“Curse of the Shami Kebabs; The Rishta Aunty”

 

” Curse of the Shami Kebabs: The Rishta Aunty”

As she engulfed
The Shami Kebab,
Stuffing it deeper
Into her oral cavity…
The Rishta Aunty
Said to me conspicuously,
” Lose weight ,
And rejoin the trade,
People demand
A girl; haseen and fair.”
She looked me up
And she looked me down
Her eyebrows
Knitted into a frown.
She took another bite
Of the meaty treat,
And I started to retreat
Into self-conscious defeat.
So I stand no chance
At all , after all.
She’s going to search
The haseenas, et al.
Intelligence, or
Perseverance,
Has no importance
Of course.
They
Require a lady
Without a trace of remorse.
No emotional scars,
And especially
Not physically marred.

Then she took
To relating her tale
Of her daughter’s
Wedding laid to bare.
And I kept thinking
“Must I hear?
Should I care?”
The Rishta Aunty
Then disclosed the dread
That after her daughter’s wedding ,
She felt the empty nest.
And kept cursing her decision,
Indeed, a terrible test.
Unconsciously my eyes
Traced the path
To look at my mother’s expected wrath.
But instead,
My mind reeled a few steps back,
Realizing what a horrible , horrible mess…!

[I deliberately excluded
And cropped
What I think should
Had gone to the halt.
From my abode
Right up to Malir Halt].

I’ll have to include the gory details
Of my gori friends
All discussed
At great length.

My cousin sister’s rishta was discussed,
As I looked at the rishta aunty with disgust.

It’s me right here
It’s my house, you see…?
Can you stuff that
Pretty please?

And stuff she did
Two whole Shami Kebabs
And a couple of bites
Of biscuits with crumbs.
Drowning them down
With peach fruit punch.

So, ladies…
It’s for you to see…
Always keep a pic of
Whoever- you-know-and- please,
For when these ‘ladies’ do the rounds,
You might actually get to be the next ” rishta aunty in town”!

Dr Hafsa Siddiqui ( 2017)