“I’ll call Mrs. Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad to the witness stand.” The Public Prosecutor, Waħīd Murād, announced gravely.
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās, attired in black, moved slowly forward.
She held up her right hand, was sworn and she took her place on the witness stand.
Waħīd Murād’s voice held that synthetic sympathy that was the stock in trade of some prosecutors examining bereaved widows, as he questioned her.
“Mrs. Nadīm, we have to perform the disagreeable duty of identifying the decedent. You are the widow of Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad. I believe you were called upon to identify his body after it had been found in the place referred to generally as the Palmdale subdivision.”
“That’s right.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās said.
“You saw the body?”
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās controlled her tears with obvious efforts.
“You loved your husband?”
“Yes, sir. But not any more if what the police claim about him is true.”
Waħīd Murād watched Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās sympathetically.
“The police claim he was working against the interests of United States of America. If it’s true, I no more love the man.”
“It was your second marriage?”
“Fourth.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās amended the Public Prosecutor gravely, “I’m the unfortunate enough that’s still virgin despite my four marriages in last three years.”
“Won’t you explain it to the court and to the jury, ma’am, if you don’t mind?”
“My first husband was my University mate. We loved each other very much. Zāhid Rashīd loved me very much but I never knew he was a criminal. The police shot him in an encounter before he could celebrate his first night with me. I thank my Creator, Allah tabāruk tålā Rabbul åālmīn.”
Judge Keyser, plainly interested, leaned forward to listen to every word Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās was speaking.
“How many days after you married your second husband, Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī?” Waħīd Murād asked.
“I loved Zāhid Rashīd so much that it took me two years to forget him enough to marry Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī; however Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī wanted to marry me as soon as Zāhid Rashīd was shot in the police encounter.”
“How old were you when you married Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī?” Waħīd Murād asked sympathetically.
“Meaning you married Zāhid Rashīd at your nineteenth?”
“Yes, sir. That’s right.”
“What about Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī?”
“It turned out that the scoundrel was Zāhid Rashīd’s cousin and he actually married me to keep my mouth shut of Zāhid Rashīd’s criminal activities if I knew anything of them.”
“He was himself a criminal?”
“He was himself a criminal.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās said, “I feel shame in admitting that, we Musalmīn are not as educated mostly as the non Musalmīn are. Consequently it’s easier for the criminals to use us Musalmīn for their criminal activities more than they can use the non Musalmīn.”
“I know.” Waħīd Murād said gravely, “I belong to the same community as you do. What happened to Muħammad Qāsim Ayyūbī, your second husband?”
“He and my third husband, Akram Sultan, both were hanged for murders. Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad was my fourth husband.”
“Very very unfortunate.”
“Thank you. Perhaps I am foolish enough not to distinguish criminals from non-criminals.”
Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan smiled.
“Kambakħt! She deliberately married all of them one by one.” She commented.
“How do you know?” I looked at Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan.
“Hindu Piyā, all the four of them were multi-millionaires. The bitch is playing in billions now.”
“She seems innocent. But she isn’t. She is a great actress. Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās deliberately married those criminals and helped the police in encountering and hanging them.”
I watched Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan, incredulous.*
“Ma’am, you saw the body?”
“Yes,” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās once more tried to control herself, “Being his wife in his lifetime, I had to.”
“Can you identify it?”
“Yes, sir. It was the body of my fourth husband, Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad.”
Public Prosecutor, Waħīd Murād, went on similarly compassionately.
“Now then, do you know any Imām Muħammad Ħasan, ma’am?”
“Sure, he was my fourth husband’s, Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad’s, one of the very close friends.”
“Have you met Imām Muħammad Ħasan personally too?”
“Yes, sir. My fourth husband, Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad, wanted me to meet him. I obeyed my husband.”
“Did Imām Muħammad Ħasan lend you a HVSI .22 revolver some time ago?”
“Noooooo?” Waħīd Murād was immensely surprised.
“I tried to. But Nadīm instructed me to keep it with me.”
“Where is it now?”
“I don’t know.”
“What did you do with it?”
“I kept it in my safe.”
“Yet you don’t have it?”
“I don’t have it.”
“Would you explain?”
“Sir, there was a theft. I found that someone had evidently been in very much of a hurry. A framed picture of my husband, Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad, with his ex-wife, Saåīdah Åbbās Rashīd, had been ripped from a wall and torn out so that the picture of Saåīdah Åbbās Rashīd had gone to smithereens. A section of wallboard had been taken from the wall and hadn’t been replaced. Behind that section of wallboard, was an oblong recess. It was in that recess my very high grade, fireproof, burglarproof wall safe, unlocked. Its door was partly open. The safe was empty.”
“What did you keep there?”
“All my precious belongings that I needed every now and then, my revolver given to me by my husband, and hundreds of thousand dollars we kept there for any potential emergency.”
“Nothing was there?”
