As narrated by Aara :
How did I ever miss this? I wasn’t a neat freak , I wasn’t untidy either, but this envelope had been stuffed away in between books and unopened gifts. Had I really been that dazed when Zoheb went away to New Zealand?
I turned the envelope over… “From The A.K Moolla Group of Companies “. For whatever reason, I hesitated to open it at first…and when I did eventually open it, my hesitation was justified. The contents of this envelope blew me away. This was huge and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for huge. Actually no, scratch that, I don’t think I’d ever be ready for THIS huge!
I dialed Uncle A.K quickly and upon the third ring, he answered .
“Salaam Aara..how are you feeling? ”
“Much better Uncle A.K…actually no..not really…”
“I know that it’s been a while, but..I only just opened that envelope that you had delivered to me”
“Uncle A.K this is a huge responsibility and I can’t..I mean….it’s not right and no it’s just… ”
“Aara calm down…I’ve already spoken to Zoheb, he’s fine with it and I don’t trust anyone else with this except you ”
“No buts…If there’s anyone who would do anything for my son, it’s you. I’ll admit that when I wrote that will I thought that both of you would get married some day…but fate had other plans. Even then Aara, I wouldn’t change anything ”
I looked at my phone and then at this envelope again. I dialed Zoheb, and Uncle A.K was right, Zoheb knew about it and said that we would talk about it one day but that it was okay and I shouldn’t stress.
Don’t stress. Very easy to say. Very hard to do.
I put the envelope and it’s contents into my safe and looked around my apartment. Immy and Maariah would be living here soon. He was looking for a bigger place and I’d be moving out soon anyway. I had told him that I wasn’t selling, I don’t know if I ever would. This place had too many memories…This was the first home that belonged to me. They could live here for as long as they wanted to, they would take care of the levies etc and when and if I ever decided to sell, they’d be given the first preference.
Over the past few days, I have been packing boxes and sorting cupboards in between all these functions. Zoheb had already taken most of it to his apartment…or to our apartment rather. But there just seemed to be more and more things coming out of God knows where! It’s as though things seemed to multiply themselves in my cupboards..or..have I been shopping too much?
This was an unconventional taleem. It was more of another High Tea with an Islamic note to it. Every kind of savoury under the sun, graced the huge tables, desserts and fancy drinks, tons of sweetmeats… It sounds wrong right? Because it is! It was more of a fashion extravaganza with so many ladies in blingy fancy abayas, tons of jewellery and made up faces. We were definitely doing every function wrong but the taleem was supposed to be different if you know what I mean. I needed Immy and I needed him now. But he was in the men’s section where a zikr was taking place. After the ladies would finish the taleem, there was going to be a lecture where everyone could listen in the two separate sections. We were seated in the massive glass veranda and the men were in the lounge. Laeeka looked at me from across the room and rolled her eyes…she had also had enough it seems. This is just such a crazy day and we were beyond tired ! But our escapade last night was worth every bit of tiredness that all of us were experiencing today:)
Aara sat next to Nemo’s mother and listened intently as she tried to stay awake , while Zainab also sat quietly at the front. Tomorrow was our last free day before the next 3 events back to back. The mehndi, the wedding and the walimah. I wanted to shut my eyes and just sleep and then I had the strongest urge to laugh as I wondered what if Nemo fell asleep now. Big time double cringe! And no guesses for why!
The lecture was emotionally fulfilling. The topic was naturally, on marriage and the blessings that accompany it. And the moulana spoke about the perks of keeping it small and intimate, free of grandeur and unnecessary expenses. Well, he had guts for sure! Because I’m sure that Zainab’s fathers face must have went from red to purple in under ten seconds!
In any event, like it or lump it – he was 100% correct. Then why was it so difficult to actually go through with it even when we know that it’s the right thing to do? Why do we always give in to societal pressure and go out of our way to portray this grand image for the world to see?
If I ever felt a little guilty for having a small, quick wedding – then right now all of that guilt just dissolved away. I’m so grateful that Immy wanted to do things in the way that we did- we had begun our lives together without any “hoohaa” and we were genuinely very happy! But, to each their own I guess…
As narrated by Riza :
Looking at all us guys dressed in kurtas…hmmm…We looked pretty dashing if I may say so myself!
