By wen can we expect an update
By wen can we expect an update
Previous Chapter: 147588416
Taaveez Banaake Pehnoon Usay
"Did you read about the new Apple Watch?" Asad asked.
"Hmm?" Zoya was dressing Zaid who refused to stay still enough to get his munchkin arms into the tiny tee. Bathing him had already been an exhausting splashfest. She'd get changed herself if she found the time.
"Apparently it can detect if you fall and send an emergency alert," Asad continued, tongue firmly in cheek.
"Really? That's so cool, especially for the elderly--Zaid! Settle down, baby!"
Asad grinned. And not just at his squirming son trying to wriggle away from his Ammi. He took hold of Zaid's waist to steady the little guy. "Hmm, it would be cool for you in particular."
"What would be cool?"
"The watch. For you."
"Why?" Her old one, a birthday gift from him, worked perfectly fine, thank you very much. Why'd she need a new one?
"Well ... since you're such an expert at falling! It could send me an alert and I'd rush to your rescue."
Asad laughed as he knew he would. Making fun of his wife and reliving their history had to be the most M.A. bonus of married life. But then he needed to behave himself too once in a while. How else would he enjoy the benefits of married life?
Meanwhile Zoya flung Zaid's shorts at his face. Asad managed to dogde the missile. Zaid crowed wanting to play this new game. He crawled-toddled to his dad wanting his shorts back. Zaid cackled when Abbu tackled him on his back and shoved his resisting legs into the shorts.
"Buu," he giggled when Asad kissed his toes. "Ah may! Ah may!" Zoya was convinced her son was saying M.A.
And maybe he was.
"So that list, hmmm?" Asad asked after Zaid and Dobby zipped out of the room to go in search of Dadi to tell her how their team won the wrestling game against Ammi and Abbu's.
"What list?" Zoya asked hair scrunchie in her mouth as she re-tied her hair. Zaid and Dobby were chasing each other in the living room, Dadi-search forgotten.
"The one you were reminding me of this morning in the kitchen? The things-only-Zoya-does-for-me list."
She laughed. Now how did she know that list would come back to bite her in the butt.
"Tonight," she promised before skipping off to join the kids.
His phone pinged and Asad pinched the bridge of his nose. Great. Just bloody great. She'd assigned him homework in the office again. He'd made the mistake of telling his wife the other day that she had started to cuss a bit. A lot actually. A lot of F-bombs and shi*ts. And he'd been perfectly neutral in his tone. Totally non-judgmental. Not even a little Akdu. He didn't even frown and growl. There was no Jahanpanah edge to his voice even. But that hadn't stopped her from climbing up that high horse of hers and lecturing him for not understanding context. The context of why she needed to cuss and swear. Or even why he thought she needed his "permish" to speak her mind. When had "permission" been re-named "permish" he'd wondered as she berated him. Where was he when this naamkaran happened?
And now madam had sent him a link to an article. With an angry caption that read: "Here Mr. Khan. Here's your context'." He could well imagine her making the angry air quotes and even splitting the word into two: CAAN and TEXT for added emphasis. She would probably jump up on the settee to make her point.
"Read. It," came the imperial instructions next. "And please note that the writer is an Egyptian-American Muslim feminist--so don't try n tell me about tehzeeb and tameez, K?"
Oh sh*it. Now there really would be a quiz. He better get it right. Asad was almost looking forward to failing and getting deliciously punished. But his wife couldn't be trusted. Asad shuddered. What if she decided a se*x strike was to be the punishment?
Another text soon came tripping. "LOL, I'm not as serious or ticked off as the previous text suggests. Just pash enough about the subject to napalm the opposition!!!"
Oh god, more Americanese vernacular to add to his Zoyadictionary.
Then a final message: "Ironic hunh, that her name's Mona!!!" Little did Raabert know the sisterhood he'd made her a part of with this flippant moniker.
Shaking his head, Asad clicked opened the article. If he didn't, he wouldn't hear the end of it.
