Living With A Lizard

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.

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Strawberries And Cream

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.

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My Sis

I made a cartoon on my previous blog and I was worried. You will ask why? Simply because my sister is a stickler for truth. She will be at you like a dog gnaws at a bone, if she notices a slight discrepancy in what you say or do.

That cartoon was based on a friend, who visited after a gap of eight years.

My sister and I discovered each other later in life. She was away living with grandma. When she joined us (father and the other siblings) Baba (our father) passed away. We were together at uncle’s house, but I was busy with exams and got married soon after I finished.

We took baby steps towards each other in the ensuing years. I can say that now we are friends. We got to know each other. Unlike me, she dresses beautifully. She looks immaculate even after a twenty-four hours long flight. I wonder how she does it? In comparison, I look like a scarecrow. She cooks like a dream. Her house remains tip top. Sadly, she suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and is heroically battling it.

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Time Changes

Time passes so quickly. Babies you saw in their mothers’ arms suddenly are adults somehow. Last October, my sister came for condolences from US. She couldn’t make it to the funeral of my husband. While making the rounds of shops (she wanted some dresses) I caught sight of myself in a mirror. A haggard old person looked back at me. I was startled at myself while looking at the apparition. Few months had passed, but for a person who had looked years younger now looked years older.

What a change!

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The Cult Of The Tomb

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.

Ads

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.

 

Thank you God

Dear Allah, I wanted to thank you. You have given me, an insignificant human being, a mere speck in this world, a lot of things. Some are those, for which I asked, and some those, which you bestowed upon me without my asking. “You are my One, True God.”

You made me whole giving me eye sight, the gift of hearing and the use of my limbs. You have given me good health. Masha-Allah. You have given me shelter in the house I live. Suppose I was on the streets without a roof over my head, how would have I fared?

You give me my daily food, all the things I like to eat. There are so many people out there in the world, who go without food and remain hungry. You have given me drinkable water, clear and sweet. Without it I would not have survived.

You gave me a father, who was kind and lovable.

You gave me a husband, who loved me and looked after me, till death took him away.

You gave me two children, who are the best in this world.

I can mention a whole lot of things. It’s endless. You are Merciful, Kind and Great.

You gave me everything I wished for. I remember once I wanted cherries to eat and there were none in sight. H came from the office, bearing a box of cherries. I was amazed and delighted, “How did you get it?”

“A friend sent it from Quetta.”
I confessed, “This morning I was wishing for cherries.” He laughed and said, “You should have wished for something better.” And this happened a lot of times. Whenever I wished for cherries, I got them.

I love Lichees. Dear God, you gave me trees full of Lichees in my own home, where I can have them to my heart’s content. The many times I yearned for a thing, I got it.

Dear Allah, I thank you for all you have given me. I know I cannot thank you enough, for the kindness and infinite mercy you have shown me. I love you God. Please forgive me for my shortcomings. Please bear with my one wish now, and let it come true. “Dear God, save me from hell, and give me a place in your Heaven, when I leave this world for my ever lasting home. Amen.”

Thank you God

Life of Sheen

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