Tuesday, 9 June 2009

On Names, The Cold, Quotes & Chocolate Bunnies

Exams are over and I feel like I just reached the summit of Everest. Well actually I’m about 2km’s from the summit, I’ll hopefully get to the top after tomorrow.

Speaking of Everest, it’s amazing how we humans can acclimatize and adapt to our surroundings. I can remember those days I traipsed around London doing all sorts like going to and from work, out and about in the streets to exhibitions and museums and the theatre, when the temperature was 0˚ Celsius (32˚F) and I didn’t even flinch. Then there were those days in Amsterdam at FC's place, when we were out painting the town red (pun intended) in -6˚Celcius (21˚F) weather and yeah it was a little cold at first, but we soon forgot about it. So much so that when it was 6˚Celcius (43˚F) in Paris the next week, we were all feeling “hot”. I kid you not. So it’s a bit of a surprise to me that I would feel cold in 12˚Celcius (54˚F) weather. It’s safe to say that we’re in the middle of winter, but it was an average of 24˚Celcius (75˚F) in Johannesburg up until two days ago. But I’m sure this cold snap will end soon.

I was quite amused and impressed with OH’s post on labola. I was prepared to be worth a leather bound machete, but apparently he thinks chocolate bunnies will do (and I’m perfectly happy with that). I must admit, I was tempted to do a similar one about bloggers (not a labola one because I’m no authority on that), but one which details my perceptions of everyone. I decided against it because I will only tell the truth, the way I see it, in my opinion and I don’t want to offend people. I’ve had many experiences where people don’t want to hear the truth. The truth hurts, they say. I guess it does and I don’t want to be that unsolicited mirror of candor …not now anyway and not unless I get requests to infringe on everyone’s psychological (in)securities.

I was also inspired by a one Miss Shafinaaz…writer, poet, extraordinaire. I guess people don’t put too much thought into names, unless they’re spawning. Mine has several meanings; a brief etymology…
According to the book I was named after, Azra was one of Maryam AS’s (Mary’s) many nicknames.

[ syll. a-zra, az-ra ] The girl name Azra is pronounced AEZRah KEY.

The name Azra is widely believed to have its origins in the Arabic language. But the name is actually of Hebrew origin (which would make more sense considering that she lived in Jerusalem and that was the language of the time) and the literal meaning is:

“An unpierced prestigious pearl radiating in pristine beauty in Jannah”

Other meanings of the name include:

“Pure” (evil?)
"One who levitates” (no wonder I’m high all the time)
"Possessing the highest feminine qualities"(does bitchiness count?)
"Strength" (explains a lot) and
"Star” (I wish)

The poet Heine wrote a poem called "The Azra", about a youth of the clan of Azra who dies for love (how depressing). The name Azra is most often found in Turkey, Yemen and Pakistan although it happens to be quite popular in India, the USA and Italy too. In the countries of former Yugoslavia, it is most common among Bosnians, both Muslim and Jewish, but it is also found among Romani (Gypsy) in all of the former Yugoslav republics (explains my travelling-gypsy-wander-lust streak). I suppose there’s a little bit of everything in who I am…some qualities are more prominent then others.

A few last words from this Azra who wants to share my pearls of wisdom, for those who need it:

“I don’t whine about anything I can change, and since I can always change my attitude, I don’t expect to find a hopeless situation”.
“It is our own mental attitude that makes the world what it is for us. Out thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light”.

And My personal favourite:

"What have I to do with worldly things? My connection with the world is like that of a traveler resting for a while underneath the shade of a tree and then moving on" ~ Prophet SAW

I tag everyone, come tell me what your names mean :P


  1. Mahomed Junaid... MJ :D

    Junaid means Soldier or warrior :D.

    see - im always the first to entertain your shit and play along :)

  2. Ahhh...i could get used to the 'extraodinaire' bit, madamoiselle :P
    I think its a bit of all.. Gypsy, drinker of spirituality, prose-maker and yes, even the impassioned lover (although ur far too self-assured for the easy-way-out)... and far more creative at that!

    much love,


  3. Lambert (last): Origin Norse warriors who settled in Norman(dy), France were from the bright land of the North, thus they took the name "Lambrecht", which was modified by the local French to Lambert. The Lamberts spread through France, Switzerland and Italy. They crossed the English Channel with Duke William in 1066 and settled in England with the Norman hoard.

  4. Hamish - scottish name, equivalent of the english james. means the one who replaces. In my case should read when someone has messed up. I think u should do a list. The truth hurts but burst the bubbles we all need to walk on terra firma. The OH dares you.

  5. Aasia -Guardian-Queen of Dynasty,foundation to life.Compassionate.
    Here's more indepth -http://www.babynology.com/meaning-aasia-f44.html

  6. Yusuf - Meaning: The lord increases

    Other than that there is not much more on my name

    Some people beleive that your name determines your personality etc. I'm not sure about that

  7. Saaleha - in all it's tajweeded goodness; pronounced Saw-li-ha (with the h-sound emanating from the throat).
    It means good or pious, but I'm so terribly irreverent sometimes.

