Pakistani Handicrafts

I was very fortunate to get a chance to pick up a few handicrafts from Pakistan on my visit to Islamabad. I was very happy to see a government handicraft shop at the Pakistan Monument with crafts from all over Pakistan. This post is dedicated to the skilled artisans of Pakistan who despite their many talents are striving to make ends meet.

These are hand carved brass ornaments made in the city of Multan. The work is intricate and beautifully done.

Also from Multan comes their famous pottery, hand made and painted with the dominant color of blue.

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This is a jewelry box and earrings made in silver and stones.

Lastly this is a replica of a “riksha” a three wheeler used for public transport in many areas of Pakistan. Rikshas are actually this colorful!

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Different Perspectives

Isn’t it amazing how differently adults and children think?

When I was visiting Islamabad recently, I was complaining about how dusty everything was and how the power extensions kept burning up and the rooster next door kept crowing night and day and how the next door neighbors liked to play cricket on their terrace at night and just how noisy it was.

Meanwhile my son was having the time of his life. He absolutely loved the house, the fact that he could shower without a tub, that there were so many mysterious dark nooks and corners to explore and everything was so compact. And the staircase was his absolutely favorite. He would make several trips up and down the steps carrying either the “jharoo” (traditional broom) or a “gao takiya” (a large oval-shaped cushion) ignoring my nervous pleas. He didn’t seem to mind the blaring music coming from the house next door in the middle of the night either as he slept soundly after a hard day’s work. Nor did he bother about the power cuts or the ever running toilet. It was also quite fascinating for him that big black spiders came running out of their hiding places every now and then.

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Going up the steps with a jharoo

It used to be a difficult task to get him out of the house because he thought we might not come back there. He identified our house with the “Real Pakistan” and until we didn’t get back, he thought we were not in Pakistan.

We were talking with his Grandma on Skype and he just wanted to somehow get inside the laptop screen and go back to his “Real Pakistan”.

Friday Fictioneers: A New Life

monsters-dmmThe three brothers played hide and seek while their mother cooked for the guests. The littlest one hid in the car which had been mistakenly left unlocked after a grocery run. The elder two tired of looking for their brother and were soon engrossed elsewhere.

Nobody noticed the little boy locked in the car out in the sun for nearly an hour. He died clutching his Spiderman tightly in his hands.

A year after the tragedy, the family was blessed with a baby girl. “Is she an angel?” asked her older brothers when they saw her. “Yes”, replied their mother, “For me she is.”

This is a true story so I would request that comments be directed to the writing style, rather than on whom the blame should lie for the tragedy. Thank you.

For more details about the Friday Fictioneers see the link below:

http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/18-april-2014/

In-flight Entertainment

My 4 year old son and I were in our home city of Islamabad last week. On the way back, Nadir walked into the airplane with me and as the air hostess greeted us, he asked for popcorn. He figured since there were going to show movies, there ought to be popcorn as well. The next time the air hostess asked us if we wanted something he stressed, “I’m hungry, can I have popcorn?” So she brought him some crisps to eat instead because, well, it’s an airplane and not a cinema. 20140411_084802

I remember when I was a child I used to travel a 4 hour journey with my mother and elder siblings in a train from Islamabad to Lahore. My mother used to bring snacks for us and my sister and I would play some games that we had packed in our hand carry to keep ourselves entertained. We knew all the train stops in the right order and could anticipate how much of our journey was left.

Times have really changed since then and Nadir got a train ride when we changed terminals at the airport. Thankfully he didn’t make any demands on the train!

My Beautiful Islamabad

I was in Islamabad last week and got an opportunity to photograph my beautiful home city in full glory. With the rains keeping the weather cool and the flowers blooming it was an ideal time to visit even despite the hay fever I always end up with in this season. So I popped an antihistamine and with my ever faithful Lumix I took the photos that I never took while I lived there.

This is Faisal Mosque, the largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia. With its backdrop against the Margalla Hills and its white structure designed to resemble a Bedouin tent, it makes an impressive sight even from very far.

My favorite place to visit is the Monal restaurant up in the hills where you can get a view of the flat and spread out city while enjoying delicious tikka boti and puri paratha.

Another beautiful spot is the Lake View Park next to Rawal Lake with its rolling green grass and ample entertainment opportunities for children of all ages.

For my visit to the Pakistan Monument see my post here: https://zainabjavid.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/weekly-photo-challenge-monument/