Some paragraphs of my novel. Read and comment, what you think..."
Colorful strings of-lights draped the outer walls of our house. My brother, Khalid’s friends were on ladders hanging the decorations. An Echo sound system was connected to the big loud-speakers in the four corners of the courtyard. I went back and forth carrying food and greeting the guests. I didn’t know them. All lived in the city. Women drummers sat on the corridor floor. A red carpet was laid on the floor for them. Two ladies were over 40 years old and three were young girls, like me. I think young girls were the dancer girls. Their dresses were silky and shinning with embroidery with golden threads and beautiful mirrors. They wore dark colors like dark blue and orange and yellow. Lightly beating their drums and looking at the women guests who all had dressed in their best and wore makeup.
Every woman or girl was walking, looking, and posing as if they were models in a show. Some had loosed their dupattas from their necks to show their golden necklaces, raising their arms and hands up to exhibit their golden rings and bangles. From head to toe everything matched. Red dress, red sandal, red purse, red nail polish and red lipstick. In this way, the different colors of their dresses made the house like a stage with brightly clad actresses. All were talking one to another. They rarely drank water or tea because they did not want to spoil their lipstick. If they drank then their lipstick would come off on the cups or glasses. If anyone would drink then they quickly opened their purse. Took the lipsticks. Pouted their lips. Painting their lips as the best painter very carefully paints a picture. sage green colored items to pick for maid of the brides
‘Hey, Khalida, come here,’ Aunt Sofia called me. ‘Sit here with them. These are my village friends. Shezza, Reeka and Reela. These two are sisters and Shezza is their cousin. This is Khalida, not my daughter, but my friend, like you.” All laughed and shook hands.
“Khalida, you show them your dresses, sandals, jewelry and makeup,’ Aunt Sofia said. ‘I’ve bought for you. The dowry is my selection, and Khalida liked all because I love her so much.’ All giggled. Aunt Sofia went out of the room.
Before sitting with them, I opened the two cupboards in the room, taking the dowry, putting all on the bed among them.
As I sat, Reela said, “First of all, we like to see only your jewelry.” Because Aunt Fatima said, ‘She has bought five lacs.’ I handed her my jewelry box. She took it and opening it, she said. ‘I want to see your gold. I’ve heard you were given cheap plated jewelry.’
I goggled at her. I impatiently asked. “What fraud?”
They sniggered. ‘No, no,’ Shezza said. ‘We are joking. Fake gold is common. Silver or other metal jewelry are dipped in the gold, and after some weather reality comes out. Then it would be impossible to leave your husband. As the golden stick a bride wears, then this metal golden pleasure is not more powerful and exciting than the golden stick of a husband.’ They laughed and clapped at their own joke.
I blushed as I didn’t understand any reality of their talk. Smiled coyly and bowed head as a bride did.
‘Don’t worry. Khalida,’ Reeka said. ‘So soon, you will be master of that golden stick. First time, it is sore while later it is the sweetest of all. We compete in this golden fighting. These two, Shezza and Reela, are losers. I’m the best fighter in the golden fighting.’ They laughed and laughed.
Hearing their joking and belly laughs, someone turned other’s heads and attention to our room. Some other guests also joined us. Some sat beside me, and some stood around the bed.
‘No lesson further,’ Shezza said and winked at Reeka and Reeka who giggled. ‘Khalida is not a child.’ Looking towards me, she smiled. I nodded and she also nodded.
Anybody was grunting. Somebody was sniggering. One was calling me. ‘Khalida, oh Khalidaaaaa.’ Touching my shoulder, Aunt Sofia was saying. ‘Get up, Khalida.’
I opened my eyes and looked. Aunt Sofia sat beside me on the cot while all others were around the cot. I glared around rubbing my eyes and face, mumbling to myself. That was a dream or a dream prediction.
‘What are you murmuring?’ Aunt Sofia said. ‘What was the dream? Have you dreamed? Tell, tell.’ I scanned their faces.
My brother, Khalid was saying. ‘Having pestered us, she is snoozing and dreaming.”
Ayaana had a way of sniggering and glaring at me. She said to her mother. “What is reality, see this? We’ve come back. Enjoyed a lot, eating, shopping, and laughing.”
And anybody who was calling me and touching was Aunt Sofia who still sat beside me, respectfully looking me and speaking to me. “Have you eaten a meal? I’ve brought roasts for you.’ I told your father to leave me here, but he didn’t understand me. I didn’t want to leave you alone in the house. Wanted to be with you. Wanted to eat and enjoyed only with you. But you didn’t reply to me. I banged, called, spoke, requested to be not a mother but as your best friend. ‘Now get up. Be ready and eat with me. Only you and me. leave all them.’ She kissed my head and grabbed me taking my arm.
Father patted my shoulder and said, “Today, I have bought many dresses, sandals, and other things so that tomorrow you’ll be the princess of our family.”
Uncle Mustafa, Ahmed and some two other persons were bring many packets and boxes and putting them in the room where I slept last night.