  8. "One who levitates” (no wonder I’m high all the time)


    I don't think I need to give an explanation on Fatima, do I? ;)
    *burst the big head* Most special name :P

    I was thinking the other day, if I had a daughter, I would like to name her Mariam, inshAllah, because of the qualities of Hazrat Mariam A.S. and because my aunt & paternal grandmother were both named Mariam. There is truth in the matter that people take on the personalities of their name I think. They are/were such strong women. My aunt has had a harsh life, yet she stays simple, sane and always cracks jokes in serious times. I get along with her the most from all of her nieces and nephews. I honestly think my sister, brother and I get our wacky sense of humour from her. There are days our parents look at us and shake their heads and our aunt will nod & laugh in understanding.
    My paternal grandmother had to raise 5 (slightly) insane children. Then she lost her husband at a young age and then lost her battle to cancer. She passed away a year after I was born, so I don't remember her, but many people always remark on what a wonderful woman she was.
    I didn't know that Azra was a nickname of Mariam. I must keep that in mind... :)

  9. Lovely to read these! :) When i consulted with my mentor and editor, earlier on in writing my novel, i remember having a discussion about the naming of characters...

    in my own work, i often wonder about the things we've heard about the meaning of names in terms of how it affects a child; we are socialised on a perspective of strong beliefs and traditions that suggest that names carry an energy that can affect the life journey (personality, choices, etc) of a child. and the philosophical perspective suggests that by virtue of your name, you might make or not make certain decisions. Maybe the two are linked in some way.
    I love the name Mariam - there's both a Mariam and a Fatima in my new novel manuscript... and both serve as very receptive, convivial and strong support to the protagonist... :)

  10. I have been meaning to tell you for eons that the play At Her Feet started with a deadly dance. And then the bloodied woman sat on the floor and said "My name is Azra Jamal. It means pure...I believe I am as pure and untarnished as my name". Azra is an aterty dilating name. My name is Mughal. It means a girl who lifts up her history and her destiny at the same time. Or thats what it will mean after I've established my legacy :)

  11. priya - beloved wife (blech)

  12. MJ - :D When are we going to play one of your insipid games?

    The original Shafinaaz - I want to give it all up to become a painter on one of those Greek Islands :)
    I agree that alot of a persons character eminates from their name. Can't wait to read your masterpiece :)

    LL - Wow, amazing that you can trace your heritage that far back! Way cool...

    OH - I'll do the list (a perceptive but respectful one:) sometime after the 3rd of July :D

    Aasia - The ruler of the land I see. That tiara will be justified (I don't know about the tutu) :P

    Edge - I've noticed that people do take ont he meaning of their names. Like for eg. to me all Yusufs are the same...I kid you not lol. And all Zainubs etc. etc. Well they may not be EXACTLY the same...but there is a streak of similarity.

    Saaleha - *pronouces HA from the throat*...I had a teacher with the same name and we used to stare at her because she was so pretty. And everyone wanted to be in her class, like how everyone wants to read your blog...good ol days good ol days :)

    Fatima - What a beautiful name. Pity that so many girls ruin it for me...its like they're not worthy of the name. But you are :D

    Noorjehaan - Beautiful name too. In Turkey its spelt Nurcihan but pronounced the same. Is that a two for one deal? Can you lift my destiny too, please? :P

    Prixie - LOL! I'm sure you will be :)

  13. did you check out urbandictionary.com
    they give seriously kick ass meanings of your name. Mine was absolutely hilarious

  14. If you wanna take my name literally, it means maker of playthings, it originates from Kent and Sussex in the early 1600's, but I think my parents intended it to be Tahir which means Pure or chaste but they just followed blindly and went with what waqs popular in Cape Town at the time.

  15. Tazeen - lol here's what mine said:

    "kick-ass best friend of a girl.she's always your favorite. she can get anything she wants by just flashing that smile. not the "hottest" girl in the world..but damnnn, she is gorgeous. she is soo flyy, that you could only wish to be as fly as her. she is also a shopping freak so bewaree. basically, shes a gorgeous, loving, caring and amazing bestfriend.. and if she is single; you better get to her fast..because she is a one of kind.
    azra always tends to be bosnian so beware cuz if you get on her badd side... ur gonna get your ass kicked by her brother or cousin or firend. bosnians are hard core."

    Toyer - I think as long as there was a good intention behind the name, it doesnt matter much :)

  16. Bosnians are hardcore indeed ... I knew one who grew marijuana in his windowsill

  17. from urban dictionary

    Junaid 67 up, 21 down
    Strong and so damn good looking.
    Wow you are so Junaid!

    strong sexy good-looking hot adorable

    The sexiest guy in Champaign

    Junaid is the sexiest guy in champaign

    literal meaning : small army
    (bearing the strength of an small army)
    look..there's Junaid and Ali coming.