My little Bheni and Manie! Today is your birthday and I thought it’s the perfect time to let you know that I love you from the bottom of my heart and:
- How lucky I am to be blessed with a sweetheart sister like you
- How proud I am of your maturity and your entrepreneurship skills
- How I love your fun-loving attitude towards life
- How I love your generosity
- How I admire your make up and clothing sense
We faced one hardship after another. We couldn’t believe how peoples faces had started turning against us one after the other. But thank God, the four of us stood solid like a rock! We were each other’s strongest support. Four days after he left us, I had to go. I know you wanted me to stay but I couldn’t. Finally after ten months of his death, one good thing happened. We all really looked forward to my first ever holiday to Pakistan from England. Well that happiness soon turned into a tremor. I realized I wasn’t here on a 2 week holiday, I was here for good.
I was suddenly left with nothing! You shared your clothes, makeup, shoes, friends, money, outings and late night delivery meals with me. I didn’t have to buy any formal clothes as you (and your friends) let me wear all your clothes. You lent me your shoulder to weep on when I was shattered and you laughed on all my funny and not-funny-at-all jokes. You know you are the only person in the world I can tell my disgusting jokes to 😛 I love how I don’t have to behave myself when I’m with you. I know you will not judge me no matter how lame and crazy I am. Unfortunately, with everyone else, I have to act civilized.
The good times
Mama was always after us to wear more Shalwar Kameez and less Jeans. But we were the happiest when she got a job in Sheikh Zayed and their dress code was only western. She was forbidden from wearing Desi clothes. Mama couldn’t say anything to us then. You took me out with you on your photo-shoots or you did mine.
You had a photoshoot in Taxila and you were short of models so you made me your bridal wear model. It was a gorgeous place and we had to change clothes on mountains behind bushes as we couldn’t go all the way back to change in clients house. That would waste time and we couldn’t afford to lose the sunlight. It was a unique experience to climb mountains in bridal wear and change clothes on mountains. A few times, we trekked on trails and took ride back from Monal on open cargo Suzuki’s. We fell from one side of the vehicle to the other and had such a laughing fit.
In Karachi, after Nataliya left, you and I had no choice but to be friends. We drove Vitz and raced before speed breakers and giggled as we passed over the bump. We listened to Grace Kelly a billion times and danced. ‘Through the monsoon’ was our favorite. We had our share of embarrassing times too. How could I forget, you were my partner in our audio cassette gift to mama in my ‘kuch kuch hota hai’ times in C-33. How we made family videos in B-16 and in one video we made for Nana Jan to get well soon, I always mimic you ‘Ap hein na mere partner’ when you moved your shoulder side to side and had all your teeth out!
Nights locked out
When we went out with friends late night, we had so much fun giggling away. We invariably got late and while driving back home, we would be thinking of excuses we would make in front of Mama. But when we got home, we would find the whole house locked. We would be stuck outside with our doggies who would lick the hell out of us! After half an hour when Mama would decide to open the door, she would scream at us and then she would be back to her friend-mode and was all ears about what we did and how much fun we had. She would hug us and tell us how worried she got!
We aimed at lizards late night with water guns, then screamed in fright the moment they moved. There were late night hysterical laughing fits. We couldn’t breathe and our stomach would hurt so bad. We have endless conversations about how cute our cats Muffin and Kungfoo are. We mimic ourselves and each other all the time and talk in the lamest accents. You treated me to yummy food and were my formal wear advisor on our hundred trips to F-10 before my wedding. We drove to the farthest places in search of Top Pops and bought all the packets all the shops had and filled up our car. We talk about Anya for hours and how cute she is!
You and Nataliya did the most stunning bridal shoot of us. We had our intellectual talk sessions too where I gathered you are pretty mature even though you don’t look so. You were genuinely happy for my new beginning and always motivated me to get excited and look forward to all the good that life offers.
With Allah’s mercy, I got great jobs and your business expanded substantially. Now Mashallah that station guy must be shocked at how we always fill up our Honda tanks to the fullest. All Allah’s blessings. I just hope in good times too, we are thankful and remain close always.
The last words
I honestly cannot stop giggling whenever we are together. Ever since I moved to Lahore, Haaris and I both look forward to your trips. You give us just the unadulterated doze of crazy. Your #letsgo spirit keeps those around you on their toes and excited. You are enough to make anyone’s life exciting and flabbergasted. Your funniest narrations of incidents are enough to make anyone go wild with laughter. Thank you for always taking care of Bompshoo, Kungfoo, Magic and the rest of our furry babies. You have been their true parent: providing for them, spending on them and making endless trips to the vet.