That day, Yousuf Mairaj had to go at Hamza Shahid’s home; there was a lecture and that’s why he had no intention to come home after the college.
It was Rohail’s birthday and in the evening, Qandeel had to go in the birthday party at his home along with Ameen, Seema and Humaira.
He had a thought that perhaps Qandeel in his absence will refuse Rohail by making some explanation, therefore in the morning, before leaving for the college, he reminded Qandeel to go at Rohail’s birthday party.
Qandeel like an obedient child shook her head positively.
Then he left for the college.
He was throughout busy in the college that day. He had to take an extra class as well; just got some free time after twelve o’clock.
Coming out of the class, standing in the corridor he was thinking something when few students of final year were gathered around him.
“There are some new books available at super collection, sir. If you have some time then please come with us to the Mall; will have some window shopping and have a look on those books as well.” Talha, Naeem and some other students of final year made a request.
Yousuf Mairaj thought for a while.
He used to go with them in different book stalls and book fairs even before this.
He had to reach at Hamza Shahid’s home after two o’clock, so he was able to give them some time.
He was agreed.
They were in the Mall after fifteen minutes. The book shop named “Super Collection” was on second floor. For a while they had some window shopping then came towards Super Collection.
It was a big rectangular shaped book shop which was divided in four narrow lanes with the help of book racks.
They were all together for a while then dispersed here and there and started looking different books.
Yousuf Mairaj was in the corner lane and moving ahead looking books. At the end of that lane there was the payement counter.
“Excuse me.” A grave and graceful voice was echoed in the pindrop silence of the book shop.
The voice attracted everybody for a while towards it.
Yousuf Mairaj had a book in his hand. He turned back and looked towards the direction of the voice.
It was the voice of the boy standing in the next lane and his back towards Yousuf Mairaj. The boy was tall and therefore Yousuf Mairaj could see his head at the other side of the book rack.
Perhaps he got the attention of the sales man and now was asking about a book to him.
His tone had maturity and seriousness.
Yousuf Mairaj again was looking different books.
“I have to give these two books as a gift to someone. Can these be packed in a gift packing?” Yousuf Mairaj heard him with interest this time.
“Yes sir. These will be packed in gift packing. You will have to wait for five minutes.” Salesman replied with courtesy.
The boy turned back and perhaps had handed over the books to the salesman.
“Then pack these books; till then I am looking other books.”
Yousuf Mairaj involuntarily moved his head up and looked the boy and then couldn’t blink his eyes.
He was just like him; exactly like him. If his hair style would haven’t little bit different then probably he would had considered him Omer. He was just like Omer.
The same shiny eyes, extended and curved eye lashes, the same broad forehead, the same long nose that was well suited on his face and the same stretched chin.
He just had kept looking him but the boy didn’t have a single look towards him.
He was very unconcerned and careless about the things around him.
He was moving ahead while looking books. Yousuf Mairaj also kept moving along the rack keeping some distance to him.
There was a panic strike in his mind. Many questions were raising inside and questions were those whose answers were already present inside him.
“Who can he be?....... Is he…..no, he can’t be him then why his face has so much familiarity with Omer?”
Yousuf Mairaj had absolutely forgotten everything around him for a while.
“Sir, your books have been packed.” He had moved ahead after hearing what salesman had said.
Yousuf Mairaj also moved ahead. The counter was at the end of the lane. The boy was now standing at the counter.
Yousuf Mairaj went and stood at the corner of the lane and picked one or two books so that no one could feel anything.
He was standing at the counter silently keeping his both palms on the counter top.
Yousuf Mairaj again looked him from head to toe.
There was not any further doubt.
“Sir, what name should be written on the receipt? Salesman was now typing on computer. The boy suddenly looked the salesman.
“Ilaaf Laashari.” Yousuf Mairaj had felt a storm moving around him.
He controlled him with difficulty otherwise for a moment he had felt like his legs haven’t any courage to stand.
He moved back few steps inside and took a deep breath.
Even in the presence of centralized aircondition, small and tiny drops of sweat appeared on his forehead.
Nobody was attented towards him in the shop and this was a blessing for him.
“So, he is Ilaaf Laashari; nephew of Omer; son of Zainab Laashari.”
He remembered; that day, twenty two years ago, when he had looked two years old child, holding the finger of Zainab Laashari when she had come to visit Saima in the hospital. On asking name, that two years old innocent, naughty and intelligent kid used to tell his name in the same way.
Ilaaf Laashari, yes he just could be Ilaaf Laashari. Whoelse except him could have so much familiarity with Omer and if he was Ilaaf Laashari then……. He couldn’t dare to think anything further.
He turned his head and looked.
He was collecting the shopping bag from the counter. The next moment he went outside the shop.
Don’t know how he had gathered all his power and came outside the shop behind him.
After taking a round from the left side, he was now going downstairs with the help of automatic staircase.
Yousuf Mairaj holding the railing kept looking him until he was disappeared.
Then he started looking around him.
There was hustle bustle, crowd, smiling laughing faces everywhere but he was not able to see anything clearly. A single face was fixed on his vision; face of Ilaaf Laashari.
He remembered Omer; remembered Saima; remembered his meeting with Zainab Laashari twenty two years ago.
“But it’s not necessary that the way I am thinking all this, things would be happening in the same way. Twenty two years are enough for a person to forget his own words; to forget his thought his idea; it is possible that Zainab Laashari would have forgotten all those things.”
He kept flowing in a wave of thoughts.
“But if it wouldn’t be like this and Zainab Laashari would have remembered everything then..” He didn’t want to think anything more. Many thoughts were fighting each other inside him.
