part 27: (hanzalah)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Hanzalah was turning 13 tomorrow… Growing up so fast. But he and his family weren’t big on birthdays at all. Infact, they alwAys taught hanzalah to perform extra salaah on his birthday to thank Allah for all the blessings He’d given him in his past couple of years.

He was made to make extra dua that his future years are blessed with piety and good fortune. That Allah protects him from all types of harms and sadness.

Naseema and abdullah always thought that it was such a waste of money to have these extravagant parties and entertain a whole lot of hyper active kids who would return home from the part ungrateful and unsatisfied. They really didn’t have the energy for that and although they were not struggling, a birthday party was just not something that they would budget for.

This year however, they had different plans in mind. They decided on something special. An investment sort of.. Well actually, an investment in the true sense of the word.

In pakistani culture, the men are made to help the women cook and in some homes, the men are the ones who actually do the cooking.

In this house hold, naseema has encouraged hanzalah from a young age to help around the house.

He was very disciplined in the way that he was always made to clean up behind himself and make chores easier for his parents.

Being a boy didn’t mean that he had no house hold chores. Naseema believed that both men and women are equal in that regard…

“And oneday my son, when you are someones husband, you make her life easy for her by helping her in the house. Our prophet (peace be upon him) had great character. He helped his wives with chores in the home, he cleaned and he even mended his own torn clothes. So if the king of all kings did it.. Then you are no exception to the rule..” Naseema told hanzalah wagging her finger from side to side and her other hand on her hip, perfect pakistani style.

They’ve had this idea for quite some time now but since habeeba was still a baby, they thought it would be too difficult to carry out their mission. Now that she was 2, and could walk and didnt need them to carry her around, they could finally do it.

So as one big happy family, they all gathered in the kitchen chopping up onions or liquidising tomatoes, boiling rice, brown lentils or eggs..

Naseema and abdullah had suggested to hanzalah that as from this year, on his birthday they would cook up a solid meal from scratch with their bare hands and take it to an orphanage or a hostel for the poor and needy and feed everyone.

The idea was to make the effort themselves, feel the tiredness of working so hard and appreciating the look on the faces of those they served.

Hanzalah and family prepared chicken biryani for about 100 kids today. The morning of hanzalahs birthday, naseema put it up to steam on the gas burner that she had hired from a caterer in town and as soon as the food was ready, they headed off to the orphanage nearby.

The look on the childrens faces as they stood in those lines was so heart warming.

Hanzalah watched how some of the kids shoved and pushed, afraid that the food might be finished by the time they got to the front of the line.

It brought a silent tear to hanzalahs heart. Knowing that in his 13 years of his life, he had never gone a day without food, except for in the fasting month.. and then too, when it was time to open fast at sunset, there’s always such a large spread of food on the table every single day of the 30 days of that month.

And here, for these children, a simple meal which hanzalah got everyday was regarded as a luxury.

The kids enjoyed and once they were done dishing up for the children, hanzalah ran off to join some of them. Sitting down amongst them on the long wooden tables in their dining area and eating with them..

He spoke to them like they were his friends for years and they knew eachother so well. Hanzalah joked and made them laugh abit and he did all that he could to put a smile on every little face in that orphanage.

Hanzalah had also packed a few of his toys, books and personal stuff that he was no longer in need of and handed these out before he left.

The kids were sad that the day had come to an end, because now they don’t know when their next good meal would be or when the next visitor would come.

As hanzalah drove home with his family that day on his 13th birthday, he prayed for all these kids who were homeless and had no parents or family. He prayed for those who were there because they were abandoned by their parents or abused and taken away.

He thanked Allah for the parents that he had. Parents who gave him the best of this world and showed him how to get the best of the hereafter.

He thanked Allah for granting him the understanding of islam and for protecting him from the evils and corruption in this world.

*******
Authors note:
Soooooo sorry for late post. Weekends are just crazy. But rather late than never. This is saturdays post. Inshallah sundays pots will be up sumtym before the end of sunday..lol

Posted by silent living…

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part 26: (sabreen)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

“Just think of it sam… Freedom… That would mean freedom at last…!” Beth chirped with excitement..

