Tag Archives: San Antonio

A Big Heart

This happened in San Antonio. Son as is usual with him, likes to get to a mosque at prayer times, and say his prayers there. Sometimes I get out from the car with him to pray inside, but at other times I pray sitting in the car while he goes inside. The reason I do this is when I don’t have socks with me. We have to take off our shoes when we enter a mosque. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m a bit squeamish about walking barefoot.

It was evening, and we heard the muezzin call to Maghreb (evening) prayer on my cell phone. Son directed his car to the nearest 🕌. Son hurriedly strode to the men’s side to make his ablutions, while telling me to find my own way to the women’s side. Men, and women pray in separate halls.

After entering, I was looking here, and there trying to find as to where the women were praying. I saw one woman in a black abaya sitting in the outside hall. I asked her in English as to where we were going to pray. She said no. Perplexed 🤔, I asked her “Why?” She again said no. I was really mystified. With her saying no, no I wasn’t getting anywhere. At the last moment she added to the no — no English. It dawned on me that she was telling me she didn’t speak English. Oops!

I asked her, Arabic? She shook her head. Urdu? Another shake of the head, and then she said, “Pushto”. I’m a Pathan by birth, and Pushto I knew. In no time we were talking, and I laughed at her continuously saying no to me. Since I was a new face, she asked me from where I had come? I told her my Son was on call for a few days in San Antonio. She asked as to where we were staying? Hearing that we were staying at a hotel, she asked me to an evening meal at her home, and stay with her for the rest of our stay there. She kept insisting while I was trying to get out of it.

At the muezzin call to prayer, we turned to pray. After the prayers, she again insisted that we should be her guests. I thanked her warmly, and told her we will do so the next time we come to San Antonio.

I told Son about her when I returned to the car. I was hugely impressed with the lady, and her big heart in inviting a total stranger to her home. Son told me it was Sunnah to invite travelers, and wayfarers to meals, and a place to stay.

San Antonio

Last month Son had to go to San Antonio for three days. He was on call. For a change I wanted to go with him. At the last minute I didn’t feel like going. I told Son, but he wouldn’t let me stay back.

He got free in the evening. We went to see the Sea World. By that time it was closing. We only managed the curio shop. I bought a couple of magnets for our fridge. From Sea World we went the Alamo. It was closed too, except for the outside.

We strolled outside. A Davy Crockett movie was being shown. We watched for a few minutes before seeing the River Walk.

It was very warm, and soon rivulets of perspiration were running down our faces, and backs, and forced us not to continue with the walk. I made Son promise to bring me during the coming winter, and take a day off for us to do the sight seeing.

Son is fond of eating outside food. We had a round of all the places where halal food was available. At Pasha, and Nara Cafe, it was good, whereas at Kohinoor we faced disappointment.

I even found alcohol free Vanilla extract, and other essences like strawberry, pineapple for baking at a shop called Ali Baba. It was a boon, because I had been for a long time after Son to bring home alcohol free products, but Son didn’t have time to do so. They had all the ingredients for making Mediterranean food, and a wide variety to choose from.

I’m glad I went with Son, but hope next time Son does find time to do all the sightseeing we missed.



Yesterday I made a dish of bitter gourds. I prepared minced chicken meat, and left the bitter gourds on boil after scraping the outer skin from the outside, and removing the seeds and white pith from the inside from each one. Although they were on low heat, the water in the pot dried, and they were slightly burnt by the time I came back from reciting my evening prayer. 

I was having the bitter gourd dish after a lapse of nearly three years. Son doesn’t like it, and I normally cook what he likes to eat. He had left at 3pm to catch a plane for San Antonio. Poor thing! His flight was delayed. At nine I received a text message that he was finally sitting in the plane. Another message came when he landed there. I was glad for his sake that he would be able to take some much needed rest before facing another grueling day on Saturday.

I was dismayed at the turn the bitter gourds had taken. I cut the burnt sides, chopped the remnants, and added them to the minced chicken. It was simply delicious!



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