“And if Zainab Laashari would have remembered all this even then this doesn’t matter. Ilaaf isn’t a child anymore; he is able to take his all decisions on his own. He won’t be agreed with Zainab Laashari. He would be trained by his father and grandfather; not necessary that he would be like Omer also in habits and nature.” Satisfying one’s own self is vey difficult.
“And if he would be like Omer in nature and habits as well then…..” A fear was grasping his heart.
“Even then…..Ilaaf hasn’t met Qandeel yet. Both of them don’t know each other.” He was pretty satisfied again.
“And if they met someday then….” He felt tiredness was penetrating into his fragile body.
“It should not happen. A storm will come in my daughter’s life. My beloved daughter Qandeel……how will she face all these difficulties. She never faced a single grief like this in her life then how she……”
He felt corner of his eyes were getting wet.
“Saima also kept facing storms throughout her life and Qandeel is Saima’s daughter who herself doesn’t like an easy life.”
“And Omer……which wish of his was that didn’t fulfill in his life then will not this wish be fulfilled? In his life and even after martyrdom, whatever he had wished was fulfilled then won’t this be fulfilled.”
His temptations were changing into beliefs.
“Surely, it will happen and who can delay a happening like this?”
He had reached at a result very quickly and the most surprising thing was that in these so many years he was very much satisfied with a support of a misunderstanding and today after looking Ilaaf Laashari just once; this Taj Mehel of misunderstandings was smashed just with a single jerk.
For these so many years, he had kept thinking like just be the father of Qandeel and today he had felt for the first time that he is a human also and human beings should be agreed with God’s will.
He had controlled himself in a while.
Leaving the Mall he didn’t go with his students, instead went towards Hamza Shahid’s home.
There was a mosque before, at some distance from Hamza Shahid’s home. Whenever he had come there; used to offer prayers there.
He stopped there in order to offer Zauhar prayer.
There were many few people at the moment in the mosque because congregational prayer was just ended and now slowly and gradually people were leaving.
Yousuf Mairaj did Wuzu and started his prayer.
After the prayer when he raised his hands for pray then don’t know why his vision was blurred due to the mist in his eyes.
Perhaps awareness of a reality had suddenly made him to feel himself weak and tired.
“I am agreed with your Will my Master! Just give me and my daughter enough power so that we can fight each and every difficulty. She is so pure just like a drop of dew, keep her pure like this forever. Give her the rigidness like a stone so that no pain, no strike, no smash could break her. Give her the grief which will make her unconcerned from all other sorrows of the world. Fill her heart with Your Love and give her the courage which never ever be defeated by any storm. Perhaps I can feel, I can see, I can understand whatever is going to happen and what can be happened. But I am satisfied; I know that if it happened then nothing else would be better than it for Qandeel.”
He kept praying for a while and kept crying; was feeling a strange peace by crying like this.
Leaving the mosque, he was feeling himself very light.
The war between his thoughts was ended and the mind was completely prepared to face any kind of situation.
He was now thinking just one thing.
“When Qandeel and Ilaaf are going to meet?” Because he believed that it will happen and his belief was not wrong by the way.
In life the happening of many things has been written so earlier. Man can’t change that happening therefore he shouldn’t try to change the happening instead should walk along with it side by side and should try to solve all problems of life along with this happening.
The problem of the man is that he keeps trying to stop the happening even after knowing that happening can’t be delayed or stopped. Whatever changes in his life; he never tries to accept it as a result neither the happening delays nor other problems are being solved and man just keeps complaining to God.
Yousuf Mairaj was not among those people, so that’s why as soon as he felt this happening present in his life and was going to become a reality, he had accepted it by heart; didn’t try to argue with God.
He had spent next four five hours in the home of Hamza Shahid. Among many of those people, he had passed much of his time so well.
During this he had felt single stitches twice or thrice in his left arm but he had never given importance to this ordinary pain.
After the end of the lecture he kept meeting many people in personal then in the study of Hamza Shahid a period of discussions was begun. Along with Kamran Ali, Hamza Shahid, Maryam, Kawish and Saleem, he kept talking for a while.
And then while he was talking felt like somebody has started piercing needles into his left arm.
He kept his right hand on his left arm but the shooting pain was still there. He was now feeling a difficulty in breathing also.
“Sir, are you alright?” Kamran Ali left his chair and came towards him.
“Yes, just an ordinary pain.” He answered very slowly.
“No, you are not well, Uncle.” Maryam said.
Other people also gathered around him.
The pain was spread from the arm towards the chest now and the intensity was also increased.
He tried to stand but the next moment he felt the shooting pain in his chest.
Keeping his hand on his heart, he trembled. Kamran Ali held him.
“I think Yousuf has a heart attack; we should take him to the hospital. I bring my car out and call Dr. Lodhi as well.” Hamza Shahid moved out immediately.
Kamran Ali made him to sit again on sofa and sat besides him.
“I forgot to take my tablet as well.” Yousuf Mairaj said in a tired and painful tone.
“Sir, I think we should inform to Qandeel.” Maryam said to Kamran Ali but Yousuf Mairaj held her hand.
“Not now, please Maryam wait for a while. I haven’t a serious attack; Qandeel will be worried. Let me go to the hospital and get proper check up then whatever will be the situation then inform her. She has gone into birthday party of Rohail; will come immediately being worried. Don’t call her right now.” He said to Maryam slowly in the form of short intervals.
Maryam perhaps didn’t want to argue so was silent now.
Hamza Shahid came inside then with the help of Kamran Ali he supported and let Yousuf Mairaj to stand.
He reached to the car with so much difficulty and then as soon as he sat in the car, closed his eyes.
Those one after another shooting pains had made him very weak.