Just Bliss

Gems and Jewels

Posted on: August 7, 2011


Aslam, Imam Bux, Nawaz, Rasheed & Irshad

Gems, jewels, diamonds, gold platinum and other precious stones are stuff that add beauty, upgrading the status of that who owns them or wears them, but as it is rightly said that: when wealth is lost, nothing is lost, when health is lost something is lost but when character is lost,everything is lost.

Often the possessor feels arrogant looking down upon the ones who do not have this wealth. Such wealth creates distance between hearts and souls but luckily my gems and jewels are the truly humane human beings, who taught me some great lessons. They purified my soul with their words and deeds.In fact,what I am today is the reflection of my gems’ unobserved character.

Golden memories of my ‘Gems and Jewels’ date back to my childhood. Sabro (meaning the one who is composed and has patience) the middle-aged lady worked in our home as full-time maid. She was very cool, calm and collected and a caring lady. She used to sing Pashto songs in her husky voice and tell me stories of her childhood which were of great interest and curiosity to me.

She not only entertained me with her songs etc, but she carried out her duties very faithfully. Her diligence was unmatched too.Peshawar is in north of Pakistan and it’s one of the oldest cities of the world. Peshawar has all four seasons. Winter is extremely cold n summers are sizzling hot. Autumn is dry and depressing while spring is full of lush green grass with all colors of beautiful mesmerizing sweet-scented flora.

Sabro usually did her stitching and needlework in hot summer after noons after finishing her other duties.  Having weak eyesight she found it difficult to thread the needle so always looked at me with a pleading smile to help her. I was always ready to do so. Being a child I was not allowed to play with sewing box.  Since this sewing and stitching activity was done in the afternoons so there was no danger of being caught and scolded by my mother. I quietly tiptoed from my bed and joyfully helped Sabro.

Once she got very ill. As no one else could speak or understand Pushto so I was her only friend.  She asked me to call her son.  She wished to be with her family. Her son came and took her with him. After few days I sent a message for her since I missed her very much and got to know from her same son that Sabro passed away peacefully the day before. He said that Sabro missed me too.

I can still see her kind smiling face in my imagination. I am sure she’s in her finest place in heavens. She was the only friend I had.She cultivated in me that friends are like fragrance having no boundaries, regardless of color, cast religion age or status.

Since we had no neighborhood and I wanted some one to play with so developed friendship with our sweeper’s son Peter. He was my age.Grace the sweeper was a very clean and good-natured woman so was her son. Our Parsi teacher Miss. Narjis Gai taught us that sweepers are the noble class. They are to be respected more as they clean the trash we spread.I religiously followed my teacher’s advice.

My brother used to tease me that he will marry me to Peter when we grow up.  I believed him for I loved my brother so much that I did what he said. I had only one objection. It was, that Peter was very dark 😀  though we were very good friends. Fortunately he got married before I did 😀

Grace like her name instilled in my brains that cleanliness is not the feature of the rich community only, where they work or whom they work for but cleanliness is Godliness!

A very tall fair old man having broad shoulders and strong bones with straight posture with white hair and white beard white and eye brows came every weekend with a big basket full of eggs. He sold eggs.  He was very handsome. He wore roses in his cap and decorated his basket with roses too. Red roses and white eggs looked beautiful. He called me elder sister though I was a small 9 or 10 year old girl where as he touched his 100th year 😀 An old lady also came to sell eggs, hens and chickens. She was very jealous of that Baba because Baba always came before she did. She would not understand when I told her that, early bird gets the worms :). Grumbling and abusing Baba, she used to leave.

Baba taught me the dignity of labor at every age and in all seasons of life. He did not depend on his sons though he had 5, 6 sons as I recall. He earned his bread’n’butter himself.

The dairy man was another well wisher and my friend. Whenever and whereever I went for shopping or went to my friends’ homes, my nephew, niece, Gulsher and my dog Boofy accompanied me. Every one in Peshawar Mall Road knew us.

It was hot summer day. We all were coming home on foot from my friend’s home. It was common to walk in those days. So the Army dairy milk man dressed in his uniform with big mustaches saw us walking in burning sunlight.

He stopped his horse and carriage.  He called us.  I missed my heart bit fearing the harsh words from him.  He made us sit in the carriage n dropped us home scolding all the way that why were we roaming in the hot summer day. Boofy came home running behind.

In those days any elder person could easily guide scold children for their wrong doing. No matter which class they belonged to, parents would not mind either; rather they thanked their seniors for being so caring.

