Sohail Abid

Backpacking across the world on a Pakistani passport

Folklore exists because we miss our loved ones

A teacher at a govt. school in the Rawalpindi district, my mother-in-law is a working woman. And a hard-working one at that. In the morning she has her school and in the evening, her home. With six children and a modest house to take care of, you’d think that all that working may be a little too much for her, or anyone for that matter. But it doesn’t appear so. At least not from all the Punjabi delicacies she keeps making and sending us.

I married one of their first-borns, you see. The better one of the eldest twins. While the other one likes to go out and shop, the one I married is indoorsy and poetic. Since she never really bugged her parents for anything, they compensate that by overdoing what they can for her. Hence, all the things my mother-in-law prepares and sends. The fact that we live in the same city, and same neighbourhood, also helps.

But the things she makes are not your usual eatables. From a certain type of panjeeri to a particular kind of pinni, they are the best of Punjab’s traditional confectionery items. Made with many ingredients put in right proportions, preparing them takes time and effort.

One day when we were at their place, I asked her to be a little easy on herself and not make and send us so many of those items.

“My mother used to make these; I do this when I miss her,” she said.

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© 2018 Sohail Abid.