Tag Archives: Peshawar

In Due Time

What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?

There is just one word for it — stressed. I try not to think what’s waiting for me back home. For the past year, and a half I have been waiting for my Resident Card so that I can leave. The waiting has stretched my nerves to shreds.

I have tons of issues waiting for me to be resolved back home. One of them is my driving license. It expired in October. Last time I went to renew it, was five years back. My (late) husband won’t be there to accompany me. Believe me, it’s an ordeal to stand in line amongst men for hours on end.

Peshawar is a city full of dust, and the tons of dust I will have to remove horrifies me to no end.

There are many issues I have to face. Main one is, my Army widow pension. With my coming here it has stopped. The amount of running to be done is making me distressed already. I try not to think about it, and push it to the back of my mind all the time.

Naturally when all my issues are resolved, I will be feeling relieved.



The Massacre

The recent massacre of children in Peshawar (my home town) is gruesome, and shows how bestial humans are. I refuse to call them Muslims. If they were really Muslims, they wouldn’t have committed this carnage.

My cousin’s Tariq’s two sons, a nine year old, and a sixteen years old who attended this school were buried yesterday. My heart grieves with all those mothers who suffered the loss of their children.

Those who directed this carnage are people full of hatred, and venom against Muslims. They make a mockery of God, and Islam.

These killers are mercenaries, paid to wreck havoc where their masters want them. It is shameful to call them Muslims. I hope all those people are exposed, and caught, and publicly hanged. That will be proper justice.

Below is a copy of AJ’s post:

New post on Musings of AJ
Don’t you dare call these killers Islamists, Jihadists, or anything that ties them with Islam
by AJ
Quran – 5:32
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
According to preliminary Pakistan Army reports that have come in, the suicide militants involved in the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar are Uzbeks and were communicating with people in Afghanistan. Uzbeks have been tied in with previous attacks in Pakistan as well. The question is what interest does Uzbeks have in spreading terror in Pakistan – it definitely has nothing to do with Islam. If this were a girls school or a Shia mosque or a Christian church, Islamophobic apologists would have found something to support their mantra of Muslims hating Shias/women/Christians/non-believers/fill-in-what-seems-stereotypical and thus wanting to kill them. But what would they say about the killing of 132 Muslim male children who seem predominantly Sunni? The Islamophobes’ standard explanation of one size fits all doesn’t hold here. Why wouldn’t they just accept that these killing terrorists are just that – killers, without faith? And no, holding banners in chocolate shops and behind suicide bombers professing Shahada doesn’t make them Islamic or Muslims or Islamists or Jihadists if they participate in activities that Islam strongly detests and prohibits – the murder of innocents – who could be more innocent than these 132 school-aged children slaughtered in cold blood? So, for the love of humanity stop blaming my faith when next time a terrorist kills someone innocent.

To visit the post: http://aayjay.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/dont-you-dare-call-these-killers-islamists-jihadists-or-anything-that-ties-them-with-islam/

Make It Anywhere

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim.


They wanted a together trip. No one else with them — not even a driver. They made their plans, and left accordingly.

They thoroughly enjoyed their stay at Murree. Then they went onwards to Nathiagali. The misty pine trees, the scenic route brought joy to their hearts. They took photographs, sometimes asking a passerby to take their picture together.

A week had gone by. They felt fresh, and revived, as they headed back to Peshawar. Two huge buses passed by, tooting their horns at great speed. The shrill sound was so annoying in H’s ears. It sort of ripped his heart.

He slowed, and turned into a gas station. J asked worriedly, “Are you okay?”

“I feel a bit nauseous.”

J looked at her husband’s pale face, and phoned her eldest son to come for them. It took the son an hour to reach them. He rushed them to the nearest hospital which was in Wah.

The doctors restarted H’s heart. They kept him alive on a respirator. J, and her sons’ thought everything will turn out right, once H wakes up.

In the end H came in his eldest son’s dreams, and told him, “Why are you putting me through so much discomfort? Let me go.”

The last trip turned out to be J, and H’s last moments together.


Say Goodbye

Bad Signal
by Ben Huberman
Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

What was my friend Omer saying? I couldn’t hear it clearly, except for the last bit, “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.”

