My First Crush

My first crush was my dentist. I loved going to his office and sitting in the waiting area, like I was waiting to be whisked away for a top secret meeting of all the board members of Qatar Petroleum. He was always the kids best friend. He would talk to you like he is your age.

And if he ever said that he was disappointed in you, that’s when you knew that your teeth are messed up.

One of my favourite childhood lines was, when the dentist would take out our cavities or our milk teeth, turn around and say those magic words, ” Now for the next two days, you have to eat ONLY ice cream.”

That was Disney Land for me.

So for me going to dentist was a trip to Chaman ice cream parlour five times a day.

We went to him today after ten years. And I saw myself as the 7 year old that used to go there after every six months. We went to his house and it was magnificent. A two canal house in Defence which has four cars parked on the right and a huge beautifully tended garden on the left. Everything so precise and pristine that you would never be able to guess what sadness lies beneath all that shine. On the name plate it says, B.D.S, M.P.F.A, F.I.C.D. ( USA) and the walls are lined with certificates of recognition from all over the world.

You would never know that his 26 year old son who had just returned after becoming a Dentist as well and was about to get married, died in a fire and that very house was burned to the ground. This happened 11 years ago.

And even now he couldn’t control his tears. It was evident that the tragedy had eaten him from inside.

I had to hear the not so magical words, ” I am very disappointed in you. ” And the always heard ones, “Such different names all you guys have. “

And in that moment, I thanked Allah for all the blessings I have and seem to forget about everyday. This is one thing we have no control over.

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I Am Not Desi Anymore

In my mind, I am immune to being sick in Pakistan. I am not one of those people who get sick because of the change in atmosphere or water. I am also immune to all kinds of “Gol Gappy”, ” Dahi Ballay”, “chaat” etc of road side stalls and “Thelas”. I have always been VERY proud of this fact.

I love to brag it out to my friends, saying ooh no, I am a total Desi. Just because I live abroad does not make me an outsider.

This trip proved me wrong on so many levels that now my head is hanging in shame. And I am regretting my decision of eating like a Desi.

2nd day in Pakistan and we went to my cousins house where I ate ” Laddo Peethi”. Than on our numerous shopping adventures, I had “Papri Chaat” and ” Paratha Roll” from Lahori Chatkhara. I also drank Slush which is basically flavoured ice for a drink. Ooh and I forgot to mention the ice cream. And Jalaybiyan, Samosay which were delivered to the house for “Sham ki Chai”. Hot tendors, Nuggets and Chunks of K & Ns graced us with their presence. All this in one week.

So now I have been in bed for the whole day with a tissue box on my right and used tissue pile on my left. My brain is fuzzy and confused not registering what I am reading. I have the full package which includes high fever, flu and the saddest, meanest, most disgusting cough ever heard. Did I mention the headaches ?

The Desi bacha is sick. Who is not so desi anymore. I don’t hate being sick. I just hate not being able to function properly.

So if you want to function properly and have the best travelling experience, than don’t assume that you are fool proof. Do as they say about restraining from road side foods.

I know. I know. It sucks.

But lets be honest. Going to Khaadi with a bundle of tissues in your hand, swaying side by side and feeling like crap is no fun either.

P.S. If you were wondering, I did not refrain from anything. I am still eating and drinking all the crappiest awesome stuff Pakistan has to offer. After all you get this chance very rarely. 

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It Was That Ride

When we first move to Qatar, we were given accommodations by my dads office. And the villa we lived in had another couple living at the back of it. They did not have a car, so sometimes they went grocery shopping with us.

These were the times when we were actually interested in going grocery shopping.

One day, we bought Haldiram’s Spicy Chick Pea mix. Haldiram is a company which makes all kinds of snacks and stuff. Being the people who cannot wait to get home and open something up, we opened it in the car.

That packet was passed from one person to another. After taking a single bite, we were huffing and puffing and our mouths were on fire.

It was spicy even on our standards.

But despite it being the spiciest Haldiram I have ever eaten, all of us in the car kept eating it.

The whole ride home, we all were figuring out what the snack was. And everyone kept snubbing each other trying to prove who is right.

We were making silly jokes and daring each other to eat more.

Muaaz took a handful and put it in his mouth. He has not been the same ever since.

That was the moment we realized the importance of water. That moment was so hilarious because the water was in the back of the car and we could not stop to take it out.

Ever since that ride, every once in a while one of us buys that same Haldiram. And we are disappointed over and over again.

The taste has never been the same. Its not that spicy. Not even near that spice meter.

I don’t know what it was. Whether it was that couple, that ride or that moment but Haldiram does not taste the same.

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A Day In Jail

How would you describe your feelings if you were stranded in a plane for 12 hours ? Your 3 and a half hour flight turned into an 18 hour flight ?

Lets start with us boarding our flight which was at 8:30 pm. We boarded the plane early at 7:45 pm.

The first tragedy that happened was that the flight was delayed. It was a connecting flight for a lot of people from US, Europe and even KSA. Some of these flights were not on schedule so we had to wait for them.

Our plane finally took off at 9:30 pm.

We were assured that we would arrive at Allama Iqbal Airport at 3:00 in the morning now.

On route to Lahore, while we were passing Karachi, I had the misfortune of saying, Amma lets get off here and do a little sight seeing.

