Since 1906 and still counting

She was born in 1906 when there was no Pakistan but one whole Mother India, Des, as they call it, which they still think is their home and I believe they have every reason to do so. She delivered my second last uncle during the partition time, that is, 1947; when Pakistan came into being. 

Today, she’s a mother to 6 with another 2 who died at an early age, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and now also holds the honor of becoming a great great grandmother! That’s how old her story begins. 

I type this as her granddaughter which makes my relation with her absolutely easy for you to sort out. My father is the youngest of all and his eldest brother; my uncle would be around the age of 80 by now, MashaAllah. 

Her exact age would remain a mystery to everyone as it is to every person of her generation. Nobody took a serious account of the ages at that time. Though what is written on her identity card is the mere proof and a satisfaction of her age that we have. Noting it down from there: she was born around 1906 and is now, Alhumdulillah107 years old. 

Life has been the simplest of the simple for her, with hardly any vision left right now, one can call her a blind person. I remember, about 4-5 years ago, she said to me, in her language which I can’t speak fully but can understand like a pro: ‘I think you’re the beautiful of all, Sarin’ , leaving behind my 3 other siblings rot in the pool of jealousy. Heck, they could merely digest it that this had already become a joke for a lifetime: She can’t see Sarin, so imagine the irony. She called you beautiful; one can understand why she did. ha ha ha. 

That never bothered me. 

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A picture taken by my cousin, taking advantage of the fact that Dadi won’t notice. She would create a fuss if she finds out her pictures are being taken.
This is: Dadi.

She would occasionally cry when she realize she has seen her daughter-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren pass away before her. That saddens her. & today, she is as well prepared for her demise as the soldier on the battleground is, when the war to fight the non-existing peace is only seconds away.

It’s been more than a year that hints of her loosing bit of her senses have started showing. Rest assured, and to be very frank, she hasn’t lost it. But there would be a randomest of the random day when she would create a panic among everyone, telling them that the end of her life is here: she has seen the angel of death. Sometimes, she would tell a story of children dressed in white she has seen. & she would ask for a sacred bath that day. She would ask whether her piece of cloth is ready in which she shall be wrapped and sent away. 

Dadi, as we call her, is nothing but all praises for God, for AllahIf the giant family tree is blessed today, it would be because of her, if we’re succeeding in life, there would be a part she must’ve played in it, unknown to us. 

She still lives in her ancient home, where they shifted to after migration. It’s a village, about 45 minutes away from my city. Which we visit occasionally, where the whole family gathers on the events ranging from weddings to funerals to the most important of all: Eid-ul-fitr , a religious festival which marks the end of the Holy month Ramadan and Eid-ul-adha (celebrated by Muslims worldwide to honour the willingness of the prophet ʾIbrāhīm (Abraham) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismā’īl (Ishmael) as an act of submission to God’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a Lamb to sacrifice instead –wikipedia). 

I believe it’s only her who’s holding these family ties together till now or else, trust me, no one has much of the affiliation with each other and I share ‘no special’ bond with this huge family of mine. Yes, I love them, I enjoy them, I respect them, it’s the same bloodline but the differences divide us at times and the mindsets are the broken bridge in between. 

“Do In Rome As Romans Do” –is the best way to explain my behavior once we’re in the premises of my father’s childhood home. But how hard can one try, right? 

To be very honest here, I don’t know why I’m typing this. There is no need for me to flash this around; no need to present it to you all that Dadi has become a living legend, for me. I write when the words really just keep pouring out. This is one of those times. 

I see her, I sit with her on her battered char-poy  ( Manji, as they call it, a hand woven bed) and sometimes I would compare my feet with hers, fascinated by the immense resemblance, I was told I had my Dadi’s feet :p or sometimes, I would play with her flesh of skin which hangs from her arms and round the elbow. The loosely hanging skin is more like a kid’s play-dough. One can mould it as whatever they wish. & like most of the times, she would be unaware of her surroundings.

The normal greeting is alwaayysss the same. Which starts with a Salam (hello) followed by the introduction of who you are. We tell her we’re whose kids and then the name. At times she gets it on one go and sometimes, my aged cousin, who’s more of a caretaker of her as well, would have to explain it loud and clear telling her to welcome us and pat us with her hand to give us love and blessings. The common gesture of the village, I’ve noticed; You pay your Salam and then lower your head down to receive the unconditional love from the elders.

