The phone rings. It’s from a lady I met a couple of years ago. I had invited her over for dinner at my place that evening, and we exchanged phone numbers. Few months later, she flew home – somewhere in Northern Pakistan, in a remote yet unbelievably beautiful place, where the hills are alive with the sound of music.
(The following conversation is translated from Urdu to English, except for the word ‘baby’, which is used as it is.)
Me: ‘Assalamu alaikum *her name*‘.
Her: ‘Walaikum Assalam, Nadia! How are you?’
Me: ‘I’m good, alhumdulillah. How are you?’
Her: ‘I’m fine. I thought you wouldn’t recognize me! You never called.’
Me: ‘Of course I recognize you!’
If it wasn’t for the caller ID, I would never know.
Me: ‘So, how is everyone? How’s your baby?’
Her: ‘I don’t have a baby!’
Me: ‘You don’t?!’
Her *laughing* ‘No! I don’t have a baby.’
Now I am confused. I know my annoying tendency to mix up people and names. But I am certain about this lady. But still …
Me: ‘I’m sorry. I think I’m confusing you for another person.’
Her: ‘I’m *insert name*‘s wife. Remember? From *insert name of the scenic place*?’
Me: ‘In that case, you are *insert name*! But didn’t you go back to Pakistan to give birth?’
Her: ‘Yes, that’s right.’
Oh no! I begin wondering about what happened to her baby. Did she have a miscarriage? But she sounds so cheerful and happy. Perhaps she has moved on. What do I say to her now?
Me: ‘So, what happened?’
Her: ‘Oh, I have a son now!’
Me: ‘But when I asked you about your baby a while ago, you said that you didn’t have one.’
Her: ‘That’s true! I don’t have a baby; I have a son. It’s a boy.’