Truly, I cherish my friends. Especially the ones whom I’ve known for a long time. Maintaining these friendships is my greatest happiness and joy.
AVM Qasim and Munazza have been known to my husband and myself since 1992. (I’m sure my husband has known bhai for a much longer time.) But I met him and his wife when we were in Badaber, Peshawar. This colony had been originally built by the Americans, but when they left, it was taken over by the air force. In those days, Waliya was just a baby, and I was a freelance journalist in Peshawar. My articles often got published about Peshawar, in Tuesday Review of daily Dawn (newspaper) and Women’s Own magazine.
Munazza’s home was always elegant, wherever it was. The couple became very good friends of ours. I loved the fact that Munazza was so well read. Not only did she have an in-depth knowledge of English literature, she was also as well read in Urdu literature. Congruently, her information about world and then Pakistani art was current. Naturally, we became great friends immediately.
Her culinary talents were amazing too, she was an expert in continental, English, Chinese and typical desi foods also. Munazza had studied from College of Home Economics, however, she had to leave earlier due to getting married, in second year. Their dinners were sumptuous and beautifully presented with great warmth. It wasn’t a one-off thing, like most of us. With her, it has been a constant passion. You visit and the dishes just keep appearing. One by one I would get a slice of her cake baked that afternoon or a tart. It could be a delicious halwa or a soup. So, her talents have been great.
AVM Qasim has been a brilliant officer in the air force. I’ve specially enjoyed his interesting conversation spiced with his typical sense of humor- mostly at his lovely wife’s expense – which doesn’t bother her at all. You can see his study room here.
To top it all was our common interest in pets. I saw the first Persian kitten in their home in 2004. So, we have known Casper since he was a kitten. They also loved my Paprica, and Muffin. Our ‘pet talks’ are often hilarious and very entertaining. We mutually gave sympathies for our pets whenever they got ill.
So, you can imagine how it was, when my husband suddenly fell ill; It was in November 2011. My husband had retired six years ago, and Qasim bhai was in uniform, serving among the senior most Air Force Officers. Yet he would be at my husband’s side almost every evening. The CMH is located in Rawalpindi, around 35 km from where they lived. Yet, he’d come; There he would be in his elegant uniform, making an imposing impression on all the guests. All he was concerned about was that my husband should have the best, and get well soon. He offered help of every sort, and asked me to ‘order’ his ADC and get whatever was needed to be done by him. Such kind of help and gestures can never be forgotten.
So, this couple is brilliant, well-read, competent in their own fields, and extremely great friends, and human beings.
It is always such a pleasure to meet them, and specially my friend Munazza. My Mom has a special look on her face, when I tell her I’m going to visit Munazza, she knows, it will be a long time before I get back!
Having wonderful friends is the greatest of blessings.
Stay blessed my wonderful readers. Do value and appreciate your own good friends. Staying in touch with friends is extremely important.
Here is a painting by Hajra Mansoor which I saw in their home in 1992. I loved it, and would always sit in front of it. It was my dream to meet Hajra Mansoor who was already a great icon in the world of art, along with Mansoor Rahi.
More of this friendship thing is brewing….. it’s a surprise for my upcoming blog posts.
So, do not miss my blog posts of coming weeks and months. Life is getting even more exciting. 😉
If you like, I’ll take you along this corridor to show you whats at the other side of this charming home, in my upcoming blog post.
Kiya khayal hai? What do you think? 🙂