He could’ve built her another Taj Mahal. At least that’s what he always said!
It was the perfect love-story. They met on the first day of college, fell in love almost instantly and promised each other a lifetime together.
He – I can do anything and go against anyone to marry you. No one can stop me!
She’d giggle and they would kiss.
How much would two teenagers know?
They grew up or they thought they did. They decided they were ready to meet the other’s parents. They went to meet his first.
She was at her best attire and he, his usual self. They nervously knocked on the door and stood there holding hands. The door opened to two smiling faces.
He – Hello Ma.
She – Assalamwalekum.
The parents dropped their smile and just stood there blankly. She tried to think about what she might’ve done wrong. Oh! She didn’t know!
They were welcomed inside. At least he was!
They got to talking and she was enquired about. What her parents did for a living, how many siblings she had. The usual! And then the parents went into the kitchen and called him in after a while. She sat out in the hall, nervously fidgeting with her kurta. A while later he came out with a change in his expressions.
He – Listen, I cannot marry you.
She – Wha-t? Wh-why?
He – It’s because…umm…because…you’re short!
She – Rubbish! I know it’s because you worship godly statues and I bow down five times a day in prayer.
He – Umm…no…I don’t know.
She – What about all those promises and the love?
He – I’m helpless. I cannot go against my parents to marry you.
She – Why can’t you guys say this at the beginning?
You come up with such excuses only when it’s time to commit.
He – but there is one way out –
And he was interrupted by his parents. They looked at him waiting for him to say something.
He – She’s ready. She will convert and fit in with us.
She (looking at him) – You know what?
And she walked out.
Author: Zainab Haji