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T and Trouble

Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy
It makes me crazy when people wear their shoes in my house. What habit/act drives you crazy? How do you prevent it from happening?


Maids drive me crazy. I am willing to die with work, rather than keep a maid. I have a bag full of horror stories. My birth country, Pakistan is cheaper than US, and you can have as many servants, as you want.

This is one story about a maid called Tasneem. She was twenty four years old. My husband R got her from his village. I needed help in cleaning my large house. She got a handsome pay from R, and her parents got a piece of our land, and servant quarters to live in.

This girl lived with us. I was adamant after her, never to get one from the village.

Whenever she wanted to go on leave, she never asked me for it. She would go over my head to my husband. He would say yes to her. If she had asked for three days leave, she would stay away for a week. It was her own sweet will.

Her cleaning also needed checking. I would wake up to the dust accumulating on furniture, carpets, and floors. The bathrooms got dirtier day by day, full of fungus. I always cleaned my own bathroom and bedroom.
With her around, I went through three vacuum cleaners, one after the other.
I would clean a bathroom to show her, how it was done. After fifteen days it was back to ground zero.

I did the cooking myself. I only asked her help in it, if I was with guests or going out. What help I required? Only turning of the gas. She never did so in time. The four occasions I asked, left the food, a charred mess.

Glasses and plates, broke into pieces routinely in her hands. Sometimes I came to know only, when I needed them. This piled extra work on me. Fearing she would break my cherished pieces of crockery. I would wash them myself.

When she went on leave, she would take the new clothes with her. She would leave them with her mother and come back in tatters. She was the same size as me. So , I started giving her my clothes and sandals.

The thing which was unforgivable was, that she started making passes at R. He was very good looking, although her father’s age. The miss, after she had her tonsils operation, (at our cost) decided to have a go at him. Little lies about me would be told to R, when I wasn’t around. I am a soul, who never thinks bad of other people, till it’s proven otherwise. I was never the wiser to her game.

Thanks to Lala, (my elder brother) he opened my eyes to her, and what she was upto.

It was good bye to her and her wiles. Even now, after remembering her, my heart pains in anger.

T and Trouble

Forgotten Music

Daily Prompt: Papa Loves Mambo
What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?


I have forgotten names and songs. The past ten years of my life have been traumatic, with my own health issues, and my husband battling one disease after another.

Growing up I listened to British singers mostly. I have even forgotten their names. My likes keep on changing. I may like a single song of one singer or the other.

Today no one comes to mind, except Indian singer Kishore Kumar from across the border. I liked his songs while growing up. I still like his voice, despite the fact he passed away decades ago.

Forgotten Music

Getting Away

Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer
What’s your travel style? Are you itinerary and schedule driven, needing to have every step mapped out in advance or are you content to arrive without a plan and let happenstance be your guide.


For me, it was always a hassle to get away. I left everything to my husband R to plan, where we were going and our stay. My only job was to pack what I wanted to take along with me. Even if it was for two days, I would pack at least six outfits and four pairs of footwear. I could never travel lightly. So you can imagine, if it was for a week or two weeks, what I would be packing?

The back seat of the car would be a mound of my belongings. This would be an addition to the two bags already in the trunk of the car. Looking on, my husband would grind his teeth helplessly. It was useless to say anything to you know who?

It was unimaginable for me to forget my two pillows, my own towels and toiletries. My husband was the opposite of me. He travelled with minimal clothes. His things fitted into a small bag, which he zipped and put it in the car and would be done. Then his waiting would start.

Till last minute I would dash inside, to bring out something or the other in shopping bags, to fling them on to the growing mound on the back seat. It would go on getting higher, till it obscured R’s view of the back.

While hurrying, with my to and fro to the car, I would keep my eyes safely averted from R’s ferocious frown, and daggers thrown at me, from his ice green eyes. I knew without looking, his eyes looked freezing.

At that moment I knew, (without his telling me) I was the most hateful, objectionable person in his life. If it was possible to murder me, he would have cheerfully gone ahead without any qualm.

He would breath a sigh of relief, when I would finally lock the front door and say, “Are you sure you don’t want to bring the rest of the house along with you?”

Getting Away

In Preparation

Daily Prompt (by Krista) : The Heat is On
Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it? Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches, or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of? How you work best?


Under pressure one works best
The heat is on and it’s my test
To finish the tasks I have to
It’s not easy to work so

The time is short

My heart is thumping, my blood roars
I hope my arteries won’t soar

I am telling myself

Stay calm my heart, it doesn’t matter
Take deep breaths and keep up the banter
The pounding in my head eases a little
The end is in sight, don’t become a cripple

Beads of perspiration trickle down
Trying to wipe, don’t breakdown

There I have done it.