She couldn’t stop thinking about the endless opportunities she would have if sabreen was finally out of her life.

“Its a bad idea!” Said sam pacing up and down the room after beth had told him about hilda and mikes suggestion.

“What!?” Beth looked like she was smacked in the face. “How can you say its a bad idea? Isn’t it what we’ve always wanted? And atleast we won’t feel that guilty because, well, we didn’t kill her or anything.. She’ll have her freedom and so will we.”

“I just don’t trust your sister. She has some other ideas. She has ulterior motives.I think she’s out to get us… She never did like you or me before.” Sam said holding his chin and pondering deeply.

“Sam! Listen to yourself. For goodness sake sam.. You spend too much of time infront of that television… Too many movies I tell you…” Beth shook her head disapprovingly.

In the meantime sabreen confided in alice about her weekend.

“it was amazing alice. I wasn’t afraid and aunt hilda and uncle mikey were really nice to me..” Sabreen gloated

Alice smiled at her little sister. “I’m so glad that you experienced that breeni.. You’re a great kid and someday you’ll realise that you’re not as bad as mama and dad make you to be.”

Sabreen looked down with a sad look on her face…

“What is it breeni?” Alice said lifting her sisters face up with a finger on her chin. “Did I say something to upset you?”

Sabreen shook her head. “No. You didn’t…” She said without meeting her sisters gaze but still held that same sad look on her face.

“Then what is it? Tell me what’s bothering you?” Alice pleaded

Sabreen sighed.. “I have something to confess…”

Alice didn’t say anything and waited for sabreen to continue instead.

“Well.. I wasn’t a very good child alice. On saturday night while you were asleep, I was restless and heard some noises coming from downstairs in aunt hildas house. So I got out of bed and I kind of eaves dropped on mama and aunt hildas conversation.” Sabreen confessed

Alice laughed.. “That’s it breeni? I’ve eaves dropped over a million times on conversations. Its wrong, but its not the end of the world.” Alice ruffled sabreens hair.

Sabreen took alices hand in hers. “Alice.. Aunt hilda told mama that she and uncle mike want me to live with them… Forever!”

“What?!” Alice gasped

“Shhh!” Sabreen put her finger to her lips and looked towards their bedroom door afraid that beth was lurking somewhere nearby and was now eaves dropping on their conversation.

“What did you just say?” Alice asked again, this time in a whisper.

Sabreen just nodded her head. “You heard right sis!”

Alice hugged sabreen. “That will be great breeni.. I mean, I love you with all my heart and I’ll miss you like crazy around here. But remember how I always tell you that you’re going to find your happiness and freedom oneday?”

Sabreen nodded with an excited smile..

“Well I think this might be it.. You have no idea how it hurts me to see how they treat you in this house and you really don’t deserve it. You deserve much better.” Alice said.

“But they only hurt me because I’m bad alice. What if aunt hilda and uncle mikey also find out how bad I am.?” Sabreen asked concerned.

Alice took her sister by both her shoulders and looked at her in the eye.. ” You are NOT bad okay? They just tell you that so that they don’t feel bad for what they do to you. Its called ‘mind games’.”

“Don’t you see? Its hell living in this house. For any of us.. Tony couldn’t take it anymore and that’s why he moved out and I really want to study next year and if I get accepted at college, then I want to move out too.. And I’ll be worried sick about you everyday if you’re still here…” Alice told sabreen

“But nothings confirmed, mama didn’t agree to anything yet…” Sabreen said.

“Well we’ll just hope and pray that they agree..” Alice suggested.

Alice and sabreen hugged, turned in the opposite directions and went to sleep. As soon as sabreen fell asleep, she found herself dreaming of a better life. She dreamt about the yellow helicopter flying above her head. She dreamt about the little indian boy that joined her in the rain who’s mother didn’t even scold him and she dreamt of a genuine smile plastered permanently over her face.

