Bibi Djan, The Rug Weaver
Introduction Grandma Helen (Heghineh) Davidian spent early mornings at her writing desk. She didn’t sleep as much as the rest of her family, and the extra time was invested in telling stories about the lives of young Persian women in the early 1900s.
Part 6 Bibi Djan gazed at her and could not understand her, as the woman pronounced g instead of gh, and h instead of kh.
“What is the khanoom saying?” she asked the other woman.“You must excuse me, but I don’t know what she is saying. God forbid, khanoom, who says I am short because I have worked in the rug factory? It is my kismet.Inshallah, may God grant me tall and healthy children.”
“If you want your children to be born healthy you should do as we say.”
“Upon my eye, khanoom, I am your maid-servant.”
“Now, listen, Every Thursday, you must come to our home for the meeting. And you must let us know the day you expect the baby.”
“No, thank you, thank you very much. You need not bother. The doorkeepers mother at the factory is a very good midwife. I must call her, and if I do not, she will be offended, for she had brought me up as her own child.”
“No, Bibi Djan, you cannot bear your child easily. You must go to the hospital. There is a good man doctor there. You…”
At the word hospital, Bibi Djan’s heart leapt, and she cried out. She had heard about the hospital. That was the place where those who went never came back. “No, no, I would not go to the hospital. I would never step out of this house to go to the hospital, even if you cut my head off!” she said.
(to be continued)