Tag Archives: dopatta


Son and I were back from having a dinner at a friend’s house. I changed my clothes to those ones which I wear at home. I was folding my dopatta which you know is a 2, 3/4 yards affair, when I noticed a stain on it. Found out–it was a small beetle lookalike thing. Not wanting to kill it the usual way I flush away these pesky visitors to our home, I took it outside to release it. 

To remove it, I flung my dopatta outwards to shuck it off. Relieved that I have done the deed in tossing it out, I came back inside. I folded my dopatta, and that’s when I glanced downwards. The thing was perched on my shirt. Involuntarily I shrieked, afraid it would sting me. I flapped my hands at it with closed eyes. It disappeared out of sight. 

At the moment I don’t know whether it’s still lurking in my bedroom, or taking a stroll through the apartment. The only thing I want is that it shouldn’t bite me.



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Photo Credit: Google

My marriage was an arranged one. I had never met the members of my late husband’s family, except for mother in law, and one sister in law. My marriage took place from my uncle’s home, as he was my guardian after father’s death. Uncle had arranged for their stay in an adjoining rest house. The in-laws had come from Charsadda, where as my husband to be flew directly from Rajshahi, as he was stationed there.

It was about 4am after the wedding night. I had come out from the bathroom, and was going to lie down, and catch further sleep, when the bedroom door opened, and the in laws entered unannounced into the bedroom. I was caught in my pjs. I felt exposed meeting my in laws that way without an attire of qameez shalwar ensemble, and without a dopatta covering my head.

No one had told me that they would be leaving the next day, or I was expected to meet them so early in the morning, otherwise I would have been more, or less prepared.

My brothers in law, one by one started with shaking my hand, while the sisters in law hugged, and kissed my cheeks. As suddenly as they had come, they waved goodbye, and left.



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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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You are Great!

It happened to me today of all days. I had to pay a bill. I searched for my credit card, and ATM card. The last I had used it was to buy a birthday gift. Then I had gone to Sam’s Club with my son to buy some essentials I needed. I searched in all my bags, and purses, beginning with the one I had used that day.

I asked myself, “did I put it back in my bag?” The recollection was hazy.

The cold room which doesn’t get heated properly became as hot as an afternoon sun over Houston. My face started perspiring– my hands got clammy, and my heart started pounding.

I took the dopatta off my head to cool it a bit — all the better to search in earnestly for those absconding cards.

Suddenly I remembered what I had to say, when one is searching for something missing.

Surah Baqarah, verse 156


To Allah we belong, and to Him we return.

I looked through my black shoulder bag again ( I had already searched thrice through it). In a corner were lying what I was searching for.

I was Happy!

Thank you Allah. You are Great.


You Belong With Me

Part One.
Imran was in his fourth year of Medical College. He liked Aeysha from day one, when he had first met her. The four years of studying together, had brought them closer to each other. He had been to her home, several times during the past year. Aeysha’s mom always hugged him, and her father would chat and joke with him, like he was his own son.

Imran was waiting for them to graduate, before asking her parents permission for their marriage. He was also looking for an opportune time to talk with his father about Aeysha. He felt strangely bashful, discussing the topic of his marriage, with his own father. He kept putting off the talks.

The College closed for the summer vacations. He was home with his parents. His mother had prepared all his favorite dishes. His mother pampered him, being the only son. He had two older sisters, both married having their own family life.

As they were having their dinner, word came that his father’s close friend Tahir, (had been sick for a while) had taken a turn for the worse. They hurriedly finished their meal, and left for the friend’s house.

It was a dismal scene. The friend’s wife and daughter Lala had tears running down their faces

Imran’s father bent over his friend Tahir to hear his last wish. Imran heard his father saying, “It will be done, as you wish.”

With a look from his father, Imran’s mother took out a heavily worked, red, kamdar dopatta from her bag. She dropped it over Lala’s head. She hugged and kissed Lala with the announcement, that Lala was now betrothed to Imran.

Imran’s heart filled with anger at his parents’ high handedness. He had never thought that such a thing would happen to him. Nobody would ask his opinion. He unwillingly, subjected to Lala’s mother’s embrace. Inwardly, he was cursing himself.

A minute later, Tahir breathed his last. Sorrowful cries rent the air. He saw his father sobbing for the first time in his life. His own world had disintegrated, right before his eyes. (To be continued……)

Next Friday, 2nd part.
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You Belong With Me