7. Flawless Facade

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

Adilah handed me back my phone after setting my number on private. I began dialing but quickly cut the call as my nerves got the better of me and I began giggling nervously.

“Ok, ok, sorry,” I quickly said when Adilah glared at me and scolded, “Don’t you dare chicken out, this is my dare for you and you did everyone else’s so you have to do mine. It’s going to help you solve your mystery too so you have to do it.”

Taking a few deep breaths I began dialing and my breath hitched as I panicked when I received an answer, “AssalaamuAlaykum… Hello, Is anybody there?”

“Answer!” Adilah stage whispered.

Putting on my best Indian Aunty accent I replied, “WaAlaykum Salaam beti, It’s gori bai speaking. Is your mummy there?”

…..

“Oh man, I really wanted to speak to her about this water problem I’m having and I need to catch up on all that I missed. Last I spoke to her must be two months ago. So naughty of her not to phone me for so long.”

…..

“You want to help me? What a good child, so helpful girl. What’s your name beti? You know how rusty these old brains are can’t even remember my own husbands name sometimes.”

“Aziza? So beautiful name. Now how could I forget a name like that. I can see what a good helpful girl you are. I’ll tell what I need just now. Such a saari chokri offering to help because your mummy is not there. You know what, My sister-in-laws cousins friends daughter is looking for a girl for her son. He’s such a lovely boy too. I’ll make sure to tell her what a saari chokri you are and how helpful.. . .”

…..

“What!!! Allah paak! What kind you getting married and your mother don’t even invite me for the wedding, Babu has to hear about this.”

……

“Haa so sweet beti you inviting me but its your mother’s job. How could she forget me. Anyway I need my water. Isn’t you said you’ll help me. Please sort it out for me.”

…..

“First fill up the biggest bucket that you can find with water because I don’t want to run out. Tell me when you done with that.”

…..

“Yeah I heard about your sisters fall, I don’t know how your mother told me about that but not about the wedding. Allah must give your sister full shifa.”

I first pumped the air as I realised that I already got a name and she’s already giving me extra info without me having to dig. Obviously I don’t have a clue who her sister is and the details of her fall but the moment she mentioned it I acted like I did.

“Sorry I’m troubling you beti but you know this drought problem is so irritating. My doctor said I need to have my medicine water everyday but now two days no water. Now get the masala dubbo and I’ll tell you what to add.”

“Put one teaspoon haldi, 1 cinnamon stick, five cloves, two tablespoons jeera and one teaspoon garam masala.”

“Right, now add one Disprin and stir it for two minutes.”

“Now hold your nose tight and add two tablespoons of Hing. Yeah I know it smells so terrible but my doctor says that I have to have it. Very good for my constipation problem only I got another problem now, it seems like the wind comes out from my mouth with the way it smells.”

…..

“Now take out exactly three cups and five table spoons and two teaspoons of the mixture into a pot. ”

….

“Cook it until it charr charries and add it back to the bucket.”

…..

“I’m sending babu to come fetch it and he’s in a bit of a rush so please take it outside for him.”

“Sorry beti, you know how forgetful these old brains are. Can you please give me the address again.”

…..

“Bingo!” I exclaimed slamming the phone down. There was no way I could control the triumphant, exultant smile that spread across my face.

 

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