Friday, February 11, 2011

Chapter no. 5: The First Meeting (I)

Ilaaf felt sad about the death of Wali Daad, but this feeling didn’t remain till much time. If man can’t do anything for an issue, to become sad for that was equal to the wastage of time for Ilaaf.

Nadir Siddiqui had unwillingly returned the land to the family of Wali Daad and Ilaaf had felt some satisfaction seeing all this. If Wali Daad had lost his life then he also didn’t let Nadir Siddiqui to live a contented life. For satisfaction of their stubbornness and false ego, those who were responsible to cause the death of an old farmer, had got a smashed kick on their faces. The defeat was their fortune; Ilaaf had a strange satisfaction on this situation.

In any case, he was getting bored for two weeks; despite of many efforts Adnan could not come back.

He was going Golf club in the morning these days, rest of the day either he used to spend in studio painting something or by making tunes on guitar sitting in the lawn. At night sometimes had an outing with a friend otherwise he used to have a long drive alone. Life was suddenly so motionless for him.

Rohail had kept visiting him during these days; he had an idea that Ilaaf was not used to live without Adnan that’s why he was trying to overcome that feeling of loneliness.

Ilaaf knew that he is a good friend; in Adnan’s presence Ilaaf never could be able to give Rohail much time but now in Adnan’s absence he was spending his time with Ilaaf so that Ilaaf didn’t feel alone.

They were having dinner together outside almost everyday. Rohail kept telling him about his University friends during this.

And then, that day Rohail offered him that if he is free on Saturday then come in the get together going to be held in his department. Ilaaf had liked the change always so he agreed on a condition that if Rohail’s class fellows and friends don’t have any issue on this then he will join them in get together.

Next day, Rohail informed him that none of his class fellows or friends has any issue if he joins them in get together. Then he started telling him, “I will introduce you with my all friends and especially to Qandeel. You will be pleased to meet her; she is a very good friend of mine; is so talented girl especially plays the keyboard beautifully.” Ilaaf just shook his head; he used to react like this whenever there is something to talk about the girls.

On Saturday, he didn’t go to the golf club in the morning. After breakfast he spent sometime in the studio; wanted to complete one of his paintings as soon as possible but despite of trying so much, he couldn’t complete the painting.

Then he got ready and left for University in his White fairy; reaching the gate he called Rohail. In few minutes, Rohail had reached the gate in his car. Following Rohail, when he parked his car in the parking of the Mass Communication department and got down, then found many girls and boys looking towards him. His land cruiser was enough to get the attention of people everywhere; Ilaaf had no role in this.

He crossed the lobby talking to Rohail. They were now passing the corridor upstairs and Rohail was telling him some details about the department.

Then he passed the door following Rohail and entered inside. It was a big and wide room whose most of the portion was empty. At a side there was a crowd of girls and boys and there was uproar, slogans were raised. Ilaaf moved ahead with Roahil smiling and looking around. Rohail introduced him to few boys standing there. He knew Ameen; Rohail had talked about him many times.

Ameen just told them that right now all girls have started a competition of interlocking fingers in a bid to twist other’s hand and the series of competitions is continued.

Ameen told the whole situation in a very funny way that unwillingly Ilaaf had laughed and he kept laughing for a while; he also felt the situation very interesting.

Right now a contest was in progress. Two girls were having an arm wrestling, fixing their elbows on the table. Slogans were rising from all four sides and there were uproars. Ameen and Rohail also started raising slogans in support of one of the two girls.

Ilaaf moved few steps back, smiling and started looking other portions of the lab.

He turned his side towards the left side with his hands in the pockets of his pants then something had made him to just stop there.

Exactly opposite to him, a girl was sitting there. Tilting her back with the wall, she had spread her legs forward and keeping a laptop on her knees, she was typing something. Her head was down and unconcerned about anything around she was drowned in the laptop.

Ilaaf couldn’t see her face even then he felt the girl was interesting.

She was bare feet and due to her sitting style, Ilaaf was able to see her spotless soles.

He had also recognized the laptop at which she was working right now. It was the laptop of Roahil, but who was the girl? Ilaaf could not make a guess.

He kept looking her with interest for a while then turned back on hearing Roahil’s voice.

“Leave, the girls have gone out of their mind really, don’t know how long the game will be continued. Come here, Ilaaf. Let me introduce you to Qandeel.” Rohail moved towards that girl.

