On my Birthday, 20 Things You did not Know about Me

It’s my birthday today
I am older than yesterday
All my friends are coming over to play
And they’ll all sing Happy Birthday

This is the only birthday song that I can think of today. Is it ironic that its from Play School? Something that my 4 year old was singing this May?

I do think I need to get out more often – or least spend more time in the company of people whose idea of a kick ass birthday party does not involve a magician or an indoor play center.

Anyway, since it is my birthday today, really, I think I should be able to write about whatever I want to. In return, you should be able to skip over this if you need to. 🙂 No hard feelings, I am feeling very generous today.

Also if you are new to my blog, you might find reasons to gel with me – or not! You decide. 🙂

  1. I am a speed reader – don’t ask me how I learned to do it, I don’t know. I can breeze through 3 books in a week. I am not joking.
  2. I know 6 languages. Three fluently; English, Urdu and Hindi and others barely; French, Arabic and Punjabi.
  3. I have collected a few degrees – I mean the educational kind. I have done Bachelors in Science, Bachelors at Law, Masters in Business Administration, Post Grad Dip in Teaching. One day I would like to do my PhD. Maybe on blogging culture.
  4. I am extremely bad at giving directions – I am particularly bad figuring them out. Suffice to say that I always get a panic attack at the prospect of driving to a new place.
  5. I am a tea drinker. Coffee is ok but tea is something I cannot live without. I have to have it in my own special mug only. The mug will be promptly replaced in case anything bad happens to it. Worse things will happen to those who wish ill upon it.
  6. I adore perfumes. I love sniffing them – not on people of course. One of my favourite things to do is to go down to the perfume section of the local department store and spend some time there sniffing the new arrivals. I drive sales staff crazy because I know more than them, and also because I never buy them in the store. I always order them online. I own about 80 full sized perfume bottles.
  7. I did a stint on ebay for about an year when I sold perfume decants. I got over thousand 100% feedback. I had to stop it because of totally ridiculous restrictions that were placed on my account by ebay. As everybody knows, trying to talk to a human at ebay is like looking for an alien life form in space. we might as well accept that we were hallucinating in the first place and give up. That’s what I did and it spoiled a perfectly fine relationship. Such a shame.
  8. I have ADHD type traits. I get very focused when it comes to my projects. When something catches my eye, my whole world starts to revolve around it. I read up everything on it and like to become something of a expert on it.
  9. I am a minimalist at heart. I feel that its more than enough with my crazy busy mind with ideas buzzing all day long. I don’t want to add to the clutter by having too much stuff around me. Too much stuff means too much time cleaning, organizing and just keeping track of it all. I’d rather be spending that time reading, learning and having fun with friends and family.
  10. I am addicted to Gray’s Anatomy. Enough said.
  11. I suck at cleaning. I believe that whoever creates mess should clean it as well. Sadly, nobody in my family believes that.
  12. I am really bad at making small talk. I would do almost anything to avoid it. Things like avoid making eye contact, pretending to be deaf, suddenly remembering to look for something in my bad, suddenly remembering to rush to something are things that seem very normal to me.
  13. Most of the time, when I read self help blogs, I end up getting even more anxious and depressed about 72 more things that I should be doing in my life. What is the whole point of reading these blogs again?
  14. I am a foodaholic. Meaning, I am addicted to takeaway and eating outside, much to the chagrin of my significant other. I lOVE food, although I do not like cooking much. This is particularly unfortunate, especially for me.
  15. Courtesy of my kids, I have watched every single episode of Ben 10, Ben 10 Alien force and BEn 10: Alien force, 15 times over. I know what omnitrix and ultimatrix are. (I have them at home). All merchandise of Ben 10 is available in my house, in all shapes or forms, clothes, bags, watches, shoes, stationary, figurines, bikes, if you can name it, we have got it. I can identify Echo Echo, Humungosaur, Jetray, Spidermonkey among others. It’s sad really.
  16. I am a really bad dancer, but dancing is one of the things I would have liked to learn properly. Some day.
  17. I am a pretty good singer. My family will vouch for that.
  18. For a woman, I own ridiculous amount of makeup. Ridiculously little that is. Last I counted, a few lipsticks, foundation, concealer and eye liner. That’s it. When my mascara dried out, I do not know. My 80 perfumes don’t count here do they?
  19. I am not a phone person. Come to think of it, neither am I a text person. Most times I even forget to charge my mobile, the old set that my dad gave me as a present about 6 years ago. Once I did spend about 3 hours on the phone though, talking to my bff. I was going through a bad time and she had nothing else to do. 🙂
  20. I want to change the world.
  21. Apparently I am bad at counting. 20 Things for 20 September but I am a little bit over.
  22. I did not revise this post at all, writing this gold in one go. 🙂 I will admit to running the spellcheck though.

