“Today, I felt your mood was bad.” Rohail brought the car out of the parking at the road.
Qandeel turned her neck and looked him with a look like he had said a very strange sentence, while she knew that Rohail hadn’t said anything strange. Whatever he had said, said the truth but at the moment she had no intention to confirm his saying.
“It wasn’t like that; my mood was good; why did you think like this?” The impression of Rohail, on her answer was like that he had regret on his wrong idea.
“Just felt it. You didn’t talk to Ilaaf, while I had thought that interest of both of you are so like that you would have a friendship soon but neither you showed any interest towards anything of him nor you even said a single formal sentence to him. Anyway, this just could be my idea.” She couldn’t decide for a moment on this explanation of Rohail that what answer should be given to him, then she found the words finally.
“You know that I don’t become so friendly with strangers as soon as I meet them, I am used to compose myself in front of strangers. And today, really the work load was so much that neither I thought nor considered anything else.”
“Perhaps, you are right.” Rohail didn’t feel to comment anymore.
“By the way, you didn’t tell before that Ilaaf Laashari is your friend.” She didn’t want to say but don’t know why she had said it.
“Never had any need to tell nor was anything happened like that so I can tell about him. Ilaaf came back from
“But you didn’t talk about him once in last few months otherwise you tell me each and everything and just then you are satisfied. And even two days ago when you told that your friend is coming, you didn’t mention that the friend whom you have invited is Ilaaf Laashari.” The irritability inside was coming outside unwillingly.
“This is just a coincidence otherwise it’s not like that what you are thinking. And even if I had told that my friend whom I am inviting is Ilaaf Laashari then what could have happened?” Rohail smiled.
“I would haven’t come in the get together today and staying at home would have completed much of my work.” Qandeel surprised on herself; she was so straight forward at the moment.
The impression of Rohail was as he couldn’t understand anything.
“Why are you saying like this? What odd thing happened due to the presence of Ilaaf that you would have preferred to stay at home? As far as I know, you have met him for the first time today.” Qandeel wished to say that he has met with me for the first time but I knew him before this meeting.
How could she forget him? He was among the people who had come to negotiate with Wali Daad outside the press club and what a carelessness, pride of his movement and then the threat that was given to Wali Daad by him with an impression of disinterest. She couldn’t forget anything.
“Yes, this is true that I have met him for the firs time but I was familiar with his name before this. As the grandson of Aadil Laashari many people know him absentially. And if I knew that he is your friend who is coming in the get together then I would haven’t come because I don’t have any interest in meeting politicians.” She answered after a while.
“Ilaaf isn’t a politician.” Rohail wasn’t satisfied with her answer.
“He belongs to a political family, and will join politics someday then what’s the difference whether he is a politician at the moment or not.”
“But this is not a solid reason, for not joining the get together or for not meeting a person.” Rohail was confused.
“This is a solid reason for me, Rohail; wouldn’t be for you.” Her tone went serious itself.
“Belonging to a political family is not so odd so that you don’t consider him worth meeting. He is so different from the other boys of his background; so different from his Baba Saaiyen and Daada Saaiyen. You don’t have any right to give opinion about someone without knowing or understanding him, Qandeel. I am surprised that you are thinking like this whereas naturally you don’t give opinion about anyone like this.” Rohail’s tone had surprise as well as worry.
Qandeel couldn’t answer him for a while.
She couldn’t be able to explain it to Rohail neither she wanted to.
She didn’t want to tell him that today in the lab after looking Ilaaf Laashari suddenly in front of her; she couldn’t do anything with attention rest of the time. How many times she had looked Ilaaf Laashari; the starved face of Wali Daad revolved in front of her eyes and then that strange pain, the grief of the death of Wali Daad. Just due to that one person, those all scenes were moving into her eyes which she wanted to take out of her mind.
“What happened? Why are you quiet?” Hearing voice of Rohail, she turned her neck and looked Rohail.
“Nothing, I am thinking that you are right. I shouldn’t give any opinion about someone and so what need I have to give my opinion about Ilaaf Laashari? Opinions are given about a person whom with we have a relationship. The person with whom I haven’t any relationship nor I have to make any relationship with him, I really don’t have any right to give any opinion about him.” She knew that the coldness of her tone will surprise Rohail because normally she never talked in a tone like this. And her idea was absolutely right; Rohail really was surprised on this tone of her.
