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After the Weekend

Yash reached home safe and sound on Monday morning after having attended the ceremonies appertaining to the death of his aunt. He actually had quite a positive experience. He reconnected with a lot of family members whom he had not seen in a long time and was able to swap mobile numbers and email addresses with them. So - no excuses for not keeping in touch now! It is just too easy.

Monday was a holiday for the Muslim festival for Eid. During the day Yash made several telephone calls to his Muslim friends to greet them and wish them a happy Eid. There is one couple we know - Afzal and Sameera. Afzal used to travel to work by train with Yash some fifteen years back until he got a job in our city. Five years ago he got married to Sameera. Mr. Afzal informed Yash that neither he nor any of his family were taking part in any formal holiday celebrations. The reason for this was the fact that his family has suffered several bereavements in the past year. It is considered very disrespectful to the dead here if the family celebrates any birthdays or festivals within a year of the bereavement.

Yesterday, Tuesday, my husband and children were all back to work/school. In the evening Yash was late home as usual, as I tried to organise dinner, homework etc. In the middle of all this, Afzal and Sameera arrived. Unexpectedly. It seems that the two of them were so fed up and gloomy at home what with having holidays and nothing to celebrate, so they decided to get out for a couple of hours and visit us. It was a great idea. I had nothing nice to offer them to eat. All I could give them was tea, plain biscuits and a bit of namkeen (salty snack), but they didn't seem to mind. We enjoyed a nice chat and talked about life, death, and everything in between. Yash didn't arrive home while they were here, but they talked to him by the mobile, and we all agreed to meet soon. Sameera is from another city, and it occurs to me that she needs a friend, someone from outside the family. Well, I'll be that friend if she needs me, we all need someone to talk to sometimes.

Yash and Afzal have been friends for almost two decades. They are close enough. But there is a little something that is never discussed between them. It concerns Mr. Afzal's marriage. A couple of years ago, the long awaited invitation for Mr. Afzal's marriage arrived. And what an occasion it was, what a feast! It took place in a big hotel and the food was - magnificent! I can safely say that it was one of the biggest weddings I've ever been at. But there was one very strange thing - the bride was not Sameera! The bride's name was Aaliya. I remember her clearly. I actually had a long chat with her. She was beautiful, and in her bridal gear, looked simply stunning. But I never saw her again after that night. When we saw Mr. Afzal again, he had a different woman with him, Sameera, whom he introduced to us as 'my wife'. Yash and I never missed a beat, we carried on as if it was all totally normal but naturally, we were wondering...what happened to Aaliya?

Well, believe me, I am least interested in anyone else's business, but it's not exactly usual is it? You see a man getting married and next time you see him the wife is totally different? We never said anything to Afzal, it must have been a highly embarrassing situation for him without us poking our nose in and asking awkward questions. We acted as if nothing was unusual because it was, after all, none of our business. But Yash made a few very discreet enquiries through mutual acquaintances and discovered that Afzal and Aaliya were quickly divorced a short time after they got married owing to incompatibility problems. Afzal's family found him a second bride shortly afterwards and the marriage was celebrated quickly and discreetly. The second marriage seems to have worked out very well. Sameera loves her in laws and they love her and Afzal is full of praise for her cooking and hard work in the family home. That's the highest praise an Indian wife can get.

Well, I have never heard of such a situation before or since. The Muslim community is known for what some would call it's very practical and down to earth approach to marriage and divorce. Well, whatever has happened, it has certainly worked out very well for Afzal and Sameera. I only hope that Afzal's first wife Aaliya is happy too. Wherever she may be.


  1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by to say hello. :) Hump day is just what we'd always call Wednesday. It's the day in the middle of the week (the "hump") and after Wednesday it's a downhill ride to the weekend! Nothing fancy, just some silliness. :)

  2. Hi there, Steph Jordan from SITS. Thanks for coming by. I loved reading your posts. Wow, you have a truly interesting life. I don't know if I could move so far away. What an awesome experience though!