Now, what I would love from you, my dear reader, on my birthday – a comment. Tell me something fascinating about yourself? Tell me what makes you tick, tell me what you hope to gain from reading my blog.

Have you taken my 3-minute Client Attraction Quiz? Check it out now, it’s awesome! :)


  1. Rashmi Says :
    Posted on September 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

    The best thing I liked in this list was-number 20. Because it connected me the most, this is something I too want to do but am somehow realizing the gravity of this now, how hard it is…

    • marya
      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Hi Rashmi. I think this holds true for most creative people, and bloggers are certainly one of them. Good to know I have likeminded people in my tribe. Many thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Rashmi Says :
        Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

        I know, it’s an altogether different pleasure-getting to know more like minded people and actually interacting with them. 🙂

  2. Brigid | The Inspired Notebook Says :
    Posted on September 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Happy Birthday Marya!!
    Hope you’ve had a beautiful day, and that your family took you out for dinner AND cleaned up after themselves for you today!
    I can relate to more than a few of these, but particularly #’s 8 and 11 (and #12 too, so it’ll be an interesting conversation when we meet at the #pbevent!!).
    Have you ever read any of Barbara Sher’s books? If you speed read ‘Refuse to Choose’ or ‘Wishcraft’, you might well recognize a lot of Barbara’s description of a ‘Scanner’ in your ADHD type traits.
    That’s something fascinating about me: I’m a ‘Scanner’! I can get totally passionate and interested in something, an idea, a project etc, but after a while I move on to the next thing that grabs my interest. It probably drives the people around me crazy – although they learn a lot along the way, because I can’t help sharing my discoveries! – but it’s kind of exciting too. And definitely never boring!
    Enjoy the rest of your birthday!

    • marya
      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:54 am

      Hey Brigid, I finally got time to reply to my comments – literally I am about to drop off, I am that exhausted. I had a very busy day and unfortunately all related to work. My family has promised me a special dinner tomorrow, not their fault, just somethings my husband and I could not get out of.

      I certainly relate to everything you have said in your post, especially the being a scanner and a get-interested-in-projects-n-loose-interest-quickly parts. Makes lot of sense to me. I will look into Barbara’s book, it sounds fascinating. Did you know I guessed which points you are talking about? I went to double check and found out I was right. Cheers for your comment, I really enjoyed reading them and look forward to meeting you soon. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Paul B. Taubman, II Says :
    Posted on September 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    Quick question… #2 says:
    I know 6 languages. Three fluently; English, Urdu and Hindi and two barely; French and Arabic.

    Is that 5 languages?

    I guess it goes with #20!

    Be Well!

    • marya
      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

      Ahhh – I did catch this typo – or rather an omission on my part last night but I was too lazy to care. I am correcting that now. You have to go back and see for yourself. 🙂

      As for going with #20 – I hope not! This won’t sit well with my grade 5 class where I teach Mathematics. Many thanks. 🙂

  4. Maia Says :
    Posted on September 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Marya,

    Happy Birthday.

    I’d love to change to world as well 🙂

    But we just have to figure out how to do it, I guess through blogging 🙂

    What I think is interesting about me, is that I love learning new things all the time and appropriating them to my life. I am always in search for the ‘truth’ in all areas of life – psychological, environmental, spiritual.

    I read your blog for the same reasons I read all other blogs – to find something I connect with, some truth that resonates with me.


    • marya
      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:59 am

      Hi Maia. Thanks very much for your wishes. I love what you said and I guess that makes us kindred spirits? 🙂 Happy to have you on board. Have a lovely day.

  5. Shlomo Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Happy Birthday. May it be a great day for you.
    Maybe on this special day your family will volunteer to clean up your messes and theirs (#11).
    As for #7, isn’t there some place other than eBay where you could run your business?

    • marya
      Posted on September 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks Shlomo. I especially pray that number 11 comes true for me although it is gonna take fair bit of magic – I reckon prayers won’t be enough to accomplish that. 🙂

      As for ebay, I now have lost interest in pursuing that as a business (Damn you ebay). I have gone back to something that I have been doing since I was 5 – writing as I want to take this seriously. I don’t think any online site can place hold me back this time. Many thanks for your kind wishes.. 🙂

  6. Blue Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    I just subscribed to your blog this weekend, and I am glad I did. Love your Truths in the sidebar, too. Definitely looking forward to your future posts!

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Hi Blue, thanks very much and welcome! 🙂 I look forward to getting to know you better. Cheers

  7. Sarah O Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Happy Birthday Marya. I’m right behind you – in one week turning 50, and was considering writing a similar post, maybe on my personal blog. Birthdays are a good time for reflection on what we’re all about, what life’s all about and where we’re headed.
    Could definitely relate to many of your items – especially hating to clean (asked for a cleaning service for birthday present!), no sense of direction, and of course that longing to change the world.
    Hope your day was a happy one!

