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A Dumb Idea

The mosque when it wasn’t in ruined state.

Who give the dumb idea to demolish part of the mosque? I don’t know. Part of the reason the one in charge says was to force those who pledged money for the renovation, and aren’t forthcoming.

The mosque lies in ruins. All through summer the attendees at the mosque had to pray through sweltering heat in the open. When it’s going to be built? No one has any inkling. The ones who pledged the money are not coming. Meanwhile the mosque presents a dismal sight.


A Big Heart

This happened in San Antonio. Son as is usual with him, likes to get to a mosque at prayer times, and say his prayers there. Sometimes I get out from the car with him to pray inside, but at other times I pray sitting in the car while he goes inside. The reason I do this is when I don’t have socks with me. We have to take off our shoes when we enter a mosque. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m a bit squeamish about walking barefoot.

It was evening, and we heard the muezzin call to Maghreb (evening) prayer on my cell phone. Son directed his car to the nearest 🕌. Son hurriedly strode to the men’s side to make his ablutions, while telling me to find my own way to the women’s side. Men, and women pray in separate halls.

After entering, I was looking here, and there trying to find as to where the women were praying. I saw one woman in a black abaya sitting in the outside hall. I asked her in English as to where we were going to pray. She said no. Perplexed 🤔, I asked her “Why?” She again said no. I was really mystified. With her saying no, no I wasn’t getting anywhere. At the last moment she added to the no — no English. It dawned on me that she was telling me she didn’t speak English. Oops!

I asked her, Arabic? She shook her head. Urdu? Another shake of the head, and then she said, “Pushto”. I’m a Pathan by birth, and Pushto I knew. In no time we were talking, and I laughed at her continuously saying no to me. Since I was a new face, she asked me from where I had come? I told her my Son was on call for a few days in San Antonio. She asked as to where we were staying? Hearing that we were staying at a hotel, she asked me to an evening meal at her home, and stay with her for the rest of our stay there. She kept insisting while I was trying to get out of it.

At the muezzin call to prayer, we turned to pray. After the prayers, she again insisted that we should be her guests. I thanked her warmly, and told her we will do so the next time we come to San Antonio.

I told Son about her when I returned to the car. I was hugely impressed with the lady, and her big heart in inviting a total stranger to her home. Son told me it was Sunnah to invite travelers, and wayfarers to meals, and a place to stay.

San Antonio

Last month Son had to go to San Antonio for three days. He was on call. For a change I wanted to go with him. At the last minute I didn’t feel like going. I told Son, but he wouldn’t let me stay back.

He got free in the evening. We went to see the Sea World. By that time it was closing. We only managed the curio shop. I bought a couple of magnets for our fridge. From Sea World we went the Alamo. It was closed too, except for the outside.

We strolled outside. A Davy Crockett movie was being shown. We watched for a few minutes before seeing the River Walk.

It was very warm, and soon rivulets of perspiration were running down our faces, and backs, and forced us not to continue with the walk. I made Son promise to bring me during the coming winter, and take a day off for us to do the sight seeing.

Son is fond of eating outside food. We had a round of all the places where halal food was available. At Pasha, and Nara Cafe, it was good, whereas at Kohinoor we faced disappointment.

I even found alcohol free Vanilla extract, and other essences like strawberry, pineapple for baking at a shop called Ali Baba. It was a boon, because I had been for a long time after Son to bring home alcohol free products, but Son didn’t have time to do so. They had all the ingredients for making Mediterranean food, and a wide variety to choose from.

I’m glad I went with Son, but hope next time Son does find time to do all the sightseeing we missed.


TJ’s birthday cake

TJ’s (daughter ‘s son) birthday date coincided with Nola’s visit to us. Aware of the date I had told Nola that they didn’t have to bring a cake with them, I would do the needful. I had planned to bake a pineapple cake, but didn’t get time to do so. Son bought an ice cream instead. He had asked me earlier whether I was cake ready, and I gave him a negative reply.

