“Baba, I want to say something.” Both of them were sitting on stairs going towards the roof.
“Say, Baba’s life.” Yousuf Mairaj replied smiling.
“I sometimes bother you very much due to my disorder, but I can’t do anything. The moment my mind comes under my emotions then I have no control on my own self.” They were having evening tea sitting there.
“Not at all, Qandeel. Does ever the pain of our own body feel to be unpleasant? No, then how can I be bother due to your disorder. You are the hope of the life for me.” Qandeel looked behind the steam raising from tea mug, in his eyes the uncountable love for her.
“These usual and ordinary pains and worries walk along with life; should not give them unusual attention and move forward, life becomes easy. I am never bothered due to this disorder; you are dear to me how you beloved to me without this disorder could.” She smiled.
Yousuf Mairaj was taking sips of tea. There was silence for a while then she said again.
“I am not able to forget Wali Daad. More than a week has been passed but thoughts about him are not leaving my mind. I think about him again and again and that makes me sad.” She was perfectly alright now but the shock of his death was making her grieved again and again; after the efforts of many days, at last she told this to Yousuf Mairaj.
“Who asked you to forget him or try to let him out of your mind? No Qandeel, you should not think like that. Wali Daad is an example of courage and bravery and you have to keep him alive in your heart forever so then you would be able to show the same courage at some hard time. He didn’t trade for his self; gave his life but didn’t sell his Yousuf; struggled for his right till his last breath. He deserves the respect, how do you feel the need to forget him then? Blood that is flowing in the veins of the life is hot just due to madness and insanity of these lunatics; the thought of these lunatics just keeps the blood hot, flowing in our veins.”
“You are saying the truth, Baba, but as soon as I think about him a strange sense of guilt grasps me. There is a strange pain that I could not do anything for Wali Daad, and this pain, this sense of guilt is making me agitated.” She had brought the real grief on her tongue.
“You should avoid these kinds of thoughts, Qandeel. You will waste your energies in this way; man should be happy on God’s will. There is always an expedience in His decisions, a long lasting betterment which remains hidden from eyes temporarily but as the time passes, comes in front. What if you couldn’t do anything for Wali Daad, you can still do many things for unlimited people like Wali Daad, with your pen and words; by using your professional skills in a best way, and you can change the world.”
I can’t do anything alone, Baba. I can’t change the world.” The disappointment that was accumulated inside for few days now was coming out through words.
Yousuf Mairaj kept the mug aside and took her face into his both hands.
“You don’t have idea that what you can do, Qandeel. You can change the world and in order to change the world, sometimes it’s enough to change a single person. To conquer the world, sometimes just to conquer the heart of a single person matters. Whether a man is so powerful, so talented and capable, he always needs the support of a woman at each and every battle in the world whether this woman would be his mother, sister, wife or daughter, in any case she is important for him. You don’t know that what a blessing God has given to you; you are unaware of your strength and your qualities, otherwise wouldn’t have said like this. You have an innocent smile, water like pure eyes and a kind and loving heart which are your biggest strength. You just have to utilize this strength in a right way, the world around you will be changed and you will feel this change yourself, Qandeel. I am saying the truth.” Yousuf Mairaj kissed her forehead. She smiled but couldn’t say anything.
For last one week, she was grasped with some strange feelings, and suddenly that feeling was nowhere. Disappointment, sense of guilt, sense of loses, the pain of incapability, all of the feelings were diluted into the air just because of those few sentences of Yousuf Mairaj. She was feeling herself so light now.
During the last one week, Kamran Ali and Maryam had visited her almost daily, Ghani had come twice, Sami had visited her once, all of them were aware of the reason of her illness, but her University friends didn’t know the original reason of her illness. Qandeel just told them that she is feeling some weakness and therefore wants to take some rest at home.
Ghani and Maryam told him about the recent events that had been occurred in the case of Wali Daad. She was not fully but partially satisfied. The sacrifice of Wali Daad didn’t go in vain. His death which had been occurred in these circumstances ruined the whole plans of Nadir Siddiqui. The story took a twist and turn. The answer that was submitted in the Supreme Court was unsuccessful to satisfy the court. At the other hand in the next two days after the death of Wali Daad, media and human rights organizations fired the issue so much that the pressure was on now Nadir Siddiqui’s family. Case was formally registered in the court and the court had ordered that till the final decision of owning the land, the land should be handed over to the family of Wali Daad. Unwillingly, Nadir Siddiqui had to return the land to the family of Wali Daad. It was expected that the final decision will also be announced soon. The piece of land for which Wali Daad had sacrificed his life, at last that land was given back to his son Ali Daad.
After knowing all the updates, she was grasped in a perplexity. She could not decide that whatever has happened and whatever is happening, she should consider it as good or bad, right or wrong. This sense of perplexity was vanished after so many days just because of the words said by Yousuf Mairaj and now was feeling herself pretty normal.
After dusk, she was in kitchen when the door was knocked. Yousuf Mairaj went to open the door.
She came in veranda outside the kitchen.
All four of them came one by one inside laughing and roaring.
Qandeel smiled without a reason.
“Thanks God to see your face.” Seema screamed as soon as she came inside.
“I had thought that now will have to see the inscription plate of your grave, if would have lived how could you leave our life and University so easily.” The shining voice of Ameen had made her to laugh.
Humaira and Rohail were behind both of them.
