What else my colorful family been upto? The usual rounds of engagements have taken place, but one has been broken (to the greatest disappointment of the elders who were FINALLY counting on the likelihood of a great grandchild before they pop) and another one is on the rocks. Say's mommy she has finally realized that their generation of parents did everything wrong. They should have prevented us from being independent, and thinking way more than was good for us. The problem is, she rationalizes, freedom of choice is being misused here. Who told Ms. Whatchamacallit that she could decide when the nikah is to be? In her world, say's mom, girls just had to go with the collective flow. When the boys family said 'do-it', we did. Right now, with all the rocking boats it's a wonder we're all afloat. And kuch toh khandaan ki izzat ka bhi sochna chahiye! What will people say, first our kids weren't getting engaged, and now that they are, they ‘re-think' (she says it like it’s a bad a thing) and break off engagements left-right-and-center. I point out to her that I haven't been breaking any engagements-ever (*angelic-smile*), she gives me a dirty look (I can't imagine why) and sips some more tea.
Uncle Whatszisname is thinking of moving out of the motherland with his family in tow. Mommy thinks we should make an attempt at a collective move also. It's a toss-up between Canada and Australia, mommy's edging towards the former because she knows people there and life will be very dull without a social life. That said, she remembers how things got so bad some years ago when my dad and she had 'almost' made the decision to get us out of here. Then things got better, and they just stuck it out. Maybe we should stick it out. But things have 'never' gotten so bad, she ponders. And then there's this whole Qur'an burning thing. It's going to spark off something drastic. We remember, and marvel over the stupidity, of the violence that followed the infamous Danish cartoons. Not a scratch to Denmark (ofcourse) but our people died by the burned-busloads. Our vehicles, shop windows and infrastructure –in-general was shattered to smithereens. Because it makes perfect sense to take all your impotent anger out on people who had nothing to do with the crime. And Pakistani lives are cheap anyway. At the rate we reproduce, a couple of thousand people are quite dispensable. Don’t-you-think?
Speaking of people-dying, mommy has decided she wants to visit interior-Sindh and see if there's anything she can do, to help with relief work. I told her I had - and then dropped - the same ambition a while back. Immediately following the flood I volunteered myself for relief-and-rescue only to be told that they needed men (women were a security risk, apparently) with some sort of training which I did not have. Some time later they turned me down again because they needed doctors and medical students rather than us useless lay-people. At which point I decided if I was only going to end up playing disaster-tourist, I'd much rather save my time and energy for the inevitable rehabilitation phase. Atleast nobody can tell me I don't have adequate training for that. In principle, mom agrees, but she wants to go see it for herself anyway. Oh-well!
Apparently my house has decided to boycott tetra-packed milk. No Nesvita for me this trip, instead we have the doodh-wala delivered product at our disposal. I blame the idiot who sent my mother a forwarded email about how tetra-pack has significant melamine content. Melamine, if you don’t know already (because I did not) is a notorious carcinogen, which must be erased from our lives at all cost. Except I don’t understand how - in an effort to improve quality of life - one can embrace the water-y alternative that has absolutely no element of quality control. I doubt filtered paani is used to water that milk, but mommy says that boiling the milk cures all evils. I’m just-tiny-bit skeptical, but what-can-you-do?
Mommy has no bags (despite having a closet chock-full of them) and I have NO shoes (believe me, not a single joota-worth-wearing-do-I-own) so we decide to enjoy our Eid (while the world waits for theirs) with a shopping spree that we've been planning (though not executing) for a while. And mommy's making Khaoseh for lunch, and I have new clothes to wear every single day of my Karachi trip. Life, my loves, is exactly as it should be.
Except for all-around death, destruction and threat of impending disaster.