Monday, September 27, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (V)

The moment Kamran Ali entered the street along with Yousuf Mairaj, stood in the street she was buying vegetables. He knew the vegetable seller very well. He was Deen Muhammad. He was setting his vegetable cart for last twenty years and now he was habitual to visit this street regularly, one reason for that was Qandeel.

He looked Qandeel watchfully. Standing bare feet right with the gate near the cart, she was analyzing the vegetables by leaping time to time and the same time careless of things around her busy in talking to Deen Muhammad like she had not anything to do except this.

On her back her hair which were loosely bound and coming out of the grip of the band, irregularly dispersed on her shoulder, perspiration shining on her forehead, witty smile and fast running tongue like a scissor. He just smiled. Yousuf Mairaj did the same after looking the activities of his daughter unique to the world.

Kamran Ali had never seen a girl so strange and unusual throughout his life. Qandeel was just three days old when he had met her for the first time. Except Yousuf Mairaj, he was the only person who was well aware with her habits and nature; even then she had surprised him many times.

He had never seen a girl like her, who was doing Masters in Mass communication and was so brilliant and intellectual but asking to a vegetable seller about his wife and kids like a typical woman. The girl who had learned more than half of Kalam-e-Iqbal like flowing water, when come on taunting then used even street phrases. From dressing to art and music, Qandeel Yousuf who had a brilliant taste in all these whenever had been busy in one of her favorite activities like this, neither cared of her slippers nor of irregularly dispersed hair. She, who after hearing a slippery joke was habitual to laugh for hours with red face, whenever had become serious in any issue, was supposed to be so intelligent and older than her age.

“Chacha(Uncle) Deen Muhammad, please bring peas tomorrow. I have to prepare Pulao on Sunday and you know that how much I like peas. Without peas I can never prepare chicken Pulao”. She started laughing on her own sentence in a bizarre manner. They both had reached to her.

“Yes, Deen Muhammad, bring peas tomorrow. We even have not eaten chicken Pulao of peas for many days”. Kamran Ali said in a dazzling way and so Qandeel looked them.

“When you people have come? I was not so busy in talking to chacha, then why could not I see you?” she was amazed.

“My sweet daughter, if you were standing so carefully then should have given a look to the slippers inside gate”. Yousuf Mairaj reproached her laughing. Her eyes went on her feet. An embarrassing smile spread on her lips. “I was…….I was……actually I………..” She could not make words.

“Also, I will have to look the condition of the house after going inside. Do not know what would have stolen till the time and will be presenting the proof of the brilliance of my clever daughter”. Saying in a witty manner he moved inside. Kamran Ali followed him.

Qandeel being so quick handed over the money to Deen Muhammad, picked the shopper of vegetables, came inside and closed the door behind her.

“Baba, nothing has been stolen from home. I just forgot to put on my slippers; you know it’s my old habit”. Both of them had kept their belongings on the table in the courtyard. She separated all vegetables in kitchen and kept them on their place, when returned back, both of them had started their work by scattering different papers on table.

Kamran Ali had bent himself over the table, was marking the flow chart at different points made on a drawing sheet and along this he was also noting down something in his note book. On the other side Yousuf Mairaj with his finger on papers was giving instructions to him. She brought a chair, seated and started looking all this with a great interest.

They were finalizing few course outlines these days for Sarosh Academy of Art and Literature (SAAL), and for the same reason the course outline for the “History of Literature” was in progress that day.

“Surah-e-Yousuf “. She read something in a surprise from the drawing sheet. Kamran Ali had stopped his hand. He moved his head up and looked her.

“Why are you so surprised, Qandeel?” Yousuf Mairaj smiled on his question.

“Because, Baba has not told me that Surah-e-Yousuf will also be added in this course, even I have worked a lot along with Baba for this course outline”. The meaningful sight of Kamran Ali was now focused on Yousuf Mairaj.

“Sir, this is injustice”. Yousuf Mairaj had got a deep smile. “Well I could only discuss Surah-e-Yousuf to her if I would have understood it first myself, while I am learning to understand it from you these days, Kamran”. She was silently hearing their conversation.

“Well I think, sir that you should have discussed it with Qandeel. It was beneficial for us and we could get help to know a student perspective about this Surah. But you have kept her completely uninformed”.

