When Daud Shah and his wife Bajee Nasseem had came to Italy 6 years ago to buy perfumes he was our guest and Fatimah who was very small called him “Nonno”; grand dad, so this is how we call him now. They were searching for the essences of Lavender, Cypress, Grapefruit, Geranium and Ylang Ylang. I had understood that Bajee Nasseem was running a beauty saloon, a sort of skin clinic for the rich ladies of the Capital City.
They had told me that they were also curing the poor ladies without charge. So, today I asked some questions from Daud Shah about the work of his wife and I became amazed by what these two people are doing in their country.
Bajee Nasseem has a good hand with a healing gift and she knows antique receipts of herbal remedies. Along with that she also studies aromatherapy for curing people with perfumes.
Many rich women from the city come to her when their face skin shows signs of age or gets some disease. She receives her patients in a room attached to the house and she cures them with creams and washing products that she makes with the help of her husband and her two domestics (her cook and her driver).
At the beginning of every month Bajee Nasseem divides the money that her patients pay her for the cures into three parts. One part to buy the herbs and the products that she uses to make her medicines, one part for the house expenses and the third one for the poor people.
Because there is much poverty in Pakistan, the families prefer to send the boys to school for studying, hoping that they will find good work and earn money while the girls, when they grow up will anyway have to stay at home to take care of the children and to prepare the food.
Daud Shah thinks very differently, he believes that it is very important that girls have a good education because it is them that educate their children day by day, helping them with home work and teaching them the right from the wrong. Children in fact make so many demands to understand all what they don’t know, and they ask always to their mother because she is always there for them while the daddy is always at work in office or in the market.
So, Bajee Nasseem and Daud Shah pay every month for the expenses of the education of some poor girls until their marriage. They check the results of the children at school and when they are good students they help them to proceed up to higher education. They buy all the necessary things for them and also pay the school fee. They are well informed about their pupils fare at school and if they are studying well, and they are proud when their pupils succeed in passing the exams. When they have grown up and they want to marry, our two friends buy them the household set up, the bed, the plates, the cooking ware and also the furniture.
Bajee Nasseem and Daud Shah are doing this for 15 years.
Daud Shah is very proud of Pakistan women. He tells me that the director of the national bank is a lady and that a third of the Pakistan government are women. In all public offices, there is a strong presence of women and I start to think that women enjoy much more respect here than in Italy.
Today I telephoned Princess Tehzib who is on travel for pilgrimage in Pakpattan Sharif because she is a Sufi disciple. She told me that her son Salim was involved with the help to Kashmir. I called him and he made me meet a gentleman who organized a team of voluntary students to go to the mountains for helping the people in the days immediately after the earthquake.
The gentleman, Air Commodore Shigri, proposed that we should go together to his camp in Bagh on Tuesday or Thursday to see the situation so that I could decide how I can help the people with the money I have brought.