Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chapter no. 3: The Story (II)

Ilaaf was in Quetta for last two days. As usual the very second day he got bored. The whole day, the series of meeting relatives and friends of Naana Saaiyen had not ended, and whoever had come never went back without meeting Ilaaf. Due to having effect of two political families he was habitual to live in an environment like this, even then his fickle-minded behavior was proved to be miserable for him and he got tired of this environment.

Mujahid Baloch had met him after so many days. He was very happy but still he showed his annoyance because Ilaaf had visited him after the whole three months. Ilaaf knew that Mujahid Baloch loved him so much but a love which had captured his freedom, sometimes had become the cause of agitation and suffocation for him. Mujahid Baloch had cleared him very much that he would not let him go in any condition before a week and he unwillingly was supposed to agree with him.

The second day, till the night, his patience had given up. Few friends of Naana Saaiyen were invited for dinner. In the huge and flourishing dining hall of the most big and beautiful house of the city, at the plane-sized dining table there was a stack of many dishes. Around the table there were seated the huge political personalities of the country and were discussing the current events with Mujahid Baloch. He was seated beside Mujahid Baloch, hearing their discussion and having his dinner very silently. Not for a single time, he tried to give his opinion. It was not because he had not known anything about the politics instead he had not any interest in the politics like this which was being discussed while eating meaty food items and drinking wine. His personal opinion was that a man can only think and understand a reasonable thing when he is in his complete senses. He had not expected any reasonable saying from these uneducated literates which were drunken, and neither anyone of them had said anything till the time which he could be able to consider as reasonable.

He had not seen Naana Saaiyen drinking usually but right now the glass that was kept near his plate was full of beer and that he was drinking side by side while eating Sajji, may be he did not want himself to be called as backward while sitting with the people of his class. He had also filled the glass that was kept in front of Ilaaf and Ilaaf remained silent.

The heavy laughter had made the environment a little carbuncle. He had felt himself highly suffocated.

“What a thing is Politics?” He thought, “Forces a man to do what even he doesn’t want to”. Naana Saaiyen strictly disliked the Punjabis but right now at the table many leading land lords and Industrialists of Punjab were present there.

“Barkhurdar (Son), your grandfather always sings songs of your talent and even we have heard a lot about your abilities, but your original talent will only be visible after entering into politics.” Ilaaf looked Nasir Butt, seated right opposite to him across the table; he was the leading Industrialist of the country. His eyes were red and smile was so awkward that Ilaaf had an unpleasant impression. “So, when you are going to keep your step in the ground of the politics?”

“Very soon.” He replied with the shortest answer very seriously. He was now having fruit-trifle.

“Well, he is the only heir of both Naana and Daada, why would not be able and you will see Butt Sahib, as soon as he will come into politics, will be flourished everywhere.” This was Qasid Baloch, cousin of Mujahid Baloch and his Political advisor. All Political matters of Mujahid Baloch had been handled with his advices. His both sons Haris Baloch and Waris Baloch were also present there; both were twin brothers and were the active members of Mujahid Bloch’s party; were four years elder than Ilaaf in age but mentally Ilaaf was pretty elder and mature than them and this had been accepted often by Qasid Baloch himself.

Mujahid Baloch shook his head positively and looked Ilaaf with an impression of pride. Ilaaf smiled.

“But Baloch Sahib, there is one thing I must say. You are very talkative; always make the people to be silent in front of you with your words where as your grandson is very different from you, doesn’t talk too much unnecessarily; is not shy but less talkative.” Sikander Khan had noticed the unusual silence of Ilaaf perhaps; his tone had a little critic.

Ilaaf had finished his dinner. After cleaning his hands with napkin, he rested his back with the chair and looked Sikander Khan. “This is your misunderstanding, sir! I am neither shy nor less talkative.” His tone was decent and serious; was looking directly into his eyes. Mujahid Baloch had got a smile on his face. He knew that the confident personality of Ilaaf is itself a proof of his ability.

“When and wherever I feel the need, speak too much and if I am talking less at the moment then reason isn’t that I am less talkative.”

Everybody seated there was hearing the guy with an age of twenty four very keenly.

“The only reason is that if I started talking here then perhaps all of you people would have to return back to your homes with a pining in your hearts to speak a single word.”

The hall was roared with laughters and the huge ones were of Haris and Waris; both were already very much impressed by the personality of Ilaaf.

“Excuse me.” He stood, “Enjoy your dinner, I am just coming back.” Without looking at anyone of them, he came out of the dining hall. The servant who was just standing outside the door was being ordered to bring a cane of soft drink for him; Ilaaf poured it in his throat immediately. The thirst was now overcomed.

