6 feet for guys, always)
    -body type (average to thin)
    -skin colour (fair to wheatish)
    -hair colour (black)
    -hair length (for girls)
    -and horoscopes

    It might not interest you to know what the third cousin's husband does for a living, but you can assured that its all been analyzed to death by you parents and every one of your relatives who on their part have rung up the hapless manager of the company the guy works at to confirm his employment.
    Oh and you might be unaware at this point, but a similare 'biodata' has been prepared for you as well and sent to the propectiive party.
    Its best not to think about what your mother has written about you and move onto the more interesting bit of the package- the picture

    Chapter 5: The Picture

    MAM pictures usually come in pairs.

    First of the entire family with the 'guy/girl of interest': Parents seated on a sofa with the children standing behind the parents, sisters in the middle and brothers on both sides.
    Everyone would be wearing the 'traditional garb' to demonstrate the strong, traditional family unit that you could potentially be marrying into. No one would be smiling. Marriage is serious business.

    The second picture is there to show off the guy/girl on his/her own.

    The guy is usually pictured in less formal manner- striped golf shirt like your dad wears or a T shirt with a US state logo with much too tight jeans and sunglasses to show the 'cool' factor
    There are exceptions ofcourse.
    Neela, 22 year of Bangladeshi girl, was still recovering when she spoke of seeing a picture of 'a guy standing happy in front of a store, wearing a forest green suit with red tie', that she was handed over. Vainly did she try to explain to her mother as to why she was laughing
    uncontrollably at the thought of marrying a 'green Martian'.
    Occasionally 'a mustache the size of a caterpillar' are featured on some guys too, along with puffy but neatly oiled hair parted on one side.

    The girl on the other hand is still shown in a traditional dress in her 'alone' picture- probably to show off the traditional values she is supposed to hold such importance of staying at home and cooking for the family.
    Aziz, the 28 year old Indian guy was quite perplexed when his mother handed him pictures of 5 different girls all with long hair upto their knees, wearing pink/red and gold sarees, standing next to trees pulling at the leaves.
    "I mean why hold onto leaves? are they a sign? Why are they all leaned against trees? Does she expect me to chase her around them like they do in the Bollywood movies!"
    At the end it was quite alright with him when his own mother declined all five girls. "One had a long nose, one had mismatched ears, one was too tall, one too dark and one just didn't look right", sighs Aziz as he goes back to his programming.

    Eventually, one picture would stand out among all others as fairly 'normal' and upon declaring this, your family will start planning the 'meeting'.

    Chapter 6: The Meeting(next time)


    Samosa for the Arranged Souls II

    Chapter 2: The Call.

    The uncomfortable feeling of knowing that you are marked for MAM comes no where near to the two-raised-eyebrows reaction of answering 'The Call'.

    "A woman kept calling our house one summer asking for Mrs X and refused to leave a message with anyone. We put her down as a 'desi' telemarketeer until one day when she finally got hold of my mother and spoke to her for hours behind closed doors. We had forgotten all about it when my mother emerged with a smirk and revealed that this woman saw me performing at some cultural event and wants me marry some 'brother' of hers", 20 year old Swati reveals. "I was fifteen at the time!"

    Being underage might have saved Swati from actually 'dealing' with wanna-be-match-makers, but not everyone is as lucky. In some cases these MAM makers have turned up at the house bypassing 'The Call' altogether wanting to hear from the lamb's mouth. Amidst talks of how the proposal is from a 'good family', this woman will call herself all modern and your friend asking for your preferences, even wink at you and say "why not just talk to him/her!"
    Lets first clarify that discussing your 'list of qualities the guy/girl I love should have' with a woman of your mother's age whom you've never met, is about as pleasant as chewing on puke flavoured gum with tiny glass bits.

