Going Away

Finite Creatures
by Ben Huberman
At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

When one goes away — depart to the next dimension, only personal effects indicate, you were present on this earth for some moments. It is as if you never lived. In time memory fades — and you are forgotten.

My first severe illness brought it home to me that I may cease to exist. Foremost thoughts were for my two children who were five, and three at the time. I think it’s every mother’s nightmare.

In those days survival rate for Gall bladder surgery was low in my home country. It wasn’t like the laparoscopic surgery done nowadays. The ones I had known among relatives, died five – six days after surgery.

The only gray area in my life was not saying my five times prayers. I only said my morning prayer. Sometimes I didn’t even bother with that.

I decided to conquer my failing. With my changing, my (late) husband followed my example.

I am thankful to God for the change He brought in my life.




Fourth Wall
by Ben Huberman
You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.


It’s strange. In books I like light fiction, but I love those movies which are thrillers, and fast paced like The Pirates of the Carribean, Indiana Jones movies, and The Mummy.

Recent movies which I watched (a few months ago) are The Croods, and Frozen. They are children movies. I don’t think I see myself in those.

I am a lousy actress, so I can’t visualize myself in movies I like.

A few years back, I was asked to portray the Corps Commander’s wife by the Army Ladies Club I had joined. The lady in question was fair complexioned – I was too. She was petite, I was the same. Besides our voices with the Pushto accent sounded the same pitch. I was pressurized to play the part in a comic script. They wanted me, and they didn’t listen to my excuses. They besieged, and cajoled; whatever worked, and I was roped in for the role.

On the day in question, it was hell for me. The stage fright — I wanted to disappear. With me, quaking in my four inch heel, I played the part. Two small tureens, one for tomato soup, and the other one for chicken soup were given to me by the Ladies Club at the end of the show. The tureens have the recipes printed on them. They are a reminder of that acting day in my life.



If You Land

Circuitous Paths
by Ben Huberman
A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

Photo Credit: Google

Here, everything is mapped, the cars have built in guides (you only have to update), your iPhone can show in seconds a map to wherever you want to go. No need to knock at someone’s door to ask for directions.

No to your question, and I don’t have a twisted sense of humor to get an inner crazed fun at someone’s expense (to misguide).

It’s a different matter back home. Most roads outside the Cantonment Area are not marked, so you can easily get lost. In situations like this my late husband R would hire a taxi to lead us the way (when we were in unfamiliar surroundings, and got lost).

If you arrive for the first time at Peshawar airport (no friend to pick you up), and you need a taxi to reach an address, you can be taken for a ride.

Your destination is a near one from the airport. What happens – the taxi driver veers to the left on University Road, and keeps driving till he reaches Hayatabad. He keeps driving on various roads there, and then back on another route out of Hayatabad, and onto Bara Road. He is back in Cantonment Area, and finally you reach your destination.

A huge taxi fare awaits you at the end.

So beware if you land in Peshawar, and you are on your own.




Reverse Shot
by Ben Huberman
What’s your earliest memory involving another person? Recreate the scene — from the other person’s perspective.


She thinks I am an ogre, the way she clings to her brother, when she sees me. I would love to have a little girl like her for a daughter.

She skips as she walks, holding her brother’s hand. There, she is coming to get candy from the store. She has seen me, and now she is hiding behind her brother. She is trying to make him stop, and go back the way they have come.

I step out as they come nearer. The young one hides her face from me. To her I am a freak. My arms are stumps, and they look grotesque. My stumps frightens her. My attempts at friendliness makes her fear me more, and she starts crying.

I can’t take away her fear of me, and watch them, as they pass me. The little girl is visibly happier, as the distance between us grows.



Unequal Terms

Unequal Terms
by Ben Huberman
Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

I wear a headscarf. The headscarf indicates that I am a Muslim. Most of the people I come across, view me with suspicion, as if I am out to harm someone. I see expressions change at the sight of my head covering.

Yesterday I was reading about a male worker in a Hospice, who abuses female patients in his care.

In another, I read about a nurse who killed thirty patients, because she found them annoying.

Thank God the above two I mentioned weren’t Muslims, otherwise there would have been a fresh outcry against Muslims. The above offenders’ religion wasn’t mentioned. If it was the other way round you can guess the outcome?

There are probably 100 cases, or more like that here, but if once in a while, one bad egg from the Muslim community is found out, then all are condemned with a vengeance. I have read comments like nuking.

W҉H҉Y҉ I҉N҉ R҉E҉L҉I҉G҉I҉O҉N҉?



Behind in Things

Avant Garde
by Ben Huberman
From your musical tastes to your political views, were you ever way ahead of the rest of us, adopting the new and the emerging before everyone else?

I am way behind everyone in musical tastes to political views.

Politics in my home country is nothing but bad news. To keep my heart functioning, and away from harm, I forgo news.

Regarding US politics — it’s just the same.

YouTube is banned in my home country. I can’t get to see even those home videos of family sent by my daughter.

Here I can see them, but find time a constraint in watching. Who knows after being stopped from viewing, has made me a non-watcher.



Dust Gathers

Sweeping Motions
by Ben Huberman
What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.


Dust gathers through the open window
Settles there, till I clean it away

Receipts, and letters occupy one spot
I have to look, and sort them everyday

The iPad screen gets finger splotches
Cannot help it anyway