As narrated by Aunty Salma:
My baby girl had been shot. My Aara,. ..my daughter, was holding on to life by a withered thread. I couldn’t handle it after Hassan had received Imraan’s call and the three of us took the next flight to Jhb.
She had already been in theatre for four long hours by the time we had reached and just stepping into the hospital made my heart beat faster. Sahal held my hand until we had reached the packed waiting room, but when I saw Naeem, I broke down again. I could see their childhood years right in front of my eyes and I half expected to see my Aara running past Naeem and hugging me , and then teasing him that she made it first. I think somewhere deep down inside, she too knew that he always let her hug me first.
No mother wishes for her child to be fighting against all odds to live, to survive, to be almost lifeless. No parent ever wants to bury their child….
I looked at this lost young man clutching at his blood stained shirt, completely disheveled, as the realisation of what Naeem said began to make sense. Sahal’s previous reluctance about me announcing Aara and Naeem’s engagement, that breakfast at Aara’s flat where she wasn’t herself and kept passing side remarks to Zoheb, how she fussed over him in Durban. It made sense now. This wasn’t the time for questions or to be angry. …my daughter would never make a wrong choice… even if her choice didn’t match mine.
I sat down beside Zoheb and put my hand on his head. “She will be okay. ..”,I said softly
After a long silence. . . “She will come back won’t she? She has to come back “, he asked me as tears fell from his eyes. I felt so bad…”Insha Allah my bachoo “, I said through my own tears…”Insha Allah ”
As narrated by Aunty Maseeha (Riza’s Mother )
I had finished another Yaseen and lifted my eyes to look at everyone else. All of them were reading, all of them were praying. I looked at my son as he sat against the wall, defeated. He hadn’t said a word to anyone for the last few hours. My heart sunk. Remorse filled my soul as I thought of all the times when I had told him to stop being so attached to his friends, especially Naeem and Aara. I didn’t understand what they meant to him. The same Naeem and Aara had come to me a day ago and begged and pleaded with me to accept Laeeka, not just because she was a good girl but also because of Riza, and I had thrown them out after telling them exactly what I felt. They were in tears as they asked again and again, but I wouldn’t have any of it.
I overheard Riza telling Arshad earlier that when Laeeka was in hospital, Aara was his biggest support and strength because he couldn’t tell me,I’d get mad. Was I a mother or a monster? The same girl who stood by my son in his hour of need…I broke her home before it was even made. I told Zoheb’s mother that she was no good. I told her that she was not the right girl for their family, and now even when I look at Zoheb, I realise how wrong I was.
Life has made me bitter. It’s no excuse ,but my mother in laws indifference towards me and the endless limit of expectations, made me someone that I am not. I shuddered when I thought about how I had treated Laeeka. The truth be told, and I never admitted it, she wasn’t bad for Riza, infact she was too good for him. I could never have asked for a better daughter in law than her but admitting it would mean that I was standing against what was expected of me, admitting it would mean letting my guard down, and when I heard that Laeeka couldn’t have children, I allowed shaytaan’s whispers to travel from my ears to my soul, and I crushed that innocent girls heart. And instead of retaliating, she silently stepped back. Away from Riza. ..because of me.
It is true, we are never too old to learn and this group of youngsters had reminded us that. ..had reminded ME that.
Almost seven hours had passed since Aara was in theatre when Laeeka walked into the waiting room. I don’t know what she was expecting but she was rooted to the spot that she stood in when her eyes fell upon Zoheb, still sitting in a daze.
My Riza finally looked up and his eyes met mine when he stood up. Tears welled up in his eyes as he stood away from Laeeka, as he tried to ignore the fact that she was there, consoling Salma. I had pushed my son into this corner, and their respect for me kept them away from each other. I stood up slowly and walked towards her and asked her to step outside with me for a few minutes.
It is funny how when life brings you or someone you know close to the verge of death , that we start mending and fixing. It shouldn’t be this way. The duration of one’s life is not guaranteed and instead of rushing when something bad happens we should rather do things the right way immediately.
I was more concerned about societal norms , but I was paying for it at the cost of my children’s happiness. Not any more though…not anymore.
And a special mention to the Author of Travelling Through Her Mind, who missed the Blog Roll shout out…even though I will add you there now, I just thought that one step better would work too:)
Check it out guys, I haven’t read it yet but I’m pretty sure that it’s really good