After five long years, here I was standing by my stove, waiting for the eggs to boil. For a second my brain took me to the roller coaster ride to our last trip. I smiled. Surprised how things have changed around us. How grown-up our kids have been. All four of them. How different this trip might be, I wondered.But I never thought we would experience the greatest adventure of our life on this trip.

‘Mama Tara Mamo is here.’ Zunaira walked by picking up her tharmas. 

I came back from my train of thoughts, turned the burner off and completely forgot the fact that in order to take those boiled eggs with us, I need to place them inside the disposable box and put the box in our lunch bag, instead i picked up the lunch bag from the counter and rushed outside while my husband and Emad took our huge suitcases to Emad’s car. 

‘Do you think they’ll fit in your car’s trunk?’ Asked my husband.  A million dollar question.  

‘I think so.’ Emad replied. 

And I ended up sitting on a bent down seat, as Emad had to tilt the back of the seat to get them fit inside the trunk of his car. 

‘I forgot the eggs on the stove,’ I said five minutes after our car started moving towards the train station. 

‘Forget about them we’re already getting late. Emad, take them with you, when you get back to our apartment to turn off the main switch of the electricity and the water valves.’ 

‘They are more than a dozen of them.’

‘Looks like we’ll have Ando ka Salan for lunch tomorrow.’ Emad smiled. 

Wait, did I mention the details about our trip? Our plans? 

Well, there wasn’t any plan except the fact that we were travelling with my in-laws to attend the wedding of our niece. My eldest brother in law’s only daughter. My husband did tell me that we will take this chance and visit at least the nearby tourist points in Islamabad but other than that it was but a wedding trip. This was the reason why our luggage was huge. Two big sized suitcases with a lunch bag and a backpack. This time it started with a train adventure and ended with one. 

‘Where are you, Usama? It’s almost 7 o’clock.’ my husband placed his mobile between his ear and shoulder. ‘Is everyone on the bus? Did Saif also manage to get in?’ 

I saw his big smile from behind. ‘He did? That’s great. Where was Ishrat? Ahan.’ 

‘Saif is coming?’ I said soon as I saw him ending his call.  

‘Yes, he managed to slip in without Ishrat noticing.’ he smiled again, ‘Ishrat, my elder brother, he was reluctant that his business would suffer if Saif goes with us,’ He told Emad.

‘Saif? Your sister’s son right?’ Emad asked. 

‘Yes, he works with Ishrat.’ 

‘It’s only ten days. I am sure Ishrat bhai can manage.’ 

‘That’s what I told him.’ 

‘I remembered. We need to buy some Taftaans(milk flatbreads) for our dinner tonight.’ 

‘Just on time, there is a shop nearby, just stop towards your left emad.’ 

And he didn’t only buy the taftaans but who knows how many boxes of Biryani as well. 

‘Mama we need pencils and erasers too.’ Zunaira reminded me.

‘Ah, yes. Emad would you please find a bookshop nearby,’ I asked emad while we were waiting inside the car for my husband. 

‘Okay, how many?’

‘A box of pencils would do.’ 

Let me elaborate why we needed the pencils and for that matter an entire box. Zunaira and I had downloaded some activity books found online and I got them printed. Why? Exactly, like our last trip, we had more kids than elders. And this time, it wasn’t my kids that were the youngest. What a relief.  No diaper changing, no waking up in the middle of the night to take them to toilets. My youngest, Shaji, is six years old now. And as for Zunaira, she was the Apa of the trip. She had this untold responsibility of keeping the kids busy in activities and games, so she packed a load of games and activities. All in all we were twenty five of us, seven elders, five teenagers, and the rest were two to twelve year old kids. My brothers-in-law, their wives and kids and believe me, this was only half of my husband’s family. Yes, it was our first trip together. Kids were excited, I was too.  All twenty five of us would stay at my eldest brother in law’s house. To attend the wedding which was on 27th of March. We started our journey on the 24th. Three events to attend to, Mayo, Shadi and Walima. 26th 27th and 28th of March, after that we had no set plan for what we’ll do till our tour ends, that was on 2nd of April. Our tickets were two ways from Karachi to Islamabad and back in the same train. The Sir Syed Express. Economy class, which to my surprise wasn’t that bad an experience. Full of surprises. Lots of fun! 

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