The ‘Never Ending’ Car Ride

The ‘Never Ending’ Car Ride

Strapped by force
In the back- seat of a car.
Going to a destination
That’s been told
‘ It’s not too far.’
‘ We’ll be there, before you know it
And have a picnic
In the park.’

Little does the ‘little one’ know,
The lapse of time
For boredom easily grows.
Insipid interiors
Memorized to every cranny.
Even the hair strands of Mommy,
Visible from the back.

“Are we there, yet?”
You cry out.
“Not yet, dear-
There’s a distance to go.”
Traffic on highway.
Cars and lights.
Take their shape into
Mirthless skies.
Scorching heat
Sweaty palms
” Can we turn the AC on?”

“Are we there, yet?”
The mother sighs.

And the child
With no reply
Learns to distract himself.
Sings a song.
Count the trees.
Pick out shapes
In the fluffy clouds.

“Are we there, yet?”
No reply.
So, the child drifts off to sleep.

Sooner than he knows,
He’s out again.
And carried in arms.
Carried off to the destination,
He had waited and dreamt for so long.

Once awake,
He will play again.
With butterflies
And gaze at rainbows
And raindrops
That he can taste.

The journey of life, my dear-
Isn’t too long.
You keep asking
“Are we there yet?”
And you’ll be at the park soon.
Run, skip and laugh
With your friends in joy.
Paradise is only a patient car ride away.

©Dr Hafsa Siddiqui

Photo: Dubai ( 2011)




Life’s Little Lesson

You don’t cut the ones you love. You make way for them.

جن سے محبت ہو انہیں کاٹا نہیں جاتا
ان کے لیے راستے بنائے جاتے ہیں

(As seen on the internet)


Moments before falling asleep, Rania had revisitations of memories passed. The scene replayed in her mind that had taken place two years ago.

“You will regret this, Rania,” her mother admonished her as she stepped out to go for taraveeh next door.

“What did I do wrong?” Rania thought to herself. “I only told her that she should receive Mamoon’s call from Canada, herself. He is her brother. She should have let him know that she would talk to him later.”

Still unable to understand the logic of being an un-necessary ombudsman, she stepped out from her house only after Amma had entered the neighbour’s house.

The taraveeh started. After the Surah Fatiha, as the imam proceeded to recite a familiar verse, tears rolled down Rania’s cheek. The verses were related to parents, particularly mothers.

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! bestow on them Thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood’ “(Surah Isra’ :23-24).

Ashamed, “Ameen” escaped her lips at the dua. But then the nafs set in. The admonishment and the futile disagreement for which she was chastised, surfaced in her mind.

O Allah, you know what the situation is. You are the All- Seeing, All Encompassing. What did I do wrong? Why does she always make it hard for me?

Suddenly her mother’s face flashed before her eyes while still in salah. A feeling arose and encompassed Rania’s heart…

“La Taa’ Khaf…” (Don’t worry)

Maybe this is what is called “sakeenah”, Rania realized. Everything will be fine.

It’s not easy for your widowed mother. Everything will be fine.

Consoled, she heard the imam say “Allahu Akbar” and followed the jama’at into the ruku.

The tears had stopped flowing.

“The Gift”

“I have a gift for you, Ammi!” the attendant exclaimed as soon as she entered my mother’s room. Excitedly, she searched the expression on my mother’s face: Pleased.

I thought it must be a beauty cream, since she was really fond of cosmetics.

Ammi beaming with her smile, coaxed, “Take it out, bhaiee!”

“Yes, Ammi…my children gave this to me to give it to you.”

Rummaging through her rather big purse, she produced a neat bundle of buntings- with the green background and white chaand sitara.

“Oh, the Fourteenth of August buntings?” I sneered with contempt.

“Yes,” Ruby said with pride as she handed another special object- a badge of Pakistani flag.

“But we are adults now…”

“Yes, children are children…they are innocent.”

Flustered, I tried to reason in my mind that the above mentioned buntings will not adorn our house tomorrow, the Fourteenth of August.

“Acha, you can decorate Ammi’s room with these. What will  the neighbours say? She has just been discharged from the hospital – after three major surgeries…we are NOT celebrating.”

As soon as I had uttered the words, I realized how devoid of feeling my demeanor was. Exiting my mother’s room in a fit of anger, I had one word in my mind: Celebrate?

What does Ruby know- she’s just a Christian!

I wonder now after ten days, had I celebrated the birth of Pakistan, a predominately Muslim country, would it have done any harm? Feelings of embarrassment shroud my head and heart with the sentence, “what does Ruby know- she’s just a Christian.”