So, she was Qandeel. Ilaaf remembered, Rohail had talked about her perhaps.

Rohail and Ilaaf came towards the girl walking. She was still working in the same way with her head down.

“Qandeel, at least now leave the work for sometime. Won’t you enjoy the get together?” Rohail said reaching near her.

Qandeel didn’t move.

“The loads of work that I have, Rohail, if would have on you then surely you would have been working sitting here and leaving every fun.” She answered without moving her head up.

Her voice was attractive. Ilaaf’s interest was increased.

Rohail smiled.

“Ok, look. My friend has arrived. The friend I was talking about for two days is here. Ilaaf, Ilaaf Laashari, a very good friend of mine.”

Qandeel moved her head up and first looked Rohail and then Ilaaf.

His eyes were met with Qandeel’s. Everything around was become unmoving.

“Hello.” Qandeel said with a serious tone.

“Hi.” Ilaaf smiled unwillingly.

In reply there were no clues of smile Ilaaf could see on her face. She had again moved her head down and started her work.

Ilaaf was surprised. For the first time in his life it had happened that a girl didn’t feel the need to have a look on him second time.

“Qandeel, please leave the laptop for a while and talk to us. Ilaaf has come here for the first time; you should talk to him and give some good company.” Roahil bent and requested to Qandeel.

“Please Rohail. Let me do some work for a while then I make myself free and talk to you people.” The answer of Qandeel was surprising for Ilaaf. She was the very first girl of the world who had no interest in chat with Ilaaf.

Rohail looked Ilaaf in an embarrassing way. Ilaaf just smiled.

Both of them pulled chairs and sat near a table. Rohail started telling him different things, about his friends, about the University life.

Ilaaf’s concentration was not towards Rohail; was towards Qandeel. He was looking her time to time.

Suddenly, the uproars reached at the peak. The crowd was dispersed and everyone moved in random directions.

“I have won.” The voice of Kiran was echoed.

Everbody congratulated her by raising slogans and clapping their hands.

“I have beaten everyone; none of the girls could win against me.” She was happy like kids.

Ilaaf smiled.

“You didn’t beat everyone Kiran.” This was Ameen, “Qandeel hasn’t participated in the competition that’s why you can’t claim that you have beaten all the girls of class.”

“Then I can do it. Say Qandeel to come and play with me.” There was silence in the lab. Everyone knew that Qandeel would never be agreed to participate.

Ilaaf looked, Qandeel was still unconcerned. Her fingers were still on the laptop.

“Qandeel, your friend has challenged me that until and unless I beat you, can’t call me as the champion. Therefore, now you will have to play against me.” Kiran was directly saying to Qandeel.

Qandeel moved her head up, turned her neck and looked Kiran.

“My friend has challenged you, Kiran, didn’t I then why are you taking the issue so seriously. You are the champion from my perspective, now be happy.” She was saying, smiling.

Ilaaf felt her smile was charming.

“No, now it’s the issue of my ego and respect. You will have to play aginst me.” Kiran came ahead.

Ilaaf looked. Rohail was giving some indications to Ameen with his eyes; perhaps was scolding for leaving the matchstick and burning the fire.

“But I don’t want to play.” The tone of Qandeel was expressionless.

“You fear that you will lose.” Kiran had criticism in her tone.

The smile of Qandeel grew deeper.

“The word fear is not included in my dictionary, Kiran.”

“If you don’t fear then why are you refusing to play?”

“Whatever you say; you can’t prepare me to play by emotionally blackmailing me.”

“Then I will think that you fear to lose.”

“If you want to then keep thinking like this, I don’t care. Whenever I play; play without thinking about victory or defeat but right now I have no intention to have an arm wrestling.”

Ameen moved ahead.

“No Qandeel, you have to play for the sake of your friends. Now it is also an issue of ego and respect for us. Kiran has defeated Seema and Humaira. Now, you will have to defeat Kiran.”

Qandeel looked Ameen.

“And if I will be defeated then..”

“Then we will accept Kiran as the champion.”

Qandeel didn’t answer him just squeezed her lips.

“Qandeel, you have to play.” Rohail raised a slogan by standing and then following him, everybody started raising slogans.

Qandeel looked everyone with a surprise, and then smiled.

