‘But instead of dwelling on what you did wrong, you are all thinking of how to by-pass Alhaji’s punitive measure and continue with your favourite pastime behind his back. Are those series really worth the trouble?’ I queried.
‘But we didn’t do anything wrong. I told you Alhaji came back early without warning. What are we to do when he told no one that he was returning two hours earlier than usual?’ Maman Humairah replied, defensively.
‘Still this doesn’t excuse the fact that you have all become addicted to those Indian series. So don’t try to justify what is clearly unjustifiable.’ I warned.
‘Look Hajiya Bint, I’m here seeking your favour to watch the next episode of my favorite series. As you can see, it has already started. Kindly spare me this argument and let me watch in peace.’ Maman Humairah begged.
‘No, I don’t think we should stop this talk because you want to watch this programme. Indeed it’s my mission to make you stop this obsession with Zee World and all other movie series. What do they do but eat up all your time, give you unnecessary stress and anxiety because you remain hooked to the story line, desperately waiting to see what happens next?’ I demanded.
‘Ok, so you want to know what these series do to me? I’ll tell you what they did for me since you are not going to let me watch this one. They kept me sane when I needed nothing but to retain my sanity. Two years ago when my husband was taking a second wife, did I come to you running and seeking a shoulder to cry on? No, and that was because I had Zee World to seek comfort from.
I went through that unimaginable pain and feeling of betrayal knowing that my husband was about to bring a stranger between us. That what I thought was sacred and totally personal to the two of us, our matrimonial ties, are now going to be invaded by a third party, and no one around me could stop it. It was the worst feeling of helplessness I’d ever gone through. And as a full time housewife, I couldn’t go out and meet either colleagues or other associates with whom to share my pain.
I spent my days doing my chores with a heavy heart and later on just sit in my sitting room to watch TV. That was when I discovered Zee World. It was like the answer to my prayers. Intriguing story lines, all kind of twists and turns, beautiful people, lovely houses, treacherous relatives and dangerous lovers. It was all I wanted and more. Now instead of waking up daily and dreading the day my co-wife would arrive, I woke up joyously, looking forward to the next episode of the many Indian series I was watching. Plus I learnt more about negative human behaviour, you know the betrayals, the conspiracies etc. It helped me plan how to live my life with a co-wife next door.’ She explained.
‘But why didn’t you think of joining an islamiyyah school? It would have helped you with spiritual ways to cope with unfavourable circumstances, in addition to getting you more religious knowledge?’ I asked.
‘Honestly Bint, in the state of mind I was in, I couldn’t stand anyone who would tell me Alhaji wasn’t wrong in trying to take a new wife. And you know those islamiyyah teachers and other Muslim scholars, they are all in support of polygamy. If I’d joined an islamiyyah, I’d have to tolerate them saying that having many wives was ideal. Meanwhile I often went to sleep asking myself where I went wrong or what I did to deserve Alhaji’s betrayal. For my purpose then, the TV series were my best therapy. Some even made me cry but they kept me both entertained and thrilled and were there at the switch of a button.’ Maman Humairah concluded.
‘But you continued long after your co-wife had arrived, why?’ I insisted.
‘Well by now I’m already an addict, I can’t stop watching them. And Rabi came and just joined me. Maybe because the TV is in the sitting room we share. Then his widowed sister came to live with us and ended up joining us as well. And that was why Alhaji returned yesterday to see all of us glued the TV with no lunch ready for him. But I thank God I’m not the one on duty. That’s why I couldn’t believe he’d block our favorite channel in order to punish us all.’ She lamented.
‘Well, see it this way. I think Alhaji wants you all to have a higher purpose in life than watching some Indian films that are not in many ways a reflection of life in India. He wants you to come back to reality. Do your house chores, care for your kids, train them to be good people and observe your religious obligations on time. None of this will be done well when all you do is watch Indian series.’ I advised.