The Reluctant Mullah
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Alone in his room in a London madrasah, Musah tries on an abaya, a hijab and a shawl: he has crossed over - to outsiders he has become a Muslim woman. In a Pakistani haveli, his cousin, the nubile Iram, waits to fulfil the will of Dadaji, their grandfather. She and Musa must marry. When Musa's siblings and friends step in to help him fight tradition and achieve what he wants - a love match - their efforts lead to outrage, hilarity and, ultimately, tragedy.
The very air she breathed. Dadaji was the only one who was quiet at night; all of his sons were by contrast loud and boisterous. It was as if the effort of watching over her for the entire day had finally drained him and he relinquished this burden at night as eagerly as he assumed it first thing in the morning. An opinion voiced during the day would be met with harshness, and laughter would be silenced by an angry glare but when the uncles came back from the mosque after the night prayer, it was.
Quick steps to his left and swung his fist into the wall. A pause. Another blow. A trickle of plaster fell and Babarr swung again with the same methodical precision. At the fourth and final blow, large stainless pots and pans fell crashing to the floor, destroying the Pandeys’ orderly world. Musa noticed that Mr and Mrs Pandey had almost merged into one body and they now took large frenzied breaths of air together in perfect unison. Noiselessly Babarr walked out of the kitchen to the stairs.
That. They never ever argued about Kashmir, they just got it on.” Babarr: “Yeah I remember them two…Yeah!” Fourth cup of tea made by Musa. Atmosphere in living room: a pungent but pleasing haze is beginning to form over the head of Babarr. Fifth cup of tea made by Musa. Segment of conversation between Sajid and Babarr: Sajid: “One time I’m down a mosque in Birmingham and they’re all standing in a circle. And in the middle there’s this guy who’s sitting in a chair with his hand out listening.
Them. They don’t bite you know!” “What difference does it make if a guy gives you the eye? Is he gonna take you home? Can you take him home? Can he show you a good time and keep showing you a good time? Suppose you just have a one-night stand with him and you think yeah, this is great, I want more of this and then you start pestering him to give you some more. Before you know it he knows all your buttons and when he starts pushing them you’re gonna run to him like you were his bitch!” “Oh God,”.
What?” asked Amma. “And then I specified that I was looking for a decent Muslim girl, who wants very much to live with her in-laws.” Aboo’s mask of disapproval slipped for a second to reveal a pleased smile. “I said that she must be a practising Muslim who is suitably veiled.” “That’s it?” said Amma incredulously. “Pretty much. I had to pay her of course. I used your card Aboo.” Shabnam grinned at her father’s furious reaction. “My card? My bank card? That card was only supposed to be used.