TING!📣 Notified my Facebook messenger of a message.📱 Oh, some thing in the ‘Others’ folder😳. God, please dont let it be another one of those fraaandship requests.📯🙉 Was relieved to see a females name.😄 Accepted.
“Hey, you live out of Pakistan.”
Hmm, i recently posted in one of the social media groups… The lady must have seen the post and my country there. Ahaaaan. That fits. 😏
“Yeaaaah”, I replied. Trying not to sound to curious about what does she waaant from me.
“Can you please help me out? I have my anniversary approaching and i want to do something really special for my hubby… And after a lot of struggle i came up with the idea of Love notes♒📝from around the world. Would you prettttyyyy please do it for me??For a soulie, please!”. 🙏
In my mind i was thinking of ideas on how to say no politely.
“Oh, sure i will do it for you.” FACE PALM!!!! arrrrrrggggghhhh why cant i say NOOO!! 🙆😖
To cover up i quickly said,”Listen, i usually don’t do stuff like this but you requested like this thats why i said okay, haan. And i can do places that are in my vicinity only not real far away ones as i still don’t know the whereabouts and get lost 🐣myself.
And since i am living here as an expat so i don’t even have Hi-Fi glossy paper📙✏✒📐📏 stationery or any thing. Nor do i have any previous experience with such type of things. And my writing is really bad too.♒ If you are okay with all this, i’ll do it for you.”🙈💣🔪🔫
Oh God, Oh God whaaaattt am i even saying!! Sounding like a 10 year old kid trying to stop an unwanted friend from visiting my place. 😖😖😖Why can’t i take a moment to think and then say something that makes some sense.🔣
But the lady was too overwhelmed by my saying okay that she completely ignored everything. 🆗🆒
“I am soo glad you are doing this for us. Means a loooooot to me! ♥and you have one weeks time. Send me a few photos that you think can work for this purpose and i will send the sample in a while. You can write down a note sample and show it to me first, i will do the necessary correction. Then you can proceed with the task. Any questions so far?”👩😧
Noooooo auntyyyy, 👶 felt like saying. Held on to my tongue and politely replied, “Yeaah, cool.”😎
“Hey, i have been approaching so many people with the request that i forgot which country are you living in.”😳 Chul mera bhai! 🙆
“Uh, Maldives” i said.
OMG!!!!! MALDIVES!!! thaaaats like our 10th wedding Anniversary celebration destination!! 💏You know what… This is a God sent thing for us!Maldives pics will be such an added spark ✨ for the stuff i am planning. And man, you guys are soo lucky land of turquoise water, the necklace of islands; 24/7, 365 days📆🔄 a year honey moon hi honey moon, no? You must have soo much to do!! ”
So much to do, yes definitely. Looked outside in the balcony through the glass door. Waiting with anticipation were the broom, mop and the pail reminding me its time🕙 for the clean sweep to begin. Maldives was similar to Karachi in this aspect you need to get the cleaning done on daily basis. Glanced at the clock, my load of laundry must be done by now. Headed towards the washing machine, shifted the clothes to the spin-dryer. On the way back, stopped at the stove lets check how my chicken🍗 is doing. Lifted the masalah with the spoon and with a sweep of the finger took the hot masalah and tasted. Let the flavors settle in… Hmmm. Not bad, huh smiled at myself😉. Took out the aata, sifted through the sieve, put salt, a little oil. Kept the water jar ready. The phone had pinged a couple of times by now. Its better to reply to those messages and then get work done at ease, without any tension.
“Snorkelling,🐠🐟 scuba diving, 🏊🐋🐳 skiing, 🏄 parasailing 🚁🎈🏝️….All amazing water activities! You are living in paradise, you realize that?”,Took a moment to realize where had the conversation gone and then figured out that according to missy these were all the things to keep me busy in Maldives. STRIKE!🎳Laughed to myself. Started kneading the dough.
