Blindly


I was in my bedroom in the village making up my bed for the night. I had just collected two blankets, sheets and pillow covers when the lights went out. I had forgotten the load shedding.

My son, and I had come to our village home, and we were spending the night there. The whole day had been busy with visiting our relatives, we got to our home only half an hour ago. From past experiences I knew the lights were not going to come on again. I had forgotten to bring the battery lights with us.

I blindly walked into the lounge, feeling the way with my hands extended in front of me, so as not to run into the furniture. I was taking slow steps into the darkness, so as not to hit anything in my way. I reached the kitchen, and searched the pantry shelf for a candle. Luckily I got hold of a slightly wilted one. 

Next step was finding a match box. I kept the spare matches in my old cooking range. It had a small compartment where I kept certain things. Why there? I had found out that matches kept in the cupboard in the kitchen got soggy due to the house being closed, and they remained dry in the cooking range. I lit up the candle, and put it in a holder. I lit up another one for Son, and took it to his bedroom. He was patiently waiting for a light.

My apprehension about the electricity was correct. It didn’t come, and we spent the night without it. I managed to heat the food on gas, but there was no hot water. When I reach our village home I turn on the electric water heaters in the kitchen, and bathrooms. That day I had forgotten that too, and we had only ice cold water to wash with.

Life without basic amenities is certainly dreadful in the village. In winters it is very cold, and summers are hot. Our house in the village was built twenty eight years ago, but we have spent little time there. When my late husband was alive, we took trips to the village when someone had died, someone was getting married, or a feast was happening. 

I’m trying to sell the house, and the surrounding lands, but has yet to find a decent buyer. For what’s it worth, no one is giving me that price. Last year I spent a huge amount in renovations on the outside. I have to pay tax, electricity bills, and monthly pay to the watchman. The village home has become a burden for me.

DAILY PROMPT

Blindly

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Tenacious 

I could see the growing patch on the wall near the ceiling of my bedroom in Peshawar. It looked unsightly, and rather ugly. It also meant that the occasional rain water was making its’ way in, and marring my wall.

I climbed to the roof to determine from where the rain water was sneaking its way inside. That’s when I saw a small plant flourishing on the roof top. It wasn’t exactly on my side of the house, but was on my tenent’s side of the house next door.

I walked over to it, and tried to pull it with my bare hands, but it wouldn’t budge. It’s roots clung tenaciously to the cement in the roof. Peshawar is a city where rainfall occurs in certain months like January, or July and rest of the year the weather is dry, and dusty. It hardly rains. 

I recognized the plant. It was a small peepal tree in the making. The small branches with large green leaves waved gaily in the wind in the early morning. It seemed to be smirking, telling me you can’t take me out

I called a mason to discover the leak in the roof on my side of the house. He pulled out the plant easily enough for me, but hasn’t been successful in finding out the leak, and cause of the growing patch on the wall.

DAILY PROMPT

Tenacious

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A Time to Heal

WARNING: Please don’t read this if you are getting treatment for cancer.

My late husband R was lured by false hopes of cure from cancer to a hakim by one of his relatives. We had come back from KSA after my operation. I needed more time for recovery from surgery, but we didn’t stay as he needed his treatments for stomach cancer.

When R told my son, and I of his intention to visit the hakim, we did our best to dissuade him from doing so. I wasn’t a believer in hakim therapy, and R’s previous visits to such people bore testimony to this fact. The sad thing was R was at the stage where he was clutching at straws. It pains my heart about writing this.

Despite our pleading, he didn’t listen to us, and went to the hakim with his relative. On returning he took the medicine, and vomitting started. We took him to the cancer ward of the hospital. He was taken from there to the ICU of Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC). When his heart stabilized, he was moved back to the room at the the cancer unit where he was getting his treatment.

The day before his last day of life, I trimmed his beard, and hair. I changed his clothes after feeding him. He went to sleep, and he never woke up. The reason was the nurse forgot to give him his heart medicine for the last two days. Another was she gave him tablets for sleeping whereas he was in deep sleep, and his vomit went to the lungs.

At night when he wasn’t waking up, he was moved to Intensive Care. Sad to say the nurses, and the doctors there were inefficient too. He died of cardiac arrest at 11am. Prior to his death he was struggling to breathe. My children, and I made repeated visits to the doctor in charge to come and take a look. No one came. 

I believed he still would have a few more years with us, but it didn’t happen. 

I wish he had never gone to the hakim. It hastened his death. He thought he would get healed, but he didn’t know it will get him sooner to the grave.

DAILY PROMPT

Heal

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Denial 

I can’t remember road names. These roads keep changing their names. For example it is Kirkwood on one side, and straight ahead it get changed to Dulles. How am I supposed to remember? It’s difficult for me. Houston is an amalgam of cities. Highway six keeps turning up, or does the disappearing act

Son thinks by now I should be well versed with all the names. He has invented a new game. He asks, “What’s ahead on this road?” For the life of me I don’t remember as I am concentrating on driving, so I make a guess. Oh! It proved correct, though it was a wild guess. I can call it a lucky one, otherwise he was bound to be disappointed with me.

I’m going to be charged for my mistakes. The minute their  number goes to ten, I have to feed him baked chicken wings as a penalty. Son is pleased with the situation. If I am not ready by a specified time, he starts counting. Till today my mistakes amounted to seven. Son is eagerly waiting to find more.

At the grocery store the man looked puzzled at chicken trays Son left for me to pay for. I explained to him these are my penalties for mistakes I have done. He chuckled as he ran my bill.

For any mistakes I make I vehemently try to deny. He is ever ready to find them, and I at the other end is in a state of constant denial.

DAILY PROMPT

Denial

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Champion

My late husband used to enjoy watching Wrestling Championships. Keeping upto date with news was his first interest, starting with the news at 6pm, onwards to 9pm on the local tv. Between the news was the wrestling mania. He would relish the moves the wrestlers took, cheering, and enjoying whatever they did. I disliked the champions hitting each other mercilessly. 

Sometimes it looked a bit fake to me. One wrestler would be getting beaten, and suddenly he would get rejuvenated to beat the daylights from the other one.

I couldn’t take that much wrestling coupled with the news. Everyday there were bombs killing people, and news was all about death, and the drones killing, and blasting houses in the border areas. Life had become a big horror. I would escape from the lounge to watch light drama on the tv we had in the kitchen.

It had always been my mantra to keep myself occupied in work, or reading books with happy endings, or some project, or the other to stay happy. I can’t take bad news, so I hardly watch news. Why make myself unhappy? Downside is I never know the latest news. 

DAILY PROMPT

Champion

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