Friday, December 3, 2010

Chapter no. 3: The Story (III)

“Our soul is very beautiful, pious and pure but we want to make it ugly, tainted and impure, that’s why we treat it in a manner step brothers of Yousuf(A.S) treated him.” Keeping her head on Yousuf Mairaj’s chest, she was hearing him silently.

“By considering it as an enemy of ours we throw it in the well, or sell at a very cheap price in a market of Egypt and neglect the full reality that what is the importance of this soul in our life. It has to face difficulties just because of us; sometimes in a detention of an undone sin it has to suffer for many years.” He had taken her in his arms like a kind Mother.

“It’s just our Heart that curses us for losing our Yousuf. We suppress its voice but it’s not always easy. In life, sometimes a moment comes while walking we are stricken and get down, can not restore ourselves, just then the feeling of missing something inside-out holds its roots very deeply. And so, our heart reminds us by screaming loudly that unconsciously, we have disguised our own selves”. Never a word affected her so much, like what was affecting her now.

“Telling lies, cheating people, being dishonest, being resentful and jealous, being captured in the cage of lust and hunger and so by selling our soul at the hands of greed, no one is harmed, no one except us. Our self and our heart start to be rusted. Impurities like selfishness and senselessness make our character hollow and we……in the struggle to move ahead of all in the race of life leave behind our reality, our self. When being stricken get down then are supposed to look back, supposed to return towards our truth, supposed to take out our Yousuf from the well, supposed to free him from the prison and give him the crown. Then we understand that how much we have travelled but the whole journey was a deception, a ruse.” Qandeel looked him; his face was so calm and peaceful.

“To search and find our Yousuf, is very important in life if anyone understands. The process of transformation from a man to a human is not easy, Qandeel. There will be wolves standing on each single step and ready to tear apart your Yousuf. At every place, filths wrapped with lust and greed will be interested to buy your Yousuf. Protect your Yousuf, never lose him no matter what will happen”. She shook her head as usual.

“Ok, you must go and sleep now. It’s very late and you have to go to University in the morning”. She sat up then started looking him.

“Baba, can I sleep here, with you tonight”. She asked like an innocent kid.

He smiled, knew that since her childhood whenever she dreams, fears to sleep alone for next few days.

“Why not? My beautiful daughter.” She again gave herself into his soft arms. This time she closed her eyes, wanted to take a peaceful sleep while keeping her head on his chest.

“Well, then sing something before sleeping”. He demanded smiling.

“What will you listen?” She replied with closed eyes.

“Anything…..or sing that poem of Zain Bhikha that you sing often”. He kissed her hairs.

She smiled.

“When he was thrown in the well,

Or locked in the dungeon,

Betrayed by his own flesh and blood,

Convicted of what he did not,

Handsome Yousuf sighed, Allah is enough for me.” After so many days, she was feeling a peace while singing these words.

“Taken in as a slave,

Made to work night and day,

Resisting all temptation, Allah is enough for me.

Handsome Yousuf sighed, Allah is enough for me.”

She wanted to sing more but sleep was ready to grasp her. Don’t know either it was the magic of Yousuf Mairaj’s presence or these words had a remarkable effect that after few moments she was asleep peacefully.

She very few times was succeeded to get a peaceful sleep like this and that was a same day. Waking up in the morning, she got the idea that how a sleep like this refreshes a tired man.

She woke up slightly late. Baba had prepared the breakfast. She was getting late for University. After having breakfast, she was taking sips of tea in a hurry when got a call from Sami on cell phone.

“What are you doing?”

“Plunking Jamons from the tree.” She replied in a teased manner, “Getting ready for University, what else I could have to do right now.” Holding cell with one hand she was searching something in the bag with the other hand.

Yousuf Mairaj was smiling to look her.

“Perhaps, you are getting late.” He laughed on her disturbance, “Ok, go to University. I just called to inform you that I will come in the evening so please be at home. Rest of the things will discuss later on, Khuda Hafiz.”

She kept the cell phone and looked Yousuf Mairaj. He was laughing.

“Now, why are you laughing, Baba?” She was getting late from the class of Professor Aftab; was really worried.

“Am not laughing, am feeling happy by looking my daughter restoring her original attitude”. This time she laughed too.

Only ten minutes were remaining for the end of the class of Professor Aftab when she arrived. Entering from the backdoor, she seated herself at the back benches. As usual, lecture was not good enough for her to understand, she got the attendance this was enough for her. She had looked Seema, Humaira and Ameen sitting in the front row. As soon as Professor Aftab went outside the class, she stood and started collecting her belongings so could reach all of them, but hats off to Dr. Kamal who immediately entered in the class, perhaps was waiting for Professor Aftab to go out. She was again seated, keeping her face in an odd look. She now had to take his whole boring lecture alone. Like a routine he was reading from his notes and she like other class fellows, was writing into note book. After fifteen minutes, noise of backdoor sliding made her to feel that there is someone else who is also late.

