As narrated by Nemo
Riza’s house was jumping! I didn’t know that he had so many relatives or maybe his mother just “hired” a whole lot of people to make their house look full:-p
This braai was so big-one would have thought he was getting married and not engaged! I walked around filling up the almost empty platters with “hot hot” braaied meat. Yoh these aunties could chow!!
Aunty who I didn’t know: bring some burnt chops for me (with her mouth full) I like them burnt and crispy!
I wanted to shove this whole piece of texan steak into her already stuffed mouth! Her plate was literally overflowing and she wanted more!! And she didn’t exactly look like she had just flown in from Somalia, NOOOO, she looked liked she was a Sumo wrestler who had just been carried by the world’s largest crane directly from Japan!
Me: (in my most polite tone) jee I will
And as I waited by the braai stand for Riza’s cousins to burn those damn chops…a wicked thought entered my mind and I couldn’t help but smirk;)
Me: (to Riza’s cousin Amien) who’s that aunty over there?
Amien: eish that one is not my aunty..she’s Riza’s moms sister in laws some connection…major pain! Stay far from her!
Me: well she’s the one who wanted the burnt chops…
And Amien looked at me with a very similar grin on his face…
Amien: I’ll be right back!
And true to his word he was back in a jiffy! With a bottle of what looked like ground red chillies! Oh hell no! You go bro!!
Amien: don’t say a word
Me: my lips are sealed
And he basted those chops in the chillies and put them back onto the braaistand!!
I walked back to the Aunty with a huge smile. It seemed I wasn’t the only one with tricks up my sleeve*wink*
Me: here you go
Aunty: bring some wors one time!
Me: blerry hell!
Aunty: what you said?
Me: I said…sure no problem:)
And I walked towards the guys sitting together. To hell with her wors!
While chatting to Riza and his cousins-I couldn’t help but notice her enter the huge white tent…and I walked up to her…
Me: hey sexy lady (wrapping my arm around her)
Her: my handsome! (And she kissed me on my cheek)
Me: I have missed you so much! I missed your pretty smile and your beautiful eyes…(And I squeezed her tighter)
Her: (chuckling to herself and before she could speak…Riza stood on the other side of her and linked his arm in hers)
Riza: sorry Nemo she’s all mine!
Her: you are getting engaged tomorrow so your party is over
Riza: that’s tomorrow…now I’m still “single” beautiful (and he kissed her cheek) Laeeka is no match with you at all!
Her: (with a soft laugh) bachoos…yourl are tooo naughty little shaytaans!
Nemo: whaaaat Dadi? You know we love you so much:)
Dadi: I love you both also…bachoo (and she held Riza’s face emotionally) you were so small when I first saw you…just now you will get married (tears of joy I’m sure, rolled down her cheeks) you won’t forget your dadi?
Riza: (kissing Dadi’s hand) never! You are my first girlfriend Dadi
And both of us hugged her. In the time when I had my “episodes” Dadi would come and sit with me the whole day, she would read with me, talk to me. I started seeing life from a very different angle because of her. My own Dadi was very sweet but I hardly saw her…but this cute Dadi here more than made up for the loss.
After we walked Dadi to a table…I heard a shout
“It was him!!” And suddenly everyone turned and looked at me!!
Sumo Aunty: he did something to the chops!! It’s because of him I can’t enjoy the braai-ever since he gave me those chops I’ve been to the toilet five times already!!
Woman you don’t need a toilet, you kinda need a drum!
Me: I don’t follow you Aunty what are you talking about?
Sumo Aunty: what did you do to those chops?
Me: I took them to the braai stand, put them there, waited until they were burnt and brought them back to you
Riza’s Mum: now now Naeem wouldn’t do what you are implying that he did, it must have gotten mixed up with the spicy lot of chops
And the Sumo wrestler stomped off in a huff! Riza had noticed Amien and Hussain(his other cousin) laughing amongst themselves and he suppressed his laugh!
Dadi: good she deserves it! I never ever liked her!
Me: you are my rockstar you know that Dadi
Dadi: and you are my cutypie ℓ☺ℓ
Riza and I looked at each other..
