I feel so sorry that my dear friend Mustafa Karim is ill … has been for a long time. He answers my emails but they are always very short messages. During the day today I was reading our old correspondence and thinking about all those times and the ease with which we used to discuss and share our thoughts with each other. When my mother passed away he was there for me holding a hankie, offering his shoulder to cry on and for that it wasn’t necessary for him to come all the way to Florida. He did all that living in UK. He talked to me about his brother who was living in India. It was really difficult for him but he did open up. Always made sure that I get a copy of his books. When my afsana < phool, chaand taare aur drakht > was published in Funoon received rave reviews, he wrote two articles about it. Talked about < javaab > , < pehchaan>and < gunnah> also. I had picked the idea for pehchaan while lunching in a Lebanese restaurant – Beirut – on – Edgware road? I am talking about 1984 so there could be some memory mix up. My brother’s friend Rabia was visiting from Saudi Arabia and we two were sent to Paddington to pick her up and bring her there ) It was a small Lebanese restaurant. there was a family – father and son sitting close by. father was talking mainly in Punjabi and the son was struggling with three languages. English which obviously he was comfortable with, and Urdu and Punjabi for his father So a mixture of three language was a unique experience for me I absorbed it like a sponge and sat down the same night to write it.
Sorry I got carried away.
I was talking about Mustafa Krim. He is a true friend and I feel so sorry that he is not well. I hope and pray he gets well and we continue reading and writing and sharing with each other. Good friends are God’s precious gift to his people
Here is the one that set the direction of our knowing each other. I think you would enjoy this.
“…..when we share our life’s ups and downs with someone, we are actually honoring that person …that is how I felt while reading your previous email. In so many years that we have been in contact this was the first time you shared a little of your life.
I hope you have regained your strength. Both the times your body fought back and won and that is a good news. Problem of dampness in the garages is a tough one though. Handymen love such problems. I’ll certainly read the reviews on your book. Actually I had asked my brother in Pakistan to get that book for me. I had given him the address too where he’d find them but then misfortune struck and his wife had a stroke. I didn’t ask him about the book after that.
Have you read Rohinton Mistry’s novel ‘A Fine Balance’ ? A good read, no doubt about it. Now I am reading Angela’s Ashes these days. Reading this book is an experience in itself…. I cry, I laugh …most of the time, at the same time. My other half thinks I am losing my mind.
Good luck with Ulysses. My countless efforts failed leaving me no choice but to put the book back on the shelf and never try reading it again ……”