Tag Archives: Quetta

A Day to Remember

Second August is fast approaching. It was the day I took farewell from my husband. This year is the sixth, since he parted from my children, and I.

He was changing clothes, when I remarked blithely, “You look smart having a lovely flat stomach”.

Nola (daughter) had a dream when she was a little girl. She came to me with tears running down her face, and whispered to me as she looked at her father a bit fearfully, “He hasn’t changed, is he?”

“What do you mean?” I whispered back.

“In my dream I saw he isn’t my father. He is an alien really”.

Nola and her brother had been watching a series about aliens on tv in those days. She had a nightmare, so now she thought her father had turned into an alien. The children, and I were living away from my husband in Quetta, Baluchistan because of their studies. He would come for a day, or so to visit us, and then back to his duty in Larkana, Sind, where his brigade was stationed.

Thinking about a solution I told Nola, “Watch his stomach. If it’s still big, then he isn’t an alien”. Nola was reassured, and was all smiles for the day.

Coming back to the day in 2012 when I admired my husband’s stomach, he looked strangely at me for a few seconds, and then said, “Would you like it, if it was yours?”. I was embarrassed at my own stupidity, and felt tongue tied. His stomach had been removed because of stomach cancer, and those were his last days with us before he died.

Ring of Fire-2


I had bought different gauges of wire, chemical solutions in four colors, and two shades of green papers. I was all set to go to a friend’s house to learn from her the mystery of making the flowers.

In those days every other home had the flowers framed, and hanging. I learnt how to make the flowers, but I never made a framed picture of them, because I didn’t want them any longer.

We (the children, and I) were living in Quetta, while my (late) husband R was in Sukkur. When R was at home, I would make two dishes (for lunch, and dinner) early in the morning before ten o’clock, so as to have the rest of the day for other activities. Since R wasn’t at home, so one dish sufficed for us.

My friend Farida’s children, and mine were more, or less the same age. My children accompanied me to Farida’s home. 

Farida explained to me how the flowers were made. It was super easy. You only had to bend the wires into various shapes for petals, leaves and stems, and dip them into the solution.

By the time we finished it was lunch time. Farida insisted we stay for the meal. I sent my son home (we lived near by) to fetch the Zucchini meat dish I had made for our lunch. All of us converged on the dinning table.

I put a serving spoon full of what Farida had made for lunch in my plate. After the first bite my eyes were watering, and my nose started running. Blindly I gulped a glass full of water down my throat. Even another glass didn’t do the trick of extinguishing the fire in my mouth and throat. 

My children, and I ate our own food. While we found our hostess dish too fiery,  ours’ was too bland for their taste, and liking.

To each his own, that was proven.


Ring of Fire

Do you love hot and spicy foods or do you avoid them for fear of what tomorrow might bring?

Treble and Trouble

Envelope Pushers
by Ben Huberman
When was the last time you took a risk (big or small), and pushed your own boundaries — socially, professionally, or otherwise? Were you satisfied with the outcome?


My cousin Z had come for a week long visit, accompanied by her husband, and two kids. We showed them around Quetta, and then took them to Ziarat for further sight seeing.

There was a day left of their vacation when Z decided to learn crochet from me. She wanted to learn after seeing my shawls. I gave her a crochet hook, and wool to learn the basic stitches.

She drove me nuts while learning to double crochet, half treble, and treble. 😩. She would forget the extra loop, and couldn’t differentiate between the three of them. She couldn’t seem to remember which was which.

We went to see them off at the airport. Those were the good old days when there weren’t any security problems. You could wave off your guests at the tarmac. Meanwhile Z kept busy with learning treble, and half treble in the departure lounge.

She got another day with us. The flight was cancelled, and our guests came back home with us. Z said, “this treble has been a big trouble.”


My Own Ghost Story

My husband was posted to Quetta. We were living in a nice, spacious house. It was probably built in 1935, after the Great Earthquake, in which many people died. It had huge lawns in front, and towards the back were an orchard and a vegetable garden. The orchard had trees full of almonds, walnuts, white cherries ( white cherries, I am told, are very rare) and apples.

