Tag Archives: airport


As my yearly excursion to daughter draws nearer, I’m getting panicked. She wants me to spend the coming Eid with her. It’s still a month, and a half away. I wanted to beg her to let me off with visiting– but then she dropped a bombshell. She would be again moving further away. This was the deciding factor in buying a ticket to spend some time with her.

The thought of being subjected to the hassle at the airport throws me into panic. The only option left was traveling by road which is exhausting to say the least. 

The cartoons say it all.

Cartoons Credit: Google



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I protest against the attitude of Houston IAH airport where Muslims are targeted for extra screening. I passed through the screening machine where my innards were on display. Inspite that I was patted, and touched on my private parts. This happened to me on the 27th of last month.

Another lady whose head was covered like mine was, gave me a tight smile indicating what we were going through. With arms akimbo like scarecrows the idiots searched our body parts for hidden ? A woman combed me with her hands, and her device, going once, going twice, going thrice, and going for more, while a man continuously wiped my hands with swaps trying to find something.

This is what happens when people like Trump are chosen for presidency. What else is going to happen after 20th January?

What happened to me, and the other lady was done to other travelers, it wouldn’t have mattered. BUT —– they only target Muslims, it’s totally wrong.

It’s disgusting, and demeaning.

Please stop it before I lose my love,trust and respect for USA. Did I move here for good to be treated like scum?




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I am trying to nail this elegant thing. I used to be terrible at wearing elegant clothes. I didn’t know which colors would suit me. With the frequent postings of my late husband I was hard pressed at finding good tailors who could stitch clothes according to my wishes. Tailors in general follow the universal designs liked only by themselves. 

I didn’t want low cuts, not wanting my chest on display. I have never liked fitted shirts. I wear loose shirts which won’t cling to my body. I now know how to do the alteration to my own clothes after I get them stitched from my tailor.

Three years back I shifted permanently here from my home country. I am still trying to find my way in this maze of dressing. Dressed in shalwar, qameez and dopatta I stood out among people here.  While going from Houston to New York in 2013, security at the airport was  troublesome. It was the reason I took to wearing jeans, pants and shirts. I didn’t like the shirts I bought in the beginning, I gave them away. 

I am petite. Clothes in my size are difficult to find, specially pants. Clothes in the girls’ section are way too small, and tight, and in the women’s section pants are larger in size. This year I became good at altering pants too. I didn’t have one in grey. I bought one at Target, shortened, and narrowed it to my size.

I can’t wear polyester clothes. I bought some hijabs not knowing they were polyester. My neck formed blisters. I thought an insect must have bitten me. I continued wearing those hijabs. During this time my neck went from bad to worse. Once it dawned on me what was the real cause I had to discard them. I found cotton ones which aren’t that pretty, but at least they don’t make my skin itch, or form blisters. 

I have to search for cotton shirts which will look good on me. The pretty ones are all polyester. I avoid those. I am learning gradually how to find clothes at cheaper prices (when they are on Sale). Once in a while I do get lucky in finding something which I like, and is affordable.




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Yesterday I had a long wait at JFK airport. I had arrived earlier from Houston. My daughter was coming via Chicago from Iowa. We were to meet there, so that she didn’t have to drive again to fetch me.

I randomly observed people, as I sat in the baggage area. Some had travelled with their dogs. One young couple had a miniature pooch– brown with black patches. He escaped from his mistress, and ran straight at me. He was unbelievingly small with pointy ears, and bulgy eyes. As I got ready to give a shriek, he skidded to a stop, and changed his direction. His mistress ran after him in hot pursuit.

A night earlier I was walking outside the apartment I live with my son. I had come out to dispose our garbage, and after that decided to take a walk. A man with a dog had come to throw his garbage too.  He had several bags. Meanwhile his dog got another idea when he saw me walking there. He excitedly started barking at me, trying to get closer to me, and ready to give me a bite. He wasn’t a miniature, but was a ferocious little thing. I shrieked involuntarily, and waved my hands at him to keep myself from being bitten. 

His owner shouted at him to stop his misbehavior, but  he kept nipping at my ankles. I moved backwards. He took umbrage at his owner from stopping him from having his fun. Clearly in a huff he ran off. His owner dropped his garbage, and ran after him. 

I saw them returning. To avoid them I continued my walk in the opposite direction. After waiting for several minutes, I turned to walk back home.




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A Hectic Day

Out of Breath
by Ben Huberman
We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

Image Credit: Google

Shutting down a home requires a number of things to be done before one can leave. The task becomes difficult with friends, and guests dropping on you on your last day at home. You have to bite your tongue not to say anything. You have to keep the expressions on your face welcoming, in spite of the fact that you need time to finish off the work to be done.

What can you say to their faces? I just keep mum.

Please say your goodbyes 4-5 days earlier, unless you are specifically asked to come. Please don’t come on my last day, when I am trying to close down my home for an indefinite period.

Please don’t linger for hours. Let me finish my chores. I am tired, and there is a long journey ahead of me. I need rest. That’s what was lingering in my mind, when I was coming here in May, 2013.

The busiest day went by. Last work was done. The fridge, and the hot water boiler, gas were shut down at last. Electric gadgets disconnected. I wanted to lie down (to straighten up my back) for a few moments, before finishing last minute tasks, when my tenant came upstairs. Thanks to her I forgot my bag of medicines which to this day must be resting in my dressing room.

She left when my brother, and nephew came to take me to the airport.
My nephew Shahid came rushing upstairs to demand iced water. It was a good turn. I had forgotten to empty a thermos full of cold water. I had filled it earlier when I had shut down the fridge. If Shahid had not asked for water, the thermos would have gathered fungus to this day.

I was going to empty it, when Lala (my elder brother) came up too for iced water, with rivulets of perspiration running down his face.

Next time I shouldn’t disclose the date of my leaving to avoid last minute disturbance. Let’s hope I stick to my resolution.


Terminal Time

You’re at the airport, your flight is delayed for six more hours, and none of your electronic devices is working. How do you pass the time?

On flights I do carry my iPad, and iPhone. On both of them I have games to play, and e books to read. They keep me company, and I am not bored.

If they won’t work, I will take out a book to read, from my carry on. I always have one or two books with me.

If I forgot, and there are no books with me, I will strike a conversation with fellow travelers. That will help pass the time on my hands. I can have a look in the shops to buy something I like.

When my husband was alive, and we were traveling together, I used to nap. Now I have to travel alone, I can’t have the luxury of napping. I am afraid that someone will steal my handbag, or my passport. Fear chases away my sleep, and I remain awake. I feel relief when it’s boarding time.

On one flight, an Afghan woman kept asking the passengers, whether anyone had seen her passport. Someone took it from her bag.
I felt pity for her, at her predicament.

Terminal Time

Facing Trouble

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.


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.