The house shines
Food is ready, the table set
I had a bath, the glad rags are worn
I am ready to receive my guests

In Preparation

If I Was A Mayor

Daily Prompt: We Built this City
What do you love most about the city/town/place that you live in? What do you like the least about it? If you were mayor, what would be the most important problem you’d tackle? How would you tackle it?


I live in the city of Houston. It’s a large city, too large for my taste. I am a small town person where everyone knows everyone else. The most pressing problems are good schools and too congested roads.

Houston is a warm city. You don’t have to face snow storms like other cities in the North. It’s good for my arthritis. Although the children were excited when they learned there was going to be snow. They waited but alas their expectations came to naught. We are having cold weather but that’s it. But the weather is fickle, fluctuating from 77 degrees to 42.

City of Houston. Photo Credit: Google.

If I was a mayor, what would I have done
Tackling the problems, one by one
Better environment, roads and schools
Finding solutions, I would have won

If I Was A Mayor


Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it in all it’s ethereal glory. If no dreams stand out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening details out.


My best dream was seeing my husband in my dreams after a period of two months absence. I wrote about it in my post, “GONE” March, 2013.

About two weeks back, I had a nightmare. I moved here in May last year. Till this month I never had a bad dream in my stay here.

In my dream I saw myself standing in the backyard of my son’s home. It is night time, and I can see my surroundings in moonlight. Something heavy is clinging to my back. I see it’s black, creepy, elongated hand on my right arm.

I am trying to shriek. My voice is coming out in whispers only. I am calling my husband. In my dream I think he is sleeping inside the house, although in reality it is one and a half year since his death. Coming back to my nightmare, my husband is oblivious to my calls. I am trying to call him loudly, but my voice is making no sound.

In desperation I am trying to shake the thing on my back. I want to throw it to the ground, but it isn’t dislodging.

The thing is heavy and I am in terror. I don’t see anyone coming to help me. Desperate, I remember to call God for help, and start reciting “Ayat-ul-Kursi”. (These are the ayats, (verses) from Quran, 2nd chapter, section 34, ayat 255)

Suddenly I woke up from my bad dream. I could still feel the weight of the thing on my back. I got up and had a glass of water. After lying back on bed I recited Ayat-ul-Kursi and went back to sleep.

Two days later, I had another nightmare. This time I saw myself in bed, lying on my back. Two (ugly, exceptionally tall, black in color, weird in their shapes) things were standing on the right side of my bed. They were trying to get near me. It was odd, but this time I was not terror struck. I calmly recited Ayat-ul-Kursi and woke up.

In the morning I gave some money in charity to ward off the evil spirits. From one they had multiplied to two, so I was perturbed as to why I was having nightmares.

I told my daughter when she phoned me. As usual she had a solution. She told me to click on http://quranexplorer.com and to play the Quran in my room.

For three consecutive days I played the 2nd chapter, Surah Al Baqarah, every morning to get rid of the Shayateen (evil spirits).

After that I put the Quran on continuous play. It plays in the back ground. At night, after saying my night prayers, I specifically put it on before sleeping. It is comforting and I am not having any nightmares.



Daily Prompt: West End Girls
Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different type of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?


I live with my son now. I mean to acquire my own home but my son is not keen for me to do so. He tells me he only sees me at night times. If I go and live on my own he might see me on weekends or may not. He remains busy on weekends too.

My son’s home is on a corner plot. The neighborhood mostly have Asians, whites and few black families.

The couple living facing us, are whites. The chap owns his own company. He is rich but he is the only person in the neighborhood who mows his own lawn. He tends his flower beds. He washes his own and wife’s car on Sundays.

My son S recently banged their Jaguar while reversing. Their car was parked on the road in front of our driveway. S could have kept quiet but he went and sheepishly rung their door bell. The wife came out and graciously comforted my son, and patted his shoulder, instead of the other way round.

On our right are Hindus originally from India. They have rented the house from the owner temporarily. They are building their house nearby and will shift to it once it’s ready. The head of the family is a CEO and drives a Porsche.

On the other side of the road lives a Chinese family. We see each other daily, when I take a walk with my son. They have a cat named Chanda. They have given a girl’s name to their Tomcat. Chanda abandons his mistress when he sees N, (my daughter-in-law) when she accompanies us, (sometimes) on our daily walk. He walks behind N with his tail high up in the air. No amount of calling deters him from following N. Chanda seems to like pretty faces. Good choice!

My own background is totally different. Ours was a Army family. We lived in Army Cantonments. In the old days, when I was growing up, the houses were huge bungalows with sprawling lawns. Now the lawns are just a patch surrounding two story houses.

My own house (back home) is in Cantonment area. Most of the original owners who belonged to the Army sold their plots. Few Army families remain in my neighborhood. Many of my neighbors are business owners.