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Thanks Sarah for your lovely comment. It has taken me over 30 years but I think I have finally found my calling, through a very haphazard path too. No more random projects for me now, I will be solely focusing on my writing, teaching and my blog which combines both. At least that’s the plan. 🙂 Happy Birthday for your big one, wishing it is everything you want it to be. Cheers 🙂

  8. Catherine Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Marya. All those languages. Degrees. When did you have time to have kids!

    I’m one to get all up about a subject and then drop it hence why the blog is all great one day and then the next its on the back burner. I’m deciding whether or not to turn off the self improvement blog watch. I find so overwhelming and sometimes time wasting. Deep down I know what I need to do but I am not doing it.

    I’ll keep the blogs on writing because I am enjoying that but some of the rest just have to go. Its just too easy to sit and read and not do. I also think I am past the stage of some of the info on those blogs and should be reading ones that are in the same mindset I am at now.

    Have a great day today and enjoy the attention from family.

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:46 am

      Hey Catherine, good to see you. I still have to reply to your comment over at Fuel your writing. Sorry for the delay.

      The languages? Well, I am blingual, knowing Urdu and English by default. Hindi is very similar to Urdu and so is Punjabi. Learnt a bit of French during a work opportunity. So nothing extraordinary here, circumstantial advantage I would say. 🙂 I did most of my education while I was working part time, and that took some hard work. Teaching one has recently been done with my kids, that was the hardest one to do.

      One tip, only sunscribe to those blogs that you really enjoy reading, that make you inspired when you get up from your seat. It should never be the other way around. For this reason alone, recently I quietly cut ties with many people who have not been doing it for me. You are spot on about the writing blog, hope you include me in that one! Many thanks for your lovely comment, I always enjoy hearing your views. 🙂

  9. Shail Raghuvanshi Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Dear Marya,

    Thanks for being so true to yourself. Wishing you lots of happiness throughout.

    And keep dreaming as usual!


    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Thanks very much Shail. I never fail to dream – always a dreamer. How did you guess? 🙂 Cheers

  10. knot2share
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Wishing you a belated one! Hope you have a blast at the dinner tonight.

    I wish I could speed read. Everything in life, if left to me, is enjoyed in installments. My friends wonder how I manage to watch a movie on dvd in three installments? I dunno too!

    I love my chai too! The smell of coffee on my way to work, triggers the chai buds on my tongue..hehe

    Giving directions – well that is the first thing that my hubby taught me – to read the Melway.

    I don’t watch TV and I can never make good conversations.

    And oh yes, I am not a phone person either. The mobile phone just sits in my bag because I have to carry it.

    I clean when I am anxious about something. Thankfully I don’t eat when I am anxious, else I would be progressing sideways…unfortunately not in installments here. Rapid!

    I want to change myself.

    We read your thoughts that you share here on your blog. So when do we hear you sing? 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Hey 🙂 I was hoping to hear from some old ‘friends’ with this one, glad to see I wasn’t wrong.

      You know what? Nothing in my life has been achieved as a whole. Everything I have done has been in installments. I get anxious when I have to watch a DVD. I never ever watch my favourite shows live, always online later. I do a lot, but always in 15-20 minute blocks. Thats why I may spend time commenting on a few blog posts throughout the day, writing emails and yet I find it very hard to sit down and write a post, have a proper conversation on the phone or take time out to visit a friend. I have 2 boys under 7 (and a husband who is no better) so that is my excuse, what’s yours? 🙂

      I can read Melway just fine, I just think I have a spatial disability or something. (Lack of it I mean)

      I just loved this comment of yours – it is so beautifully written. You could give many for a run for their money. 🙂

      Singing? Naa… I never sung outside of my house. Its a very hush- hush thing. :))

  11. Sandra Bell Kirchman Says :
    Posted on September 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Happy birthday, Marya. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your birthday on another day besides THE day when it’s more convenient. Takes away the pressure. So I hope you really enjoy the dinner.

    I’m not that keen on housecleaning either, although I do like a clean house. My solution to the problem was to exchange a service to a friend who recently started up a housecleaning service.

    In exchange for her cleaning my house every other week (and she does a great job), I take care of all her business’s bookkeeping. We are both very happy with the deal.

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

      Hey Sandra, so good to see you, it has been a while hasn’t it? I am actually going to start getting a cleaner in very soon. As I was staying home with my kids before, it was a financial issue partly. No I have none. 🙂 I am loving your deal. Many thanks for your kind words, keep in touch. 🙂

  12. Andrew Groat Says :
    Posted on September 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Happy Birthday Marya! From one ADHD blogger to another 🙂

    I can totally relate to what you said about your world revolving around something when it catches your eye. Surely life would be a little easier if we weren’t this way, but far less wonderful!!!

