Fasih’s love for plants esp herbs….
I learned the art of appreciating fresh picked herbs from Fasih. This probably runs in the family.
Ismail isnt too keen on mutton and whenever I made any mutton dish he wouldnt eat. One day I made Aloo Gosht and Fasih told me to garnish it with lots of hara dhaniya that was growing in our kitchen herbs pot.
To my utter surprise Ismail ate without any fuss. When he finished I asked him, “But you dont eat mutton?”
His response was, “But this had fresh hara dhaniya in it.” 😍
Here is what Fatima, our daughter writes about the green thumb she got from her father:
Of all the nice plants I have, the one plant that really reminds me of my father is the humble mint plant (the podina). At Papa’s roof garden, he grew tomatoes, chilis, pomegranates, desi basil, mint and coriander – among so many other flowering plants and cacti. Of the 3 years I spent in Karachi, I never saw him buying his herbs. Rather for his daily green tea, he would walk to his garden, pick out some of his mint leaves and put it in his tea for himself or me. The last time he took care of me was in my first trimester when Abdullah was away here in Manila and I had all the usual vomiting and nausea. I stayed with Papa a few days and even commuted to work from there. Every night after dinner, he would make me his classic green tea, Tapal’s lemon green tea with a few sprigs of his home grown mint and a plate of nuts, dried figs and fresh jasmine (for the scent) and left them on my table while I played with our dog Elmo outside.
In the beginning, it hurt more to see that plant and left a hard knot in my throat, but now every time I see its stem going strong and smell the fresh scent, I think if Papa’s watching, he is probably pretty proud of this plant. I haven’t gotten the strength yet to make that tea again, but I guess some day that day will come too. 🌿 ☕️