Tag Archives: tenant.


We had Eid yesterday. I had my tenant problems to deal with back home in Pakistan. He hadn’t paid the rent for three months. I was like kind of mad at him for not paying his dues. The last day of month long fasting had taken its toll, and as evening approached I was fatigued beyond measure.

IB (grandson) devours potato crisps night, and day, but anything homemade with potatoes in it, shies him off. For him, I made a mixture of chicken cut into bite size to fill into the samosas dough I had prepared earlier. When I put two chicken filled samosas in front of him, he refused to eat them. I threatened him with giving him aubergine to eat. I had made a dish for Son, and myself. IB had to decide — which he preferred. He ate the samosas.

I have found giving him alternatives to eat, lessons my period of agony over his not eating anything. He makes his own choice which in turn gets me less grief. I don’t have to prod him into finishing the meal on his plate.

Uncooked samosas waiting to be fried.


I wish it was as simple to recharge a car’s battery as we recharge ourselves with sleep, going on vacations, or doing things we like. My car on the other end, in my home country, rests jacked up on bricks. 

Last November, I went back for three months, but extended my stay further for two more months.  I needed my car immediately for running errands. The first thing I did was to buy a new battery instead of recharging the old one. My thrifty older brother wanted me to take the battery to a shop for recharging. It couldn’t be done. 

I had already given it away to my downstairs’ tenant’s servant to sell it for himself. He was happy to gain a few bucks. 

When I was coming back, my driver unplugged the new battery from the car. I didn’t know I would be visiting again after seven months, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it to my brother. I will have to buy a new one now, as I have to go for a month, or two to tackle problems waiting for me back home.

I have left the key of my car in Houston with my son. I don’t have to face any worries concerning this car. My son can deal with them if any arises. Masha’Allah! One load of my mind.




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Last November I had to go to Peshawar to take care of multiple tasks. I hesitated to go alone anywhere except for groceries to a nearby store. I would ask Lala (my elder brother), or my brother-in-law Bashir to accompany me whenever I needed a support of someone. One such errand was getting a tenant to vacate a home in Hayatabad.

I would ask my driver to take me to my brother’s home. I would phone him a day ahead telling him I would be needing him. Lala would be ready with a cane, and a bottle of water. He doesn’t really need a cane. The cane came in useful in another way. Lala would use it to shake it at unscrupulous drivers who drove  dangerously.

On the way back I would remind the driver to drop Lala at his place first. Lala objected to the word drop. He would say, “You don’t drop me. I am not a sack of something. You leave me at my home”.



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A Tale of Home

A Plot of Earth
by Michelle W.
You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

When am I getting It? Please let me know. It’s no fun getting it as an imaginary one.
Here is a tale of one we bought.

When my (late) husband R got posted to Abbotabad, and we moved there, I fell in love with the place. I kept badgering R to buy a plot, and build us a home, so we could retire there in the future.

A two canal plot came up for sale, and we got it at a reasonable price. We built a lovely stone house on it. It was a single story, three bedroom house. We left one canal for a garden, keeping in mind that later we might build an annexe on it.

We didn’t get time to live in it, because R’s transfer came. We put the house up for rent, put our son in a hostel, and left to where R got posted.

Our last tenant didn’t pay two months rent. He didn’t pay electricity dues for a year. How he managed that, and the electricity didn’t get cut off, that’s a mystery. He left doors, and gate opened, and the house remained like that for a period of two months, till R was notified by an acquaintance.

R put the house up for sale. After selling it R cleared the electricity, and gas bills. For the eight years it was occupied by tenants, none had paid the water charges. R paid all those plus the sales tax. Ten years later the same place got sold for millions.

Only wish we didn’t sell it. Should have kept it shuttered, and had a go at the millions.


A Hectic Day

Out of Breath
by Ben Huberman
We all seem to insist on how busy, busy, busy we constantly are. Let’s put things in perspective: tell us about the craziest, busiest, most hectic day you’ve had in the past decade.

Image Credit: Google

Shutting down a home requires a number of things to be done before one can leave. The task becomes difficult with friends, and guests dropping on you on your last day at home. You have to bite your tongue not to say anything. You have to keep the expressions on your face welcoming, in spite of the fact that you need time to finish off the work to be done.

What can you say to their faces? I just keep mum.

Please say your goodbyes 4-5 days earlier, unless you are specifically asked to come. Please don’t come on my last day, when I am trying to close down my home for an indefinite period.

Please don’t linger for hours. Let me finish my chores. I am tired, and there is a long journey ahead of me. I need rest. That’s what was lingering in my mind, when I was coming here in May, 2013.

The busiest day went by. Last work was done. The fridge, and the hot water boiler, gas were shut down at last. Electric gadgets disconnected. I wanted to lie down (to straighten up my back) for a few moments, before finishing last minute tasks, when my tenant came upstairs. Thanks to her I forgot my bag of medicines which to this day must be resting in my dressing room.

She left when my brother, and nephew came to take me to the airport.
My nephew Shahid came rushing upstairs to demand iced water. It was a good turn. I had forgotten to empty a thermos full of cold water. I had filled it earlier when I had shut down the fridge. If Shahid had not asked for water, the thermos would have gathered fungus to this day.

I was going to empty it, when Lala (my elder brother) came up too for iced water, with rivulets of perspiration running down his face.

Next time I shouldn’t disclose the date of my leaving to avoid last minute disturbance. Let’s hope I stick to my resolution.