Vagabond's guide

Its a vagabond's view on everything

Driftwood — July 13, 2016


Been drifting around like driftwood on the ocean of this life

Once I struggled for direction but got nowhere that seemed right

I searched for the ship wreck, the place that I called home

But then I found it to be a shipwreck and no more

So now I drift like driftwood, the waves carry me where they want

They know all about the ocean, I follow in their accord

Hide tides, they will surely break me, but they don’t

and I continue alone, only I know what I went through

And on the days, when the currents caress and kiss

I wonder, if I am ever missed


I think if I float a few more days, I’ll come by a boat or raft

That they may be in need of wood, and then I’ll be on my way

Or maybe I’ll see a sandy shore and I’ll lodge myself there

Watch the algae grow upon me, and that’s where I will stay

If there is purpose to my life, it is to explore

If there is a reason I survive, it is because I hope



The horizon stretches out in welcome, possibilities abound

So there I go a’drifting on the ocean of my life


— March 7, 2014

Finally I’ve started feeling that I can get back to serious app development work. Nabiha is all settled in the prep school routine and prefers to do most things on her own. Abdullah, turned 11 months on the 5th of march. Other than his teething crankiness, he is a very peaceful, self regulating, piece of work. So far I’m getting ample time to follow a course on Coursera a great website that offers courses that can be taken from home. I listen to weekly lectures, give quizzes and submit assignments, sometimes I browse through the forum too just to see how the rest of the “class” is doing. Getting back to studying learning something is really a lot of fun (Only a full time housewife could say it with the enthusiasm I’m feeling over this). 

The course is called Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems offered by University of Maryland conducted by Dr. Adam Porter. The course started from 21st January with the last lecture on 18th March. This course is the first of the three courses that will lead to a Specialization. Since I signed up through the Signature Track. If I manage to complete three courses and the Capstone Project at the end of the courses, I will receive a Verified specialization certificate. All this will cost me $196 (of which $49 I’v already paid) and around 8 months (of which 7 weeks have already passed). 

I’m glad I took this course. It has cleared out so many of my concepts and also increased my confidence. I have started work on the new version of Expense Manger which I will probably release as a new app (since I unpublished the last Expense Manager quite a while ago). This time I’ve started work with the interface design. 

Will post a video of my piechart screen soon to show off the sleek animation I coded into it. 

And now I will get back to my assignment about sensors, location and maps 



Holo Theme noticed — March 29, 2013
What I didn’t do on NYE — January 11, 2012

What I didn’t do on NYE

Here Iam with an extremely belated post about what I did on New Years Eve rather what I wished I did and didn’t manage to do. I place reason for this ten day delay on my ambitious onenhalf year old and the fact that I live in joint family where I’m busy in some house chore ALL DAY LONG!

Anyway I still deserve to tell what happened on my new year. This is my third new year since I got married. I was pregnant on my first new year and I don’t even remember what it was like so it was definitely not memorable. On the next 31/12 I was at my mums place to spend the weekend their with a six month Nabiha. That night H and I both fell asleep without even wishing HNY to each other on the phone. That year I had decided that DH and I would really make the next NY very special.

And this is what happened. I got early on 31 dec 2011 like really early and tried my level best to get every one through breakfast and lunch early (which is 6 people including myself, since my inlaws live with us) so that DH and I could sit quietly in our veranda on the cold winter morning and look at some 2011 pictures and discuss the NY reslutions in the afternoon. Somehow the chores dragged on and on and when I came back to the room after wrapping up everything both H and Nabiha were far into a blissful afternoon nap.

But I wasn’t giving up this easily so I dolled up and changed into a new dress around 5. DH and I finally managed to exchange a few pleasantries over tea when he woke up. Soon he had to rush of for Maghrib prayer as dusk began to fall and do some grocery shopping. By the time he got back it was time for Isha and some other errands he had to run. So he rushed back out just as he came in. He returned around 8 only half hour before dinner.I unceremoniously shoved Nabiha’s dinner at him and requested him to feed her while I set out the dinner for the family. I was feeling pretty low and irritated by now. Whats the fun in marriage if you can’t even have a quiet moment with your husband to talk on the last day of the year. But H brightened me up when he proposed he to share a cup of coffee and KitKat Chuncky (which he slyly produced from his pocket) over a game of scrabble when Nabiha falls asleep.

