Category Archives: Daily Prompts, Topic Ideas

Neighbors

My condo in Charlottesville was on first floor. Directly below me lived Mia. Her parents had shifted from Malaysia. Mia had married a white American, and had two adorable twin boys, who were two years old. I could see the two boys racing their cars on the sidewalk from my sitting area. They would be watched either by their father, or mother.

Mia’s mother still dressed in a Malaysian dress when she would come to call. She would be talking loudly in her native tongue. In those days I wasn’t friends with Mia, so I was quite confused as to whether the people down below could speak English. That cleared up when I met Mia in the local mosque. Her husband had converted to Islam from Christianity. Mia came regularly to the mosque, and when I would climb the stairs to my condo, I could hear the Quranic verses being played in her home.

During the Ramadan period I had there, she sent me a couple of times a Malay dish for Iftari. The filling was mouth watering. It was chicken, and vegetables. I loved it, and wanted to know the recipe. There never came a time when I could learn it from her. When Son came for me after his divorce, and asked me to shift back to Houston to live with him, I said good bye to my neighborhood.

Yesterday it was quite by chance, I came upon the recipe, and learnt the name (I didn’t even know the name) of the dish I liked. It’s Chinese by origin. The different countries around China have adapted it to their own liking. My Afghan neighbors next door in home country had their own version which was uncooked. I never liked it, but never had the gumption to admit. It would have been terribly rude, and I can never be a rude person. Every time they sent me, I was forced to sing platitudes.

Insha’Allah I will be trying my new found recipe after a day, or two. Let’s see how my version comes out.

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Eid

We had Eid yesterday. I had my tenant problems to deal with back home in Pakistan. He hadn’t paid the rent for three months. I was like kind of mad at him for not paying his dues. The last day of month long fasting had taken its toll, and as evening approached I was fatigued beyond measure.

IB (grandson) devours potato crisps night, and day, but anything homemade with potatoes in it, shies him off. For him, I made a mixture of chicken cut into bite size to fill into the samosas dough I had prepared earlier. When I put two chicken filled samosas in front of him, he refused to eat them. I threatened him with giving him aubergine to eat. I had made a dish for Son, and myself. IB had to decide — which he preferred. He ate the samosas.

I have found giving him alternatives to eat, lessons my period of agony over his not eating anything. He makes his own choice which in turn gets me less grief. I don’t have to prod him into finishing the meal on his plate.

Uncooked samosas waiting to be fried.

Broken

I have seen you on the prayer mat

Bowing down to our God

Yet learnt you lie so blatantly

In total disregard

Of what’s true, and what did happen

The truth between us all

You forget the angels writing

Of what did befall

Your hatred, and maliciousness

Severed the ties that held us close

They are shredded, and beyond repair

With wickedness you pose

Lies, and deceit spread their poison forever

With broken spirit I won’t trust

The likes of you never

(Sheen)

I wrote this poem a year, or two earlier, but have forgotten the date. I had posted it on my blog.

Broken

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Juxtapose

I can’t throw them away. How can I?

I’m keeping them. They are awful. If I discard them now, how I’m going to know how far I’ve progressed in my efforts? It has only been a month, and yet it seems a life time. Even children are far better than me in it. They automatically know what to do. I wish I had started earlier in my endeavors. I would have got a lot better than the snail pace I’m going through.

I’ll be going to juxtapose. That will definitely show my progress.

Dear readers you must be mystified as to what I’m really doing? I’m trying to dab in water colors. I never knew dealing with brushes would be so hard for me. I used to think it would be easy. It isn’t! First of all, I definitely know they have a mind of their own. How can it be? Aren’t they inert creatures? They are, but in my hands they behave differently.

A single stroke of color, and everything goes wrong. It’s disheartening. Trying to persevere I try again. I have found Son highly supportable. He thinks maybe a time comes his mother’s efforts bear fruit, and her paintings might fetch large sums. I’ve told him it’s unlikely in the near future, and in the far away future too. I know, because I stand at the lowest rung of the ladder, and it will be years before I’m satisfied as to what I paint.

Do you know that Van Gogh didn’t sell a single painting in his life. He went crazy, and killed himself. Isn’t it an irony but one of his painting sold for $81.3 million in November 2017.

Van Gogh’s 1889 landscape, “Laboureur dans un champ” Source: Christie’s.

Juxtapose

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Archaic

We had gone to Galveston on a day trip. That was the year 2015, and we lived in Houston. Shortly after reaching there, I badly needed to use a restroom. There was none in sight. Son took me in his car to search for one. We found an outhouse. It was simply archaic. I thanked my lucky stars I didn’t live in the era when there were no toilets, and running water.

Same was the case when my late husband, and I went for Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). It was the year 1996. I was thankful that I prevailed upon my husband in going for Haj, because from 2003 to 2012 were the worst years of my life due to illness.

There weren’t any restrooms in Arafat and Muzdalifah. I have heard that problem has been resolved for the Hajees (those who are performing the pilgrimage).

Archaic

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