Monday, 17 August 2009

Six days to go

- Yesterday? Hmm , what about yesterday.. oh, yeah. I was planning to meet a friend of mine (meeting her today). My mom wanted to see her niece, who is actually only a few years younger than her (rather long to explain) and who lives in another city.
I wanted to actually just be a chauffeur to my parents but you know how difficult it is to say 'No, I don't want to come along' to your mother, especially if you're leaving in less than a week.

I parked the car and went in for around forty-five minutes. There was my cousin and her cousin, my uncle, my parents and myself. My cousin has a daughter my age which makes it obligatory not to use her first name without 'auntie'. Anyways, that's not the issue actually. She is 'pious' and defines herself as someone 'who knows God very well'! That means she's someone who prays on time, goes to small pilgrimage often, wakes up before dawn to catch the morning prayer, and read Quran often. I have to admit I've developed that habit of waiting to see if those who claim to be 'pious' will practice what they preach.

Thirty-five out of the forty-five-minute visit rotated around the husband of my deceased cousin, this cousin's sister. Without going into too much details, it was all backbiting this guy who was not there to defend himself.
In the car..
'Listen, mom. Are you happy about backbiting this guy? So she'd wake up by dawn and pray because 'she knows God well.' This is hypocrisy. It says in Quran we have to pray and I think in the same book it says backbiting is like eating the flesh of your brother and sister. If she's going to do this, there's no need bragging about how well she keeps her prayers.'
'Well, I think you're right. I ask God for forgiveness.'
'Well, I think you actually should. And please tell 'Auntie S to do the same.'

I went home and felt angry with myself for not stepping in to defend the guy and tell them all to shut up.

- Today I spent the morning running errands with my brother. It was a fun morning with him feeling 'high' without taking any drugs. I changed money into dollars and issued traveller's checks. It was amazing to see and hear the employees at American Express talk, joke and call each other names as if I was not a customer standing there. Well, professionalism is nothing but ironed shirts and matching ties.

- In the afternoon, I went to see my friend Yasmine. We've got closer lately although we don't meet up often. She's always been dear to my heart, though. I felt she sincerely cared for me and was excited for my coming up journey.
'I never thought about the veil issue since last time we talked about it,' she said. 'But you crossed my mind the other day when I say my veiled cousin wearing a veil that showed her hair and a pair of trousers that showed most of her calf. To me, at least you're someone who's true to herself rather than putting a piece of cloth on your head when you don't want to.'

- I arrived home and thought about passing by my neighbour to tell her I was travelling soon. I knew she'd be sad to see me leave. I've spent most of my childhood with her two daughter. She didn't look happy so I decided to tell her later. She was cleaning her apartment and looked really tired. There was no one there to help her.
'You know, girl, when I was young, no one gave me good advice. I'm telling you now. Don't have too many kids. One is like two like three like a hundred. You keep carrying their burden till the day you die and no one will actually come and help. Now I thought I'll be happy once the three of them get married. Now they come to visit with their spouses and kids and it's like started all over again. When would I ever get to rest?'
'Auntie, you don't have to. Tell them you're tired. They love you and will understand even if they can't help.'
'I know they would but I'm just tired.'

- I went upstairs. Happy to see my family smile at me.

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