Begum Shabana was notorious in her neighborhood and among her relatives for her love of gold. She wore two huge bangles in one arm and six thin ones in the other, a couple of rings of which she usually boasted of one belonging to the royal diamond family.
On weddings however, if you had to exclude her face somehow, anyone would be sure to mistake her for the bride. A long malaa (necklace) that she claimed her nephew brought from India was a standard wear along with other items on weddings.
Once Begum Shabana attended a wedding from her neighborhood, the banquet of Jamal, Mrs Furqan’s son, one of her close friends. A plate in hand, she advanced to dwell into some biryani, unaware of her malaa dipping into a bowl of raita (yogurt). She attended the whole wedding unaware of the malaa submerged in raita and the smears of it on her bright green silk Kameez. Surprisingly, no one pointed it out to her, possibly everyone was having a laugh out of it.
She was sort of the chatty aunties that don’t refrain from backbiting and commenting on other’s clothes and accessories and had the weirdest hacks to offer like her famous totka of how to relieve constipation in five easy steps.
5 easy steps to relieve constipation by Begum Shabana:
- Do 15 squats
- Use an Indian toilet, if not available use a potty stool for Western toilets.
- Let it all out
- If it doesn’t cooperate
- Damn that shit
The first time Begum traveled to Saudi Arabia to visit her sister, she was very nervous, which resulted in an upset stomach. In the restroom, she hastily looked around for Muslim shower or a lota, but in vain. Once she dumped the carcass of the morning paratha chai, she used plenty of toilet rolls to clean herself and still wasn’t satisfied which led to a marathon of constant spill of tap water everywhere. Before leaving she accidentally peeked at the remains of her bodily functions which she forgot to flush. The required button was nowhere to be found. After what took her about a few minutes, she was about to give up, when a blue button with a finger sign caught her eye. “Tap”
In the following seconds, Begum’s screams could be heard all around. Two air hostesses knocked at the door and informed her that they were breaking in, opening the latch from outside, they opened the door to a horrified Begum covered in her own dump, the walls of the toilet were decorated with it too. Face red hot, begum couldn’t utter a word, the air hostesses advised her to stay calm. Upon her request, her husband was beckoned to help with the agony that befell his poor wife.
No one would have known of this story if Begum wouldn’t have shared it with her daughter, who weak in her stomach, couldn’t resist narrating it to her sister in Pakistan, who too in excuse of her stomach bug issues, in return shared the tale with her best friend who happened to be the far neighbor of Begum. Hence the embarrassing news spread in Begum’s neighborhood and by the time she was back, everyone had enjoyed the piece at least once over a chat session.
Begum didn’t learn her lesson even after getting bitten so bad in the back, she carried on bad mouthing her neighbors who she thought were just jealous of her vacation to Saudi Arabia. She narrated stories of the Umrah and how she shoved people away to get the kiss of hajar-a-aswad stone, singing her praises of piousness and how lucky she was to offer 8 nafals at the Roza.
Last but not the least, the amount of gold she bought was also a necessary part of the discussion.