Nemo, Immy, Sahal, Arshad, Ayaaz and I sat on one end of the tent that had been put up outside, after a thick chow. Ziyaad had struck up a conversation with some of Zainab’s cousins and Zoheb was talking to Maariah’s father. Our better halves were nowhere in sight though.
“So Mr. Matching what’s the story with you and Mrs Matching? ” , I asked our newest addition. We had grown quite fond of him in the past few days because he was just as chilled as us.
“Errrr…’ , Ayaaz said, laughing nervously. ‘There’s no story with us bro”
I looked at the others and all of them had the broadest grins plastered across their faces.
“Okay…then we found you a really nice girl”, I grinned
“Wait…What?I’m not interested in another girl…”, Ayaaz said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously
“Another, you say..so you don’t want the one that we have in mind, you don’t want Reez, so who’s this other girl then? Wait…maybe Reez will know…”, I prodded on, enjoying the mixed expressions on Ayaaz’s face
“No!’ he screamed, trying to stop me from talking to Reez. Ayaaz sighed heavily before speaking again while smiling nervously. “She has a boyfriend….Reez, I mean”
“Shhhuuuuuxxx”, everyone seemed to say together
“But dude, she’s here with you and both of you have that vibe so…you know…and where is this boyfriend anyway?’’, Immy asked
“Yeah I know and she’s been giving me this vibe too, but I don’t want to be the one to come in between them. So no story yet!, “ Ayaaz chuckled. “Her boyfriend is in Cape Town, he’s studying there”
“I don’t like him already”, Nemo mumble with a serious look on his face and crossed his arms against his chest
“I think he’s an ass too….and not just because he has the girl”, Ayaaz said, smirking
And all of us burst out laughing!
“I have an idea”, I said as I typed into my phone and within seconds she was calling me back
“ You think so too!!!” , Aara chuckled, not realizing that the phone was on speaker
“Errrr…you’re on speaker A”
“Doesn’t matter man, it’s just me and Laeeka anyway….Ayaaaaazzzzzzz would you like us to do some fishing for you? But you should know that even if you say no, we’re still going to do it” , she laughed and with all that energy, I thought that she’d burst into the phone any second now
Ayaaz laughed at Aara’s tone of voice and the over excitement, but I could see that he was thinking about her question…when finally…
“Okay, go fish!”, Ayaaz beamed at me…and I didn’t miss the glint of hope that was very evident in his eyes
‘Fingers crossed for you bro”, I smiled
There was just something about two people coming together..be it from the very first realization, that first confession…that first special moment…and very soon I’d be tied in it too. And I couldn’t wait. I should never have waited so long, but it was almost here…and almost mine.
I was busy on my phone, and looking for Maariah when I walked into this lady in a scarf an abaya…well, everyone was wearing a scarf and abaya today.
“I’m so sorry “, I said quickly.
Instinctively, I bent down to help her pick up the things she scattered all over the floor. Girls! What’s the need to carry around all these funny things?! Lipgloss, blush, eyeshadow.. Many other things that were completely foreign to me.
It took me a minute to realize I was the only one on the floor, in my new kurta!. Seriously? Who was this rude woman? I groaned and glanced up. To my surprise, her expression was everything but flattered. Anger, shock, hurt and guilt. Urmmm… Did I do something wrong?
A moment’s silence passed between us as we held each others gaze. Why did she look so familiar….
And that’s when realization hit me like a ton of bricks….It couldn’t be.. I wanted to look at her again to see if it really was her…but deep within my heart, I knew it was. Shit!
“Thank you “, she mumbled angrily, as she grabbed her things out of my hand and proceeded to walk away.
“Wait “, I said aloud, shocking myself. I didn’t receive a response. Obviously. Did I expect her to hug me and act like we’re good old friends?
I gathered my wits and called out to her again.
Sincerest apologies for the delay in posting…we’ve all been incredibly busy…
Fingers crossed for another post tomorrow to make up for this whole week of not posting:)
Thank You to Author S (https://takingmylifeasitcomes.wordpress.com ) and to the Author or Zaakira’s Simple Yet Complex Life (https://zaakirassimpleyetcomplexlife.wordpress.com) and a very warm welcome to LLD:)
Enjoy The pics!