© Abu Zaynah
“Jazak Allahu Khair Ahmad Bhai. We will see you next Sunday at 3pm insha Allah (God Willing).” There was a slight pause as Ahmad Bhai said something. Afsana’s mother then said “Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salam (and peace be upon you too)” and put down the phone.
“Ahmad Bhai came by earlier. He said that the bride’s family would like to meet Amjad” Amjad’s mother was talking to his dad about the proposed meeting. “He has arranged for us to meet the bride and her family at 3pm next Sunday afternoon. Make sure you keep your diary clear for that day”. “I will do my love, I will do” said Amjad’s dad as he sipped his afternoon tea.
Ahmad Bhai was a close friend of the Mahbub family and a relative of the Nadeer family. He had worked with Amjad’s dad in the catering trade for 10 years until he set up his own taxi/chauffeuring company. They had remained really good friends after that. On Afsana’s side he was the cousin brother of Afsana’s mum.
Ahmad Bhai was approached by Amjad’s dad a few months back asking him to look out for a suitable bride for his son and just a few weeks ago when visiting Afsana’s house he was informed that they were also seeking a groom for their daughter. Ahmad Bhai facilitated the exchange of details, CVs and Photos between the two families and now that they had perused the details he was arranging a meeting upon the request of both families and the prospective bride and groom.
The normal practice in these circumstances, as experienced by the author of this story, is that the meeting is arranged in the bride’s house where the groom’s family visit and meet the bride and her family. However, in this instance, and at the request of Afsana, the meeting was arranged at a local cafe/diner. Afsana felt nervous about allowing someone into her home at the very first meeting and wanted to keep this first meeting as formal as possible, without any obligation to proceed any further with the proposal on her part. She was happy that the groom’s family had accepted to meet them at the Morrocan cafe on Tooting High Sreet.
Amjad was excited about the meeting. Afsana was the second bride he was going to see. The first was a few months ago but the proposal did not proceed any further. Amjad had discovered after their meeting that the bride had some ‘history’ that would make them both incompatible and cause issues were they to be married. As a result Amjad called off the proposal. He was however really excited about this one and could not wait to see the bride.
The meeting was arranged for Sunday 4th of November at 3pm and would be held at Flavours of Morocco Cafe on Tooting High Street.