Updates

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Updates 150 150 ComfortAid International

I arrived here in Mumbai after sleep deprived eight days in
Afghanistan (trip report and photos by accompanying Amir Somji coming up
shortly) where it was numbing cold in Bamiyaan but scorching hot in
Mazaar.  But Mazaar weather was a treat compared
to New Delhi and Sirsi, India where temperatures came close to 50C.  This is a whopping 122F; as close you will
ever come to sweat dripping from your undies. 
The heat saps any energy you have the instant you step out in the sun.
It has been raining all day here in Mumbai, the first showers of
2012 monsoon season, so I know the short trip of thirty minutes to the airport
will turn out to be double that – at least. 
It remained thankfully dry the first three days I was here so could run
my errands and enjoy seasonal mango madness and for the first time ever,
splurge in jamun fruit ice cream from Natural Ice Creams – what a treat!
I am at Ramee Guestline Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai waiting to be taken
to the airport for my flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, my first time there, insha’Allah.  My mood has soured however; just received
news a poor man CAI was trying to assist with kidney disease just passed away.
For those who follow my Blogs and have asked for updates:
1.  I have no contact with Zulaikha Bahadoor
(Baby Sultana’s Eyes)
since I last met her and Baby Sultana some 14 years ago; I believe she did
remarry and lives somewhere in Bihar, hopefully happy.
2.  I have also been unsuccessful in contacting Mir Mohammed Mirza (Mirza’s Dowry Dilemma); he seems to have
resigned his job with Indian Railway and retired; returned to Hyderabad?
3.   I do make contact with Saira Ashrafi (Saira’s Story) and do not have good news.  Saira refuses to meet me, declares she is not
interested in meeting a Mullah (meaning me…how rude!).  She proudly tells me she had an abortion with
help from a ‘Christian’ aid group, has discarded the hijab and now works as an
information technology developer making ‘very good’ money.  She advises me to be more ‘modern’ (?), help
girls like her without a ‘religious’ tag. 
I thank her and hang up.
4. Abdul Raheem’s home and business in the slum area around Chakrapatty
Shivaji International Airport (A Toilet
With Tiles
) has been demolished; the entire neighborhood is a large track
of flattened land devoid of any structure or humanity, indication of imminent
construction activity.  I pray Abdul got
his high-rise apartment promised by the government; with or without tiles in
the toilet(s).

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