Important Quotations Explained
"Dadi," I ask, "were you frightened by the Bugtis?" "I just know that whatever Allah wills, it will be so. And there's no reason to be afraid, because what Allah wills cannot be changed.
Again, like hens laying eggs, we leave our prayers and hopes for Phulan's sons at the head of the shrine. For the first time, I feel a communion with the saint; his presence is like a soothing hand on my shoulder. Before Auntie nudges me to move along, I pray for wisdom, and my anger with Dadi eases.
"Mama, what are you talking about in there?" I ask. "If it concerns Phulan, shouldn't she be with you?" "Shabanu, really. What we decide for both of you is what you will do. You aren't old enough to know what's good for you."
"Come on, Shabanu, put it on!" she urges, and I slip the exquisite shimmering ring onto my finger. "The bangles, and the nose pin, too!" I oblige mechanically, and they all dance around and tell me how wonderful I look I think vaguely of the blackness in my heart—I am wearing all the light that ever was within me on my nose and finger.
Phulan, your beauty is great. But beauty holds only part of a man, and that for just so long. Keep some of yourself hidden. You can lavish love and praise on him and work hard by his side. Yes, and have your sons. That will help. But the secret is keeping your innermost beauty, the secrets of your soul, locked in your heart so that he must always reach out to you for it.
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