“I am so old now Kamran, and she is also busy these days due to her internship. But even then I apologize and will start a session of Surah-e-Yousuf at my home the very first time and so I can evaporate my daughter’s anger”. He had the idea about Qandeel’s mood after looking her angry face. “Ok. Let’s do one thing. I prepare and bring coffee for both of you as my punishment”. He stood but Qandeel remained silent and angry. “Will you make me to put my hands on my ears in this age? Forgive me”. She finally laughed.

“Baba, you are too much. Ok, go and bring coffee then I will accept your apology”. He went into the kitchen laughing. Kamran Ali collected all papers and put them inside his bag.

“What is the planning of you people for the music in academy?” She wanted to ask this question for so many days. “After looking the need and the facility, we have planned to have a separate department and studio for music in academy. In coming days we are going to make its proper documentation”.

“That’s great”. She felt glad.

“What were you doing before we came?” He asked after having another look on her irregularly dispersed rough hair.

“Chitchat to chacha Deen Muhammad”. She said vividly.

“And before that?” His clever eyes had watched the hidden slumber in her red eyes.

“Few words were emerging inside my mind since yesterday night. I was trying to copy them on paper in the form of a poem, so that I try to compose them but could not write more than few lines”. Finally, she had explained the real thing.

“Can I see, what you have written”. He looked her with a questioning sight. She stood shaking her head positively.

From her room, she brought a small diary, handed over to him and seated back. Kamran Ali opened the diary and unfolded the paper that was folded initially.

Gham-e-agahi sey aashnaai ki der hai

(Just the time to become familiar with grief of awareness)

Musafir hum bhi rah-e-shauq key ban jaengey

(We will be the travelers on the way of Passion too)

He looked at Qandeel who was sitting right in front of him. The girl was half of his age and he had often felt her like his own daughter. The way, in which he had always surprised others, likewise she had always surprised him. He again focused his eyes on the diary.

Hai kya ibtida, hai kya intiha, hai kya dard aur kya hai maza

(What is preliminary? What is extreme? What is the pain and what is the delight?)

Hai kya arzoo, hai kya justuju, hai Namaz kya aur kya wuzu

(What is desire? What is exploration? What is the prayer and what is the ablution?)

Farz-e-aashqi sey aashnaai ki der hai

(Just the time to become familiar with obligation of Love)

Musafir hum bhi rah-e-shauq key ban jaengey

(We will be the travelers on the way of Passion too)

Gham-e-agahi sey aashnaai ki der hai

(Just the time to become familiar with grief of awareness)

Musafir hum bhi rah-e-shauq key ban jaengey

(We will be the travelers on the way of Passion too)

He closed the diary and again looked her. Her eyes had an investigative shine.

“How is the incomplete poem?” He smiled. “Incomplete but still very beautiful. Deserves the appreciation”. Her smile started to shine too. “Just a wish that it should be completed somehow and not remain incomplete like many of other poems”. Qandeel showed her apprehension. “Do not worry. InshAllah it will be completed”. He bent himself a little forward. “Just will take some time. Few things always need time for their completion, so should give them. By the way, you have learned to play with words very well”. She had a cheering laugh on these remarks. “Being your student, if I can’t learn to play with words even, what could I learn then”. He laughed too this time.

“How is your internship going on? You and Maryam probably meet every day now”. Yousuf Mairaj had brought the coffee.

“Almost every day, although her channel’s office building has some distance with my newspaper building, but every day we meet during the lunch break. And now as my classes have been started, I could reach to office till lunch time, so first meeting her then some work”. Yousuf Mairaj and Kamran Ali were having their coffee and silently hearing her whereas, Qandeel as usual started to tell the details of her routine.

“Should I expect that you will be able to come in next week workshop?” It was the very first question of Kamran Ali as soon as he finished the coffee.

“I will try my best, sir”. She repeated the usual sentence.

“I will wait for you”. Kamran Ali smiled.

Qandeel had now bound her hair properly, but perhaps she still did not remember to put on her slippers. When she went into kitchen taking coffee cups, he looked at her bare feet whose soles were packed with dust due to walking on courtyard floor”.

“Ok sir, I will come again. Few things I have to discuss further in detail, after which Zahid Sahib will do its proper documentation”. Kamran Ali came towards gate and shaken his hand with Yousuf Mairaj. Qandeel also had come there.

“Give my love to Saad and salam to Aaliya. Many days have been passed to meet her. Say to her that I will try to have a visit in few days, Allah hafiz”. Kamran Ali had a view on her shiny face, and then he came out into the street.

Coming towards his car parked outside the street, and then till reaching home he had thought about Qandeel. She was exactly like her mother in looks and features and may be in nature and habits also. He could meet Saima Yousuf for a very little time; she was a woman of just unique of his own kind who had totally changed the life of Yousuf Mairaj. Kamran Ali was in the college that time and he was supposed to be one of the best students of Yousuf Mairaj. He had experienced himself the change and the becoming of Yousuf Mairaj who he was now, and who he was never before the arrival of Saima in his life. His concepts, his way of thinking, way of living everything had been changed just due to a woman. Then he married her and made this change his part of life permanently. Kamran Ali was in graduation that time and was habitual to visit Yousuf Mairaj’s home every second day in order to discuss something and exchange the ideas. When Yousuf Mairaj got married, he had changed this course and now was visiting very few times, but whenever he went there, he found Saima Yousuf a very different woman. She has her own list of students who were now used to visit the home regularly that’s why she always welcomed Kamran. Sometimes, when things were being discussed between Kamran Ali and Yousuf Mairaj, she was supposed to include herself in the chat, so Kamran never felt the environment strange for him there. She was neither fond of jewellary nor she ever wore dark colors. Not was so beautiful, but her simplicity and casualness always made her personality attractive for others.

Then during his Masters, due to the busy schedule he had diminished to visit them to a lesser extent. He was giving exams of his last semester, when Qandeel was born, but unfortunately Saima was died just three days after the birth of Qandeel. A very casual fever was proved to be life threatening for her. Yousuf Mairaj was destroyed after this tragedy; he could not imagine his life without her. Kamran Ali started to visit him again; he did not want to leave him alone in a very worst phase of his life. Hamza Shahid who was an old friend of Yousuf Mairaj and just returned back from USA, also helped Yousuf Mairaj coming out of that depressive phase. For Yousuf Mairaj, life would have been purposeless if he did not have Qandeel. The innocent child was enough to bring him back towards life. The Love which he had for Saima, became his strength and he found that Love again in the form of Qandeel. So, he decided to bring up her in a way Saima always wanted to.

In these days Kamran Ali became familiar to Hamza Shahid and found him very interesting and mysterious man. He was so strange in his behavior and attitude, Kamran Ali took a lot of time to understand that one man, but then this knowing was proved to be learning for him which has taught him few unique things he had never learned before. Together, Yousuf Mairaj and Hamza Shahid had given him so much to learn in last twenty two years and so he was now able to even teach many new things to both of them.

He parked his car in the parking outside his apartment and in a slow motion moved on towards stairs.

Almost every day around him, he had seen hundreds of students, youngsters living an uninformed, ignorant life which had often disappointed him. Falcons of Iqbal who should had the habit of flying in air, and to see them in a slavery of thoughts and opinions was enough for him to feel himself much older than his age. But this was true that whenever he had seen twenty two years old Qandeel, his belief grew stronger that the soul of new time is pious, and this belief always had given a new life to his hopes, broken all chains of disappointment and he had felt himself fresh again.

Gham-e-agahi sey aashnaai ki der hai

(Just the time to become familiar with grief of awareness)

Musafir hum bhi rah-e-shauq key ban jaengey

(We will be the travelers on the way of Passion too)

He had these words in his mind once again.

“I am glad, Qandeel that even for just one of my students the doors of awareness have been started to open and in this matter, my part perhaps is the least one”. Muttering to himself he had kept his hand on the door-bell.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (IV)

The next evening, everybody with a consensus, chose his home for B.B.Q. In the vast lawn, the sweet smell of Chicken Tikka and Byhari Kabab had penetrated everywhere. Adnan had always a good sense in the matter of meal, so in Ilaaf’s home right now he was looking like a host. The jesting of guys, laughter of girls, hustle bustle of servants, all four corners of lawn flourished with lights, everything was likable.

He had come inside to attend the call of Daada Saaiyen(Grand Father) because it was not possible to talk on mobile in such a huge noise outside.

“How are you Ilaaf?”, his grave and commanding tone had softness just for him.

“I am perfectly fine, Daada Saaiyen, How are you?”

“What could happen to me, while even in this age I am more active than your Father”, he repeated his usual sentence.

“Please, don’t say like this Daada Saaiyen. Baba (Father) also takes part in each and every matter side by side with you”, he felt sympathy for Baba Saaiyen as usual.

“I didn’t deny from this Ilaaf, but the truth is that this estate now needs young blood. Strong, active and new time’s blood, which is only flowing in your veins”, from anywhere or somewhere, he always stopped on this only thing.

