In my family, there have been some interesting people. I have an aunt (she must be over 90) who refuses to believe that men ever landed on the moon. She claims that excessive cholesterol is actually good for health. She also believes that eating fruits is a sure way to an early death. Even though she hasn't enjoyed good health for over fifty years now, she has managed to live more than most men and women in the country, although for the past ten years, she's been bed-ridden.

An uncle of mine suddenly went crazy after his wife died at a very young age. He married again, but he was always what is politely called "mental". There were very few times when he was lucid, and on most days he would go berserk, smashing everything in sight. He would disappear for days (The first time it happened, he remained missing for a year, until someone read the ad placed in  newspapers by his elder brother and informed us that he had seen my uncle in a village mosque more than 200 km away from Karachi). After he was hauled back, he would again disappear every couple of months, but would return by himself. Needless to say, he was an extremist in religious matters. He would firmly advise his relatives not to invest in shares or buy prize bonds, as doing so (in his opinion) was akin to gambling.

Another uncle was an atheist, though he never admitted it in public. I wish I'd talked to him more often, but he emigrated to the U.S. around the time I was 30, after which he came to Pakistan only a couple of times on short visits. He too attained the ripe old age of 95.

But the most interesting one of them all was a very rich man (the grandfather of a cousin). This man used to have sex with the wife of one of his workers. One day, the woman's husband came home suddenly while my relative was in bed with her. The woman died after being stabbed by her husband, and my relative escaped by the skin of his teeth. The killer was sentenced to death. Although (according to newspaper reports) the defense attorney pleaded that the court should call to the witness stand a well-known industrialist who had been seen running away from the scene of the crime, the judge did not agree, as the killer had been caught red-handed and had confessed to the crime. I don't remember if the killer was executed, but I do remember that most  family members of the rich man refused to believe that he was involved in any way. "His business rivals have concocted this story", they used to say, although I have reason to believe that my cousin was convinced his grandfather was the person referred to in the newspaper reports. My cousin is still alive, but I don't have the heart to remind him about the incident.