February 22, 2016
This blog is another installment of the series dedicated to The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo. Let’s go back to Shaherazade’s Daughters and an adventure Nasir has with Ezania.
Nasir had no interest in any life that wasn’t his own. He cared about people, of course. However, he saw no need to involve himself in their situations. Yet, he would stand up when necessary. One of these times was with his friend, Ezania. Ezania was beautiful and intelligent, but they never thought to be anything beyond colleagues and well-wishers to each other. They met in the House of Wisdom and respected each other’s work despite Ezania being an alchemist. They would share findings from their experiments and enjoy a good laugh together. Ezania, Nasir, and her lab partner, Jabir shared an unexpected adventure when researching in Damascus.
Khalid and Razi were causing problems for Jabir and Ezania because they were all researching tuberculosis and did not want to be outdone. Khalid and Razi had taken to sabotaging the work of their competitors' and archrivals. They didn't anticipate anyone, least of all Nasir, thwarting their plans. Nasir was setting up a lone experiment near Ezania’s and Jabir’s lab. He meticulously set up his telescope at a perfect angle waiting for the sun to set. His adoration and awe for the setting sun never waned throughout his life, and whenever he had the opportunity, he would soak in every moment. He would watch as its rays slowly dimmed around everything in its path.
However, his reverie was interrupted by an explosion a few yards from the lab of Ezania and Jabir. He jumped with a start and darted a glance in the direction of the troublesome noise. He spied Khalid heading towards his friends’ lab. Instantly, Nasir knew he was up to some troublesome mischief. He had to stop him. Quickly he grabbed a part of his telescope and beamed Khalid on the back of the head. He went down and failed in his attempt. Nasir achieved his goal. For a moment, Nasir was afraid he killed the poor rascal. But then, he saw a slight hand movement and was relieved.
Ezania and Jabir found Nasir foiling the attempted sabotage hilarious. Nasir was always the gentlest of the Siddiquis. His slightly violent act was amusing to them. At the same time, they were grateful their work was saved. Until the end of their time in Damascus, they all worked robustly and with excitement. Khalid and his partner in crime, Razi did as well but stayed conspicuously away from Nasir and the rest of the Siddiquis.
On their way back to Baghdad, Jabir apprised Omar and Jafar of Nasir’s minor, yet important act of heroism. Of course, Nasir, ever so humble, didn’t mention it to them.
“We’re lucky you have such sure aim, Nasir,” Ezania said, smiling.
“Sometimes, you have to enact brute force on brutes,” Nasir said.
They all laughed.
At one point on the journey back, Ezania and Nasir had a somewhat private conversation.
“So, I’m glad we put your head on straight and you agreed to marry Jabir,” he said.
“I felt a threat to my freedom, and I reacted. I’m not saying I was right, but I think you can understand what I did. Think about how you would react if other people were discussing your marriage without you being involved.”
“You didn’t give them the chance, Ezania. You swarmed in like a bee ready to sting, and you did!”
“I made it right, Nasir. That’s all that matters.”
“As far as your freedom goes, you have the man to preserve that, you know.”
“I wouldn’t have agreed to marry him if he wasn’t.”
“We all deserve our freedom, even headstrong women, like yourself,” Nasir joked.
“Nasir, you know you love a headstrong woman,” Ezania said.
“The strongest and most secure of us do,” he said.
They continued their journey.
Until next time…look behind and beyond the veil…
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer