Tag Archives: Peshawar

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.

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/make-it-anywhere/
http://wp.me/p23sd-oPw

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/bad-signal/
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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).

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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)

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-5/
http://wp.me/p23sd-nOC

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.

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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.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/circuitous-paths/
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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.

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Houston, Texas, USA.

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Sugarland, Houston, Texas.

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Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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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
Sheen

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-tale-of-two-cities/
Three in a Row

The Cult Of The Tomb

In our society some people tend to go the mazars. Mazars are tombs of holy or pious men. They go there to pray to God to help them. In realty most of them, the ignorant ones pray directly to the dead person buried there to help them and take away their woes. They think it is a panache for all ills. They will be sick. Instead of going to the doctor they find it easy to go visit the the last abiding place of some holy person.

Once a road was being widened near Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar. Along the side of the road a person was buried a long time ago. The tomb was festooned with a lot of little colorful flags as is usual here. The person in charge ordered that the tomb should be erased and the remains buried in a cemetery. A lot of hue and cry was raised. The grave was opened despite that. A long stick was found instead of the skeleton. Somebody wanting to mint money had built that fake mazar. People visiting give gifts of money and food.

There is a mazar in Lahore which is very famous, the mazar of Hazrat Data Gunj Bahksh. Many people go there for their prayers to be answered. I pity the poor chap. Imagine day and night the ding dong (music) going on. I think if he could, he would have run away from that place.

One of my husband’s relative was suffering from breast cancer. Instead of going to the doctor, she kept visiting a mazar in Swat in the hope of getting well. After she became more ill she went to a cancer specialist. It was too late. How can a dead person grant you a wish? His own account closed at the time of his death. May be he was a good person, but who answers prayers from the grave?

I see so many of our ‘Great Leaders’ going to such places. They are the death knell of our country. They have only brought chaos to our homeland. Why don’t they directly pray to God ? There was a photo of President Zardari in the newspaper visiting the mazar of Lal Shebaz Qulander. Probably he was praying for a second term. I hope and pray to God his wish is not answered. He and his cronies are done with.

It’s really ironic that in this age educated people are so naive as to believe in the power of dead people of long ago.