My Own Ghost Story

My husband was posted to Quetta. We were living in a nice, spacious house. It was probably built in 1935, after the Great Earthquake, in which many people died. It had huge lawns in front, and towards the back were an orchard and a vegetable garden. The orchard had trees full of almonds, walnuts, white cherries ( white cherries, I am told, are very rare) and apples.

Both my children at that time were, nine and eleven. At one end of the house was their bedroom. One wall, facing towards a side of the front of the house, had large windows. My elder brother (an Army officer) came on a short course to Quetta. My children, sort off, looked to him grownup, so he suggested to us, to give them separate rooms. My son got shifted to a smaller room, towards the entrance of the house. My daughter, however remained in the existing room.

I woke up at night to see in the dark, Nola peering at me. I had a fright. “Why are you here?” I asked her. “Mama, I can’t sleep. There is someone in my room. I am frightened.” To which I replied, “How can there be someone? Go back to sleep in your own bed.” She wouldn’t budge and insisted she would sleep with me rather than sleeping in her room alone. So I let her sleep with us. Every night I would sit with her, till she went to sleep. When I was sure she was asleep, I would tip toe to our room. Twenty minutes later, she would be in our room, standing besides my side of the bed, begging to sleep with me. This went on for three days. In the end, my husband decided, that I should sleep with her for a week or so, till she adjusted to being alone in her room, and got over her fright.

The first night, both of us laid in our beds, (my bed was towards the window’s side) Nola was fast asleep within seconds. She probably felt secure in the knowledge, that with her mother beside her no harm could touch her. I had trouble sleeping. This always happens to me when I am sleeping in another bed than my own. Moonlight was streaming inside the bedroom. The minute I closed my eyes, I felt someone sitting beside me, staring at my face. It was such an eerie feeling, I opened my eyes, frightened. There was no one. After a few moments, I closed my eyes again. There was again that person staring at my face. I opened my eyes, there was no one. This went on and in the end, I couldn’t close my eyes. I would dread the moment, that person would sit beside me. Sleep eluded me.

In the morning I told my husband, but he didn’t believe me. I stuck out in that room, along with my child, for a week. I would try to delude myself, that there was no one there, it was a figment of my imagination. The apparition was real. It was there beside me, every night. I couldn’t close my eyes the whole night, and I would remain awake. Finally, we shifted Nola’s bed to our bedroom. I closed the door to that bedroom, till the remaining of our stay there.

Years later, a lady visited me. She had stayed in the same house as ourselves. I mentioned what happened to us. She told me that we were lucky people, as nothing happened to us. She and her family only lasted a month in that house. They were frightened to death, and same was the case with other people.

All of us, said our five prayers regularly. We were spared any frightening experience. We were under the protection of God, that’s why nothing could touch us during our stay of over three years there.

Lucky

African Grey Parrot
African Grey Parrot

Last night we had dinner with a friend of my son. His friends are really, very nice. Since they know, that I am staying with him, I am included in their invites. I had a most amazing experience. I saw an African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) up close. Up till now, I had only seen it in pictures. This one was named Lucky. He kept following Aminah. (The lady of the house) I was sitting near her. Lucky came, and stood near my feet. I was afraid of his pecking on my foot. He only wanted attention from Aminah. She said that it was very much attached to her, and keeps following her around the house. He was not talking in front of us, but when guests are not there, he talks nineteen to a dozen. It was lovely watching their interaction.

I am tempted to have one like Lucky. Maybe if I settled here, I might try to have one. It’s life span is long, sixty to ninety years. I won’t be afraid of it dying, and leaving me. It makes a great pet. Although I may be the one, leaving it behind when the time comes.

A few years back, my husband and I found a Cockatiel, outside on our verandah. It was early February and very cold. Honey brought it inside. For a month, he nursed the bird, dressing it’s slight cuts and feeding. Honey asked me, wether I would like to keep it. Somehow, the idea of keeping a bird in a cage is repugnant to me. So, we released the Cockatiel, once it had recovered it’s strength. We took it to the terrace, and waved goodbye. 😢

Confession

This is a confession of a person I know. She loves to play games on her iPad. Blitz seems to be her favorite nowadays. The other ones she likes, beside Blitz are, Angry Birds, Temple Run and Snoopy Coaster. She loves to do Jigsaw Puzzles. She has downloaded so many of them.

In the days gone by, she loved Nintendo. Her daughter brought it as a gift for her elder brother. The brother was incensed at her. At that time he was doing his job as an Electrical Engineer. “Are you out of your mind?” He asked Nola (his sister) sarcastically. Poor Nola was embarrassed, and thats’ when the person I know said she will try it. At the beginning, she was afraid of falling off in the virtual world and combatting dragons. Gradually she became a pro at it, when she did find time to play.

