It was lovely hearing from the readers. Please continue with your input. I will reply in due course, just trying to manage time more effectively.
Sunnah Revival will also start soon InshaAllah 🤍
Happy reading xx
That was my mother’s standard greeting. I always broke my head over why she used an ‘o’ instead of a ‘u’ for the last letter of the standard greeting.
I knew it was weird to notice it, but that was me. Weird it may be. I just noticed odd things.
“Wer are you today? “
“did you read ur Fajr?”
“C if you can bring back some fresh snoek.”
Four separate messages. SMS’s, if you must know. Like, doesn’t she know she can go onto the next line instead of wasting airtime.
But nonetheless, I was glad she hadn’t tried FaceTime. Besides me looking at the crack in the kitchen wall most of the time instead of her face, because she kept pressing the flip button in error, I really wasn’t in the mood to do a virtual tour of the shoreline.
Because yes, okay, I’ll admit it. Even though my mother was not my biggest fan in terms of my corporate achievements, I was a teeny bit scared of her. Okay. Maybe a little more than a teeny bit.
“Are one of the Instagram slaves already responding to your post?” Hamzah asked as he saw me tapping on my phone.
Can anyone be more annoying? Like, why does he even talk?!
The rays of the sun were shining down in a most imposing glare, but I was sure that I could see a smirk on his face as he looked at me shivering. The tide had washed onto the bottom of my jeans. I bent to roll them back down to cover my ankles once again.
I could almost hear Ma ‘tut-tutting’ as I imagined her disappointment at me exposing my sacred ankles.
“Remember Mohsina,” she had said as I left home for the airport.
She was looking at the Uber driver disdainfully as I packed the boot. She was extremely suspicious of Uber drivers. Too much of negative media coverage if you ask me. The minute she saw a car outside, she would check her security group, posting about how there was a suspicious vehicle on the road with one Bravo Mike. How she even learnt that lingo was beyond me.
“Remember Beti,” she said, a little softer as she glanced at him again, “Wherever you go. You are muslimah first.”
And there it started. I often rolled my eyes internally as she conveyed her mini-Bayaan, completely unaffected by her guilt tripping.
The thing was, as long as I knew her, my mother was, by all standards, the traditional Indian one. I think it came from the fact that my maternal grandmother was first generation Indian. Like, ‘from the ship Indian’. That- and one more thing- Ma just had this crazy idea that a girl should grow up to be a good housewife and a homemaker. That’s it. Full stop.
And yes. I’m sure you could imagine the massive argument that ensued when my father broke her rules by letting me study BCom ACCOUNTING. Yes, not just any degree after school to say that their Beti had indeed studied at University. Not even BCom Marketing, like the other girls had ended up changing to, after realising what a killer Accounts was and hastily running to see the Dean to swap over.
No. I HAD to be one of the ones to take it all the way to the end of the fourth year. Honours included. Plus the board exams. She was basically inconsolable.
“It’s easy to talk,” I scoffed, tuning back to the present and shoving the thought of my mother’s disappointments (aka: me) out of my head before turning back to Hamzah. “Why don’t you come and see for yourself?”
Honestly, I was just over his belittling attitude. Just wait until he starts dancing around like a chicken in these icy waters. I snickered to myself. I was camera ready. Blackmail was on its way!
He chuckled, taking it as a joke and oblivious to my plan as he gingerly got up and made his way toward the shoreline. I tightened my hijab and turned to watch him.
I giggled as I watched him jingle a bare foot around, splashing around, almost like a child, grinning to to himself as he cast a playful glance at me, obviously taking delight in this frivolous activity.
“Hey monkey,” I called to him, quite shocked that he wasn’t shivering at the mere prospect of Atlantic seas. “Don’t you think we should go back now?”
Honestly, just saying that was making my heart contract. The thought of not knowing when I would see these beautiful shores again was painful. It was somehow different to being on the east coast where we had family. The dolphins and the tidal pools… the beauty that the west coast boasted was so unique. It really was an amazing sight.
Glory to the One who created it…
I couldn’t help but think about how my parents would love this view. They had always been the outdoorsy type. As kids, we often spent days away on hikes and bikes, early mornings on trips that would hi take us forever, but the experiences after were always well- worth the wait. That said though, I felt guilty for ignoring my mothers last message asking me what I was wearing. My daily attire usually consisted of a loose straight cut pants and a longish top that looked decent. Today, however, the top was creeping a little higher than usual. It wasn’t entirely intentional though.
Okay, maybe it was. I can see you judging me, but let me just explain, okay?
The thing was, work was demanding. I didn’t have time to spend hours on choosing a suitable outfit that looked professional and decent at the same time. My wardrobe was limited. My aim, as I grew in my career and earned more (lots, lots more) money was to buy more appropriate attire. Modest wear. Appropriate in my eyes. And my mothers, okay, if you must know. For now though, I was working on a budget and I had to make what little I had packed, work. I was an aspiring CA and I had to live according to my means.
But anyway, back to the point. How we ended up on the must needed diversion was that a few of us who had headed out for a morning stroll before today’s audit began, just as a little breather.
Believe me, with a boss like ours, we all needed it. And even though I knew that we were working our butts off, habit had it that I still found myself checking my watch more frequently as the time for breakfast and the start of day would commence.
We were a team of seven graduates who had been selected for this short trip and I didn’t want to mess it up. Besides, our boss was not the most understanding of people when it came to being late. When it came to being anything other than perfect, to be honest.
“Hey!” a voice called from behind us. I closed my eyes momentarily as I heard him, hoping it wasn’t who I thought it was. “What are you’ll still doing here?”