“Salma!” the boy shrieked. “He’s dead!”
She dropped the kettle and ran upstairs, pushing past the boy.
“Rashad!” she cried.
He was splayed out on the floor, his record albums piled around him. She could hear the music from his headphones. Cream? His smile was blissful.
She laughed and the boy flailed at her.
“He’s not dead, child.” She caught his small fists and kissed them.
“He’s the embodiment of tarab.” She tried to stop laughing. “It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with him.”
Beauty of the World: In this series I use an “untranslatable word” in a story.
These wonderful words capture the beauty of languages around the world.
Tarab ( طرب ) (Arabic, n.): musically-induced ecstasy or enchantment.
For more wonderfully untranslatable words, see:
- Untranslatable Words, by Tim Lomas, PhD.
- Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words, by Ella Frances Sanders