16th August, 2006.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
hope you will find this letter interesting. I'm looking forward
Id hearing from you.
respects and salams to uncle and aunty. Love to dear Roomana.