Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chapter no. 1: The Beginning (VI)

Following Adnan, he was entered the internal hall of the club. It was a long rectangular shaped room which apparently looked like the dining hall of the restaurant, but actually was the casino. Both of them started to move ahead walking through the tables.

Dispersed cards of deck, wineglasses full to the brim, colorful lights stringing in eyes, trembling hands of drunken boys, staggered laugh of girls, the way from the left which was going towards the dance portion, nothing was much impressive for him. He was habitual to do everything in this world with his wish and with his style. The environment of night clubs could never succeeded to get his attention; mostly he started to feel suffocation there. He was the man who liked hunting in open air, riding in between large mountains, swimming in rivers and so he often had bewildered from the cold confinement in the vast centrally air conditioned rooms of the clubs.

Today, he was as usual was not ready to come here but due to insist of Adnan he was supposed to come for a while.

Both of them had now reached in the last portion of the hall where light and uproar both were intense as compare to the other portions. There was a match live telecasting on plane-sized flat screen TV that was fixed on the wall, and that’s why perhaps crowd of speculators was also there. There was betting from everywhere. If there was disappointment on one side then the shouts on the other side. Nobody was with any team, everybody was with his money. Adnan had also interest in betting but he very few times had betted.

Both of them had chosen a table. Adnan had called the waiter. Ilaaf did not feel interest in any other thing so he fixed his eyes on the TV screen.

It was a T-twenty match between Pakistan and South Africa which had now entered in its decisive phase. Chasing a target of 175 runs, South Africa had scored 98 runs and lost their four wickets in twelve overs.

Adnan had ordered for a drink, Ilaaf smiled as he knew that Adnan has craze for new brands almost every week which also had ceased in a very little time. But he had very strong nerves; even after drinking many pegs at a time he would often be able to control himself. Waiter had now reached Ilaaf.

“What would you like to drink sir?” he asked in English.

“Fresh lime with black pepper”. He rested his back against chair and answered being very calm.

“What Sir?” the waiter looked him like he probably had got horns on his head.

Ilaaf stared him from head to toe, “I am not used to repeat my words, so bring whatever I have ordered”.

“Yes sir”. He straightened being very confused.

“Does not anything else available here except alcohol”. Ilaaf now got interested in his confusion.

“No sir, certainly not, many kinds of beverages are available here”. He answered organizing himself.

“If this is right then why are you standing here, bring whatever I have asked for”.

“Yes sir”. He was perhaps disappointed, was not expecting that in the club where people come to drink the most expensive brands of alcohol, a man can order just for a fresh lime.

Fifteenth over had just started. Ilaaf finished his fresh lime just in one and a half minute. Adnan had started to drink his second peg.

Fifth wicket had fallen, now there was only one genuine batsman on crease who could lead South Africa towards the target. David Simon was famous for his powerful destructive batting in the world of cricket and just due to his capabilities, the hopes of South African team were alive otherwise tail was now exposed from the other end.

Ilaaf wanted to smoke a cigarette; he pulled out the pack of cigarette and lighter from his jeans pocket. The waiter was collecting the empty glass from the table; he saw Ilaaf taking out the cigarette and stopped.

“Sir, smoking is prohibited here”. Ilaaf held the cigarette between his fingers and put the pack back in his pocket.

“Doesn’t matter; tell me the way to smoking area, I will smoke there”. He was careless as usual.

“Sir, there is no smoking area out there”. He replied in an embarrassing manner.

“What a surprise? The illegal and forbidden thing in country is being provided and drunk so explicitly while the legal and allowed thing is prohibited”. He commented in a critical manner but waiter did not reply. Adnan had a smile on his lips.

“I will be back after smoking”. He stood.

Hearing the uproar, he again looked at TV screen. One more wicket had fallen, Pakistani fielder had taken a difficult catch at mid wicket position, but David Simon was still at the crease.

South Africa will lose the match”. Those who had a bet on Pakistan were madly happy.

“David Simon is still not out, and he can change the scenario of the match any time”. Ilaaf looked the healthy man with grave voice, who had probably betted for South Africa. “Perhaps you people have never watched the play of David simon, cover drives and cut shorts are just his specialty”. His age was probably thirty to thirty five, he was just an averaged speculator in cricket and Ilaaf had surprise on his incomplete information. “Always holds bat from the upper side and that’s why hits sixes standing at his crease”. The same moment David Simon played a cut short on third man boundary and got four runs. The man had uproar with happiness as this four has stamped on his comments.

