alone in the arabian peninsula

i am a big fool cause i haven’t written in this diary for weeks. even though i wanted to and even though major changes and events took place, i didn’t get a chance to write. i was sleepy whenever i remembered that i had to collect the days happenings. even now, i ain’t at home but am in school watching professor Jan-e-alam draw an illustration of a Nuclear Reactor. He’s through with it now. So will write either at home or in the next English period…… ah! good news. he’s dictating a lecture on above mentioned topic. so i can easily write in my diary cuase he won’t know what i am writing.

i reached the saudi airport from pakistan on 27th i.e, Thursday. paa and irfan uncle were sitting where i had advised them. i went through Passport Control easily. the customs however bugged me. it isn’t customs but the saudi security checks your luggage for any sign of liquor, pornography, and things like that. i was wearing a suit cause paa had told me to. the official checked my luggage thoroughly. but he didn’t get to the films. i am a master of deception. i had APOLLO 13 and THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW with me. they were inside the thighs of the Calvin Klien jeans that i had bought for kamran. the pants were folded and were in the centre and bottom portion of the suitcase. so the jerk didn’t catch me. i got out after being thoroughly checked and felt over by another jerk in the Men’s Search Room. Man, pakistanis are really notorious around here. finally i got out. felt good.

we sat in our Mercedes and it felt great. everything so clean and all the roads so smooth and spacious. reached home after dropping irfan uncle on the way. our home is really big. and my room is the best. i love it here. paa’s flight to canada was scheduled to leave tonight at 1:40 so he had to pack and go to the airport before 11:05 pm.

and he left. i talked to maa in pakistan on the phone and i have no recollection of it. paa says that i talked 5 minutes at least but i can’t remember. he bought two shoes, an overcoat, and some other things before leaving. and on the night of thursday i was left alone in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

paa actually left in a taxi and i was downstairs (naturally) when he left. shahzeb was there too. i stayed downstairs afterwards. went to baqqala and bought some pepsi. then came home with shahzeb. he stayed till 2 in the morning. the time flew past like a bullet train. we kept playing on the computer; Mortal Kombat 2, Street Fighter, and yes Lady Love. paa has left around 7k with me. isn’t that a little too much ?? i could’ve survived in a thousand.

1996 Hajj

Hajj – Day 06

i slept well yesterday ignoring the fact that i woke up thrice and then it took me minimum 45 minutes to go to sleep again. but it turned out well and i completed my rest. i was wokened by bhaijan and it was 4 by my watch. the sun still hadn’t risen. we went and took ablution. then came back and prayed fajr. that over we concentrated towards our nutrition. we ate and then started to pick up little rocks called kankaaryaan to throw them at the satan monuments. we will have to go back to Mina for that. i collected 105 and bhaijan collected 106. thus a grand total of 111. it is 49 per head. we are me, bhaijan, sunny, and mumma so 49×4 =196. bhaijan and sunny have gone to the washroom and still haven’t come back. we distributed lassi and cucumbers to people. everybody, well not everybody, took them happily. right now it is 6:10 and the ladies are taking breakfast. then we’ll go to Mina. this is our last day in Ihram. bhaijan and sunny came back at 6:15. crowds and crowds of pilgrims are constantly on the move. i can assure you that there is no other place on this whole world where 2 million people move from one valley to another place and then to another valley and back. just imagine, how many tires there are in Makkah alone right now… the litres of petrol, etc. etc.

breakfast over, i and bhaijan also slept. aarshi uncle and saeed were already sleeping. i woke up at 10:30. then we started packing. then we got in the car, on the roof. the others wre below. only me and bhaijan were above. we were going pretty fast. we reached Mina and there we found ourselves in a traffic jam. the driver is very stubborn. all of us have to shout at him. he always thinks he himself is the only person who is not crazy. we made him get out of Mina. naseer uncle told me and bhaijan to come down. i don’t wanna come down from this roof. but we did. we directed saeed with shouts and orders and we found ourselves on the highway. as there was no one on the roof except certain provisions, he was driving pretty fast when suddenly we heard a bang and away went the carpet, the mat, the large spoon, the small pot, the large pot, and the buckets. we immediately sverwed to the right. then i and naseer uncle hurried to get the things back. the others travelled and made a U-turn and came back. i collected all the things and again me, bhaijan, and naseer uncle sat on top.

we reached azziziah and parked the car. then we took 9 stones each and climbed the mountain. there were stairs of course. we took two free bottles of water. we had divided into small groups. me, sunny, bhaijan, aarshi uncle. mumma, nasreen aunti. aasma aunti, faiza aunti. shahana aani, naseer uncle. rubi aunti, mohammed, hammad, sameera. maid, saeed. we met mumma and nasreen aunti when they were trying to catch a bottle from the man in the truck who was distributing it in the crowd. they missed it and it crashed on the ground and spread everywhere. i immediately offered my bottle. then we kept going towards the jamaraat (the satan pillars). we tried to go from the bridge but the police didn’t allow it. here and there people were having their heads shaved. we reached the “La Grande Jamara” and threw the stones. three of mine missed. bhaijan missed only one, sunny two, nasreen aunti two. nasreen aunti also threw with such little pressure that they hit the head of some people.

well, we came back and took many bags of ice cubes and bottles of water. we actually took five bags. filled all the coolers and the iceboxes but still half of one bag was full. we then boarded the van and headed home. we threw cubes of ice to other men sitting on the roofs. went through five tunnels. you don’t hear the noise of the huge fans when you are directly beneath them. the driver reached home after 45 minutes. then we went to the barbers shop. naseer, aarshi, and saeed uncle are now bald. we three had kassar and not halaq so we just have short hair now. bhaijan felt a bit wobbly. the barbers were good natured and become friends. all but the three of us were gone to buy the slaughter sheeps. we thus started on goot. it was a long way. we had only to walk a few more minutes when naseer uncle came in his car and told us to sit. we did and he took us back to the barber because aarshi uncle had to cut his hair.

