Everything Changes

I have come to New York for sightseeing. I am with my daughter and her family. We drove from Newark where we are currently staying. Having parked our vehicle we were walking down Times Square, suddenly a folded paper flutters down right in front of me. I pick it up. As I glance at it, the sight of the first initial of my name gives me a jolt. “S, you are going to die today.”

The blood drains from my face. Automatically I look right and left but people are passing by without a look in my direction. Ahead, my daughter is looking back at me perplexedly, as to why I am not moving. I moisten my lips and hurriedly join her. She takes my hand and asks me worriedly, “Are you okay?” I shake my head and try to smile at her through pale lips. “Yes, I am alright.”

I am thinking, “Was this paper meant for me or for someone else?” Since my initial is on it, I feel like it was meant for me. I decide not to say anything to my daughter so that she is not alarmed. I don’t want to take the fun and joy out of the day’s outing from her. Inside I am shaking with fright at the thought of dying. My life has changed in those few moments. “My end is nearer and I will be lying in a grave,” the thought is giving me chills.

The whole day passed in a blur for me. I didn’t enjoy it one bit. In my heart I was continually praying to God for His Mercy. I was asking for Forgiveness for any misdeeds I may have done. Before sleeping I hugged and kissed my daughter and asked for forgiveness from her. She was immediately alarmed and asked whether I was okay. I tried to reassure her and said, “Just in case I am no longer alive tomorrow.” She panicked and said, “No Mama, nothing is going to happen to you.” She hugged me fiercely and held me.

I went to bed convinced of an impending death, but morning comes and there I am, still alive. I give a silent prayer of thanks to my Creator. I still think to this day, that the paper must have been a death threat to a person with the same initial as myself, and whether that person is dead now.

In response to Daily Prompt.Everything Changes

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Dreams

When you are ten
Your dreams have wings
They float, they soar
Higher and higher
To a world unknown

Fate intervenes
What you want to become
In the loss of a parent
A guiding hand
Compassionate and caring
Leaving you stranded
Your dreams get shattered

Hope then dies
There is only loss
The future gets lost
Only mourning remains
You mourn your past
Future and tomorrow

Life goes by
Contentment does come
With what God gives
You can’t predict
What the future holds
You find your niche
A life to behold

This is in response to the Daily Prompt.
Dreams, Daily Prompt

Meeting President Obama

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I was all nerves with excitement. It was beyond my wildest dreams. I was going to meet President Obama for the first time. Who could have thought that a mere unknown like me would be meeting the President face to face?

How did I get to this stage? A good question!

First of all, “Who in the dickens am I?”, you are going to ask. Why am I getting this opportunity?
Am I a newscaster? No.
Am I a celebrity? No.
Am I Julia Roberts? He He, No. My fave actress by the way.
Am I some visiting dignitary? No.
Head of State? Prime Minister? Some foreign princess?
The answer to all these questions is still no. So who am I? Oh, I am a house wife. I hope you are not disappointed with this answer. You are disappointed, I can tell. If you didn’t expect this answer, it’s not my fault for who I am.

Let’s come back to my original story. I am all agog at the opportunity to meet Obama. What a coup! I jump up and down for the sheer excitement of it all.

So back again to the story. I had to decide what to wear for the occasion. I went through my wardrobe for the umpteenth time rejecting everything in sight. Oh, why wasn’t I back in my own country so I could have a new dress stitched for this special occasion in my life? How could I have known I would be having this opportunity? People, when they hear it, will be filled with envy and green with jealousy.

I am getting jittery, feeling afraid that somehow I will fail myself in the eyes of people who will be watching me. I might tangle with something and fall flat on my face, or I will be stuttering with nerves. Or I will be so moved with emotions, that tears will start flowing down my face. Anything can happen, I shudder to think about it. I am trying to calm myself taking deep breaths.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. Finally, there he is. He is gracious and smiling. Not at all snobbish, my first thought. He is trying to put me at ease, looking friendly and approachable. I am full of nerves at this moment. Returning his smile my face breaks into an ear splitting grin. I am afraid my jaw will break into two halves. Oh my God!

Can you hear the drum beating?
The round of applause as I reach the President’s side.

There, my picture has been taken with the President. I step aside so others can have their picture taken. Done, I can leave now.

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Facing Trouble

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Picture taken from the cabin onward to Newark.

Yesterday I came from Houston to Newark. Nowadays in Ramadan I get up at 4.30am to have breakfast because of fasting. Yesterday I got up at 2.30 am to have it as the flight was at six. I didn’t feel like eating but forced myself. Left home at three in the morning. My son drove me. He checked in my one piece of luggage. Poor thing he had to get up early because of me.

Onward from there the trouble started. As I got to the screening I had no sense of impending doom. I loaded my handbag and sandals onto the tray and headed towards my own screening. Hands held over the head, I faced the camera. As I stepped out of the cubicle, I was held. Told to wait as other passengers breezed through. Again, I was lead through another screening. Another one, a period of waiting, and then another one. The alarm bells over my predicament now were in full swing in my head. My face you can imagine was beet red in color. All the things in my handbag were searched. Still barefoot, I was lead to another cubicle for body search.

My body was searched as to what they call a Pat Down. It was humiliating. God knows what they were trying to find. My bare feet went through swabs of cotton. By now my anger knew no bounds. I wanted to bite the two women’s heads off. I took off my scarf and then my abaya and asked sarcastically, ” Want me to take off my clothes so that you can have another go at me?” Perplexedly they shook their heads. As one of the women held the abaya in her hands, I found out the buttons in the abaya caused me all this grief. It dawned on those women too at this point. Stupid camera machine! It doesn’t know buttons. I hope the inventors and the installers face the same music which I went through.

