Category Archives: Family

Can’t Get It Right

I wanted my gift ready for daughter’s birthday. It wasn’t! I was fasting, and didn’t have enough time to complete it with getting up for Sehr, and all the cooking done for Iftari. Then Nola left for a three weeks stay in home country, and I thought of gaining more time to do my painting.

Son looked at my efforts, and wasn’t much impressed. Another one I presented to his highness. So time went by. This one has met with a tiny bit of approval.

While coming back Nola and family missed a flight, and spent an extra day in France. My painting is of my grand daughters in Mauregard.

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The Last Afternoon

I asked Son to accompany me to the library to return the books I had finished reading. Son was in his la la land. This is a term he has coined which means skipping the internet, and too busy immersed in it to notice someone asking him for something. Then I told IB (my dear grandson) to come with me.

This is IB’s last afternoon with us. As usual he carried his penny board with us to skate board outside. He made us buy him the small skate board despite having a long board. He told us that Inshallah when he comes to us next time he can leave the long board home. The smaller one can be packed in his bag.

I made fries for his lunch. After he finished them, I asked him as usual, “Can I cut an apple for you?” I’m always expecting him to say, “Yes please”. The answer was no. Mine was, “Okay, I’m peeling one right now, and you are going to have it”.

He laughed at that,” Why do you bother to ask me when you are going to make me eat an apple?”

Skateboarding

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Son had promised IB (grandson) that he will take him to the park for skateboarding. IB’s stay with us is coming to a close. I feel sad already, wondering when we will next see him, and that is probably next year. Feeling, I must grab the moments spent with him, I got ready to go with them.

Meanwhile, IB the couch potato he is, tried his best at dissuading his father not to go out, insisting that the park where his father was taking him wasn’t meant for skateboarding. IB is totally addicted to his iPad, while we wanted him to get a few hours of air, and sun outside.

Popes Island had the children’s park. Alongside was the boat’s arena. Lucky people having their own boats. Children IB’s age were playing, but IB insisted he was too old to play there. Son, and I sat on the seesaw, while two energetic children- the same age as IB (twelve) sat beside us to push the seesaw up, and down. The boy was sweet, as he later came back again to help us in seesawing.

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This park was in Fair haven, MA. On the other side of the bridge constituted New Bedford.

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We went to Livesey Park, trying to ignore IB’s protestations that the park wasn’t meant for skateboarding. There were all sorts there — grown ups who were walking briskly on the side walks, children and grown ups cycling, teenagers playing volleyball.

IB skateboarded on the side walk till he was tired, and wanted to go back home.

Acushnet River

Looking Forward

IB (grandson) is a funny fellow. He was asking me about M1 (daughter ‘s eldest one), and when was she returning back from Pakistan? She has gone there along with her parents, and siblings to attend her cousin’s wedding. I told him the due date which is four days later.

I asked him, “Are you missing her?”

M1 is great with kids. They open up to her. Apparently it looks like I don’t have this skill. When she was here for a few days, IB wouldn’t leave her side for a minute even. If she was sitting on a sofa, he would be cuddled up next to her. When she would lie down on bed, IB would go to his bed only when lights were turned off. I think if he would have permission to sleep in her bed, he would have gladly done so.

His reply to my question was, “It’s good to have someone to talk to.”

So whose fault it is?

Certainly not mine! Looks like I have crossed over into invisibility.

Leaving Time

The New Bedford Library is a few minutes walk from where Son, and I live. Tomorrow is my due date to return the books I got from it. One of those books is Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. Back home I have got quite a collection of her books. She is one of my favorite authors.

I like her books, but there is one thing I don’t, and that is being sad. When I was younger I read all sorts of books, and could take everything in stride — sadness, death, murders and mysteries. Now all I can take is comfort in reading that the hero, and heroine got their happy after. I don’t want to read gory ends.

Jodi’s books make profound readings. Leaving Time is all about elephants, and a girl named Jenna who searches for her vanished mother till she finds her. While reading the book I learnt more about elephants, which previously I didn’t know.

I loved elephants during childhood. One of my dream was to get an elephant for a pet. My brother Lala who is eight years older than me would exploit it to no end. He only had to say that my elephant needed something I had, and I would hand it over to him unquestionably.

Mughal Kings during their time if they wanted to sentence someone, would gift a white elephant. The elephant required huge amounts of money for their upkeep, and soon the recipient of the king’s favor was reduced to poverty.

My mythical elephant still strolls the banks of River Jhelum, though Lala doesn’t requires me to give gifts for him.

Picky Eater

IB (grandson) is a picky eater. Whatever you put in his plate multiplies by five. When you look at his plate, say after half an hour, the food is still there— all scattered into bits on the plate. By this time he is fed up with his food as well, because magically it has not been finished, so he removes himself from the agonizing sight of food, and plonks himself on the sitting room sofa.

He gets engrossed with his iPad, and completely forgets that he hasn’t done any justice to his food. After sometime he notes that nobody (means me) is watching him, he raids the pantry, or the fridge to find something else to nibble. That something maybe chips, cans of fuzzy drink, or coke, or cotton candy.

He doesn’t like onions, or tomatoes in his food. The bits of tomatoes are all fished out of the food, and left on his plate. I’m getting smart with his ways. I put the lot through a Ninja, and finely blend it to trick him into eating. He used to like pineapple on pizzas when bought from outside, but a homemade pizza with bits of pineapple on it is a total no no.

Last night, after I had served him with my homemade pizza, he told me scathingly, “No one puts pineapple on a pizza”. His father reminded him that he always ordered it to add it on for a store bought one. IB turned to me for the final word, and ordered, “You can live without it”.

He never finishes his food, but today it’s a wonder— he drank his milk, orange juice, and ate his waffles, and strawberries.

The sight of IB’s empty plate brings joy to my heart.

Thai Red Curry

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Son, and I got a surprise visit from M1 (grand daughter). She wanted to leave her car with us, till she gets back to studies this fall in Boston. The day she was coming IB (grandson) waited impatiently the whole day for his cousin, counting minutes till she arrived quite late in the evening. She was caught in a traffic jam in Boston, otherwise she would have been with us a lot earlier. IB doesn’t have sisters, so Nola’s (my daughter) daughters fill the void.

M1 likes to cook her own food. She is quite a genius with food, and keep finding new recipes. She had brought with her nearly all the ingredients needed. This was my first taste of Thai food. M1 strongly recommended that I must try Thai vegetarian restaurants. She finds the food amazing.

Her uncle wanted to buy something for her as a gift. IB, and M1 went with Son, and I went to bed catching up on my sleep. I was awakened by a call from M1 that they were going to be late, so I should cut the chicken into pieces, and cook the rice as the accompanying dish to her curry. Earlier she had told me not to worry about what to cook, as she would be cooking for us.

As they came back home, her uncle told her to show me his gift to her. I stared perplexedly at the sandals in the shoe box. They didn’t look new, and then I glanced at her feet seeing her new foot wear. We all laughed at their fooling me.

It was marvelous eating the Red Curry. M1 added chicken as that gives a new dimension to the fantastic food. Other ingredients she added were mushrooms, spring onions, carrots, and pineapple. She omitted the kale from the recipe. The recipe can be found at

https://cookieandkate.com/2015/thai-red-curry-recipe/