E-60, Block F,
North Nazimabad,
16th August, 2006.

My dear Nomi,
Many thanks for your kind letter which I received sometime back. I'm sorry that I couldn't write to you earlier. I assure you that I will not take so long to reply in future. The reason for the delay was that I went to my uncle's village during the summer holidays. I had never been there and I wanted very much to see something of village life. Fortunately the day before my holidays began, my eldest uncle came to Karachi and I was able to return with him to his village. In this letter, I will tell you all that 1 have seen. I hope you will enjoy it, as you were born and brought up in Canada.

Well, the villagers are very simple and straightforward people. They lead a simple, happy and contented life in their own way, which is quite unlike our modern city life. Their houses are different from those in big cities. They are mud-plastered, except for a few that are made of red brick. Most of the lanes and streets are narrow and dusty. Usually the villagers go about on foot. They don't use motorcars and taxis or even buses for short distances. That is why they are healthy and strong.

The markets in villages are not the same as in Karachi or Toronto. In the village, shops are few and scattered. The carpenter and the blacksmith are the two workmen, who are needed most in the village. They make and repair the farmers' tools and do other odd jobs.

Two other important persons in the village are the primary school-teacher, who also acts as the postmaster of the village, and the 'Imam' of the mosque.

The 'Imam' exercises a great influence on the villagers, who look up to him for moral and religious guidance and for the treatment of minor ailments and common diseases of their children. He also runs a 'Maktab', where he teaches the Holy Quran to young children, for which he does not charge any fee but accepts small presents like milk, butter or ghee from the parents of the children as a token of love and affection.

There is a meeting place in every village known as 'Otaq'. The villagers meet there in the evening or in their leisure hours, talk about the weather, the crops and village affairs and enjoy the folk songs, sung to the tune of the Ghaghar and the Tamboora.
Just as "otaq", is the meeting place for men, the village well is the meeting place for women.

The village people generally awake at dawn. They are not late sleepers like city people. Men go to say their prayers in the mosque, while women say theirs at home. Men milk
the cows and buffaloes and women churn milk to make butter and lassi. Lassi is their main drink. Nowadays, tea also appears to have found its way into the homes of some of the villagers.

Village life has its own charms. It is very pleasant to go and live there for a few days. In cities there are various kinds of pollution, air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution. In villages the atmosphere is peaceful and people enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty. You can watch a villager working in his fields from dawn to dusk. You can see him working with a sickle in his hand reaping the crop under the scorching sun. The farmer's life is a model of hard work.

1 hope you will find this letter interesting. I'm looking forward Id hearing from you.

My respects and salams to uncle and aunty. Love to dear Roomana.

Your loving cousin,


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