Fifteen minutes later he was still reeling. Asad bookmarked the article to re-read later because this needed some serious re-alignment of his "Jahanpanah mode" as his wife liked to call it. Zoya had chipped away at many of his 17thcentury ideas. Thank god. And now thanks to her "pash," he was being introduced to a slew of feminists the world over. Two-three years ago, his Tehzeeb-meter would have gone haywire before going up in smoke at this feminist "radical rudeness" as a form of patriarchal resistance. Because then, in his pre-Zoya life, he had idiotically believed rude behavior in women to be a sin, not a source of empowerment. Look at him now! Now, he was wondering if suggesting making a red-haired Mona Eltahawy doll for their collection would get him brownie points with his wife. If it did, by god, he'd die trying!
"Asad?" Zoya asked after one item had been checked off the wish list that night and she'd quizzed him about his new feminist education.
"I've changed my mind."
She couldn't understand why her husband was laughing all of a sudden. Zoya pouted. "What? What's so funny, Mr. Khan?"
"You're so funny."
"Me? What'd I do that's so hilarious?" That frown was growing. And he was about to be treated to a tempestuous tantrum if he didn't behave his non-funny self.
"You changed your mind once before too. When I got you the iPad and phone to replace the ones you lost in Maglapur."
Zoya still couldn't find the humor in any of this. That was ages ago! What did one thing have to do with the other?
"You were up to your usual Jhansi ki rani antics trying to stop me from finding out that Mariam was hiding in the store room, remember?"
"Hmmm." Of course she remembered that! Silly Mariam had gone traipsing into Mr. Khan's bathroom and left her dupatta there. The only way to not raise his suspicions (or hackles) was to waltz into his room and pretend the dupatta was hers. Luckily she'd spied the paper bag with the new iPad and phone. She had rejected his peace offering just a half hour ago. And voila, her brilliant mind had come up with an M.A. solution. As usual.
"I've changed my mind," she'd said as she grabbed the bag of tech goodies--the perfect decoy. So smart Zoya Farooqui. Always thinking on her brilliant feet!
And Mr. Khan's lips had curled in amusement--even then she'd wondered that the man actually knew how to smile.
"Accha hua badal liya," he'd said. "Pehle wala kaam nahin karta tha!"
And her jaw had come unhinged. Her mouth had formed the biggest, roundest O. Mr. Khan actually being cool and collected and so gorgeously snarky? Admiration at his wit and indignant outrage had warred inside her even then.
" 'Accha hua badal liya. Pehle wala kaam nahin karta tha!' You actually said that to me! To my face! How dare you? So, so evil, Mr. Khan!" And Zoya grabbed the nearest pillow to wallop him.
Asad laughed as he dodged her lobbies. "OK fine, fine. I'm sorry. So what've you changed your mind about this time?"
Zoya's frown reappeared. She wasn't sure she was in the mood to tell him any more. But she couldn't resist laughing when he started to tickle her. "No, stop! Asad, please!"
"Tell me then."
"I was thinking ..." she began after catching her breath. She flashed her eyes at him in warning. Asad held his ears with both hands in mute apology. Would he dare to make fun of his begum's thinking when god knows what pearls of wisdom were about to fall from those lips?
"I was thinking that we won't name our first daughter Amna."
"Why not? I love that name!"
"I know. Me too. But ..."
"What?" Asad sensed her seriousness. Something was bothering her. He pulled her to him to tuck her head under his chin. "Are you OK?"
She nodded. And sniffed.
"Zoya?" Asad grew alarmed. Now he felt more of a heel for making fun of her earlier. "What is it, baby?"
"No, it's nothing to worry about. I was just thinking ... what if we named her Zainab? Would you mind too much?"
"Of course not! That's a great idea--and a lovely tribute to your Ammi. I love it."
Asad smiled. It was so easy to make her smile. And laugh.
"Umm, and it's not just because it's my Ammi's name. I've been reading about the historical Zainab of Karbala too--from the seventh century. She was badass! A great orator and leader. And I found out that Zainab means 'lion-heart.' Wouldn't that be perfect? Asad the lion's daughter, Zainab!"
"And Zoya's," Asad added. "And you're the most lion-hearted of us all!"
Aww, this is why kids, I love your Abbu so damn much.
Zoya held up his palm between them. "And you know with my name, and both the kids' names starting with a 'Z,' your Mangalpur scar would hold even more special meaning!"
