Tag Archives: Peshawar

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Son’s marriage happened rather un- expectedly. We were thinking it will be sometime in coming September. Whatever God Wills– it happens. So it was earlier. Son reached Peshawer, at three on the day his marriage was arranged. I had to arrange for everything in a hurry – the marriage itself, car decoration, the sweets to be distributed after the Nikah ceremony, and then the Walima itself which is a second day extension of the marriage celebrations.

The first day expenses were born by the bride’s parents, and second day’s expense was mine. Thankfully everything went smoothly. Both days the functions were held at daylight hours. The second day it was continuous rain.

Son extended his leave to spend time with his bride, whereas I returned to New Bedford alone, and promptly fell sick. Nola (daughter) arrived yesterday to take care of me, and showed me to the doctor, and got me the necessary medication. I’m leaving with Nola for Boston tomorrow Insha’Allah, and then onward to Dallas for a three weeks stay before coming back to New Bedford again.

The bride reaches the marriage hall in a Doli. Her brother (the boy in specs) is one of the carriers. Masha’Allah!

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Pakoras

Last year when I was in Peshawar, I needed printouts of my ID, and some other stuff. The ink in my disused printer had dried, and buying ink for it was a costly affair. It was cheaper getting my papers photostatted from a local shop. I asked my driver to drive me to the nearby market. I had barely stepped out of the car, when a little boy asked for some money. “What are you going to buy?” I asked him.

“I would like to eat pakoras.”

I laughed at that, and told him to wait. I didn’t have any small notes to give him, plus I didn’t know the selling cost of pakoras. There were two men ahead of me in line. They were having a great number of printouts, and my turn wasn’t coming any sooner.

The little fellow was fed up with waiting, and came again to ask me. I felt sorry but told him to wait. I couldn’t get out of the line, otherwise I would have lost my turn, as few others had turned up, and were waiting for their turn.

As soon as I was done, I called the little boy, and asked him how much he wanted? Another boy who was older than my young friend sidled up, and told me he wanted to eat pakoras too. I asked them, “Is there someone else with you people who would like to eat?” Two others came at a run. I paid for their treat.

Before leaving I laughingly asked my driver, “Would you like to eat some too?” He smiled and said no, and so we left for running my errands.

Frozen

How not to get frozen? The thermostat in our home is generating a false cold wave in our home. I drape a shawl around my shoulders to keep the cold hitting my most vulnerable place ie: my back. It seems we have moved to an Alaskan winter in the dead heat of July.

When Son, and I moved to the apartment in New Bedford this year, I would never had anticipated that we will have any problem with heating, and cooling. The management is there, and it’s their headache to take care if there are problems. We gave up, once we came to know nothing can be done. It was that, or getting a flow of experts banging on our doorway at all times.

What basically the most expert one did in winter was, to set the thermostat to 82. While the rest of the house became bearable in the cold weather, my room was an inferno of heat. Now the reverse is taking place. The rest of our home is cool, my room becomes an ice box in which I shiver.

I prefer to spend my time in the sitting area, but come bed time, I have to sleep. I try to get warm while piling on a heavy blanket over the quilt to warm my frozen feet. I have to wait a while for my feet to thaw out. Till then I wait for sleep to take over.

At moments like these I thank God for being here, and not in Peshawar. Can you imagine being without electricity in summers, or winters? It used to be 100 degrees outside in sweltering heat, and electricity being off. Same thing in winter, the whole house a giant freezer — no gas, and no electricity. The biggest wonder is getting the huge bills requiring payments. The charges keep getting higher each year for the minuscule services provided.

Compromise

After Son got the apartment, he arranged the furniture in my room. He hadn’t told me that mine was a mini room. If he had asked me (I was still in Peshawar– miles away from here), I would have told him not to put the smaller sofa in my room. Now there is hardly any space to move around.

When I saw the arrangement after my arrival, I was really upset over it. We tried to find hired helpers to move it to the Living area. The quotation in removing it from the room was too high for us. Son joked, “Let’s put it on the Craiglist. Problem solved. The person who buys it, will do the removing.

Son clearly forgot. Before moving from Houston, we had put it on the Craiglist for half the price. It didn’t get sold. Yesterday I thought over it, and found a better idea. If the verticals are removed to the recess, there is ample space. The room wouldn’t be so cramped, and I won’t be selling my lovely love seat. That’s a compromise, if only the management agrees.

Compromise

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The Present to Myself

The lady who had come to buy the double bed in Son’s room in Peshawar, looked at the rocking chair first, “How much for that chair?”

“I wasn’t selling that”, was my reply.

I wasn’t interested, but she kept asking. I wish I had taken a shot of it. I was tired, and wanted her to leave so I could get some food to eat. I hadn’t eaten anything since my breakfast, which I had very early in the morning. I had been climbing up and down the outside stairs since daybreak. Okay! I named an exorbitant price. The lady snatched the chair up, and pushed it towards her male servant to take it away. She probably feared I may track back.

Oh God what had I done? My lovely chair became a distant memory.

The chair above is my present to myself. It’s my new rocking chair where I live now.

Time to make new memories.

Feb 18, 2018

DAILY PROMPT

Present

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Rube

Though it’s rude to call someone a rube, but it brought to mind my driver Waqas. He was definitely one. I had to employ a driver, when Son left for Houston in December, leaving me on my own. His new job in Massachusetts required him to reach there by January sixth. I would have coped without a driver, but driving in Peshawar was truly hazardous. Another thing was keeping the car not getting stolen by leaving it without a person to guard it.

Waqas belched when he would have his food. Although I had not signed him for giving him food except his pay. I had to give him food when it was meal times, and he was still with me. For the first few times, I ignored his ill manners. Then I had to find my courage to tell him off. It didn’t work. He told me, “I always belch”. I told him he can do it when he is alone, but certainly not in front of me. It was so crass. I had to repeat several times before he decided to heed me.

Another thing which was very off putting was the smell coming from his clothes in the small confines of my car. Oh God! What am I going to do? It was my reaction every time the smell hit me. For some time I put up with it by rolling the window a few centimeters down. Then it was enough. I knew I couldn’t last a month with the foul smell. I was across my limit of endurance. I bought a nice smelling bag of detergent, and gave it to him to have his clothes washed in it. That took care of the problem.

Next time Insha’Allah I’m coming back the minute Son has to leave.

Rube

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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. 

DAILY PROMPT

Strut

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