On a trip to Cairo in Egypt, one of the various knick-knacks I purchased was a baby doll for my grandson, Dilon. A doll named Salma caught my eye amongst the range of fancy toys on display in the toy shop. Each toy I looked at seemed to be more attractive than the one next to it. It was really a difficult choice for me.
But the doll named Salma somehow seemed to scream out at me, and wink for attention. Her big dark brown eyes reminded me strangely of Dilon’s eyes in an unknown land. Nobody in Cairo, or even the whole of Egypt, knew my grandson, Dilon, who at that time was more than two thousand miles away in London. Salma’s very attractive and alluring eyes pulled me, like a magnet, to her side. She was the right Doll for my grand-son; I was directed by my inner senses.
Then I noticed her physique – she was totally plastic, of course – but just like a fairy and very beautiful. Any child would love to see her and play with her in the very first instance. She had a thick mane of lustrous grey hair that could be dyed any of several shades, according to one’s choice. My darling little grandson was three; Salma would surely make the perfect gift for him. Dilon was fond of dolls and especially of attractive girls.
Even in reality, his choice of friends was always girls and he would play very happily for hours with his little girl friends around. If he was allowed to choose a number of friends from the group, he would always go for girls, I was sure.
Salma’s outstanding feature was that she had been made with a normal, regular girl’s body. She had a chubby little face, wholesome but also intensely attractive, with a warm dusky complexion. Her belly was rounded and she had full hips and beautiful legs shaped like the attractive shop assistants, who looked very capable of bearing children, cooking meals and looking after the family. I fantasized that when Salma grew up, she would do all those things. To me, Salma was not just a doll, but a companion for my sweet, darling Dilon. I could see that Salma was her own person, with far more character than some of the world famous real ‘dolls.’
I didn’t even bother to ask the price of Salma, but bought her with great enthusiasm, impatient to show her to Dilon. If she could be the choice of my grand-son, the price was not a problem at all.
From Cairo, I went to Dubai and stayed there for a week, taking care that the precious doll did not get spoiled or scratched. I looked after her as if she were a real life little girl and who would please Dilon immensely.
When I reached London and presented little Salma to my darling Dilon, he was not just pleased to accept her, but he was absolutely over the moon with her. I was happy that Dilon loved my choice of gift. He immediately appointed Salma the wonder doll as his sister.
He renamed her Geeta, as he didn’t want a Muslim for a sister but a Hindu. He would not want Salma wearing the burkah when she grew up, as that was the custom in Egypt, where Salma came from. Geeta was a very sweet name for a sister who would tie the holy thread of Rakhi round his wrist during the Raksha Bandhan Day.
Thus Salma turned Geeta wore blue denims that celebrated her Hindu figure and a gold and white tube top. I thought that if she ever felt uncomfortable, Dilon would just throw a wrap or shawl over her bare shoulders.
In winter, Dilon asked my wife to knit a little woollen sweater for Geeta to protect her tender body from the cold wind. It was Dilon who decided what his darling sister wanted to wear and when.
A year passed happily for Dilon with his little sister, Geeta and, surprisingly, Dilon wished to celebrate her birthday. We had a proper birthday cake and invited Dilon’s friends around. Dilon very proudly introduced Geeta as his sister to all his friends. The friends brought beautiful gifts for her and Dilon’s face was shining with happiness. I liked that. I was very happy that I had bought the right doll for Dilon and that Geeta was safe in his loving hands.
I wanted Geeta and Dilon to remain brother and sister until Dilon began to grow up and understand the reality. Geeta was a happy doll, always smiling, proud to be the loving sister of Dilon.
Their love never died and Geeta had a separate room when Dilon grew up and got married. She is still there, in a beautiful room with several other dolls, duly respected by her grown up brother…
Dilon had always known the truth behind Geeta’s unchanging form. But he never changed his mind. He loved his sister with the same heart and Salma turned Geeta stayed peacefully under his care for long till the time his first born son came to love her.