Posted in Nostalgic

Au revoir Sheroo

Well the year is coming to an end, once again, just like it did last year, and I’m thinking about stuff. Y’know, introspecting. And I’m thinking the December of 2010 has been a decidedly bittersweet month.

We just got back home from saying our farewells to Sheroo and her kids Sal and Zee. They’re the ones we went with on our trip up north last year.

Sheroo and I are first cousins, i.e her mom and my mom are sisters. We’ve literally grown up together, since I was born a mere twenty-four days after she was 🙂 We hung out together a LOT when we were kids, teaming up during our huge family get-togethers, sometimes being dressed up in identical outfits (thanks to some cunning planning on our mothers’ part), and coming up with idiotic games of our own, things we could only laugh about when we grew up. 🙂

She went away to college in the US, and I went off to Lahore to study art, but we kept in touch with postcards and hand-written letters and birthday cards delivered by snail-mail, some of which has been kept by both of us, exchanges full of all our new experiences in our separate spheres.

Eventually we regrouped in Karachi, and we both got married within a year of each other. I was tickled that she chose me to be her best friend in her wedding, out of all those girls she knew, and we ended up having a ball as she requested me to do her wedding makeup and we put our heads together to devise a pattern of mehndi for her hands that would match her ghagra. Yes, those were the days when it wasn’t completely unheard of to choose NOT to spend thousands of rupees on something that would be washed off in a few hours. 😛 Plus Sheroo was never one to indulge in anything but the barest minimum of lipstick, if any.

Fortunately, our respective husbands found kindred spirits in each other, resulting in us meeting more often than we would have had our husbands not hit it off as much as they did! 🙂 They’re both a little quirky, more than a little irreverent, and they can both talk for hours and hours about philosophy and politics and evolution.

Sheroo's pre-wedding, 1996 (?)

Thanks to this camaraderie, we’ve shared good times and innumerable debates and arguments over countless kababs from Meerath, and multitudinous plates of nihari and many many cups of tea. It helped that our kids had an affinity for each other, so when the time came to test our friendship by travelling together, we ended up having an awesome time! 😀

It was on this trip though, that Sheroo’s hubby first hinted at an idea that took shape over the course of the ensuing months. It wasn’t so much about running away from this country as it was about experiencing a different way of earning a livelihood.

So when a job was handed to him on a plate, he decided to go for it. And so it happens that they are now on the verge of a new chapter in their lives, an adventure that will take them halfway across the globe, to set up home in a different world. It came as a shock for Sheroo at first, the idea of uprooting herself and her family from a very comfortable existence bang in the middle of a communal neighbourhood, with the kids going to a great school, and no shortage of friends or family. But the idea grew on her….

Even after all these years, Sheroo is still a bit of an enigma for me. Perhaps it’s the Scorpio in her that lends an air of mystery to her persona, as I STILL haven’t been able to figure out what makes her tick 🙂 She is a woman of few words, but that doesn’t stop her from having a ready smile and an ever-present tendency to burst into giggles….even while delivering bad news! There’s a stoicness about her though. And a decisiveness in her manner. So don’t you be fooled by her sweet disposition 😉 This woman, my dear friends, is a PILLAR of strength, as is most lately evidenced by the way she managed to pack essentials and wrap up everything here, in the absence of hubby.

So this post is for my cousin Sheroo, people. I’m probably going to miss her more than I realise. I’ll miss sharing the common experience of being fellow Karachiites, beset by the same problems, besieged by the same environment. I’ll miss her at our annual Eid get-togethers and I’ll miss her at family weddings. I’ll miss witnessing Sal and Zee grow.

But I’m thrilled for her, and judging by the mysteriously new gleam in her eye………I’m convinced she’s thrilled too. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Au revoir Sheroo

  1. Vocabulary Police here madam. We would like to draw your attention to ‘stoicness’. And issue a reminder that it is ‘stoicism’. 5 points have been added to your Vocab Driving Licence and we will be entering your name on our immortal database. Thank you and safe driving.

