Print Edition - 2018-08-29  |  The Collegian


  • fiction
- Bibhuti Shah

Aug 29, 2018-

The loud Azaan made its way into Jannat’s room in an attempt to rouse every single atom and molecule. Jannat struggled to open her eyes as she sluggishly fished for her watch. The space under her pillow was a vast pool of her belongings. “Where did I keep it?” by now, Jannat was wide awake.  

Jannat was wrapped in a blanket as she watched a video on YouTube. It featured a speech being delivered by a bald man clad in yellow kurta. Her Bhaijaan who was peeping from behind, read the name ‘Guru Gaur Gopal’.

“Abbajaan! Come quick! Yakhuda! What is she doing?! Abbajaan!” Bhaijaan Saleem, aghast, started screaming.

Jannat was petrified when Abbajaan rushed to her room.

Saleem seized her laptop and presented the video to their father. As a result Jannat got one slap, enough to spin her head. As she started crying, her Ammijaan who was cooking Saleem’s favourite keema rushed to see what was happening.

‘’Ya Allah! What did you do?” Saleema Begum shouted at her husband. Muhammad pulled Saleema Begum by her hair and showed her the video that their daughter was watching.

“Look at what she’s watching! This is entirely your fault. Go on, give her so much freedom that she doesn’t falter before flushing our Islamic virtues down the drain.”

“Allah, is it fair? Was I committing a sin?” Jannat questioned Allah with teary eyes and a broken heart that hurt her more than her cheeks did.

“Abbajaan, you made her discontinue Madrassa, and now these Hindu girls are corrupting her soul. These days she doesn’t even wear her hijab.” Saleem continued his list of complaints.

“I have been noticing it all. She has had too much freedom. Continue walking in the same direction and I’ll get you married like your sister. Have you forgotten about Noor?” Muhammed tried to threaten his daughter.

“Saleem, why are you making a mountain out of a molehill? The video has nothing to do with who I am and why I don’t wear hijab,” Jannat had now begun defending herself. “Watch the video for yourself, you orthodox fox!”

“Ya Allah! Saleem, you were right. You need to keep your sister under control. She has even started cussing. You better not use the words that the youngsters your age are using, Jannat!” This time Saleema Begum had joined the parade against Jannat. The poor girl had just opened her mouth to retort when Saleem took the pleasure to give her another tight slap. Jannat’s ear rung. “Inshallah! Well done Saleem.” Both the parents congratulated him.

“Now go put on your hijab!” Saleem ordered Jannat with a sense of victory. Jannat stared hard at everyone before she went to her school, pale in the white hijab, drenched in agony.  

- Shah is a 2 student at St Xavier’s College

Published: 29-08-2018 07:42

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