.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This life isn’t ‘easy’. But we get these specific things, amid our fears, sadnesses and uncertainties, that warm our hearts and make us smile.
Yesterday, I went to my aunt’s house. My aunt is currently six months pregnant. One of my cousins (س) is ten years old; the other (ش) is seven. And, in their own ways, they light up my soul [though sometimes the seven-year-old is way too energetic for a tired person like myself (although I would love to be able to match her high energy levels!) She wants to play hide-and-seek together, and then ‘Viper’; wants to brush my hair; sit on the balcony together; watch ‘Try not to Laugh’ videos on YouTube; eat chocolate eggs; do some drawing… all in the space of (half) a day… Maa Shaa Allah, may Allah preserve her effervescent nature!]
My ten-year-old cousin (س) is generally more ‘chill’ in that sense. Likes to play football; prays all her five daily prayers; likes to just sit and talk sometimes.
س and I had to go down to the grocery shop, to get some coriander. [Bengali women seem to really show their love through food, often. My six-months-pregnant aunt prepared some six different dishes, because I was coming around…].
My aunt reminded her daughter to get coriander this time, and not parsley, like last time. So we looked at the parsley and at the coriander, and the way I remember it is that: parsley has pointed leaves.
The girl at the counter looked just a little older than I. My cousin asked her if what we had was indeed coriander, and the sister behind the counter [she had been wearing a black scarf draped over her head, as well as a black Abaya, I think] picked up her phone to double-check. Yes, coriander acquired.
Before we left, and although I know it can seem a little unusual, sometimes, for young people like we to say Salaam (“As-Salaamu ‘alaikum”, i.e. “Peace upon you”) to one another, I thought: why not. So I turned around and said Salaam. And [awwww, I love Muslims.] she said Salaam back. Then: she called us back, to… give us a gift: a green mini prayer mat, with a compass attached to its cover. س later said that she didn’t want it: I could have it. Best believe I will be using this prayer mat for the rest of my life, In Shaa Allah.
[I don’t ‘know’ this woman, but I know that I love her,
and this is part of the beauty of being Muslim.]