Mayor Åāýéshah Al Jalāl
Control of Makkah Mukarramah had been in the grip of the Aħmad family for sixty years.
This was the fifteenth election that the Makkah Mukarramah Progressive Association had failed to attract a candidate to stand against the next-in-line Aħmad male.
Currently ending his 4-year term was Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad.
He was handing the ‘throne’ to his surly son Aħmad Shabbīr Aħmad, known as Shabbīr and at 220lbs was better known as Wide Shabbīr.
The city of 2,500,000 people elected its councilors representing its wards for a four year term and concurrently a separate election was conducted to elect an independent mayor, a system that had survived for centuries.
The pugnacious president of the association, Anwar Kamāl, had stood unsuccessfully in three distant elections.
On each occasion prior to the election campaign commencing, he’d been beaten up, had his car tires slashed and each time his dog mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again.
Sighing when again looking at the empty nominations box, Mr Anwar Kamāl told the one hundred people attending,
“Again I say this is a sad day for Makkah Mukarramah.”
“I’m prepared to stand.”
“Who said that?” Anwar Kamāl asked, momentarily confused because he’d thought he’d heard a woman’s voice.
“Concentrate Mr Anwar Kamāl. I said I’m prepared to be nominated.”
“You’re the temporary teacher.”
“Oh how perceptive of you. Since you are my headmaster I cannot say you are astute in identifying me, although not by name.”
“You are not a resident.”
“I have resided here for fifteen months. The minimum qualifying period is 12 months’ residency.”
“You’re not a property-owner.”
“I’m sure by the time nominations close some good citizen will have donated me a piece of wasteland.”
“You’re a woman.”
“Again that is you being perceptive. I’m sure no one here will dispute that. There is no barrier, apart from prejudice, to a female standing for election. Mr Anwar Kamāl, I’m wondering if I’ll find it more difficult to win nomination than to seize the office of mayor from the fiendish hands of the arrogant males of the Aħmad family.”
“How dare you.”
“Stop the theatrics and have me proposed and seconded as a candidate Mr Anwar Kamāl and then put my name forward to this meeting to be approved as the association’s official candidate. I’d hate to stand as an independent and get run over by the rush of other people whishing to lodge their candidacy.”
“What’s that you say?”
“Get your lobotomy reversed darling.”
“I heard that.”
“Oh I’m delighted Mr Anwar Kamāl. What I just said was a hearing test.”
Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl sat down and was politely applauded for providing one of the most interesting meetings in the association’s century plus old history, although no one present was old enough to verify that as fact.
The motion was put that the duly proposed and seconded Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl of 786, Kħātūn-e-Jannat Lane, a shed at the rear of Mr Anwar Kamāl’s home, be elected as the association’s candidate was declared passed unanimously.
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl was politely applauded.
Rancher Kr’shñ Dév said,
“I have an extra home on a half-acre at 1008, Durgesh Saiyadā Fātimah PhD Street, the title of which I’ll instruct my attorney to have transferred to you for the payment of one dollar, Åāýéshah Al Jalāl, on the understanding you’ll transfer the property back to me within two weeks following the election.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl thanked the rancher.
She called, “Witness this everyone” and handed Rancher Kr’shñ Dév one dollar.
Kr’shñ Dév was not even the legal resident of Makkah Mukarramah.
Yet he managed to be a Rancher there actually.
Samīnah Aħmad of the great Aħmad family was Kr’shñ Dév’s unofficial wife.
Not legally, but actually.
Actually, Samīnah Aħmad was Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad’s fourth and youngest wife.
Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad could not quench her young lust.
Shrewd Kr’shñ Dév offered himself, unofficially to represent Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad in her bed.
Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad attacked Kr’shñ Dév.
But Samīnah Aħmad was prepared for it.
She conspired with her great Aħmad family members in such a way that even the life of Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad was in danger.
Samīnah Aħmad blackmailed Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad.
Kr’shñ Dév masterminded the whole thing.
Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad had no alternative except to accept Samīnah Aħmad and Kr’shñ Dév in live in relationship unofficially.
The alternative was his everything gone, including his life as well.
Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad proposed divorce to Samīnah Aħmad.
But, victorious Samīnah Aħmad refused to reconcile.
Kr’shñ Dév insisted that Samīnah Aħmad had to prove she was more capable than Aħmad Naåīm Aħmad.
People began calling, “Speech, speech.”
Anwar Kamāl rose smiling.
“Thank you everyone. Well it has given me great pleasure over the years…”
“Not you Anwar Kamāl. We want to hear from Åāýéshah Al Jalāl.”
“Oh… oh really? Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl, on this occasion I do believe there is a preference to hear you speak in lieu of me.”
