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…