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Superstition

Despite believing in One God, people in parts of the world indulge in superstitions. One which I have seen is when a bride goes to her husband’s home she is given a burning lantern to take with her. When we were bringing home with us my daughter in law, a maid accompanied her with the battery powered lantern (above in the picture). It is supposed to bring longevity to the marriage.

How can one even think such a thing is beyond me?

When my brothers in law got married their spouses brought with them a lantern too. In those days a battery powered one wasn’t available in the local market, so it used to be a kerosene one. When you entered the newly married couple’s room the stench of kerosene assaulted your nose. I still remember the smell.

Thank God I don’t have such beliefs, and neither does my family.

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Bridegroom to the Rescue

On my last visit to Peshawar, I never had the inkling that I will be arranging Son’s marriage in a few short days. On the day of his marriage I had to go early in the morning to the shops to get the gift boxes of sweet meat, and have my car decked out in flowers for the coming nuptials, while Son was still sleeping. He had arrived at three during the night after a long flight from Boston. The orchids above are those few ones I retained, after removing the rest from the car after the wedding.

After getting back home, I changed into the clothes I had bought for the wedding, and soon Son, and I were ready to be on our way to Charsadda where the wedding was going to take place. Midway we saw the stranded car of the bride on the roadside. Our bride was waiting for her father to send her another car. We waited with her for quite a long time. I asked her to come along with us, but she was hesitant in accepting our offer. I phoned her father, and asked for his permission, which he readily gave, saying she was already ours, and it didn’t matter whether she came in our car before her marriage.

It must have been a first time that a bride, and bridegroom arrived at a wedding venue together. Her brother was waiting, and he hurriedly whisked her away before it could be known that she had come with us.

Time Gone By

My second grandson Sn when he was a year, and a half old.

This time when I went to Peshawar, I retrieved some of my photos to bring back with me. As a grandmother I love my grandsons. Although they are far away in Houston, Texas, I daily remember them in my prayers. The eldest one is not paying attention to his studies, and that is a worry gnawing at my heart. Since I have no say in his life style, I can’t do anything about it, nor can his father — my son.

The only person he listens to his mother. Time is precious, once gone, can’t have it back again. It is slipping fast beyond reach.

Son is holding the youngest one in his lap.

If You Will Have Me

M5 who is five years old, drew this picture of herself. I was enchanted, and wanted her to give it to me, but she refused. The reason she give me — she didn’t have a picture like it of herself. The solution she suggested was that I should take a a photo of the original, and that’s what I did.

I had come for a visit to Dallas with few clothes, and I was juggling them with continuous washing. Last evening M5 asked me as to why I kept wearing the same clothes. I told her I was hoping she was going to lend me some, specially the green dress which her paternal grandma had sent. No was the answer.

Fed up with my teasing, she told her mother that she doesn’t want me to come again. I said, “Okay! I won’t be coming again.” Her mother chided her, “How can you say this to my mother.” I went outside to pluck out the crab grass, and other weeds. M5 followed me wanting to talk to me, and I wasn’t talking. I told her I would only talk to her if she let me borrow her clothes. She relented, telling me she wanted me to come again on a visit, and I could borrow clothes from her.

Children are really sweet. They can’t differentiate that a grownup won’t be able to wear their clothes.

A picture of me drawn by M5. Look at the pin in in my hijab. She drew it after her first refusal to share her clothes with me. She was trying to appease me.

She just came into my room, and gave me her own picture as a gift to take with me. Now I have both — hers’, and mine.

I will treasure them always.

Murray Lakes

We went to Oklahoma for a two days stay at a rented cabin. I had a bedroom to myself, although the children ragged me that I will be sharing a bunk bed with them. No way!

FJ (Son in law) was in charge of making burgers outside on the grill.

We went on a trail down to the lake for the children to try fishing. A lone 🦆 was enjoying the cold, wintry evening on the lake. The children tried to catch a few fishes, but weren’t successful. The fishes must have been hiding at the depths far below. Nola (daughter), and FJ remained busy with trying to to teach the young ones to fish. A cold wind blew making me shiver despite my warm clothes. I hid behind the bark of trees trying to get out of the full force of the wind range, while the kids thought I was doing some witchy rituals to keep warm. M5 found a rubber 🐠, and came to play with me in throwing it at me to catch. We played for a while till the grownups, and young ones decided to leave.

Nola stocked up on water, orange juice, ice creams, cereals for breakfast, milk, tea, oranges, grapes at the local Walmart. Laden with pizzas for our dinner, we returned to the cabin.

Next day we got up late. After having our breakfast, the kids played, and the grownups watched. FJ lighted up the grill to make us a burger 🍔 lunch, and a salad. Evening was a walk on the trails, while I was constantly reminding them for turning back in the gathering dusk.

Dinner was a at a local diner, where we got replete with fish to eat, before returning to the cabin to sleep. Next day we left after acquiring new magnets for our fridge doors.

Yesterday

The day before ——- Nola (daughter) and I travelled to Boston via a bus. We had a long wait at Fall Rivers. It was a cold, cold day. I will definitely remember never, ever travel while sick. I longed for a bed. Time stood still, and the hours moved slower than a snail.

Nola, and M1 (grand daughter) went out to see a play in the afternoon, while I snoozed. I simply refused to go anywhere. I felt marginally better in the evening. M1 had invited her friends to dinner.

Except for Tuna Kababs which were made by Nola, everything else was done by M1.

I excused myself early after dinner, but couldn’t go to sleep due to the disappearance of my iPhone’s charger. I was mystified. The last I had seen of it was when I stuffed it into my bag, an hour before dinner. It wasn’t there. I searched for it under the bed too —- thinking it might have fallen off. Nothing! It had completely disappeared from my life. I finally gave up the search. Before going to bed, I filled my glass with water, to drink it with my antibiotic. My eyes landed on my elusive charger. M1’s roommate had used it, and it was hanging in the kitchen. I was so relieved to have found it.

Yesterday I had a long wait at Logan airport, Boston. There was a strong possibility of our flight to Dallas being canceled due to snowing. Nola, and I were on different flights. Nola reached Dallas two hours later than me. She collected her car first, and then came after me. It was an exhausting wait.

If I remember this never ending day, I vow to myself never to travel while sick.

Back

Son’s marriage happened rather un- expectedly. We were thinking it will be sometime in coming September. Whatever God Wills– it happens. So it was earlier. Son reached Peshawer, at three on the day his marriage was arranged. I had to arrange for everything in a hurry – the marriage itself, car decoration, the sweets to be distributed after the Nikah ceremony, and then the Walima itself which is a second day extension of the marriage celebrations.

The first day expenses were born by the bride’s parents, and second day’s expense was mine. Thankfully everything went smoothly. Both days the functions were held at daylight hours. The second day it was continuous rain.

Son extended his leave to spend time with his bride, whereas I returned to New Bedford alone, and promptly fell sick. Nola (daughter) arrived yesterday to take care of me, and showed me to the doctor, and got me the necessary medication. I’m leaving with Nola for Boston tomorrow Insha’Allah, and then onward to Dallas for a three weeks stay before coming back to New Bedford again.

The bride reaches the marriage hall in a Doli. Her brother (the boy in specs) is one of the carriers. Masha’Allah!