Part 20- Eish! Aunty Rukaya and Family

I was ready by 6, casual in black jeans and a snug white t shirt, red and black Levi shoes and I gelled my hair. I know, what was I thinking. Anyway I drove to Aara’s and waited outside while she came down the stairs. I watched her as she locked her front door. She had worn a long black and white polka dot dress, capped sleeves, black sandals and her hair was pin straight and gripped together in the centre with those jaw things. She walked down those stairs as though she was on a catwalk! I got off and opened the door for her. “Hi Dimples” she smiled. I couldn’t help but smile. ” See told you so” .
“Yes madam you did now jump in”
As we drove out she punched in the address we were going to onto my gps. “You look…different” she said to me. “That’s such a wonderful compliment Aara thank you” hmph, “different” is normally used when one cannot say you look good or bad! “I didn’t mean it like that, but in the few times we’ve met you’ve always worn a suit”
“Its cool” I said. Why did I feel a tad bit bad?
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Finally. We were outside Aunty Rukaya’s modest home in the suburbs. How bad could this be? Having supper with strangers with a girl I barely know. Think of it as a business meeting I told myself. I caught a glimpse of Aara while getting off the car. ” Why are you grinning?” And she laughed. “I’m just thinking of the last time we were here”
“Should I be scared?” I asked worried. “I don’t know” and she continued laughing as she rang the door bell. I stood behind her, the wind blew her hair softly onto my face.I closed my eyes. What’s going on?…
I was silently hoping no one was home and we could go away when suddenly the door opened and…and…a very LARGE woman stood in the doorway. When I say large, large is probably an understatement of the century, she was HUGE! ” Aaaarraaa bachooo” she shrieked. Yes it was a frikking shriek. ” So nice to see you again” and she engulfed Aara into a hug that made Aara disappear. And then Aara introduced me. “Aunty Ruks this is Zoheb” she looked at me from head to toe, still not inviting me in, and then she did the most outrageous thing! She pulled both my cheeks as though I were 5 and pulled me in for a hug as well. Someone help me she’s going to kill me! When she finally did let go and I took in a deep breath she said something that made my mouth hang open ” such a lovely couple really get married soon and you will have such beautiful babies…see yourl are even matching!”
Couple…babies???…matching..hey I didn’t even realise we were matching!
“Come inside now Zoheb don’t be rude and stand by the door only” she said. Lady. You.Did.NOt.Invite.Me.In well I didn’t say it out loud. Aara’s face was pink, I don’t know if she was blushing, embarassed or was it red from laughing at me! Aunty Rukaya took us into the lounge and I couldn’t help but whisper to Aara ” did we really bring a rich fattening dessert for HER?? She doesn’t need it” Aara elbowed me to shush. Don’t tell me to shush! Lo and behold, the lounge!
“These are my kids Zoheb, this is Farhaan,Reyhaan,Burhaan,Imraan,Naazia,Razia and Faaiza” You have got to be kidding me! I felt like I was in an episode of Barney!! “This is my husband Hashim” “hey Hashim, wake up man can’t you see we have visitors” and she smacked him on his head. He looked like he had just dozed off. I was apalled! Who does this to their husband! “This is my sister Rashida, her husband Yusuf will be joining us shortly and this is my mother in law you can call her Dadi” why would I call her dadi? She wasn’t my dadi! ” Sit sit Zoheb, Aara you come with me in the kitchen”
Please Aara don’t leave me I called out in my mind. As I took a seat onto the sofa I felt myself suddenly sink in and I fell into the seat! The kids started laughing. “That’s mums seat” one of them chuckled. Gee you don’t say. The old lady I was sitting next to held my hand and started talking to me in a language I didn’t know when Uncle Hashim, (yes he wasn’t my uncle but as indians all older people naturally become uncle and aunty) said to her in the same language possibly that I didn’t understand the language. She pinched me! She pinched me??! “Why no talk gujrathi?” “I don’t know” I answered truthfully. Dammit she pinched me again. “You only talk english?” She asked. “And afrikaans and a bit of zulu”I answered. She pinched me again this time harder! The kids were in splits of laughter! “Julu, afrikaans but no gujrathi?you stay by me I teach you” hell no! Never! I didn’t answer. She pinched me again. I heard Aara call my name as she entered the lounge, “guys can I steal him for a minute” . “Aara bachoo I like him, move fast or I keep him” dadi chuckled. I struggled to get off that sinking sofa and Aara had an amused look on her face. I followed her out of the lounge and into the back yard. ” Are you ok?” She asked. “NO” I was irritated beyond doubt. “Can we please leave? These people are sickening me”