“You seem to be very tired, Qandeel. Perhaps you need a rest.” He couldn’t say anything else in reply.
Rest of the way was passed so quietly.
When she entered the home, Yousuf Mairaj was reading a book sitting in the courtyard.
The sunlight was declining and the courtyard was in shade.
She came towards her room after saying Salam to Baba.
Put off her sandel and kept aside then got onto bed. And just then she had felt that her waist was aching very badly due to the pain; neck, shoulders, waist everything was aching.
It was true that how she had worked continuously for hours on the laptop, never worked like this before. She always had tried to use computer as minimum as possible and that’s why if ever she had to work on computer for much time then she used to do it in the form of intervals and today she had worked on the laptop of Rohail for continuously three hours and one of the reason, other than the load of work was Ilaaf Laashari.
She wanted to avoid him; didn’t want to talk to him; didn’t want to see him and therefore she kept herself busy willingly. Many times she had wished to leave the work, to talk to everyone and to enjoy the get together but just to avoid the man as much as she could, kept working quietly.
She never ever wanted to meet Ilaaf Laashari again. The person whom she had looked just once and she got angry without any reason, undoubtedly she could never wish to meet a person like this again.
She turned her side and closed her eyes.
At night after the dinner, she was reading a book while tilting her back with the pillar in the veranda; just then Yousuf Mairaj had brought the coffee for both of them.
“Thank you, Baba.” She was really having the need for coffee.
“What is being read?” He sat besides her.
“Just, haven’t read Bronte for many days that’s why thought to read a little.” Yousuf Mairaj smiled.
“Qandeel, you are unusually very much quiet today. Are you worried about anything?” She turned her neck and looked Baba. She was surprised; would ever in her life she be able to hide anything from him; don’t know how he was able to know feelings of her heart just by looking into her eyes.
“No, Baba, nothing important. Dr. Saeed has given me the deadline for submission of the project; am just worried for ending the work and nothing else.” She wasn’t used to tell a lie, but right now she didn’t want to tell the truth.
Ilaaf Laashari was not much important for her to tell Baba about him.
“InshAllah, everything will end on time, you should not be worried about it.” She smiled looking him.
Next day in the evening Maryam had come.
Both of them were sitting on Qandeel’s bed in her room and were having tea along with Samosas. Maryam liked Samosas so much; Qandeel had brought Samosas especially for her.
“How was your get together? Preparations were so wonderful.” Maryam asked having Samosa.
“It was fine; wasn’t so special.” She commented.
“Hmmm” Maryam was taking tea side by side.
There was silence for a while then Qandeel said.
“I had met with Ilaaf Laashari yesterday.”
“What?” Maryam had kept the cup of tea on the tray.
“Ilaaf Laashari is a friend of Roahil. Rohail had invited him in the get together; I met him there.” She was serious.
“You never told that Ilaaf is a friend of Rohail.” Maryam asked with an interest.
“I just came to know yesterday when he came with Roahil in the get together.”
“How was your meeting?”
“It was just a superficial meeting. You know that I don’t be so friendly with strangers and especially not with a person who belongs to a political family and I don’t have a good opinion about him.”
“You did right; neither the friendship of these people is good or the enmity. By the way, you know that my C.O. is trying to contact with Ilaaf for about two months so that he could record his interview for our channel. But Ilaaf Laashari keeps fly like an eagle from a place to another; nearly impossible for my C.O. to catch him.” Qandeel didn’t feel the need to remark on her answer.
“If he would know that I am familiar with a friend of Ilaaf Laashari then he will start asking me to make his contact to Ilaaf possible.” She was laughing on her own words, “By the way, is it possible that you talk to Rohail in this case? Really my C.O. will be happy from me.”
Her smile was vanished when Maryam said the last words.
“No, I can’t help you in this case.”
“Why?” Maryam asked.
“Just can’t. I don’t want to talk or hear anything about that person.” She was serious.
“Well, I don’t like him as well, but we the people of media have this kind of job, Qandeel.”
Qandeel took a deep breath.
“If you are interested in his interview then you can talk to Rohail directly. I will give you his number.” The impression on face of Maryam was like that she had not liked this saying of Qandeel.
