I was in grade 1 when I became friend with a boy in my neighborhood. We went in the same school which made us even better friends. He had no siblings and I had a lot of them (elder sisters). We had no brother, so the bond with him was immediate. He was just like our own brother. Soon we became fast family friends as well and his parents considered us sisters as their daughters as well. Though I changed my school in 5th grade we still are friends. He has a daughter now (though I haven’t met her yet) but that little girl has given me the chance to be a phupoo.
I used to spend all my summer and winter vacations at my Nani’s apartment in Karachi ( I grew up in Hyderabad). Those days were the best as I had a gang of girl friends on the same floor. Although all of them were from a different religion than mine but never once my mother or any family member stopped me for being friends with them. I went to a temple with them and once Ami took us all to sea view. We used to play on all the floors and go buy ice cream together. They were like sisters to me.
Just a few days back on Shab-E-Barat our neighbors sent us Kheer, Biryani and Zarda. I had just gotten back from office after a hectic day and the food made me so happy. My neighbors cared about me, that’s what made me happy.
That’s how strong neighborhood relationships are. Although we aren’t related by blood but we treat each other as family.
The recent Shan’s ad Khaana With Parosi, that triggered so many childhood memories. Though we didn’t have Chinese neighbors back then but I remember how on every festive occasion we used to send Biryani and Meetha to our neighbors.
I was recently staying at my sister’s place and my niece who is 13 years old has a best friend in the neighborhood as well. But her friend never stays for dinner. My niece Fatima told me how her friend loves Haleem. Guess what? I got all the Haleem essentials, lentils, Shan Haleem Masala, Chicken (YES I DON’T EAT BEEF HALEEM) and asked our cook to make Haleem for us. That day Fatima’s neighborhood best friend came as well. Her eyes literally shone when she saw Haleem on the table. She couldn’t resist saying no to it and we all had it together. It reminded me of my childhood and all the beautiful memories with my neighbors.
Picture Credits: Google because I took terrible Biryani and Haleem pictures