Not to forget the times when she would ask me if my father is around so she can sneak in her hukkah (single- or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking tobacco), her ultimate addiction which all of my uncles living in the village are also addicted to, except my father who once tried puffing it and ended up fainting. She would not smoke/puff it in front of my dad, for she knows he dislikes it and doesn’t approve, but everybody knows what the story behind the scene is and she would laugh.

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The typical view you will witness if one visits the villages.
The aged person on a char poy and the hukkah beside them.
If hukkah isn’t available at times, then cigarettes would do. We were almost disturbed by the fact when my aunt visited us in our childhood and asked: Goldleaf hai?! Goldleaf is a cigarette brand…sigh.

Dadi, without even doing much, is a lot closer to me than I had ever imagined. 3-4 months would go by, I wouldn’t see her. Never had the heart-to-heart talks with her since that was completely out of the question but there’s something which just kept us bonded. Her undying love for us, her countless prayers, her advices on how I should stop studying and focus on doing more holier things, the sound of her kid-ish laughter on every question I would ask from her – everything is reasonable enough for me to love her.

If I am going to end this blog with a little sadness then that would be her thinking that the every goodbye kiss *I* give her is from my little sister. & she tells my dad about it almost every time that the little one kisses her and then she would laugh, again with sheer cuteness. Damn it!

Since 1906 and still counting: I found my living legend that lived one century and hopped to the next one, did you?

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Day 4 – Out on the roads. & liquid humans.

Before you read this, make sure you’ve read THIS. 

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7th’Jun’13.

Day Four and well – I’m not going to say it now…People who have been reading the previous blogs would know what comes next here. *lips sealed* & there is no shame because, I repeat, it’s fate; it’s not our fault, at all.

After entering the school premises in such a frenzy, with taunts and mocks shoved our way for being late and keeping everyone else waiting to such an extent that they grew white facial hair (they lie, no one was really waiting for us, they themselves weren’t prepared and yes, I love my job as a blogger so I can tell the world about the only truth that exists), we had a pep talk and we left the school in no time. Ready to ride in a non-conditioned ride again, at 12 in the afternoon, when the Sun is AT IT’S PEAK  and in that scorching heat, it was time for us to leave for that day’s agenda.

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^  This is what they were all up to before me and my friend reached.
Posing with the laptop switched off, having coke and also the last two pictures in the last row is of the Vice President who has lost it.

AgendaThe agenda was to collect funds. How to collect the funds is the fun part; the team was granted freedom (no khubsoorat’s lady’s glares and orders – yay!) and they were left loose out in the open like stray dogs on the streets and the roads where we knocked door after door begging for money and mercy for Money’s sake. 

There were multiple places that we visited that day. Started off with a small housing society which errr…didn’t go that well in the beginning. 

This was the day, when I worked with my complete group (group 4) and one of them who was new and had just joined us this day after his interview the day before, disappeared right when we had started God knows where and miraculously showed up when we had ended our begging-for-money-parade in this particular place. It was like…magic. Sorry bro, I just had to type this down.

This walk was THE walk where everyone had transformed and went under some miserable transitions. I’m not kidding and I don’t lie. Each one of us had turned into a liquid human since we were melting due to the excessive heat and got the not-so-perfect tan of all times. Thanks to the volunteer who had volunteered to provide us with water bottles but this still didn’t do because it was practically boiling by the end of the day.

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Out on the roads. Out in the heat.

Later on, after only a 30 minute of this fund collecting procedure, we had ourselves being chased by the 2 security guards on their super fast motorbike (read: maniacs) who stated we were breaking the rule of this housing society and we can’t collect funds like we own this place. The President of this housing society must know and we should talk to him first. Plans changed, we packed ourselves again, sat in cars (in a non-conditioned one, oh my fate) and got ourselves ready for the next task. 

God bless us for having such a large social network, a student of our school, our batch mate who wasn’t part of this society but lived in this housing society was contacted. We knew he could sort things out for us. Meanwhile, the Jummah break came (Friday prayer) and the boys left for the mosque of this housing society.

 Meanwhiiille, us girls sat in a bro’s enormous land crusier/prado for the sake of the AC which felt like heaven, the same bro who fought the first day and also brought the red caps the next day, yes it was this very bro. & what we did in the car shall remain in the car and a secret and the sister-to-sister code shall not be broken, ever. Sorry, bros.

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Them boys beating the heat by a local water cooler found outside a house. & we were just posing😐
The page that the boys are holding is the page that had all the ‘official’ details of our aim proving that we came from an authorized background.
& last but not the least, that’s us in the bro’s car. *cough*

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It was hot and tiring.
Although, I had thought we had escaped the President’s glares and orders but I was wrong. That’s her ordering us and the fourth picture is of the volunteer from group 3 who has lost it as well because it was…well hot.

