Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Memories Of Early Neighbors

Note  , hey  lovely  people  ,last  day  when  i  read  Jenny's    Procrastinating Donkey  post  with  title  Neighbors i  felt  like  i  should  share  my  memories  belong  to  this  topic.

I   think  just  like  first  love   we   never  forget  our  very  first  neighbors . As  i  mentioned   many   times   in  my  previous  posts  that   i  spent  my  childhood   and  early   youth  in  village  . There  were  hardly  less  than  forty  houses  and  most  of  them  were  relatives.

If  i  remember  correctly  most  of  the  houses  had  no  main  gate. Walls  of  yards  were  not  higher  than  7 to 10 feet  probably. Visiting  each  other  at  any  time  and  spending most  of  the  free  time  together  was  common.In  short  people  trusted  each  other  like  one  family members.

We   changed   two   neighborhood   before   reaching  to  our  own   home. After  spending  few months  in  Nana's (maternal grandpa)  house  we  shifted  to  my  aunt's  house  which  was  newly  made  but  was  empty  and two  of  it's  rooms were  used  as  store  for  hay.

That  was  big  house  in  the  middle  of the  village  and surrounded  with  neighbors . My  first  memories  of  neighbors  starts  from  those  3  houses. On  right  side lived an  old  couple  with  their  only   daughter. It  was  second  marriage  of    lady  and  she  was  almost  15   years  older  than  husband . Her  young  married  children   from  ex  marriage  visited  her  once  in  year.

The  daughter  from  second marriage   was  tomboyish  and my age so  we  became  good  friends .Wandering  on  hills  with  bowed  in  hands  and  a  basket  we  would  collect  sticks  for  clay  stove  and  sing  songs .  She  was  happy   curious  kid  with  no  girlish habit . She  was  my  first  friend  in  consciousness. Unfortunately  she  later  became  reason  for  her  parents  death (other time  story).

On  left   was  lady   with  bit  unfriendly  habits. She  had  five  or  six  children  and  as  far  i  know  she  was  never  on  good   terms  with   anyone   around. People  around  her  blame  for  theft  often .She  was  unhappy  specially  with  me  because  her  mother  in  law  would  visit  us  and  eat  with  us . I  too  would  visit  her  secretly  in  absence  of  her  daughter  in  law  and  would  give  her  meal  and  fill  her  water  pot.

Once   during  rainstorm  we  heard   huge  noise .The  roof  of one  of  the  room fell  down .It  was  frightening   sight . I  saw  it  first  and  told  my  mom  who  shoutingly  informed  others. The  quarrelsome   lady  was  not  present   in the  house. Men   hurriedly  but  carefully  dug  the  Huge  pile  of  wood  and   clay  and  discovered  the  old  lady  and  her  grandson .

I  can  never  forget  when  i  saw  the  old  lady  who  was  not  breathing  at  the  moment ,one   of  the  man  immediately  pulled  out mud  filled  in  her  throat  and  nose  .She  coughed  and  started  to  breath . Her  grandson   was  hidden  under  the  bed so  he  was  not  hurt except  shivering with  fear .Damage  could  have  beyond  if  roof  was  made of  cement  and  iron  like now days mostly  is done. 

My  friendship   with  old  lady  whom  we  called ma ghafooran   lasted  until  she  was  alive.She  died  2006 or  7.She   sent me  letter  after my  marriage   the  she  missed  me  since  i  left  and  it  meant  to  me  alot!
On  back  of  the   house  lived  mom;s cousin  who  had  huge  family  with  thirteen  children.They  had  farms  and  so  many  cattle . We  would  buy  milk  from  them  twice  a  day.Wall  between   our  house  was  single  and  had  hole  of  almost  one feet  long  and  8  inches  wide.We  would  exchange  our  dishes  through  that .It  was  common  tradition  to  exchange  or  share  meal  with  each  others  then. Girl  i  mentioned  in  post "Lotus in the Mud"  belonged to that  family. Special  memory  related  to mom's  cousin  is  she  would  spoil  my  name  in  worst  way ,which  was  annoying  than  but  now  i  know  it  was  her  love :)

We  lived  there  for  some  years  i  think  2 or  3  and  then  we  had  to  leave  for   some  reason .Mom moved  to  one  of  her  girlfriend's  house.Which  was  on  hilly  part  of  house  though  not  on top.That  big  house  had  almost  8  rooms . We   lived  in  the  middle  one  which  was  largest  one.

We  lived  there  for  almost  one  year  until  our  own  was  built. Unforgettable  memory  belonged  to  that  house  is that  the  younger  sister  of  mom's  friend  who was not  happy  with  our  stay there  ,once  had  arguments  with  mom and  said  something  bad  about us angrily . Mom's  friend  slapped  her  hard  and  said  you  can  say  anything to  my  own  daughter  but  not  this one  because  they  are  modest  girl.