“Yeah, I know Daada Saaiyen and you don’t worry, I will fulfill your each and every wish”, he didn’t want to break his heart. “But I will take some time. You know that I always need time for adjustment”, as usual he tried to vague the original matter.

“I understand everything, your tricks and your cunning as well but these are your days to live the life. I am not saying you to end your activities, just to take out some time in order to understand our system and to merge with it”. Ilaaf had got a humiliated smile on his face. “One can only understand feudal, proprietary and political systems after a hard time and playing so many tricks Ilaaf, and I want you to now take interest in these matters. Your Naana (Mother’s Dad) has the same thinking “. The smile of his face was vanished. “I had a talk with Mujahid, he was complaining that you have not been to Quetta for a long time. His complain is justified; you are also the only heir of him Ilaaf so you should keep in touch with him”. He felt some disgust. “Do one thing, take out some time in few days and have a trip to Quetta. He will be pleased to see you and you will get a chance to learn something in the company of Mujahid. In the ground of politics, he is a clever, practiced and managed player than I am”.

“Alright, Daada Saaiyen, I will go to Quetta next week”, his tone was serious and dry.

“Ok then, I will talk to you later. Take care of yourself and look, don’t worry about anything, nothing will be set over to you if you are not willing”. The tone of Ilaaf alarmed him. He knew that to pressurize Ilaaf for something was not possible and he didn’t want to because earlier or later, Ilaaf had to do what he was saying. He had a complete trust on his training that he had delivered to Ilaaf.

“Nothing can be set over to me, Daada Saaiyen”, he quit the phone laughing.

From the glass window of lounge, he looked the dispersed lights in lawn. He had decided to have a visit to Quetta in a week or so, but he had no intention to fulfill any of Daada Saaiyen’s wish right now.

Since his childhood, time to time he was made to be well informed with these matters, and this was true that despite of living eleven years from twenty four of his life outside the country, the complications of the system with which he was aware, nobody of his age could have. Regardless of this, he could never take interest in any of these for a single time in his life. Neither the vast and immense lands he had nor the properties in many different cities of the country he owned had anything to do with his interest. Neither the ruling over farmers and cultivars nor the governing over laborers, workers and middle classed group had ever succeeded to get his attention.

Except these things, his heart always attracted towards something else. The fresh air was found to be more pleasant than the cooling of air condition to him. Melodies of music, dispersed colors on canvas, words of beauty, rays of sun, light of moon and stars, mountains, rivers, clouds and everything which deserved to be called as beautiful, always succeeded to catch his attention. The one and only thing in the world of Daada and Baba Saaiyen that was interesting for him, was their construction business which he had taken care sometimes.

In A-levels despite of keeping both Business studies and Science subjects, his interest in art was still there, and therefore seven years before when he went to London for further studies, chose Royal College of Art and took admission in Bachelors in Architect Engineering. During his bachelors, he personally started to read History, Geography and Philosophy, moreover literature also added in this list but only Western literature. He could not take interest in Eastern literature unwillingly although his Urdu was good enough. A little time which he had spent in the company of his mother, due to this he gave importance to Urdu at each level and all of above he was in favor of learning and using languages in a better way. His interest in music also increased in these days. In his last year of Bachelors, he started to play Guitar initially only due to craze but later on, he joined the music classes in evening on insist of his friends. While, he was completing his final assignments of Bachelors in final year, he just got an idea to design something out of his course work. For many days, without knowing what he is going to design, he continued to draw lines, making strokes and when he had completed almost half of the initial work of the design, he recognized that it was a house. This recognition gave a satisfaction to him that at least he was determined now that what he is willing to design. He completed all technical requirements to design a house and when finally it was finished, the result was so unique. His all friends praised him and when Baba Saaiyen came to know about that, Ilaaf was told to send a copy of the map to Pakistan. It was a surprise for him, but some months later Baba Saaiyen told him that he had bought a large area in Defence with the name of Ilaaf and the building of the house has been initiated.

After completing his Bachelors, on aspiration of Baba and Daada Saaiyen behaving obediently, he took admission in Oxford for Masters in Major Programme Management. Due to the interest in Philosophy and Literature, he got permission first of vice chancellor and then from head of the departments, and started to assist himself to have an advantage of those libraries. After having a look on his interests and due to his much insistency, he also got a chance to attend few classes of Philosophy. Here he had a good time with Dr. Stephen; despite of this fact that Ilaaf is not a regular student of Philosophy, he often considered his questions and answered in a detailed manner.