We were in Mardan. There was an old Pathan lady. Every one called her Adday meaning the aunt. She taught holy Quran. I also availed the opportunity. She had grey hair. Wrinkles on her face but her grace made her very beautiful. When she came to teach Quran she wore black, golden’n’silver embroidered velvet gown in winter and chocolate brown cotton gown in summer. She was small in size and a fragile lady. Walking with a stick she looked adorable. She taught that teacher should be gracefully dressed, punctual and regular no matter be it freezing cold or burning hot.I learnt dedication from her.

The tailor whom we called Lala (meaning brother) was such a gem of a person. He was not a rich man.   He practically proved that to say good bye to someone dear to you is to give gift as a token of love and invite them for food.

My husband was transferred to Faisalabad. So before we left Mardan, he invited us over lunch. He brought horse driven carriage for us to take us to his village.  He came riding his bicycle behind us. His wife served us luxurious lunch and presented me a healthy hen that laid eggs as a gift. He did not let me pay the fair of the Tonga as I called him brother.  In our custom brothers never let their sisters pay for anything.This shows how kind he and his family were. They were real civilized people who believed in traditional values’n’virtues.

Nawaz worked as peon where I served in school as Head. He was a very devoted and hardworking man. He used to call me Sir :). Once he came to my home. He looked around and failed to see any pedestal fan in our home nor did he see any steel pots in the kitchen. So he thought I was very poor. He very kindly sympathized  that I was poorer than him too. He over looked all the amenities we had :). He told me that when he gives out charity he will not forget me :). I nodded my head very obediently. I did not want to hurt his innocent bighearted feelings. He did remember me.  One day he gently told me in school that he will come on his cycle to take me to his home to feed me with the rich dishes he made to give away in charity. My children asked me after he left that will I sit behind him on his bicycle to go to his home. I said: “yes I will, if he comes.”

He came as he promised but not to take me. He brought with him, hot spicy biryani, sizzling kebabs and cooled custard. We all had delicious lunch with him. Since then he has been like our family member. He has moved to his village in Multan. He calls me often n visits me when ever he comes to Karachi.I cherish his innocence and purity of heart.

Gusher lived with his parents.They were seven brothers including him and had one sister, and they all used to live in our servant quarters. His mother was a very pious woman.  She wore white cotton clothes. She washed her children’s clothes and her’s daily and made them take shower daily. Her small quarter had a very neat’n’clean feeling. In hot summer days she used to serve us, the children with crushed ice mixed with brown sugar. It was a treat for us. They did not have electricity or electric fans. We also never felt the need for any fan either, though Allah had provided us with all facilities but life in our times was above all this pomp and show or status complexity.

Her cleanliness and God fearing habits helped her family live a simple and righteous life. Gusher’s brothers are designated at high level posts today due to their hard work and honesty.3 years back when I went to Peshawar they welcomed me warmheartedly. A lavish and plentiful dinner was served with an expensive shawl as a gift by Gusher’s mother. This is tradition of Pathans that they give great respect to their guests and before departing they also present gifts as token of love. I wish them all a very happy fruitful life always.

Other gems of my life are Shahid, Fayyaz, Iqbal and two Irshads. Shahid and Iqbal worked as office boys and Fayyaz worked as their supervisor in the Chinese company where I worked as health consultant.I usually had lunch with them which gave them gratification. Fayyaz daily brought hand made bread for me specially. Shahid always made sure to present me with mangoes and oranges according to seasons from his own gardens in Punjab. Iqbal though working outside Pakistan but he calls me often just to ask my well being. None of us now are in the company but they were true,sincere feelings and the respect we had for each other is still in practice.

One Irshad was sweeper in Hamdard School. When I went after few years to see my friends’n’colleagues she was there too. I embraced her which was like something divine for her though it gave me immense pleasure to see her there after so long. Other Irshad is still working at my daughter’s home. She’s a wonderful lady.  She is always smiling and compromising. We leave our house open to her when we go out with full confidence. She’s is very honest and beautiful young lady. I never see her frowning if guests come or she has to do extra work.

I consider myself very fortunate to have come across such great people. They are the ones who should be loved and respected. They are true Pakistanis. I am proud of them all. May Almighty Allah shower His blessings upon them and keep them satisfied with what they have and keep them away from greed and selfishness which prevails all around.