  3. I wonder if Sameera is aware of a previous wife? You are so caring, I hope a strong friendship develops for you with Sameera.

  4. I often think how awkward it must be as a new wife leaving her family and having to adapt to fitting into a new family home.

    So glad that she's well loved and made welcome.


  5. I'm glad you discovered what happened regarding the new wife. It was beginning to sound like an episode of Dallas..when a character leaves the series for a while, then comes back as a completely different person!

    Divorce is becoming more common amongst the Muslim community here. Mr Ayak and I have both been divorced before. It's always a bit difficult being accepted by the in-laws if you're a second wife, and particularly if you are foreigner like me. However, I gather that my in-laws weren't very enamoured of Mr Ayak's first wife, so I did have a small advantage!

  6. What a fascinating post! I would certainly have had a difficult time (over active imagination) acting like all was well when wife one disappeared :-)
    I think it's great insight that she may need a friend. She's lucky to have met you.

  7. It's letting me comment now!

    It sounds as if Afzal and his new wife are a good match. My own identity is not tied up with cooking and working hard in the family home. I would not do well there. ;)

  8. Talk about truth being stranger than fiction! This would be a great story for our Tuesday Morning writing. Your writing is so interesting! I immensely enjoy reading your blog!

  9. Wow, what a fascinating story. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering what had happened to her. You are a lovely person to not ask; I think I'd have been completely gobsmacked. I like to think I wouldn't miss a beat but the open-mouthed, slack-jawed, wide-eyed look I'd be giving might give it away.... ;O)


  10. That's a great story! Once again I'm struck by how sensitively you negotiate the ceremonies and rituals of your life. I bet your in-laws are delighted Yash found you.

  11. I would be rather confused too. lol Glad you sort of found out the situation. It's good that he's found someone that he's happy with now, no matter how it all happened.

    Thanks for visiting me yesterday!! =)

  12. Sounds like you have quite the fascinating life over there. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Always nice to see a new face. :)

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog. You had commented "isn't it great when they sleep?" and it sure is. I have no experience with the helping with homework and have only embraced my role as a SAHM, but I know what you mean about getting the down time when they sleep. :)

    I love your blog and reading about your families traditions and culture. It is fascinating to see how we are so different yet so alike.

  14. Gaelikaa, not only Muslims, it appears that now all urban Indians of all religious callings, are being practical. My son after being married to a lovely girl for five years, decided that it was not working and he and wife discussed it honestly and got divorces by mutual consent. They remain good friends go out together every now and then, and she continues to be my daughter in my home. Her mail and her phone calls still come to my place and I have no problems being her secretary.

    My niece went through an arranged marriage, arranged by very well meaning relatives who knew both the families well. After a grand Indian wedding and exactly after a week, my niece landed up at her parents' home saying that she does not want to be married to the boy. After a quick divorce, again arranged for by the same relatives,
    and two years, she got married again,has two lovely children and is quite the respected lady in the in law's place.

    I can give you a lot of other similar stories from other communities as well.

    India is progressing!

  15. What a mystery you had on your hands for a while. I'm sure you handled it with much more discretion that I would have been able to. I'm sorry to say that tact is not my strongsuit. I'm not proud of it, in fact, it is a quality in myself that I struggle to control, but I just have a knack of putting my foot in my mouth and biting down hard.

  16. Interesting. As long as all are happy, that is truly the main thing at the end of the day...

  17. Wow I've never heard of that before. :) I think that although in some circumstances divorce can be ok (abuse, cheating, not agreeing to children, and probably whatever Mr. Afzal divorced for, considering it was so sudden etc), I find it sad that so many people nowadays enter marriage believing it is something that they can terminate whenever they feel like they don't want to be in the relationship anymore. Marriage is a huge commitment for life.. through good and bad. :)


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