*back to part 2*      
25) Scraping the money together from somewhere or other, in the month of Shab-e barat she managed to buy [*notes 8*] a crepe dupattah for seven and a half rupees. The thing was that there was no way to avoid buying it. A telegram came from her brother that his oldest son, Rahat, is coming in connection with training for the police. As for Bi Amma-- well, it was as if all at once she fell into a panic. It was just as if it wouldn't be Rahat on the doorstep, but a wedding procession arriving, and she hadn't yet even ground up the gold sprinkles for the part in the bride's hair. In distraction, she lost her head entirely. Instantly she sent for her [*D52*] adopted "sister," Bundu's [*N6*] Mother: "Sister, if you don't come this moment, you'll only see the face of my corpse!"    

= aa rahaa hai , since it's direct discourse

26) And then they both whispered together. In the midst of it, they would both cast a glance at Kubra, who was sitting in the dalan, winnowing rice. She well understood the language of that whispering.      
27) At that time Bi Amma removed from her ears the four-mashah "clove" earrings, and confided them to her adopted "sister": "No matter what it takes, by evening, please bring me a full tolah of narrow-twisted lace, six mashahs of gold-leaf with stars, and a quarter-yard of twill for the waistband." She swept the outer-facing room and got it ready. Kubra sent for a little slaked lime, and and with her own hands whitewashed the room. The room became bright, but the skin of peeled off from the palms of her hands; and when in the evening she sat down to grind the spices, she recoiled, and doubled up in pain. The whole night was spent tossing and turning. First, because of the palms of her hands; second, by the morning train Rahat was coming.    

= a maashah is a weight of eight rattii , which themselves are small seeds.

= a tolah is a weight of twelve, or sometimes sixteen, maashah .

28) "God! My dear God, this time may [*notes 9*] my Apa's fortune open up. My God, I'll recite a hundred extra prayers in Your presence," Hamidah implored, after the early morning prayer.     = aapaa is a title for an older sister; bii aapaa shows respect and affection
29) In the morning when brother Rahat came, Kubra had already gone beforehand and hidden in the 'mosquito room'. When he had eaten a breakfast of sivaiyan and parathas, and gone off to the baithak, then taking slow and hesitant steps like a new bride Kubra emerged from the room and took away the dirty dishes.     = a bai;Thak is a kind of sitting-room for visitors, especially men.
30) "Give them to me, I'll wash them, Bi Apa," Hamidah said mischievously.      
31) "No." She hunched over in embarrassment.      
32) Hamidah kept teasing her; Bi Amma kept smiling, and kept stitching gold-thread lace onto the crepe dupattah. By the same road the "clove" earrings had gone, the rosettes, "leaf" earrings, and silver ankle bracelets also departed. And then two pairs of bangles too, that her middle brother [*N7*] had given her on the occasion of her "removing her widow-hood." Eating plain food themselves, every day parathas were fried for Rahat; koftas, pilaus diffused their fragrance. Themselves gulping down dry morsels with water, they fed rich meat dishes to the future son-in-law.      
33) [*D53*] "The times are very bad, daughter," she always said to Hamidah when she saw her sulking. And she [Hamidah] always thought, "We're remaining hungry, and feeding the 'son-in-law'. Bi Apa gets up at the crack of dawn like an automaton and sets to work. On an empty stomach, with only a swallow of water, she fries parathas for Rahat. She boils the milk, so that a thick layer of cream would form. It wasn't within her power to pull out fat from her own body and enrich those parathas. And why would she not enrich them? After all, one day he will become her own. Whatever he earns, he will place in the palm of her hand. Who doesn't water a fruit-bearing plant? Then one day when the flowers will bloom and the fruit-laden bow will bend, what a humiliating blow it will be to those women who taunt her! And with this thought alone does auspiciousness bloom on my Bi Apa's face. In her ears the [*notes 10*] shahnais begin to sound, and she sweeps Rahat's room with her eyelashes. She folds his clothes with love, as if they were saying something to her. She washes his bad-smelling, rat-like, filthy socks, cleans his stinking undershirts and the handkerchiefs besmeared by his nose. On the cover of his hair-oil-stained pillow she embroiders "sweet dream." But the affair was not falling squarely into place. Every morning Rahat devoured eggs and parathas and went out, and in the evening he came and ate koftahs and went to sleep. And Bi Amma's adopted sister whispered in a wise manner.    

= 'automaton' is my best try at jaaduu kii mashiin , literally 'magic machine'.

= 'auspiciousness' is my poor excuse for the untranslatable suhaag , which includes connotations of wifely happiness.

34) "He's very shy, the poor thing." Bi Amma offered a justification.      
35) "Yes, that's fine. But bhai, something would be revealed by his aspect and manner, something by his eyes."     = bha))ii is a common casual style of address for a woman
36) "Oh, God forbid! May the Lord not let it happen that my girl would cause her eyes to meet his. Nobody has seen [*N8*] even the hem of her garment" Bi Amma said with pride.     = calling her girl a lau;N;Diyaa is a part of the old language of courtesy, in which one's own people and things are always deprecated.
37) "Oh, who says she should break her pardah?" Seeing Bi Apa's well-developed pimples, she had to do justice to Bi Amma's far-seeingness. "Oh sister, in truth you are very simple. When do I say this? This little wretch-- on which [*notes 11*] 'Bakrid' will she come in handy?" Looking at me, she laughed. "Well, there, you with your nose in the air! Some conversation with the brother-in-law, some joking? Come on, you silly thing!"     = with this 'me', Hamidah begins to be a first-person narrator.
*on to part 4*      
  _ _  

~~ Ismat Chughtai index page ~~ Platts Dictionary ~~ Glossary ~~ FWP's main page ~~