Long for Them

Sparkling or Still
by Ben Huberman
What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

An ideal day consists of perfect moments, and for me those moments are:

Is laughing at jokes, though I am always afraid to laugh whole heartedly for fearing that there maybe pain at the end of a laugh.

Is when IB (grandson) sees me descending the stairs, and rushes to put his arms around my waist, and greet me.

Is when invited to a friend’s house to partake good food, and meet interesting people.

Is the time when I talk to my daughter, or my sister.

Is when I have plenty of books to read —- there are munchies at hand —– no interruptions, perfect!

Is seeing my son wishing me goodnight, before I sleep.

Perfect times and perfect moments
Those are the times we value

When they end, you want more
You long for them to continue

If there was a way to make them stretch
Would have been a gift to renew



My Apa

Cousin It
by Ben Huberman
We all have that one eccentric relative who always says and does the strangest things. In your family, who’s that person, and what is it that earned him/her that reputation?


I do have one, and she is my sister-in-law married to my elder brother Lala. I don’t call her by name, and as a mark of respect call her Apa.

She has strange habits, and one of them is washing her hands continuously. Meanwhile the water keeps running. She washes — examines her hands — washes — examines, and the cycle goes on. Maybe some speck of dirt keeps on hanging.

Another one is using an old shoulder bag. My sister, and I had the misguided notion that if we gifted her enough bags, she would stop using the old one. No such luck. The old yellow one is always in use. Some day if I can find enough bravery in myself to sneak into her home to throw out the old bag, I may do the deed.

When we (my late husband R, and I) would visit Lala’s place, Apa would sit down with us. Lala would do the running around to serve us tea, or soft drinks, and I would try to dissuade him from serving us, or help him.

R as usual would be irked by Apa’s manners. Going back home, he would say, “why does your brother puts up with his wife? Or why doesn’t he get another one?”

Thank God, Apa wasn’t there to hear it, otherwise her mental image of a good guy would have been destroyed.

Washing, cooking, cleaning, everything is done by Lala. He washes Apa’s clothes, and irons them for her too. The irony is that Lala is not well, and has landed in Intensive Care Unit several times. He is diabetic, having a heart condition.

I sometimes wonder what’s going to happen, when Lala is no longer there for her.



Key to the Future

Golden Key
by Ben Huberman
You’ve been given a key that can open one building, room, locker, or box to which you don’t normally have access. How do you use it, and why?


Most of us lament the earlier resolves we took in life. To a select few it never happens, because they were Socrates, and Plato when they were born.

I wish for a key to a room where there is a giant screen on the wall. It should show me the end results of a decision, or show me the correct choice to make.

It will be certainly marvelous. It will be so easy to make a decision. No tearing out my hair, as I do on occasions when I remember earlier choices.



Never Give Up

Waiting Room
by Ben Huberman
“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?

My granddaughter from crawling to walking

Good things come to those who never give up. One has to work hard towards achievement. Merely waiting for it to happen is just a wishful dream.

Even if one doesn’t get what one wanted, life lessons are learnt, and one finds another path for life to go on.



Three Things

Good Tidings
by Ben Huberman
Present-day you meets 10-years-ago you for coffee. Share with your younger self the most challenging thing, the most rewarding thing, and the most fun thing they have to look forward to.

Most challenging: still trying to find a house within my means — no success.

The most rewarding: having time with my grandson — IB.


Most Fun thing: guess what? Blogging.

Trying to think what to write, and what not to write.

Ten years before if someone had told me, I would be blogging, I wouldn’t have believed.



The Spools Doll

By Hand
by Ben Huberman
What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.

Our new friends when we were first posted to Abbotabad were, Col and Mrs. Q, and their daughter Talat. They lived in their own house on the opposite side of the street from us. Our home was a rented one.

Mrs. Q, and Talat lovingly befriended my children, and I. We were in, and out of each other houses on a daily bases. Either they came over after eleven, or I would go over to their place. Mrs. Q made the the best cups of tea I have ever tasted.

My first handmade gift came from Talat in the form of a doll. This was a special doll carrying spools of thread, a scissor, and needles. It came in very handy, and hung in a corner near my sewing machine.

I had the doll with me for many years till 2012. I parted with it when I cleared away many things from my home.