My last blog entry was on July 8, a good two and a half months ago, I think my longest hiatus yet from blogging. Since then, things have been sort of a whirlwind on all fronts (in a good way, of course).
Most important on the list is that I got married on 15 August 2005, to Zainab Currim (now Ebrahim), who I have known for the last five years and been engaged to since December 2002! We had both been waiting for this for a long, long time, and it is amazing to finally be married.
When I say that I got married on 15 August, I should qualify this statement, because marriages for Muslims and Indians don’t work in the same way as they do for many of you who have grown up in a Western environment. For many of you, after the marriage ceremony in a church, there is a reception, and then that’s it. For us, it’s a bit more complicated. First we have what is called the nikah, which is the marriage contract itself, and is executed between the groom and the bride’s appointed representative, which is usually her paternal grandfather or father. Once the nikah is complete, the couple are legally married. However, that’s not the end of the deal. Prior to and after the consummation of the marriage, there are other traditional ceremonies that also take place, and it is these ceremonies that constitute the wedding celebrations.
So my nikah was performed on 15 August, but the wedding celebrations are yet to take place. They’ll happen this December in Mumbai (most of my extended family lives there) and Kolkata (Zainab’s family lives there), both in India.
The venue of our nikah was Najam Baug, a Dawoodi Bohra community hall that my great, great grandfather originally built along with his brother-in-law in 1886, and was recently rebuilt by our family and inaugurated on 15 August 2005 (my nikah took place during the inauguration).
I took on the task of designing the website for Najam Baug, and just completed it a couple of days ago. It’s the first website that I’ve designed from scratch (though I did use a CSS trick or two from ALA), and I’m pretty happy with the result. Designing the website just reminded me what a pleasure it is to design for standards-compliant browsers such as Firefox and Opera.
When it comes to rendering standards-compliant pages, these browsers Just Work™. Internet Explorer drove me crazy with its Screw Standards™ rendering mode. I spent hours making IE not totally screw up floats, and also a long, long time trying to figure out why content was just plain vanishing in IE. As it turned out, the vanishing content bug was IE’s notorious Peek-a-boo bug, which I was able to fix using Matthew Somerville’s line-height hack. After making all these efforts, the website now displays only acceptably in IE, but still not perfectly. For those of you who have IE, you’ll notice that there is a lot more whitespace than you see in other browsers. I still haven’t figured out how to fix this.
There’s still a lot more that’s happened in the past couple of weeks to talk about, but for now this is all I have time for. I hope that over the few days I can write a couple more entries. One of the things I want to write about is about using Firefox at work, and a few observations and challenges I’ve faced in being able to use it 100% of the time.