“No, leave it.”
“Why not? Rohail is a closed friend of Ilaaf. He will help you; perhaps you would be successful and your C.O. would be happy as well.” She surprised on the refusal of Maryam.
“I have said, no. Leave it; was just saying it didn’t mean it.” Maryam said with an odd look.
“Even then, why your decision has been changed?” Qandeel insisted.
“I don’t wanna talk to Rohail; I don’t like him at all.” Maryam said with a strange tone and then started taking sips of tea like she didn’t want to talk on this topic anymore.
Qandeel was surprised but she didn’t talk to Maryam about it anymore.
Maryam went back and she thought about it for a while.
Maryam and Rohail had just a single meeting till now and that had happened just in the home of Qandeel. Few months ago, it was just a little meeting. Rohail had suddenly come at her home and coincidently Maryam was already there. She had intrduced both of them, and then Rohail had asked her about few things of the assignment; during this Maryam and Rohail hadn’t much chat to each other. Then he went back and she hadn’t remembered anything else due to which she could be able to find the reason of the disliking of Maryam for Rohail. So, she wasn’t able to find a conclusion.
After three days, in the evening, after preparing the dinner when she was offering the Maghrib prayer in the veranda, then Rohail had come suddenly.
Yousuf Mairaj had opened the door.
She was offering the last Rakat; finishing prayer she turned her head.
Sitting on a chair in courtyard, he was talking to Yousuf Mairaj and laughing.
She prayed by keeping her hands on her face then folded the prayer-carpet and kept aside; came into courtyard without removing her stole from her head.
“You should inform before coming; its good ethically.” She said in a criticizing tone and pulling a chair sat.
“Yes, should inform before coming so that before my arrival, Miss Qandeel will lock the door and I would not be able to find her anywhere.” Yousuf Mairaj was laughing on his reply.
For a time they kept talking and laughing then she brought the coffee.
“Day after tomorrow is my birthday. I have come to invite you.” Rohail said while having coffee.
“You could invite me in University, what need did you have to come at home for this?” She replied immediately.
“Yes, I could invite you in University if wasn’t afraid that you will refuse to come by presenting a so called reason.”
“I can refuse even now.” She was suddenly straight forward because in real she had no intention to go at Rohail’s birthday party.
“Therefore I have already talked to Uncle about it and Uncle has promised me that he will send you in my birthday party in any case.” The satisfaction which was present in the tone of Roahil had some smell of danger for her.
She looked towards Baba. Yousuf Mairaj was smiling.
She felt anger for Rohail for a moment.
“Look, Rohail. Baba knows very well that I don’t go in parties like this; and if Baba sent me in your birthday party by insisting just due to what you have said to him, even then it will be worthless. I will keep sitting in a corner with a dull heart; nothing else would be there for me to do.”
“Come on, Qandeel. Ameen, Seema and Humaira will be there and along with them, you would have lots of things to do there.” He was requesting.
Qandeel was quiet.
“If you will come then I will be very happy; and if you won’t come then I will be sad.”
Yousuf Mairaj had kept his hand on her shoulder.
“One shouldn’t hurt his friends, Qandeel. You should go there for a while, just for the sake of Rohail’s happiness. Look, he is inviting you with so much credit, you shouldn’t refuse.” Qandeel bent down her head.
She was feeling very bad; didn’t want to face Ilaaf Laashari once again. But neither it was possible for her to refuse Rohail nor she could put back Baba’s saying.
“Alright, I will come.” She admitted this overwhelming.
Rohail smiled and his smile had given a happiness to Qandeel, suddenly; the happiness of the presence of a good friend in her life.
He got to go and Qandeel came to the door along with him.
“You have got a good training of black mailing in the company of Ameen, Rohail.” He smiled.
They were reached at the door.Rohail stopped reaching the door and then turning back said.
“By the way, Qandeel. You look a little eastern while offering prayer otherwise one can’t find any of the qualities like eastern girls even by searching in you.” Qandeel gave a punch on his arm.
“You are talking so much rubbish these days.”
“Your hand is so heavy; don’t know what will happen with Sami.” Patting his arm, he went out of the door.
Qandeel had a smile on her face.