Tag Archives: Pakistan

The Road to Swat

It was Son’s brother in law B’s wedding day. We were quite late in reaching our destination which was a wedding hall in Chakdara. Whereas most people followed the old road to Swat from Tahtbai, we went on the newly built motorway. This was a longer route, but smoother than the old one, and had less traffic.

In the evening before the wedding the boy’s parents had invited their relatives. The event was held at home. It was colorful, first with the girls carrying thals of mehndi, and candles dancing on the dais, and later on men doing the Hatyn ( Peshawari dance).

The next day was the wedding day when we went to Swat. The boy’s parents had arranged the lunch for the guests there. We returned in the evening via the old route. The road was in terrible condition, and our car rattled with every bump. We feared we would be the last ones in the wedding party to return to the groom’s home, but were pleased when we came to know that we were ahead of the groom, and rest of the wedding party.

B’s friends had blocked the gate to the house with a vehicle. They demanded money to let anyone into the bridegroom’s home. They made a ton of money with B vowing to wreck vengeance upon them upon once their turn to get married came.

Shadiyaan or Marriages

Sometimes my nephew’s wife Hajra, my sister, friends, and my son send me funny, or interesting videos, and clips they come across. Occasionally I may take a look, but most of the time I keep on deleting without seeing. I get tired as there are a great number of them, it is almost impossible for me. They clog my iPhone.

The election in Pakistan has brought out a spate of videos. There are many about Shabaz Sharif who is, and has been the chief minister of Punjab, and is the younger brother of Nawaz Sharif ex Prime Minister of the country. I laughed at the comments. One chap wrote: Shabaz Sharif should be renamed Shadi Sharif. He got married a couple of times, and shadi in Urdu means marriage.

Another one wrote: One can’t get married for the first time, and our politicians get to marry ten times. Seems his heart is burnt out with jealousy, since a marriage is a costly affair back home.

Another one: Keep on plundering the country, and spend the plunder on marriages.

Then there are videos of Nawaz Sharif, Zardari’s many extra marital affairs, and Imran Khan’s three marriages. At least Imran Khan doesn’t indulge in affairs outside marriage. He is a reformed person now. There has been a lot of out cry against his prostrating at the tomb of Baba Farid, and people saying he committed shirk. Shirk means a sin for which there is no forgiveness from God. Prostrating before anyone beside God is considered a major sin in Islam.

I can only say “Allah have mercy on us”.

Despicable

First it was Zardari who wanted to gain sympathies of the poor fools (who forget how the wily politicians try to gain their votes, and then forget their promises), by first murdering Benazir Bhutto, and then posturing as the bereaved husband. He even changed his children’s last names to Bhutto. He would place Benazir’s photo every place he sat, stood, or whatever.

Taking a leaf from Zardari’s antics, now it’s Nawaz Sharif’s turn. While Zardari rule has been as a president of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif (not sharif (pious) as the name indicates) has been a Prime Minister. He recently shamed the country publicly in acknowledging the debacle of terrorism which India accused Pakistan of doing so, and the Indian government themselves staged. I hope, and pray the people chase him with sticks, or shower him with rotten eggs, or tomatoes, when he dares show his face to the public.

It’s laughable Nawaz Sharif spending huge amounts in Pounds currency to keep the dead Kulsum Nawaz (his wife) alive on ventilators in England, just to gain sympathies of the masses to win elections in Pakistan. In his tenure as a Prime Minister he sank Pakistan more deeply into the quagmires of debt than his predecessors.

It will be more beneficial to his dead wife if he gives away that money in charity in her name, or give relief to our poor country in paying the country’s huge debts from IMF.

Please Mr. Nawaz spare us your from your crocodile tears.

Looking Forward

IB (grandson) is a funny fellow. He was asking me about M1 (daughter ‘s eldest one), and when was she returning back from Pakistan? She has gone there along with her parents, and siblings to attend her cousin’s wedding. I told him the due date which is four days later.

I asked him, “Are you missing her?”

M1 is great with kids. They open up to her. Apparently it looks like I don’t have this skill. When she was here for a few days, IB wouldn’t leave her side for a minute even. If she was sitting on a sofa, he would be cuddled up next to her. When she would lie down on bed, IB would go to his bed only when lights were turned off. I think if he would have permission to sleep in her bed, he would have gladly done so.

His reply to my question was, “It’s good to have someone to talk to.”

So whose fault it is?

Certainly not mine! Looks like I have crossed over into invisibility.

Astral

I’m not worried as to where my astral body will go after my death, but getting worried as to where I’ll be buried once I’m gone? I searched for a Muslim graveyard in New Bedford, then onwards in Boston. It doesn’t exist. I phoned the Muslim Centre there today. Let’s see what answer will they give me?

I wasn’t bothered earlier, cause I had told my children to take me back to Pakistan, and bury me alongside their father in his ancestral village. A step aunt got buried alongside my late husband, despite my telling everybody there. My place was gone.

Last year when I went to visit, I was all set to enclose a space towards the foot of my husband’s grave, trying to ensure that I would get buried there eventually. I gave up that dream once I encountered my evil step brother in law, and his greedy ways. I don’t want to see him even after death. I want to be a million miles away.

Now the question arises: where is my burial space?