She moved her head up and took a long satisfactory breath. The one who came was Rohail who was always late in the class.

Rohail also looked her, he came and sat besides her smiling.

“So, you are also late, today?” while looking in front, he said in a slightly critic way.

“What, Why can not I be late? Do you only have this duty to be late?” he laughed a little on her reply.

Both of them were looking Dr. Kamal and talking in a sluggish manner.

“How are you now? Yesterday everybody was worried for you.”

“I was fine. Was tired a little bit so stayed at home for rest.” Dr. Kamal always had a deep sight on back benchers.

“So good that you came, I and Seema are finalizing the get together program but I wanted to discuss it with you first.”

“This is the favorite hobby of you, Seema and Amin.” She laughed so quietly.

“Yes…it is, but this is the last get together of final year and we want to make it memorable. We have now a very little time, after University we all will make our own way and perhaps then to meet a single one will take several years”.

“Yeah, you are right. How much time has been passed so quickly, feels it was just yesterday we joined University. Little funny things, studying together, teasing each other and then helping, copying the lectures from Humaira’s note book and in the end having ratta (learning by heart) and clearing all exams, everything will become a memory after three months.” She was feeling sad while saying the ending words.

“Now tell me, when you are going to get rid of this monster of internship. This is the only resistance in our each plan.”

“Am trying to submit my project in a month or so, but even then make a plan, I will manage it. Just don’t keep it this month. Keep it next month, I will be there InshAllah.”

“Ok fine, I will talk to Seema after class.”

Both of them were now just running their hands silently because the direction of Dr. Kamal’s fretful eyes was towards them.

After class, they kept completing their assignments sitting in library, during this time Rohail, Seema and Amin finalized the plan for get together. Most of the students of the class were included in this get together and hence they needed time, also they had idea about the busy schedule of Qandeel, so due to these reasons third week of the next month was decided.

“Oh God, It’s one o’clock. I didn’t feel during work.” Qandeel looked the clock and had stood, started collecting her books.

“You don’t have to go to the News building today, then why are you in hurry?” Humaira asked.

“I have some work at home and Sami will also come in the evening.” She had said but then felt odd at her own words.

Meaningful sights of every person on the table were on her now.

“Then say it clearly that you have to do preparations for Sami’s welcome at home.” Amin always wanted to pull her leg.

Her face became red; was not ready for this attack that’s why smiled in a bizarre manner. “Never stop your rubbish otherwise you will become ill, Amin.” All of them laughed on her answer.

“And you know I don’t want to become ill…..Ashiq(Lover) Iqbal.”

“Amin….you kid….” Qandeel pulled his ear very badly and started laughing.

“Ok friend….leave my ear.” He murmured like a kid.

Qandeel left his ear, “Rohail, if you are also going then drop me at my home.” Qandeel looked Rohail who was packing his laptop into the bag.

“Sure, Madam. It will be an honor for me.” His tone was flourishing, “I can not believe that you are the same Qandeel, who just one year ago had not accepted my single offer. I kept saying everyday that Qandeel your home is on my way, I will drop you and you daily had refused being very inflexible.”

“Come on, Rohail. At that time you were not a good friend of mine.” She smiled.

“It means that if one wants to give a ride to Miss Qandeel, he needs to be a good friend of her first.”


“That’s why I am saying that this will be an honor for me. At least in a way you considered me as a good friend.”

She could not control her laugh as usual.

“Ok, now let’s go. You have also got habit to talk rubbish due to having company of Amin.” Both of them collected their belongings and went out of the library.

She had her lunch after reaching home, and then she rested for a while. After offering Zauhar prayer, she sat in veranda by resting her back with the pillar.

For a while the words of Hamza Shahid and the blurred images of that dream had again grasped her mind.

She had a belief on dreams, since her childhood she was used to tell him every dream. Yousuf Mairaj most of the time, had interpreted these dreams for her according to situation and condition and sometimes it proved true, in a way her trust grew stronger and after that when she became the student of Kamran Ali, this trust transformed into faith. Kamran Ali had always said to her, “Whatever perception a person does have about dreams, he gets the similar interpretation of his dreams. Those who call dreams as “Al-Roya” they are always able to learn something from their dreams while those who consider dreams as “Al-Ehlaam” they spend their lives like an illusion and never gain trust on a single way of their lives”.

She kept thinking then her head started aching, so she came inside and got herself busy into routine work.

Sami came at seven o’clock in the evening; she was in the kitchen that moment. Yousuf Mairaj opened the door and both of them sat in the courtyard and started talking.

Dinner was ready; she called both of them inside.

There was a very light chat on dinner. Yousuf Mairaj never liked discussions at the dining table. She kept telling Sami about her routine and asking about his.

