What’s in a name? I don’t know, Shakespeare, you tell me!


An early morning contemplative cow

Sometimes I wonder whether Cake & Cows is too limiting of a blog name for me and my writing.

I’ve created – albeit a very minuscule one – a brand for my online “presence.” Most days, I like it. I am just as crazy and whimsical as the name would suggest. That dressing up as a cow two weeks ago was not merely for the hits (if I really cared about that, why would I dress up as a cow?). But I won’t lie and write that it wasn’t the PERFECT fodder for this blog, either :)

I have come across blogs that are super serious and deeply personal and I applaud these writers for their bravery. Perhaps I’m just too wary of being that open with potentially the rest of the world. It’s not a bad thing to be cautious, it’s actually very wise at times, but I wonder if my Desiness has anything to do with it ;) Log Kya Kahenge?

But sometimes, I do wish that I could write as openly as these writers. There’s just something about publishing (whether through a third-party or self-publishing) that makes one’s thoughts and struggles seem more valid. I am not saying they are – we all got our struggles and if you are not aware of this, then your humanity is severely deficient. It’s just that human beings want to be acknowledged. Finding a community outside of one’s physical one, which is not always so accepting, is one of the great joys of living in the digital age.

I am blessed to have people in my life that I can speak to about these personal matters, but I do not feel “complete” unless I have written. I don’t mean complete as in “whole,” more like “done,” if that makes sense. Is this the performer in me seeking self-aggrandizement? Does this idea resonate with anyone? Perhaps other writers?

I don’t know.

I guess, cows don’t always have to be silly. You know, cows are actually really intelligent, contemplative animals. Have you ever been to a dairy farm? A very deep experience!

LOL at myself.

I am not changing the name of this blog, alright? I like the alliterative feel of it way too much. Also, my love for cows has just skyrocketed in the past year or so, I don’t think I could find a replacement.

Still, sometimes Rafia is not just a silly little cow. Sometimes, she is a very deep and serious cow. That is all I wanted to say. And it only took me 400 words to say it! :)

12 thoughts on “What’s in a name? I don’t know, Shakespeare, you tell me!

  1. Cake and Cows does not have to necessarily represent your *writing* – it represents YOU. There’s no niche for this blog per se, and I actually have quite the opposite view for your blog. I think you have a knack for adding in humour in all the contemplative posts – and thats just like your USP, if you will, ha. :) I do get the not saying so much on a public platform. Maybe it IS a desi thing, lol. But being able to say what you need to say – without giving actual details away (takes a lot of work) – but is a skill in and of itself :) Look at the bright side baji!

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  2. I like your opposite view! Haha, thanks for sharing this with me. I guess we all have tunnel vision, even when it comes to our writing. You are the master of vivid prose that is drenching with emotion and gives no details away, lil sis! <3

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  3. Your blog name is perfect. It is whimsical, but also intriguing (makes people think what is that all about?). In a world that is all about labelling and branding, I find Cakes and Cows to be refreshing.

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  4. Thank you! It means a lot coming from you, one who eschews all forms of superficiality for the sake of ‘likes.’ I’d like to know your thoughts on branding. Does this affect you in your professional life as an academic as well?

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  5. Honestly, I wish I was better and bolder at branding. It does have an impact on my career path. It is all about branding yourself as an expert of this or that, and then networking within that community of “experts”. I obviously suck at it tremendously. I think it has a lot to do with my upbringing too. You know how as Muslims we are taught to be modest, to not brag about our achievements, to be discreet in our endeavours….and well that tends to be detrimental to us in this kind of culture where it is all about announcing every single little step you make, and every little bit of success. I had to come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to conform to that. I realized that it is kind of detrimental to my career in academia, and I used to be bummed out about it for the longest time. Then, I realized that this is actually a chance for me to do things my own way. I will probably never end up with a tenure, and truth be told I’m actually OK with that. I don’t want to have to write and publish incessantly just so I can avoid the “publish or perish” dilemma, or do research for the sake of grants. I would rather publish when I have something insightful to say, when I’ve had the time to ponder and reflect on the topics I’m passionate about. I will never be a big name/reference in sociology, because a) my area of expertise is often somewhat obscure and b) my opinion on said subject often ruffles feathers. With my abayas, my hijab, and my big mouth I usually don’t fit in too well with the in-crowd anyways. So yeah, I’m afraid I’m destined to find solace in my own little obscure journey.

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  6. Wow, I had not read this comment before I had posted my reply to your previous comment. For one, I do think that you will make an impact with your research. Perhaps not in “academia” as is the goal for many students taking the same path as you, but I think, you will be able to speak to those of us not in the ivory tower, which in my opinion is 1) the purpose of the work that you do 2) even better because you can stay true to what you believe. As for the whole modesty thing, I totally agree. I was talking about just the thing with my new supervisor yesterday. I feel weird speaking about my accomplishments, but I feel like I need to in order to get ahead… and I must admit, a part of me also wants to you know? I literally had to talk to myself on my way to work that “I do deserve this, because I worked hard. But ultimately, whatever I did receive is because Allah (swt) willed it for me.” I could have all the talent, smarts, money in the world, but if Allah did not will it, it would not happen. I think we need to work on keeping a balance. Muslims are not fatalists, or should not be. But in our current culture, it seems like those who shout the loudest are the ones who get ahead. Girl, we need to have an extended conversation about this!

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  7. To begin with … Cake and Cows is a perfect combination! It intrigues the mind, has a promise of humor, and shows your love for the two things! There are always days when I doubt my Adventure Diaries, why I am writing, is it worth it, should I be more open?, should I this, should I that? My sister advises I stay away from everything creative when I have such days because I intend to go into self-destruct mode. I used to fear being judged. It doesn’t matter now …

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