A short story
The atmosphere was charged up. Colour and glamour defined the mood in the large room occupied by women of all shapes and sizes. The ladies Club was in session and a variety programme organised for charity, was about to begin. A noisy chatter filled the room.
“Don’t know what’s the need of arranging a song and dance sequence for charity!” drawled the stiff-necked Begum Mehr, who would’ve had an equally strong argument against a solemn affair. Why, it wouldn’t do to appear very accommodating now, would it?
“These silly girls would pounce at the slightest opportunity to show off their talents! It’s next to impossible to catch their attention with anything quiet and cultured…it has to be loud and blaring! A nice lecture on the benefits of giving alms to the poor would’ve elicited a better response, in our days. Charity-wise I mean,” piped in Begum Nafisa, glaring through her thick glasses.
The rest of the Begums nodded their agreement by tsk-tsking loudly.
Zainab and Amina sat in the back row, well away from the senior Begums to avail the freedom of commenting freely.
“From what Tina told us, it’s going to be a real treat to watch…the parody of Noor Jehan’s song would be a roaring success I’m sure!” Zainab commented excitedly.
“Yeah, and Tina’s sari would stand out among the rest of the gals cat-walking the ramp today!” said Amina, surveying the splash of colour around the room.
“Ladies, ladies…may I have your attention, please?” the hawkish Mrs. Javed called over the microphone.
The chief guest was about to arrive and she wanted some semblance of order in the room. She had been singled out for this job by the Senior Begums for her very peculiar talent of making one shrivel and disappear with a mere glare - you needed someone like that to control the unusual variety of specimens gathered there...
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