“Indeed, David Simon is a very good cricketer but may be you are neglecting his one downside”. Ilaaf came forward a few steps from his table. People that were around looked him. “How many times David Simon played well mostly these were the first batting, his second batting record never remained impressive very much. The pressure of second batting and in the T-twenty match, David Simon can never lead South Africa for the win”. Ilaaf commented on the match condition very seriously.

The man had now stood, “It seems that you have also betted on Pakistan”. He perhaps did not like the remarking of Ilaaf, his tone was not friendly,”You want to see Pakistan wining”.

“Neither I waste my money for betting on cricket matches nor I am interested that who gonna win this match, Pakistan or South Africa”, Ilaaf answered him with a critic smile on his face. “I am just talking about David Simon because I am well aware from his play”.

The man got rigidity on his face, “Let’s see what happens”. Saying in a strange manner he was seated back.

Ilaaf had an outlook on the screen then he moved towards the exit door right beside the counter, smiling. Fifty five more runs were needed to win the match on thirty balls.

The outside gallery that was going towards the entrance of the club, standing there in open air, he smoked two cigarettes continuously then he came back inside.

He looked Adnan reaching near the table, “Are you gone out of your mind, Adnan? How much will you drink? Stop now”. He said sitting right in front of Adnan and looking in his intoxicated eyes.

“This is the last one buddy”, he was still holding his nerves.

Ilaaf rested his back with chair smiling and had a sight on TV screen. Thirty two runs were needed to win on fourteen balls.

On the very next delivery, David Simon using his feet came out of the crease and hit the ball hard on leg-side. The uproar in the hall was now deafening the ears. The fielder came running from long-on boundary, the catch was difficult but due to the fact that ball was in the air for a while, he had got time to adjust himself. Just two steps within the boundary; he fixed his feet in the grass, taking the catch with safe hands he brought an end to the innings of David Simon. Likewise the crowd in the ground, the people there had a cheering uproar and the speculators who had betted on Pakistan were dancing madly. They had cheerful cries and loud hooting.

Ilaaf looked at the man. Bowed on the table he had taken his head into his hands. Ilaff had got a deeper smile. Next three players were proved to be the guests just for five deliveries. Pakistan had won the match for twenty nine runs.

Ilaaf stood, Adnan was paying the bill. He came towards the table. Who had lost were counting and handing over the money and those who had won were collecting. The man was still in the same position.

“Hey buddy, make yourself sad on the funeral of South African team later on, first take out the money of the bet”, an intoxicated guy hurled a sentence on him.

“Yes, now there is no worth to be sad, friend. David Simon is immature and inexperienced; he could never have taken South Africa towards the win”. Ilaaf had sympathy for him in his tone.

The man dragged his head up after hearing Ilaaf’s voice and stared him. Ilaaf looked him smiling. The man stood. Ilaaf now had an idea that the man did not like his remarks.

“I know very well about the bookies like you. At first, you buy the players and fix the match and then settle your people in clubs and casinos to cheat people and to get their money through betting”. His tongue had started pouring out the poison.

Adnan was now standing beside Ilaaf.

“What rubbish are you talking about? Perhaps losing the bet has made you crazy, don’t waste your money next time on these nonsense bets otherwise you will lose your mind for rest of the life”. Ilaaf knew very well that what and how should give the answer of things like that.

“You, yesterday’s child, you will teach me lesson. Rather than I will set your brain”.

Adnan tried to move ahead but Ilaaf stopped him with his hand. If there would another time then he would never had done this as Adnan knew how to cope with misbehaved men but now he was drunk and Ilaaf did not want Adnan to get a single scratch even just due to him. “I will deal him myself”. Adnan went back thinking something. Ilaaf again looked the man.

“Neither I am a bookie nor do I have any need to fix the match. If you have lost the bet then face its result. Don’t try to get your anger out at me like this”. His tone was now rigid and alarming. He wanted to occupy the matter with his tongue in any case.

“You have got very long hands, have approach to foreign cricketers, most probably your network is so vast, but remember it’s not easy to cheat me. You don’t know who I am, you bastard bookie”.

