At one point I thought I heard someone talking beside me. I turned to see a young lady talking to an older lady about something. She was trying to explain something while gesturing it with both her hands, once in a while touching the feet of the elder, but the elder looked puzzled. After several minutes of observation, I finally understood the situation:
A young Pakistani lady was talking to an older Turkish lady about something.
The Turkish lady did not understand the Pakistani lady as she was speaking in her mother's tongue. This was shown clearly on the face. But the nice thing about her was that even though she had no idea what the Pakistani lady was talking about, she kept smiling and nodding her head as a sign of respect and friendship.
"Oh! I wish someone could understand me!" Frustrated, she sighed softly, more to herself, but loud enough for me to hear it.
"I understand you. Pretty well if you speak English" I said slowly, unsure of her respond. Who knows, she might suddenly snap at me.
She turned to stare at me and I saw her big, beautiful eyes. But Oh! Ya Allah! What have I said? Why did I intervene? Oh! Me and my big mouth!!!
"You can speak English! You understand me?" She held my hands. She was so excited. I smiled in relief and nodded. I simply can't put my eyes away from her. She has such a fair complexion.
"Alhamdulillah! For many days since I arrived in Madinah, I have not been able to talk to anyone but my own people. Most of these pilgrims only speak Arabic so it's been hard to communicate with them" She smiled. Masya-Allah, she has beautiful white teeth too!
"My name is Farida. I am from Karachi" she was still holding my hands when she said this.
"I am Ati, from Kuala Lumpur" my turn to introduce myself.
"I have tried to explain to her in English, but she just stared blankly at me. I then talked to her in Urdu, and I know she did not understand it either. Now I give up". We giggled quietly. Surprisingly, the elder lady suddenly joined us and giggled together though she did not understand anything. From that instance, the three of us became friends. Instant friends, like my favourite "Nescafe 3 in 1" drinks.
True indeed, it was such a pleasure to make new friends with other pilgrims from different backgrounds, here, at the Masjidil Nabawi. But of course it was sad too that right after the Maghrib prayer Farida had to leave us to join her husband for dinner. She finally revealed that she was married for only two months and that they both decided to perform umrah for their honeymoon. Masya-Allah, sweet!
Nevertheless, I'll never forget this beautiful lady with kind heart. May Allah protect her always and help her save thousands of lives as she performs her tasks dutifully, lillahi ta'ala.