Tag Archives: Peshawar

Strut

What’s there to strut? Even if there was, I wouldn’t have known how? 

Since getting up in the morning, I’m packing. It’s at moments like these that I wish we didn’t have to move. Even those essential items are the bases for a terrible headache. My left foot is swelling with no time to put both feet to rest, and my Sciatica is ready to blow up to a horrible, and constant pain. It’s because of the bending in putting things in boxes, and bags.

Getting last minute air tickets to Peshawar has made a bigger hole in my account. Son had assured me that there is a great demand for the apartments where we live. In a week’s time new tenant occupy once one is vacated. It was just a misconception. The manager has let us know that there is no escaping from paying for December, January even if we vacate in a week’s time now. We were going to put our stuff in storage, but now it’s of no monetary benefit to us, so we are thinking of letting it remain here. 

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Strut

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Egg

While returning to our city home after a few days stay in the village, my late husband R would stop at the Bakshipul Kabab shop on the way to Peshawar. There was a huge rush on this shop while there were few customers at the other shops in the vicinity selling kababs.

My only contention with dear husband was to buy less rather than more which he was prone to do. He would buy enough kababs which could last for an army. I like fresh food. I don’t like storing in the freezer. The fresh ones tasted much better. I disliked them when taken from the freezer to be heated, and served. It created a mess in the frying pan. They wouldn’t remain whole, and if I heated them in the microwave they tended to be dry.

One other thing which I didn’t like was the shop bought kababs had too many eggs added to the meat. It was like eating eggs not meat.

A time came when R stopped buying. Why? A new highway got built which was a shorter, and swifter route to the village. We stopped using the old motorway, and having kababs from that place became a thing of the past.

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Egg

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Spicy


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When I went to live in Charlottesville in February 2016, I became friends with my daughter’s friends. Nola had lived there for quite a while. She had a beautiful home in Crozet, which she sold this year. My late husband, and I visited her in this house in the summer of 2010.

When Nola had purchased the house, the basement wasn’t done. When she learnt that we would be coming, and would stay for a while, she quickly did up the basement for us. The basement had a bedroom, bathroom, a tiny kitchen, a giant size living area with a huge tv and a computer room. She had also installed a washer and dryer just for my use, so that for washing I didn’t have to climb upstairs. 

The patio doors opened to the outside area. She had even put two deck chairs on the patio for us to sit, and enjoy the marvelous view. She did all this to tempt her father into staying permanently. We went back home to Peshawar in September, and learnt that her father had stage four cancer. The next two years went in a blurry of sadness, and pain.

When I bought my own small place, I became friends with all her friends. They invited me to lunches and dinners. I invited them too to a lunch. One lady A who is a doctor, and teaches at University of Virginia arrived early before the other guests.  I had completed my other dishes, except for the rice. She is an Egyptian American. She watched with interest as to what I was adding to my rice. 

I like mildly spicy food. My main spices for adding to the rice were cumin, cloves and large cardamoms. It turned out that A boils her rice, and that was the only way she did hers. It was a revelation for her, when I sautéed the onions first, then added chicken pieces, spices,  chickpeas, rice and raisins. 

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Spicy

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Caper

Grandson H on graduation day (pencil marked)

The little boys capered on our front lawn. Grandson H who was four at the time was blissfully welcoming more inside the gates. We– late husband, and I, Son and his family had come to spend a night at our village home, and attend a wedding next day.

Cloistered in our Peshawar house, H never had so many boys to play with. H soon exhausted our supply of water bottles, juices and soft drinks. He was happily playing the host, not realizing there wasn’t any water left for us.

Along with the younger children, an older batch of eleven to fourteen had slipped inside. They attacked the fruit trees of apricots, peaches, leeches, loquats and the ground beneath was littered with leaves and fruit. Thankfully the watchman returned from his home, and shooed the unruly ones out, and saved the trees from further plundering.

In the evening H had to be persuaded to let his newfound friends go. He was all for his friends to spend the night with us.

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Caper

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Distant

Coming August will mark the fifth death anniversary of my late husband. With passing on of the years my late husband is becoming a distant memory. I feel more of his presence in both homes in Peshawar, and the village home than here in Houston.

One reason can be that his photos hang in my own homes. They keep his memory alive. The photographs mark happy times in our lives with no shadow of death looming over them. They evoke happy times. The one hanging in the hallway shows him dressed in his military uniform, and looking totally handsome, and beguiling. The other one has both of us, covers a wall in the large kitchen in our Peshawar home.

My Quran teacher said that dead people’s photographs shouldn’t be displayed in our homes. That is one reason there is a small photo of my husband only on the fridge which son has pasted, and I have not hung any others here. Anyway the home I share with son is his, although all the furniture, and things belong to me.

I am not going to remove the photographs in my own homes. It maybe wrong according to my religious teacher, but I can’t deny the comfort they bring to my heart when I look at them. Maybe God won’t disapprove, and look over my misdoing.

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Distant

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Buff

While living in Peshawar, I depended upon Son to send me footwear from here. Son’s and mine tastes differ. What he thought his mama would prefer, and what I liked weren’t the same. After initial disappointments, I looked up online, and would send him the requirement. That plan worked perfectly, except for a big snag.

We have extremes of weather in Peshawar. In Summers Mercury shoots up, and Winters are very cold. The vagaries of climate didn’t agree with my American shoes. They would disintegrate right in front of my eyes. Once the cold weather started, I would take out my various pairs to see whether they required any buffing. Sometimes one, or two of them would be gone beyond the need to polish, while some pairs would last another season.

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Buff

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Roots


I took a few leaves from the mint leaves we bought from World Food, and poked them into the soil of the pot I had in the balcony. Originally I had planted mint plants in the same pot. While I was in Peshawar, the poor things died of dehydration due to neglect. 

It was an experiment, whether roots would appear. They did! The leaves sprouted roots, and now the mint is slowly spreading. Son is fond of mint chutni with his food. Whereas he is happy, I as a mother feel happy.

What is it with mothers? When our children are unhappy, it seems the light goes out of our lives.

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Roots

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