Asad smiled. "Only you can make things sound so perfectly symbolic! You planned this, right? I got that scar only to marry a girl who's name started with a 'Z' and to eventually have kids with names beginning with a 'Z.' Are you some magic genie or secret farishta? A cosmic fairy?"
Zoya glowed as she kissed his palm. "I am Zoya Farooqui, Mr. Khan! And Zoya Farooqui kuch bhi kar sakti hai! Apka shandaar muqqaddar bhi likh sakti hai!"
"So tell me again, what the cumgutter things are?" Asad asked after a proper kiss in sajda.
Zoya rolled her eyes. She'd explained the term to the man, in excruciating detail, at least eleventeen times by now--the physics and geography of it, the anatomy. The chemistry. But Mr. Khan was being badmash again.
Asad grinned when he saw her huff in impatience. He loved to see her eyes sparkle, the manic hand gestures, and the eventual blushing when she played the se*xual teacher armed with brand-new lesson plans and vocabulary. My god, the things he had learned from this woman! The things he had no awareness of till she swooped from heaven into his life.
"Hmm?" he encouraged doing his headshake thing when she said nothing.
"What?" The pout and frown intensified. But her lips were curling.
"I forgot. What do they mean, again?"
"Mr. Khan, you know exactly what they mean! You're just being naughty."
"Hey, I was always the best student in school--never naughty!" Asad held the skin at his throat to swear absolute truth. "And I need to know. What if there's a test? I need to get an A+ to impress my teacher!"
Zoya pursed her lips to keep from laughing and flashed her eyes at him. In her book, this guy always got an A+. And he knew it too. She started giggling as she covered her face. "Asad, you're so bad!"
"How bad?" he asked, pulling her hands off her eyes.
"So an F?"
"You know what F stands for, right?"
"As--ad!!!" Only multiple whacks with a pillow would stem all this full-on badmashi. But her giggles got in the way of true retribution.
He tossed the pillow to the floor and dragged her to him by snagging a slim ankle. "How about a live demo this time? You can use my body to show me what cumgutters really are!"
"Oh really? You'll be my anatomical model?"
Asad swallowed. What was he getting himself into?
Ooh, that husky "really" was too much. She thought about the infinite possibilities for a micro-second. And then Zoya hopped off the bed to rummage in the console drawer for his old architect's tool kit. He'd told her about it being his first one from college. It had been expensive at that time. He'd scrimped and saved to be able to buy one.
"Hmm," she murmured as she tapped a thoughtful finger to her chin. "Let's see, what do we need here for our demonstration ... Yes, a ruler! But why are there so many?"
"Some are architectural, and some engineering scales." Asad groaned as she pulled out the anodized aluminum scale.
"Perfect!" Next Zoya held up the T-square. "Nah!" She poked around some more. "What's this?"
He gulped. "It's a laser distance meter."
"A camera? Why a camera?"
"For project photos. And documenting construction progress and design changes." That and the laser meter too had been expensive at the time. He'd had to settle for used ones paid for in installments. Thank god for Mr. Yadav's second-hand electronic shop near the college. And his generous credit policy! It had been a lifesaver for poorer and disadvantaged students.
"Good," Zoya put both articles next to her multiplying supplies. Supplies of torture they would be.
Asad cleared his throat. "An adjustable triangle."
"What's it do?"
"For drafting angles."
"Angles, hmm? It might be just the thing we need to measure cumgutter angles! What're drafting dots?"
Ahh, drafting dots. Something he'd decided to skip buying the first two years. Why spend on frivolous items when common tape would do? Drafting dots were for students whose parents had disposable incomes.
She had added tracing paper, Sharpies and mechanical pencils to the growing pile. My god. The drafting brush too? What exactly did she have planned for him?
Zoya clapped softly for herself. "OK, I think we're ready to begin." Zaid was sleeping after all. She turned around to order her student. "Strip."
"Why so shocked, Mr. Khan? You're the one who wanted an extended lesson with a live demo! I thought you wanted to impress the teacher?"
"Umm ... voh, actually ..."
"Nope, too late now. So class, here we have our student volunteer, Asad Ahmed Khan. Let's give him a big round of applause."
