- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
FINDING HAPPINESS IN THE MUNDANE
- 11 Aug - 17 Aug, 2018
I was lazing around the house and watching our new-found tabby ran hither and thither after a ball of wool when the doorbell rang.
I wasn’t expecting anyone so I was a bit surprised, when I opened the door to my friend Saman!
“Hey Saima!!” she gave me a warm hug.
“Hey! Saman,” I replied, as I hugged back and ushered her inside.
Saman had an air of cheerfulness about her that was very contagious.
She looked happily flustered and excited. Saman wasn’t just my co-worker but my closest friend and a person I could rely on after Fawad.
“I’m sorry for barging in like this Saima. Actually I was near-by and I really needed to share something with you.”
“Not at all, Saman; I was bored anyway. I’m glad you came!” And I genuinely was happy.
Since coming back from London, I was so stuck in my own rut that I hadn’t even gotten a single chance to speak to her or plan an outing.
I was thinking of doing it once I had completed my summer cleaning.
While I got Saman a cool drink from the fridge, she made herself at home by putting up her feet. Our soon-to-be-given-a-name tabby was eyeing her suspiciously from the corner of the room. He caught Saman’s eye.
“OMG Saima! You have a cat?!” she sounded shocked.
“Oh, it found us just a few days ago. We still haven’t named him though. Maybe you can help!”
I brought our drinks to the table.
“We’ll have lunch in a bit too. Okay?”
“Alright dear, whatever you say. But sit please I need to tell you something.”
She completely forgot about the cat and pulled me onto the couch. Saman was so eager that it left me wondering about the reason behind her excitement.
“Okay, okay Saman. I’m all yours! What’s up?”
“Well, I was exploring things to do during the holidays. You know the usual book readings, library visits, lunches and coffee outings with you and, and movies and dinners with the family! Well, I came across this place that’s filling up fast for its Zumba dance classes!”
After little bit of information, she basically just left her mouth hanging open in an attempt to add to the dramatic effect of surprise.
I responded with a simple okay. Then I laughed out loud to bug her. I wasn’t giving in so easily. I saw her after so many weeks that I wanted to have some fun first.
“Saima, I just got back from there and oh my God! It was amazing! All that shaking, pumping, the adrenalin rush and the loud music were all so exciting. There was so much energy in the room. It’s just what we need! I haven’t registered there yet but I’ve brought all the details, so let’s join together! It’s not that expensive and its four days a week for one hour. We can manage that, can’t we?”
I could see some of her energy deflating as I didn’t seem to be interested much.
She could see my smile vanish and my face becoming serious.
“What’s wrong, babe?!” Now she looked worried.
I quickly changed my expression.
“No no, nothing’s wrong. The exercise would do us both good and I really want to go. But Fawad and I are in such a strange place right now. I don’t know if I should even ask him at the moment.”
“Are things that bad?” she asked me. I knew my friend always had my back.
“Well, not really. I mean, things are taking time that’s all,” I told Saman.
I didn’t want my mood to get dark and glum. It had been a long time that I felt so relaxed and carefree. This was my fix and I badly needed it. I didn’t want the dark cloud of my recent tragedy eclipse my energetic mood.
“You know, I understand. But don’t you think this is just what you both need. Once you’re feeling better you can bring that joy into your home, and really, men are like puppies anyways aren’t they? They live in the moment. Your joy will pass on to him in no time.”
“But that’s just it. He already thinks I bounced back too soon after, you know...” I let my voice trail. I didn’t want to spell it out again and again. Besides, Saman knew everything too well; she was the one I found comfort in when Fawad was not there.
“And if I do this, it will only reinforce that belief.”
“So what does he expect you to do? Mop or cry all day long?”
Saman had no patience for this ‘expected female response to tragedy’, as she put it.
“Of course not, Saman. He doesn’t expect that from me and you know what! Let’s not spoil our mood over this. I’ll ask him in a day or two. We still have more than a month of our vacation. For now, let’s have lunch together”.
Then I asked her to help me prepare the meal.
We didn’t really figure out what Fawad wanted from me but we both enjoyed making our lunch just like school children and by the time we sat down to eat, the tension had completely dissipated. I was very happy that Saman showed-up unexpectedly on that beautiful summer morning to surprise me.
“Tuck in dear,” I said as I placed the plate of fettuccine with white sauce and mushrooms before her.
“I’ll butter this slice of toast for you.”
Even though Saman was the same age as me I liked pampering her like a baby sister and she never complained.
“You know Fawad loves you because you cook so well. You really don’t have any other endearing attribute,” she said as she thrust a forkful of pasta into her mouth and threw a suggestive glance at my expanding waistline and general appearance of a homeless person.
“Saman, stop it.” I laughed out loud.
I was lucky to have a friend that was so genuine to me, she kept it real for me.
“All the more reason to take Zumba classes dear! He will be unable to resist!”
“Okay, that’s enough. Finish your plate now, baby sis.”
One had to control this feisty one.
I wanted this as much as she did but I had my priorities and if I didn’t go for Zumba this summer it won’t be the end of the world.
While we enjoyed our meal we basically continued our party till late into the afternoon with our laughs and jokes. Saman was such a blessing!
I sighed out loud for God’s little blessings and moments of happiness.
I couldn’t thank God enough for all my blessings of family and friends. •