Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (III)

The very next morning, when he came back home after Fajar prayer, there were many kids of the neighborhood gathered in the courtyard.

Qandeel was sitting on stairs having keyboard in her lap, all kids were around her. Holding small flags in their hands, they were singing national songs with Qandeel.

“Tera her ik zarra hum ko apni jaan sey pyara

(Every particle of yours is beloved more than our life)

Terey dum sey shaan hamari tujh sey naam hmara”

(We have pride because of you, our recognition is you)

She was creating melodies with closed eyes and singing with children shaking her head here and there.

“Jab tek hai ye dunya baaqi hum dekhen azaad

(Till the end of the world, may we see you at liberty)

Hum dekhen azaad tujhey

(May we see you at liberty)

Sohni dharti Allah rakhey qadam qadam aabaad

(O beautiful land! May Allah keep you prospered at each and every step)

Qadam qadam aabaad tujhey

(May He keep you prospered at each and every step)”

He went into kitchen smiling and started preparing breakfast.

He had prepared breakfast. The singing voices were now stopped and laughter and giggling of kids were coming, but after some time, there was silence. He knew that kids probably have gone.

“Baba, why are you preparing breakfast, I would have made it once I finished.” She came inside.

“For at least one day in a whole year, I am allowed to prepare breakfast for my daughter, Qandeel”, he started laughing. “I thought you were sleeping, so didn’t come to you before going”.

“On this day, taking a long sleep is not possible Baba. This morning is always so bright, so glowing that I wake up early in the morning to look it”, she started pouring tea into cups.

After breakfast and finishing rest of the things, when she came out of the kitchen, Yousuf Mairaj was standing near the plants along with the wall of courtyard. Perhaps, he was looking the flag waving at the roof.

"Baba, yesterday evening Munir Sahib called for you but you were not home and later on I did not remember to tell you." She started to explain things.

"Yes, Munir called and talked to me on mobile". He threw away her worry.

"Did you talk to him? What is being decided by you people", she tried to explore.

“Nothing special”, he said in a sloppy manner.

“So, when you people are going to meet, to discuss things in detail”, she was not satisfied.

“There is no need to meet him now”, he moved towards veranda.

“What do you mean”? She followed him.

“The need to meet and discuss things in detail comes only when deal is settled. When deal is not settled already what would be the benefit of the meeting”, he smiled resting his back with the pillar. His smile had a very strange expression. Qandeel could not understand that either it was due to pain or satisfaction.

“Baba”, her voice was disappointed. “I am sure you would have refused, otherwise he was showing a great interest in this matter”.

Yousuf Mairaj didn’t reply just looked her.

“Why did you do this?” she was a little angry. “You did get a great opportunity to create your academy, to fulfill a dream so older and you missed it with your wish”, she too rested her back against the pillar just beside him. “How many years you and Sir Kamran have spent just to complete the paper work for the academy and now when you just need financial sponsors in order to start the work, you just refuse everyone’s offer. Time is passing so quickly and if this academy would not be started in coming few years then it might be very late. With every day which is being passed, our energies are decreasing. The courage, strength and potential with which we can do it today, perhaps would not be able to do same after few years”, her tone was worried and tired.

Yousuf Mairaj turned towards her and took her face into his hands, “My sweet daughter! Whatever you are saying, these are exactly true but few things can never be in our hands, Qandeel. These have to happen with their own time own way, we can’t change the time and the way even if we want to”. His old, shiny eyes and the sense of his soft hands just took a second to vanish her disappointment.

“What you feel, are not me and Kamran trying to get sponsors for the academy?” She smiled. “We both are trying our best, but the thing is that our priorities are different and people who are willing to sponsor their priorities are different. Our purpose is something else, their purpose is something else. Our terms and conditions are different and their terms and conditions are totally different. Then how can I take risk in this situation for the fulfillment of my dream. Unless I am certain that in the foundations of this academy, no seed of individual benefits will be sown; I am not going to accept anyone’s proposal”. Slowly and gradually she was being convinced. “We have to compromise everywhere in life, Qandeel! I have taught you this and I have also taught you the thing that compromise on ideologies is impossible and it should be. To live, one has to protect his belief, trust, ideologies and purpose, has to prevent them from impurities. I think you understand what I am saying”. She shook her head positively.