Dobby paused in the middle of washing himself. Ammi was obvio talking to him. She was doing the soft golf claps again. Those always meant that either he or Zaid had done something marvelous ... and since Zaid Miyan was asleep it must mean ...
Dobby stretched his back and rose to stalk over to and circle Ammi. He arched against her jeans.
"Good boy," she murmured in approval. Dobby purred. Though she had probably meant it for the student who was now divesting himself of his kurta.
And that night Mr. Khan was passionately tutored in the subject so he'd never fail any exam ever again. His body as a living canvas, the cumgutters were carefully measured, traced, then outlined and marked with a Sharpie. Zoya had trailed kisses along them after she wrote boldly on his chest in black ink, "MINE!" She told him to roll over and stamped, "Sole Property of Zoya Farooqui," across his back. "Tresspassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," was in fine print--all across his butt. Asad saw what it all looked like in the photos she took, and blushed with pride.
"Delete these," he said later.
"Zoya, please! What if someone sees the pictures?"
"Oh, Mr. Khan! You're too cute but need to have more faith in me. These pictures will go into a special password-protected vault. Along with the others."
Asad gulped. He'd forgotten there were others.
"What others?" he teased, knowing full well he'd be treated to all of them in welcome punishment. He also knew the name of this vault and went beetroot red whenever he remembered the album title: Fifty Shades of Jahanpanah.
Zoya gasped at his audacity to ask "what others?"
"You know exactly 'what others'!"
"I've forgotten. Remind me again."
"Really, Mr. Khan? Playing coy and fishing for compliments again?"
Asad grinned. "I don't need to fish. You'll be thanking me for each one of those x-rated pictures for fifty years to come!"
Oh shit, yes, there was a video too. "Let's watch!"
Zoya cackled in triumph. "Told ja!"
And they relived a video from their honeymoon of a certain rockstar strip-tease he'd performed for her--and the backstage party. This was followed with a live se*xual intermission.
And then they flipped through the snaps of the other strip-tease he'd done for her with a pink boa around his neck with Dobby in front of his junk. This "Desi Boyz" act had been later accompanied by a guitar and the strains of "Beintehaa." There were other risque pictures of Mrs. Khan from her first morning after their nikah, another with her pregnant, and decked in only his tie. And yet another, her breastfeeding their son. In the nude.
This vault was soon closed up, sealed tight with hazaar kisses.
Ahh, the prom! Zoya couldn't help patting herself on the back again. It had been M.A. Better than she'd even imagined. Thank you, Allah miyan!
But like all things in her life, it had seemed like it would be a major disaster at first. First, Zaid had taken ill. A nasty cold and cough had wiped out the little guy. All the phoonks and duas hadn't been able to prevent the cold from setting home in the tiny chest. Poor little Zaid Miyan had to take a leave of absence from his adventures with Dobby Miya-oon--no Operation Pyaari Atma or Lal Dhamaal, no daring Dhoni rescues from Toofan Mona for the kids. The doctor had used terrifying words like "infantile asthma." Local pharmacies had been raided to find just the right nebulizer for Baby Khan.
And then making Zaid miyan sit still for a minimum of ten minutes to wear the nebulizer mask and inhale the congestion-clearing dawa was an Olympic sport. The kid bucked and kicked worse than a horsey. He struggled against the nanu-dadu arms trying to hold him captive. The Badi Dadi-Dadi-Chhoti Dadi and Nani dance choreographies and concerts had no calming effect on him. No balloons could appease him. No bubbles neither. Even Dobby dancing to "DJ wale babu mera gana bajaa de" and assisted by Ammi didn't work.
Only his Nuzzhat Phuphi was somewhat successful with her drama props and swashbuckling dialogues. And only when Abbu read him stories, Zaid didn't mind sitting still while putting the monster mask on. Abbu had taken two days off from work. Ammi had stayed home with him and then she'd fallen sick too.
Tissues flew, a thousand and one thermometers competed with each other as Abbu declared each one of them incredibly foolish.
Asad had his hands full with a sick baby and wife. Dobby tried to help by sniffing both patients' noses, but he'd go flying when either them sneezed in his face. He missed his hourly scritches and petting. Life was generally miserable and there was nothing good to purr about.