“Zoheb c’mon it’s just a few hours. Stay with me don’t go back in the lounge” she said, her eyes softened and the tone in her voice was concern. I looked at her and I really wanted to say no, I had no obligation towards any of them. “Two hours and that’s it” . “Okay” she said with a smile. Really? That’s it no arguments? Unbelievable! I followed her back into the kitchen like a lost dog. Yes dog, not even puppy. The Great Dane made her appearance again as she pushed herself passed me in a hurry. “Sorry son I forgot the chicken in the oven”
I helped Aara and the rhyming name girls put the food on the table while everyone else seated themselves. Aara motioned to me to sit next to her. I gladly obliged. The spread was fantastic. I could forget about the nights events thus far. The old lady came and sat on the other side of me and I impulsively moved my chair closer to Aara. ” Aww so cute hey he wants to sit right next to Aara” the Great Dane chuckled. “Its not like that Aunty Ruks, he’s just a friend” Aara replied while dishing out onto her plate. I hadn’t touched anything. I felt odd. How do you help yourself to food on someone elses supper table? “Can I pass you something?” Aara asked,clearly noticing my discomfort. ” No Aara you wait I’ll dish out for him” and with that the Great Dane piled my plate with almost everything on the table! I promise you if the plate was any bigger she would have filled it up some more! ” Really, this is too much” I protested.  “What enough, you need to put some meat on those bones, nowadays youngsters only gym gym diet diet” she answered back. Gym gym diet diet..err are we like doing everything twice?
My plate looked like a mini mountain! Once everyone had settled into their supper, Aunty Ruks began her 20 twenty questions. “So Riza tells me you’re from London?”
Me: Yes I lived there for two years and moved back to S.A, prior to that I lived in New Zealand
Aunty Ruks: So did you meet the queen?
Say what?? This woman is nuts!
Aara: ofcourse he did:) he even plays tennis with the prince once a month
Aunty Ruks and her entire family- the look was priceless, their mouths were hanging open! Albeit stuffed with food ℓ☺ℓ but it was a kodak moment. Aara gave me a side grin and winked at me sneakily.
Aunty Ruks: when we go to London Zoheb we will come and stay at your place and you can take us to visit all your lovely friends
Zoheb: anytime Aunty Ruks. So how does Riza become your nephew?
Aunty Ruks: the truth is we are not related by blood. We were neighbours when Riza wasn’t even born and then they moved away but we still kept in contact through all these years. Such a lovely family, especially Riza’s mum.
Then out of nowhere appeared this man. For a minute there I thought I was looking at an indian version of Chuck Norris!
“Yusuuuuuufff”, aunty Ruks shrieked again. “Zoheb this is Yusuf my brother in law”
I greeted him but he just stared at me for a few seconds then came right over to me and ruffled my gelled hair with his hopefully clean hands and then patted Aara on her head. He grabbed a stool and gapped himself next to his quiet wife. “I’m starving pass me the chows please” . What a weird family! Then the Dadi scolded him in that foreign language and he said something back and they all started laughing. Just by the way, this was something I never had or did. My sister and I were the pigeon pair to my parents who lived a busy and demanding life, more socially anyway and we were not close knit at all. Family suppers were only at Eid and that’s it. I looked at these people chattering away and felt warm inside. Family. And Aara she made herself so comfortable with Riza’s old neighbours! While looking at and talking to one of the girls she put her hand on the table probably for her spoon but ended up grabbing my hand instead…I felt that current again and she realised what she had done and pulled her hand away like nothing happened.
And just when I thought everything was going well, Dadi suddenly started choking right next to me! Without thinking I started hitting her on her back, well not hitting her violently ℓ☺ℓ but she was choking so it seemed the normal thing to do. And….by far the worst thing I’ve ever seen had happened…her false teeth flew out of her mouth….straight onto my lap!!!!!!!! I could have just died then and there! *faint*
dadi2 table polka

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12 thoughts on “Part 20- Eish! Aunty Rukaya and Family

  1. OH MY GOD!!! I am litraly LOL!!!! My husband is wonderin wat am reading!!! Ur an awsum writer!! Oooohh god my tummy hurts frm laughing!!!!!every1 shud knw about this blog!!!!!

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  2. I’ve just come across your blog and totally loving it …esp coz my two sons are rayhaan and farhaan too :D:D I just don’t have rhyming girls 😀
    What’s most fascinating about yiur blog is the creativity that you bring to life in all their lives. ..I have to constantly stop myself from reading further into your blog simultaneously to where I am at the moment.kepp up the good work.

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