H was as bent on making this day special as I! I felt so grateful and in love. But Nabiha had other plans. I haven’t seen her so active and demanding physical exercise as that night. She wanted wrestle, jump on her parents, climb and tumble of the pillows, pushed around in her play box, climb up and down the bed. An hour of constant play time and H and I were ready to call it a day. But Nabiha was all set to see the next year with her own eyes before going to sleep.

The funny thing is H and I can’t really talk when Nabiha’s in the room. she creates enough ding to drown out a bomb blast if  we share a conversation longer than 10 words. She either begin a mantra of “Ami” (mother) or “Abu”( (father) with a pitch that can make the ear drums ache. So all we could share were a few words and a lot of consoling glances. By 11:30 Nabiha was having a hysterical chatter with herself. Obviously, was very excited about the new year and was adamant to see the 2012 with her own eyes.

At 12 we listened to the crackers and gunfire and watched nabiha’s eyes widen with wonder. She came close to me and gripped my arm while the sounds of the celebrations lasted. And when it was over she smiled at me and said “ahaaa” (which means wow in our language). H and I cuddled Nabiha tightly and wished each other and our little charmer (still in silent awe over what she had heard) best for the next year. Exhausted with all the playtime we promptly laid down to go to sleep. H was the first to doze off, than Nabiha and finally me:)

So thats how dumb feels — December 7, 2011

So thats how dumb feels

If u want a woman’s head to turn to mush, ask her to get married and become a housewife. Well ok I’m not saying housewives are dumb. But so far my experience is telling me that handling domestic affairs with no hobby and no social life has slowed down my processor from a core 2 duo to a pentium 1. I’m a business student, an ex-banker, freelance writer, never thought my brain cells would stiffen up like this. I can’t carry out an intelligent conversation about anything not even domestic affairs. Even my jokes have turned from mostly witty and sometimes lame to mostly lame and never witty.

The only hobbies I’v ever had were reading and writing and since I’v gotten married I’v developed a immense allergy to them. The last novel I read was “a case of exploding mangoes” before nabiha was born so its must be about two years since I read that. I’v been buying nice wholesome works of writing in the hope that I’ll be coming around to reading them but basically they are all lined up glossy covered in my overstuffed bookcase. Last week I bought two more novels. However this time i deliberately chose the most air headed pieces of work I could find, the sort that would have made my blood boil a few years ago. since then I’v been forcing myself to read them to at least have the satisfaction of having read something before this year ends. But I’m delighted that I still find what I’m reading total see are aay pee!

As for writing, oh Lord don’t bring that up. I start writing about a concept in mind. I jot down a sentence than I stare at it. Then I modify it until it becomes a sentence about an entirely new concept. So I rework on the same sentence to tame it back into what I was trying to say initially but it seems to keep changing itself into a new idea each time. And since I don’t want to sound like a ranting schizophrenic even to myself let alone on a published blog, I just give up. Yes, I give up after the first multi-dimensional eight lined sentence.

Starplus soaps: Hobby for the numbing housewife

If you want a woman’s brain to turn to mush make her watch the soaps on starplus. I could not sit through a single scene of soap a few years back. I couldn’t sit through a conversation between two people discussing A soup. and here I am now watching soaps like I will die if I miss an episode. what frustrates me is that I still hate them very much but I watch them because they are the only thing I can follow without working brain too much. Something that gives me to fill my day with, write home about that sort of thing.

I really hope all this is a phase nothing a little brain exercise can’t fix. Maybe if I start working or find a constructive hobby the electric signals in my brain will start zapping around like used to instead of slouching around feeling bored and sorry about themselves.

The culture of Breastfeeding in Pakistan — May 29, 2011

The culture of Breastfeeding in Pakistan

When I was young I thought that exclusive breastfeeding was a norm in Pakistan. When I got pregnant with my little Nabiha I started reading up on breastfeeding and promptly decided that my daughter was going to be exclusively breastfed. I was content and at ease with my decision thinking that amongst all the uncertainties in life ahead, breastfeeding was going to be one task easily learned with the support of all the ladies who had breastfed their children.

But when Nabiha was born and I started popping thousands of questions, I came against walls. No body I knew (and I must have talked to around 20) had the faintest idea about breast feeding breast practices. In fact all of them (yes each and every one of them) recommended that I should do exactly the opposite. When my baby was only a week old and I complained that she keeps on drinking and drinking I was advised to give formula TWICE a day and was even advised to quit. Thank God I am very overconfident by nature so I didn’t waver from my plan to breastfeed her.