“Nothing was there including the said revolver too.”
“That’s all, ma’am. Thank you.”
He twisted to me.
“You may cross examine, Mr. Durgesh.”
Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan squeezed my hand.
“Rip her wide open, Durgesh. Please. The bitch is too smart to be handled for that damn fool Public Prosecutor. I bet no theft was there. She has all the money herself.”
“It might have been taken away. But not the money. The bitch is too smart for the burglars.”
I assured Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan and advanced to the witness stand.
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās was watching me austerely.
I stood facing the slender woman with the downcast eyes once again.
“Mrs. Nadīm,” I asked her equally compassionately, “Where did you meet your fourth husband, Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad?”
“What were you doing at the time?”
Waħīd Murād was immediately on his feet.
“Objected to,” he smiled, “as incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. It isn’t proper cross-examination too. It makes no difference what she was doing. It makes further no difference when the witness met the decedent or how she met him. She isn’t on trial. Zaynab Imrān Qurayshī is on trial.”
“Overruled.” Judge Keyser ruled.
Waħīd Murād requested patiently.
“May I be heard, your honor?”
“The court has already ruled on your objection, Mr. Public Prosecutor. In a case of this sort, I certainly intend to give the defendant every latitude in the field of cross-examination. Counsel undoubtedly has some point in mind or he wouldn’t have gone into this. Witness may answer the question.”*
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās looked at me,
“I was working in a rather varied capacity.” She said.
“Describe the varied capacities.” I said generously inviting her.
Her voice grew a little stronger.
Her eyes rose long enough to flash a glance of gathering seduction at me.
“I was a show girl, I think.”
“Ms. Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās, you showed yourself in bathing suits, did you not?”
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās smiled placidly.
“Oh, come on, Mr. Durgesh. We aren’t living in seventh century any more. Let the Pseudo Musalmīn fight to keep us all in seventh century. You are a Hindu, utmost ultramodern, I think. You allow your own Live in Relationship Partner, Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan, to be a nudist feminist. I was only wearing bathing suits.”
“I’m sorry. I thought you were resorting to double standards. Your Live in Relationship Partner can even make love to you openly in public places. And I couldn’t show my beauty even in bathing suits. Tut tut, Mr. Durgesh. I never expected this from a man, as ultramodern as you are.”
“You were a hostess?”
“Yet you married Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad subsequently. Didn’t you?”
“Sure, yet Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad too was a criminal is yet to be proven, sir.”
The Sālī was really smart.
She was even smarter than I thought she might be.
“So, let me understand, Ms. Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās, you were a shill?”
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās watched me gravely.
“What do you mean?”
“You put on daringly cut evening gowns that were tight and clinging. You circulated around the gambling tables.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“You know Lily Turner and me?”
“You both are not as unknown, sir, as you erroneously think you are.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās smiled sadly, “Ms. Lily Turner is related to Stansfield Turner, the former Director of CIA. You are an utmost successful barrister, Sex Therapist, Writer and infamous as an ever unique Hindu lover of Musalmān Beauties from eighteen to sixty years old equally.”
“Thank you, sir, that you see it now. However, I don’t think it is worse to be even a shill than being a mole of a Pseudo Musalmān terrorist/ Criminal/Criminal minded Musalmān. I preferred to be a shill rather than being a mole of a Pseudo Musalmān terrorist/ Criminal/Criminal minded Musalmān. I don’t think you agree with me.”
“You are mistaken, ma’am.” I said gravely, “I too agree with you in the matter and appreciate the course you followed prudently.”
“Thank you.” She cooed seductively yet still not forgetting that she was a recent widow.
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās was very careful.
Even Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan was chewing her lower lip in somewhat vulnerability.
She had never seen me so incapable to rip wide open any witness.
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās knew she had to face me.
She had come there very well prepared to meet my legal tactics.
Kambakħt never allows even Durgesh to put his hand on her anywhere.
She counter attacks Durgesh on his every legal attack.
She has studied Durgesh very well, very deeply, very adroitly.
Well, Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan doesn’t know, at least till now.
“Being a hostess, you made yourself easy to pick up?” I asked Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās.
“Well, I wasn’t picked up, Mr. Durgesh.”
“I see. Well, let me put it this way,” I smiled, “It was easy to get acquainted with you?”
“Sure, and as such, it was easy to get acquainted with you?” I asked patiently, smiling myself.
“I was simply doing my duty as a hostess.”
“That’s right. Therefore it was easy to get acquainted with you?”
“Not for everyone. Only for the person(s) I allowed to.”
“You made it that way?”
“Well, I love to make acquaintance with the persons I like. What’s wrong in it? We humans are social animals I think. Aren’t we?”
“Sure,” I smiled, “very well said. Yet, the fact was that you were particularly easy to get acquainted with as far as wealthy men were concerned who were in a position to spend money on the gambling tables. Isn’t that true?”
