Of Excellence in Ironing and Remembering Mukhtar Siddiqui
Mukhtar Khaloo once came to Islamabad and was traveling to Mardan. This was the mid-1970s. He spent a few days at our place. There are two memorable incidents from his stay.
One was my learning about excellence in ironing. The way he ironed his shirt and pants was a memorable observational experience. The way he sprinkled the water, and the way he used the damp gauze to dampen the areas of pants and shirts before ironing was so meticulous. The way the crease was properly laid on the ironing table, the care with which each leg of the trouser was placed on another and the crease of the two legs were aligned and then pressed was a treat to watch. I first time realized that ironing is nothing casual. It is deliberate, it requires time and patience, it requires meticulous skill, it requires attention to detail, it requires proper heat and dampening. It requires proper placement of different parts of the suit in particular positions before the iron is used for pressing.
Mukhtar Khaloo’s Famous Chand Gari that was a source of great enjoyment to the whole family
It was past midnight. I was sleeping when I was woken up by a noise that filled my heart with fear and awe. I could not place it. I had been reading during those days about dacoits, witches and djins. I thought that something terrible was happening. I tried to close by ears and cover myself with a blanket. But, the noise rising and falling with different pitch and loudness would not go away. When a long time had passed and the noise did not go away, no one also woke from the other rooms. In one my parents were sleeping and the other one was where the sisters were sleeping. I eventually left the bed, and tiptoed slowly and gradually out of the room. There was a big hallway between my room and the drawing-dining room from where the noise was coming. I tried to fathom what was it. But, could not understand. Waited around my room door for quite some time. Then slowly and gradually moved out and then came to our drawing-dining big room. Peeping inside I was so relieved to see that it was Mukhtar Khaloo sleeping and this was the noise of loud snoring. I went back to my room and went to sleep the fear had gone.
The next day at breakfast, there was a discussion at the dining table about Mukhtar Khaloo saying that the ticking sound of the wall clock did not let him sleep!
Morning walk to Hill Park
Mornings at Sandspit
Gidday ki Ice Cream
Old Sabzi Mandi road island in front of Hasan Square