27 Responses to "Gems and Jewels"

dear friends what i have written here in this blog is true. i would appreciate if you read and give comments please. thank you,
tanveer

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That true Mam. The true gem is the humane Character of people. I don’t know about now but in those days when we were in Hamdard Public School That was the message we learnt from our teachers and Hakim Saheb who not only tought us but they were true believers and followers of this character and that is the reason that most of the old Hamdardians (with whom I an still in contact with) are full of these feelings as they were cultivated by You people. Even now when ever I visit Hamdard Public School I see the same character, Aslam bhai in canteen, I am amazaed that he remembers my name my batch and tell me some good stories of my school days, most of the old peons and all the drivers of the buses in which I had travelled in my school day recognize me and I feel great to be in their company. I remember that Niamat uncle the driver of Bus number 20, he used to give all the students and teacher of his bus a treat on thursday afternoon while returning home as in those days it marked the weekend. Although it had never been a large feast but what ever it were we used to miss our lunch at school and at home to be a part of that treat. He tought me to share our joys and happiness with others. He used to always race his bus with Bus 16 but when we reach school both of the drivers they used to get off from their buses and hugged each other and I always saw the winner offer a cup of tea to the other one. By the way few years after I travlled in Bus 16 and I was so confused which side to support during that race?……..

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its True aunty. I also miss so many characters in My Life aswell..

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Pictures, pictures and pictures! Such beautiful imagery! It is like a blast of colours on the canvas of mind…..You write wonderful Mrs Rauf!

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Thank you very much dear Fawzia ji for reading my experiences. aap ke comments ka bohat intezar tha dost:)

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so true ammi, these are the real jewels and teaches us the lessons that we can not learn from any institute.

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and we learnt this from you to deal with dignity and respect with these gems who makes our life brighter with their sparkling and pure light.

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You are very right my dear Saad beta. Thank you for reminding me Aslam. I forgot him n many other jems of Hmadard public school. You know Aslam bhai went with teachers of HPS to northern areas on pleasure trip during summer vacation. They went to jheel Saifulmalook. As is it a known about the jheel that fairies lived there once upon a time n prince Saif was fond of those fairies etc etc. So someone out of mischief told Aslam that if you swim in the ice cold water of the jheel you will see fairies. When he heard of this Poor Aslam dived in ice cold water. He came out blue with cold. Though he didn’t see fairies but he did get severe cold n fever. Whenever I went to Hamdard he welcomed with his same innocent smile offering tea or anything we like but it was more pleasure to meet him than eating. There was Majeed who was a Baloch. I went with Arif bhai the son of Waqar sahib and owner of transport run in Hmadard to attend Majeed’s wedding. I remember he dipped his hand in a small reservoir of water n filled n glass of water to serve me.. That reservoir was also filled with cockroaches, frogs, variety of insects and pollution of all kinds. But his pure sincere affection was above the pollution. I happily drank water to quench my thirst.
Then there is Rasheed whom we called Rasheed mirchi as a joke. He always smiled without any ill feelings n worked with same diligence. Imam Bux is another loveable person. Once Iwas looking for him but couldn’t find him. So when sat on my chair I saw him sitting under my office table  he said he was tired so was resting there. It made anger cool off instead I burst out laughing at his truthfulness. Innocent people they are. I can’t forget all the drivers of the buses I traveled in. I got Eid cards from the m so did birthday wishes. They all are real gems. Thank you dear Saad for letting me recall such beautiful golden memories of my gems I missed to share.
The importance of a caring person in our life is like importance of HEARBEAT! Because the heart beat is not visible but silently supports our life
Love YOU SON

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My dear amma bagi, loved what you had said in the above article, it is soo true. reminds me of all the people in your and mine life.
The baba who sell the eggs, my god I still can picture him he was stunning gorgeous at that age and the mai who always came after was also the same age. But they were so different from each other. I never thought of it before that why were they different but looking back at life. I think it was that one was a happy and content soul and the other was always grumbling. We use to quickly hide when the mai came.
Next thinking of Jutti and her husband they were such honest, sincere and calm souls. Yes, you were fortunate that peter got married before you. Else Munna, sadia, ali and Nadia will all have maseh as there last name. just joking :))
Life was very simple and every soul loved each other without any cast or status distinction.
Great to read the script! Well done amma bagi.
Saba

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u hv selected real gems & jewels of ur life which r giving shinings readers too. after reading this every1 wil think that he or she is lucky too bcoz v all hv these diamonds but v never recognized them. really now i m feeling that i m also a real rich person bcoz i hv also many & u r 1 of them! who taught me to recognize real gem & gewls! i hv read & posted comments from mob so it may b mistakes, plz ignore them!

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Yes I remember Arif bhai he used to come to our buses asking if we had any problems and as I lived in FB area I used to mount my bus at 6:15 am and in a month or so he used to come in bus and talked to our parents if they had any problem and Imam Bux too a very nice guy and it was his caring nature that we used to respect him as our elder brother and he was ever polite with us. I remember Miss Freeda she taught me Islamiat in class two, Urdu in class 5 and than she was promoted to secondary and taught Islamiat in class 8 she always used to give all her students eid cards and keeping in mind friendship of me and Shoaib Ansari which had never changed since class one she used to give both of us similar post cards and usually it had a pic of monkey doing some mischief. 🙂 Last time I went to school I met her and she told me that she has all the eid cards that we student gave her for all those years.