That  was  surprise  behavior  which  i  could  never  forget. She  had  special  place  in  my  heart and  i  visit  her  whenever  i  visit  to   my  village.

When  we  moved  to  our own  house  which  was  on  hilltop we  had  noone  around. Hills  nearby  had  foxes   and  wolves   who  visit sometimes  and would  pick  up  hens and  goats. I remember  few  nights  when  we  woke  up  with  terrible  noise  of  hens  who  were  under wooden  basket  instead  of  coop  in  summers  because  it was hot.And  a fox was trying to pull them  out .in   later  years  when  electricity  came  and  stone crushing  machines were  placed there ,wild  animals moved to  thickly  bushy and less populated area though  we   could  still   hear  them.

After  sometime  a  family  moved  to  our  neighborhood  from  another  village . It was young  couple  with  two children.Husband  was  mason  and  in  winters   he  had  quite  less  chances  to  earn. So  basically  it  was  quite  poor  family.Mom   would   often  help  them  by  gifting  her  homegrown  veggies or  loaning little  bit  money  from  her  tiny  saving.

We  were  school  going  girls  so  we  hardly  took  notice  how  decent  and  sweet  that  neighboring lady was .She  would  visit  us often and mom  and she would chat  for  long .What  i noticed  was  that i never  saw  that  amazing  smile  disappeared  from  her  face. I liked  her  in   my  heart.

Once  mom  went  for  checkup  Islamabad and  could  not  return because  she  was  hospitalized  immediately. My father was  out  of  the  city too. We  both  sisters  were  alone at home. When   mom  did  not  return  even in  evening  ,we got so  worried . We  never  had  lived  alone  before .Mom  would  always  come  back  before  evening  if  even  she  had  to  walk  or  travel  alone  and  leaving  all  friends  behind  who  accompanied  her in  journey.

I  hardly  knew  how   to  cook .After  evening  prayer   i  started  to  calm  my  younger  sister  that  it  is  okay  we  will  be  fine.We  did  not  tell  anyone  ( my  aunt  or  grandma who  lived below  in  village) . Inside  my  heart  i  decided  i  will not  sleep  and  will  guard  the  house as   three  sides  of  our  house   had  no  neighbors.I  placed  ax  and  knife  beside  me .As   teenage (15 i think ) i had  weird   fears in  my mind.i  was  trying  to figure  out  all  possible ways to  defend from  any  kind  of  possible attack.

It   was  last  bit  of  light  in  the  sky with  few twinkling stars  when  i  heard  knock  on  door . I  opened  and   found  my  neighboring  lady  standing  there. She  had  something  in  her   hands . When  i  let her  inside  .She  said  smilingly  i  know  that  masi  (aunt)  is  not  home  and  you  know  how  to  cook so  i  brought  daal  chawal ( rice with re lentil ) .

It  was so  reliving  to  see  her  at  that  moment .That  night  she  and  her  daughter   stayed  with  us.Even   i  could  sleep  peacefully . It  was  sweet  of  her   to  keep  check  on  mom   who  let  her  knew  that she  was going  to  the  city  so  she  should  check  on  girls  if  they  are  in  need of any help.

It  was  first  night  of  our  life  without mom. That   lady  still  lives  there . Two  of  her  children  are  married now . She   has  some  health  issues  but   i  still  find  that  smile  on  her  face  which   always  fascinates me :)  

It's  been 30  years  to  left  village  but  still i  have  these  treasured  memories  of  my  loving  neighbors . I  feel  blessed  to  have  such  precious  memories in my  heart! and  i  think  it  is  good  luck  to  have  good  people  around :)


  1. Wonderful post. I also have some nice memories of some of my early neighbors. In fact, I am still friends with someone who was a neighbor and who I grew up with. It is interesting how these strong, early memories stay with us.

  2. Both good and bad memories, that is life.

  3. Such a lovely post, sweet friend. It's always nice to have good people around. I've moved many times in my life and in each place there were good neighbours.

  4. People in small villages seemed to have a positive relationship. Too bad we didn't have some of that today.

  5. Neighbours, both good and bad, can have a big impact on our lives!

  6. Isn't it wonderful to have such fond memories of kind people?

  7. Baili, it was so interesting to read of your younger years and all the different neighbours and experiences you had! I enjoyed your post very much. You and I grew up very differently from each other but we both have all kinds of different neighbours in our memory banks :)

  8. I loved your memories of your neighborhood and the people you knew. Your mom sounds like she was so giving ..helping those in need. My memories are good of a childhood in a small midwest town in Kansas. I so fondly remember them. I still "google map walk" the neighborhoods and was happy to see that some streets photos have been updated around 2018 - most where older from 2014 in October but I loved seeing them because it was Autumn and the little old houses and streets were covered in colorful leaves from the tree leaves changing colors.

