Today, Mariyam stopped by to see us. "The tea club is ready and open for visitors," she announced. "Already we have had several girls come and spend time talking to each other and us about their concerns. Nahji, I would like for you and Satura to stop by tomorrow. Maybe you can give a little speech, like we discussed, and inspire the girls." She nodded to my mother. "Would that be alright, do you think?" she asked.
Mother pressed her lips tightly shut for a moment, her dark eyes going back and forth between the three of us girls.
"I am thinking," she said, finally. "About your father and how he will feel if you go to this club; or how an angry employer might see it as a place that encourages rebellion in his workers; or about Nahji speaking out and looking like a troublemaker. " She shook her head. "I think these things and I am afraid."
"Amma," whispered Satura, moving close and giving her a reassuring hug. "We will be alright, and I will look after Nahji tomorrow."
"I cannot lie to your father," she replied.
"You don't have to," I said. "If he asks, I am at the tea club. I don't even know what I will say, I am only going to talk about my ducks and the mealworms."
Mariyam frowned a little. "That's enough, isn't it?" I said, staring back at her. "About my hopes. Not about them quitting the tea fields or anything like that!
She nodded. "Whatever you want," she said.
"Then it will be fine," I said to Mother. "I will come the week after Bihu."
"Alright," she replied, grasping Satura's hand and letting it go. "But be careful, anyway."
"My friends and I will make sure of that," promised Mariyam.
Now I am nervous, Diary! Talking in front of strangers about my dreams. Why should they care? Why did I promise?