Riza: did you just say ℓ☺ℓ Dadi?
Dadi: jee bachoo, you don’t know what is ℓ☺ℓ?
Riza: (laughing) we do but how do you know?
Dadi: I’m sharp like that (and she winked at us)
The night went on and the noise and fun never stopped! Mari seemed to be enjoying herself with the girls, they were putting mehndi…which reminded me…our girls were putting mehndi too!
Me: Reez we gotto sneak in to Laeeka’s place bro
Reez: (looking excited but acting calm) my mother may just kill me…but…let’s make a plan
It wasn’t hard getting out, not with so many people around;) all I wanted was to see Aara with mehndi on her hands…
Reez: (on his phone) bro we need your help
Zoheb: sure what’s up?
Reez: we are coming over…make a plan for us not to get seen
Zoheb: so impatient huh..and you’re getting engaged tomorrow…don’t worry, phone me when you’re outside I’ll sort it out
Zoheb walked towards our car and once Riza got off, he handed him his car keys.
Riza: why keys?
Zoheb: because that’s where she’s waiting for you…20 minutes bro that’s all the time I could buy
Riza: thanks bro (and he patted Zoheb’s back and got into Zoheb’s car and drove off)
Me: that was smooth!
Zoheb: (ℓ☺ℓ) come on let’s go inside..how’s the braai going on your side?
Me: huge…too many people infact…and here, how are things here?
Zoheb: .going good although I’m over stuffed! All these aunties seem to think I have never eaten in my life!
Me: (laughing) welcome to our world! This is going to be a little hard because once I get in I won’t be able to come out easily…
Laeeka’s house was also so full! People all over! Did they also really know so many people??
Where is she????please let me find her before someone calls me!!!!
I saw Zainab…but where was Aara?
Me: any idea where’s Aara?
Zoheb: yep follow me
And he led me upstairs to a closed room…and I heard her voice
Aara: what took you so long? You fed me only one burfee and then you ran away!
Zoheb:(whispering) sorry…Reez wanted to see Laeeka and someone wanted to see you..
And she looked at me…
Aara: Nemo!!! (With a huge smile on her face)
Me: hey sweetheart…let me see your mehndi
And she put her hands forward to show me while Zoheb hopped onto the bed and sat next to her
Zoheb: shhhh he’s sleeping (and he pointed at Laeeka’s cousins baby fast asleep in her little cot) here (and he fed her a burfee)
I suddenly felt like an intruder as I watched Zoheb feed her…he brought the burfee close to her mouth then pulled it away and she playfully scolded him. I felt awkward. I felt uneasy.
Aara: sit down Nemo
Me: I’ve got to go just now anyway…Reez will be back soon
Aara: oh just sit man…I need to tell you something
So I complied.
Aara: Zainab’s parents found a boy for her and she didn’t tell them about Arshad yet!
Me: huh? When did that happen? She never said anything!
Aara: she told me yesterday and we can’t exactly tell Arshad anything yet
Me: I spoke to him earlier…he’s driving back tomorrow morning to make it for the engagement. Parents are still staying in Zeerust..(Running my hands through my hair) Zainab Zainab Zainab…we’ll have to do something
Zainab: (walking into the room) have to do what?
Me: You! I feel like strangling you now!
Zainab: (sitting next to me) help me Nemo..I’m not like you all..I couldn’t say anything ( and she burst out crying)
Me: heyyyy (side hugging her) we’ll work it out okay don’t cry…it’s not like they can force you to marry someone who you don’t want to
Zainab: (sobbing) you know how my father is Nemo..once his mind is made up there’s no going back
Me: shhhh…you love Arshoo…and you will marry him only…even if we have to make you elope and get married (and I winked at her)
Zainab: (crying even more) I don’t want to run away and get married…I want Arshad to be accepted by my family
Me: okay okay (looking at Aara and Zoheb) tell you what, once the engagement is over, ask this guy to meet all of us and we’ll explain to him that you’re in love with someone else…we are not in an old indian movie…its 2014…I’m sure this guy will understand and well, if he doesn’t then we have our ways to make him understand!
