“Sajjad stood up quietly and walked over to her.
There is a phrase i have heard in English: to leave someone alone with their grief. Urdu has no equivalent phrase. It only understands the concept of gathering around and becoming “ghum-khaur’ – grief eaters – who take in the mourner’s sorrow. Would you like me to be in English or Urdu right now?”
There was a moment’s hesitation, and then she said, “This is an Urdu lesson, Sensei,” and returned to sit at the bridge table, pen poised to write the word ‘ghum-khaur’.”