  2. I’m totally jealous in the best possible way, if you get what I mean!! You will I know…your a fellow Sag 🙂 I’m so glad you had such wonderful years together and I think your connection means that you will continue to find ways to see each other…if not, there’s always FB 😉

    I so understand when you say she’s still a bit of a mystery! I like that! I think that might be my aim in life – to be interesting and mysterious to my friends after long years of friendship 😛

    Hugs, H.

    1. hahah! as an aim that one’s pretty much up there in my scheme of things too….how horrible to be predictable, eh? and yeah, we Sags, we like to shake things up don’t we? 😉 there’s definitely a twinge of ‘oh-i-wish-i-was-going-away-too’!!
      as for Sheroo and I, as long as we keep each other up to date on what’s going on in our respective lives, we won’t be losing touch anytime soon 🙂 (fingers crossed)

  3. Just came across your blog and was moved by this post. I too have just moved across the world (from France to Canada) and my latest post talks about the strangeness of the settling in. I called it People who Look like People. Where did your cousin move to?

    1. France to Canada…brrrr!
      I wish you all the best in settling in, and would love to read about your experience so be sure I’ll be visiting your blog to see how you’re doing 🙂
      As for Sheroo, she moved to New Jersey…to a beautiful house in a lovely neighbourhood and dealing with blizzards after the tropical climes of Karachi!!

  4. its so cool reading comments….am so glad you started this blog…here’s something i wrote…

    A Reflection of ‘Winter Storm Alerts’

    I grew up in a place where there was basically one predominant season – summer to last year round! I grew up in a time when it wasn’t unheard of to go through an entire monsoon season without a hint of rain. In the lucky year, when the heavens would unleash rain clouds our way, we would rejoice at the thought of school being closed due to rain or better yet we would be in school when the rains would come and our teachers wouldn’t even try to hold us back – we would rush out of our classes to feel the drops fall upon us. The streets of the city would inundate with water accumulating and everyone would rush to get home safe rather than get stuck on those inundated streets. Rains always brought about an excuse to have chai (tea) and pakoras (potato fritters) and basically put all in a merry mood – a mood that made us forget the normal temperaments that come with heat! Of more recent times, the effects of global warming have certainly changed a bit of what I grew up with and one does experience changes in weather throughout the course of the year in Karachi. Now I find myself in an altogether different surrounding here in South Jersey and weather is certainly a huge contrast to what I am accustomed to. I have landed here in the midst of one of the coldest winters, they say, in years. Rains are a common occurrence here and I think to most a nuisance. When the skies descend upon us with dark clouds, it’s considered depressing weather. Currently, we find ourselves in the constant blow of snow storms. Our last one left us with a foot and a half of snow. My house is surrounded by what seems like a sea of white. Just turn the radio or TV on and you will only hear a tired people who await the day the winter subsides and better weather comes their way. For my family and I, it’s a different scenario altogether. We aren’t necessarily awaiting the warmer weather. Rather, we are taking it all in. The kids are enjoying the snowmen, the snow-tubes, the shoveling, the days off from school, the heavy jackets and boots, the list goes on…As I watch the kids jumping around in the snow waiting for the school bus, I think – this is what they will grow up in. What a contrast to my childhood. As parents we tend to infuse a bit of our past and our knowledge of “how to grow up” into our children. Rain was a blessing where I grew up and I will always feel excitement at the slightest possibility of rain. Now my kids are living in a place where they won’t need to long for rain so naturally they won’t jump at the idea of going out and getting wet they way I will! If global warming will bring upon us the extreme weather systems the world is experiencing, I hope my kids will grow up always enjoying nature’s wonders and not get caught up in the frustrations that come with the so-called “bad weather”.

  5. That was lovely Sheroo, and so true! I for one am so sad about Amu being oblivious to the joys of Enid Blyton…she just can’t relate to it, whereas we grew up treasuring those stories!
    Hope you’re enjoying the change in weather….:)

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