“Islamabad the Beautiful”
Today was rather ‘perfect’ if I may say so!
Usually, I include more than one program at a time, so that if plan A doesn’t work, plan B is all set. So, plan A of celebrations with brunch at PC Rawalpindi didn’t work, (Mum wasn’t up to it). So, on with plan B, which was there in any case. I had to get my paintings to the gallery AQS where the exhibition will be formally opened on December 3rd, 2015. Today, I had to get the paintings to the gallery. I realized, I had not printed out the captions for the backs of each painting. So, quickly made it and printed it in my Studio downstairs in the basement. Then brought all the paintings down from the walls, stuck all the labels and my visiting cards behind the eight selected paintings. – with the help of Hasnain of course! (He is my domestic help.) I was ready to leave at twelve.
“Waliyaaaaa” I made a noise at my daughter’s door. She made a muffled sound. “I cannot go with you, I have a shoot at 3!” So, she is a photographer. Now, a mother can’t even be with her daughter on a Sunday? So, I threw my trump card… “What? At my age, I can do so much, and you can’t get up for me???” Of course it worked. She was out in a short while and so was my other daughter Nadiya, who had also refused to go with me earlier, (don’t blame them, they know anything can happen on my trips. I mean it can get out of hand.)
And so it did.
Meanwhile, I asked Waliya to call up my friend living in Bara Kahu, I planned to go to see the dog at her home after leaving the paintings at the gallery.. She said, “I’m not selling it as my children are refusing to let me do it!” I refused to accept that, I told her we are coming, hopefully the dog and her children will love us! Off we drove … it seemed that instead of becoming better with time, the place had become even worse. The drive got bad with each kilometer. The dilapidated bridge we went on seemed as if it would fall any moment. Halfway through, we noticed a newer bridge, which we had not noticed earlier. Anyhow, we had made it safely to the end.
Somehow, the road seems better, when you have visited it last on someone else’s car. My girls knew how fussy I am about the roads. “you wouldn’t have made this plan had you known how bad the road was going to get!” Yeah. Right! But now, my new doggy, here I come.
We all were thinking of my cocker spaniel Paprika who was more like a family member for fourteen years. I was after the three month old puppy because it was also a Cocker Spaniel …. and a Pekinese!
Life is really funny and interesting. It was such a coincidence ….
A few weeks ago, I had gone to a pet shop asking them for a cocker spaniel puppy, and the person gave me the number of Mrs. Iftekhar. When I spoke to her, somehow we got talking, and she said, “I think I know you.” Soon we realized we had worked together in ICAS in 2003-2004. Small world. I tell you. Islamabad is such a small place, that within a short while you find out that you are related to, or connected to another person somehow! Its really amazing.
I told my girls, “she always had pink cheeks. She taught Prep class. Once, the school went on a trip, and came back, and she didn’t find out as she was so busy teaching! She would sit during break with the weaker children, helping them.” I wondered if time had changed her. It hadn’t. The pink cheeks were there! – along with her smile.
The puppy was so cute! Barked his head off at us. Good that is exactly what I wanted. Waliya and I loved him from the first moment. Nad, didn’t. I knew from her reserved behavior. And the father was a replica of Paprika, and the Pikinese mother was also cute. Nasreen said, her children were not keen to let the puppy go, so she needed some time. Fine. I just wanted my girls to see the puppy, before we made our deal. She said, she would drop the puppy at my place, if everything worked out.
So, we went around the huge house, and saw the beautiful mountains, and river passing next to their lawn. Meanwhile we got reconnected. “You should have come by the other way!” I realized that a road going near Imran Khan’s house was a better route. So, we came back from that one. My husband and I had gone for a drive along that road once. Waliya’s shoot was next, and she hadn’t had any breakfast. So, we stopped at a roadside shop on the way back, and got hot naans and chicken curry which the girls had while I drove. “You can give me some while I drive.” so that’s how I ate, as there wasn’t even five minutes to stop. We discovered such a lovely road, and came back pretty quickly. Enjoying the perfect weather, views and drive.
As I rested, later on, saw a lovely Indian movie called “Heroine” on tv with Nadiya. (Waliya had dashed off the moment we came home.) the movie was very touching. What a sensitive script and superb acting. Good writing always impresses me. Any piece of creative work, which reflects the human struggle and feelings is great.
Life is so hard. We all need to feel close and connected. We need kindness and smiles. Haroon Bhai and Danyal came in the evening to meet us. We had tea as he told us about his latest trip to India and the experience of seeing the Taj Mahal. He said Indians are friendly and cooperative. Not like the media likes to represent them! They are so good with tourists. Thousands of people visit the Taj Mahal on a daily basis. (- All at different rates of tickets!)
After dinner, I decided to start blogging. I’ve written on a regular basis for last couple of decades, now its strange not writing. What with the word count getting shorter. Though, I should be happy. Less to write. But. Sometimes, there is so much more to share.
Now, for the suspense part. Will this blog get published?