And in the midst of spiking temperatures, achy bodies, and phlegmy chests, Zoya was also trying to co-ordinate the prom details. She had to poke her stuffy nose into the finishing touches that Humaira, Aunty, and Nuzzhat were handling. She hated missing out on all the last-minute planning fun! And she also hated that Asad had banned her from chaat, chilled diet cokes, kachoris and pizzas.
"Incre-DIB-ly foolish," she muttered behind his back, making a face. Asad turned around just in time to snatch her phone from her on which she was texting Humaria to pick up a pizza on the way.
"Do I have to confiscate your phone to get you to behave?" he asked patiently, fists on his waist.
"No," he held up a firm finger. "Get better soon and then you can eat whatever crap you want."
"But I'm feeling fine!"
He came over to place a hand on her forehead. "Really? I don't think so."
"Hmmmph!" She wasn't sure she liked this Dr. Jahanpanah too much.
"Rest. Behave. And if you're not running a temperature by this evening, I may think of treating you to a lava brownie." She perked right up with that. Jahanpanah had mastered the art of microwaved mug cakes and brownies lately. "But only if you're good. I'll check with Ammi." Zoya's face fell at the mean-ass finger wagging.
She nearly snapped his finger off but Asad was quicker. Chuckling, he dropped a kiss on her head before heading for work.
Zoya flopped back on her pillow. Ugh, she hated being sick. And so sad that Zaid was sick too. His coughing sounded pretty rough and that wheezy gurgle in the chest was simply heart-breaking. And then the big, bad antibiotics had led to a runny stomach. Poor baby. The only silver lining was that he would let her hold and cuddle him without squirming too much.
Zaid snuffled next to her. Zoya lifted him to settle him on her chest.
He raised his head and beamed.
"Is my baba-baby feeling goody-good?"
"Awww, good boy!" She hugged him. This was good news indeed. Looks like the little Khan was on the road to mending.
Zoya had stopped worrying about Zaid's toota-phoota vocabulary. His babbling had expanded to including multiple syllables however nonsensical they may be.
"If he's respoding to your talk and expressions, waving, pointing ... reaching out for a hug, then he's being perfectly normal," Dr. Sharma had reassured them.
Asad's research had corroborated this as well. So had Ammi's gentle advice. "Najma talked sooner because girls do that. But Asad took his sweet time."
"I bet it was because Mr. Khan was waiting for his words to sound just perfect! What was his first word, Ammi? I'm sure it was 'Ammi!' " Then Zoya's smile fell. What if it was "Abbu" instead? Poor Mr. Khan--that would be such sad irony.
Dilshad laughed and Zoya perked. OK great, this meant his first word wasn't something that would've caused pain to both of them as Asad grew older.
"I wish it was 'Ammi.' But Asad's first proper word after variations of 'mama' and 'baba' was, 'nahin'!"
"So you're tryna tell me that he didn't say 'no' which woulda been shorter, more efficient. That Jahanpanah actually went in for a two-syllable, harder word, 'nahin'?"
"And he even pronounced the half 'n' sound? 'Nahin' he said and not 'nahi?' "
Dilshad raised an eyebrow. "What do you think?"
Zoya started giggling. "Oh my god, how appropriate! Of course, it couldn't have been anything else. He was born trying to control the universe around him, right Ammi!"
"That's not all. As he said 'nahin,' he also held up his tiny little hand to wave a finger--"
"Like he still does?" Zoya was in splits. "Oh my god, I wish I could've seen it! How cute. No wonder I love him so much!"
Dilshad giggled. "Me too!"
"What's so funny," Asad came in wanting to know. He strongly suspected he was the butt of the joke. He smoothed his tie, hung up his suit jacket on the back of a chair, ever so precise, before sitting down at the dining table. Asad leaned over to wipe Zaid's omelettey chin.
"We're just talking about how much we love you!"
Asad blushed, not sure if Zoya was teasing.
"Seriously, I'm not kidding!" Zoya came up to Asad, tipped his head back by his hair, and kissed him smack on the lips before skipping off to their room.
Asad blushed harder. Damn, right in front of Ammi. Now he'd have to re-comb his hair before leaving for work. The woman had not an ounce of decorum, tehzeeb, lihaz or aabroo.