They were engaged for five years but still their attitudes had a very little similarity. This engagement was not one-sided, Qandeel also liked Sami however more effort was from the other side.

He loved Qandeel so much since childhood, although Phuppo disliked and tried to prevent him for regularly meeting Qandeel but he kept coming here in order to remind her that he loves her so much. And this was happening for many years even when Qandeel was in college, his routine was not changed.

This was the only reason due to which Qandeel despite of knowing many unlikable habits of Phuppo, when came to know about the proposal of Sami, could not refuse.

But then after their engagement, during last five years she had got an idea that after marriage, she will have to compromise with many unfamiliar habits not only of Phuppo but also of Sami. There was not only the difference between attitudes but a huge gap like earth and sky and which she felt so strongly in these five years. The reason for this feeling was actually that she got a mental and spiritual growth gradually. At first Yousuf Mairaj and then Kamran Ali played a great role for this growth.

But even with all these differences of opinion, she was still very determined by heart to have this relationship as much as she wanted five years ago. Like Yousuf Mairaj, she had gotten a very soft and kind nature.

“Well, we don’t get everything in life we like to get; have to compromise somewhere at least.” Every time after the departure of Sami, she used to satisfy herself by saying these words and always got herself satisfied. She always had a complete trust on her fate.

“Whatever happens; happens for good, even sometimes the long term effects of many painful and unbearable events come in a way that human intellect simply surprises.” She used to learn each and every word of Yousuf Mairaj sometimes like a parrot and then used it where found the need. The biggest advantage that she had being the daughter of Yousuf Mairaj and at which she could feel herself proud, was that she used to live in today. She always tried to be with her present, past was a moment of learning for her and future was unknown so she was careless for that. This was the secret of her satisfaction and contentment which always made her unusual among the people. She could never be unhappy and this was her major power.

After dinner, they were having tea in courtyard.

“This time you visited after a long time, Sami.” Yousuf Mairaj remembered what he had forgotten initially to ask.

“Yes Mamun (Uncle)…… actually there are some jobs announced for England and USA, I decided to apply, so I was busy, you know that the process of documentation is so tiring and time consuming.” Qandeel had put her cup of tea on the table and looked Sami.

“Oh yes, I remember……. I had talked to Aapa and she told me but I forgot.”

“I am going to Islamabad day after tomorrow; have an interview for the same reason.” He looked Qandeel. She was silent and serious.

She was not feeling good; suddenly the environment was become so suffocated.

“Qandeel, why are you quiet? Say something, at least show your opinion.” Sami said anxiously.

“What should I say?” She stopped for a moment and looked into his eyes, “You know I can’t tell lies neither I have skills to be diplomatic, so by saying truth I don’t want to diminish your happiness.”

“My happiness belongs to you, Qandeel and I want you to be straight forward.”

Yousuf Mairaj was quiet; both of them were used to talk easily in front of him.

“You know the reality very well, Sami. I can never like it for you to do a job outside Pakistan.”

“But I have just applied, hundreds of people apply; not necessary that I would be selected, you are worried for no reason, Qandeel.”

“I am not worried for no reason, Sami. You are not trying and consuming your time and efforts in spare. Your selection is difficult not impossible, won’t you give your availability if selected? Will it be possible for you to refuse an offer then?”

“No.” He could not say anything else.

“You will go. Certainly, you won’t want to lose that chance and me….what will I do?” She was asking questions.

“It’s very clear, Qandeel. I will take you with me after marriage.” He was answering in a weakened tone.

“While you know I can’t leave Pakistan.”

“Yes I know, Qandeel but only for few years. If I get a good job there just for few years, I would be able to start my own business after coming back Pakistan. I will never go abroad forever.”

“Few years.” The color of her face was changed, “Perhaps I can spend few weeks or months outside Pakistan but not few years, Sami.” Sami squeezed his lips. “The most precious years of my life in which I can give my whole energies to Pakistan; it is never possible for me to spend those years outside Pakistan. I will manage to live a non-lavish life here with a satisfaction that my all abilities are being utilized for Pakistan.”

Sami could not agree with her.

“You are saying like that only you have been carried out the whole burden of Pakistan, like Pakistan just needs your energies.” She just looked his face.

“I could never expect a thing like this from you, Sami. You say that you understand me but the reality is that despite of knowing everything, you could never understand me.” The color of her eyes and face was totally different now.

Yousuf Mairaj kept looking her without blinking his eyes.

“Even if Pakistan doesn’t need my energies, if it doesn’t need me even then I need Pakistan. I am not separate from Pakistan, I am also Pakistan. How can one live without his self? Even if I am supposed to go outside Pakistan, my soul will be left here.” Her tone was so unusual, Yousuf Mairaj felt it.

“You could never know, Sami that what is Pakistan for me?” Pearls started shining in her eyes.

