“I had a few admirers, but didn’t like them much.”
One had red hair, not quite to her taste; another did not have a degree and the third, and least likely suitor, was a mullah.
“I knew that [Rauf’s] mother wouldn’t force me to do crazy things like wearing hose in summer and covering my head. And for him, marrying someone who had studied in Moscow was a privilege.”
Their wedding was simple -- a small gathering at home, with about 30 guests. No makeup, no white dress.
But even 62 years later, my grandmother has a textile designer’s exact recall of what she did wear.
“Rauf’s family had given me some blue crepe-satin material for our engagement. It was shiny on one side and matte on the other. Tamilla’s [my grandmother’s best friend] mother was a seamstress. She made me a dress with the matte side, using the shiny parts as decorative elements. I would later wear the same dress to work.”
My late grandfather was a distinctive character -- tall, handsome, egocentric and authoritative. Looking back, I think he was one of the driving forces for my grandmother’s achievements as well as a source of inspiration for her to keep challenging herself.