Kher, after the jummah break, it was decided only few students were allowed to collect the funds in this place and the rest were asked to leave this place, in a not so polite manner.

I decided to stay.

& this was one of the worst decisions ever made on my part, speaking the other way around. We were 5 people who stayed back and God bless us again, the boys preferably, for knowing too many people who lived in this place and so we went door after door only to their particular home and collected money. Lots of money.

I and my friend were only called upon from the non-conditioned ride when the boys stood hopeless and we girls somehow were used as the tool to lure the owner into giving us money. 

Honestly, we wouldn’t even do anything that the owner of the house would just magically transform on our introduction: Hello, uncle. Yes yes, we’re with them. If you could please help. Yes, please even this much would matter a lot. Perverted people – sick. Heck, we were sweating, had our heads covered, weren’t seducing, God knows what some of them had in their minds.

 There was this one aged man who literally started hitting on us in an umm, very ‘w.e.i.r.d’ way! To be grateful enough, he was the one who gave us the largest amount of money from this housing society over all. Oh sweet uncle. 

Well, we were pretty much exhausted by the agenda of that day and had to catch up with the rest of the team who were in other parts of city and I also had a family lunch to crash onto, got late – obviously.   

We joined the other team who had their own stories to share. Huge, I repeat huge, amount of donations were received, surprised our own schoolmates by knocking on their doors (it’s somewhat a small city), some people were cursed; it was one heck of a day. Which ended in bliss and money. 

We had realized multiple things this day;

1) Almost every owner of the house is sleeping when we ring their bells.

2) It was really hot.

3) Most of the people were already running another NGO (non-governmental organization) and didn’t afford to help another one.

4) No one cared for the students who were melting outside their house and who were waiting for someone to open the house gate for Money’s sake.

5) It was really really hot.

6) If one is determined to do something, then one can definitely bear the hot weather as well. Yay us!

P.S: I heard Group 3 had a hard time this day. *giggles* Like a real hard time.

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Group 3 and their efforts not ending in vain at last.
The first two pictures indicates they were hopeless. Third picture is where I was telling her about our success or maybe, we were just posing.
Fourth indicates that their boxes are not empty anymore and they are happy.


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Day 3 – The Hospital Visit. & the excessive heat.

Before you read this, make sure you read THIS.

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6th’Jun’13

Day 3 & I reach late, just like the day before and the day before that. Along with the same friend whom I picked up again. I would not like to comment on this now. Really.

Day started off when I saw the refreshments in the classroom and I sent some good wishes to the volunteer who volunteered for this. Chips and drinks and chocolates! Cheers.

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THE refreshments!

This was the day when we traveled in a non-conditioned ride, with temperature 8364860000, 000 degrees recorded outside, around the city (with the refreshments put in the back of the cars). This tour was planned to visit and examine the conditions of the local hospital in town to pass our final decision on where we would be investing our money.

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The team on the run! :’)

Without a doubt, this was no easy job. For kids like us who have never actually made an effort to step out of the house right when the Sun is at its peak and visiting a place which is in not-so-good conditions, this was an eye opener, honestly. Won’t brag how we’ve completely changed after this particular tour because that clearly did not happen but needless to say, I for one learned a lesson or two and this won’t be an exaggeration.

Since this society was made for the welfare of the children, our sole target was the children ward of this hospital. Inspection was not as good as we all had hoped. We all divided into different groups and started to work! Students on the roll, everyone!

Scenario was quite happening.  Everyone was sweating and was being pushed around by the people who had been accompanying the patients (the whole family to be precise; dadi jee, nani and nana, phuppa and saas, bacha and bahus and chacha and bhaiyya! & this is the love of the loved ones I’m not going to complain about, it shows the strong bonds of the families around here); this was one thing which really ticked me off. How hard is it to see that there are people in front of you, really? Excuse and you’d be free to go. But I wouldn’t blame them; the rate of illiteracy was too damn high!

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Here and there. In the hospital.

However, moving on we went around asking the patients and the nurses about multiple things and to much surprise some of them seemed to be quite happy with the attention they were given! Some had complaints about the lack of equipment provision and lack of proper facilities which led us to the Senior Doctor who was in charge of the children ward.

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Sneak peeks of the hospital.

Visiting her was quite another story as well. Midway, light went. She was in an OPD, surrounded by dozens of patients. Her room was dark. Only three of us were allowed to go have a talk with her. I forced my way in, she didn’t really answer all of our queries since she wasn’t expecting this visit at all and all the patients around had kept her busy and hence, she asked us to come on coming Saturday where we would talk in peace and interrupt nothing.