  9. A very nice post to read.
    Neighbours can indeed be such a blessing.

    All the best Jan

  10. In Macau, because the housing market is very volatile, neighbors come and go very frequently.
    Very few remain and very few friendships are really established.

  11. Lovely memories there for you and wonderful to read about them for me.
    Neighbours are a blessing, they are there if needed by all who live there.

  12. What sweet memories of your former neighbors, Baili. I also have fond memories of my neighborhood as well. Sadly, like my parents most of the people I grew up with have also passed on, but their memories are always with me too.

  13. We had wonderful neighbours when I was growing up. They helped make a happy childhood.

  14. Such wonderfully poignant memories of your neighbours, dearest Baili!
    I found this beautiful post incredibly heartwarming. When I was growing up with my parents, we had pleasant and friendly neighbours too...but now...it is a very different story. People seem to be so wrapped up in their own worlds (and their phones) that they no longer seem to have time to even acknowledge anyone outside their own little bubble. I vividly remember when my husband was in hospital in London four years ago and was in a coma and close to death. As I sat in the relatives room, just across the room there was a young Arabian lady. She was sitting alone and crying. Everyone else ignored her, and when I went over to comfort her, they all looked at me in amazement!
    I really don't understand what is wrong with people. A person is a person, it doesn't matter what nationality they are, or the colour of their skin...we are all human. We are all neighbours...who should love each other, unconditionally.

    Oh thank you so much, my dear friend...for this invaluable and thought provoking post.😊😊

    All my love and hugs ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    1. thank you for such heartwarming comment dear Ygraine

      i agree that we meet different people while moving place to place ,good or bad memories always stay and remind us people we encountered in life time to time
      and i believe this diversity help us grow more for better

      how amazing that you are such kind and sweet person ,exactly the one comes in mind when i think about you believe it or not :)

      i am certain that that arabian lady will never ever forget your warm behavior !!!

      either i believe that treating others with kindness is our utter most important job here ,through such love we represent a very little portion of love given to us by the endless vast ocean of love that our Lord has for his creatures ,we show we are his men by being kind to all :)
      all we need to replace ourselves with others and feel their pain and desire they are suffering at such delicate moment

  15. I am always so moved when you share your memories with us. Good neighbors are a blessing.

  16. I think you're right, dear Baili, we never forget our first neighbors. That's so nice that you were surrounded by relatives. That was scary that the roof on one of the houses came down during a rainstorm. I remember our first neighbors also. The boy went to school with Nel, and they always kept up their house and front yard. Isn't it wonderful to get good neighbors, Baili, and you have reminded me to always be a good neighbor wherever I may move to in life. Thank you. : )


  17. Estoy de acuerdo contigo en la importancia de tener buenos vecinos, y además te agradezco, que hayas querido compartir con nosotros esos entrañables recuerdos de algunos momentos felices, y de otros, no tanto.
    Hay otras formas también de recordar la infancia, como pueden ser la música, los olores o los sabores de las comidas que nos hacían nuestra abuelas y madres. A ver si te animas y nos quieres contar en otra ocasión, algo sobre ellos.
    Un cordial saludo.

  18. Thank you for sharing those precious memories! I still know my first neigbours, cos we visit my parents almost every Sunday, they live in a different town, but it is close to get there. My memories are very alive because of that☺ Have a lovely weekend!

  19. It's a nice sharing about neighbor and neighborhood, Baili.
    I remember my neighbors where I had belong, even we never talked, just communicated by facial expression and gesture with them, such as smile or wave hand.

    Have a great weekend, Baili.

  20. Hi Baili :) Those are some nice memories...and some scary ones! My grandparents were our neighbours when I was a kid so that was nice. My grandfather was beloved to me, more so than my parents. I don't really remember other neighbours, except this one boy who lived down the street. He was much older than me, a teenager and I always thought he was so cool because he wore purple pants. I called him "purple pants" because I was too shy to talk to him and ask his name lol! :)

  21. I enjoyed reading your memories of your neighbors from when you were young. I have many memories of my childhood neighbors too.

  22. Hi, Baili! I loved this post filled with memories from your childhood. You make everyone and everything come alive so vividly. I laughed at the thought of you with the ax and knife! I can remember doing much the same thing when I was babysitting at night. Kids!!! What would we have done if someone dangerous had shown up? LOL My family moved a lot when I was growing up, so I have memories of a lot of places and a variety of neighbors. Have a great tomorrow, my friend!

  23. I have moved so many times over the years, I have many memories of different neighbors. In years gone by neighbours were a community and looked after each other. More recently neighbours are individual and inwardly focused rather than observing and connecting with those around them. That being said some of my neighbours are delightful :-)


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