I was hungry, in need of sustenance and a restroom too, but I kept climbing the stairs stoically after my brother in law B. There was no elevator. At every turn I felt hopeful that I was going to reach the final step —- no such relief.
There was a painful stitch at one end of my side. We reached the roof. The rooms were in a row. It was bitterly cold and the wind blowing made me shiver in spite of my warm clothes. I said no to that room, and told B I would stay in the ground floor room which I saw earlier in a different Mess.
All the Messes were booked, and there was a shortage of rooms. I stayed alone in a different Mess whereas B and Shahida stayed elsewhere.
I had gone to Rawalpindi with B and his wife Shahida. They had come to attend a marriage. I had tagged along to give the necessary documents to the Army department concerned with it.
The officials kept asking why three and a half years after my husband’s death I had come to collect the arrears. Where was I? What could I say? I wasn’t in the country, or I couldn’t come?
The irony was that the department concerned was also on the top floor of a building. At every turn I kept hoping to see the final step but I wasn’t in luck.
…When all you need is a knife might not be ironic, but it is unfortunate. Add your own verse, stanza, or story of badly-timed annoyance to Alanis Morissette’s classic.