Thursday, 14 June 2012

Idle capacity

It feels as if I have just waked up from a long, long sleep.

About a month ago my ordeal finally ended (‘ordeal’ is a terrible word to use here… am I exaggerating things?). I have submitted my thesis for examination. Yay! Alhamdulillah, all praises to Allah the Almighty!  After a 5-year struggle to complete the thesis, I am now only an inch away from being conferred with a doctoral degree. InsyaAllah.

Since submission, I did not do much. I was supposed to produce at least two research articles and send them to journal editors for publication. I didn’t do it. I have a follow-up appointment with the dentist. I didn’t turn up that day. I promised a close friend to have lunch together. That did not materialise as well. I told another friend I am going to arrange some flowers to liven up her new room at the faculty. I disappeared just like that. She may still be looking for me this very day. My ‘To Do’ list was untouched, even though it is quite a long list of things I wanted settled once I’ve completed study. Change the curtains, bake a cake, buy new clothes, update blog, read the newly bought novel, visit my sister, plant something in the garden, etc. etc. etc.

So what did I actually do at home? Nothing. I spent whole day either staring blankly at the TV or at a later stage, the TV took turn to stare back at me. The first week after thesis submission was the worst moment when my brain was not capturing properly what I’ve heard or saw or felt. When I walked, my feet did not touch the ground. I felt lightheaded I could float (wish I could fly). I forgot to brush my teeth in the morning. I wore my clothes inside out. I felt so lonely…empty….

A month before submission my life was upside down. There were reports to produce, data to re-test, tables and figures to insert in the appendices, list of references to check and confirm. Simultaneously, the children needed attention. Baby porcupine has somehow been accustomed to being left at home with her father, but baby koala was new in this game, therefore could not understand how it worked. He demonstrated his feelings by falling sick. Really sick. He needed his mother the most, but I was not there for him. My soulmate has forbidden me from coming home. He sent me away and prescribed me some orders: eat thesis, drink thesis, sleep thesis.

“By hook or by crook, finish the last sentence of your thesis and submit. Otherwise do not come home.”

I found a new friend. The whiteboard. I talked to the whiteboard at least once a day. Sometimes I saw a reflection in the whiteboard grinning at me. We had a serious fight one day when I warned it to stop gimmicking me but it refused. I threw a marker pen at it but the pen hit me back on the forehead.

I have been sleeping in the office for many days that once it ended I have forgotten my way back home. By the time I stepped inside the house, I saw a stranger in the kitchen, trying to retrieve tiny pieces of egg shells from the firing frying pan while the egg turned into dark, bitter cracker.  I hardly recognise him with those Osama bin Laden’s beard and Tom Selleck’s moustache and Bob Marley’s hair…Gosh!

When did your wife die?

Today, a month later, I have regained consciousness, memories, energy, love and hugs from each member of the family. Alhamdulillah, ya Allah. I am back on my feet again. Now my main task is to update the blog. Write again. This time as often as I can. As much as I’ve always wanted to. New day, new spirit.

 “Mummy, I am confused”

 Aliya, my 10-year old daughter came and shoved her school homework on my lap.

“What is it about?”

“This English language subject I learn in school. It’s confusing”


“Why do we call it a toothbrush or toothpaste when we know the brush or the paste is meant for more than one tooth? I mean, we don’t use it to clean only one tooth, right? Then why don’t we refer it as teethbrush or teethpaste? I think that makes more sense.”

**struck dumbfounded**


  1. salam alayki sister! I know that feeling after I finished my last course I was beyond help. My communications skills went down the drain.
    I had genuine fear of paper and words on it! lol
    It took me ages to recover but I soooo enjoyed the peace of mind and the fact I had no more deadlines to think about.
    Your Aliya is right??? They are soo clever aren't they mashaAllah.
    Glad it is all over for you and I wish you success. How are your lovely children?? Your youngest must be about one now??? My youngest just turned two. She is going on 22! Take care Ati

  2. Waalaykum salam, sis Sanaa... owh! I really missed you! How are you and your family? I pray all of you be protected and safe always, insyaAllah.

    You are right: no more deadlines to think about. Isn't that peaceful? Of course it is. And I am enjoying it to the fullest! Alhamdulillah!

    Yes, at least Aliya made me use my brain to think about what she said to me. But I had never answered her on that question. Instead, I told her to go see her English teacher for solution. Poor girl!

    The youngest one a.k.a. baby koala is now almost 14 months. Children of current generation do indeed grow up so fast! I pray one day when they grow up they'll continue the legacy of becoming true khalifah of Allah in this world, insyaAllah, ameen.

    Thanks a lot for your duas, sis. You take care too! Wassalam.

  3. As-salaamu-alaykum dear sister Ati

    Masha'Allah I am so happy to hear that you have finally completed your thesis. I'm sure it feels so strange but I am happy that you are back to being yourself. Your daughter is really intelligent, she is able to see the sense in things from such a young age, and yes, the English language can be very confusing, and non-sensical.

    I am looking forward to reading more from you, and all the best for whatever comes next.

    Stay well, was-salaam

    1. Waalaikumussalam, sis Zarina

      Seriously, it feels so great now that the biggest burden is lifted off my shoulder. It was strange at first, because I am used to being busy busy busy and suddenly there were nothing to think of..

      Oh! I think I should thank all my friends and readers as well, including you, sis Zarina, because I truly believe that some parts of my success were due to all the prayers that you guys made for me. How lovely! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

      InsyaAllah, Aliya will be just like me. I am praying hard for her wellbeing and her future.

      I've got lots and lots of things to share here, sis. InsyaAllah, will post something soon.

      Take care my dearest sis. Love you! Wassalam.

  4. Assalamu alaiku, Ati! Welcome back to blogging!!! Oh, how I missed you. But now I'm happy to learn that you have finally submitted your thesis. That day isn't far when you will be a doctor, inshaAllah. Children are smart, and their questions are tougher that college exams :)

    1. Waalaikumussalam, sis Nadia!

      I've been missing you too much now, don't you know? LOL. I really should thank you for all the duas and prayers you made for me, I appreciate them very very much.

      Aliya is a smart girl. InsyaAllah.

      *grinning happily*

      You take care, sis. Send all my love to your Mr Hubby. I wonder how he's doing over there with all these football fever going on everywhere.... ;)Wassalam.

    2. Asalamualaikum wr wb sis!! :)
      Wow!! it feels like forever since I commented on your blog!
      MashaAllah!!! Congrats for completing your thesis. Im sure it must have felt absolutely ah-mazing. :)
      May Allah (swt) bless your work and your efforts.
      Adults don't stand a chance in front of kids, do they? ;)

    3. Waalaikumussalam, sis Nasmira!

      I am glad to have your comment again here. Missed you like the others too.

      Alhamdulillah, it feels soooooo good to be back...

      It is indeed an ah-mazing feeling to have been able to complete something after a colourful 5-year period. Well, when I said colourful, I think you would agree with me that sometimes we've got this unwanted pitch black colour in the palette and we have no choice but to use it on our painting. And sometimes we would smile if we're given the rainbow colours to work on. Alhamdulillah... I believe I have completed the thesis beautifully, with passion and love.

      And as for you my little sister, how's your study? All the best for you. May you also be successful one day, insyaAllah.




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