Zoheb: (with a side smile) I like the sound of that!
Me: see we are all here for you…and tomorrow your jaanu will be here too
Aara: sorry Zai..(Pouty face) I shouldn’t have scolded you…
Me: (ℓ☺ℓ) you scolded her???
Aara: I can’t even cover my face right now…(ℓ☺ℓ) but I scolded her…sorry Zai I’m sooooo sorry
Zai: its okay Aara…I know you meant well…and thanks Zoheb for your encouragement earlier as well….I’m so happy that I have all of you it really means a lot
Me: Zai Zai no more crying now okay…we’ve got your back (and I side hugged her again)
And I think we were making too much noise because the baby woke up and started howling his little lungs out!!!
Aara: pick him up one of you!
Me: how???? He’s so little what if I drop him!
Aara: (raising her eyebrow) you can carry me but you can’t carry a small baby?
Me: that’s different! (And this baby continued crying as Zoheb and I stared into his cot -what a little monster)
Zoheb: I’ll hold the legs you hold the head
Me: you hold the head I’ll hold the legs
Aara: unbelievable! he’s crying man get on with it already!
So Zoheb and I helped each other carry this tiny baby…ℓ☺ℓ ..two grown men helping each other carry a baby (hide)
Aara: lift him up against you Nemo
Me: you mean lift him up against you ZOHEB?
Me: okay okay( and Zoheb helped me put the baby upright and I patted his back)..don’t move your hand bro hold his head
Zoheb: (twitching his nose) what’s that smell?
Me: (I could smell it too) oh no…oh no…oh hell no! Did this kid shit???
Aara and Zainab were torn with laughter!
Me: bro go call someone please
Aara: (with that wicked Aara grin) no…you both will change the diaper…almost all the ladies have mehndi on and you can’t just let the child cry like this change him!
Zoheb: I don’t know how to change a diaper!
Aara: no problem..I’ll talk you through it :-p
This woman had a way with words for sure!! She had made us put the nappy mat or whatever it was on the bed, lay out a nappy,wetwipes and bum cream! She was frikking crazy!
Me: here you do the honours (to Zoheb)
Zoheb: (looking at Aara) uh uh
Zoheb: uuuurrrgh Nemo just have that clean nappy ready( and he opened the nappy)
And both of us jumped back in horror!!! Awful! Awful! Awful! Was this a human baby or a baby dinosaur!!!
The baby found it so amusing that he too started laughing!
Zoheb: I cannot clean that!! (And he shoved the wetwipes into my hand)
Me: I have arthritis(lmao)…you do it (shoving the wetwipes back to Zoheb)
Zainab: guys its a small baby come on grow up already! And Nemo since when do you have arthritis and what does it have to do with changing a nappy?
Me: (to Zoheb) we do this together
And we walked towards the baby like two men on the mission of a lifetime!
I held the baby’s legs up and Zoheb wiped up the mess with so many wetwipes in his hand that I think he finished the whole lot on that one nappy change!
And we looked at this now happy baby smiling at us and suddenly it didn’t feel so bad after all…I mean we would have to do this one day for our kids just like our parents did it for us….okay no scrap that thought- we’ll hire a maid just to change the nappies! :-p
My thoughts were disturbed by the sound of my phone ringing…flip…it was Riza’s mother!
Riza’s mum: Naeem is Riza with you?
Me: errr not at the moment…he’s in the toilet
Riza’s mum: is he at Laeeka’s house?
Me: no…we just came to the garage for something
Riza’s mum: okay I’ll hold on while he gets back
Me: my battery is really low and may die any minute
Riza’s mum: if I find out that you boys are lying to me, I promise you Naeem I will not hesitate to break this engagement! Because your car was seen parked outside Laeeka’s house now!
Me:(shux) ofcourse it’s parked there…I have Zoheb’s car he’s using mine
Riza’s mum: I need you both back here in 5 minutes, otherwise I’m coming to Laeeka’s house (and she cut the call)
Me: f***…we need to go this woman is nuts she’s probably already on her way here…(Dialing Riza) bro.. Back of the house now-your mother is on her way!
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Zainub: (8:30am-5pm )
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