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Mr Paindu and the oil smell

I came to Germany from Pakistan to pursue higher studies 3 years ago. I distinctly remember that I had German Language class on the second day of my arrival. When I entered the class, I saw that the girls to boys ratio was 20:5 respectively. So no matter where I sat, I had to share a bench with a girl. I didn’t mind it in the least, but what I found weird was that if a girl sat with me once, she would change her seat the very next day and didn’t sit with me again. This kept happening for a few days and I found it very odd. Then one day, my curiosity got the better of me and I confronted a Bulgarian class fellow about it. To my surprise, she started laughing! Then she informed me that its because of the smell that keeps wafting up from my hair. Realization dawned: when I was leaving for Germany, my mother had packed a lot of items for me lovingly. Among those was mustard oil in triple plastic wrapped bags. She bid me farewell with the special instruction that I have to apply this oil in my hair regularly for their continued growth. What time of the day? That, I was not told. Apparently, I had chosen the wrong time of the day to do this. Later, I just drained the oil without second thought and told myself: ‘Welcome to Germany, Mr. Paindu.’


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About Mohammad Ali