My remote ancestors migrated from Sindh to the Indian state of Gujrat about 500 to 600 years ago. In Sindh, winters are much more severe than in Gujrat. For six centuries my forebears lived in the warmer climate of Gujrat, but then my parents had to flee to Pakistan in 1947. I've lived in Karachi for 75 years out of 78, and from the beginning I couldn't bear the cold of winter months.

Like last year, the cold weather started early. We've already had some rain in the first week of November, and immediately my bones started aching. I can hardly get up in the morning and have to remain standing for two or three minutes before I can walk. An hour later, after breakfast, the pain has reduced substantially.

I asked my dentist what kind of foods he and his family used to eat when they lived in Abbotabad. He said they consumed a lot of beef, dry fruits and butter. Dry fruits are now beyond the reach of people like me, beef and butter I can't have because of my heart problem. I wonder what I should eat. I'll have to risk it, I suppose. I don't think minced meat made of beef or goat meat can do much harm. But then, you never know. Let's hope for the best.