Tag Archives: stranger

The Neighborly Thing

When Son, and I occupied the house (where we live now), I would be found (most of the times) digging up weeds in our front yard. However hard I tried to get rid of them, you could be sure that they would be in a jiffy sprouting back again. I would devote two days of the week to the task of removing them, but with vengeance they would make a re-appearance. Son wanted me to use a weed killer but I was going the old fashioned way.

It appears I was doing the right thing. Son used a weed killer in one part of our backyard. The weeds are back in great profusion, but there is no grass.

On the days I was working in our front yard, a lady would pass by on the side walk. We would exchange smiles, and greetings. One day, Son brought in a sweet dish from the lady. She lived in the street which was at the back of our house. Son pointed out her home to me in case I wanted to return her friendly gesture.

A few days later I made Karhee. After deciding to take some to her, I filled a bag with snacks just in case she didn’t like my dish of Karhee. I’m terrible at remembering. I had forgotten which house belonged to her. I went upto a house, and rang the bell. When a man answered the door, I hesitatingly asked, “ Does the Turkish lady lives here?” No was the answer.

I didn’t remember the lady’s name. It really was embarrassing. The next house I visited, I quickly looked at the mail lying beside the door. The surname on it was Brown, so it definitely wasn’t her. I hurriedly retraced my steps back to the street. Entering the driveway of the third house, I saw the American flag flying in the front. So it certainly wasn’t her home. I went to the next house, and rang the bell. After a while two cute children answered the door. I asked, “ Is your Mom Turkish?” I heaved a sigh of relief when they both answered yes.

A few days later she came to visit me. I got her name, and phone number. I told her my tale of how I found her house. We laughed together. She wasn’t home the day I was trying to find her. Being a mother, she had instilled in her children not to answer the door when she wasn’t there. She had scolded them, “How could you open the door to a stranger.”

Their answer, “Mom, she was carrying food.”

Hi Stranger!

Daily Prompt: Greetings, Stranger
You’re sitting at a cafe when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?


I am staring despondently into my latte. I am sitting at an outside table. There are few people around. Suddenly a stranger stops. He turns around, retraces his steps, and stands beside me.

He hesitatingly asks, “you’re Farzana Qasmi?”

At a loss I stare at him. “Do I say yes, or no?” I briefly debate with myself.

“Yes,” I look up at him with wariness in my eyes. “How comes he knows my name,” I am asking myself.

He pulls out a chair, and sits down.

“I’ve been meaning to call you, but I’ve been very busy. Can you come at eight tomorrow to the office?”

Oh! It becomes a bit clearer to my muddled head as to who he was. I had applied for a job. I wear a head scarf. It wasn’t necessary but I had attached a photo of myself with the form I had filled.

I had thought if someone sees how I looked, it would be better to be rejected early then after an interview.

I nod at him. He must be thinking, “what a strange lady?”

I am speechless with joy at finally getting a job. He doesn’t know that I am down to my last cents, and he is an angel in disguise for me.