*****************
Authors note:
Jumu’ah mubarak everyone. Hope u have a fabulous day and remember me and my family in your special duas.

Posted by silent living…

part 25: (sabreen)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Everyone seemed enthralled with the helicopter that some kid was flying about in the park. But for some strange reason the park was getting a little empty.

Hilda noticed a few people pack up and leave and she wondered why.

They snacked on abit of fruit and the hotdogs that they’d bought from the nearby vendor and whatever else hilda had packed for today.

the little boys copter just flew by and as they looked up to where it was heading they noticed a huge black cloud coming their way. Overall the skies were blue but just one very dark cloud was spotted.

So that’s why so many people had packed up. Probably thinking that it was going to rain. But it was just one cloud. If it did rain, it surely would be just a passing shower and not a hard downpour that their lovely picnic had to come to an end.

“Mike… That’s why everyones leaving.. Should we pack up too?” Hilda asked indicating to the cloud

Mike looked up at the sky… ” Nah… Probably a few drizzles.. The rest of the sky is pretty blue still.”

Hilda nodded in agreement and continued reading while sabreen continued munching and watching everyone.

A short while later, hilda suddenly felt fine drizzles and she quickly looked up again. The cloud was directly above and it was beginning to rain…

“This trees not going to give us cover enough mike” hilda shouted over the loud roar of thunder and sudden downpour

“But the cars too far away… By the time we get there we’ll be soaked and the rain will be over…” Mike argued..

“So what do you want us to do? Sit here and soak and catch pneumonia?” Hilda argued back

“hilda… Its not a heavy rain… You’re not going to get namonia…” Mike laughed and then noticed a family near by that had a gazebo and were calling everyone around to take shelter under..

Mike hung the cooler bag on his shoulder and grabbed his camp chair… “Come on! Those people have a gazebo and they’re kind enough to shelter us until it stops…”

“What?! Are you crazy mike? They’re moslems….. Don’t you remember what pastor johns been warning us all along about these moslems?” Hilda complained in an audible whisper

“Okay, so you stay behind and catch pneumonia then” mike shouted as he ran to take cover..

After a few quick seconds, hilda decided to join them too..

She stood there sandwiched between a few people but dared not look up at anyone. She was afraid. Pastor john had warned then numerous times in church about moslems being terrorists and that they start off by being very friendly with you and once they’ve got you conned, they hurt you in the most obscene ways. He warned that they should never befriend a moslem. They should stay far away from them.

He emphasised even more after the charlie hebdo attacks. He said that it was moslems who had reacted in the most barbaric ways and killed 12 people. He said that moslems are barbaric and their only way of dealing with things is through violence.

He spoke of the al-qaeda and the taliban and hilda had even watched a few crazy things over the news about them. She’d read about moslems all over the media and now she was standing under the same cover as a moslem. What if this was a plot, and they were going to do something to everyone right here in the rain?. She instinctively clutched onto her handbag tighter.

“Ma’am…” She was startled by a voice beside her of the muslim family’s child..

“Yes?” She said coldly.. Acting brave and like she was not afraid of anything. She would stand up to them, even if it was to this young lad, she thought.

“Is that your child?” He asked pointing somewhere..

“Huh?” Hilda asked confused.

“That over there? Isn’t that girl supposed to be with you?” The boy explained further..

Hilda turned to look in the direction that his finger was pointing… Oh my goodness! It was sabreen.. In all her fear of muslims, and the rush of the rain, she’d forgotten all about sabreen and that she was responsible for her today.

Sabreen however wasn’t bothered in the least. While everyone took shelter wherever they could and hilda and mike took cover too, she was out spinning in the rain..

She looked so carefree and happy with her arms spread out and her beautiful cleft face turned to the skies in utter enjoyment….

she couldn’t stop this feeling of freedom. This feeling of being out and no-one to reprimand her.

Sabreen enjoyed the rain drops falling gently on her face. She enjoyed the smell of rain, the feel of rain. She felt like a blind person who was finally blessed with sight..

