In January 1992, I went to visit Pakistan with mom and my little sister. This was my first vacations after landing my first job with Dallah Group in February, 1991.
My brother Hamid joined us shortly thereafter. He’s an interesting brother.
Since his arrival, he was in search of a song he had heard and found amusing.
He only remembered its rhythm and a few lyrics. Since I had never heard it, I couldn’t help him find it.
A girl of 10 used to come and go freely in our house because our mom loved her for some reason. Her name was Fahmida.
Hamid once asked her about the song and sang the small part he remembered,
“Tu patang heh kisi aur ki”
(you are someone else’s kite)
It made her burst into a laugh!
Hamid, the Mr. Smart, was embarrassed. After a while, she caught her breath and corrected Hamid: It’s not patang (kite) but pasand (like).
She then told him song’s name as well as the name of the Indian movie, DIL HEH KEH MANTA NAHI (MY HEART JUST WON’T ACCEPT).
That movie is an Indian remake of Hollywood movie, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT.
Little did Hamid know God was going to make that movie and its song come live in his life. Hamid had been signed up for THE DIVINE COMEDY, which he rather sees as THE DIVINE TRAGEDY because it hurts him.
My flight back was scheduled earlier and went through Dhahran and I returned with my sister, while mom stayed behind with my brother, Hamid, (who figures out prominently in my life).
A few days later, I went to Airport Dhahran to receive mom who had decided to go through Dhahran back to Jeddah with me. My brother, Asim, who used to live in Dhahran, had given me his car to bring mom home.
I waited until all passengers came out but my mom didn’t come out. I gently asked the security guard to let me in to see why my mom had not come out.
I found her in the legal office. She was being interrogated by two officers. They told me my mom possessed 100 copies of magic. Traficking in magic carries death penalty in the holy lands of Saudi Arabia.
I looked at those pages and found some verses of Quran. I showed them those verses and asked them how that could be magic?
They looked intently, consulted with each other and knew they had no chance of winning the case and released mom.
Mom then told me she wasn’t sorry for her loss of those pages. She used to feel sorry for the millions of poor visitors and pilgrims who were harassed by these insolent customs officers who used to ruthlessly tear apart their luggage in search of non-existent drugs and left them crying without compensation.
It was then that I decided I was going to challenge them one day to prosecute me and God called me Son of Woman.
Hence, my crime described in my blog post, “The Flight from Casablanca”.