These corn seeds came to befriend me and ultimately go down my throat when I was walking back to my home with my mother, who was kind enough to take me to doctor on such rainy cold night. It’s the first winter rain here in Lahore. Ever since it started raining, my mother and I were aching to have an excuse to get out there and enjoy the cold breeze of February . And thanks to my allergies, I was able to walk a mile to see my doctor.
Such little beauties , I just couldn’t resist asking my mother to get me some as soon as I walked out of the doctor’s clinic. There was a hawker , probably a Pathan with ‘Tilley Ki karhai’ wali topi, ( for my non Urdu chums, the phrase is, embroidered hat ) who was selling those 10 Rupees jewelery and accessories for which we girls usually go bankrupt. Per item 10 Rupees seems so tempting, doesn’t it? But I smartly turned my head away from Mr. Pathan and his Loot sale. It was too much for me probably because I was on my mom’s mercy. She was my bank at the moment and I wanted to capitalize my opportunity to get something else. Something I had set my eyes on, way before I had seen the jewelery we women tend to treasure.
Yes, It was these white corn seeds…
Only a few paces away from our Pathan bhai sahab, there was another Pathan Sahib, I must say a very tall and good looking gentleman standing with his one foot on the wheel of his (whatever they call it) A cart I think. Yes. Definitely a wooden cart with small wheels. The street lamp was very dim, I couldn’t see what was he selling but by the fragrance of the stuff… Oh My God, I just couldn’t help myself resist it. We took a few steps closer and I shamelessly inhaled the sweet aroma flying up and high & slowly overcoming the whole street. My mother looked at me as if I had seen the man with those delights for the first time. But she knew better, so she just smiled.
I have been brought up in Pakistan, I have been living in lahore ever since I first open my eyes in the labor room of Itefaq Hospital and these kind of pathans surround me everywhere I go. They are outside my University when I signal a auto or rush for my bus, and they are outside every shopping center there in every corner of Lahore, at every street. (I’m sure they were there even at the time of my birth, but obviously outside the hospital). They own Pakistan, wouldn’t be a wrong statement to pass. And I am happy, they own it. As long as they are there providing me these delights which refresh my childhood memories , I am so happy.
How kind our mothers are, just one glance at our faces and they know we want something. But you don’t get it before a full fledge inspection of the product being sold. ‘What kind are these ?’ asked my mother to Pathan Sahid, taking a handful of corns.
‘It’s white white corns baji, white corns from kashmir. Very tasty baji.’ He replied looking at us one by one. ‘just give me some for 10 rupees’, I was the most impatient one. I just wanted to chew some hot and crispy corns on my way home. My mother was just delaying the pleasure, which happens all the time and without any sensible reason. And to add more to my misery, the two begun chatting on the revelation of White corns imported from Kashmir. You see, Few days back someone had gifted us white corns flour from kashmir and we had made its ‘chapati’. So my mother began telling him about the story that how nice the roti was and how delicious we think it is but Pathan Sahid revealed the opposite of our mention. He was heating up my corn seeds in the iron pt filled with salt, which I used to think of as cement, lol …and meanwhile He tried to convince my mother that making its roti was not possible, it usually ends up in a mess. Which was not quite right as I had witnessed such a miracle myself, so only to save time and to be honest I had my eyes on the corns, as they were turning from white to gold, so to end their debate over its usage, I intervened and reminded them about the ‘ soon-to-happen loadshedding’.
Which worked. And in a moment I was handed over my delight for tonight. If my mama jaan wouldn’t have been there, I would definitely have made a run instead of making a slow journey to home on my happy feet.
The good news is, Mama bought me the corns for 20 Rupees instead of 10. BUT…I got robbed of my corns the moment I formerly asked my family to have some. Ah- That’s just so typically Pakistani. And I love every moment of it! I wish I had a camera with me when I had went out but then which idiot takes a camera with him to a doctor’s clinic. lol An experience on a cold night such as this one was enough to cheer me up. As I haven’t received a reply from my Publisher yet and I am still almost unemployed, I am trying to find happiness in these little things which are there, but we never truly treasure them .
I must say, these white corns have triggered another adventure in my mind. Pathans are very friendly, and since I belong to a pathan family too, it wouldnt be hard to befriend Pathan Sahid at all. And why am I saying this….well. Because ever since I walked away from that hawker, Kashmir and its corn seeds are dancing here and there in my mind but since we have no relatives there just far far far away friends…wouldnt it be a super dooper idea to befriend pathan Sahib and make a trip to his home in Kashmir ? 😀 I’m convincing my Mamu (uncle) for this crazy trip. Let’s see where I land.
The photographs were taken at home because I simply need an excuse for photography. I hope they please your eyes as much as they please mine.