She had never been out in the rain. She had witnessed it rain before but from the confines of her home through the white lace curtains that hung over their windows. She always dreamt of it trickle down her face.

Posted by silent living…

part 24: (nicholas)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Nick thought his yellow and black radio control helicopter was the most awesome gift he’d ever received, better than any of his x-box or ps games that tasha had given him.

And tom was right, flying it at the park was even better.

There was so much of space and it could go up much higher.. At home it was restricted because of the very low ceiling that they had in the lounge. And tom was well prepared, he even had a mini portable charger incase the battery ran flat.

Nick was so excited about today that he left his heli to charge all through the night so that it wouldn’t need charging at all and he could make a full day out of it.

Tasha unpacked a few chips and sweets that tom had packed into his picnic basket while tom and nick ran around enjoying their toy..

“Boys and their toys!” ShE thought to herself rolling her eyes.

But she didn’t mind at all because nick was finally opening up to someone. He was free and enjoying himself.

She watched, from where she sat, how well nick had caught on to flying the thing. She wished these moments would never end. And she suddenly felt a deep sense of regret for depriving her son of the outdoors all these years. For depriving her son of a good life and for depriving him of a father.

But it was not her fault. Tasha was young and had made so many mistakes which she regretted deeply.

She regretted partying as wildly as she did.. She regretted the strip club phase that she’d gone through in her teens.

She was only 16 and felt the need to make some extra cash since life was tough for her mother. She was a single woman who had to bring tasha and her sister up and provide for them and they barely just made ends meet.so tasha and a very good friend of hers began working at a strip club nearby.

She used to meet different men but none caught her attention much in the first 2 years that she worked there. She just did it for the money. She would flirt and enjoy herself teasing the ‘dog hungry’ men that visited the club on a weekly basis.

It was on one specific day just after she’d turned 18 that she was accidentally picked up by a regular visitor at the club. But she liked him because he didn’t go too far at first. He flirted and made her feel special in ways she’d never felt before.

She looked forward to saturday nights where she could meet up with him. And their relationship got more intense within a matter of just 2 weeks.

He was a party animal who always came with friends and on their 4th meeting she got drunk with him and found herself lying in a hotel room the next morning…alone!

She waited for his return but he never came. She waited for him every saturday night at the club, but for weeks he didn’t pitch up.

6 weeks after the incident, tasha found out that she was pregnant. She was devastated, sick and depressed. How could this have happened? She was now pregnant with the child of a man she doesn’t even know properly and probably will never see again in her life…

She considered abortion, but felt guilty to take the life of an innocent child. She decided that she would continue with her pregnancy. She wouldn’t deprive this child of a life and she would change her ways from here on and learn from her mistakes.

Tasha made a decision to stop work at the club and take hold of her life. On the last saturday before she quit, she spotted him in the crowd. He didn’t even feel shy to bring his face back there again but then again, for men, it was all just a game.

She waited for her show to be over and went up to him… She shouldn’t have…. Because as soon as she confessed to him that she was pregnant, he laughed in her face…

“And what makes you think that its mine? For goodness sake woman, you work In a strip club.. You probably sleep with a different man every saturday if not every day.. I’m not crazy to believe that its mine…you most likely con every guy you sleep with like this.. ”

She felt sick…. She was hurt… She had never slept with anyone else before.. She was only 18 and now pregnant.. And the father of the child refuses to accept.. It was her fault for choosing this life.

And that’s when tasha decided to bring her little one up all alone without ever telling him who his father was.

It wasn’t something she was proud of and it wouldn’t be fair to burden nick with such an embarrassment..

Some things are better left unsaid!

**********
Sorry for late post… Network problems and I haven’t forgotten, I still owe you guys 2 more posts…just not getting down to doing them yet,.. But soon inshallah

Posted by silent living…

part 23: (sabreen)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Hilda,mike and sabreen were at the park quite early. They thought it would be a great idea for sabreen to open up and play with other kids or atleast watch other kids and feel free. But unfortunately sabreen just stood, watching, too afraid to go forward and do anything.

Sabreen wasn’t sure about what she was allowed to do and what not.