The fevers eventually receded. Coughs lingered. Doctors pronounced them healthy enough to return to regular activities. Grateful sadqas followed. And both Zaid and Zoya re-found their grooves in a fingersnap. Dobby's depression lifted too. And the families heaved a massive sigh of relief.
Even the prom prep's hiccups dissolved.
Asad had flat refused to attend the event initially.
"You know I hate parties and get-togthers."
"Yes, but the whole family will be there!"
"You also know I wouldn't have said no to just family. But there'll be too many other people there and I don't want to chit-chat and move and mingle with someone I don't know. I'd be happier at home."
"But Asad, you have to meet with people, be social!"
"Why do I need to be social? I have you."
Arrrgh. Now how do you counter that kinda sweetness!
"But I'll miss you and won't have any fun without you."
And that, apparently was just enough to blackmail her Akdu into going.
Zoya had been dying to get a DJ and Ayaan had appointed himself the manager for this particular event. But no, Mona darling wanted a female DJ. No lists or reviews of the city's bestest and toppest DJs had persuaded her.
"I want a badass girl DJ, and that's that!"
Humaira hadn't been too pleased about Ayaan supervising the auditions. Her General Jeeju had come to her rescue by assigning Ayaan work that would take him far, far away from girl DJ performances. Amit had filled in instead.
Another mushkil tackled and overcome.
On the big day they had all dressed simply to not overshadow the kids' proud outfits and costumes. The older girls had designed and crafted their own wrist corsages. The moms had helped by teaching them to crochet roses and orchids that would be the centerpiece of each ornament.
Juice, chaat, Chinese food, tikki, samosa, jalebi, kulfi and ice cream stalls pocked the courtyard at the Children's Center. Some were manned by the students themselves. Carnival games entertained guests of all ages outside; graduates mingled in their finest inside the auditorium. Photo booths and props in the corners had everyone modeling in super formal as well as whacky poses.
The freestyle dancing and party moves were preceded by boisterous choreographies of the children's performances. The tiny ones performed to "Yahan ke hum Sikandar" and a standing ovation. The middle schoolers did a funny skit on the power of education. Everyone loved the old song, "Sikandar ne Porus se ki thi ladai" that opened their act. Even the teachers danced on a medley of Bollywood songs much to the kids' delight. The high schoolers had topped it off with "Masti ki paathshala!"
The DJ and dance party were the perfect icing to follow the fashion show, raffle, and crowning of the prom king and queen.
Asad had been particularly charmed by the choice of some old dance songs. And how the oldies had perked up! Dadi lapped up all the attention as she belted at the top of her voice, "Monica, oh my darling!" Siddiqui Saheb hadn't been too horrified at this display. And then he too couldn't help but smile at the youngsters dancing to "Eena, meena, dika," "Udein jab jab zulfein teri," or "Uthe sabke kadam."
Of course Asad had forbidden slow dances despite his wife's infernal pouts and verbal acrobatics.
"This is Bhopal not New York."
"But being in love is such a grand thing!"
"Zoya, they're kids!"
"Hmmpph. Mr. Khan, you act as though I know nothing!"
"I don't act as if you know nothing, YOU act as though you know nothing!"
"But Asad think, what if you had taken me to my prom! We'd have slow-danced together all night long. Wouldn't it have been absolutely gorgeous? We'd be childhood sweethearts who married young and lived happily ever after."
Of course his wife knew exactly how make him feel guilty for being right. And sensible. "So you're not content with our real love story and would rather have fiction? Aren't we married, and already living happily ever after?"
"Mr. Khan, you're so useless!"
"I'm useless? Mrs. Khan, you need to get your head examined." Asad yanked her to him. "Get this straight: one, these are kids in Bhopal not unsupervised, se*xually active teens in New York. Two, how could you and I have gone to your prom together? I was looking for a job at that time, barely out of college. Najma was still a kid! I didn't have time for high school dances, nor the clothes to escort anyone to a party."
Zoya sniffed. "Not fair Mr. Khan, making me feel terrible now for wanting you to be my prom date. Can't a girl dream of alternate endings and beginnings to a fairy tale romance?"
Asad sighed in surrender before kissing her. "Fine, you dream. I'll be the practical one. God knows, one of us needs to be the sane one around here."