M4 (TJ’s younger sister, the two older ones arrived later from Austin) took on the task of filling the balloons. She has a vivid imagination. She concocted various shapes. Specially cute was the doggie. She even made a leash for him to make him walk the length of our sitting room.

After the meal, cake cutting, photos and video everyone was getting ready for bed, but M4 had an other idea. She thrust a balloon sword 🗡 in my hand, and I had to get ready to fight. She was quick on her feet, whereas I was sluggish. She made me die for umpteen times till we had shrieked ourselves hoarse. My only regret is that someone should have made a video of a granddaughter, and grandma fighting. Some chapters of life are too good to miss.

On the Blink

The swimming pool in front of our balcony.

I thought my internal thermostat must have gone awry with me feeling extremely warm. It took some time to realize that nothing was wrong with me, but the trouble laid with the cooling unit outside our home. It must have gone on the blink, and stopped cooling, although it was constantly whirring on, and wasn’t switching off.

I was preparing our evening meal, and at first thought it was the heat from the stove, and oven. I came to my room to ascertain the fact whether it was cool, or not? Mine is the coolest room in the house. It’s always my fate to suffer from cold, whereas other areas are noticeably warmer. In the morning when I get up from bed, I shrug on a jacket, otherwise I start sneezing. It confirmed the fact it was very warm indeed.

Son was home, not in Salt Lake, Utah as he usually is, miles away from Houston. He had rivulets running down his face, so there was no need to ask him about anything. Son fiddled with the thermostat. That night for the first time in years, I slept without a comforter. I was perspiring, when I woke up. I asked Son to switch off the AC. It was adding to the heat, rather than cooling.

Son switched it off. Surprisingly with the aid of fans, it was bearable. I was fearing that we will remain without cooling for a longer period, but the maintenance chap promptly arrived to take care of the unit, and soon I was again shivering from cold as usual.

A Secret Place

Sometimes I wonder at myself. I safely put away things in places thinking I will easily remember where they were reposing. Hard luck! I can’t find the **** things. Alas! The place was only known to me. Nobody else can help me.

Nola (daughter) along with family, stayed for a few days at our latest abode in the land of Texas. She came bearing gifts for Son, and I. Fearing the exuberance of her two youngest I took my glass plate away to the safety of my closet. It got ensconced there, but the wooden stand was another matter. I forgot about its’ whereabouts. Giving up I looked into the lowest drawer of my dressing table, and found another one for the plate. It was a smaller size, and my apprehension that it wouldn’t support the plate came true.

At the same time while I was looking for the misplaced stand I was also trying to find my brushes, and paints. Didn’t find them either. And then my eyes landed on the elusive stand. It was lying on top of some photo frames. Glad to find the missing absconder, I stationed the plate on it.

My sister, who tries to find solutions to my forgetfulness told me to write down in a notebook whenever I stash my things for safety purposes. Good! Now where in God’s name I put away my notebook?

Getting Settled

This year it’s rather hard on me. Getting things unpacked was an ordeal. First it was the packing, and now it was the un packing. When we moved to Massachusetts in 2018, I was away in Peshawar, Pakistan for my annual trip there. I had packed my own stuff before leaving in November 2017. Son did the moving, so I was spared all the hard work. This time I got the full blast of it.

Some of the things were packed by Son. Now three weeks later I’m still trying to find the stuff. Yesterday I searched through fourteen boxes 📦 of Son, trying to find some of the kitchen things I badly need, while he had gone to Salt Lake, Utah. I wasn’t successful in my endeavors. The result was a terrible case of getting a painful back. I scolded myself thoroughly after that, and to recover I made myself take a rest.

I have resigned myself to buying some of the things I need, because with Son not at home, I can’t over burden myself in searching for stuff. I will only make myself ill. I have applied for a health insurance here, to which there is no reply yet. It takes a month for my new insurance to kick in. This means I can’t see a doctor till then.