And so, conditions of the hospital led us to our final decision: It was going to be this hospital where we would be investing our funds after all. 

We all reunited out of the ward, out in the open. Got water bottles and well, more water bottles.

Ended having pizza for lunch and ended having myself nothing to eat, that’s what excessive heat does to you or maybe just too much water does.

Day ended and I wished, being an optimistic, I would reach on time tomorrow. I definitely would (my ancestors decided to haunt me in my dreams now).

 

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The happy and drenched in sweat team!

P.S: to this day nobody knows where the refreshments went. Nobody.

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Summer is here! :D

& my fellow friend, a junior in school but doesn’t seem like so – posts her thoughts on summer 2013! Exactly my sentiments. Enjoy! Visit her and you’d surely enjoy🙂

Amna Naeem

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After the entire wait, exams are finally over and summer time is here. Oh, correction, vacations are here, in Pakistan we have summer for almost 9 months a year😦 Anyways as Deez Nut’s song ‘Tonight we’re gonna party’ says: ‘Tonight we’re gonna party, like there’s no tomorrow, forget about our whoas and drown our sorrows’. Yay! The much awaited party time is here!

So everybody’s happy, thought there’s this scorching heat here in Pakistan, but everyone’s glad that they’re free. I was badly waiting for summer, firstly because there are these loads of movies I have to watch, and loads of television series I have to catch up and loads of fun that’s to come. This is going to be my best summer at least and hope same goes for all other people out there.

Reasons why summer’13 is going to be awesome:

1)      My whole family is getting…

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Day 2 (the group work) – Group 4. & the heat.

Before you read this, make sure you’ve read THIS.

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5th June’13.

Day two and I reach late, again. Along with the same friend whom I picked up this time. We’re clueless and the extremely innocent girls who have no idea about the ‘being late everywhere’ policy.

The day started off with working on the name tags, drooling over the red caps brought by the bro who fought the day before, interviewing the new guys who came,  and practically everyone was working one way or another.

Except one guy:  canteen walay uncle. Who did not have water bottles that day! What the what, man. Kher, I survived, hence this blog post you all are reading or maybe not.

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THE red caps and the name tags.

However, the day started off with the volunteers being divided into groups. The task was: to jot down the problems that the underprivileged children are facing and what this society could do to uplift their conditions.

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The work, the discussion, the heat.

I ended up with two random guys I didn’t know until now. We were ‘the group 4’ and probably the coolest group (its okay to lie sometimes). Anyhow, it was nice working with them and we actually ended up filling BOTH the sides of the paper, you know what I mean?

Group 3 was a bit too loud with their ideas and as honest as we all are, they helped us with our paper work one way or another.
Yes, that’s how much we worked. To be very honest, none of the other groups were even close (never have I enjoyed being a blogger as much as I do this very moment).

Later on, the day proceeded into the discussions. Where each group was to deliver their thoughts and a common ground was to be reached. Needless to say, there were objections on the ideas presented, some arguments, some laughs, and some cold wars with the khubsoorat lady and some whining, actually lots of whining. The temperature was 792468 degrees and we were hanging around without water.

However to be fair to the name of this society, united we stood with mutual ideas and the final decision was passed!

Day 2 was probably one of the major days since much of the work done in near future was all decided on this day. The sponsor ships, the donations, the targets, the tours, the plan and the duties, it was all laid down and was worked upon. With much surprise, we had already received donations on this day brought by the same bro who fought the day before and I believe it was a good start to keep us moving and getting more money rolling in.

Also, we got another student who volunteered to provide the volunteers with refreshments (God bless her) for the next few days and thanking her through this post would just not be enough.

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The discussion room.

Day 2 ended with all of us drenched in sweat showers and I hoped for a better tomorrow where I would reach on time (the souls of my ancestors failed to find peace).

Over and out.


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Day 1 (when the bros fought) – Bros over Woes!

Before you read, make sure you’ve read THIS.

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Day one and I reach late. Along with my friend who picked me up. We really don’t know why we’re always late. It’s turning more into a habitual thing now. It’s not always our fault.

Anyway, interviews begun. There’s a room full of boys and 6 girls on one corner (i might just exaggerate a bit). Girls being busy in posing for pictures in the iPad owned by our bossy and the very khoobsurat President (we’re nothing without her, okay?) and the boys busy in their chit chat and talking louder than the average human hearing ability (20Hz to 20,000Hz) but I wasn’t really interested what they were going on and on about. Just like that ‘the very professional’ type interviews to choose the volunteers ended which were taking place in the other room . Rejecting no one, the day ended in bliss. Or so we thought.

