Category Archives: Daily Prompts, Topic Ideas

The Present to Myself

The lady who had come to buy the double bed in Son’s room in Peshawar, looked at the rocking chair first, “How much for that chair?”

“I wasn’t selling that”, was my reply.

I wasn’t interested, but she kept asking. I wish I had taken a shot of it. I was tired, and wanted her to leave so I could get some food to eat. I hadn’t eaten anything since my breakfast, which I had very early in the morning. I had been climbing up and down the outside stairs since daybreak. Okay! I named an exorbitant price. The lady snatched the chair up, and pushed it towards her male servant to take it away. She probably feared I may track back.

Oh God what had I done? My lovely chair became a distant memory.

The chair above is my present to myself. It’s my new rocking chair where I live now.

Time to make new memories.

Feb 18, 2018

DAILY PROMPT

Present

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Courage

To find courage—– one has to draw on one’s innermost strength—– to deal with whatever happens.

Courage

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Rube

Though it’s rude to call someone a rube, but it brought to mind my driver Waqas. He was definitely one. I had to employ a driver, when Son left for Houston in December, leaving me on my own. His new job in Massachusetts required him to reach there by January sixth. I would have coped without a driver, but driving in Peshawar was truly hazardous. Another thing was keeping the car not getting stolen by leaving it without a person to guard it.

Waqas belched when he would have his food. Although I had not signed him for giving him food except his pay. I had to give him food when it was meal times, and he was still with me. For the first few times, I ignored his ill manners. Then I had to find my courage to tell him off. It didn’t work. He told me, “I always belch”. I told him he can do it when he is alone, but certainly not in front of me. It was so crass. I had to repeat several times before he decided to heed me.

Another thing which was very off putting was the smell coming from his clothes in the small confines of my car. Oh God! What am I going to do? It was my reaction every time the smell hit me. For some time I put up with it by rolling the window a few centimeters down. Then it was enough. I knew I couldn’t last a month with the foul smell. I was across my limit of endurance. I bought a nice smelling bag of detergent, and gave it to him to have his clothes washed in it. That took care of the problem.

Next time Insha’Allah I’m coming back the minute Son has to leave.

Rube

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Costume

At a recent function where I was welcomed to my Son fiancée’s home, we all are wearing colorful clothes. Mine is the mustard, and yellow one. The girl’s parents had asked me to come over for lunch. I told them that I would be coming late as men would be working at making my veranda enclosed, and extended. I had totally forgotten that Lala (my older brother) had asked me to lunch too.

As I was getting ready to go, Lala phoned to ask me when I would be coming? It was a an embarrassing moment to realize that I had accepted two invitations at one, and the same time. I made my excuses to Lala, and hurriedly got myself in the car. We made it to the village, got the guide to direct us to the girl’s village.

Rabia’s parents had invited all their. close relations. I was showered with rose petals, as I got out of the car, and then garlanded. They had made it into a grand occasion. My cheeks were on fire, as I was on display with so many eyes looking at me. I wanted to shrink, and disappear. It took me some time to recover.

So you see we don’t need costumes. Our shalwar, qameez essemble are as colorful as costumes.

Costume

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Lecture

Son needed curtains for his room– the eclipse ones–dark, which didn’t let the light through. We spent a whole day at IKEA. While the bookcase and chest of drawers he wanted weren’t available, I was lucky in getting a rocking chair I liked. I had earlier wanted a blue covering. Not finding it in that shade, I opted for an off white one.

Son bought three pairs of curtains after spending a considerable amount of time in deciding. I despaired whether he would ever finally make up his mind.

The very next day Son wanted to have another look at curtains in shops we had not visited. He wanted a better deal. We began at Bed, Bath and Beyond. The ones he liked, I didn’t, and so on. It continued through the many stores we visited. My energy level went spirally down as the day went. I was tired, my feet ached, I was cold, and I badly wanted to get back home.

Son lectured me on the parking of my car. According to him, it wasn’t straight enough. I ignored what he was saying. You decide?

DAILY PROMPT

Lecture

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Conversation

A Happy New Year to every one — to you — to me. I need happiness badly. My new year began with tears due to the harassment from my step brother in law Bashir. It was a phone conversation from my late husband’s sister’s husband N. He has gone on board with Bashir telling me that that he, his children, Bashir, his brother’s sons have their share in my my village home, and land. 

Bashir’s greed leaves me furiously angry. I had never cursed anyone in my life before the new turn my life has taken with the death of my brother in law Aziz.

Where was their bogus claim when my husband was alive? Where were they when my brother in law Aziz was alive? Bashir is not satisfied by taking over Aziz’s assets, land and property. He is hungry for more. He is the puppeteer behind the scene trying to divert people’s attention from his own nefarious doings. He now wants to take over my property. He can only harass a widow knowing I am alone at his mercy. 

He has threatened to break the boundary wall, and locks in my home. My children fearing for my safety have told me not to go to the village, and leave immediately for US. I don’t want to leave till I sell my home, and land. I can’t turn tail by leaving mine, and my children’s inheritance to the likes of Bashir, and others. 

Their twisted minds pushes me into anger, and in frustration I’m polluting my mouth with curses on the likes of them. They are like vultures descending on me, and trying to frighten me.

I am going to file harassment charges against Bashir, and his cohorts. It’s the only course open to me.

DAILY PROMPT

Conversation

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Saintly

Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I’ve stopped believing that good people (saintly) exist.

Maybe they are there, but I haven’t come across them.

I feel I’m in a quagmire with the death of my brother in law. I feel I’m orphaned once again. Someone has pulled the covering from my head, and left it bare.

My step brother in law, his wife and his demised brother’s two sons are trying to grab my home, and land in the village. They tell me that it’s not mine. Their treacherous, and ignomious behavior is terribly upsetting.

At the moment it’s in my possession, but the minute I’m gone from here they ‘re likely to do their mischief. The administration in Charsadda has assured me it won’t happen, but I won’t be here. 

I’m wondering at extending my stay, and actively looking for buyers. No one has come forward. For the villagers it’s fun watching the live drama in their midst. A widow (that’s me) on one side, and the the land grabbing mafia consisting of dear step brother, his wife, and two sons of his brother.

I just wonder with which face they face Allah now. Have they forgotten the Hereafter? We all are going to meet our Creator one day, or they think with their prayers on one side they will brazen it out.

DAILY PROMPT

Saintly

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