Then thought about the beautiful sunrises🌄 and the sunsets🌇 that i get to enjoy here, the amazing cloud☁🌁🌈☀ work that i get to see. The cobblestone roads of Malé and the walk along the jetty🌌 where one feels comfortable, safe and secure to walk at anytime ⌚of the day. And finally with a smile on my face decided that Alhamdulilah i am living in paradise. 😇
Covered the dough to let it rest.
Got done with the brooming and mopping.
Picked up my phone 📱in one hand and the bucket with laundry clothes👚👗👖👕 in other, headed towards the balcony to spread them over the cloth hanger while reading her messages, “living in water villas,🎇 sunbathing at leisure☀, watching the mantra rays 🐡🐠🐟and school of dolphins,🐬🐬🐬 having floating margaritas,🍹🍹 eating exotic fruits 🍄🍈🌰🍍and amazing maldivian grilled fish🍛 to hearts content, Heavens in true sense!” came her reply splashing water all over the paradise i lived in.
Sigggghhhh. Quietly hung the clothes.
Explaining this to people is way to difficult that the life that we see on the resorts is onnnnnly at the resorts. Those things that you see on social media or google images are what tourists do or when you are visiting a place for a short time….unless you are royal blood❌💅💇💆. But when you live as expats its a completely different story altogether👽. That place is your second home. 🏡You have to cook food, wash clothes, clean home and that too all without house help. And you cant generalize stuff that the way people live at resorts is how they live all over Maldives. Its like assuming that Karachi is as green as Northern areas of Pakistan! (ROFL!) i soooo wishhh! 🙏 actual vs reality is poles apart.
Kherrrr…. Took a shower🚿, made roti. Sawthe clock.⏰There still was some time till the lunch. So decided to reply to the lady.
“Well, its not like that actually. Malé has city life. So if you are expecting images like that of Mantra rays and dolphins or white pristine beaches… I won’t keep you in the dark its not like that here. To be honest Malé doesn’t even has its own natural beach. I might get you the beautiful gold dome mosques or the jetty against a beautiful backdrop of the ocean. But that’s just it.”
“But, i thought Malé was the capital! Came her reply.
“It certainly is.” i agreed. It looked as if i had popped the balloon 🎈 and the reality had disappointed her somehow. “But we can visit nearby islands by speed boat and do all water sports if we want”. I added, to pacify i guess.
“Oooh, so you can but you havent. Ahaan” ✊👊i got a feeling as i was being looked down upon. And thaat too by a stranger. Here i was trying to pacify her. How stupid of me! However, i felt no need to explain it to her that Lady, we are not here on a vacation, my husband works… He can’t get a chutti right and left so that he can take me to all those islands…..a fittay mun moment. 😏🙌 Living as expats we have to plan our vacationsand then go on trips. If people could just understand.🙄
“Where do you live in Karachi? As if she wanted to assess my financial background or what… God knows! Nor did i care
“Gulshan”, i replied and asked her the same in return without any interest in her reply. 💩
“Oh, i don’t live in Karachi. I live in Dubai with my husband and two kids. You see we moved here 2 years back.
Upon hearing the reply she had my undivided attention📳. Suddenly i felt devil like pointed horns on my head and a mischievous grin😄 spreading across my face.👻Ab aya na ooonth 🐪pahar k neechay…and i started, “Oooh Dubai how much i wanted to visit it! You must go to Desert🐫 safari every month! and do all shopping from dubai mall.🏢 Ski dubai🏂, wild wadi 🏄and the underwater world🏊 must be every weekend party place for your kids. Your personal car must be a Ferrari 🚘 with a pet tiger 🐯 to sit on the passenger seat! OMG thaaat is the cooolest place like forever! You realize you live in the hub of city life?!?!” Alllll of it in one go!😁
“What a good sense of humour you have…actually i am a little busy, can you please send me those pics so that we may proceed.”😋
“Sure”. I sent the message. And was sure that the indirect message too had been conveyed .😊
The water is certainly more blue on the other side of the shore.