I have never in my life of traveling experienced what happened to me at Peshawar airport. I had bought a one way ticket to Jeddah from Houston to perform Umra. My daughter (with whom) I was taking the trip looked after me all the way to Mecca, then onwards to Madina. I had to buy another ticket from Madina to Jeddah, and then onwards to Peshawar.
I had two options. One was to fly back to Houston, and another was to stay a while in Peshawar to wait for the prices to come down, and then fly back. I had unfinished business at Peshawar. My accounts were frozen due to inactivity. I had to reactivate to get my pension. I had to see to the house (the man I had hired to do the painting, and distempering of my home on the outside) had not done the work.
My returning flight was at three in the morning. At the security checkpoint the woman took me inside the cubicle. She groped me in the breasts, squeezing, pinching with fingers, hurting me, three times. I told her to stop hurting me, to which she replied, “I’m doing my duty.” The fourth time she was going to do it again, in desperation I pulled my shirt up, and asked her what she was trying to do? At that she stopped. I have a one inch gash there.
I have never suffered such an indignity before. I was in tears, when I walked out. Now I wish I had given her a slap, and asked to see her superior. After going through this now I understand why in moments like this one doesn’t know what to do? Sitting down in my wheelchair, I held my head in my hands till the man pushing my wheelchair took me to have my luggage checked in.
This memory is going to stay with me. I will never be able to take a trip from that airport again.
As my yearly excursion to daughter draws nearer, I’m getting panicked. She wants me to spend the coming Eid with her. It’s still a month, and a half away. I wanted to beg her to let me off with visiting– but then she dropped a bombshell. She would be again moving further away. This was the deciding factor in buying a ticket to spend some time with her.
The thought of being subjected to the hassle at the airport throws me into panic. The only option left was traveling by road which is exhausting to say the least.
The cartoons say it all.
Cartoons Credit: Google
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
My childhood ended at age five. The love and security ended with mother’s death. Father couldn’t cope with one teenager and four young ones on his own. We all got divided. Suddenly we didn’t have a home.
My three year old brother and I, got sent with uncle who was father’s younger brother. I grew up the instant we started living with uncle and aunt. I became a mother to my younger brother, looking after him and shielding him from being kicked or slapped by our cousins.
A few months later father came to see us. I kept crying till he agreed to take us along with him.
When Childhood Ends
Write about a defining moment in your life when you were forced to grow up in an instant (or a series of instants).
Picture taken from the cabin onward to Newark.
Yesterday I came from Houston to Newark. Nowadays in Ramadan I get up at 4.30am to have breakfast because of fasting. Yesterday I got up at 2.30 am to have it as the flight was at six. I didn’t feel like eating but forced myself. Left home at three in the morning. My son drove me. He checked in my one piece of luggage. Poor thing he had to get up early because of me.
Onward from there the trouble started. As I got to the screening I had no sense of impending doom. I loaded my handbag and sandals onto the tray and headed towards my own screening. Hands held over the head, I faced the camera. As I stepped out of the cubicle, I was held. Told to wait as other passengers breezed through. Again, I was lead through another screening. Another one, a period of waiting, and then another one. The alarm bells over my predicament now were in full swing in my head. My face you can imagine was beet red in color. All the things in my handbag were searched. Still barefoot, I was lead to another cubicle for body search.
My body was searched as to what they call a Pat Down. It was humiliating. God knows what they were trying to find. My bare feet went through swabs of cotton. By now my anger knew no bounds. I wanted to bite the two women’s heads off. I took off my scarf and then my abaya and asked sarcastically, ” Want me to take off my clothes so that you can have another go at me?” Perplexedly they shook their heads. As one of the women held the abaya in her hands, I found out the buttons in the abaya caused me all this grief. It dawned on those women too at this point. Stupid camera machine! It doesn’t know buttons. I hope the inventors and the installers face the same music which I went through.