Alisha Earns Her Veil
© “Michelle” 2005
Chapter 10 – A Sore but Veiled Bottom
“Seems we’d all better adjourn next door then so that Nasreen and Alisha can make their prayers.” Rana claps her hands.
“Ah. I’d better excuse myself then.” Lydia replies.
“Oh no need for that. The girls can go upstairs to Nasreen’s room.”
“We have to pray now ?” Nasreen asks.
“Well you don’t have to.” her mother replies, assuming her daughter’s sudden found enthusiasm for prayer is based on what she will be wearing near the time of the wedding, not what she will be doing, “But Alisha here will be and I am sure she would like some company doing so.”
“Of course mother. She would get lonely otherwise, wouldn’t she ?”
“Good girl.” the three married women thank her.
Alisha grins to herself that nobody has asked her opinion on whether she wants to be praying or not. Obviously a bride-to-be is simply expected to be extra devout. Small things like the fact she still hasn’t eaten yet obviously don’t come in for consideration.
‘Still surely the corset will go that bit tighter if I don’t eat anything !’ she grins to herself.
They move next door and Alisha and Nasreen disappear.
Rana restarts the discussion.
“There is one more thing to discuss.”
“What’s that ?” Lydia replies.
“This caning of your daughter.”
“Ah.” Lydia sighs, “I really hoped she would forget about that one.”
“So is it true ?”
“Oh yes. My mother and a few of my female friends were whipped before their weddings. I only missed out on it as I came to England.”
“Sounds one of the best reasons for coming here.” Karima remarks, “So how badly are we talking about ?”
“Either lightly or quite severely depending on how good a daughter she has been and how much the parents think she needs to be calmed down to ensure a successful marriage.”
“On her wedding day ? That’s terrible.”
“Well it’s on the first day. The main ceremony is on the second but they are not truly married until after the celebration on the third.”
“So what happens on the first day ?”
“Well she is supposed to spend all the first day weeping. And at some pre-arranged time unknown to her in advance she does get beaten to add to her tears.”
“Why does she cry all day ?”
“She’s sorry or afraid of leaving her home. In some regions the girls are expected to cry so much they go into a trance. They even have a sort of funeral accompaniment on a tambourine. Combined with the whipping some girls have been rendered unconscious.”
“This doesn’t sound much like what we hear about Catholics ?”
“I’m afraid the regions of Eastern Europe have tended to mix up all sorts of religious and pagan festivals, often village by village. I doubt of the Pope would recognise the first day so as far as the church is concerned the wedding starts on the second day.”
“I see. So are they all Catholics ?”
“Oh no. There’s Orthodox, Muslims, Catholics, some Jews and various others.”
“But they’re all whipped ?”
“Ah. I’m not sure. Some villages did whip the bride, others didn’t. Perhaps that was because of their religion.”
“So who introduced the whipping of the bride ?”
“I’m not quite sure. Either the Russians or the Turks, though it could be the Mongols gave it to both of them. That area has been invaded throughout history.”
“Genghis Khan you mean ?”
“That’s right. Oh that’s your name of course.”
“It’s a common enough name. It just means a king or ruler. Though they do say that as many as half a percent of people alive today have him as an ancestor.”
“How did he manage that ?”
“Oh if you take a virgin every night, and your son and grandson do the same, you tend to spread your genes quite widely.”
“I suppose you do. I see monogamy wasn’t his sort of thing then.” Lydia remarks.
“Or four wives even.” Rana giggles.
“So what happens on the second day in your country ?” Karima asks Lydia.
“It’s what we here regard as the proper marriage ceremony. It takes all day as there’s all sorts of comings and goings with the best man having to tell the bride’s family the groom is ready, they tell him the bride isn’t, the groom then comes and they tell him the bride will be ready soon, then the best man escorts the bride and bridesmaids to the church to ensure they get there.”
“That’s the same as us. So where do the couple spend the night ?”
“Back in their own homes. On the final day there is either a single ceremony or separate male and female ceremonies like I believe you have as well and sometime later the couple are escorted by selected people all the way to the marriage bed.”
“So all ends well then ?”
“Not always quite yet. The areas in or near Russia used to require the bride to remain veiled for the first night and silent until after the second.”
“That sounds a good idea.” Rana grins, “Is she gagged ?”
“No. But if the groom sees her face or she makes a noise during their first time the marriage will not be productive.”
“I see. I think the veil will stay intact but we’d better gag Alisha for her own good.” Rana giggles, “She makes quite a noise when she faints.”
“Don’t ask.” Lydia remarks to Karima’s puzzled look.
“So how should we best perform this wedding then ?” Rana asks.
“Well unfortunately Alisha has been trying to mix traditions from here, my country and yours and it’s all got a bit messy.”
“So we don’t have to all see her being beaten.” Karima remarks, “I don’t think I want my daughter seeing this anyway.
