CHAPTER 11 (continued)

Posted: June 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

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CHAPTER 11 (continued)

I listened as my mother in law began telling me about about Sawliha.

“Ya, so there were a few good kenam boys that came to see her. But Farnaz the girls of today are so fussy. If he had a beard – she didn’t like him. If he wears black shoes – she didn’t like him. The one poor chipinya – she said he had an old phone that didn’t even have facecall.” I laughed so hard when I heard that. My mother in laws stories are part of the reason I like her so much.

“you mean Facebook, mummy” I said still laughing. She began laughing too.

“I don’t know all this youngster chat-chat things” she rebuked. “Anyways a few weeks ago Fehmeda’s friend brought a Miabhai boy to see Sawliha. Just our luck this one is clean shaven and wears those fancy Technicolor takkies. Plus his phone can even change the TV channel. Now our Sawliha is head over heels.”

“Oh Masha Allah” I said. I made a mental note to call my sister in law Fehmedah.

“Eish, they all say we mustn’t be old fashioned and worry about, memom, miabhai and kokney but aye I worry about Sawliha going to a Miabhai house”.

“Mummy as long as they are good muslims it should be fine. Yes the Indian gaam thing is long time dead”

“I was so lucky I got all my children married in the same gaam. You know my grandchildren are all thorough bred kenam” she said proudly followed by a distinct disapproving tone , “Now the blood will get diluted”.

I couldn’t help but laugh at my mother in law’s reasoning. When the elders came over from India to South Africa, their home village was the only thing that they could identify with. I guess that is the way the elders think.

“She is going to get fixed on the third –  here at the big house, you and Hussain must come”. My mother in law said now seriously.

A ‘fixing’ is what Indians term as a pre-engagement. I always hated that word. It implies that a person is broken until a piece of gold jewelry is offered to the girl from the boys side and then by miracle – Hey you are fixed.

“Jee mummy, Insha Allah, I will tell Hussain”, I said.

“we will have lunch together, so we can discuss the wedding and plans together before the boy’s side come and make demands. The jaan (boys family) will come for tea. You must speak to Fehmeda and she will tell you what to bring.”

“ok. I will call her tomorrow” what could I say to her.

“ok, my dikra. Ooh look at the time, I still need to read my Asr salaah. Give Hussain my salaams. I’m making dua for you now that my Husain says he is ready again. But eish when you have your baby you must promise you only marry the child to a kenam.”

“Agh I must go, Farnaz. Salaams”

“Salaams” I said, just before hearing the click on the other end. ‘When Hussain is ready again’… I echoed her words ? did I hear right? Ready for what? A baby? I wasn’t sure how to react to all this news. I slowly returned the cordless phone to its cradle and sat back down on the chair. My place was still set for supper. I sat staring at it for a while and then I took out another plate and  set a second place setting next to mine. Today we will have supper together,I thought. I need to know what is going on.

 

 

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