She just stared.. She didn’t talk, she didn’t run to play like any other kids would, she didn’t even sit down and help. She just stared….

Once they had laid down their picnic blanket under a small tree, and hilda had made herself comfortable on her picnic chair with an interesting read, mike put his hand forward.. “Come on breeni… Let’s go have some fun….” He offered with a comforting smile.

Sabreen just stared at his hand for a while. She wasn’t used to holding anyones hand besides alice.

She nervously lifted her hand slightly and mike took the opportunity to take hold of it.

He took a slow stroll with her along the pathway and around the lake that lay in the centre of the park. Sabreen was absolutely awe struck at all the beauty that surrounded her. She felt like she was on a completely different planet altogether.

Her looking around at almost everything made her pace even slower, but this didn’t annoy mike at all. He let her be. He allowed her to watch and enjoy and even if they didn’t make it to the jungle gym, he would be satisfied to know that sabreen was taking in her surroundings.

Eventually however, they had reached the jungle gym but sabreen stood infront of it and refused to move forward. She has never played on one before in her life so she wasn’t sure of what to do. But sabreen was a terribly fast learner and observed every childs movements and techniques.

There were very little kids who were accompanied by a guardian who cheered them on at every step that they took. It was as if though they were so proud of their little ones petty achievements.

Sabreen drifted away to fantasy world again as she does ever so often. She pictured herself climbing and sliding down the red plastic slide and swinging high on the black tyre swings. And all the while her parents watching her and cheering her on. She pictured herself laughing freely and squealing as she went up in the air and back down again…

“Breeni…? Sabreen!” Mike had brought her back to reality… She was so far into her fantasy that she didn’t realise that he was talking to her.

She looked up at him with questioning yet apologetic eyes.. Sorry for not paying attention to him. She hoped that he wouldn’t be angry at her for not listening to him talk.

“I was just asking if you’d like to climb up and play on the jungle gym with the other kids?” Mike continued in his usual caring manner

sabreen didn’t respond. She just looked at him….

“Would you?” He asked again… “I won’t leave you.. I’ll stand right here and won’t move an inch.. I promise”

That gave her a little reassurance but she was too afraid. What if she didn’t do the right thing? What if she was careless and fell down or tore her clothes? Beth would be very angry with her for getting her clothes dirty or herself.

Mike placed his hand gently on the top of her back to give her a slight push forward. she took a step forward but wasn’t sure of what she was supposed to do so she watched a young boy who looked a little older than her and followed in his steps. Ofcourse not as fast or confident as him but she did, nevertheless, try her best.

She turned back to make sure that mike had kept to his word and hadn’t left her and he smiled with a nod reassuringly.

She looked further ahead to where hilda was sitting and noticed that she too was watching sabreen. Her hands on her book but her sun glasses lowered and looking in sabreens direction.

That made sabreen a little more nervous but if she didn’t enjoy herself today and right now, when would she ever get this opportunity again in her life?

Would she ever be able to be out and free again?

Her thoughts were disturbed by the sweet sound of a lady calling out to her son.. The same one that sabreen was following. She had a slightly different accent to what sabreen was used to and when sabreen turned to the direction of the voice, she found a lady all covered up in black, such a sweet voice but it was hidden behind a veil.

“Okay ummi.. I’m coming!” The boy replied joyfully to his mothers calls..

And off he ran in record speed with his mother close behind him.

Sabreen tried to continue with the many obstacles that lay ahead of her, but suddenly felt afraid. What if she fell right down and broke her neck?

“You can do it breeni… Go ahead.. You’ll see! Its not that bad.. And I’m right here if anything happens..” Came mikes comforting words right beside her.

That’s all she needed. Just a little bit of someones comforting words…

She played for a while and mike was patient all the while.

Once she came down the slide holding on for dear life, she decided that that was enough for now. Maybe they could come back later. If there was still time.

As they walked back to their picnic spot, something flew just above sabreens head. She was stunned….and stopped dead in her tracks.. She’d never seen anything like that in her entire life..

