|NURU'S BRIDE (standard:drama, 8745 words)|
|Author: Nadeem Zaman||Added: Jul 17 2014||Views/Reads: 1467/757||Story 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, Click here to read the rest of this story (895 more lines)
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