It had taken just one second to come out the lava from that volcano. All nerves and senses of Ilaaf were stealth away by a single abuse. Sparks were blustered from the blood-stained eyes, the next moment he had over-turned the table with his hands. From the powerful jerk the man had been fallen away few steps. Everyone standing there was moved away; people from other corners of the hall were also gathered.

Ilaaf pounced like a tiger, set the man on feet and pushed on the inverted table. The wooden table got cracked into two pieces. The man could not manage himself and Ilaaf griped his collar, set him again on feet by dragging and threw him on the counter with his full power.

The crowd was surprised. The man was healthier than him.

Ilaaf moved ahead, bowed on counter again griped his collar and pulled him out and kicked on the floor. His face and head was bleeding due to smashing with the counter wall, but Ilaaf still had not taken the complete revenge of that abuse.

Manager and other staff were also gathered there but no one had courage even to try to stop the angry lion. They were standing helplessly biting their lips.

Ilaaf walked like a wounded beast towards the man. In the whole time the man for the first time got time to handle him.

After having a sign from the waiter, the manager came towards Adnan. He knew Adnan very well and now perhaps Ilaaf also.

As Ilaaf reached the man, he bowed down on the right side, saving himself and then tried to kick Ilaaf from the back side. Ilaaf’s trick had gone wasted but he was specialist of these things. He turned quickly, defend his blow with his hand and hit a punch on his nose with other hand. A fountain of blood was blustered from his nose; the man moved back and held his face due to pain.

For the first time, Ilaaf smiled but this smile was monstrous like.

“Sir, please stop him, otherwise unwillingly I will have to call the Police”. Manager said to Adnan begging.

“Ok, I am stopping him. You don’t need to call Police and whatever loss you will be facing, it will be overcome. Don’t worry about that”. Manager looked Adnan with a thankful sight.

Police could not harm Adnan and Ilaaf but Adnan did not want to raise this matter further. For him, this was the wastage of time. How much Ilaaf had beaten the man, it was enough for his satisfaction and in any way he always wanted to keep Ilaaf away from these things.

Ilaaf took hold of his collar and said in a bewilder manner.

“Ilaaf Laashari is my name, you heard Ilaaf Laashari”. His grave and screamed voice had spread the graveyard like silence in hall. “Nobody has ever talked to me in loud voice and you….how dare you to call me with an abuse”. The man’s last courage was ended just due to Ilaaf’s introduction. He was just gone wretched.

Adnan held Ilaaf’s left arm, “Ilaaf leave it. Let him go”. For the first time Adnan had an idea after looking his red face that his anger is touching the limits.

“The man who called Ilaaf Laashari with an abuse can never be released so easily. I still haven’t paid off his debts”. His tongue was emitting hot coals. Adnan was worried for the first time.

“No Ilaaf, there is no worth to pull the matter. This lesson is enough for him. For many days, these hurts will remind him about his mistake”. The tone of Adnan was so strange.

Ilaaf looked in Adnan’s eyes. Adnan stroked his shoulder gently, “He would be himself anybody, but may be he did not know that who you are? Otherwise he would have thought thousand times before even speaking to you”.

The startled fire had now cooled to some extent.

Ilaaf turned his head and looked the man. The expressions of weakness and helplessness were apparent in his eyes.

Ilaaf had loosened his grip and left his collar, he even then did not move from his position.

“Before calling anybody with an abuse after today, just think that you will be responsible for the outcome yourself”. He spoke chewing every word. The man did not answer him.

Ilaaf turned and unconcerned from all sides taking long steps, moved out of the hall. Everyone standing on his place was looking him. Adnan followed him.

The speed of Ilaaf was so fast that Adnan after coming downstairs was supposed to run to some extent in order to reach him. Both of them walking one after another came out from the main gate of the club and reached the opposite side of the road where Land Cruiser of Ilaaf was parked in a corner.

Adnan finally approached him till reaching the car.

“Ilaaf, what happened to you? What have I done to you? Why are you running away from me?” Adnan stopped him holding his arm.

“You had taken me along here forcefully. You know that I don’t visit the clubs due to the same reason; people drink so much that they feel no difficulty to say anything to anyone while they are drunk and you know very well that I am very touchy in this case. It’s impossible for me to bear my insult”. He rested his back with the car saying angrily.