“I’d rather there was nothing for anybody to see. I don’t know why she’s picked up on this particular tradition. We have some much nicer ones.”
“You mean like gagging the bride.” Karima grins.
“Ah.” Rana sighs, “That may be my fault.”
“I’ve been giving her the odd slap on the bottom and I think she’s grown to like having some sort of discipline imposed upon her.”
“Oh.” the other two remark in unison.
“So is that why she behaves so much better now ?” Lydia asks.
“Oh I don’t think so. She was angelic from the first time I met her.”
“That’s alright then. You do hear of brides being beaten to convince them to marry.”
“Oh I don’t think we were that desperate with Javed … yet !” Rana grins.
“So how many slaps are we talking about here ?” Lydia asks.
“Well I’ve given her a few spankings with my shoe. But she made Javed cane her twice.”
“Two strikes ?”
“Uh no. Lot of strikes. And twice.”
“Will he do that when they’re married ?”
“It’s only allowed if she’s really disobedient. And somehow I don’t think anybody is going to believe him if he claims that, do you ?”
“So how did she get him to cane her then ?”
“I gather she made her last ever swearword.”
“Ah.” Lydia grins, “Perhaps there is a good use for this cane after all.”
“Oh ?” “I’m afraid she was a right foul mouthed girl in her late teens. I couldn’t control her at all.”
“I see. But she’s changed now.”
“Yes. And only for the better. But it is my daughter’s wedding. If she really wants to be caned there …”
“Not in front of any children.” Karima cuts into the conversation.
“Might make them more obedient.” Rana remarks, “Or at least the girls anyway.”
“Yeah. And the boys will be looking forward to their wedding days with added relish.” Lydia laughs.
“So who normally attends these beatings ?”
“Well,” Lydia thinks, “the bride obviously. And her father and mother. And any sisters of course. And younger brothers. Any female friends and relations of her or the groom.”
“Is that all ?”
“Oh and the groom himself of course.”
“So just two men ?”
“Well that was in my village. You did hear stories of other parts of the mountains where uncles were invited along as well.”
“Just of the bride ?”
“Uh … yes.”
“Has she got any ?”
“None who we know to invite.”
“Well that’s one less thing to worry about then.” Rana gives a sigh of relief. “So basically we’ve got an equivalent to the female evening of a Muslim wedding where only the groom and father of the bride come for a short while.”
“Well yes.” Lydia nods.
“Only they’ve got to flog the bride senseless before they leave.” Karima points out one more time.
“Well there is that.” Rana smiles, “Though she did request a cane rather than a whip so it is a bit restricted.”
“Not that much.”
“Well I don’t think her father is likely to administer more than a token spanking, do you ? And Javed won’t want to hurt her either. Why don’t we ask her again ?” Rana suggests.
“Uh … okay then.”
“Karima, why don’t you go and look after Nasreen and ask Alisha to come here.”
A few minutes later Alisha is politely kneeling on the floor in front of her mother and Rana.
“I understand you’ve asked to be caned by your father at your wedding ?” Lydia begins.
“Yes mother. It’s the tradition in your family.”
“The tradition is to whip you into submission actually.”
“Well yes. But I hoped you thought I was already doing that.”
“We do. That’s why we don’t understand why you want father to cane you.”
“I thought he might enjoy it.”
“Hmm. And how about Javed ?”
“Well I’ve already had him cane me so we can miss out on that if you insist.”
“So I’ve heard. How badly did he do it ?”
“I can still feel it a little.”
“Oh. You don’t need any treatment do you ?”
“No. Of course not. I quite like the feeling.”
“That’s what I was worried about. So you want this all the time ?”
“Not really. I just want to have this feeling when I say my vows to remind me just how serious they are.”
“So how many are we talking about ?”
“Well say six from father and six from Javed.”
“Soft ones ?”
“No. Proper ones. I’ll count them out aloud and won’t say anything if they’re too soft.”
“And if they’re too hard.”
“My bad luck.” Alisha grins.
“We’d rather not do this in front of everybody. Specifically the children.”
“Nasreen and I were talking about the wedding.”
“I thought you were supposed to be praying ?”
“We made a deal. One prayer, one question about the wedding.”
“So her first question was to ask me to go through everything that would happen to me at the wedding.”
“She’s clever like that.” Rana joins the conversation, “So you told her about the caning ?”
“Uh … well … yes. She wants to hold my hands while it’s administered.”
“Karima is really, really not going to be happy !”
“Oh I’m sure Nasreen will convince her in her usual manner.” Alisha grins, “By now she’ll probably be bouncing up and down telling her it’s one of the flowergirl’s main duties.”
And sure enough some stomping on the ceiling moments later indicates this to be true. Karima and daughter appear a few minutes after the noise stops.
“Okay. It’s your bottom !” she admits defeat.