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At Rainbow’s End

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My husband

Thoughts on First Anniversary of my husband’s death, 2nd August 2012.

You are feeling desolate. You are looking right at people, feeling empty inside with shock filled eyes. The shock of your husband dying. You have still not come to grips with the fact even after a year.

You think it’s a bad dream. You think it will fade and go away. Your world has turned upside down. A bleak sky frowns and glares upon you. You lose your life partner, the one you held onto through thick and thin. A load of misery awash your soul. Pain and tears fill your eyes with remembrance of a person, death never hesitated and took him away from you.

The mere mention and the floodgates open into a deluge. The hurt is never away. It resides within your soul. It comes out at unexpected moments. Terrible moments.
Love you, till we meet again.

I wrote this today as I will be traveling tomorrow.

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Roses photo Credit; Shutterstock.

Keeping Faith

Yesterday in The Huffington Post a writer called Ramadan a Muslim holiday. I wanted to clear the misconception, it’s not a holiday for Muslims. You are not taking a break. You go about your work but observe thirty days fasting with the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

The fast begins with the crack of dawn and ends in the evening when the sun goes down. You are not eating any food or drinking water during dawn to dusk. You break your fast with the call of the Muezzin for the evening prayers. Before dawn you have your breakfast or whatever you want to eat and with the call of Muezzin to morning prayers your fast begins. You are not taking a holiday. You go about your work and students go to schools and colleges. Nowadays the young ones are lucky they are having summer vacations otherwise it would have been very hard for them.

Ramadan was and is enjoined upon Muslims who keep faith in One, True God. He is One, The Supreme Being who created the human beings and everything in this Universe.

Below is the 112 Surah (chapter) Al Ikhlas (The Purity of Faith)from The Quran.
بسم اله الرحمن الرحيم
قل هو اله احد
اله صمد
لم يلد و لم يولد
و لم يكن له كفوا احد
The Translation

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Say: He is Allah,
The One and Only;
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He neither begot anyone
Nor was He begotten;
And there is none
Like unto Him.

The spirit of fasting is that we should become better people. It’s main purpose is to clean our souls. Alas! More among us follow the letter and not the spirit of Ramadan. God gave us this month as a Gift. It was so the human soul develops Piety. It was so that we see the hunger and help people less fortunate than us. Help us God to become better human beings. Amen.

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Best Friends Forever

My closest friend is my daughter. You can call her my very best friend. I was a stay at home mom. Being motherless myself from an early stage I used to be worried that it shouldn’t happen to my children. I loved my children with an intensity, always worried that I may kick the bucket way too soon leaving my kids to life’s vagaries. My whole world revolved around them and still do.

My husband being in the army the children and I were alone at home most of the time. As the children grew up and we faced the many transfers of my husband, we would be posted to such places where education was not up to the standard we liked. We didn’t like leaving our children with relatives. The one option left was hostels. My husband didn’t like leaving Nola in a hostel, but he was okay with our son being left. His thinking was that a boy can take care of himself better than a girl.

Wherever we were posted, Nola and I used to be alone at home and would keep each other company. We enjoyed each other but Nola would forget that I was the mother and would boss me. We had many fights too as she would question my decisions about her.

With her I never needed to talk to other people, as my own chatterbox kept me entertained with her talking and singing all the time. As a small child she was highly protective. Once we went to Nathiagali in winter for skiing. We had invited my cousin and her family for the trip with us. We had gone for a walk. My cousin Z playfully pelted me with snow balls when she suddenly called for help. My daughter had pushed her because she thought I was being attacked by Z.

It’s funny really even my granddaughter M 1 thought when she was four years old that Nola was my mother. She asked M 1 how old was Nano (that’s me) and her reply was that I was six and younger than her. Nowadays Nola’s son TJ is quite confused. He has heard her many times saying that Nano is her eldest child. The last time I visited he was trying to find out what his relationship was with me.

When she came to USA with her husband she was a student on a scholarship. We helped with money as much as we could but still life was hard for her. Years before when looking at an Epilady in Woman’s Weekly I remarked that I was going to get it for myself if I went abroad. At that time it was not available in our country. Can you imagine she had remembered that. She sent me that on my birthday. She knows my penchant for crockery. I have told you the story previously how she made her children carry a set of five dishes and a Lazy Susan. They had to change various airlines along the route. Her children were fed up on hand carrying Nano’s gift and wanted to throw it away.

During my various operations, she was the one looking after me. I won’t bore you with the details. She would nurse me to health and recovery. She would do whatever I asked her with unfailing good spirits. She was truly God’s Blessing for me and still is. I am glad that we are friends more than mother and daughter. Hope we remain so.😌. Amen.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same. (Elbert Hubbard)

Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow
Just walk beside me and be my friend
(Albert Camus)

And here is a poem which sums it up.

When we first talked to each other
I knew we would always be friends
Our friendship has kept on growing
And I’ll be here for you to the end.

You listen when I have a problem
And help dry the tears from my face
You take away my sorrow
And put happiness in it’s place

We can’t forget the fun we’ve had
Laughing ’til our faces turn blue
Talking of things only we find funny
People think we’re insane- if they only knew

I guess this is my way of saying thanks
For catching me when I fall
Thanks once again for being such a good friend
And being here with me through it all

(Anonymous)

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