I am here, in this new ‘company’. Hating every hour, minute, second, down to the nanos. Maybe, for on-lookers, coming to work at 10 or 10:30 in the morning, leaving around the likes of 7:00 or 8:00..or 9:00 does not look so much as stressful. But then, there it is. The 8 – 9 or more hours you are at work, and this ugly feeling raises its ugly head… eating your brain, making you hate the job more, making you regret having taken B.E. in C.S as your bachelor’s degree. D.A.N.G.
It may not exactly be the torture slash stress women experienced under the Talibanese according to Hossini. But, because I try and find a silver lining behind every dark cloud – however irrelevant – I imagine myself as dear li’l Laila.. Tormented.. hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed, if you will.
So, in such turbulent times, what is my saving grace? A Thousand Splendid Sums. Well, actually, just one. A Splendid Sum. Sum is my Mariam. Though Sum and Mariam have nothing in common. At all. She doesn’t look after me like I am her daughter. Nor would she under any circumstance give up her life for me. I doubt she would even give up her lunch for me. She wouldn’t run away with me if I planned to run away from my Talibanese-y superiors. And most importantly, we don’t share the same husband. So again, sum is nothing like Mariam.
But I don’t know… I feel like we are mother-daughter, soul sisters, cell-mates, MIL-DIL, whatever. Point to Note: In my 6 months here, the total number of minutes I have spoken to Sum about anything and everything will not exceed 256. But still, she is Mariam jaan to me.
Maybe I forced her into the Mariam slot because I was so taken up with the Laila role. Maybe I have grown up. Maybe I don’t dream on fairy tales anymore. Maybe I have matured. Maybe I badly wanted a real-life casting of the book because i read it just sometime back. Maybe I just wanted to use the title ‘A Thousand Splendid Sums’.