“Well, let me answer it somewhat in detail. May I?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“I am a woman. I had lost my husband. So it was quite natural I was in a hunt of a suitable husband for me. No woman wants a poor husband. Every woman seeks a wealthy and capable powerful husband. What was wrong there if I were doing the same as any other woman in the same position as I was in would have done? You imply I shouldn’t have done what any woman in my position would’ve done?”*
Naåīmah Muħammad Ħasan gritted her teeth.
Kambakħt, smarter than even she thinks every time.
“Certainly not, Ms. Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās, certainly not.” I smiled sophisticatedly, politely and unwearyingly, “You too have every legal right that any other woman has. I agree with you hundred percent. However, nevertheless, having acquainted with the wealthy men, you didn’t cultivate them as a prospective husband for you. Instead, you made it a point to encourage them in their gambling.”
“How do you know what I actually did?”
“Well, well, come on, Ms. Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās. I’m not on the witness stand. You are. You kept hanging around the gambling tables doing a little gambling of your own and chatting with these gambling men so that they would continue their gambling after they might otherwise have quit.”
“And if they have quit I wouldn’t have any prospective husband for me.” She smiled scathingly, “Mr. Durgesh, both as a hostess and as a woman seeking a prospective husband I had to be attractive. You aren’t a woman. You can’t understand it. But I’m sure any women in jury and in audiences as well, can very well understand what I was really after.”
“You were frequently at the gambling tables. Weren’t you?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“You used chips?”
“Always. The other gamblers too use chips.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās smiled sadly yet confidently.
“Now then, when you first met Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad, he was gambling at a table. Was he not?”
“I don’t gamble with money. I gamble with wits, my lady. Yet, I’m quite aware of these matters too and Las Vegas and Nevada also. My so many Live in Relationship Partners, as well as my so many women friends, haven’t quit yet their gambling habits.”
“Sorry.” Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās smiled sadly.
“Never mind. You were gambling at the table Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad was gambling at?”
“Sure. I’ve already told you. I always used chips.”
“Yet, they were not normal chips. They were special chips. Were they not?”
“What do you mean?”
“The chips you played with,” I pointed my forefinger at her, “were not redeemable. You had those chips given to you. You gambled with them, my lady, yet they couldn’t be redeemed for money. Your gambling was simply an act.”
“Sure. Every gambler there was aware of it. They were seasoned gamblers, Mr. Durgesh. They themselves were not born yesterday.”
“Not everyone. They know there are hostesses. But how did they know you were also one of them? So, you were a shill, a come-on?”
“Oh, your honor,” Waħīd Murād said, “this is attempting to browbeat the witness. The question is argumentative; it is not proper cross-examination, it―”
“Overruled.” Judge Keyser snapped.
“Answer the question.” I said.
“Well, you make it sound rather…rather…”
“Undignified?” I prompted.
“Something like that.”
“You considered yourself dignified?”*
Åāliyah Muħammad Åbbās watched me scrutinizing.
“Well, I considered myself at least more dignified than the moles of the gangsters, terrorists, criminal/criminal minded Musalmīn.” She said with immense pride. “I might haven’t been dignified with respect to the lucky women married with the sophisticated law abiding males, but I was certainly more dignified than the unlucky women who are married with the gangsters, criminal/criminal minded male e.g. a Musalmān.”
“You hate Musalmīn very much, Ms. Nadīm,” I smiled, “don’t you?”
“When you first met Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad, you went to a table where he was already gambling, did you not?”
“Sure. I was a widow. I wanted a husband for me capable enough to give me what I needed. Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad seemed to me quite capable in it.”
“Did someone direct you to go to that table, some person that represented your employer, the owner of that gambling house in Las Vegas, Nevada that pointed out Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad to you? Didn’t this person tell you to go over there and get to work on him? Isn’t that right?”
“Yes, but I was already on my path to do the same anyway.”
“For your employer?”
“For myself. Mr. Durgesh, I was there hostess not to earn a living for myself. I was there hostess so that I may learn the inside gambling tactics to warn my potential husband and save his money.”
“Very noble of you, Mrs. Nadīm.” I smiled sarcastically.
“Thank you.” She cooed.
“What happened when you went to the table where Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad was playing?”
“I went to the table, and when Mr. Nadīm Iqbāl Muħammad won, I smiled at him. That broke the ice.”
“What ice?” I asked curtly.
“I gave him a chance to be acquainted with me.”
“Did you think there was ice?”
She eyed me cynically.
“I used the expression as a figure of speech.”
“So did me.” I said authoritatively rather tersely somewhat, “I didn’t mean that there were icicles dripping all over this tight clinging gown that you were wearing. I realized that you referred to ice in a figurative manner of speaking. Naturally, I too used the term in the same sense. Now was there any ice to break?”
4. On History
6. On Hinduism
7. On Islam