... a push, a little slap here and there when things weren't finished properly and on time. He would come home around 4pm demanding this and demanding that after a long day away from home. This I didnt mind, he was bettering himself out in the real world, a world I would no longer be a part of and I would at least give him that. Maybe that would be the reason that on judgement day Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) would say to me "pass next to me through these gates to enjoy eternity with me and your prophets" Insha'Allah
... a bang of the front door at 4am and another demand. What could I do? deny what I have been asked by my creator to give? The smell of alcohol on his breath made me feel sick, but who I am to comment on his nightly visits away from the home? That is his life, a side I am not a part of.
... a piece of paper, a signature demanding something in a language I knew nothing of. A language that was not translated to me by one who boasted it as his first language. Something I would never know if he had anything to do with it, especially with my age, my health, my abilities.
I look at this man sitting across from me at the dinner table as he drinks his tea, the doorbell rings. I think hard about the previous years, I had lost my husband at a young age leaving me with children to fend for in a foreign country. I never though I would be happy again, but my children kept me smiling.. in a world that I couldn't navigate they directed me, but they too navigated away as all children do. I was alone until Tahir came to me, he looked after me.. moved into the family house and everything was happy again.
Then I realised how used to American life he had become. While I, the muslim, tried to hold onto my deen he partied away until the small hours of the morning with women wearing short skirts and even less morals. There would be alcohol and God only knows what else at the places he went to, I just knew to keep my mouth shut and not seem to cast judgement.
As my age ran away with me the violence started and got worse as his frustration with what I could or couldn't do, ran through his veins to his fists first, and then my face, or my stomach, sometimes my back as I tried to walk away.
When his father died, we attended the funeral early in the morning at the local mosque and quickly moved through the traditions of the bengali community. As I stepped into the house, welcoming the peace I was instantly floored by a force to the back of the head, then I was spat on as I felt, what I could only assume to be Tahir, step over me leaving the front door wide open. As I lay there, I prayed for someone to find me only to tell myself to think back to the poor 20 year old across the street. She had just asked to visit her parents when she was stabbed in the chest for not doing as she was told.. we all heard the screams, yet we did nothing. Or the 80 year old grandmother who was beaten by her 16 year old grandson for not giving him enough money for Eid al-fitr, again we did nothing. So why was I surprised?
I sat in my usual chair the next day, waiting for time to pass when I heard the fateful knock at the door, upon pulling back the curtains and seeing the two uniformed officers at the door I moved to see what they were looking for. Remembering my language skills I was pleased to see my next door neighbours daughter with them, they came in and I prepared tea slowly but effectively that Reema helped me move to the sitting room.
Translated the conversation went something like this.... 'We know hes been beating you Mrs Kupar, you dont have to put up with this, there are places we can look after you and take you in. He doesnt have the right, we know your marital history but you dont have to pay for any previous mistakes. Tahir isnt the boy you brought up Mrs Kupar and a son should never treat his mother like this. Paradise is under your feet Mrs Kupar, you dont have to earn anything from him'
It ended soon after with tears and the removal of myself from the house I had lived in for 72 years, where I had borne my 6 children, including Tahir.