My Mum, Cheema & Chatta and Islamabad.


 Ever since my parents moved to Islamabad, they kept remembering Safari Villas in Bahria Town, and Lahore, – places where they had lived for many years.  Don’t get me wrong, they love being with me. The problem is with loving Islamabad. Try as I might – I kept failing. Here is how my Mum finally got to love Islamabad too.

Two days back, I took my Mum for an outing.

‘Where do you want me to take you?’ I asked.

‘Anywhere! – I don’t know.’ She said.

24899828_1767777593255525_6016527917049784133_nSo I drove her around…. we drove to the car park of Faisel Mosque which has a fabulous view of the mosque. She liked it but she enjoyed the corn and chanas from the ‘thaila’ nearby even more. These she enjoyed, fresh and hot from the ‘sand-filled karahi’,  which is a wok like container.

Then I drove her to Rawal Lake – after great struggle – as all points to the lake have been closed to public due to recent poisoning incident where many fish were killed and drinking water was made undrinkable. So, rightfully they had closed it to public.

24993472_1767778056588812_5629856910775383445_n (1)

Now, I have a problem. I have this urge to be next to water, every few days, so I had to go. (I’m a crab – I mean Cancer is my horoscope sign.) I explained to the gate keeper:

‘I realize why you are stopping me, and rightfully so.  Just look at my 83-year-old mum and since I’m her daughter, I must be near that too! So, let us go please?’ He took pity, kept my original ID card and let me go. I told him I’ll take some pictures too, he said that’s fine. So, we had the lake to ourselves and the ducks.

I absolutely loved it.

But Mum wasn’t that impressed (as usual.) Saying,

‘ I’ve seen this lake before.’

‘ I’ve seen it before too,’ I remarked.  Seeing water always invigorates me. I was energized, remembering the last time I had come to this spot with my husband and the much younger girls.

So, then I drove my mother all the way across the city  to Cheema and Chattha in F-11 for getting our lunch.17264771_933217400146027_2896139220289896244_n She finds it difficult to get out of the car, so I went and ordered the food. Seekh kebabs, naan, and boneless handi was the agenda for that day.

21752385_1045279295606503_7195958805493584639_n As we waited, I remembered reading on a board that poories and tandoori parathas were also available.


So, I went again. The chap said, ‘yes, they are available, but why don’t you take the freshly fried poori now?’ I nodded, ‘why not?’ So, it came within a few minutes. I took the bag, wondering how mum and I could have a poori without anything. But it was too tempting. So, I peeped into the bag and broke off a piece. As I did so, I realized there was another bag inside with the accompanying chanas or chick peas’ curry in it. Mmmmmmm. So, dipping the poori ‘navala’ or morsel into the chana dish and then having it was just out of this world. I’d put one morsel in mum’s mouth and one in mine. So, this is how we spent the rest of the half-hour while waiting for our order to be ready.


Later in the evening, my Mum said:

‘I think we made the right decision.’

I looked inquiringly at her.

‘To come to Islamabad.’ She said.

She went on…  ‘because of Cheema and Chattha!’

I burst out laughing.

So, finally, she is happy being in Islamabad due to the food we are getting here. Ever since, she has got that brochure with menu of Cheema and Chattha next to her chair, in the lounge, she can think of nothing else but ‘what to have next from Cheema and Chattha. ‘

I had heard that ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ But now I know, ….  yes, the way to one’s Mom’s heart too, is through her stomach! 😉 Islamabad has finally found its way to her heart!

Stay blessed dear Readers, keep this in mind now…. 😉 Take your parents out to dinner and it will make them happy …. !



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  1. Beautiful Maa beti Mashallah Stay blessed a big fan of you and your daughters .Talent and beauty definitely runs in the family ☺☺☺

    1. Thank you so much Ujala. Readers like you always inspire me to write more. Do let me know what topics you are interested in… perhaps I could write something for you!

  2. One of the most beautiful sunset in Islamabad is also at Rawal Lake, especially in winters, for that you have to access lake from a different side.

    1. Yes, you are so right. Thank you for mentioning it. It has been a while since we went there. Will surely do it soon.

  3. Hahaha. Soooo sweeet. My mother in law is like your mom. No matter how big restaurant is she always says چھپری ھوٹل چھپری ھوٹل ہے۔

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