Today just as the bearer came and announced that the fridge ka compressor has sarrhoed and all the qurbani ka meat that the Old Bag sent from Sharkpur has gone bad and needs to be thrown away and the servants quarters ki roof is leaking after the rains and the generator ka patrol has finished and the driver has come down with fever, just then my cousin Minnie called from LA to wish me happy bakra Eid.
‘Ub we don’t call it bakra Eid any more,’ I told her. ‘Okay then Barrhi Eid Mubarik,’ she said. ‘It’s not even Barrhi Eid. It’s Eid ul Adha’. ‘What’s that?’
‘Bakra Eid. Except we are not allowed to call it that’. ‘Why?’ ‘Because it’s not respectful’. ‘Is barsaat still barsaat?’ Minnie asked. ‘Or is that also something respectful now?’ ‘No it’s still barsaat. Because it’s local only. It hasn’t come from the ummah’. ‘You know I miss barsaat,’ Minnie sighed. ‘I haven’t been in Lahore in the summers for twenty years now. I miss those black, black clouds and the fat warm rain and the birds calling and the fragrance of the earth and the juicy mangoes and peaches and the cool breeze and the sudden thunder. There’s nothing like that here.’
‘Haan,’ I said. ‘And the keerha makorhas and mosquitos calling and the dengue and the chip chip and the heat and the scent of over flowing gutters and the constant sweat and the sudden load shedding. No you have nothing like that there’. ‘Haw!’ said Minnie. ‘Why are you being so sarrhial?’
‘If you’re missing it so much then why don’t you come here, haan? Being all romantic about black clouds and juicy mangoes from your air conditioned condom where bijli never goes and gutters never flood and everyone lives happily ever after’. ‘It’s not like we don’t have our challenges,’ sniffed Minnie.
‘Tau go and do hello hi to your challenges and leave us to our haal.’
‘Okay be like that then. Bye!’ and she slammed the phone.
Good radiance, vaisay. Barrhi ayee cool breezes waali. Hippo crit jaisy.