Daughters in Law – Part 3
By Thiyam Ningol, Dr. Nalini (Africa)
Noor was working in Cyprus. Very few black Africans were employed in the firm where he worked; most of his colleagues regarded Africa as a country. No other Tanzanian was there. Thus hardly anyone could get detailed information about Noor. The only single manned Embassy was to facilitate visa and passport problems for the east African region at the East African Embassies located in Turkey and Greece.
Asha got full support from her in laws.
When she left for her studies, she got a good coverage story that she was finally going to join her husband though she had to admit to herself that it was partly true. She was determined to meet her husband who abandoned her.
In the Tanzanian embassy in Turkey, Asha met a middle aged lady, working as a secretary. Asha found her as very understanding and kind hearted lady. She revealed her secrets to her. Asha had not told even to her own mother what happened to her marriage night. She did not like to make her parents feel guilty. Moreover she had not yet accepted the defeat. It was just the beginning of the war.
Mama Mukama, the lady in the embassy understood Asha very well. She herself was a circumstantial victim. Her husband utilized all the facilities and luxuries entitled to him as the spouse of a diplomat, but he refused to stay with her abroad during her service. He would come on and off, but he mostly stayed at home enjoyoing the company of young girls. She promised Asha to provide all the help she could render in her capacity.
She managed to look for a job for Asha in the Northern part of Cyprus, the Turkish Cyprus. Noor was in the southern part, the Greek part. For the foreigners, it was easier to travel in and out from one place to another.
After completing her studies, Asha directly went to Cyprus. It took her some months to get established. As she learnt the Turkish language while she was undergoing the training, it made her easier to work and get established. Rehema sent her the address of the firm where Noor was working.
Time had come for her to start making strategic plans how to make the first approach. She did not like to scare away Noor from the first wrong move. She calculated the best time to make the surprise visit.
It was idd-ul fitr. She had 2 days free time. She took an early morning bus and headed for Noor’s residence. She learnt that his wife was a Christian, but not a practicing Christian. They had 2 children, a boy and girl of 5yrs and 2 years old. She bought presents for the kids and a lovely IDD card. She took along a packet of “Dates”, the traditional palm tree fruit used during Ramadhan by most of the people.
The door bell was responded by a pleasant lady in her early thirties, but she looked surprised to find an African girl at her doorstep. Asha introduced herself as a family friend of Noor and the rest of the introduction she told the truth- that she was working in Cyprus as a nurse. During the festive season she felt homesick and decided to come and join a family whom she was very closed. Unfortunately Noor was on duty. But it was a boon to Asha. She managed to win the sympathy of the wife of her target. It was unexpected but favourable.
The children had never been in the company of an African except their father. Their mother introduced Asha to the children as aunty from their father’s side. The younger one was reluctant to greet Asha but the older boy approached Asha with enthusiasm. He enjoyed the caring nature of Asha. Within no time, Asha got her ally.
Yanula, Noor’s wife treated Asha with respect. But she avoided asking questions about Noor’s family. Asha sensed the deliberate avoidance. There was no need for her to alert. So she also talked about general life, about the children and work. With a strange coincidence Yanula turned out to be a nurse as well, a theatre nurse. They had a lot common to talk about without necessarily touching Noor’s family affairs. Yanula wanted to phone Noor informing about the guest. But Asha insisted her not to disturb him. She promised to come back some other time again.
After a good time with Yanula and the children, Asha left. At least the starting was favourable. It made her easier to make further plans. One thing she was sure, through Yanula she was going to reach Noor.
From time to time she had casual exchange of greetings with Yanula through phone.
In her second visit to Noor’s place, she had a brief encounter with Noor, as brief as the night of their marriage.
After the formal greetings, Noor excused himself as he was going to attend an emergency meeting, unscheduled, that too on a Sunday.
Yanula noticed the tension between the two of them but she waved off the intention of finding out. For so long a time if his relatives had not recognized and accepted his family, naturally he would not be interested to entertain their family friend. But she found personally Asha to be a nice person and was willing to continue their friendship. By talking to Asha, she felt that she was understanding her husband better. But Noor felt the opposite. Yanula’s change in behaviour, wanting to know more about his country, about his favourite festivals made him feel uneasy. He knew it was Asha’s influence. He had to stop it before the matters went too far.
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