Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Lass from Bangladesh Part III

Now back to the city Mumtaz found work in a small school and used to teach the little children there. Her grandmother too passed away that week, she was sad that she too had gone but was happy that she had tended to her in her final moments.

Many proposals came for Mumtaz, but Mumtaz never wanted to get married she never wanted to part away from her uncle and aunty the only relatives that she had. Her uncle told her that she was a grown up lady now and she had to move ahead in life. He told her that they were getting old and did not know how long they would be able to look after her. He told her he wanted to see her happily married & settled in life before they both passed away. Mumtaz kind of agreed but very hesitatingly, she made a deal that she would marry on one condition that she would be able to live with them and care for them until they were alive. So the deal was done.

Mumtaz married Tahir one spring day. There was a big wedding reception and Mumtaz was looking very beautiful with the jewels that she wore that her mother had left back for her. She did miss her parents very much that day.

Tahir ran a small grocery store. He was a nice man and she was very happy with him. Her uncle gave her his house as her wedding gift and some jewellery from her aunty. Life went on, Mumtaz would go to teach at the little kindergarten and Tahir to his tore. Days and months passed that summer, her uncle passed away and in another month or two her aunty too passed away. Mumtaz was very sad as she had no one left in this world except her husband. Life went on. Tahir business grew and grew, he managed to buy two stores now and was becoming a big man. He told Mumtaz that she should stop working and stay home. Mumtaz was on her way to motherhood. She too thought it would be good idea as she was getting tired and soon the baby would come. So Mumtaz decided to stay home. It was September and one night Mumtaz felt pain and was screaming, she yelled for Tahir, he came running and then rushed her to the hospital. At the hospital they rushed her to the maternity ward; Tahir was very anxious and happy too. He had no relative himself as he too was an orphan and was brought up by a distant aunt who passed away when he was old enough to stand on his own feet.

The doctor came out of the Operation Theatre – Tahir ran up to him and asked the doctor – the doctor looked at him and said –sorry we could not save the baby but Mumtaz your wife is fine, she had some complications and the baby had actually passed away on the way to the hospital. Tahir was very sad, but glad that his wife was fine; he went inside the ward and sat beside. Mumtaz did not know what happened. She was sedated and deep in sleep. He just held her hands in his hand and stroked it. She stirred a bit and opened an eyes a bit. , she saw Tahir sitting next to her but fell asleep again.

In the evening when she regained consciousnesses she asked Tahir where the baby was. Tahir did not know what to do but explained to her that not to worry. He told her the child had passed away on the way to the hospital, she began to weep, and he consoled her and told her that they could have another baby, but he was glad that she was alive. They discharged her from the hospital and she came home. She was very sad as she had prepared a special crib for the baby but alas no baby. She asked Tahir to move the baby crib and all the d├ęcor that would remind her of the baby. She requested Tahir if she could go back to her teaching for which Tahir agreed as he knew if she stayed home she would suffer from depression. So in October Mumtaz goes back to her teaching and is very happy to be back with the kids.

It was Eid so there was a lot of preparations going on Tahir too were very busy with his store running with full business. Tahir started coming every day late from work and Mumtaz would be asleep by the time he got home as she to used to be tired after her teaching at the school. It was very strange although they lived in the same house and slept on the same beds life was different. Mumtaz hardly saw him or got to talk to him. Even on holidays he would spend his time at the stores that he owned. The next day was Eid and Mumtaz was busy cooking while Tahir walked in by midnight. She was glad to see him, but she found a strange look on his face. She asked him if he would like to eat but he said no and that he had already eaten and come. So he took a shower changed and went straight to bed. Mumtaz tried to talk to him and asked him if had invited any friends over for Eid. She said that she had invited a few of friends from school and if he could join them all for the Eid celebrations. Tahir turned away and said no and that he was too busy. Mumtaz felt a bit hurt but just hid her emotions she did not want to feel sad on Eid day.

Eid day was very busy all her friends came over and they ate drank and chatted for hours together. One of her friends saw a picture of Tahir and her and said to “Mumtaz so that is you husband Tahir” she said yes with a blush on her face. But she found her face sort of different and she noticed a sneer on her friends face Shakila and asked her why that smiles on her face. Shakila did not want to upset her and said nothing. But the next day Mumtaz got hold of Shakila and pulled her aside and asked her the same question. Shakila told her that she was not sure she should tell her but since she insisted she would tell her. They both met in a park after school and Shakila told her a story that would change Mumtaz life completely. She told her that he Tahir was having an affair with another lady by the name of Latifa and that Latifa was Shakila’s neighbor that is how when she saw the photo she was shocked.

That day was a dooms day for her, when she got back home very confused and rejected in life, she waited up to meet her husband, but he did not turn up. She fell asleep waiting for him. She waited a whole week but there was no sign of him. She had fallen sick due to depression and had stopped going t school. Shakila her friend came to visit her and told her that she would try to talk to her neighbor Latifa and tell her what was happening. So Mumtaz was kind of okay. She waited next day for Shakila to come. Shakila came to see her but with bad news that he Tahir had gone ahead and married Latifa a month ago. Mumtaz just fainted; her friend sprayed some water on her face and made her sit up. They two sat talking for hours – Mumtaz was very hurt but she wanted to know why Tahir married another lady and what was lacking in her that he found in Latifa. She nor Shakila could not come to any conclusion. Mumtaz and Shakila became very close friends. Mumtaz accepted Tahir being married again as in the Muslim custom the man is married to marry again by just saying ‘Talak’Talak’Talak” thrice. (Which mean divorce, divorce, divorce?)After a couple months she spotted Tahir he tried to avoid her but could not and so she confronted him, she asked him why he had left her for another, when he told her that he loved kids and wanted to have kids of his own, but learnt that Mumtaz would not be able to bear him anymore kids. She was shocked at what he told her. He told her he knew it the day they lost their baby at the hospital; the doctor had told him that Mumtaz would not be able to get pregnant again. From that day he had decided to find another wife. He told her he did not want to hurt as she was already going through so much in life. Mumtaz had nothing more to say. She left him standing there and went her way

No comments: