Nursena Gülmez’s non-fiction story got the second position in the ‘Children Stories’ category of the PakTurkFile Arts Competition titled ‘My Life in Pakistan’. We publish 11-year old Nursena’s story titled ‘My Life in Pakistan’ as is:
My Life in Pakistan
Hello, I am Nursena. I was born in Lahore, Pakistan. I lived in Lahore until I was three, and later we moved to Karachi where I collected many beautiful memories for myself. My life in that city went on with its all speed and beauty together with my aunts, uncles, teachers, and friends.
We used to go to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum for picnics. PAF Museum was a large park. When I was five years old, I once got lost in the PAF Museum.
Question: How did I get lost?
Answer: At that time, I was clutching at my mother’s topcoat. The ladies around us were wearing black topcoats and I, for a single second, let go of my mother’s topcoat and clutched at another topcoat. When I realized this after a couple of minutes, I started to weep. Later, two elder sisters in their 20s found me and wiped my tears. They phoned my mother. When my mother arrived, she kissed me and hugged me so close to herself.
I had started the school and I loved my school so much. In the mornings, my father used to drive me and my elder sisters to the school. On our way back, Hanif bhai, who was the driver of the school van, used to drop me home. Hanif bhai was late on that day because he also had to pick all Turkish students from two separate campuses. He was late for two hours. We were so bored of waiting in the school playground under the sun. All teachers even Uncle Principal had left the school. When Sister Secretary saw us while she was leaving, she was very surprised to see us waiting there. She treated us to ice creams.
We were about to leave Pakistan when I was 8 years old. We had prepared our luggage and passports. At the airport, we handed our luggage at the check-in counter and arrived at the flight gate at last. They stopped us there and said that our documents were not sufficient for taking the flight. We were stranded at the airport and we had to live in the airport masjid for two weeks. At that time, an airport police constable kept on delivering us the food, snacks, and the beddings our aunts and uncles had sent to us from outside. The name of that constable was Imdad – which meant ‘help’ in Urdu – and he really rushed to our help. I remember having taken a shower during those two weeks. We used the hand dryer to dry my hair. I even became ill there and the airport doctor gave me some medicines. At last, the officers allowed us to leave the terminal and we stayed for two months in the house of an aunt known to my parents. After staying there, we heard that we would be travelling to Sweden. We prepared our luggage once again. Our destination was Sweden via Dubai. When we reached Sweden, three women officers received us and took us to our residence. It was snowy in Sweden at that time. Until that time, we had not seen any snow in our lives, so we played in the snow lavishly. A week after settling in our home, we started going to school. Of course, the school was very large and had many parks and toys. Now I live in Sweden and I miss Pakistan.