Astral

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt

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Faint


My village home front lawn

Feeling faint with worry I listened to the phone call from my chowkidar (watchman or caretaker) who looks after my village home in Charsadda, Pakistan. He let me know that my brother in law A had been sick for some time. His wife had died thirteen years earlier. He had no children, and there was no one to take care of him. The chowkidar Hakim wanted me to give him permission to bring A to my home so that he could take care of him.  Barely three days later Hakim wanted me to care of the incurring expenses. Seeing no way out I had to agree to it.

I just don’t understand where has his money gone from his bank account, saving funds, and from his property? He wasn’t poor. Why didn’t Hakim told me earlier, so that I had a talk with A? 

I had gone early to bed a day earlier. Wakened by the phone I listened to the news that A had died. It was night here but the day of 6th November had already dawned back in Charsadda. I had to give permission for the burial expenses, and so on. 

I sometimes think it’s becoming harder to exist, and God piles on to test your faith. Son has been without a job since August. His bills,spousal, and child support has become my responsibility too. I hope Son soon acquire a job, otherwise I don’t know what we are going to do? 

Please pray for us. Thank you.

DAILY PROMPT

Faint

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Deny

Below is a painting by Sadiquain (an artist from Pakistan). It’s a calligraphic. The words are from Surah Rahman. Rahman means God. Throughout this Surah the words which are repeated are: Which is it, of the favors of your Lord, that ye deny?

الرَّحْمَٰنُ  ﴿١﴾؅ 1. The Beneficent

خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ  ﴿١٤﴾؅ 14. He created man of clay like the potter’s,

وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ  ﴿١٥﴾؅  15. And the jinn did He create of smokeless fire.

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ  ﴿١٦﴾؅. 16. Which is it, of the favours of your Lord, that ye deny?

DAILY PROMPT

Deny

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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Not Needed

  
Even seven words are not needed. Where there is a will there is a way. A lady (M) from Scotland used to stay at our home during winter months. She was teaching at a school in Murree, Pakistan. When the school closed for holidays, she would come and spend her time with us.

We had given her our guestroom free of any charges. Our paternal aunt whom we called Babo looked after us in absence of father. Babo only knew Pushto, and M spoke English. The language wasn’t a barrier between them. They carried on, each speaking their own language. 

They had devised a way to converse, and they understood each other perfectly. Sometimes when the spoken words weren’t enough, they resorted to sign language. In the process Babo learnt English, and M learnt Pushto.

DAILY PROMPT

Seven Wonders

Khalil Gibran once said that people will never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/seven-wonders/

A Hateful Thing

I am not cut out to be a leader, and neither I have a wish to be one. So here is a story from my past.

Last month I was going on a trip. The shorter way to the airport had accidents on it. My son took a detour, taking a longer route. It was littered the whole way which was a sickening sight. 

I was shocked. How could this happen? Why the people in charge have grown lax? This was happening in Houston, Texas. I couldn’t fathom.

I used to be unhappy over the state of cleanliness back in my home city of Peshawar, Pakistan. The people are poor and illiterate. They are surviving the bombs, the drone attacks, the refugees from neighboring Afghanistan and what not? 

I always wished that the powers that ruled would solve the no electricity problem,  the corruption that is running rampant in the country, and the foremost one: to levy a heavy fine on throwing trash everywhere other than the designated place. 

I would train the new helpers in my home to cleanliness. It was a struggle. First of all they took it as their birthright to throw trash wherever they pleased. My repeated admonishes had no effect. They went in one ear and left from the other one. I would kept enforcing my rules with  frequent scoldings which weren’t taken seriously at all. It only helped in making frown lines appear on my face.

There is an empty plot next to my home. One wish I kept wishing was that the owner would build a house over it. The owner had no such wish. The price of it is astronomical now and the lucky heirs will be the beneficiaries once he departs from this world.

When I was there I kept a watch on it so that it won’t become a dumping ground for trash. Where I lived you have to carry your garbage to the designated area from where it is daily removed. The neighbors’ servants did this job, but their employers never kept a watch as to where the garbage was thrown. The next door plot looked an ideal spot to the lazy ones in the area.

The month my husband died I spent the whole month at our village home, away from the city home. Before that the hellish months were spent in hospitals in other cities. The whole month was a blur of pain and waking up to the realities of life. I had a lot of things dumped over my head and I was trying to solve them. The state of plot next to mine was totally forgotten.

I had gone with Lala (my elder brother) and sister in law to my parent’s village (different from my husband’s one) for a relative’s funeral. When we returned I was still holding remains of my lunch in my left hand. I had it all the way back to the city. 

Lala deposited me at my front gate. I got down. My sister in law galanced at my hand and said, “Why are you holding it?”

I told her that I would be putting it in my garbage bin. Why not there? She indicated to the left. I shook my head. “But it’s piled up with rubbish”, she said.

I turned around to a horrible sight. Needless to say I spent the whole time till sun down in clearing it with my servant Noman. I held him responsible, because I wasn’t home. He didn’t stop the ones who were doing it and he added his own rubbish to it too.

I was dying when I finally entered my home.

DAILY PROMPT

The Fun Platform

If you were the new leader of your country and had the chance to transform something that’s currently an annoyance (or worse) into a very fun activity, what would it be? How would you go about the change, and why would you choose that particular thing?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-fun-platform/