A/N: Thankyou for reading my story! This story is entirely based on a stereotypical pakistani family, and I accept completely that not many pakistani families reflect these attitudes anymore. I used the stereotypical family because I thought my story would work better this way. Thankyou and I hope you enjoy the book! :) xx
I lifted my eyes up from the suitcase to see Auntie Zeba and Uncle Asif-ji stood waiting for me. I tugged at my white shawl so it covered my hair, and stood back whilst Asif-ji hugged his brother hello. It was customary for the women to stay behind until they were called. I watched the joy and happiness as I saw Nanny and Grandpap and more of my little cousin’s join in, saying hello to Father. I felt un-included, as if I wasn't meant to be here.
Slapping a hand to my forehead, I felt the clammy and claustrophobic heat take over my entire body; it was hot, too hot. Much hotter than my beloved England.
"Sufiya! Come here!" My uncle beckoned to me. I stepped forwards in front of him. He smiled at me, and said silkily to my Mother and Father "Ah, yes, beautiful. Mubarak!" He announced, loudly and suddenly. Mubarak. Urdu for congratulations, as he had just told my Father. Why did he just say that? I supposed I was quite tall.
"You come to our house, Sufiya. You have a bedroom near your parents. You enjoy it, yes?" Zeba-ji asked me. I nodded obediently, as she wished. We climbed into the Landrovers outside of the station and Father put the luggage in the back.
We rode the whole way to the house, in a small village far away from the hot crowds and sobbing, snotty kids in too-short stained tops, and coughing people and chatter.
The house was like a palace, the walls painted a dusk rose colour, and a huge dome shaped roof and a glittering staircase that twisted to the top with a gold banister. There was a grand piano next to the staircase, but it looked like it had never been played. I loved to play piano. Seeing as it was a holiday, they wouldn't mind if I played.
There was a myriad of doors. The left door lead out to the gardens and the second door behind it lead to the servant quarters, that we were told not to ever go in ("For fear of diseases" Aunt Zeba had said with a nasty smile).
The right doors lead to the kitchen and vast dining room, with polished silver cutlery and a huge black rectangular table and rich red gold-edged heavy hanging curtains. There was a small matching, smart black dresser with expensive-looking vases lined along the top of it.
There were more rooms- a sophisticated gold and white bathroom, a sitting room, and upstairs: five en-suite bedrooms.
"For younger children. That is, when they come!" Aunt Zeba smiled at Mother,and Mother turned away with a confused frown
"You do not like the house?" Grandpap questioned his daughter-in-law.
"I love it." Mother said firmly, and then muttered, "Fatima-ji, please show me to my room."
"How about Zeba-" Nanny began. Mother serenely raised a hand to stop her.
"I want you." Mother said simply.
"Oh. Well, I don't know this place very well!" Nanny eventually said, accompanied by a nervous laugh.
"I am tired. I shall have a nap. It is nearing the siesta, after all. Phir Milayin ge." Mother said to us.
"Phir Milayin ge." We replied sweetly. Urdu for 'see you later'. Everyone seemed to want to speak Urdu as we retired to the Sitting room, another grand room with plush velvet green sofas and huge French doors and a small TV. I was surprised they could even get TV this far out in the country. There was a glossy pine coffee table with gold boxes of cigars and a box of tissues and a Bollywood DVD.
Reclining in the small chair, I listened to the Urdu words fly back and forth. I knew little Urdu, but I was determined for them to like me, to think that I was making an effort with their language. I picked up one of the boxes of cigars.
"Yeh Kitne Ka Hai?" I stammered. Uncle Asif-ji laughed at his silly niece and took the box from me.
"They cost much too much for you to ever buy!" He answered me in English. "These aren't for cigars, see?" He flipped the lid open to reveal lots of small pictures. "Pictures of us, as a family. I show them to you later."
"If you'd rather we'd speak English..." Grandpap said gently. I blushed a deep shade of crimson.