Thursday, 29 April 2010

Haunted-Durham Rise

Perched atop a hill is a white corner house, splendid-looking and towering above all. Five large bedrooms, a glorious sitting room, and above all, a big kitchen and dining, any woman's dream for dinner parties. It sounds beautiful and it was beautiful until...

Hark, who goes there? An unforseen figure, a figure that cannot be seen at all...a figure or...figures? We were not alone; there were others living with us...invisible others...others who instilled fear within us, whose voices and movements unnerved us, who did not want us there.

Subtlety was an unknown term to them, perhaps it still is. At night, there was sound of furniture moving around and being picked up and dropped down, awaking us from our slumbers. However, it did not matter to them whether there was sunshine or moonlight.

One morning, I was cleaning the sitting room table when I heard the rustling sound of dishes and utensils in the kitchen, adjacent to the sitting room. 'Baba,' I called out to my father-in-law, who I thought might have been in the kitchen. I peered in to see no one.

During Ramadan, 2008, my mother-in-law and I shut the sitting room door because footsteps pounded through the hallway and up the staircase outside of the room. We also raised the volume of the television, hoping the sound would muffle the noise upstairs-they lurked around upstairs, moving THEIR invisible furniture around. We also wanted to muffle the giggling of children around the sitting room. I knocked next door only to find that a single man was living there with no children....

I went into the toilet, saw the shower turn on and off in front of me. My mother-in-law heard it turn on and off many times as she passed by. One day, the door locked on me and I was stuck inside the toilet. I thought my brother-in-law had locked the door from outside as a joke. He said he didn't. Somehow, the door had locked on its own and they had to unscrew the doorknob to get me out. A few days later, my cousins from Bristol came down; I told them the story and my cousin went into the toilet immediately afterwards, only to experience what I had just told them-she got locked in!

Footsteps and a man's voice was constantly heard upstairs-everyday, we lived with this. Perhaps because we prayed, they could not harm us. In fact, one day, I was passing by my mother-in-laws bedroom when I heard someone running toward me from behind; I turned around; there was no one there, but the footsteps halted right front of me. It was as if I was face-to-face with IT. One night, my mother-in-law was praying, but heard the same footsteps coming toward her room, the door slightly opened on its own and banged against the footboard of her bed. Nobody was outside. Bare in mind that we did not share our stories with one another; these experiences just happened.

Things went missing and reappeared in the most strange places around the house; my nose stud which I had lost in the car one night was on the carpet floor in the basement-I had not gone to the basement after returning home the night that I lost it so how did it suddenly end up there the next day?

My husband did not believe me until he heard the footsteps and voices.... We had to move out as soon as massive blotches of black mould swarmed all over the walls; fur starting growing on it; the smell was unbearable-perhaps, the others wanted us out!

Where are we now? 2009, we moved into a maisonette (renting) and now, we've finally bought a house, Alhumdulilah.

Sometimes, we actually miss Durham Rise so we drive past it-it was to be sold and now, it's to be let... (smirk). We know one thing for sure...THEY'RE living in pure felicity-nobody is disturbing THEM, the JINN.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

BBC Mosaic Event

On the 30th of March, I, along with the Editor-in-Chief (THE MUSLIM PAPER), Khalid Sharif, attended the BBC Mosaic Networking event. It was an opportunity to meet people who not only share similar media experiences and exchange business cards, but also understand what BBC, particularly Mosaic Media, is about-promoting diversity in media. In fact, they have done everything from minority youth workshops in screenwriting to including Muslims within their television series, thereby breaking the boundaries of the traditional (medical/engineering)career choice and clarifying misconceptions about Islam. In fact, 'Eastenders' in the new year of 2010, had its first Asian (Muslim) wedding. If you read London Bangla in February, I interviewed Pavan Ahluwalia, the world's fastest henna artist, who also did the henna for the 'Eastenders' bride.

At the Mosaic event, I finally had a chance to put a face to a name. I personally met Rabina Khan, author of Ayesha's Rainbow, with whom I had been exchanging e-mails. ALSO, I met the BBC Presenter, Mishal Husain, a sweet character, and Head of Religion at BBC, Aqeel Ahmed, a respectable man.

Recently, I am employed with WAMY (Word Assembly Muslim Youth) on two projects. The first is to write a booklet on Islam and Science (what the Qur'an says and Muslim contribution to Science since before the Medieval times). Did you know that Muslims were responsible for creating the clock, chess, and trigonometry? That's not all; there are 1001 inventions made and some of them are currently on display at the Science Museum in London.

The second project is an overall position as a project manager. I will be helping WAMY with their various dawah events, Islam awareness.