Posted by silent living…

part 22: (nicholas)

**”Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-**

Tasha smiled to herself in the kitchen with a feeling of contentment as she checked her tray of roasted veggies in the oven and listened to tom and nicholas enjoying themselves together in the lounge.

Tom was well aware that nick loved gifts and so he made it a point to not only bring a gift, but to bring a totally awesome gift that nick was sure to be impressed with.

She thought about how good tom was with kids. Because nick generally doesn’t like anyone. From the dozens of other suitors she’d brought home for herself to meet nick before, nick had never showed interest at all.

Tom seemed to be very mature. Well ofcourse, he was well into his thirties and had never been married before. He was always too busy investing in his future to worry about settling down.

Tasha and tom had been seeing eachother for around 6 months now and the fact that he’d ask to come home.. Or rather begged to come home to meet nick, surely was a sign for her that he wanted to take things a little further.

She’d always dreamt of having more of a life. She had wasted so much of her life by having her first child at 18. And then having to deal with being a single parent, working and providing for her child at such a young age. She had to mature almost over night and take responsibility for so much. More than was possible to manage.

She’d seen a few men from after she’d given birth to nicholas uptil now. Some were rich, some were educated, others were fun to be around. But none lasted after meeting nick. And she wasn’t willing to marry anyone who wouldn’t accept her son. Nick was her life and maybe she had a different way of showing it but she honestly couldn’t imagine life without him.

Now that tom seemed to be getting along with nick so well.. She was starting to get excited about the next few steps ahead. But it was upto tom to make the moves. Not her, so she would have to wait until he was ready.

“Come on boys….” She screamed on her way to the dining room to place the hot platter of roast chicken on the table.. “Suppers ready!”

Nick and tom were enjoying themselves so much with the Remote control copter that tom had gifted to nick that they totally ignored tashas call.

It was only because the battery was dead and needed abit of charging that they decided to give in and join tasha at the table for dinner.

“Uncle tom that copters awesome… How long does it need to charge up before we can carry on playing?” Nick asked whilst stuffing a roasted carrot in his mouth…

“Nicko! Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Its rude..” Tasha scolded lightly

Tom giggled slightly.. “Leave the kid babe… His just excited for his new toy… I’m sure it should be charged abit once we’re done with supper…”

“Cool!!!” Nick started eating a little faster now..

“Not so fast young man.. And there’s still dessert after this…” Tasha mocked

“I’ll skip dessert even today…. ” Nick replied excitedly

They all laughed…

“That’s now something new… Nick never miSses his favourite chocolate brownies…” Tasha said nudging tom abit..

“On the other hand….” Nick began and they all burst out laughing again.

“You know nick… That copter will fly much better in an open space.. The apartment is slightly small. You should see it fly outside….. What you say we head out for a picnic tomorrow to the park near my house? We can fly it all day..”

There was silence for a while in the room and for a moment tashas heart stopped beating. Had tom gone a little too far? Nick was definitely going to flip…

The seconds were dragging and she watched as nick gulped down his glass of raspberry coldrink..

“yeah.. That sounds like fun…. Where do you live?”

Tasha almost couldn’t believe her ears but she tried to hide her amusement..

“Its abit of a drive.. Maybe around 45 minutes or so from here.. But trust me, you won’t regret it.. The park is big and there’s so much of open space.. Its sure to fly good there…” Tom replied in his usual friendly tone

To tashas surprise, nick was up and ready early the next morning. He sat playing PS while he waited for her to get done. They packed the car with a few things as tom insisted that he’ll bring most of the stuff. And in no time they were on their way for a picnic like one big happy family. Tasha couldn’t control the immense happiness that she felt inside. Her life was finally going to be complete.. And nick had finally opened up to someone other than himself!

Posted by silent living…

part 21: (hanzalah)

Its been almost 6 weeks after baby habiba was born. And it was also the last weekend before dadi and dada would return to pakistan. Hanzalah had become so fond of them and was really going to miss them when they left.

Even though it was tough for him to communicate with them most of the time, hanzalah had learnt a great deAl from his grandparents.

