The Unexpected Calls

There are times when I don’t like it when someone calls. One is at prayer times. The phone starts ringing, and I pick up the phone expecting a short call. The call goes on, and on. The caller won’t end the call, and my prayer time is over. I’m the guilty party too. I forget I was going to say my prayers, and it’s easier to lay the blame on someone else. Sometimes I think it’s an act of Iblees (devil) to keep me away from saying my prayers on time, and stop my audience with Allah.

I do love chatting with family, and friends, but there are moments I don’t. Whole days are over, and no one calls, and then I get deluged with calls. My sister– she disappears for days on end. She never answers her phone, and then she is like calling day, and night.

Then there are calls from home country. My relatives never, ever remember that when it’s daytime there, it’s night here. The call comes at 2am, or 3am, and I can’t go back to sleep when sleep time has been disrupted. I get sleep deprived, and then have a hazy mind all day.

If only I could have short chats frequently, and for a few minutes— not for hours on end I will be one happy person.

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf

“If you forget to water it, and it dried up while I’m not here, I will die”. I was telling Son to look after my newest baby (my new plant), during the months I’ll be away in Peshawar. Realizing I had an interested audience by the smiles on their faces, I cut short my diatribe at Son.

My oft repeated words with Son are:

“I’m dying!” It means I’m very tired.

“I’m going to die”. This means I’m going to be vexed if things didn’t happen the way I want them.

“I’ll die!” If you are not listening to what I’m telling you to do.

The dying process continues in so many words which at times irritate Son in saying, ” God forbid some day you might be really needing help while saying you are dying, and I’ll take them as your usual words. Stop making statements like these”.

Binge Watching

With free movies to watch, and little time, it was hard to decide on a movie. With all the hoopla surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey I managed to watch the first one, and the last one in the series. I had heard so much about the book, but have not read it so far. It isn’t a film which one can see with children. The ending scenes in the last one made up for the disappointment in watching the first one.

Next I tried to make up my mind which movies I should watch. I couldn’t decide. I rang up daughter saying random names of the movies available, and asked for her opinion. We both have same taste in movies, and songs. Before asking her I clicked on several, but after a few minutes of watching I would get bored. On her recommendation I watched The Space Between Us.

It was interesting. With Mars as a background the movie was fun to watch, and I liked it.

Road to Cape Cod

Buzzard Bay. In the distance you can see the bridge where we cross over to Cape Cod.

The bridge over the river.

Son, and I were invited to Thanksgiving by one of the surgeons he works with. Learning that I live with my son, he invited me as well. I wasn’t very keen, but my son persuaded me to go along with him. It was my first visit to Cape Cod.

Our hosts didn’t know that as Muslims we are prohibited to eat pork. Their every dish contained pieces of bacon. The turkey wasn’t halal, so we couldn’t have that either. I buttered a piece of bread, and had it. Later on I had a slice of pecan pie.

Returning home, we foraged our fridge to have something to eat, and then sleep.

Lost

First I lost my umbrella ☂. I noticed its absence after quite sometime had passed. I assumed incorrectly that it must be lying in a forgotten corner. After it didn’t materialize on its own, it dawned on me (days too late) it had departed to the land where forgotten things go.

Next came my favorite pair of gloves. One minute, I had both of them, and in the next instance I noticed my right hand was bare. Where I had managed to lose it? I had no idea.

Yesterday I was going to lose all my cards. If Son had not accompanied me, I would have exactly done it just like that. When I got down at an Art Store, Son told me he was going to take a nap while I browsed inside. I insisted that he came with me. After I paid for the two round brushes I had bought, I totally forgot my wallet on the counter. Thankfully Son reminded me, and averted a major crisis in my life.

Alarm

The shrill voice of the alarm rang. It went on emitting ear splitting sounds. All because I had put a little oil into the frying pan. The oil started to sizzle, and I had forgotten to switch off the heat.

I rushed first to remove the pan from heat, turned on the exhaust, and ran to the balcony doors to let fresh air in. I was furious with myself as to how could I had committed the crime of forgetfulness?

Son had cautioned me earlier as not to open our front door in case of any mishap. He was home, so he judiciously reminded me again, while sitting on a sofa, and calmly watching me run towards the balcony doors.

There had been an unfortunate incident which had happened to a couple living in the same building as us. The wife opened the front door, and the whole apartment was deluged with water from the sprinklers. Their belongings were ruined, and they had no insurance.

The strict instructions from the management are: that when the fire alarm is activated, the front door shouldn’t be opened, otherwise the next set of alarms in the corridor turns on the water sprinklers.

The fire alarm rang on continuously. It wouldn’t stop, making me wonder whether it would continue screeching for the whole night. I waved a towel at it, hoping it might have a quietening effect. It was a futile effort. My ears were getting damaged. I moved away, and waited. Finally it stopped.

I’m a careful person, and still it happened. I hope it never happens again.

Last Summer

Painful was the last summer I went through

To bid adieus to my grandsons

And my heart yearned

Will there be another summer

For us to be together again

And I looked at the youngest one

I wondered

Will there be the same closeness

Or forgotten

Distances widening in the heart

The fondness gone

Replaced by indifference

The corner he favored

His hiding place

Cushioned with his childhood quilt

A tight place

To find comfort, and escape

From the reality dogging him

And to forget

What was taking place

A broken home —- a rift through hearts

Taking him away from a loving space

Further away from the love he knew

(Sheen-Nov 2018)

I wrote the above in the summer of 2017, but I posted it today. My son had lost his job, and I knew we would have to move from Houston, further away. It was heartbreaking.

Life of Sheen

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