    Now you could potentially take the 'good-brown-girl/guy' approach, blush profusely (the heat in the South-Asian countries helps a lot in this regard) while mumbling something about whatever your mother thinks is best and pray fervently that your mother is reading your mental nudgings under the table. OR you could be 'insufferable modern' and tell her to piss off and get yourself grounded for life. OR be all sweet but at the same time direct in communicating 'how bad this version of a blind date is' and still get her mad at you for being 'too modern'.

    At this point, you might try your best to divert the tide, but I'm afraid the gates of hell, I mean marriage proposals, have opened, leaving you to only hope you don't hear 'The Talk' from your mother soon.

    Chapter 3: The Talk (next time)


    Samosa for the Arranged Souls

    One thing we, people of South-Asian origin, are known for in the world, aside froim curry, is our marriage custom. A non-desi person might not be able to name one spice in curry powder but you can bet he/she knows about ‘Arranged Marriage’ phenomenon.

    A favourite topic of conversation among the young brown folks also concerns the pros and cons of this ‘Arranged Marriage’ compared to the so called ‘Love Match’. Of course to assume that love isn’t involved in the first one would be foolish so hence forth I’m taking it upon myself to change the term to ‘Mommy Arranged Match’, or MAM for short.

    To properly understand MAM one needs to have a clear depiction of the exact events leading up to the ‘arranged marriage ceremony’ complete with some real-life experience for added effect. So in the course of next unspecified-period-of-time, This Blogger will be attempting to highlight what precisely goes on in a MAM of South-Asian kind……and yes complete with real-life accounts from hapless friends, relatives and acquaintances whose names have been changed to protect them from the dreaded ‘Aunties’.

    Chapter 1: The Mark

    The first question to address is: How does one know one is having a MAM? Does a flier arrive in the mail one day addressed to the 17yr old in the house; bright neon pink letters saying ‘Congratulations! You are have been chosen just like everyone to participate in the century old Mommy Arranged Match!!’ ? Probably not.
    But, as a girl specially, you’ll notice the signs.

    At the next community religious/cultural/personal-showing-off event (invariably at an Banquet hall serving Indian food) you could be sitting down with some girls your age at the ‘children table’, dressed to nines, dipping the assorted pakoras/samosas in tamarind sauce, comparing the cute-factor of Zach Braff versus Ashton Kutcher when suddenly the hair beneath your done-up-hair would start to prickle. Is there a breeze from the constant slamming of the doors by the bratty kids? Or is your heavy glass encrusted necklace unraveling at the edge?
    You’d turn around and catch a middle-aged woman, lips smeared with too much pink lip-liner, sitting two tables away, staring.
    A quick check will confirm that she is indeed not blinking nor smiling as she is staring at you. Is it the new(less puffy) hair cut making you look less traditional or your choice of black that offends her so, you wonder. She will next be talking out of the corner of her mouth to the plump woman in gold sitting next to her. About you.
    Note the time child. You have been Spotted. Marked.
    By the woman-with-too-much-time-in-her-own-unhappy-marriage!

    You will have confirmation of this when in the lineup for food, she stands right behind you staring, then turning up a fake smile and asking questions about your ancestral home and how much money your dad makes, peppered with the some extremely personal questions.

    Zeba, the 21 year old girl of Pakistani parents, spoke to me once of her own stunning encounter at the Eid prayers two summers back. It has become customary for everyone to be dressed in the Eid finery to attend the prayers in Canada and she was no exception. She was however a little perturbed with all the deer-caught-in-the-headlight effect she was having on all the woman folk in the mosque. “Each and everyone of them was eyeing me all of that hour, even during the obligatory talk by the Imam”. “I felt like I was the sacrificial lamb not the one at the Halal store and everyone is measuring me with their eyes checking to see if I meet the requirements”. “It was horrible”, she cries into the perfectly manicured hands.

    From the first of such encounters you can be rest assured that you are being MAMed. The next step would follow within weeks, days even.

    Chapter 2: The Call. (coming soon)