Last night I had a dream about Yama. He was alive in my dream but he seemed dead at the same time. May Allah bless your soul my dear brother.
Nazira, Yama’s wife…you must be wondering what role does this grieving widow play in all of this mess. This particular story might be sensitive to some. I apologize in advance. It is even very personal for my brother, Yama. But, it was a big part of what lead to his end.
Yama was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and he came to America when he was about nine years old. He was an American citizen and grew up in Los Angeles. He was Americanized but still honored his heritage.
It was a shock when he decided to go to Afghanistan. My Uncle Karim convinced him somehow and Yama agreed to go with him. An uncle and nephew trip to their home country. Yama had never gone back since he left when he was nine years old.
The entire family was happy about his trip. We all thought it would help with his drinking and a change of scenery would be nice. Alcohol is expensive and hard to find in Afghanistan which was a plus.
Yama spent two weeks meeting family that he had never met before but they were indeed family. One day he walked into a relatives home when he saw a young girl in a black traditional Afghani out fit…sweeping the floors. Two weeks later, Yama and the young lady, Nazira…were set to be married. It was a quick engagement because a marriage certificate would help the process of bringing her to the states.
Yama had never dated an Afghani women and he did want to settle down once he had broken up with Hazel. It was that social pressure…he wasn’t married…he didn’t have kids or a house. And everyone was questioning why he didn’t have any of that. He was good looking, he had money, cars, a business and a career. What was lacking that he couldn’t find a girl that his family would approve of and himself? Absolutely nothing. But, social pressure is a real thing and families can be toxic and if you don’t recognize it..then you will be in a deep hole trying to crawl yourself out.
I think he married Nazira out of desperation to meet the social norms. Kind like…well, I am just going to do this to make everyone happy and maybe it will make me happy because that’s what everyone wants.
It wasn’t love or attraction to be honest. She was not his type but she seemed like a nice girl. But, here is the shocking part.
My father’s sister…Shawkand (RIP), called my mom when she heard about the engagement.
She warned my mother that this was not a wise choice because Nazira was not a women. My mom was confused….”what do you mean she is not a girl…” Aunt Shawkand told my mom that Nazira can’t have children and that is not a proper women.
My mom let my brother know what his Aunt said but my brother didn’t believe it.
Yama said, “Mom, Nazira told me that she can’t have children but I am sure we can figure something out back in Los Angeles…a lot of people are going to say bad things about her because they are jealous..”
He was right. In Afghanistan, everyone wants to marry an American or anyone that can provide a better life than Afghanistan. It is a third world country…and everyone wants to find a way out. So it is common for folks to spread rumors to ruin someone else happiness.
Still, Yama talked to Nazira’s mom…who said…”my daughter is a delicate flower…she can’t have kids but she is fine other than that. But, if you choose to marry any of my other daughters…take your pick.”
Yama ignored what was being said and decided to proceed with the marriage. They had an extravagant wedding that was put together in two weeks. My Uncle Azzim, and Omar flew out to be at his wedding. No one else from LA went because it was to short notice and expensive to fly across the country.
Nazira’s brother told Yama that he is not allowed to have intercourse with Nazira because they just met and it wouldn’t be right. Yama agreed. He didn’t have a problem with this and he completely understood.
Yama came back home to Los Angeles and talked on the phone with Nazira everyday. He built a relationship with her and her family. He purchased a condo that was about 5mins from my mom’s house. My mom and Geeti helped him pick furniture for their place. They sent pictures to Nazira and asked her about colors and all that jazz.
Yama was working on her paperwork too. All of this cost A LOT of money especially her paperwork and the wedding. He purchased the condo for a decent price. He had to take out a loan but it wasn’t a very big one. At this point he was not working at his job anymore because he had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks and they laid him off. So he spent time working at the family business.
One year later, he went back to visit Nazira for a couple of months.
Yama tried to be intimate with Nazira but he realized that he couldn’t.
She was a girl but she did not have all the parts that a women has. Basically, she couldn’t have sex. She never had a period etc.
Yama was shocked.