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.


  1. Nice part! Beautiful poetry! Sooo this is Qandeel... hmm..

    A bit of Maryam's description feels missing... :s

    Is Gham-e-Agahi = Farz-e-Ashiqui? If yes then gham-eAgahi is trying to unviel itself... hehe

    Kamran is the student of Yousuf, who is the student of Kamran here? :O Qandeel? Maryam or some other guy?

  2. riz, please wait till the story proceeds. Everything will be cleared. Introduction of Maryam, Hamza Shahid and few more new characters will be in next posts. And of course, the student here is Qandeel which is important to discuss, other students are not to discuss here.

  3. In novels the minute details are so important and you are taking care of this aspect very well. Actually in detail the craft and the experience about the issue come to light and the reader finds experiencing that according to his/her perception. The novels graph of curiosity about theme, plot, characters and the world in which it is taking place is moving at a very correct pace, neither too slow nor very fast.

  4. Thank you sir, your appreciation matters for me.