Asking about her health, all of them were seated on the chairs in the courtyard. Yousuf Mairaj went into the kitchen to make tea for them.
“You look so well then why do you act to be ill. You are becoming fond of blandishments, I think so.” Ameen was teasing her as usual.
“Qandeel, you have taken enough leaves; even Dr. Kamal and Dr. Saeed started noticing your absence in the class. You will have to submit an application to all teachers otherwise your attendance will be short.” They were kept talking one by one and she was sometimes hearing someone and the next moment answering someone.
Now they were having tea.
And then they got to go.
“Qandeel, are you alright now really?” Rohail again had asked for his satisfaction.
“Yes, perfectly.” She replied with satisfaction.
“Then it’s fine. I will now pick you daily in the morning and drop you on the way back from University but won’t let you to have any further leaves. I don’t want you to be careless about your studies in the last semester.” She laughed.
“Whether I study or not, will take more marks in exams than you.”
“I know and I want it to happen that’s why am worried for your studies.” Qandeel shook her head positively.
“And listen girl, next week is our get together. If you did anything wrong at the last moment then, remember, we will kidnap you to take there but won’t hear any excuses.” The tone of Ameen was really threatening.
They were gone and she suddenly started feeling herself fresh.
Friends are a blessing of God; like a cloud in scorching sunlight and like a shelter in heavy rain. How just few laughs of friends and few sentences full of criticism, drive a new life into tiring body and losing nerves; she just felt this reality today. In those times, if friends call with abuses even then those abuses seem to be more beautiful than the praising words.
She rejoined the University from the very next day. Rohail used to pick and drop her daily. He was a very good friend; one who cares who gives love and respect. The stubbornness was absolutely absent in his nature. Instead of being the only son of a very successful business man, he neither was obstinate nor was fretful. He had cared for Qandeel more than any other in her friends. If anyon else whenever used his laptop, he used to knit the brows but Qandeel had an upper hand in this case also. She didn’t need to get permission to use Rohail’s laptop like rest of them; in class, library, digital media lab wherever she needed, used to open his laptop without any hesitation; Roahil never frowned.
Next whole week had been passed like this; copying the lectures, completing the assignments, visiting the room of Dr. Saeed and searching hard the library. She was not going to office in order to fulfill the loss of studies that she had because of so many days leave even then the work was too much and was not coming to an end.
Get together was on Saturday. They had made their all classes to be ceased that day. The electronic media research lab of Dr. Kamal was hired for few hours by getting special permission. This lab was newly constructed therefore still was empty and without any furniture. They had arranged few chairs and tables for get together.
Rohail had told two days before that a friend of his will join them in get together; nobody had any issue. For next two days, Rohail had highly exaggerated in praise of this unknown friend. Rest of the people kept hearing with an interest but Qandeel was not giving much attention to this topic.
“Yaar, if I am good-for-nothing then it doesn’t mean my friends are idle like me…. See, you won’t believe that a very talented one could be my friend.” He said when looked the inattention of Qandeel.
“Ok, will see him when he will come, Rohail. Now let me do some work.” She said in a teased manner.
On Saturday, everyone was dressed very well especially the preparations of the girls were outstanding but Qandeel, she had such a load of work that she came without any special preparation. She had Rohail’s laptop with her all the time. She had to submit an assignment and was searching few topics on internet right now.
They were in library for a while then Ameen and Asif came to call that everyone should gather in Dr. Kamal’s lab for get together. They collected their stuff and got to go when Roahil received a call on his mobile.
“Go to lab along with Seema and Humaira. My friend is waiting on the gate; will be back in ten minutes with him.” He said to Qandeel and she shaking her head positively, moved towards the lab with Seema and Humaira.
The lab was big and wide; few chairs and tables were set at aside. There was uproar everywhere. She came inside after Seema and Humaira and stopped for a moment with a shock then with surprise she was feeling like laughing.
All girls of the class were playing a game of interlocking fingers in a bid to twist other’s hand. Qandeel stopped her laugh with a difficulty. They were playing in a pair form and the girl who was winning then playing with another one.
“What’s this nonsense, Ameen? This open hand bidding is not the game for girls to play.” She said to Ameen.
“What can I say? You girls have always a new fondness everyday.” He had Rohail’s handy cam in his hand and he was making movie of the whole scenario there; the environment was completely enjoyable for him.
“Don’t talk rubbish.” She came out of the crowd laughing.
Seema and Humaira were left in the crowd. Asif and Raheem were raising slogans; Ameen along with movie making having an additional responsibility of live commentary.
Qandeel searched the switch board; there was not any chair or table near that wall, but she didn’t care for that.
She put the laptop on the floor; attached its adaptor with the switch; put off her sandel and kept it aside. The floor was clean; she sat on the floor tilting her back with the wall. She spread her legs forward and kept the laptop on her legs, started her work again.
The uproars were still coming into her ears.
Then suddenly she looked the door of lab was opened.
“Roahil has come.” Ameen screamed.
Qandeel moved her eyes up. Somebody had also entered in the lab behind Roahil.
Qandeel again fixed her eyesight on the laptop.
The laughs of Rohail and Ameen were echoed; perhaps he also enjoyed the unique fondness of the girls.
A smile was spread on her lips.
The laughs were again echoed and this time a third laugh was included in them which was completely strange for her.
Unwillingly, she moved her head up and looked.
The smile was vanished from her face.