we had lunch, then i bathed, changed clothes, and went outside to see two sheep tied together, one dying, three heads of sheep with their feet and one head of a camel with its legs. i then came back and slept. woke up at 1130 and completed the remaining part of The Crooked House by Agatha Christie. it was, obviously, very good. following are the characters; Charles Hayward (our hero), Sophia Leonides (our heroine), Aristide Leonide (grandfather of Sophia), Philip Leonide (father of Sophia), Magda Leonide (mother of Sophia), Roger Leonide (brother of Philip), Clemency Leonide (wife of Roger), Edith Elfrida de Haviland (Sister of Aristide), Taverner (Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard), Brenda Leonide (second wife of Aristide), Lawrence Brown (tutor), Eustace (brother of Sophia), Josephine (sister of Sophia), Nannie (nannie), and Mr. Hayward (Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard)

“The Lenoides were just one big happy family, living contentedly in a large house in Swinlydean. It was not until the death of Aristide that they discovered that one member of the family was a murderer. Instead of his regular injection of insulin, Aristide had been given eserine, and whoever substitued this deadly poison had not even bothered to get rid of the incriminating evidence. Either the culprit was very stupid — or possibly very clever. Charles Hayward, son of Assistant Commisioner of Scotland Yard, was about to marry Sophia Leonide. So he had a vested interest in solving, as quickly as possible, the sinister mystery of the ‘Crooked Home'”

would you believe it, a child of 12, jospehine, did it. she killed Aristide and Nannie with eserine and digitalin respectively.

we had to go to Mina today at 8:30 but nobody did because everyone was sleeping. however, we read that going to Mina was sunnat and not Farz or Wajib. well its 2:06 right now and i am going to sleep. tomorrow we will hit Big, Medium, and Small jamaraa. day after tomorrow, only the small one, and then haj complete. bye.

1996 Hajj

Hajj – Day 05

so at 4:30 we heard the moazzin narate the call to prayer. thus, we experienced the dawning of a new day. we prayed and as all the other people started to leave, we captured their positions. then we slept. i woke up at 6:30. then i went and washed my face and thus completely woke up. we had been given the time of 7:00 by Naseem uncle. so we took all our belongings and left the beautiful mosque. we took the shortcut and reached the place where the car was parked. then, would you believe, we waited for 2 hours and 17 minutes. that interval almost killed me. i was sure i would go mad if another 30 minutes passed. bhaijan was sleeping, unaware of the upsetting situation we were in. all the ladies had also gone to sleep. I was also dead tired and was lying. sunny and aarshi uncle were still wandering around when sunny cried, “There they are!.” all of us, except bhaijan woke up. then we came to know that they had reached Mina since 3:30 but were caught in a traffic jam.

we boarded the van and luckily me, bhaijan, and naseem uncle sat on the roof of the van. it self so good there. we took three umbrellas and then sat there with them over our heards protecting us from the heat of the sun. the sun was shinning down on me (Jackyl). we headed for Arafat and after a lot of wandering due to our ingenious driver, we reached Arafat. there, shana aunti had a war of words with the policeman and he granted us permission to park the car. we then unloaded the car and then after crossing a downward slope of 28 or 30 degree, we reached a perfect position to set up the tent.

we did set it up but it was so stuffy in there that we decided to unset it or in other words, to open the tent. i helped faiza aunti with the help of the big pole to climb up the slope. she took one end and i climbed the hill with the other end in my hand. we then had to set up the roof of the tent near the van. it helped us to lie down and sleep in the shade. i laid my body down and slept for an hour. we then arranged for duhur prayer. also prayed asr prayer.

in Arafat, many people are constantly seen distributing different things (labans, apples, bananas, pepsi, water, etc) for free. met faheem in Arafat. he’s travelling with Hamla Yasmeen. well, we prayed asr and asked for many things from our mighty Allah. then we left Arafat at 7:30.

all the buses, vans, trucks, and motorcycles were having a content of “who can drive more recklessly and avoid hitting each other.” again me and bhaijan were on the roofwith naseem uncle. the little kids also wanted to sit on the top but the driver refused to drive if they sat on the roof. he showed good thinking there. it felt so good up there. the cold breeze. the mosque lighted with electrical light. the cars passing by. the particles of dust. our top of the ihram fluttering due the air.

we reached Muzadalafah but kept going on till we reached Mina then headed back. the reason was that we were on a bridge and there was no way down. if there was any road leading us down, policemen were shouting “haiiya haaiya” meaning “get out of here” or “go away”. we then found a suitable place and unloaded there. i then went to the bathroom for ablution and then hurried back. we then held Maghreb and Isha prayers at about 9:30 or something. then we (me, bhaijan, and sunny) went to the bathroom. came back at 10:05. then ate dinner; rice and cooked sheep. speaking of sheep, we passed the huge slaughter house on the way here. inside were millions of sheep. thats right, millions.

mumma couldn’t keep her homeostatis (the process by which a living organism keeps its internal environment constant) and she was suffering from low blood pressure. well, after eating dinner she felt better. thank God. and now she’s fine. thank God again. now its 11:00 and we are all lying down and are about to sleep.

i kept awake till 12:00. shahana aani is a very generous person. she distributed many different kinds of eatables to different people. i moved the can of water and two cooler from outside to inside the van on her command. everybody was taking water without permission. well, bye for today.