I dislike lizards bordering on vengeance. They are so creepy, and hideous. If they didn’t try to get inside the house, I wouldn’t have disliked them that much. Somehow they find their way in.
When my husband R was alive, at least I could count on him to get rid of them. Now that I live alone, I get heart attacks every time I see one, especially when I am chasing it with a broom, and it gets entangled with my foot. I make so much noise like someone is about to murder me. I won’t like my neighbors to hear me shrieking, but that’s what I do.
Why can’t they stay outside? With colder months coming they hide near doorways, and get inside the minute you open the door. Once they hide inside they are difficult to find except when you see them on the roof. It’s a heart stopping moment.
Last week, I visited our village. I brought back with me fresh strawberries from the fields. My brother and neighbors were delighted when I sent them the fruit. The thing was, it was fresh and larger than the market variety.
Equal amount of sliced strawberries and whipped cream makes a nice dessert when it is chilled properly. I simply love it. My favorite is strawberry jam. Way back I used to make a huge amount to last us a year long. I would sterilize the bottles and store the prepared jam. Now, I take an easy way. Suppose it is four cups strawberries, I add two cups sugar to it. Add to it the juice of two lemons plus half a cup of water. Put the pot on slow heat till the sugar melts. Increase the heat so that it is bubbling. Keep stirring (I suddenly remembered this part) till it reduces slightly, or the consistency you want. Add one table spoon butter to bring a sheen to it. Another second or two and take it off the cooker. Pour it into a clean jar and after it cools put it in the fridge.
Its mouth watering and a million times better than the store brought variety. The plus point, it’s free of preservatives.
In our society some people tend to go the mazars. Mazars are tombs of holy or pious men. They go there to pray to God to help them. In realty most of them, the ignorant ones pray directly to the dead person buried there to help them and take away their woes. They think it is a panache for all ills. They will be sick. Instead of going to the doctor they find it easy to go visit the the last abiding place of some holy person.
Once a road was being widened near Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Along the side of the road a person was buried a long time ago. The tomb was festooned with a lot of little colorful flags as is usual here. The person in charge ordered that the tomb should be erased and the remains buried in a cemetery. A lot of hue and cry was raised. The grave was opened despite that. A long stick was found instead of the skeleton. Somebody wanting to mint money had built that fake mazar. People visiting give gifts of money and food.
There is a mazar in Lahore which is very famous, the mazar of Hazrat Data Gunj Bahksh. Many people go there for their prayers to be answered. I pity the poor chap. Imagine day and night the ding dong (music) going on. I think if he could, he would have run away from that place.
One of my husband’s relative was suffering from breast cancer. Instead of going to the doctor, she kept visiting a mazar in Swat in the hope of getting well. After she became more ill she went to a cancer specialist. It was too late. How can a dead person grant you a wish? His own account closed at the time of his death. May be he was a good person, but who answers prayers from the grave?
I see so many of our ‘Great Leaders’ going to such places. They are the death knell of our country. They have only brought chaos to our homeland. Why don’t they directly pray to God ? There was a photo of President Zardari in the newspaper visiting the mazar of Lal Shebaz Qulander. Probably he was praying for a second term. I hope and pray to God his wish is not answered. He and his cronies are done with.
It’s really ironic that in this age educated people are so naive as to believe in the power of dead people of long ago.
Usually my evenings are spent watching those shows which I like. I am in luck when there is no load shedding of electricity which is a common occurrence here.
I do my cooking at this time. Cooking bores me now and it’s repetitive, so while I do my cooking I watch my favorite TV shows if they are on. My pet dislikes are ads. I know they are a necessity. If there weren’t any ads the shows won’t run. I have noticed whenever a show is popular more ads are there.
I wish the ad people would come out with more interesting ads so that we don’t get bored with them. I think they should change them frequently too, like the coke ads. Some are so bad you dread watching them. I wish they come out with more innovative ideas so that (unfortunately) when I have to watch them I won’t take out huge chunks of hair from my already thinning patch in despair.
There is the milk ad. You are told if you add it to your tea it will be marvelous. You are bound to say, “What is wrong with that?” The thing which jars me is their prancing about. If they had done it imaginatively it wouldn’t look so cheap. Then there is the cream ad. A lovely lady with a smile tells you to use it. Somehow I doubt that lady using it on her arms and legs. If we did I am sure most of us will start resembling gorillas, because the non-existing hair will also come out for a breath.
Now the meat cubes ad! This one tells you to add it to your veggies. The cubes will make you feel you are having meat. What a choice! While the cost of meat is spiraling up and the currency is going down (thanks to our govt.) the cubes will do the trick and that at a steep price too.
Next in line is the cellular ad. You are told to spend a lot of bucks every day to get a shiny new car. It is your money which is being spent, not theirs. If they had such big hearts they would have given you a lower price of their phone package instead of minting you for money. They lure you with the tune that the more you spend; you will have a better chance of winning.
The one I like is where the sale person has a drink and he dances to get the escalator moving. To come back to my original bone of contention, I hate it when I am bored to death and would like to see a movie, there are so many ads linked to it I end up not seeing it. They waste your time. You start feeling sleepy and to keep awake you start munching this and that. Normally I give up and go to sleep.
Being starved for entertainment we are forced to watch such ads. My escape route is either to switch off or surf while the program takes a break.
Today was our Quran’s class. The women in our weekly class are learning Tajweed which means the correct pronunciation of the words in Arabic. For this purpose our teacher would listen to every one there recite the 73rd Surat and correct her. Some had brought their young kids along ( probably couldn’t be left alone at home) who were bent on breaking our concentration with noise of their own. After that Mrs. A (the teacher) read the Surah Lailatul Qadr and gave us the Tafseer for it. Tafseer indicates the dates when the angel Gabriel brought the Quranic verses down and it also gives the commentary about these verses. Lailatul Qadr is the night in the month of Ramadan when the Quran’s first verse was revealed to our Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him). This is the night when all the decisions for a year are made by Allah. Our Arabic lessons began after that. I was in for a disappointment. I moved my chair closer to Mrs. A to listen to her. It resulted in her taking my book leaving me high and dry. I couldn’t mark anything in my book. Poor me! This was my last lesson as I will be returning home insha’Allah next week.
This is my first blog so I will begin with myself. I am a mother of two kids. I am currently on a visit to Riyadh and staying with my daughter. I love it here. I like the Arabs. People around the world are so misguided about them. I like the way they dress irrespective of whether they are rich or poor. The women are in abayas and have their faces covered. I wish I could do the same. I will continue with the abaya when I go back to my country, insha’Allah. I am used to wearing a chador partly hiding my face but I have found that wearing an abaya covers you more. Plus, an abaya leaves your hands free and you are not fiddling all the time trying to cover yourself properly. I am trying to learn Arabic. It is simply beautiful. My teacher with whom I study the Quran in-depth once said, “It’s the language of Jannah”. Here is a picture of where I am staying.