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NURU'S BRIDE (standard:drama, 8745 words)
Author: Nadeem ZamanAdded: Jul 17 2014Views/Reads: 1581/821Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Newlyweds Nuru and Amina are not enjoying marital bliss.
 



NURU'S BRIDE “A man can't just be lonely forever,” Dulal said, pouring
more tea into Nuru's glass. “Even an old goat like me, I got married 
when it was time for me to be thinking about being a grandfather.” 

Laughter and good-natured remarks rose from the other regulars of
Dulal's teashop. Nuru stared at his glass, watching the wisps of smoke 
rising from the hot liquid. 

“You are still young,” said Dulal. “Do it now.” 

“Or be a dirty old goat like him,” Sultan thumped Nuru's back, rousing
another round of laughter. 

“Don't listen to these fools,” said Dulal, cheerfully. “Keep your head
up.” 

“Nuru bhai, we'll dance all day and night on your wedding day,” said a
young man who was a regular but whose name Nuru couldn't recall, 
striking a pose. 

“Shame on my store!” Dulal clamped his hands to his skull in mock
horror. “You want to dance like a hijra, go join those film clowns! 
This is a respectable business.” 

Tired of their fooling around, Nuru finished his tea and walked back to
the house, thinking more seriously than he had ever before about 
broaching the topic with the master. His loneliness had grown worse 
since the previous year when his parents died within six months of each 
other. There were suddenly no more letters in the crude handwriting of 
his semiliterate father, with all the quirks of his mother filling 
every line. He had nowhere to go over the holidays, when the master was 
gone and the rest of the servants left, and spent the time alone in the 
large old house. 

His three older brothers had divided the small portion of land left by
their father, cutting Nuru off entirely, reconfirming their resentment 
of him for making the move to the city with their father's help. Since 
they were children they begrudged Nuru for being the one their parents 
doted on, for never getting in trouble, for following and obeying 
orders so well that it made them look lazy and ungrateful, and when 
they married, the brothers forbid their wives against having any 
contact with Nuru, often telling them Nuru was really an orphan that 
their extremely generous parents had adopted. Their father had all but 
banished his three older sons from the house, threatening every day to 
leave them out of his will, which was never made. When the time came, 
it was Nuru that was left out. His brothers' families were strangers to 
Nuru. A distant uncle and aunt were the only family that Nuru stayed in 
touch with. 

Nuru's employer, Nazim Qureshi, was a rich, reclusive man, whose wife
had left him for a renowned playboy of the city, and the two Qureshi 
children had dodged the scandal by leaving the country. That was before 
Nuru's time. He had never seen or met the former Mrs. Qureshi or the 
daughter and son, and only heard tales from the other servants of 
happier times.  The master, however, never spoke about them. The only 
visitors to the house were Mohammed Qasim, the accountant, and Dilwarul 
Moteen, Qureshi's longtime lawyer and friend. 

Nazim Qureshi spent most of his days in his study, hunched over a large
old typewriter, the tapping of which could be heard around the quiet 
house at all hours. More and more Qureshi relegated himself to his 
study, even on many occasions sleeping there. Once Nuru had overheard 
Qureshi telling Dilwarul Moteen that he had, in his twilight years, 
found his calling, which was to set down for posterity the story of his 
family, all its triumphs and troubles, and it was to this endeavor that 
he had completely devoted his days and nights. 

Nuru watched Junab, the cook, prepare the master's afternoon tea, and
offered to deliver it. 

“Must have something important to ask the master,” Junab grinned holding
out the tray. “Be my guest. I'm going to sit and rest my back.” 

Nuru knocked lightly on the door, and entered. Qureshi was consulting a
notebook next to the typewriter. Nuru set the tray down, poured tea, 


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