Prejudice And The Prince
I remember the day Amiir was born. It was an honour for me to be present in the bedchambers of Lady Sara to bring him into the world.
The midwife had arrived that afternoon and had conquered the entire house, ordering us about. I had to fetch a hanky, which she stuffed inside Lady Sara’s mouth. The midwife, a large woman, kept saying “yadfa’ ” which roughly meant ‘push’.
Several yadfa’s later, Amiir was born.
It was I who conveyed the good news to Sir Aziz. His eyes brimmed with tears when he saw he had borne a prince to carry his legacy.
I remember the midwife lay the prince swaddled in rich blue silk like a papoose on the outstretched arms of Sir Aziz.
Sir Aziz looked at his son’s gray eyes admiringly and raised the baby’s ears to his lips as he voiced the Azan in Amiir’s ears.
In a voice that I had never before heard, Sir Aziz crooned, “Abu is here.., my son, Abu is here.”
He placed a large bangle on Lady Sara’s pillow and put a few gold coins in the baby’s crib.
My grandmother whom I lovingly called Jeddhi, told me later that it was a customary practice for the father to present a piece of jewellery and add gold coins into the crib as fit his financial situation.
I asked Jeddhi how much Sir Aziz had put when I, his daughter was born.
Jeddhi just wiped a stubborn tear from the corner of her eyes and embraced me in her arms. “But you’re a daughter habibi, you’re only a disappointment..” I heard the regret in her voice.
I did not dare ask for how long I had to call my father, Sir Aziz.