“Yes, I know but I had taken you with me here to bring a pleasant change in your life. This is another thing that I could not get the chance and whole plan ruined”. Adnan smiled in a witty manner.

“What it means? Which pleasant change?” He was amazed on this disclosure.

“So many days have passed you are been to Pakistan, and just because of you I also limited myself to come here. Today I was in mood to have fun, had thought that after drinking will take you to the dance portion forcefully. The most beautiful girls of the city are found there, and therefore perhaps any butterfly might attract you and colors might come in your life”. Ilaaf looked him with very strange sight.

“The girls whom you call beautiful, I have never found anything on their faces except the layers of make-up. If they are so beautiful then why do they use cosmetics?”

Adnan smiled on his critical comment, “Make-up is always used to high up the beauty, Ilaaf”.

“And I feel Nausea to look at their painted faces and red lips”. His tone had serious disgust.

“Don’t know which type of beauty you want to see Ilaaf. Houries could not be presented to you in this world”.

“I don’t know how beautiful Houries are and even I have no desire to see them. I just want to see the complete beauty, which would have no defect, no rumple, and no flaw, which would have attraction even without cosmetics, jewellary and make-up. Never one could be fed up looking it, never could be felt disgust and bore”. He kept on saying in a thought.

“Then wait, this beauty could not be found in this world. I just take three weeks to be fed up with a face even if it is stunning”, Adnan said vividly.

“It’s found, everything is found”. Both of them turned on that stranger voice. “Complete beauty is also found in this world; just the seeker should have true courage”. Ilaaf and Adnan looked. He was a man sitting somewhat away from the car on pavement. By appearance, he looked like a beggar but don’t know who he was, an ascetic, insane or someone else. His hairs were long which were dispersed on shoulders. He was just looking Ilaaf.

“Complete beauty, careless, unconcerned beauty”. His voice was grave but the tone was so strange. Ilaaf stood straight. “But for the desire of complete beauty necessary to have a complete Passion, first bring the heart of a lover. But no when beauty will be seen then heart ultimately will become the heart of lover. Then love will become the beauty and beauty will become the love”. He finished and started laughing.

There was a wave that had rustled in the whole body of Ilaaf, for just one moment he had remembered the security guard of street club.

Adnan wanted to move on to stop that madman but Ilaaf held his hand. “Leave him. Sit in the car. Let’s go home”.

Adnan had a round about movement to come at the other side of the car and so then he looked at the back of the car, “Ilaaf, so your car has got a name finally”. Ilaaf smiled on his comment.

“Yes, just kept it day before yesterday”.

“White fairy”, Adnan repeated the name and sat in the car.

Ilaaf opened the front seat door and before he would sit, turned and looked for the last time. The madman was still laughing.

He was captured in the very strange impression for a while then during driving everything got better.

“The anger which emerges sometimes from inside your body Ilaaf, it is just due to the reason that you have kept the blessings of the life away from yourself. For just once take the taste of these things, and if you would have not come to the line even, then change my name”. Ilaaf felt like laughing.

“I will keep your name Shaikh Chilli, isn’t it the good name”. Adnan started laughing too. “Please forgive me. Rohail does right as he keeps himself away from you and your activities”.

“Leave him. He is the first number feeble and weak, finds the way of escape and preservation everywhere the coward one, fears from bloody fights and killings like the girls”. Adnan made an awful face when answering.

“He does right from his side”. Ilaaf replied laughing on his remarks.

“Are you taking effect from him?” Adnan said with a worry.

“No. Don’t worry; I do not take effect from anyone, neither yours nor his. I am born just one of my own name in the world”. Ilaaf turned the car on the road that was going towards the house of Adnan.


  1. "painted faces" haha.. what a nice definition!

    "Then love will become the beauty and beauty will become the love" i guess i'll understand this in later posts... :s

    hmmm... some characteristics of Ilaaf:

    Likes cricket.
    Seeking complete beauty.
    is a serious kind of guy. Angry as well.
    Thinks nobody can change his opinions.

    good post! :)

  2. Riz, thank you for liking the post. Yes Ilaaf has some very interesting characteristic which will be further explored in later chapters.

  3. Action packed stuff, the whole episode was very well set up with, betting, fighting and then exposing beauties. The quarrel and brawl sequence was written extremely well and depicted a perfect imagery.

  4. Sir Akhtar, thanks for this encouragement.