Passing the lounge and then staircase, he came upstairs. Despite of going in his room, came at the back side terrace and smoked a cigarette. At first floor, the part of the terrace opening towards the backside lawn was vast and airy and Ilaaf liked this portion of the house most. The whole house was flourishing in lights.

While smoking, he started to walk in a slow motion.

Sometimes, he had surprised to think that a woman like his mother was the daughter of Mujahid Baloch; totally opposite to her father Zainab Qaiser Laashari was an unusual woman who was never been interested in Politics or estate of his father. Few moments before the man who had filled Ilaaf’s glass with the wine for him, many years ago before leaving for London, the daughter of the same man had taken swear to him by keeping his hand on her head that he would never touch the Alcohol.

At first in a younger age, swear given to his mother and consideration of that promise prevented him from drinking but later on slowly and gradually he had hated the alcohol himself. Many of his friends when were being seen by him, lying outside the pub in a state of unconsciousness or when had called him on forgetting the way to their homes, talking rubbish while drunken; Ilaaf had always got sad to see them like this. Within two years, he had a perfect idea that a thing which vanishes human senses and makes him unconcerned from environment; to touch a thing like this was like his own disgrace. He had now stayed away from Alcohol with his wish.

While smoking the second cigarette, he had decided to go for hunting in the next morning.

The dream that he had seen two days ago, was still not vanished from his mind. He wanted to throw it out of his mind but the after effects of the dream were not letting him allow twitching the dream completely from his mind.

He always liked the nights of Quetta very much; cool and fresh breeze, endless series of trees and silent and peaceful sky without any noise or pollution.

He came into his room; after making some irregular and random tunes on guitar for a while, he got to sleep.

The next morning, after breakfast, with the permission of Naana Saaiyen he started preparation to go for hunt along with Haris and Waris. He was habitual to take less people with him but Mujahid Baloch due to security purpose, sent many armed people of his with Ilaaf. He knew that his enemies would not let any chance go to hurt him. Ilaaf didn’t argue too much to him and silently observed the whole preparations but he knew that this fear of Mujahid Baloch was his own production. During last few years, he had made many Baloch Qabail his enemy; due to having split behavior in Politics, he and his relatives had a great idea that many small parties of the province had started disliking him. Ilaaf had strictly disliked the method of his politics but without any reason he never interrupted in anyone’s matters.

Before the day-break the caravan consisting of many jeeps and land cruisers made it way towards the mountainous area. On the way towards the village, they encamped in a dark forest for hunting. He had come in this area before but he had seen this forest for the first time. Along with Waris and Haris he hunted birds till the afternoon. In between eucalyptus and plane trees he hunted many birds; companions of Waris were collecting those hunted birds.

“Your way of targeting is so perfect.” Waris praised him.

“Hmmm.” He kept his gun on a big stone behind and looked at the thick trees.

“Can you see this bird?” Waris brought a hunted bird from one of his men and showed to Ilaaf. It apparently resembled the partridge but his wings had light yellow lines which were enhancing his beauty. Ilaaf had never seen a bird so beautiful, unwillingly he took the bird from Waris into his hands and then for the first time in his life, a feeling of embarrassment overwhelmed him.

“This is the specifically rare and valuable bird of this area; having relation to a very precious breed of partridge.”

“But I have never seen the bird in the area before.” Ilaaf asked while caressing his hands onto the wings.

“Due to regular hunting its specie is vanishing and now it’s being seen here very rare. At one time it was hunted ungrudgingly because its meat is very tasty and hot. People started using it as a meal during winters. Then government had banned its hunting but even then still some influential hunters come here searching it and there is nobody to stop them.” Waris started to explain him.

“Why didn’t you tell me before, at least I would have cared for not hunting it; caring the precious wild-life is important for us and beneficial too.” Inside-out the impression of the embarrassment thickened.

“Leave it Ilaaf, many people hunt it, what if you have hunted him once. Give it to me and I will roast it for you; you would never have eaten so tasty meat.”

“No, I don’t want to eat it.” Waris looked him surprisingly. “What’s the name of this bird?” He asked.

“Different people call it with different names, we call it Jandora.”

“Jandora.” He repeated, “What a strange name?” he stopped for a moment then said, “However, just go and roast the meat of other birds we have hunted, I am coming in few minutes.” Ilaaf handed over his rifle to Waris and under a thought, started to move ahead in the forest, keeping the bird in his hands. The point where the series of eucalyptus trees was ending, there was a small lake. Waris and his men had taken water from this lake for cooking and other needs earlier that afternoon and just then Ilaaf had seen the lake.

There were some wild-ducks swimming in the lake who after arrival of Ilaaf and feeling a sense of danger, had been flown away.

Ilaaf sat on a rock, and then he took the dead bird in his both hands and looked. His white wings had stains of blood and on his closed eyes there was dust as well.

