As narrated by Sahal
When my sister sets her mind on something, you can bet on it that it’s going to be huge, weird, and unconventional. Unlike normal people who get married in a hall or garden, Aara chooses to get married on the beach! Yep, and the fact that the sand might actually fly into our food didn’t deter her either!
Ever since she came home she’s been driving me nuts! She wakes me up every single morning by jumping on my bed and then when I tackle her, then very conveniently her leg starts paining. She high jacked every single Galaxy chocolate of mine and placed Chomps in my chocolate jar instead. She had personalized number plates fitted onto my Mini Cooper, and I didn’t even notice it! (Which was her fault anyway ) and got the shock of my life after random people laughed at me..and one of them was kind enough to point it out to me after telling me that it’s cool for someone my age to wear a wig! What blerrry wig??!! My number plate, courtesy of Aara the Annoying, was “Cheesekop -ZN”!! I’d like to think that I am a popular guy in my circles, and there goes my sister!
And then when Nemo decided to come half way through the week, it was double trouble! They badgered me to death! But I have to be honest here…It was a hellava lot of fun too! Especially when Nemo mixed salt in Aara’s tea at his parents house! And madam couldn’t say a thing because Uncle A.K was giving her a free lecture on business and travel and what not. She just had to gulp it down silently! Payback baby haha!
On the home front mum and dad were not too thrilled with her intentions… her plans to become a freelance journalist didn’t go down too well with them, but they soon warmed up to the idea and began spoiling her rotten! Right up to a poofy wedding dress that would eventually end up wet and sandy! Yep, those were her words exactly. And Aara enjoyed every second of it! Her first trip was only going to be three months long but I would have sworn anyone would have thought it was like three years or something! Because she’d wink at me and play the “just now I’m not going to be here ” card and voila…what Aara wants, Aara gets! She was clever like that 😜
And as much as I would love to deny it..albeit three months,I was really going to miss her. So like an obedient brother, I joined the caterers, decor guys and Aara’s friends this morning to get a hands on feel of my sisters wedding.
Luckily for them, it was a beautifully perfect, typical Durban weather day. And the venue that my mum had settled on was my uncle’s stretch of private beach further up on the north coast. And we were dedicated to making it a magical experience for her and Zoheb.
I had thought that her beach idea was terribly insane, but just standing here watching everything come together….I knew what she had up her sleeve and I knew that it surely was going to be a day to remember.
I started to lay out the sunglasses on the entrance table, as well as the buckets and spades and the hats, and went over to Laeeka and Maariah, who were setting up the special kiddies section .
“If I was a kid I’d be in heaven! ” , I squealed in excitement
“That one is already in heaven ” ,Laeeka laughed and motioned towards Riza, sitting on the jumping castle WHILE they inflated it! Man I’ve always wanted to do that!
“This is surely going to be a wedding to remember ” ,Maariah grinned , exclaiming my sentiments aloud
I took a few steps backwards and looked at everything. Several canopies with teal and yellow drapes, a monster braai setup, a giant jumping castle, an even bigger trampoline, a classroom size kiddies play area, volleyball nets and to complete it, a yacht for our sunset cruise. Freaking mind blowing!! The tables were set up so beautifully, right down to the tiniest detail. Absolutely breathtaking!
The nikah was to be performed at the masjid and then everyone would meet and greet at home. And then….We would all come down to the beach. My sister may be a few bolts loose but this time , she had officially made me a fan of her imagination!
I kicked off my shoes and decided to join Riza on the jumping castle and I promise you, I felt as though I was 5 again! Once it was fully inflated, we jumped like there was no tomorrow! Legs up in the air, screaming our lungs out!
As narrated by Aara :
I smiled through my tears of happiness…A huge and happy smile. What was meant to be had happened. Something that was prewritten, a mammoth milestone in my life…had happened.
And when he stepped into my room to meet me , all resistance crumbled. Out of nowhere, a cage full of butterflies had set themselves free inside my tummy, making me as nervous as I’ve never been my entire life.
Zoheb entered my room with his eyes closed and I rolled mines in return.
“Stop rolling your eyes “, he chuckled
“Well then open your eyes ” , I whispered
“Nope…”, Zoheb grinned mischievously, “I know that I said that I would only see you next as my wife…but…”
“But….” , I whispered nervously
“But my wife has to pay me in kind first “, he said with a teasing smile
I was so grateful that his eyes were closed because I was blushing from ear to ear! It was so weird because everything was legal..but I felt so self conscious it was unbelievable!
“Okay fine ” , I said coming closer, my heart thudding frantically in my chest
“And don’t even think about pranking me beautiful..I’d love this moment to be one that I will remember forever ”
I laughed to myself…because I had contemplated paying him in “kind” with a few chocolates that were lying on my dresser.
I stood in front of Zoheb and looked at him..Taking in all of his facial features. Knowing that I would be waking up to his face everyday…and another cage of butterflies unleashed themselves within me…
I kicked off my sandals and took his hand in mine as my hand trembled…
And I allowed myself to be swept back into our many memories of this very action…as I gently climbed onto his shoes , while he immediately steadied me…his eyes still closed ,
I wrapped my arms around his neck…and feeling his heart beating just as fast as mines made me even more nervous..
Gently rubbing my face against his as I whispered with no tune but just as words into his ear…something that he had said to me on the night of Riza and Laeeka’s engagement. The night that changed the equation of our “relationship”.
Mere haath mein tera haath ho…
Saari jannate mere saath ho…
Thu jo paas ho Phir kya ye jaha..
Theri pyar mein ho jawo fanaa. ..
Zoheb opened his eyes and looked into mine. … His eyes reflecting the same sincerity as that night. In its deep dark grey hues of intensity..I saw my reflection. And a sudden panic filled my heart, causing me to hold onto him tightly.
“I love you Zoheb…I always will ” , I whispered
“And I love you”, he said, as he held me close to him, in an embrace that pulled me deep into the sanctuary of his pure heart.
As narrated by Aunty Salma:
Tears of joy fell from my eyes as I watched my daughter and my new son in law descend the staircase together. Hassan held onto my hand reassuringly, he knew why. I had always thought that Naeem and Aara would get married, but this is life and Zoheb is also such a good boy. And he loves my daughter dearly, and that is what is most important.
From the day that I had discovered that I was expecting, my lifes happiness multiplied overnight. And when Aara was born, it was as though that happiness had taken physical shape. She stole our hearts immediately. Looking at her now, as a married woman is such an overwhelming feeling. And I am sure that it is normal for any parent to feel this way.
She will now have her own home, her own life. Everything changes in a second.
And as though she had been reading my mind, she rushed towards us and hugged both of us together, thanking us over and over again.
“My baby girl”, I said, sobbing as I held her, “You make such a beautiful bride Masha Allah”
Hassan was just as overwhelmed but hid it inside his smiles and laughter. Aara was a piece of his heart too, and he was very attached to her. Even when he cupped her face in his hands and kissed her forehead, he remained composed.
“Oh save the tears for later dudes”, Sahal said dramatically, as he put his arm around me, “we have a beach party to get to!”
The other half of my heart was just as loud as his sister, and while I wiped away the tears off my face , the tears that fell from my heart continued to flow.
A little girl will always remain that for her parents. A little girl. No matter how old she grows, even when she gets married and has children of her own. That bond that was created from the time that I held her within me, is unbreakable, unexplainable…and unforgettable.