My own home was built twenty two years ago. My neighbors are very nice people and have shown me kindness and care only. The cats lady, (whose cats troubles me and I write about them in my blogs on a regular basis) is a lovely woman. When I wanted to move away to an apartment after my husband died, my neighbors stopped me from moving. All of them told me that they are there for me. They have shown me like and respect and I like my neighborhood.


In Line Of Fire

Daily Prompt: With or Without You
Tell about the time you threw down the gauntlet and drew the proverbial line in the sand by giving someone an ultimatum. If you’ve never handed out an ultimatum but secretly wanted to, describe the scene and what you would say to put an end (one way or another) to an intolerable situation.


My husband was posted to Thall. We put our son in a hostel, and took our daughter Nola along with us. As it was usual with us, my husband was at a border post while Nola and I, kept each other company.

The senior officers’ families were inside the Fortress. We lived in close proximity to one another. The children after coming back from school would play outside. Nola was eight years old at that time.

My immediate neighbor Mrs R was a nosy person. Probably she had nothing better to do. As soon she would see Nola, she would call her and would start grilling her about me. Questions like: “What’s your mother doing inside?
“What did you have for lunch?” “What’s your mother giving you for your evening meals?” I don’t know why she was obsessed with me.
Nola would dutifully answer, “Mama is in the bathroom,” or “Mama cooked ….” Or, “Mama is sewing or knitting.”

One day I sat down with my sweet, innocent daughter. I coached her in replying to Mrs R queries with a simple reply, “I don’t know.”
“How come you don’t know what’s your mother doing?”
My child would answer, “I don’t know.”

This reply drove Mrs R up the wall. You can’t imagine how frustrated she was. I didn’t know that I would become the target of her frustration. In our gathering of Ladies she would divert attention towards me. She would make a snide remark, or a joke directed at me. I would pretend in not hearing it and letting it go without saying anything.

One evening it was Tombola Night at Officers Club. Our husbands were back at a weekend. The men were sitting on one side and the women and children a little bit away, on the other side. It was the third round of buying tickets. My husband had paid for the three consecutive rounds for everyone. I didn’t feel like playing and gave my ticket to a nearby lady so she could play on two tickets.

Mrs R had her watchful eye on me. She made a derogatory remark of me being a Scrooge. I felt I couldn’t take it anymore. It was enough.
“Can you shut up? Tell me, who are you? I am tired of your crude jokes and remarks. Don’t speak to me ever again.”

I gathered up my things, moving my chair at a distance from her. The Ladies were smirking at my finally putting Mrs R in her place.

In The Line Of Fire

My First Crush

Daily Prompt: It’s Friday, I’m in Love
Remember your first crush? Think about that first object of your affection.


The first time I looked at you my heart gave a click. It was so wonderful to think that we were going to be finally together. The feelings were of utter exhilaration.

It was my first time. I needed you to be mine. I was overjoyed at thinking of you, and the fact that you would only belong to me.

You did get lost on JF Kennedy Airport. I was desolate at leaving you behind. I couldn’t search for you, I had to board the plane as you couldn’t be located.

I was inconsolable, waiting for you to reunite with me. I did wait impatiently till you could catch the next flight.

I went to the airport to receive you. My face was wreathed in smiles when you came into my sight.

Oh my first PC! It was love at first sight.

This is inspired when I purchased my first PC in 1998.

My First Crush

To Learn Arabic

Daily Post: Take That Rosetta!
If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

صباح الخير Good Morning

Can I learn? How great it will be
The language of Jannah, if I can learn thee
I will be so happy, so overjoyed to learn
And I will remember the day clearly
Will be able to speak it, oh! The wonder
A fun day for me, I will love you dearly

I would love to learn not one, but many languages. Arabic, Persian, Italian, Chinese and Japanese are some of them. I guess it’s too late to learn now. I suffer from forgetfulness. While speaking with someone, I lose the words, and mentally paw for them in the labyrinth of my brain. It’s awful. The same thing happens while writing. Despite the handicap I carry on with my life.

Foremost to learn is Arabic. I try to learn one word a day. I know that doesn’t seem difficult, but I conveniently forget it as soon as I read it.

I bought three books on learning Arabic, while I was in Saudi Arabia. If I had brought them with me I would have learnt a little bit by now. While coming to the US , I had to leave them on my bed table. They weighed a ton and I couldn’t exceed the luggage weight allowed. They must have gathered dust by now. They will be languishing there till I retrieve them some day in the future.

You must be thinking what’s the purpose? My daughter is likely to be in Saudi Arabia for a longer period. When you know the language of a country you enjoy your stay more. If she had gone to Russia, you can guess which language I would be learning now?

To Learn Arabic