Surviving on water while bearing the un-bearable heat, the canteen waalay uncle had earned enough for the day, all thanks to us who were starving, almost to death.

We were made to sit in a particular disciplined manner in a classroom followed by the speeches by the nominees for the Vice President. Needless to say, a friend of mine harassed one of them (she always does that) that I think he ended his speech in such a hurry even when he dint want to. However, all sympathies aside, he won with majority’s vote. He’s the best we could ever ask for, really. I dint vote for him, waisey. Or maybe I did😉

Then everyone was assigned their particular duties ranging from photographers to bloggers to directors to financial heads and bla and bla.

Cutting it down to the only amusing thing of that day! It happened in a blink of an eye, just like the milk boils in a second and spills on your stove (and your mommies give you a chittar).

All we all witnessed was Two bros, one being my friend and the other being my batch mate I just met that day, were on their feet, both of them being grabbed and held back by a strong hold by the other boys/bros so they don’t get to break the not-so-perfect noses of themselves, on the verge of killing each other. Them girls, including me, were completely clueless about what on Earth just happened, astounded with eyes like O_O and faces like :O, all we could do was shout out to our friend: ‘stop itt!! Guys stop! Right now!’, but to no avail.

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Left: my bro friend.
To the right: my batchmate.
Together they make the bros who fought.

One bro said something followed by the second one then again the first one – “Tunay kaha tha! Tu samjhta kia hai?  Chal *beep beep*. Aa ab, darta hai?! Tairee jurrat kaiseyy!! *beep beeeeep* 39*%*# fnk$((%UVfjj*^%$#@!(%*“


To be very honest, we were really really enjoying this. But just like it started, it ended way too soon as well. The President of the society, the khoobsurat lady, threatened to terminate them, the boys cooled them down making sure they both sat with a safe distance between them in a no-fight-zone area.

This later led to a hug between the two (that escalated quickly). Awwwwwwww. No. They almost started again but respected the terms and conditions applied. Hence, they stopped and the awkward hug took place anyway. Sigh.

United we serve, united we stand. Bros over woes!

And so, day one ended. & I aimed for a better tomorrow where I would  reach on time (even my ancestors had laughter fits reading this).

From top left (clockwise): the interview being taken by the school teachers. Then the khubsoorat lady. Then the girls posing (i miss) & lastly, the boys/bros.

From top left (clockwise): the interview being taken by the school teachers.
Then the khubsoorat lady.
Then the girls posing (i miss)
& lastly, the boys/bros.


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Where do I begin?

It’s a free mind now. No more stress, no more books, no more courses to cover and the amount of shits given equals to zero. Hello, summer’13!

Rather than sulking over the fact that time flies (I figured I’ve been whining about this in every blog post of mine), let me give myself a warm welcome back to the blogging world. Where I blog for the sake of blogging or maybe I like it. Don’t judge, like the annoying relatives at my sister’s wedding did. That, however, is a story for some other time.

7 days of my freedom have already been lived. Facebook-ed, sat like a loner, partied, watched a movie, partied again, sat like a loner [2], partied again, and facebook-ed. I did cook though, which was more of a cooking for the pictures taken by a DSLR rather than the cooking itself.  It was fun, nonetheless. My friend did all of the work though, making her totally eligible for making a perfect Pakistani all-in-one package-bride for all the rishta-aunties out there (read: desperate moms on hunt for a suitable daughter in law to marry their sons with, who are no less than a fake prince charming we’ve all read about).

Anyway, she isn’t interested in getting married this early. Nobody is. This brings us back to ‘summer 2o13’. World didn’t end, pffft.

Where do I begin? It’s like starting all over after a relationship ended, not that I’ve ever been in one but I know how it is like, you know. For me, a life of 3 years just ended. I have a liiiiiiiiiisst of things what I want to do, that I can do, that I will do and that I will end up doing. Comes down to nothing? Ouch.

So this summer, I plan to travel. I plan to be even nicer. I plan to read some bazzilion books. I plan to end all of my seasons. I plan to travel [2]. I plan to be more productive (and even my ancestors had laughter fits reading this). I plan to learn how to drive. I plan to blog till I poke the keys out of my ancient laptop. I plan nothing but actually do something. Sounds very dramatic but then it always does and it always will. It’s time to begin, isn’t it?

This is where I begin. This is where this blog ends.

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