The ground near the lake was soft. Ilaaf sat on the ground, kept Jandora at a side then started to pull out the sand in order to dig a hole with his hands. When the hole became enough large that he could burry the bird in it, he stopped his hand and with soft hands put the bird into the hole.

“If possible then forgive your murderer.” Caressing on his golden beak, Ilaaf had felt a strange movement inside. While he was putting the sand back into the hole, for the first time in his life he had idea that anything which would have been done without thinking, then not necessarily its effects would be the same.

Jerking his hands and then washing his face with the water in the lake, he returned on the way back. Before even reaching the tents, he had decided that at least he will never hunt the birds again.

For lunch along with birds there was the meat of some wild goats also which were hunted by Haris and his men.

Early in the evening, they moved and reached the village by night. The news of his arrival had already reached in the mansion. Family members of Qasid Baloch had cared the lands and the mansion of Mujahid Baloch in his absence. The preparations for his welcome were completed. As usual he was treated like a royal guest.

The segment of meeting with family members and the villagers was long as usual.

After a traditional dinner, in the outer courtyard of the mansion, guys of the village sang the Balochi songs and presented the traditional dance. Ilaaf liked the music of Rabbab very much, after a while he also joined the dance along with Waris and Haris. Although he was not perfect in that traditional dance, even then he tried to participate very well.

The restlessness that overwhelmed him for last few days just vanished and he became light and careless as usual.

He spent the whole next day in visiting the village and his lands out there. Despite of poverty and lack of resources, every man of the village was very loving and hospitable.

Sometimes when he had observed these people, always surprised to think that why Naana Saaiyen doesn’t want to look those people happy and prosperous? “What is the real fear which has stopped Naana Saaiyen to bring prosperity in the lives of these people?” And so then Naana Saaiyen and every feudal man in which Baaba Saaiyen and Daada Saaiyen were also included, were supposed to be the most restless and worried people in the world, whose days and nights were being spent in thinking that how the poor farmers and laborers can be prevented from being independent.

In the late afternoon, they moved back for Quetta. Staying at two to three places on the way and visiting some mountainous areas, they reached Quetta by night.

Except Ilaaf, other people had parked the jeeps and cars in outside parking. Ilaaf parked his white fairy inside. His luggage was being unloaded by housekeepers. Being very careless, rolling the keys in his fingers and whistling a tune he was moving through the long veranda; mood was good. Passing the entrance, he had now entered the vast corridor, and so then two middle-aged men came from opposite side and crossed him. He moved ahead having a little sight towards them; both of them were dressed in Shalwar suits and Balochi turbans.

“Listen.” He stopped suddenly and then turned back. Both of them were looking him.

“You are Ilaaf, right?” Ilaaf squeezed his eyes and looked the man but remained silent. They had come near to him.

“My name is Dawood Mengal and he is my brother Ibrahim Mengal.” Both of them shook thir hands with him one by one, “You would have not known us but we know you.”

“I think I have heard your name.” Ilaaf said thinking something.

“Yes, may be you would have heard from your Naana; my father and your Naana were closed friends, after the death of Baaba in order to keep this relation of friendship alive I come to see your Naana sometimes.”

“Oh, then probably you are the son of Saifullah Mengal.” Dawood Mengal had got a smile on his face.

“Your information is appreciable young man. But have you heard my name with any other reference too?”

“No.” He replied without hesitation.

“I had been a friend of your uncle, Omer Laashari.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that.” Dawood Mengal smiled.

“Perhaps, nobody considered it necessary for you to know, well I remembered Omer to see you; your every feature resembles with him; may be your habits too.”

An unpleasant impression captured him. This was not the first time that someone had recognized him with the reference of Omer Chachaa (Father’s brother); this reference was found to be heard time to time from different people and so he very seriously had worried about his personal identity that time.

“Yes, I know that my face resembles to Omer Chachaa.” He tried to smile but could not hide the unpleasant impression in his tone.

“We had spent a very fine time together, after looking you those all memories refreshed again suddenly. Our first posting was at the same place and we had spent a memorable time of the military life together which now felt as the golden era of my life.” He said like under a feeling.

Ilaaf remained silent; he could not understand what to say in reply.

“What I have started talking, so we will meet again. I am in a hurry right now but I must say, I am so glad to meet you.” Giving a light buck up on his cheek he turned and went outside along with his brother.

He remained standing and thinking about him for a while, then jerking his shoulders, went towards his room started whistling again.


  1. Interesting details about hunting and Quetta valley . New characters are continuously pouring in which is making plot thicker and canvas of the story wider.

  2. Interesting!!! i really enjoyed it reading! :)

    Agreeing with Sir Akhtar, i think this post has added some more branches to the tree... The tree is growing :D

    But why sajji?? :p