CHAPTER 22 (continued)

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
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transformation definition

‘You won’t believe what happened” I say to Farnaz, as she walks in. her eyes grow wide and judging my excitement, asks hopefully, “Did you get the gallery show?” without waiting for a response, she screams , “Oh my gosh, that is great. I knew you would do it”.

“No man” , I say. I even forgot about that. “They haven’t gotten back to me yet” I tell her. “Oh” she says. She looks confused, “So what is the big news?”.

“Suhail is getting married” I say one octave too high. “Mubarak!” Farnaz says and hugs me. “SO all your nagging finally paid off”, she teases me. I shoot her a sideways look and she shoots one right back at me. We both laugh.

“I’m so glad everything worked out with Rahima”, I say thinking about all the other girls I had seen him with. “Rahima is perfect for him” I say out loud.

“I only remember the girl he brought to your party that day”, Farnaz says. “You meant that little kid” I say indicating my disapproval. Farnaz laughs, “Yes, she was a little young for him, and a bit of a snob”. “I know right” I reply. “You know she told me that day, that she doesn’t drink tap water and at her house they have at least two different types of bottled water in the fridge. Farnaz bellows with laughter, stops and starts laughing again. I join her. “Dodged a bullet there” she says when she regains composure. I nod, I couldn’t agree more.

“Didn’t you tell me Rahima is a Chiropracter?” Farnaz asks. “Yes, Yes. Its doctor Rahima” I say with pride. “It feels like she is part of the family already, the kids love her”.

“Where are the kids?” Farnaz asks as we finally get seated in the lounge. “My father in law picked them up from school and is spending the day with them. He said he will drop them off before maghrib. I was relieved when he offered, that drive to school is torturous”.

Its just two more weeks, right?” Farnaz asks. “Yes, thank goodness” I say. We just finished sorting out the applications forms and so they will start at the school here next year”. Farnaz nods and smiles. She doesn’t have much more to say about that , without children of her own, I’m sure it must be boring having to listen to other peoples stories. I try to change the subject.

Im dying to ask her … but I decide to give her time to tell me. I was up all night thinking about her test results. I say a silent prayer again that her news is good.

“how is work?” I ask her instead.

“It’s ok, The paperwork is really getting to be a hassle. Dilshaad is on maternity leave and the new receptionist is earning her keep. If she doesn’t manage I am going to have to hire someone else”

“Hey why don’t you hire me” I say happily, “With the children starting school nearby, I will have a lot more time to kill”. She looks at me accusingly, “and what about your sketching?” she asks sternly. “Don’t tell me after all your hard work you are just going to stop”, she warns. There’s my mother’s voice again. I forgot how irritating it can be sometimes, but this time I am thankful for it. “Hey, hey , hey , hold your horses” I say. I do my painting mostly at night anyways.

“Are you working on apiece now?” she asks curious. I nod. Ralph said I should experiment with different materials and techniques. He has been so pleased with my work so far” I gloat. “Oh well if Ralph said so…” she says mockingly sticking her nose in the air. We laugh together yet again.

As we chat I am aware of how we have somehow gotten tangled up in each others lives. A few of months ago, no one could have predicted how close we would become. I have seen her softer side and I cant help thinking that it may be my influence. She certainly has brought out my stronger, confident self. I am so happy these days and the thoughts of my mother are more like happy memories rather than sad regrets. Farnaz showed me that being grateful for all the memories is better than regretting time lost. It doesn’t help that she reminds me more and more of my mother everyday. She even has that annoying habit of starring at my work for a long time before she is willing to give a comment. My mother drove me crazy when she did that. But also … Farnaz is different. She has thoughts and opinions that I would never have and talking to her is illuminating. She grounded and gives me the realistic angle when I am up in the clouds.

“So when will the school confirm who will be exhibiting?” she asks. “sometime this week” I say. “Are you nervous?” she asks me. I think about it. “No, not really” I reply honestly. “It will be a good opportunity but I think I still have to explore a lot of other mediums” I say. She seems happy with my answer.