I was also lucky that I spent 11 years at Hamdard as I was one of few students who were admitted in Jr.I 🙂 and there were only three of us left when we passed out from school 😦 .

I also remember letter signed by Hakim saheb that we used to receive on our Birthdays, full of wise words and alot of prayers but the most important thing was the feeling of joy that somebody cares for you and that feeling developed devotion in us for our teachers, staff and most importantly that place. It has developed in front of me and I love Hamdard. There were on roads, no stadium.

I also remember the visits from Nawaz Shareef and Late Baynazeer Bhutto.

Ahhhhhhhh………..
Alot of very precious memories I am unable to express them all I dont find word to do so.

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Yes I remember Arif bhai he used to come to our buses asking if we had any problems and as I lived in FB area I used to mount my bus at 6:15 am and in a month or so he used to come in bus and talked to our parents if they had any problem and Imam Bux too a very nice guy and it was his caring nature that we used to respect him as our elder brother and he was ever polite with us. I remember Miss Freeda she taught me Islamiat in class two, Urdu in class 5 and than she was promoted to secondary and taught Islamiat in class 8 she always used to give all her students eid cards and keeping in mind friendship of me and Shoaib Ansari which had never changed since class one she used to give both of us similar post cards and usually it had a pic of monkey doing some mischief. 🙂 Last time I went to school I met her and she told me that she has all the eid cards that we student gave her for all those years.

I was also lucky that I spent 11 years at Hamdard as I was one of few students who were admitted in Jr.I 🙂 and there were only three of us left when we passed out from school 😦 .

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My dear, we never know how much we learn from these gems of our lives. You are such a great person I am proud to have u in my life as a precious gem. I still miss the Fajar time we were together in Kalam, all pictures remind me the chat we had that memorable morning.

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very light still sleek words mam. all amazing but true…
ur sentences left an unforgettable impression.
umar wahidi
producer director
Atv, Aplus, A-Lite.

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very well written,really it is very interested u r lucy one who had so many gems in your life but you dont know you r also a dimond of many people included me.love sabiha

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thank you Sabiha ji. you have given me such a beautiful comment. you made my day n gave me more strength with your warm affectionate feelings. long live Sabiha with health n happiness. may she get lots of adorable grand kids to enjoy her life more amen

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It is true that real gem resides inside a heart of a good person. Ouside jewels are temporary and leaves us when we are alone, but the real jewels remain with us always as you still remember all the gems in your life. Anno Baji, you are a real gem with great heart!! I respect you and admire your talents!! It is great and well written article!!

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Hmmmmm, very rich in experience and a very straightforward writing, gone are days when the inner and outer of us was clean, great recording of past, my advise make a book of it, shal be of great value for coming generations…….. salute,
August 8 at 11:53am ·with mr.Safeer’s permission I have copy pasted his comments here.

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I am touched by your simple way of describing about the precious pearls that brand our life making us feel that we are unmatched. but unfortunately we always tag our life’s value materialistically giving less significance for being humane. Jazak Allah, for sharing your gems and jewels with us. love u !

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thank you Humera darling:) read of my blogs na then comment n make my heart glow with pleasure:)
hey do you know that our heart also ha brain? it feels, n thinks n take decisions. my next blog will be on this inshaAllah. what Quran revealed to mankind thousand of years back, science has proved recently.

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You are so fortunate to have come across such good-hearted people Anno Baji. It is very rare in today’s society to have such people in your life. I think one of the most special moments in life is when you have someone that holds nothing negative against you and is pure and loving and honest. I am not as lucky as you are, I have my family and those are the only people I can depend on and fully trust.

I enjoyed reading this story and I’m so glad to hear that good-hearted people do exist in this world, and that they were all able to give you such useful life lessons. I really hope that I come across people like you did.

And I love how you said “The importance of a caring person in our life is like importance of HEARBEAT! Because the heart beat is not visible but silently supports our life”, I agree a hundred percent!

Keep writing!! can’t wait to read about akbar 😛

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thank you again Abeer my child

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[…] Gems and Jewels […]

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great story really enjoyed, do me a favor and keep posting.

-Zahid

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very well written and really very inspiring with some really good humorous comments particularly the line where Peter got married before you did 🙂 !

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I/m glad you read, liked and commented:)

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where are your blogs? i tried to find and read but couldn’t 😦

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