“Thank you Mr Chairman. Well, here we are ready for municipal business. I was on a cycling vacation fifteen months ago when I rode into Makkah Mukarramah near dark and Jamīlah Salāħuddīn invited me to her home for dinner and to stay for as long as I liked. During dinner I learned Jamīlah Salāħuddīn and Kr’shñ Dév’s youngest child was at school with a near-deaf retired teacher in charge of them because the school had been unable to attract a currently certificated teacher for that grade. I told Kr’shñ Dév and Jamīlah Salāħuddīn I was a certificated teacher and as they say, the rest in history.”
“This is a pleasant great city and I love living here except for two things – I miss having romance, although unofficial offers from Hindu men come almost daily – and the thing that really annoys me is the arrogant aggression of the Aħmad’ family. I see the editor of our local newssheet Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn, from Salāħuddīn Dār-al-ishāåt, is here recording. So my message is: Prepare to lose the race to become Mayor Mr Aħmad and have your family revert to being ordinary citizens like the rest of us. Thank you.”
Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn later interviewed Åāýéshah Al Jalāl.***
The Aħmad family sat around the table almost peeing themselves as Mayor Aħmad erupted into belly laughs as he read the lead story in Makkah Mukarramah Newssheet headed, ‘Move Over Aħmad Clan says Feisty Blonde’.
‘PP Progressive Association last night elected temporary school teacher, the pretty blonde 26-year-old Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl as its candidate to fight Wide Aħmad to become mayor.
Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl claims the town under Aħmad’ rule has gone backwards because of inertia and self-serving interest.
She’ll stand for election on the planks that she’ll clean up the town, return it to being a place where cordial relations and friendly smiles are commonplace, force the harbor authority to replace the town wharf and if the defeated Aħmad’ like it they can leave town and take their taint with them.”
“I sue the bitch,” roared Mayor Aħmad, causing his brood to laugh hysterically.
“Who’s calling me wide?” asked Aħmad Shabbīr Aħmad.
“Åāýéshah Al Jalāl,” chorused the clan.
Actually, Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn had inserted ‘Wide’ instead of Shabbīr.
Angry Shabbīr said, “I’ll sue the bitch.”
His father congratulated him for being aggressive and defiant.***
At school next day Headmaster Anwar Kamāl told Åāýéshah Al Jalāl, she’d have to resign forthwith because she was running for election.
“Mr Anwar Kamāl, please Don’t over-react. I’ll stand down without pay on the day nominations close when I lodge my nomination. I’ll resign if elected on the day I’m sworn in as mayor.”
“Young lady, that is not satisfactory to me.”
“Then tough. Complain to a higher authority. I know my rights.”
“You’ll regret your defiance.”
“You puzzle me Mr Anwar Kamāl. I thought you wanted a candidate to stand against the Aħmad clan?”
“Yes, but not a woman.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl giggled.
Anwar Kamāl gritted his teeth.
“I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that. What you have just said is a violation of this school’s charter and an offence against the Human Rights Act.”
“What was that?”
“I said sexually discriminate against me again and I’ll nail your balls to the school gates.”
“I heard that.”
“It was a hearing test Mr Anwar Kamāl. Run along.”***
The association’s treasurer called Åāýéshah Al Jalāl, they had a lovely chat, and then old Mrs. Zaheer said,
“There is a campaign fund at your disposal to use for hoardings and leaflets and to recover other authorized election expenses to a limit of $2000.”
“Oh, that’s excellent Mrs. Zaheer. How much is in the fund?”
“Eight dollars and forty cents.”
“Well that’s what I was calling you about. We are holding a cake stall for you on Main Street on Saturday morning. We’d like you to be present just to say hello if anyone wants to talk to you?”
“Oh yes, but I can’t wear ribbons or a name badge as that would be tantamount to electioneering and I haven’t had my nomination accepted yet. How many ladies will be manning stalls?”
“Mrs. Rasheed, Mrs. Faheem and me. Just the one stall.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl joined the ladies at the stall at 9:30 and sales were poor.
“Oh this is so disappointing,” she said, and the three women agreed.
“Yes we should have spent forty bucks on advertising and on a couple of posters,” said Mrs. Rasheed. “That would have made a bit of a splash, motivating people.”
“How much do you expect to take if you sell everything?”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl sighed.
A Jeep Wrangler drew up nearby.
She looked up and a handsome guy, in a scruffy Stetson, caught her eye and winked.
Allah, he wasn’t even thirty. From where had he escaped?
She winked back and my lips parted to show solid clean enamel.
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl had heard I was 61.
How the people rumor against a person, they are jealous of!
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl was certain, I couldn’t be 30 even.
The ground seemed to shake and clomp, clomp an overweight guy only 5ft 6in tall, or six inches shorter than Åāýéshah Al Jalāl, stopped on the sidewalk.
“Get this junk out of my way and if you old hags attempt to stop me I’ll send you off the sidewalk along with your cakes.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl jumped in front of the menace.
“How dare you talk to ladies like that and how dare you use threatening language. We are here legitimately. This area is zoned for stalls on Saturday for fund-raising purposes.”