As luck would have it, when we reached Lahore, there was fog and the weather was so horrible that the plane kept circling for an hour and than headed back to Karachi.

We landed there with an amused expression and an air of adventure. Because we were ready to get out of the plane, see the airport and just do something.

Well, turns out we had to stay in the plane because they were expecting the conditions to improve within the hour. And we would have headed back at 7:00 clock maximum. We had landed there at 4:30.

We would get an update every hour and reassurance that the plane would fly in an hour. But we stayed in the plane. And here we were planning a sight seeing tour in Karachi.

The weather conditions improved at about 11:00 clock and our plane finally took off at 12:30. By now I felt like I had just come from Australia not a three hour flight from Qatar.

Talk about mishaps. I have NEVER ever in my life even when I have been awake for 48 hours, felt this bad.

To make matters even worse than they could be, someone tried to snatch my Louise Vuitton bag and it broke in a snap. But thank God, it wasn’t stolen considering every valuable thing from phone to camera to ten different connecting wires were in it.

The minute we step of the plane and after checking out, taking our luggage, we see a mass of people surrounding me. In plane words, we had arrived on the airport which looks like a Fish market.

And the day ended by my Taya picking us up and asking, ” So how did your day in jail go ? Hopefully, you won’t want to go there again.”

P.S. The best or worst part was that it was nobody’s fault. 
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The 50 Dollar Piercing

We were standing in Sky Jewellers which if you haven’t already guessed, is a gold shop. My mom wanted to buy rings for my cousins in Pakistan.

Basically, that is what she does. Which is buy Gold, wear Gold and gift Gold. In her mind, anything less is an insult to a lady’s class.

Anyway, so we were standing there, looking at hundreds of rings when I heard a piercing scream on my right. It was a little girl whose ears were being pierced and she was bawling at the top of her voice.

When we exited after doing our business in the shop, my mom stopped the mother of that girl and gave her some sort of advice. Which is her other favourite hobby.

We are ultimate believers in helping others.

Abbu asks Amma, ” What was it ? Were you asking her the price of piercing ?”

“No. I was telling her to give some Adol to the kid. “

I said, ” Shit. We should have asked. “

On which my mom goes like, “Its free, Sumaica. They bought the gold tops so the piercing is free. “

And I burst out laughing in the middle of all these shopkeepers trying to figure out the reason for my insanity.

Than I went to tell my mom that I was laughing because I got my second piercing done for 150 QR which is basically 50 dollars. And at the time, I had thought that it was very cheap.

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I Call It Desperation

Desperation.

I have used this word countless times but never fully understood the meaning and impact of it until I was standing in th eparking lot of Al Wakra Hospital stealing their WiFi. I know. I fear Hell as well
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But in my defence, its not my fault. I was DESPERATE. Ever since I have moved houses, life has been in peace. There have been no emails to check, no facebook messages or anything to reply back etc.

But after two weeks, that has changed.

I had to check the email for my result. I had to book appointments for all the major Boutiques in Pakistan. I had to email some friends of mine, as well as reply to things. I had to check some information about my upcoming admissions as well. I had to order some books to be delivered in Pakistan before I reach there. I had to send in my articles and reply to some editors as well. All in all, there was a lot that I had to do.

And I could not waste any time as I am going to Pakistan in two weeks.

We have already applied to Oredoo for our internet and telephone services and being the country that we are, its going to take a month..

This resulted in me sitting in the parking lot in the wheelchair parking spot feeling not that guilty about stealing their internet.

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I Am The Stupid One

A few days ago, Moawiz had his Junior Variety Show in which he was a participant in three of the choirs. He came home and said, Apa, I am going to wear this Silver sparkly shirt with a Bow tie and it looks so cute on me. And I was smitten. My thoughts were like, dude, you know more about clothes than I do.

Which is hilarious considering I am a girl and you are 7.

Anyway, so there we were on the day, proudly sitting in the audience, looking at the program, trying to figure out which choir out of five were his, listed on the paper. Anyway, they came on stage. While everyone is figuring out their positions on the stage, my dear brother is more interested in where my mom is in the audience. His eyes dart here and there, left and right, a bewildered expression on his face, which showed where his interest really was.

My mom being the amazing impulsive person she is, gets up from her seat, starts waving crazily at him, shouting, Moawiz, I am right here. I duck down, thinking I do not know this woman, people.

Moawiz on the other hand has an opposite reaction. He breaks into a huge smile, gives a thumbs up to my mom and says something to his friend.

When the second poem of their’s starts and they come on stage wearing silver sparkly shirts looking like escorts at a beauty pageant and I have had enough of the terrible fox dance by a bunch of 4th graders who were doing “thumkas” because that is OBVIOUSLY what a fox does. How stupid of me.

They start singing and I am looking at my youngest brother with an exasperated expression on my face who is making all the wrong hand gestures. The lines they are singing are ” its a small world something something”, and while everyone else has their arms wide open making a huge circle, Moawiz has his hands folded making a small circle with his hands. I was furious, to say the least.

The minute he comes off the stage, I start grilling him for detail, asking him what went wrong, and what the hell was he doing up there. He looks at me, long and hard, smirks, and says in a very annoyed voice which made me sound like the stupid one, Apa, the line was “its a SMALL world” So we were suppose to make smaller circles. Everyone else was making the wrong gestures instead of me.

I stood their dumbfounded. This is what the world has come to. I admit. I am stupid.

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