Naseema too would miss all the help around. It really did lift a whole lot of work off her shoulders with them around.

The family hadn’t been out much. Naseema didn’t want to take habiba out as yet. She was too little and dadi agreed. Old people and their theories of the baby and mother not leaving the house for 40 days. Abdullah tried explaining to them that there was no such a thing in islam but they were adamant and really didn’t leave the house for 6 weeks.

Hanzalah was tired of the indoors and today looked like a lovely day to be out…

“Ummi… Its dadi and dadas last weekend here. Can’t we pleeeeease, pretty please with a HUGE burfee on the top, take them to the park for a picnic?” Hanzalah pleaded in his sweetest tone he could muster.

Naseema looked to habiba who was fast asleep on the bed and then back at hanzalah. She sighed…” Ok I guess.. Go ask your abba and if he says its okay, then ask him to ask dadi and dada… I’m not sure if a picnic is really their kind of thing..”

“Oh I’m sure they’ll love it… Who doesn’t love the outdoors?jazakallah ummi.. I love you!” Hanzalah hugged his mother and then ran off in search of his father…

about an hour and a half later, everyone was getting ready while abdullah packed in their picnic stuff. He made sure he took their camp chairs, picnic blanket, gazebo, cooler box and most importantly, the picnic basket that was filled with all naseemas delicious picnic treats that she had quickly fried with the help of her mother in law.

Upon reaching the park, they looked for a conveniently place to sit… Most of the shaded areas were taken ofcourse by this time. But it didn’t matter because they had their gazebo for protection from the immense heat today.

They found an open spot not too far from the play area and immediately began setting up.

Hanzalah helped to bring a few things from the car and then ran off to explore the colourful jungle gym which was spewing with kids all over.

Hanzalah was never a shy boy and could instantly fit in to any company. And even if he didn’t want to play with anyone, he was pretty fine playing on his on for hours..

Climbing up the net.. Hanging on the monkey rails, sliding down the slide and even swinging high on the black tyre swing that was set up for the kids enjoyment.

Abdullah and naseema brought hanzalah here every so often since he was home schooled and felt that he too needed some time out of the house to be free and enjoy the outdoors. Anyone would go crazy sitting indoors 24/7.

Besides, it gave hanzalah the confidence to mingle around other kids and was excellent for his gross and motor skills.

Hanzalah, inspite of being 11, enjoyed outdoor play. He was never exposed to a Television or too much of technology. He was taught that technology should be used out of necessity and mostly for adults.

Naseema had included computer literacy as part of hanzalahs curriculum because she felt that in todays time, its important to be computer literate. But there were limits and the laptop was only used when hanzalah needed to look up any information and couldn’t make it in time to the library.

Touching of real pages and reading through a real book with its dog eared pages can never come anywhere close to todays fast moving technology. Its just a different yet amazing feeling.

“Hanzalah beta… Come along to eat something… You can come back to play after you done!” Naseema called from the bottom of the jungle gym, up at hanzalah who was so busy enjoying himself.

“Okay ummi… I’m coming!” He screamed back…

He made his way down the gladiator wall like a pro and ran in record speed to where everyone was sitting.

In all the time that hanzalah was playing, abdullah had started a little fire on his 2×2 braai stand and was busy turning the pieces of chicken tikka and basting it with some of naseemas secret tikka spice.

“Oh yummy.. That’s smells divine!” Called abdullah as he reached for a paper plate and made himself comfortable on the picnic blanket, still huffing from the run he just took.

Dada and dadi seemed to be enjoying the calm atmosphere around.. There was a little lake in the middle of the park, and a pathway where people could be seen walking their dogs and kids riding their bicycles.

Hanzalah decided to munch on some chevro in the meantime. Dadi made almost a whole gallon full for all the visitors that they had expected throughout these 6 weeks after habiba was born.

It included all kinds of fried nuts and red and green fried grated potato. Dadi also liked to put some dried chick peas. The combination of everything together was just so addictive.

Posted by silent living…