But I was shocked about what others thought about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is good but not enough and not as nutritious as formula! Yes they didn’t say it but that’s what they thought.

I kept on hearing you have to eat ALOT to be able to breastfeed. This one advise I did listen to (just in case). So I ate ALOT. I’m hoping some of it turned to nutritious breast milk material and got my baby’s system up and running.

I won’t say I didn’t ever waver from my plan to EBF. Nabiha’s weight’s was in the 90th percentile when she was born and her weight gain has kept slowing down so much so that she is in the 10th percentile now. So I did try to supplement her (to everyone’s relief ) but I reverted back after a lecture from the nice doctor Yaqoob.

I read an article online which stated that even though majority of mothers in Pakistan breastfeed, majority of mothers in Pakistan supplement breast milk with formula milk/cows milk and other liquids even in the first three months and even in the FIRST FEWS WEEKS:(

I read another article which said that the last campaign on importance of breastfeeding infants was conducted in 1988 and no new campaign has been launched since then probably because of the lovely manufactures of the “white powder”. Do you know (well, i didn’t) that limiting the marketing of FF in Pakistan was proposed in 2002 (after 55 years) and it took another 8 to actually get the bill passed that too by the efforts of an International organization save the children.

I’m not saying that mothers who are formula feeding are doing something wrong but I am saying I wish they had made this choice fully aware of what BFing is all about.

Enter Nabiha Hamdan — March 10, 2011

Enter Nabiha Hamdan

Its been quiet sometime since I posted. A lot has happened since than.For one I’v become a mother of a beautiful daughter. She was born on 19 Jun 2010. She’s going to be 9 month old on the 19th.

This little girl has been the focus of my life since the past nine months. Shes a good child, Alhumdulillah. By good I mean predictable. As shes growing older shes becoming much easier to understand and much easier to handle

Hamdan and I agreed on the name Nabiha about two three months before she was born, while strolling outside our house on a warm summer night. Nabiha is an arabic word and it means “intelligent”.

When she was born she looked exactely like me. and later she started resembling my father and brother. But now she has started looking a bit like her dad especially when she smiles. Sometimes I wonder what she will look like when she grows into a teenager.

Nabiha has learned to roll over and sit without support and even stand with support. She hasn’t learned to sit up or crawl yet. She has two pretty pearly bottom teeth which she shows off with her charming open mouthed smile. Nabiha’s favorite hobby is to suck her thumb or throw things on the floor.

90% of my brain power is being utilized in worrying about Nabiha’s diet and sleep.

Unemployed — December 15, 2009


I am Arjumand Khan recently married, very talented but unemployed. I used to have lucridive job in the banking sector. the salary was great, and being talented and a workaholic I was awarded every increment and bonus that my company dished out. However, I decided to leave the job when I decided to get married. Why? Because even thought everyone insisted including my to be husband and my father, I knew that i couldn’t have a ‘sucessful’ career in banking and have a ‘happily’ married life both at the same time. Why? I’ll tell you.
1. work on 6 days a week (even though the bank’s HR policy proclaimed 5 days a week working schedule
2. i was forced to sit after office hours were over because of workload.
3. no transportation facility provided by the bank
4. managements total unconcern to the idea called WORK LIFE BALANCE. The upper management pretended to care (maybe they really did…difficult to believe it though) but the middle managment scoffed the idea openly
5. my own personality — my ability to take more and more responsibilities without complain, the fact that I am a complete WORKAHOLIC like my father, and my sincere effort to satisfy my clients
6. my minute appitiete — hardly ever had breakfast, skipped too many lunches, sometimes skipped dinner cause I was dead tierd when I got home

but mind you, with all work and no play jake did manage to get incredibily rich with increments and bonuses. however in just two years jake felt she was approaching the burn out phase.

Lots of friends who know my nature warned me from the start that work life balance is the most difficult to achieve while persuing a career. I always believed it was money or growth or visibility in the market. but two years into work I realized that my friends were right.

So just in two years (1 year 10 months), and just two months before my wedding, I said my adious to my employers (after proper process of probation period ofcourse during which time I broke all records of late sittings).

My boss tried his best to make me stay. He promised me to insure I’ll leave at dot 6. That he’d switch my team, give me a different type of work, give me a better (much better) appraisal next year etc etc. But I knew it wouldn’t work out. not with a person like me. i wouldnt be satisfied to leave work half undone, and depend on others to stay late and complete my work.

So i left and thats my story as far as the unemployment status is concerned