He, and his family had shifted from Karachi to Peshawar last year. His father wanted to live with his widowed mother, and take care of her.

Omer wasn’t happy living in Peshawar. He wanted to be back in Karachi, where he grew up, and where most of his childhood friends were living. His father wasn’t sold over the idea of his living in a hostel.

I intended to call him back, but I was busy with tests then, and I forgot.

Two days later on reaching home, mother gave me the bad news, that Omer had killed himself. Mother hugged me to herself when I started crying. I couldn’t take it —- he was only nineteen, and no longer alive.

His father was pressuring him to apply for Medical School. Omer wasn’t keen on the idea of becoming a doctor. He wanted to join the Navy. His father wasn’t letting him do that, and that was the reason he took his own life.

He had observed the outside guard stationed at a near by Judge’s house with a rifle. He got up early in the morning. He left home at 4 am, on the pretext of going to a mosque (which was close by), for morning prayer.

He silently watched the guard. As soon as the guard prostrated in prayer, Omer picked his rifle, and shot himself in the neck at close range.

Wish parents won’t force children against their inclinations.


In Search for a Bride (2)

Ready, Set, Done
by Ben Huberman
Our ten-minute free-write is back! Have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self (feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

Photo Credit: Google

2nd excerpt from my book (maybe one day I will write). For reference see
“In Search of a Bride”, January 14, 2014.

I phoned (the girl) L’s mother. This was awkward. Mrs. A (L’s mom) had never seen me, or heard of me. I was red hot in face, and perspiring, in the middle of a cold winter.

Someone the family knows, goes with you to help smooth over the situation, and here I was on my own. I summoned my courage with a capital C. I introduced myself to Mrs. A explaining why I wanted to visit her. I asked for a convenient time.

Did she agree? Yesssss…..she did, after two days. Plenty of time to discreetly inquire about yours truly. After all Peshawar is not such a big town.

Though we met for the first time, both of us hit it off. We liked each other tremendously. L came in for a few moments, and she was lovelier than words could describe.

When we (my driver Ayan and I) headed back towards home, Ayan asked me, “Bibi (a form of respect like Ma’am), why were we visiting these people?”

As if he didn’t guess beforehand. Wily man!

Servants gossip, and in seconds tell each other their employers’ secrets. What L’s mother failed to tell me was that her daughter was already engaged, and my driver had known it, the minute he had entered Mrs. A’s home.

Somehow Mrs. A had liked the wrapping (that’s me) on the parcel, and wanted to see the goodies (that’s my son).

(My ten minutes are up)


If You Land

Circuitous Paths
by Ben Huberman
A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

Photo Credit: Google

Here, everything is mapped, the cars have built in guides (you only have to update), your iPhone can show in seconds a map to wherever you want to go. No need to knock at someone’s door to ask for directions.

No to your question, and I don’t have a twisted sense of humor to get an inner crazed fun at someone’s expense (to misguide).

It’s a different matter back home. Most roads outside the Cantonment Area are not marked, so you can easily get lost. In situations like this my late husband R would hire a taxi to lead us the way (when we were in unfamiliar surroundings, and got lost).

If you arrive for the first time at Peshawar airport (no friend to pick you up), and you need a taxi to reach an address, you can be taken for a ride.

Your destination is a near one from the airport. What happens – the taxi driver veers to the left on University Road, and keeps driving till he reaches Hayatabad. He keeps driving on various roads there, and then back on another route out of Hayatabad, and onto Bara Road. He is back in Cantonment Area, and finally you reach your destination.

A huge taxi fare awaits you at the end.

So beware if you land in Peshawar, and you are on your own.


Three in a Row

Daily Prompt: A Tale of Two Cities
If you could split your time evenly between two places, and two places only, which would these be?

The prompt calls for two cities only, but I can’t. It has to be a tale of three cities.

I have to divide my time between three cities, Sugar Land, Riyadh and Peshawar. In the first two cities abide my children, and in Peshawar lies my own home.

Sugar Land is a suburb of Houston.

Houston, Texas, USA.

Sugarland, Houston, Texas.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Peshawar, Pakistan.

Peshawar, Riyadh and Sugarland
Three in a row it has to be
Symbolize home, daughter and son
All of them are important to me
I can’t let go one of them
They are my past, future and me

Three in a Row