CHAPTER 23 (cont)

Posted: August 14, 2014 in Uncategorized
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transformation definition

After the reception the bride’s close family went back to Fehmida’s house for an emotional farewell. My young niece, today the bride, collected her things and left her childhood house as a wife and not just a daughter anymore. Maybe it was the pregnancy hormones, or the memory of my own wedding that formed the lump in my throat as soon as I wished a tearful Sawliha well in her marriage. My undoing however was witnessing the farewell between Sawliha and Hussains brother, today the Father-of-the-bride.

As Sawliha made her way through the long procession of aunts and cousins, her dad stood at the end, just outside the front door of the house – the final goodbye. The male relatives of the women in the house, stood outside waiting for the ritual to end chatting about the latest soccer scores and whatever else, oblivious of the goings on indoors. Knowing the stoic character of my father-in-law I wondered about Moosa. If he was anything like his father I was expecting an uncomfortable moment between him and his daughter.

As Sawliha reached the end of the line, I watched as Moosa began to get nervous. When she turned to greet her father, the composure she managed to feign was destroyed by the the mere sight of him. The close relationship they shared was unmistakable. He looked at her with wet eyes and spoke to her softly to which she nodded between sobs. He was clearly advising her as to her new obligations as a wife. He took her head in his hands and then kissed her tenderly on the forehead. I could not peel my eyes away for fear that I would miss a second of this heartfelt moment. My instincts told me that the eyes of every woman in the house was now on this scene.

Moosa says something to Sawliha that makes her laugh, and this seems to ease the tension all around. Her laugh brings instant joy to his face but then just as suddenly, as if realizing what this procedure meant, his somber expression returns and with it a single tear that rolls down his check in an avalanche of emotion. The father-daughter embrace that ensues is charged with such emotion, that no director could have written a better script. I felt my heart breaking for the girl who now becomes a woman, and the father who loses his little girl. I look away trying to control my own tears and I see the tearful eyes of my fellow relatives. The moment is what is should be – something we all especially Sawliha, should never forget.

Ofcourse with the worse timing, the jaan(boys family) begin to hoot indicating their anxiousness to escort the bride to her new home and her new life. I followed as everyone streamed out of the house and filled up the cars parked right up to the end of the street. I found Hussain and we got into our car to followed the procession to Sawliha’s apartment in Melrose.

Hasina’s gallery show is also in Melrose, not far from the newlyweds new apartment. Im am hoping to duck away after we had officially given her to her new l ife.

“Wow, Sawls. This is very posh” Husna commented as she walked into the apartment. The grooms mother and sister took us through a short tour of the apartment. I was very impressed. Hasina certainly married well, this was definitely uptown living. “I thought it was never going to get done” Sawliha’s Mother in law said. “ Zunaid insisted that he wanted to stay here for their first night of marriage.” Zunaid’s sister chipped in , “My husband and I stayed at the Hilton for our first few days, it was the best” she said gushing with memories.”

“im so glad that Zunaid did decide to stay here”, my mother in law began, “There is so much more barakah”. I looked at my watch.

“We have to go” I whispered to Hussain. He nodded emphatically, he clearly had enough as well.

“Well”, began Hussain , “…Im sure the bride and groom have something better to do” Hussain announced very tongue in cheek. This was received with stares from the mother in law it turned my niece bright red. I stepped in to save him. “Maaf,” I began. “A very good friend of mine is doing a gallery show tonight and I promised her I would come” I said. I had never referred to Hasina as my very good friend before, and it feels so official and liberating.

After salaams from everyone we made our way to the car.

father bride

 

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Comments
  1. shabeeha says:

    So. ..I have finally reached my last Chapter. wow can’t believe it. I will be posting the final parts on Monday. Happy reading. S

  2. A says:

    Really enjoyed ur blog, going to miss it wen it’s done. Keep up the good writing skills

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