R is for Relative
She was back after a year. During that time her elderly uncle didn’t see her even once though she lived in the same neighborhood. Her language and accent both were coated with thick layers of sugar.
“Uncle jee how are you doing?” The sentence parted her lips in jubilance.
“How come you thought of paying a visit to your old uncle?”
“Uncle jee…” She stretched these two words like elastic, expressing fake disappointment.
“What brought you here?” The old man said stoically.
“Uncle jee with your blessings my younger daughter is getting engaged this Sunday. You have to grace the occasion with your presence.
“Did you invite Arshad, Azmat and Bari?” He counted his brothers’ names in a single breath.
“Well… uncle Arshad is ill so he excused himself. Uncle Azmat is visiting his son in Okara so he might not be available and uncle Bari… refused to come.”
“I might not come because…”
“Don’t say that uncle jee.” She leapt up from her chair and sat down crossed legged in front of the old man’s chair, touching his legs. “Uncle jee, please do come for the sake of the old times when you would be the guardian of my children in the absence of their father. You tutored them, loved them like your own kids. Don’t deprive them of your blessings. I implore you.”
“Did Zoravar come?”
“No, he couldn’t get leave.” She said meekly.
“I heard he was here three months back.”
“He did come from Dubai but he was down with vomiting and upset stomach or else he would have visited you. Even in severe illness he got up one day and said I have to see my uncle… but the doctors had strictly advised him the bed rest.”
Huh! The same old drama, the same old lies I haven’t seen the face of Zoravar in the past nine years. The old man thought bitterly.
“When is the function?”
“At six on Sunday.”
“Hmm…” Boredom was evident from his face.
After having confirmed that the uncle would attend the function she spent the next one hour talking sweetly as if she was the most caring and sincere person in the world.
The old man on the other hand appreciated his brothers’ cleverness on excusing them and pitied his position as a relative who was only needed at such occasions because his nephew’s wife had to save herself from the inquisitive queries of her daughter’s in-laws about the absence of masharaan. (Family elders)