During the very first semester of Masters, he got attracted towards Martial Art. Playing Tennis and learning Karate in childhood, were two reasons due to which these germs spread inside him so quickly moreover he was physically strong as well. He got an initial training of Martial Art from a local Institute in London for few months. Considering his interest, one of his Instructors advised him to get more training. At the end of that term, he applied for three months vacations and went to California. There he got further training under the supervision of a Japanese. Yuang Lee was not only famous to teach Martial Art, but also to make a person strong enough to bear hardships. Those three months that Ilaaf had spent with him, had polished many qualities inside him. Horse riding was his hobby since childhood due to the personal Stubble of Baba Saaiyen, but he started to play Polo now. He had learned to swim when he was in convent but never have been swum in rivers and seas like what he had done now with Lee; he practiced to swim many hours continuously. From Football, Basket ball, Tennis to Yoga and dance, he had hard and difficult practices which had strengthened him very much.

Three months later, when he came back London to join his term, his friends and class fellows were quite surprised to see his red tomato like face and his strong physique. He now had started to play guitar regularly.

In these seven years, Ilaaf had every experienced that he wished to have and that’s why he had no complain to life. Whatever he had desired, he had gained. Whatever he had thought, he had done.

After Masters, Daada Saaiyen was insisting that he should come back Pakistan, but Baba Saaiyen had left this decision to him. He wanted to give him freedom for few more years. After living his seven years outside Pakistan, now he wanted to live in Pakistan.

The house that he designed was almost completed when he returned back Pakistan. Baba Saaiyen had done this with the help of most skillful men of his company. The building was almost the same as he had thought and designed. Ilaaf himself decorated it and made some changes in color schemes according to his taste. The house was a beautiful and elegant piece of construction. Adnan and Rohail praised his skills and art after having a look on it.

Adnan was his childhood friend where as Rohail was his convent friend, both were closed to Ilaaf but Adnan had a relationship with Ilaaf Rohail could never have. They had an association like body and soul. Adnan loved Ilaaf as he was his twin brother. Whenever Ilaaf was supposed to be in Pakistan, Adnan always kept himself with him like a reflection.

The reason to come back Pakistan was not that Pakistan had any importance to Ilaaf, instead because his personality had got a variation naturally. He could not spend his life in a same condition more than some time. He always needed change. The desire of change was inside him forever, every moment in his life; he always felt that he is in search of something. It was an unsaid, unheard question, and to search its answer he was always ready to have some new and unique experiences. Instead of having everything, sometimes unavailability of an unknown thing made him restless and in that time, it was only his guitar which was worth to him. He often had composed new tunes and sometimes invented a song as well.

He turned his head and looked at his guitar, kept on sofa. A strange movement penetrated in his body. He picked guitar and came out in the lawn.

Adnan was standing with Rohail and Aleeshah. They looked him, and then came towards him.

“Look, what I had said to both of you that Ilaaf will sing a song for me today, and now, Ilaaf had brought the guitar”. Aleeshah was always over optimist in his case. Ilaaf got a smile on his lips, where as Adnan and Rohail had a cracking laugh on this sentence of her. They both were well aware of the relationship between Ilaaf and Aleeshah.

Ilaaf considered her as a good friend of him, but she considered Ilaaf someone more than a friend. Ilaaf had no role in this misconception of her. He was enough firm hearted in the matter of girls. He always found the beauty in girls uncompleted. He never had seen a girl in his life with complete beauty, but he had desire to see the complete beauty. A single desire, which was just a desire till now, could not become a reality for him.

The moment he sat with his guitar on a side, all girls and guys crowded around him. It was a desire which was emitting like a tune of guitar.

Tujhey dhunda hai chand taaron men

(I search for you in the Moon and stars)

Hawaon men aur in nazaron men

(In winds that blow and in the views that I look)

To bata dey kabhi tu kahan hai chupi

(So, tell me once, where are you hidden)

Samander men rehti koi jal pari

(Either a mermaid living in sea)

Ya k phoolon men khilti hui ik kali

(Or a flower bud living among roses)

Ya k badal sey girti hui zindagi

(Or the life, falling from clouds)

Zindagi Zindagi tu kahan hai chupi

(O life, O life, where are you hidden)

Terey rastey pey hain meri aankhen bichi

(My eyes are waiting, spread on your way)

Beautiful tunes of guitar and these words had made the environment more colorful.