Both my children at that time were, nine and eleven. At one end of the house was their bedroom. One wall, facing towards a side of the front of the house, had large windows. My elder brother (an Army officer) came on a short course to Quetta. My children, sort off, looked to him grownup, so he suggested to us, to give them separate rooms. My son got shifted to a smaller room, towards the entrance of the house. My daughter, however remained in the existing room.

I woke up at night to see in the dark, Nola peering at me. I had a fright. “Why are you here?” I asked her. “Mama, I can’t sleep. There is someone in my room. I am frightened.” To which I replied, “How can there be someone? Go back to sleep in your own bed.” She wouldn’t budge and insisted she would sleep with me rather than sleeping in her room alone. So I let her sleep with us. Every night I would sit with her, till she went to sleep. When I was sure she was asleep, I would tip toe to our room. Twenty minutes later, she would be in our room, standing besides my side of the bed, begging to sleep with me. This went on for three days. In the end, my husband decided, that I should sleep with her for a week or so, till she adjusted to being alone in her room, and got over her fright.

The first night, both of us laid in our beds, (my bed was towards the window’s side) Nola was fast asleep within seconds. She probably felt secure in the knowledge, that with her mother beside her no harm could touch her. I had trouble sleeping. This always happens to me when I am sleeping in another bed than my own. Moonlight was streaming inside the bedroom. The minute I closed my eyes, I felt someone sitting beside me, staring at my face. It was such an eerie feeling, I opened my eyes, frightened. There was no one. After a few moments, I closed my eyes again. There was again that person staring at my face. I opened my eyes, there was no one. This went on and in the end, I couldn’t close my eyes. I would dread the moment, that person would sit beside me. Sleep eluded me.

In the morning I told my husband, but he didn’t believe me. I stuck out in that room, along with my child, for a week. I would try to delude myself, that there was no one there, it was a figment of my imagination. The apparition was real. It was there beside me, every night. I couldn’t close my eyes the whole night, and I would remain awake. Finally, we shifted Nola’s bed to our bedroom. I closed the door to that bedroom, till the remaining of our stay there.

Years later, a lady visited me. She had stayed in the same house as ourselves. I mentioned what happened to us. She told me that we were lucky people, as nothing happened to us. She and her family only lasted a month in that house. They were frightened to death, and same was the case with other people.

All of us, said our five prayers regularly. We were spared any frightening experience. We were under the protection of God, that’s why nothing could touch us during our stay of over three years there.

Thank you God

Dear Allah, I wanted to thank you. You have given me, an insignificant human being, a mere speck in this world, a lot of things. Some are those, for which I asked, and some those, which you bestowed upon me without my asking. “You are my One, True God.”

You made me whole giving me eye sight, the gift of hearing and the use of my limbs. You have given me good health. Masha-Allah. You have given me shelter in the house I live. Suppose I was on the streets without a roof over my head, how would have I fared?

You give me my daily food, all the things I like to eat. There are so many people out there in the world, who go without food and remain hungry. You have given me drinkable water, clear and sweet. Without it I would not have survived.

You gave me a father, who was kind and lovable.

You gave me a husband, who loved me and looked after me, till death took him away.

You gave me two children, who are the best in this world.

I can mention a whole lot of things. It’s endless. You are Merciful, Kind and Great.

You gave me everything I wished for. I remember once I wanted cherries to eat and there were none in sight. H came from the office, bearing a box of cherries. I was amazed and delighted, “How did you get it?”

“A friend sent it from Quetta.”
I confessed, “This morning I was wishing for cherries.” He laughed and said, “You should have wished for something better.” And this happened a lot of times. Whenever I wished for cherries, I got them.

I love Lichees. Dear God, you gave me trees full of Lichees in my own home, where I can have them to my heart’s content. The many times I yearned for a thing, I got it.

Dear Allah, I thank you for all you have given me. I know I cannot thank you enough, for the kindness and infinite mercy you have shown me. I love you God. Please forgive me for my shortcomings. Please bear with my one wish now, and let it come true. “Dear God, save me from hell, and give me a place in your Heaven, when I leave this world for my ever lasting home. Amen.”

Thank you God