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful day!

    • marya
      Posted on September 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

      Hmm, tell me, did you self-diagnose or is it official? ADHD thing I mean.
      🙂 Relax, I am just pulling your leg here.
      My world does rotate around my latest obsession but it is a good thing. I never realized this before but this seems to be a good thing when it comes to writing. You have so many areas of ‘expertise’ and you continue to create new ones. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
      Many thanks Andrew. 🙂

  13. Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog Says :
    Posted on September 27, 2011 at 2:42 am

    My first time visiting, what a lovely post! Happy birthday, and it’s so nice to learn about you. We have a lot in common (both writers, both former eBay sellers, both suck at small talk, both miserable at directions, both overwhelmed with Ben10 paraphernalia – did you know that SpiderMonkey farts webs?!). I look forward to reading future instalments.

    • marya
      Posted on September 27, 2011 at 3:47 am

      I think most writers struggle with small talk. Its a good thing then that there are so many social media options available to us now, so we can go there and suck big time. 🙂
      Thanks for enlightening me about Ben10, I wasn’t particularly aware of where the webs came from so thank you.
      And welcome! 🙂

  14. NextGen Writer Says :
    Posted on October 1, 2011 at 8:28 am

    So many common:

    speed reader – at least I used to be one)

    languages – I don’t know Arabic and loved French but lost it somewhere on the way after taking this course at my university

    Hindi; so you are basically from India, right? (I hope you won’t mind this question)

    Tea drinker – any type of tea: black, which must be ‘water-free’ :), green, Kashmiri…

    Perfumes – I should rather say colognes and I’ve just a few umm around twenty-three but I love them. Which one do you think is the best ‘for men’?)

    Foodaholic, suck at cleaning, self-blog hater and exceedingly a clumsy dancer.

    But I am really an awful singer and a phone person; sometimes the total number of sent/received sms or mms on my cell is over 500 in a given day.

    I thought I wasn’t too boring 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on October 3, 2011 at 3:10 am

      By speed reading do you mean skpping pages? 😉
      I am actually from Karachi – I suspect you know where that is. 🙂
      I am useless when it comes to cologne recommendations for men – my husband is forever stuck on L’eau de Issey, Aqua di Gio and Eternity (All citrusy scents as you can see) I am so sick of them too.
      Self-blog hater? Hmm …clarify?

      • NextGen Writer Says :
        Posted on October 4, 2011 at 7:23 am

        hahaha, umm not skipping but skimming.

        Karachi, good to know 😀 Great city but I would never want to go there, at least not now 🙁

        Wow, I don’t think I can live without Aqua di Gio (as well as issey miyake). I keep sniffing myself all the time when I’m wearing any of these two, silly me 😛

        Yes the poor tea gets the blame quite often.

  15. NextGen Writer Says :
    Posted on October 1, 2011 at 8:29 am

    *So many common interests:
    skipped a word, I think I didn’t have my cup of tea for a while

    • marya
      Posted on October 3, 2011 at 3:24 am

      Hmm .. blaming on (lack of) tea. Nice! I usually blame it on my kids.

  16. Mehmudah Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Wow! I’ve been wanting to comment on this post for ages, happy belated!!

    By the way, I feel like I wrote that!!! Didn’t know we had so much in common! Chai, perfumes, singing, make-up, small talk, phone, eerie I tell you!! Minimalist, cooking.. goes on! Plus my bday is in september too.

    • marya
      Posted on October 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      No worries, following the same sentiment, happy b’lated birthday to you too Mehmudah. Hope you had a good one.

      So how many perfumes? Go on, spill.

      Hey, we should totally need to take this beyond this. Keep an eye out from something from my side in your inbox.

      And btw, I GET twitter now, I truly do. Hurrah for that …

  17. Mehmudah Says :
    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 3:04 am


    I have about 10-12 but that’s because the clutter would annoy me otherwise. I feel like a million dollars when i wear Issey Miyake, by far my favourite. Lipsticks like maybe 2-3, and a couple are gifts from my well-meaning sisters haha

    • marya
      Posted on October 14, 2011 at 5:32 am

      And I really do have more than 80 perfume bottles. There are only two things I collect, books and perfumes so I don’t include them in my clutter pile – I hope to have a proper shelf for that soon where I plan to display them alongside family photos. All the other stuff, I wish could throw away most of it. unfortunately, I am married to a hoarder. Sigh.

      • Mehmudah Says :
        Posted on October 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm

        Swell. I wish I could sample it! yeah, do collect and display, sounds nice. I did disappear for a couple of days, been so busy with the studying! By the way, I am still waiting for yr email!

        Take care, and yeah, it’s always the opposites who get paired up, lol..