Eventually, she got all the games for her Nintendo. She loved being Mario, Jungle Boy, Aladdin, Batman and The Lion King. She dodged Zombies heroically, literally having her heart in her mouth, when she was playing it. DonkeyKong was one of her favorites too.

Her son bought for her a DSI. Now she could carry her games. She loved getting Wii as a present. It added a new dimension to her world. Her grand kids thought of her as a ‘cool’ grandma. They were delighted that she could play with them.

I am feeling terribly embarrassed, but the person I talked about, is Me.

20130603-182938.jpg
My grandson playing

 

20130609-205852.jpg
Being Mario

What I liked

Most women like to buy jewelry, clothes,lingerie, shoes and branded handbags. I am sure there may be other stuff too, but at the moment my recall has reached the low level, or say zero point. For myself, I loved crockery. I could never get enough of it. Whenever I saw a piece to my liking, I had to have it. I used to gather dishes and cups the way a person hoards money.

The cupboards in my kitchen and the floor to ceiling display in my dinning room were filled to capacity. My husband would often shake his head at my crammed spaces. My friends and children knowing that I liked crockery as a gift, also bought items to my liking. Once, my daughter’s children had to carry a Lazy Susan with five dishes all the way from America to Pakistan. They were ready to ditch the heavy package in route, but my daughter didn’t let them, much to their disgust.

A few months after my husband passed away, I decided to divide the house into two portions. I moved to the upper portion. It had two bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a small spare room and a long verandah in front. My husband had added another kitchen upstairs on the side of the terrace. There was a servant room with bathroom to one side of it too.

I had to part with most of my beloved items. There was no space for them upstairs. I gave away most of my things, much to the delight of my friends and relatives. In the beginning I had terrible pangs of regret, but thankfully they have subsided. My son would often say to me, “mama,you are allowed only two pieces of baggage by air. All your stuff is going to be left behind, you can never carry it with you.” So true.

Below is a picture of my favorite cups, which I used in rotation for my morning cup of tea.

20130602-195949.jpg

Forgetting Things

Lately I have started forgetting things. It’s not at this stage, where I should feel alarmed, but I do feel worried a bit. I do hope I am not at an early stage of Alzheimer.

Before going for groceries I do make a note, but the thing is I forget it at home. It’s either that, or I misplace it some where else. If I put it in my purse, it magically loses itself in the labyrinth of my purse. I keep searching for it, and in the end I gave up. I return home, and whoa the things I needed most, were the things I forgot.

The other day, a funny thing happened. A friend talked to me about something about her grandchild. Later on, probably she was worried that I may talk to the person concerned. She kept phoning me, day in and day out. I kept wondering as to what she wants, and you will ask why? The answer is, she phones me once in a blue moon. Anyway the cat came out of the bag after two days. She asked me not to say what she had told me. I set her mind at rest, and finally when she was assured of my “good intentions” I asked her, “what did you tell me?”

Has this happened to you?

20130528-005358.jpg

Changes

Whenever I visit my son and his family, I feel I am in Seventh Heaven. The days pass so quickly. There are lots of changes in my grand sons. They are growing up. The elder two, specially the older one is meta morphing into a prickly creature. Both of them are sporting bushy unkept hairdos. To tell you the truth, in my heart I was pretty much aghast, but when their friends visited they looked the same with their hair. I breathed a sigh of relief that my grandsons are not the odd ones out.

The youngest one, IB is still his sweet, sunny self. He loves to perform his magic tricks. Yesterday he put a coin in my hand. Before closing my hand over the coin, he as quickly removed it, and touched my ear. He showed it to me, rather triumphantly, and told me, “See, I got it out of your ear.” I tried to look suitably impressed.

20130526-081341.jpgThey are standing with me, a few years back.

20130526-112406.jpgThe elder one as seen from the back now.

Coming Here

This month I remained busy with tying up odds and ends at home. Actually I was coming to US to spend time with my son and grand children. My younger grandchild IB was very much excited and kept asking his father, as to when his Dado will come. He drove his father up the wall with his questioning. IB was there at the airport along with his father. Both had to wait one and a half hour for me to emerge out finally. I was exhausted with the long journey and the long wait in line for the immigration. There were few booths open and the Aliens were far too many.

Whenever I come to US I feel I have arrived home. The people are extremely nice and they are always smiling. You always feel welcome here. The trees and the greenery are another lovely sight to behold. I simply love it here, although I do get a lot of discreet stares which I try to ignore.

Reaching my son’s home my daughter in law in her own way to welcome me, had prepared a lot of dishes. There was quite a spread on the dining table. Later on I went up to the room which they had assigned to me. IB joined me after sometime. He brought out his wallet. It had three dollars in it. He took out one dollar from it and put it in my hand. “Here, Dado take this. You will need to buy something for yourself.” It brought tears to my eyes over his generosity to share what he had.

%d bloggers like this: