The past few months have not been easy for us with my father being unwell, the authorities taking over three months to renew our visas and, of course, the pain of losing three of our feline friends.
My father fell ill towards the end of August. I was unable to travel because our visas had expired. Like always, we had applied for an extension well ahead of time but the authorities were in no hurry to stamp our passports. Week after week, I hoped to get out, my husband even put in a word with people-who-matter on both sides of the border, yet the extensions were nowhere in sight.
In the middle of September my father was hospitalised. I was given the option of flying out and then re-applying for a visa from India. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do that. What if I was denied a visa to Pakistan? Fortunately, my father got better and I postponed my trip by a week, in the hope that the visas will come through by then.
We finally got our passports back in mid-October, well over three months after we had applied, and I took the first flight to India. I froze when I learnt details of how ill my father had been. He had been hospitalized not for a routine “check up”, as I had been made to believe, but because he had had two heart attacks!
I am just back after spending three weeks with him. I am happy that he is up and about again, and I hope this time we run out on our term before our visas run out on us.