“I am sure that my dream will be accomplished. If not me then it would be someone else, someone who would really be able to perform this duty better than me. Who can create and run this academy in a better way. One who gave me this dream Qandeel, He will definitely send someone in the form of accomplishment of this dream”, he had light in his eyes, just like a Sun. “Sarosh Academy of Art and Literature will become a reality one day”, his tone was determined. “I am certain”.

She smiled, “So do I”.

He kissed her forehead and embraced her head with his chest.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (II)

“Hurry up! Ilaaf, we are getting late.” Adnan was kicking his heavy bike.

Propping with his white land cruiser, he gripped the cigarette between his fingers then turned his face, “still, there is some time”.

Adnan had a look on his wrist watch, “only three minutes are left for midnight, if we reach late then it would be worthless”.

He threw away the cigarette and straightened himself, “You will be in street club at exactly twelve”. Saying very carelessly he moved towards the driving seat.

Adnan smiled on his answer. He knew that Ilaaf was saying the right thing.

All guys who were dispersed on the road, gathered on land cruiser and bikes in just few seconds. They were roaring and with waving hands from sun roof and windows they made a lot of disturbance on the roads.

He was driving very roughly but with expertise. The way he was moving the car on roads in a zigzag manner, riding on bikes adnan and his fellows were continuously behind him.

Before thirty seconds to twelve, they were at the gate of street club. Glowing with various lights, street club was looking like a light tower at the moment.

They were moving towards inside by crossing a crowd, whistling and roaring. Ilaaf was behind all of them. Heading towards the main entrance, a remembrance came in his mind about smoking. After taking out the pack of cigarette, he was now searching the lighter in the pocket of his jeans exactly then, somebody passed nearby to him by knocking his shoulder. The pack of cigarette flew away from his hand and dropped on floor.

“Idiot”, he murmured angrily and got down to pick the pack but the security guard who was standing near entrance had already picked that pack.

The guard executed the pack towards him. Ilaaf looked at him. He was a middle aged, short heighten, firm featured man but his smile was enough to occupy that firmness.

“Thanks”, Ilaaf said and took the pack.

“Mention not”, he was still looking at him with smile.

Ilaaf took out the lighter, held his head back high and exactly then he felt that the guard is starring at him.

“What?” he asked immediately.

“Can I ask you one thing?” Ilaaf surprised on his informality but he felt it interesting otherwise in normal situations, he was not habitual to permit anyone being so informal.

“Yeah, ask”, Ilaaf said in his conventional way with no respect for him.

“What is the date tonight?” he felt himself to laugh at the stupid question.

“Fourteen of August”, the pyrotechnics that started from the ground of street club was the stamp on his answer.

“What is fourteen of August to you?” Ilaaf could not smile this time.

“A night full of fun and a day full of splendors”, the answer was given with purity. Smile of the guard grew deeper.

“Certainly, for you the meaning of fourteen August could only be this”. Ilaaf did not aggravate, although he was arrogant and fretful enough that he never tolerated anyone’s taunting on him. “Go, for you the night of fun has begun”, he pointed his hand towards inside.

Ilaaf took a step ahead then turned back.

“What is fourteen of August to you?” the question was asked in a quite informal and somewhat misbehaved manner.

“It’s not worth to you.”

“Even then”, he insisted.

“For me, fourteen August is the night of twenty seventh of Ramazan, Night of power when light and blessings are being sent to the world, when prays are being accepted and the darkness of the world goes away”, his tone was calm and satisfactory.

Ilaaf could not understand a single thing said by him and even he did not want to understand, it was totally worthless for him.

“It does not matter for me that fourteen of August is either twenty seventh of Ramazan or anything else for you”, his tone was ridiculed.

He moved towards inside.

