A Strange Tale

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Written by: Hafsa Bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani

A few days ago, we had to attend the marriage ceremony of one of our distant relative's son. My friend Fareena also accompanied us. Fareena had recently quarreled with her husband, left his house and come to live with her parents. We tried to reason with her that it was not good to leave one’s husband's home but she was stubborn and wouldn’t listen. My mother and grandmother said to her, "Fareena beti, after marriage, a husband is everything for a woman. Learn to ignore petty things. Go back to your home." "Grandma just now I am going to the wedding with you. I shall think over it after that," she said carelessly.
We really enjoyed the marriage ceremony. Among the guests, there were many women old and young, teenagers and little girls. Some women were of my age too and we sat on the carpet spread over the floor with them. All of sudden we saw a strange scene which left us astonished. We saw that two women were hugging a girl of about six or seven years. They were embracing her, kissing her and giving her their blessings. I could not help asking the girl about the women who were showering her with such love. "Are the two women related to you?" I asked her. "Both of them are my mothers," she replied. “Both of them are your mothers?" I asked her in surprise. "Yes, but why are you so surprised?" she asked me. "I mean. Did your father marry both of them?" "Yes, he did." "Do both your mothers live together? I mean do they live in the same house?" Before the little girl could reply, one of the mothers interrupted and said, "Yes beti, we are both her mothers and we live in the same home but none can differentiate who her real mother is. Alhamdulillah, all of us live together in love and peace." "Wow! It is fantastic. O.K, now tell me whose marriage was arranged first?" my friend Fareena asked her, laughing. Meanwhile an old woman, more than fifty years old, came and joined our conversation. "Girls, I will answer your question. I will tell you the whole story." "Who are you auntie?" I asked her. The old woman coughed and said, "The woman clad in red clothes is my daughter. She got married first. She got angry with her husband over a trivial matter, left husband's home and came to live with me. Instead of guiding her on the right path, I supported her wrong decision. Her husband came to me for reconciliation but I wouldn’t listen to him and sent him back without his wife. He went back sadly.” She sighed deeply and continued, "I was very arrogant. I thought that no one would give him their daughter in marriage. It was only I who had given him my daughter and I was fool to do so. He threatened me that he would marry another woman if his wife did not come back to his home. I did not give any importance to his threat. Then my brother gave him his daughter in marriage. When I saw that he had married another woman, i.e. my niece, I scolded my daughter and said to her, ‘Go back your husband's home quickly lest he divorce you now.’ My daughter at once returned to her home. I took her there myself. Thank Allah سبحانہ و تعالی that he accepted her and let her enter his home. Since that day, both these women have been living like best friends in the same home.” She stopped for a few moments and then went on to say, "Beti, this happened to me because of my arrogance. Allah سبحانہ و تعالی taught me a lesson that arrogance does not suit human beings.” She sighed deeply. "I was very arrogant in my youth. My son-in-law used to be very ugly. I remember quite well that when he was about four or five years old, I said to myself, ‘Who will give this black cat his daughter in marriage? Only a pauper whose grain runs short will give him his daughter.’ Allah سبحانہ و تعالی showed me that he got two wives. Both are my own blood. One is my daughter and other is my niece." Having heard this strange tale, my friend, Fareena, started shivering and said to me, "Let's go back. I have to go home to my husband." "We shall leave after enjoying the marriage ceremony," I said, but Fareena wouldn’t listen. "I am going at once. I don’t want the same thing to happen to me. I cannot tolerate the existence of my husband's second wife." She left the wedding and returned home. Watching her go, I couldn't help laughing.
Note: Dear editor, this a true story. Only the names of the characters have been changed.