“Well, hello Blondie with big tits. You are my rival.”
“Back off Mr Aħmad, otherwise I affect a citizen’s arrest.”
“What, you and whose army?”
The sound of a rifle bolt being drawn resulted in Wide Aħmad freezing.
“Right Fatso, ” said I from the Jeep. “On your belly on the sidewalk clear of the stall.”
“You can’t do this to me; I’m the mayor’s son.”
“Down on your belly until the cops come.”
“No way and I…”
The click of the bolt completing its action that would inject a bullet into the chamber resulted in a thump as Mr. Aħmad hit the pavement, belly down.
Townspeople began calling,
“A fight, mayor’s son is down” and people began rushing towards the cake stall.
“Quickly, double your prices,” Åāýéshah Al Jalāl said to the three ladies. “People will need a reason to avoid a police charge of loitering so will buy cakes to legitimize congregating here.”
The ladies required no further prompting.
The siren could be heard in the distance and more townspeople began running to the stall.
Before the patrol car slid to a stop the cake stall was bare.
The two police officers quickly assessed the situation and cancelled back-up.
The sergeant let mayoral candidate Mr. Aħmad off with a warning after he’d apologized to the three ladies.
He posed with the three ladies after Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn raced up to take a photo for the Newssheet.
The police dispersed everyone.
With a big smile, Mrs. Zaheer, Saåīdah Āftāb, produced two cream cakes she’d secreted away for the police officers and they went off.
The sergeant had recognized Åāýéshah Al Jalāl and wished her well when she began her campaign ‘to bring down the cancerous oligarchy’.
“Please Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn, Don’t quote the sergeant if you overhead what he said; it could cost him his stripes.”
“Hear what Åāýéshah Al Jalāl?”
They smiled and Mrs. Zaheer, Saåīdah Āftāb, gave Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn the last cream cake.
The stall raised almost $140.
In the rush to serve people the stallholders must have short-changed some customers already being exploited.
As Åāýéshah Al Jalāl was about to leave a short skinny guy rushed up.
“I heard what you people did to Wide Shabbīr.
I’m Zubayr Jamīl, Shabbīr’s campaign manager. We’ll blast you off the surface of this planet in the dirtiest campaign this country has ever seen Blondie you slut.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl stepped forward and ground her heel into the guy’s left foot.
“You bitch,” he howled. I’m gonna…”
He froze, hearing a rifle bolt slide.
“Er, on the other hand, it will be the cleanest election ever contested on this planet. Good morning Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl.” He hobbled away.
“Oh thank you, kind sir. That’s two I owe you.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl colored, knowing that although the three elderly ladies wouldn’t have a clue what she was talking about, Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn who was licking cream off her fingers and was slowly turning pink certainly would require no translation.
In panic, Åāýéshah Al Jalāl swung around to her defender.
“Thank you for providing involuntary backup for these ladies and me. But I simply cannot believe you’d be such a mutthead and pull a loaded gun and shoot down two misbehaving men like dogs had they resisted you.”
“Don’t get your panties in a knot,” said the guy, pulling the trigger.
There was no explosion of a shot being fired.
“I don’t carry a loaded gun into town but do have bullets in my pocket. Good day to you Miss Åāýéshah Al Jalāl. This mutthead is off to try to escape abuse.”
Åāýéshah Al Jalāl turned brick red and I grinned at her, doffing my hat.
As he drove off, she asked,
“Whom have I insulted?”
“Rancher Kr’shñ Dév’s friend Durgesh.”
“Oh no,” Åāýéshah Al Jalāl wailed. “Rancher Kr’shñ Dév has been very generous to me.”
“Don’t worry dear,” Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn said. Lowering her voice to a whisper she added, “He’ll be back to get those panties off you. Have you not noticed there are few young people here? They all go thirty-eight miles to shop in the city rather than come into this town under the oppressive control of the Aħmad family. The three Aħmad boys frequently drag women off the street to kiss them and fondle them… and even worse.”
“But the police?”
“If you are an abused and frightened female who is warned to keep her mouth shut or else, do you fearlessly complain to the police of a town run by the boys’ clan?”
“Allah! Yā Allaaaaaaah!”
“Well said Åāýéshah Al Jalāl,” Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn smiled, smoothing her hair in the breeze. “We are so lucky that you, blissfully unaware of the dark side of this town, have committed to clean it up politically. Did it not occur to you to wonder why no one has stood against the Aħmad’ for six elections?”
“I-I thought it was apathy.”
“Oh yeah, right.”
“Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn, I thought it would be fun to fight an election and then put things right.”
“Darling, you’ll have fun all right. More than you can imagine.”
“Oh Bégum Firdaus Salāħuddīn, what can I do?”
“Leave town or alternatively stay and get Durgesh living with you as soon as possible and insist that he keep his other gun loaded.”
“His other gun?”
“Not the one he’s using on you. Allah, you are such a sweet young lady.”***