Children are always an interesting addition to any family. The idea that a tiny human could be brought into the world and completely change the lives of those around it still amazed an astounded mankind despite the millennia that it had been spent procreating. For Ellie and Ejaz, it was no different. Because of her needs, Kate and David had chosen not to have any more children and focus their
attention soeley on their daughter. At times they regretted this choice, it would have been good for her to have a sibling to grow up with, but equally, with her health in such a fragile state throughout her childhood, it may have caused untold problems. Kate and David also came from small families. David's parents had divorced when he was eight and his father was left to raise him and his two younger
brothers. One had emigrated to Australia many years before David met his wife and the other had died of a heart attack when Ellie was a few months old. Kate came from an old-fashioned nuclear family. Her mother and father had bought a house in the suburbs and had raised Kate and her older brother with strict family values. She also had a dog growing up, a golden labrador called Omelette who lived to
the ripe old age of thirteen years, and died fat and happy by the hearth one winter. Ellie saw her uncles occasionally but was never particularly close to either. The only one of her relatives she truly latched onto was Kate's mother, who spent many hours with her teaching her how to sew and make sponges. Ellie used to sit in her lap as her grandmother guided her hands across the cloth, or together would they mix cake
batter fervently with one of her prized cooking spoons. It did take the older woman some time to understand that she could not offer Ejaz ham sandwiches, but she was welcoming nonetheless. Nothing was more important to her than to see her granddaughter happy, and shortly after she saw Ellie walk down the aisle, she passed away contented. They buried
her under a hawthorn tree that grew in the churchyard close to her home. She could not be laid next to her husband of sixty-four years, but the family knew that the physical body did not matter, for they were reunited in heaven. Ejaz, however, came from a huge family. He had more chachas, maamoons, phuppi, and khala than any of his Caucasian friends, and had
more bhais and bahens than he could possibly count. He himself had eight brothers and sisters, and he was the third eldest. His abbu and ammi had moved from Pakistan along with several of their own siblings and settled in England in the hopes of earning more money and giving their children better futures than they would have back home. It seemed as if Ejaz attended weddings, births, and funerals every other week.
It was easy to become lost in the crowd of relations. It never mattered that you did not know the names of everyone in the room, all that mattered was that you were family. But of course, everyone knew who Ellie was. Whenever Ellie accompanied Ejaz, she became the centre of attention. Not many of his friends and family had married out of their own culture (of course, Ellie was in the same position with her own
family, they just avoided pointing it out so brazenly), and so the spouses of those who did were inspected with an unashamed curiosity. Older women who had borne a small party of children each would comment on her tiny frame and wonder if she was fed well enough. The men would slap Ejaz on the back and congratulate him on such a pretty and polite young bivi. At first, none could understand
why he had picked a white Christian girl, let alone a blind one, but they saw how much he loved her, and with time they learnt to love her as well. And so, from both Ellie and Ejaz's families, the question was broached - when would they have their own children?