CHAPTER 18

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
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transformation definition

I’m not really sure what to expect but my conversation with Suhails councelor assured me that family councelling is routine in drug rehab cases. Yusuf and I are on the way to the Rehab centre and Waseem and Shaheedah have arranged to meet us there. I have never been there before, but from what Waseem told – me it is quite a drive.

The children were excited to spend the day with dadda and daddi, even though they were disappointed that they could not visit Suhail. They really miss him. I do too. It’s hard to imagine that Suhayl has been at the rehab centre for three weeks already.

Yusuf glances at me momentarily. He can read the anxiety on my face, but he choses not to say anything. He focusses on his driving. I shift in the car seat and steady the plastic container on my lap. It is filled with freshly fried samosas, some homemade biscuits and some chevro for Suhail. My inner chachima shudders to think what they are feeding him in there, and I wonder if I should have added anything else.

“It’s more than enough”, Yusuf says, reading my thoughts. “It’s not a prison”. I chuckle and then remember that he knows first hand what it is like.

“What was it like, when you went?” I ask apprehensively. I realize that I never really delved deeply into the topic with him. Of course we spoke about the place and the people, but back then we were starting our lives together and I guess, I wanted to make a fresh start. Yusuf hesitates, it has clearly been a long time since he has spoke about it. “It was hard at first” he paused, thinking. His concentration seem fixed on driving and he focusses on the road. “At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s the withdrawal that really makes you feel sick. If it wasn’t for Maulana Desai, I don’t know if I could have made it”. His revelation throws me somewhat, because I never realized that it was that intense. “I didn’t realize it was so hard” I say to him , my voice thick with sympathy for both him and Suhail.

“When I would get tremours and sweats, and throw up, Moulana would sit with me and talk me through it. He would compare it to my Iman fighting my desires within me. We were told what drug withdrawal is and the chemical dependence your body has. But the way Moulana put it…” he shook his head emphatically, “it just made a lot of sense spiritually.” Yusuf paused for a while allowing this all to sink in. The picture in my head was vivid as he spoke. I was burning with questions to ask him, but I could tell he wasn’t finished with his story.

“Moulana use to say that it was up to me to decide whether my desire or Iman would win. He encouraged all the boys to read the English quraan and that helped. He also said I should set goals for when I leave. That was probably the best advice he gave me”.

“Really?” I asked. He nodded and glanced quickly in my direction. “How so?” I asked him, wondering if this advice could work on Suhail. “Well, I started thinking about marriage and you. And that was all the motivation I needed”. He said this straight-faced without so much as a twitch. Usually this would be the point where I would blush and be silenced. But these past three weeks have been an eye opener for me and I can feel myself stepping out of the Hasina I once was.

“I am so glad that everything worked out the way it did”, I began. “When I meet Moulana Desai, I will definitely thank him for his excellent advice to you” I said with a tone so confident that Yusuf looked at me quizzically. I caught his eye and held his gaze. “Eye’s on the road Mr. Vally”, I ordered a second later and as his gaze shifted back to the road, I noted a smirk creep on to his face. He is certainly enjoying the changing Hasina, and perhaps all men want to be put in their place now and then.

It was clear he was not expecting that from me but he seemed please rather than surprised. I began asking all the questions that I should have asked a long time ago. “what was his parents reaction?” , “Did his friends support him?”, “How did it feel to leave?”, “did you worry about staying clean?” and more. He answered them all so honestly and willingly, that I felt guilty for skirting this topic all these years.

With all the new information marinating in my head i wondered why it was that I never asked him these questions before. Maybe I was just trying so hard to be a wife that I forgot to be myself. Maybe, being young and naiive, I thought that my role as a wife was just to be a pillar supporting my husband and family. It was Farnaz that first made me think that the wife is actually the foundation of the marriage.

I think back now to the day that got my mind changing. I had accepted Amina’s invitation for coffee politely but I was reluctant to go that day after the drama that had taken place the night before. My brain was numb from everything and the email from the art school was the spanner in the works that was blocking normal thought processes.

Yusuf insisted that I go and get a break from reality – talking about shoes, clothes and shopping really did seem inviting. After a few minutes of arriving and meeting the ladies I was glad I had gone. Amina was sweet and introduced me to all the other ladies. The smell of the coffee in the air was enough to calm my nerves and almost satisfy my caffeine craving. Most of the women I met were young mothers like myself, who had either left work or had never worked at all. They, like me, had found comfort in domestic achievements, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only one there who wondered if that really was enough.

tupperware      yusuf

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