Sami bent down his head, hearing her as usual.

Pakistan beats in my chest as heart; flows in my veins as blood. When I inhale, the air that penetrates inside always has fragrance of Pakistan, where there won’t be present this fragrance how would I breathe? If my heart will be left here then you will never find me as Qandeel who you have now. Everything will be changed, Sami; freshness of my face, shining of my eyes, flourishing of my laughter everything. Whatever I am, I am due to Pakistan.” She hid her face in her hands perhaps wanted to absorb few tears that had been shed on her cheeks.

“I am sorry, Qandeel. I know, I understand even then gave you pain. I should have not whatever I said.” Sami kept his hand on her shoulder.

“It’s ok.” She sat straight and now was trying to normalize herself.

“I think I must go now. We will talk about it at some good time.” He had stood, “And remember Qandeel, I will never take any decision at my own by making you uncomfortable.”

“I think we don’t need to discuss this matter anymore, Sami. You have to decide everything at your own. I will never be a hindrance neither I want to be, just understand that I will never forbid you to leave Pakistan but I will never leave Pakistan.” She followed him.

“You are scaring me, Qandeel.” He smiled.

“You don’t need to be scared, Sami. I know how to be faithful with my relationships. I have made a relationship with you and I will be faithful till my last breath. You don’t need to be worry; if ever this relationship is broken then this step will be taken from your side not mine.” A strange impression appeared on his face.

“Don’t speak foolish things, Qandeel.” He reproached her then came towards Yousuf Mairaj, shook hands with him and moved towards the door.

Qandeel closed the door and now was going inside when Yousuf Mairaj called her.

“Qandeel, come here. I have to talk to you.”

She came towards him.

“You never said to me what you just said few minutes ago to Sami.” She smiled.

“I never felt that it is needed, Baba. Do I need to tell you that what is Pakistan for me?”

“Not at all. I understand everything but felt so good to hear this today. I got a strange happiness Qandeel which I never had before.” His smile was flourishing, “I feel like I have passed the most difficult exam of the world.”

In the light of bulb set in courtyard, Qandeel looked. Love was whirling in his eyes.

“I have fulfilled the responsibility that Saima had put onto me. I have made you what Saima wanted to. I am proud of you, Qandeel.” Light was emitting from his face.

“I am proud of you too, Baba.” She kissed his both hands.


  1. Hmm.. the Pakisan part is really emotional and lovely...

  2. Urooj, you just made me love and feel for Pakistan the way Qandeel loves and feels for her. I hope the feeling continues to rest in my heart until i die. I owe you a huge favour now. Khair, good job done! Love you and respect you loads!

  3. Sir Akhtar, thank you for reading the post. The Pakistan part was also very emotional for me while I was writing it.

  4. Sadia, thank you for reading and liking the post.

  5. hmmm... discussion on soul is common in first and last scene...

    Hain! Qandeel was different 1 year ago? :o

    So Qandeel loves Pakistan more than Sami :D i am wondering... may be more than Yousuf Mairaj...

  6. riz, thank you for reading the post. In what sense you have said that Qandeel was different one year ago. And yes she loves Pakistan more than anything in her life.

  7. Oops! I mistook it... hehe.. She was different for Rohail 1 year ago as he was stranger to her.. :D my bad...

  8. well... dekhte hain aage Sami ka kia hota hai :p

  9. Soul of the post( according to me han :D ):

    "Pakistan beats in my chest as heart...
    ....Pakistan.” She hid her face in her hands perhaps wanted to absorb few tears that had been shed on her cheeks."

  10. Some more insights...

    - does not like studies (may be she gets bored in taking ratta-type or usual classes
    - Takes time to trust people.
    - is popular among her friends.
    - is a die hard fan of her soul(Pakistan).
    - has grown mentally and spiritually in last 5 years

  11. riz, thank you for this analysis full of different insights. You are a good analyst as sir Akhtar had mentioned earlier.

  12. hud hai. C'mon i just summarised your post.. :s

    What was new in my "insight" :D

  13. Dear Urooj:

    How deeply in fiction (reality-based) you have demonstrated love for a nation - particularly Pakistan. This so helps me to see in a deeper human way such love and how the heart can love both nation and Allah together. This may be unique to your daughter and father character - and to you - who have known from early on the spiritual destiny of their nation and their role own particular role whether humble or large within - which goes beyond temporal material upsets.

    What a writer you are in purity of passion yet the most palpable detail of common life - both particular to Pakistan and Muslim faith yet also universal. (The mark of the most effective and long-lived literature, of course. :)

    Never lose this calling and deep trust Allah has for you in these special ways. I am so honored to know you and read your work.

    Finally, you've taken Khurram Ali Shafique's own unique vision into new vistas for me. My deepest gratitude for this priceless gift. You are helping me also "catch the vision" of such a destiny.