“Indeed, it should not matter for you”. This time his feet stopped on the voice of the guard. He turned and looked him. “It should not matter for grandson of Adil Laashaari, son of Qaiser Laashaari and grandson (daughter’s son) of Mujahid Baloch that what exactly is fourteen of August for a Pakistani”. He could not blink his eyes.

“So, you know who I am?” Ilaaf was looking in his eyes directly.

“Everybody knows you with this identity, but I feel that this is not your true identity”. Ilaaf had surprise in his eyes. “You are not what you look to be, and you are what you don’t look to be”. He was now bewildered.

The tone of the guard was now dry, uneven and cold.

“So, wait for the time when you will look to be, what you are”. For the first time, Ilaaf feared from his deep, shiny eyes. “But before that time, prepare yourself for the period which will come to you before reaching that point”. The mysterious and incomprehensible sentence had moved a wave of electricity in his whole body. Unwillingly he could not answer the guard.

“To make desire is easy Ilaaf Laashaari, but to walk along the pathway of desire is not a painless thing”. Ilaaf felt as his feet are fixed in the floor.

“Where are you buddy, everybody is asking about you there”, Adnan came by running and reached him.

He jerked his head and just then came out from that trance.

“Let’s go”, Adnan held his arm and pulled him towards entrance.

Going towards inside Ilaaf looked the guard for the last time. He had the same mysterious smile on his face.

The weather was pleasant but he felt moisture on his forehead.

He had reached in the ground where fireworks and uproar were on their peak. He became normal in just few moments but he had decided that on the way back he will use the other gate of street club. He was bewildering just by thinking about that guard.

By moving his hands up in the air and taking a deep breath, he pulled out all ferocity. Pyrotechnics were now finished and some exciting pop national songs started on stereo.

If fast music is being played then people who love dancing do not have any concern with words. Flag that was waving on the top of street club just for one night, with sadness was looking the “Falcons” of Iqbal learning the lesson of earthly things.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (I)

Holding the candle in her hand, she kindled all earthen lamps one by one. From one corner of parapet at the house top to the other, even in the hands of kids who were standing there, only were lamps, the lightening lamps. There was illumination all over as the sun would have risen in midnight.

“So, all lamps have been kindled. You all can go and lit your homes now. These lamps will be quenched by morning, but the lamps of Love which you have kindled in your hearts, let them illuminate forever”.

The moment she was leading the kids towards the staircase, she saw her father fixing the Flag on a corner of house top. She came back upstairs after locking the door. He had already kept a chair and seated himself exactly in the middle of the house top.

She knew that what he is going to do. Keeping in his lap he was reciting Quran. She picked another chair and seated right at his back. He was reciting loudly. With closed eyes, she was listening silently.

Yousuf Mairaj was reciting surat-ul-Qadar.

“Indeed We revealed this on the Night of Power. And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, with all decrees. Peace it is till the rising of the dawn”. He finished and kissed the Quran.

Qandeel opened her eyes and smiled. Yousuf Mairaj turned and looked at her.

“The Night of Blessings, which will cease the darkness of the world and will last until the morning of resurrection.” His eyes were meaningful at the moment, Qandeel’s smile grew deeper.

Pakistan is the Night of Power.” She looked at him, “Whenever I say the same thing to people, they make a mock on me, laugh at me, and ridicule me that I dream with awakened eyes”.

“Do these things matter to you?” he asked the very first question.

“No, Absolutely not. Instead, these things increase my contentment, satisfaction and courage”. He smiled, “That’s the proof for your truth.”

She stood by smiling, “Yeah, I know Baba(father)”. She took Quran from Yousuf Mairaj and embraced with her chest, then folded her arms around it.

“The scent that is emitting from this Book and penetrating into my soul, the same fragrance is coming from this Flag. And this feeling is enough for my belief”.

Yousuf Mairaj walked towards her. She kept her head on his shoulder. Both of them were looking at the Flag, started singing something very rhythmically.

These were some words, words of an old but beautiful song. Qandeel was habitual to sing it with him since her childhood.

The green Flag with crescent and star was waving with a smile and bouncing with their words.