• Zeba Ali

Character Interview: Zinia Sarmad



The setting sun gifted the earth its orange hue shades as the lawn grass sparkled in the serene glow. The air around me was filled with a crisp winter breeze and that faint scent of fresh fruits at the remote orchard. I was coming here for the second time after Isa's birth and the place was holding the same warmth, the uniqueness of Fazal Bashir's big house.


I rang the doorbell, removing my pen and paper from the bag as I waited for the door to be opened. It was Parveen Aapa who opened the door for me giving me a huge smile, a gesture that she had remembered me.


"How are you, Aapa?"


"Allah's grace." She gave me space to enter inside. "Zinia bibi is waiting for you for so long. If you wouldn't be here anytime soon, she would have prepared one more dish."


Parveen Aapa informed me with a chuckle as we made way towards Fazal's study. Fazal was still in the office but this was the only free time I had so here I was. There I found Zinia standing at the door of the study with a big, toothed smile on her face and Isa in her arms, playing with one of his rattles, his lips turning up when he saw me.


Zinia: AsSalamuAlaikum, Baji! *gives me a sidehug*


Zeba: WalaikumAsSalam *returns the hug* *kissing Isa's forehead*


Her son shied away from my act of adoration and I just smiled at him as we entered the huge study. The room felt more washed in darkness with the dark-colored curtains but as Zinia moved the curtains, a beautiful scene of the setting sun welcomed us.


Zinia: Fazal really wanted to make it early but you know *shrugs her shoulder* how his work is!


Zeba: That's no problem. I fully understand and we know we can proper girl talk without him *giggles*


Zinia too laughed as we took our seat near the large bookshelves.


Zeba: So should I start the interview?


Zinia: *nods* *caressing Isa's cheek*


Zeba: So Zinia, tell me how's life?


Zinia: Alhamdulillah *smiles* never thought of being this happy with Fazal and our Isa.


Zeba: Ok tell me one thing. We know how you got married and all and how your relationship was, do you ever regret being with Fazal Bashir just like you did in past.


Zinia: *shooks her head with a smile* I mean yes sometimes he is too difficult like when he is a workaholic but we are all sometimes and the way he handles me no one can do that. *shy* I can never regret being with him.


Zeba: *writes down with a smile* What are doing nowadays?


Zinia: Ummm... Many stuff *thinks* I am completing my education as Fazal urged me to do, in social sciences then I'm working on my childhood hobby of public speaking, Fazal has taken me to a few NGOs where I talk about rape, domestic violence and all. I'm planning to open my NGO soon where I will help women with hard pasts.


Zeba: That's wonderful Zinia. I'm proud of you. *an appreciative smile*


The doorbell rang and I can see on Zinia's face as it shined with her bright smile as she left with Isa telling me that it would be Fazal Bashir. Soon I could hear them talking with giggles and laughs here and there as I stood up on my place for Fazal Bashir.


Fazal: AsSalamuAlaikum Zeba. *smiles while hanging his coat on the coat rack* *takes Isa from Zinia*


Zeba: WalaikumAsSalam *smiles* *gesturing towards an empty seat across me*


Fazal: I hope you are not asking difficult questions to my wife.


Zeba: *rolls her eyes* It's an interview, not a quiz.


Fazal laughed and kissing Zinia's forehead as she sat near him, embarrassing the girl all over.


Zeba: Ok now. Some rapid-fire questions. Are you ready?


Zinia: *nods*


Zeba: What's the best piece of advice you've received?


Zinia: Stay in your present.


Zeba: And it must be given by your husband.*glances at both of them*


Zinia: *giggles* Yes.


Zeba: Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words.


Zinia: Scared, annoyed and depressed.


Zeba: Describe yourself as you are now in 3 words.


Zinia: Happy, grateful and *smiles at Fazal* positive.


The couple really felt like teenagers in love, smiling at each other, just like they met for the first time and fell madly in love with each other at first sight.


Zeba: What is your biggest pet peeve?


Zinia: When people hurt you knowing well how hurting feels.


Zeba: Ok. Some really quick ones for the last. Dark chocolate or Milk Chocolate?


Zinia: *glow in eyes* Milk Chocolate.


Zeba: Favorite day of the week?


Zinia: Sunday


Zeba: Which Disney princess?


Zinia: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.


Zeba: Favorite Season?


Zinia: Winters.


Zeba: Tea or Coffee?


Zinia: Coffee and that too with milk *looks at smiling Fazal*


Zeba: Cake or Pie?


Zinia: Cake.


Zeba: Well done Zinia. That was really good.


Zinia: *gives a shy smile as Fazal gives her a side hug*

We moved out of the study towards the dining room for the tea and snacks, spending our evening with each other, catching up with each others' lives and a peaceful evening spent with my lovable characters.






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