The two women have bid good bye to their guests and shut the door.
They are in a living room with the remains of a high tea & snacks on the table and a photo of the Kaba and one of Banff’s scenes on the wall.
Mother(with excitement)….so what do you think? You like him?
Daughter(in a flat voice) He’s okay.
Mother(annoyed) Okay. (voice rising)Just okay? Tell me, what’s wrong with him? Why don’t you like him?
Daughter(cold and haughty): Did I say there is something wrong with him?
Mother(exasperated)Whenever you say ‘he’s okay’, you mean he’s not.
Be frank: why don’t you like him?
Daughter(neutral tone) I don’t dislike him mother.
Mother: Agreed …You don’t dislike him.
BUT Please explain… why you don’t like him?
Daughter(neutral voice) I neither like nor dislike him mother. He’s okay.
Mother(eagerly) Then….. will you marry him? Shall I tell his parents you are ready to marry?
Daughter(in a flat voice): If you like mother.
Mother(raising her voice): If I like? Farheen, I am not forcing you to marry him. I am not a bossy old-fashioned mother like others. I gave you 100% freedom. You can refuse to marry if you don’t like. I will never force you …like other parents.
But tell me …what is wrong with this boy?
( mother, checking off with her fingers)
He does not drink.
He does not drink.
He does not smoke.
He has a double degree.
He earns well. He is clean shaven and does not even have a beard.
He even has hobbies. He is modern like you. He is very smart. His mother told me he is always doing something or the other on the computer.
(mother with shoulder shrugging movements) He’s not deaf. He’s not mute.
He’s not crippled. He’s a gentleman! What fault he has that you don’t want him? He’s soo decent Farheen…. He does not even date !
Daughter: (softly): That ….exactly is the problem.
Mother(she has not heard her daughter’s comment): I am not like other mothers. I am broadminded. I let you go to university. I let you get a job. I even let you go out without your hijab. I let you dress how you like. I let you listen to any music you like. I even let you put lipstick. I have given you so much freedom and now you treat me like this? Why?
Daughter(deceptively neutral voice) If he is so perfect mother, why don’t you marry him to Asma?
Mother(breaking down, crying): Why you torture me like this? Why?
I found you a doctor. You said, he’s old.
I got you an engineer, you said, he’s boring.
What do you modern girls want? Love? Love is only in movies. Love lasts for 2 days. Afterwards what? You will cry? Or come running home? Divorce?
What you need is a solid man with a solid job Farheen. Not love.
Daughter(smiling)The doctor was certainly…….. solid. 300 pounds.
(daughter in plaintive tone)Why cant you understand mother, I want someone I can jell with? Someone who shares my interests and tastes.
AND I simply cannot marry someone I met only for a tea. I have to know the guy before I marry him.
Mother: Know? Know? What else do you want to know?
You know he’s educated;
you know his family;
you know what job he does.
You’ve seen him. You have even spoken to him. What else is there to know!
Except their salaries, Farheen, all men are the same. All men are exactly the same.
Daughter shudders and looks up hopelessly.
Daughter: I want to date a guy before I marry him mother.