This story begins with My Cinderella. Thank you.
Owais, the eldest son of uncle Izhar, asked me if I was interested in Papaya milk shake.
I said “Aye” and he brought me a large cup of milk shake and I drank it all and said “Thanks, I feel fine,” like once Rasputin in BoneyM song.
After a little while, we went to sleep. They all slept in the two large adjacent rooms while I slept alone like a king in the smaller, inner room.
When I woke up in the morning, I knew the secret of my royal treatment.
The whole sheep of cousins were still asleep. All ten children of uncle Izhar, their parents, besides Safia and her mother.
Owais was sleeping in front of my door and had blocked my way out.
I went back in and lied down, waiting for Owais to wake up and unblock my way out.
At 11am, Safia and Owais woke up and I managed to slip out.
They gave me a cup of black coffee.
I took a sip. It wasn’t coffee.
“Who made this tea?” I wondered.
“Ma ba dawlat” declared Safia with pride.
It’s an Urdu idiom that means “courtesy of mine” but “dawlat” literally means “wealth”.
“Say ‘Ma ba ghurbat’!” I corrected. “ghurbat” means “poverty”.
“How can you drink this crap?” I asked Owais, because it severely lacked some milk and sugar and it was bitter like poison.
This was another humiliation because Safia stupid never learned any culinary arts and she and Owais had used up all milk in making my milk shake the night before to humiliate me.
When the others woke up, Mehmood, the younger brother of Owais, asked me if I had diarrhea.
“No, why?” I enquired.
“Because Safia had papaya milk shake and soiled her shalwar (pants) yesterday because of milk shake that caused her diarrhea.”
“It’s not Papaya. She got constipation problem while I don’t” I explained without laughing at Safia who had used Owais to arrange a revenge by giving me milk shake that would cause me diarrhea while Owais slept blocking my door to ensure I wouldn’t be able to rush to the toilet and soil my jeans and the room.
I could have burst into a resounding laugh to add to Safia’s humiliation and her foolish, failed attempt to humiliate me. But I didn’t.
I chose to forgive.
But she still burned with desire to teach me a lesson for choosing Saima over her.
When she returned back to Rawalpindi, she increased the pace of war on my marriage with Saima.
After I helped book a seat for Aunt Ainy and Safia to go back home, Abid could tolerate my ignorance of his orders to call off my marriage no more.
To add to his humiliation and fire, I started using his phone to make daily calls to Saima instead of using my calling cards.
When he received the bill, he made a fuss but I pushed him aside to make way and he tried to push me to the burning stove but I used to be exceptionally strong. I held his head in my arms.
He is a Judo martial but failed to break my lock and when he gave up resistance, I let go of him and went to sleep.
He howled for a while for causing him Rs600 loss ($8.00).
It was a silly amount to fight over but he still tried to use it as an excuse to call off my marriage and rally brothers against me.
In the morning, he asked me to either stop my emails (and marriage plans) or leave his house before his return at 5:30pm.
I wrote an email informing my brothers of the latest developments and my decision to move to live with Aunt Qudsia.
A couple days earlier, something strange had taken place.
I was studying for my Master of Computer Science when God sent an angel who told me Abid knew I was a Man of God and wanted my help to save his job.
I enquired “Should I pray for him then?”
“NO! He knows you’re a Man of God yet he disrespects you. Pray to Me, instead, to get him fired with humiliation!” Came an unexpected reply.
I then obeyed God my Lord and prayed that Abid would get fired from his coveted job with humiliation and informed all my relatives, giving all the details as goes my habit.
When I arrived at Qudsia’s, she already knew of my advent and the reason. She had been well briefed by Hamid.
She started giving me hell, mocking my stupid, ill-informed confidence in marrying Saima, my Promised Girl.
To add to my troubles, I got malaria fever at her dirty, neglected apartment.
I paid Rs6000 and got her apartment painted afresh and cleaned up.
After two weeks, Hamid paid an urgent visit to Pakistan and offered to renovate our late mom’s house for my stay in lieue of helping Abid get rid of charges of financial embezzlement.
This memoir continues here.