Street Talk: 4 decades in UAE, through good times and the bad

Ghazala Mushtaq
Ghazala Mushtaq

Ghazala Mushtaq > Pakistan> Grocery store manager

By Interviewed by Gaurav Achipalya / KT Intern

Published: Fri 7 Oct 2016, 8:42 PM

Last updated: Sat 8 Oct 2016, 8:46 AM

Born in 1949 in Lahore, Pakistan, her name is Ghazala Mushtaq.
She describes the journey of her life as: "Life for me is like a sea. Calm and steady at once, then rough and troubled again in no time.
Sometimes it has given me the cool breeze I needed and at other times it kept taking away everything important to me, one wild tide at a time."
Ghazala has spent over four decades of her life in the UAE. Raised three children, two sons and one daughter. When she first moved here, she was just another young shy girl, unaware of the complexities of the outside world.
Talking about her early days here, there's a moment she recollects that puts a wide smile on her face. It was the time she got a job in Rashid Hospital as a ward clerk. Her husband had been kind and supportive of her, she says.
However, lately, times have been tough. In the past few years, she lost close family members, including her eldest son. His death was a major loss. Apart from facing her deep sorrow, she has the responsibility of raising her three grandchildren. Her husband retired and the family ventured into small business opportunities in order to stay in the country and provide a good upbringing for their grandchildren.
She deeply admires the sense of safety felt while living in UAE; that's one of the reasons she has spent so many years of her life here and wishes to spend many more, here in this country.
The elderly lady currently runs a small grocery store in Karama. She started it up around 3 months ago, selling some of the family's property back in Pakistan to fund it. The earnings from the store form a major part of her family's income.
What about her as a person? What does she like? Ghazala loves listening to songs by the famous Pakistani singer, the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; sometimes, they help put her mind at ease. One song she tunes into often is his Ab Kya Soche Kya Hona Hai. Its first line roughly translates to "now what to think about the future. whatever will be, will be for good.
Apart from spending time at the grocery store, she cooks at home and helps her grandchildren with their studies.
On the brighter side, Ghazala's health is in good condition; she is free from any sort of major or age-related illnesses. All she wants now is to support her grandchildren and live long enough to see all of them get married.
Despite the turbulent times she has faced, Ghazal smiles often during our conversation. That smile, for some reason, reminded me of Sylvester Stallone's famous quote in Rocky Balboa: "You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done."
Street Talk is a weekly column to get a glimpse of people's lives in the UAE

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