"Oh really? And you think I'm insane?"
"Maybe just a little?"
She made a face.
But she didn't make a face when Asad surprised her on day of the prom. First of all, she got a million dozen red roses delivered to the house in the afternoon with a card asking: "Will you be my date for the prom?" There was even a small box with the traditional corsage.
She had screamed. Dilshad came running to find her daughter-in-law jumping on the sofa. Even Zaid had fallen back on his startled butt, distracted from reading Abbu's book--he was putting Dobby to sleep by patting the cat's back and telling him a bedtime story, like Ammi and Abbu did to him.
Only later would Asad reveal to her how much time he had spent googling American proms and its quaint customs. The corsage was tricky and had to be special-ordered and designed--Asad had spent a good amount of time on the phone, sending pictures and Youtube videos to get the details just right.
Then half way through the party, Asad pulled out his second and best surprise yet--a head-signal to the DJ was all that was needed and the music slowed down. Zoya's eyes misted when "Teri meri, meri teri prem kahani hai mushkil" came on. And then when Asad stepped forward to formally ask her to dance, she blushed. Mr. Khan, you're impossible. And so perfect!
He twirled her and the kids around them giggled and oohed and ahhed. Ayaan led Humaira to the dance floor and Nuzzhat dragged her blushing Abbu to be her partner. Amit asked Dadi for a dance and she beamed. Other couples were soon swaying around them.
"Happy?" Asad asked after a serious dip and spin.
"So I'm forgiven for being too practical?"
"Yes you are, Mr. Khan. Yes you are. You do you--continue to be more practical than ever!"
"Thank you." Asad dipped his head in acknowledgement of his romantic superpowers. "Sugar, tonight?"
"Everything on your wish list! But why did you choose this song? It's kinda sad."
"Hmm, it had the 'prem kahani' part that you wanted. And our love story started a bit sad, so ..." She pouted and nodded her head. Asad tipped her chin up. "And I did ask her to play the best song later."
"Really? Which one?"
"You'll just have to wait and see. So with both these songs we get the beginning and middle of our 'prem kahani'."
Asad caught the DJ's eye and tilted his head yet again.
"Oh my god Asad, have I told you how much of a super Adorable and Romantic Khan you actually are!" Zoya gushed when she heard the opening bar of "Bol na halke halke."
"I love you so much for being my prom date," she whispered as she rested her head on his shoulder. How was it possible for him to be her Prince Charming and Fairy Godmother in their fairy tale! Uh-oh, and now she couldn't get the idea of a magic wand out of her head!
"You're welcome," Asad breathed as they swayed in each other's arms.
A second later he blushed through a grin when his wife told him what had just popped into her wicked head.
Yup, she was his magic. His Scheherazade. He was Aladdin to her Princess Jasmine, and now, thanks to her, he couldn't get the vision of magic wands, enchanted lamps, flying carpets ... or glass slippers dancing on his shoulders out of his head.
When Dilshad came to deposit a sleepy baby in their arms the three of them held on to each other till Zaid fell asleep at his dad's shoulder.
Of course the DJ didn't forget to play the newer songs. So the kids didn't miss out on dancing to "Abhi to party shuru hui hai," "Kala chashma," "Ladki beautiful," or "Nachenge saari raat."
But by that time Zoya had checked out.
The rest of the evening she sat by a parked stroller, animated face in her hands, her son fast asleep next to her. Zoya was still in a dreamy fog of being hopelessly in love all over again.
Damn, she loved proms!
And in her love-coma, Zoya missed Humaira trying to make eyes at her to indicate how taken up Amit was with the DJ. Amit had earlier enthralled the younger guests with a rap performance on true love and its mushkils, plus happily ever afters. Of course it had been PG-13! There was no way he'd offend his favorite Sir. But if anyone paid real close attention to the lyrics, they'd have connected the dots to a certain prem kahani that they were all witness to. It talked of head-on collisions, bitter feuds and screaming matches, daring rescues from vipers and vampires, and, "Ishq pe zor nahin."
Song in Title:
Dil se (1998): "Chhainya Chhainya"
Next Chapter: 149831774Edited by Klondy - 2019-03-10T12:05:25Z
Topic started by dixeij
Last replied by -jass-