Amra Ali

Amra Ali

Looking out this window is a comforting outdoor/ indoor area open to the sky, with a not so distant view of the coconut palms that we planted about 24 years ago, the joyful sound of the birds chirping away all day, the crows, and ofcourse the koel who sings long and beautifully. There is a soft sea breeze and partial shade, and in this area I find a new connection to myself, a satisfying sense of order, almost poetic, as I mindfully hang the daily load of washed clothes. In what used to be a peripheral space managed by the maid, I’ve almost started to enjoy this daily chore as a reflective exercise designating my own rules on the manner of hanging. With each passing day, I seem to be streamlining the exercise, from choosing to create a balance from the number of clothes-pegs, clothes on hangers sometimes further secured by extra pegs, the husband’s white shalwar and Kurta being the trickiest here. I have been trying to ‘jhatko’ them before hanging and then carefully folding them the next day in order to avoid ironing. Neatly folded, the cycle keeps our dirty clothes hamper empty and clean. Hung to perfection, well almost, I derive a pleasure in addressing the chore or a possible neurosis! I notice the imperfection each time, but decide to embrace it, and let go. The last picture represents ‘me’, a place where I seem to find quiet and peace while I read the Quran, and just be, free and grateful to the gift of life.

April 20, 2020
Karachi, Pakistan