“SO!!??” I finally ask her when I cant wait any longer. “Are you going to put me out of my misery and tell me about the appointment today?” I ask exasperated.  I didn’t ask immediately because I wanted to gauge her mood. As much as she tries to remain strong I know she is trying not to get her hopes up.

A smile creeps over her face, “I was wondering what took you so long?” and she shakes her head at me feigning disappointment.

“Well?!” I say.

“it’s positive” she says barely able to hide that glow on her face. “Dr. Rehana did a sonar and everything”. the joy on her face is indescribable.

I feel as if I am going to burst. First Suhail gets engaged and now Farnaz is pregnant. This is too much good news. My inner Chachima breaks out into full blown Bollywood dance.

I am so happy for Farnaz. If anyone deserves happiness it is her. She had endured endless tests, and hormone injections, sonars, scrapings and now finally there is good news. Through all the difficulties these past few months she has kept strong. After each negative test and more hormons she was never defeated and this is the magic that is Farnaz.

“I start a whole bunch of new meds next week.”

“Oh that is fantastic” I finally say after finding my words. “I’m so happy for you”.

“I am going to knit booties and a blanket and Im definitely doing a special art piece for the baby’s room-”

The look on Farnaz’s face tells me that I have gone too far. Of course, I think, these are early days, and in most pregnancies that would mean celebration, but in her case after 2 miscarriages and a complicated history this just means more worry.

“Don’t worry”, I say. “Read Surah Maryam everyday, and make lots of dua. Insha Allah everything will go well”.

she thanks me with her words but her face tells me something different. “You know you have to be positive”, unable to take that stricken look on her face.

“I know” she says, ” …and I want to be” she looks down and fidgets with her hands, ” I have been here twice before. Excited about my baby. Making plans. And after each miscarriage – it’s worse. If I can just get past 6 months” she says now looking hopefull, “Dr. Rehana says that we will know that the uterus is competent and I will probably carry to term”.

“Hussain should get you to stay home for 6 months and relax” I said, knowing that her husband probably already said that to her. She rolls her eyes at me, “Not you too” she accuses. “As soon as Dilshad gets back from maternity leave i will take more time off ” she promises.. “Anyways I don’t do any house shows myself anymore. I have that new agent that does all of that”. I am ever impressed with her business and I wonder if my business would last two seconds before it keeled over and died.

“Anyways” she says after a while, “My niece’s wedding is this weekend and somehow I got elected to plan the mehndhi night” she said horrified. “I hate henna. I hate the look, I hate the smell and I hate …well everything else” she shivers from disgust. I laugh at this playful side of her. The mehndi night is the modest Indian version of a hen party. “SO you mean you don’t like gathering the young an old woman together to embarrass the young bride with stories of the first night of marriage while decorating their hands and feet and whatever else in patterned henna?” I asked.

“And sitting on the floor covered in colourful silk and shimmer while young girls danced with rolling pins and sing bollywood songs” she added laughing hysterically. I join her. It has been an Indian custom brought over from India, but it isn’t quite so dramatic since Islam and Indian customs don’t mix very well. “The brides mother is in purdah, so thankfully it has to be simple and Islamic, so that means no bollywood and no rolling pins” she ordered. “hmm, Okay” I say and cross that out on  my invisible paper in my hands.

 

“As long as you can sort out a venue, I will sort out the henna artist, décor and I know a a caterer that did a mehndi night a while back. I will give you her number” I say. She look sat me incredulousy. “Wow, Hasina. You really know how to take charge” she compliments me. “Well , I’m learning from the best”, I reply hitting her compliment right back at her. We smile warmly at each other and I think how lucky I am to have a friend in her, and I see the look in her eyes and I know she is thinking the same thing.

hijab woman outside

 

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Comments
  1. shabeeha says:

    salaam.
    I hope everyone is enjoying the bumper posts today.
    Please look out for my posts this week. I will be uploading the final chapter. HAPPY READING. S.

  2. shabeeha says:

    You all may notice the new look mobile friendly site. Thank you Jameela for suggesting it. I have made changes to the layout of the blog but the content has not changed. If you have any trouble with it. Please do let me know. S.

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