TWO posts in ONE day!!!!!! This calls for a celebration…what y’all say? I realise I should have added this post onto the last one…made it longer and just one post. But these words only flowed after I had published the last post so here we have it…all those requests for bonus posts fulfilled😉
Enjoy and drop me your feedbacks xxx
“Let’s see,” mum consulted her diary, her forehead scrunched, “we have a dawat to attend tomorrow, then the dress fitting to go for after that, another dawat on Friday and a braai dawat on Saturday. Oh and Naseema wants to take us to Knysna on Sunday because her brother and his wife have given us lunch dawat.”
“Why so many dawats already?” I asked, frowning, “I thought dawats are supposed to be AFTER the wedding, not before. Do we prepare for the wedding now or keep going for dawats?”
“Ey, I don’t know!” Mum sighed, “I tried to explain to Naseema but she said everyone is so eager to meet you and make your acquaintance that she couldn’t say no. But I told her that next week is the wedding week so we won’t be accepting any dawats.”
“Yeah, good. Next week will be too hectic anyways, even without going for dawats.”
With nine days to go before the wedding I felt like my nerves were stretched to breaking point. Madrassah had started this week so I didn’t get much time to do anything else. I wished mum would just cancel all the dawats but she couldn’t do that without creating issues, I guess. What made things more stressful were that, no matter how simple Tariq might be…and I didn’t know for sure how simple he also was…his family wasn’t as simple. I hadn’t realised till now just how well known and well connected the Kadwas were. Everywhere I went I was sure to bump into someone who would congratulate us and tell us how lucky we were to have bagged such a wonderful proposal.
“You got the man everyone was holding out for, ma. Count yourself very lucky,” one aunt told me. I had smiled politely and agreed with her but inwardly I cringed at all the extra, unwanted attention that was being heaped on me. I could only hope things died down after the wedding.
Because of all that and seeing how well dressed Aunt Naseema, Sameera and Tariq’s aunts always were, it put an additional pressure on me to meet their standards. I wasn’t a hobo but compared to them I felt very outdated and simple. I had casually asked Sameera if Tariq was simple or would he like his wife to dress up and all. His reply, through her, was that in the house he wanted me to be a supermodel. My eyes widened before I could control my reaction then I composed myself and thanked a giggling Sameera. So that meant additional shopping…and more advice from my married cousins.
“What does being a supermodel entail?” I asked Raeesa, one of my married cousins. I told her what Sameera had told me and she burst out laughing.
“That means he wants you to be a bomb in the house. You’ll need to buy those kind of clothes,” she winked at me.
“Do you mind accompanying me to the mall one of these days?” I asked, my cheeks burning. I wasn’t clueless of course. I knew what kind of clothes we were talking about but I had always worn decent clothes because of always being around dad and Adnaan. And Adnaan was so simple that Sumaya didn’t really dress up that much. Her clothes were more casual and comfy. Raeesa, on the other hand, was a fashionista so she would be able to help me out more.
That Saturday Raeesa came to pick me up nice and early. Amira and Aliyah were with her, already giggling away in the backseat.
“You’ll didn’t have to come along,” I told them, “Rae was more than enough for me.”
“We wouldn’t miss this trip for anything!” Amira declared and they started laughing again. I rolled my eyes and put on my seatbelt.
That trip opened my eyes to a whole new dimension of shopping. Raeesa chose outfits for me that would have made me blush and run in the opposite direction before. I stared at myself slack-jawed in the dressing room mirror, already blushing at the revealing clothes. Miniskirts, halter tops, short, sleeveless dresses…… But he was going to be my husband and if he liked me to dress this way then I would do it for him. And it wasn’t like there would be anyone else staying with us so I’d be able to be free.
Outwardly, I firmly intended, I’d still be simple. Half of Tariq’s huge family didn’t wear abayas and the other half who wore them wore the flashy, bling ones. I preferred simpler ones, because the whole purpose of wearing abaya and niqab was to detract attention from oneself. Tariq’s mum and sister were in full purdah at least so I didn’t feel out of place, just a simpleton but I didn’t want to change myself for them so the new abayas I bought were the style I liked and preferred.
The other dawats we were invited to were small compared to the braai dawat on Saturday. It seemed like the whole of their connections in PE and surrounding areas had turned out for it. There were easily over a hundred people in the mansion owned by Tariq’s chacha. Luckily I had Han by my side and we spotted Sameera among the crowd so we made our way over to sit by her.
“You’d think this is the walima, with so many people around,” I whispered to Sameera.
She laughed. “This is nothing. My family loves these gatherings, we have them almost every month infact. This isn’t even quarter of the people invited for the walima.”
My mind reeled at this piece of information. It looked like I would be doing quite a bit of entertaining after marriage.
“Does everyone take turns at hosting these dawats?” I asked her.
“Yeah, kind of. Everyone just gives as they feel like, I guess. But don’t worry, only the seniors host at their houses,” she added, probably seeing my expression, “you will probably only have to bring one dish at each dawat.”
“I see,” I smiled at her.
The braai was a lavish affair with many different kinds of savouries and starters, followed by different kinds of meats as the main meal and ending with at least five types of desserts. I was stuffed by the end of it all. I sat with Sameera and Han for a while before Aunt Naseema came to take me away and introduce me to the ladies present. I stood by her side making salaam to each woman as I was introduced to her, the many family relations and connections flying over my head. Aunt Naseema must have noticed because as she drew me away again she smiled at me kindly.
“Don’t worry, ma, you’ll soon get to know everyone around. Right now it must be a bit much for you.”
“Yes, all the names and faces are jumbled up in my head,” I admitted and she laughed.
“They all know you now and they like you. We’re lucky to have you joining us soon, Fazila,” she smiled at me and I impulsively gave this lovely woman a hug. I just knew that we were going to get along famously even after marriage.
The next day Aunt Naseema and Uncle Yunus took us to Knysna where we met another branch of the family, the Ravats this time. Aunt Naseema’s brother and family. This dawat was a small affair and I found myself chatting amiably to the women present, making new acquaintances and enjoying the delicious food they had prepared. Nonetheless I was happy to be back home and know that the dawats were over for now.
Now onto the wedding week…