“Alright, alright.” She raised her hand and made everyone to be silent and then looked at Kiran. “I will play on one condition.”

“What?” Kiran asked.

“You will have to hear the ghazal of Iqbal.” Laughs were roared in the lab. Everybody knew that Kiran has always problems with Iqbal’s poetry.

“Accepted.” Kiran replied scratching her head.

Qandeel kept the laptop on the floor, smiling and then stood.

Everybody gathered on the corner table roaring. Rohail and Ilaaf also stood.

Qandeel didn’t feel the need to put on her sandel and went towards the table walking bare feet.

Ilaaf looked she was wearing the dark blue shirt and white shalwar and had an Ajrak on her shoulder as a stole. Nobody else was dressed in such a simple way.

Qandeel started folding her sleeves reaching near the table. Ilaaf was looking her very keenly. She had innocence on her face; Ilaaf felt an attraction in the girl.

Then she pulled the chair and sat. Kiran was already seated at the other side of the table. Both of them raised their arms, fixed their elbows on the table and took each other’s hand.

“Qandeel, you have turned your wrist more than usual.” She smiled when Kiran said.

“This turn in my wrist is natural, Kiran. I can’t keep my wrist straight. By doing this the bone of my wrist will be dislocated. If you have any issue then we can end the game now.”

“No, I don’t have any issue.” Kiran smiled.

Seema held their hands, checked the balance of the elbows and in a loud voice saying one, two, three, go moved back.

An uproar and tumult was in the lab; nothing was audible in the midst of the defeaning noise.

Ameen and Rohail also started raisng slogans with Asif and Raheem.

Ameen being very emotional had given the handy cam of Rohail into hands of Ilaaf and went near the table.

If it would be some other time then Ilaaf would have set Ameen’s mind on treating him like a cameraman but right now the opportunity of the enjoyment that he had got in the form of that handy cam, was not less than a blessing.

He was watching each and every impression of her face very keenly with the camera eye now.

Her eyes were black and they had an illuminating shine; shine of satisfaction. She had a faint smile on her face; contented smile which is found on a conqueror’s face. Ilaaf recorded the video for a while then changed the camera on picture mode and took few snaps of her. If it would be any other event then he would had never done an unethical thing like this, but that moment, this so little stealing was giving him an unknown satisfaction.

Being vey careful, he took few snaps of the crowd as well because the camera was of Rohail and he didn’t want that Rohail could know anything about this stealing.

Then he again changed the mode to video and started recording the video.

The contest was still without any result. Nobody either Kiran or Qandeel was successful to twist other’s hand.

Ilaaf looked; her black hairs were bound at the back in the form of a ponytail, were coming out of the grip and dispersing on her shoulders. There was not a single mark of cosmetic on her face. Her ears and wrists were empty; however she was wearing a silver chain around her neck and whose half of the part was hidden inside her high collar shirt.

Kiran perhaps had said something to Qandeel; Ilaaf couldn’t hear due to the noise. In reply he had seen the smile of Qandeel grew deeper.

Ilaaf had given the camera to Rohail and moved ahead at a place from where he could be able to hear their voices.

Kiran was saying, “Indeed, your wrist is powerful Qandeel. But look I will beat you.” Ilaaf looked; the spotless wrist of Qandeel was thin as compare to Kiran.

“When you are sure Kiran that you will beat me then why I am observing the fear in your eyes, the fear of defeat.” The satisfaction of her tone was surprising for Ilaaf, “Look at me, there is not any fear in my eyes. Whether I win or lose; will move from this table smiling.” Kiran couldn’t give any answer, infact the shades of the fear in her eyes were darker on this satisfaction of Qandeel.

“Always remember one thing, Kiran. If game is played without caring about the victory or defeat, just then its worth and joy lasts till the last moment. The fear of defeat, the temptation of the result, and the unachievable desire of the victory ruin the taste of the play. Whenever play, play bravely without caring about the result; whether meet the victory, whether defeat, the delight of the play will be doubled.” Ilaaf jerked with a surprise.

More or less in the same words years ago, Yuang Lee had informed him about the philosophy of the play. These days he was getting the training of Martial art from Yuang Lee in California. Due to the fear of defeat, he had sat on the ground just after fourth move and just then Yuang Lee had told him about this.

“Whether it’s a game or a war, fight bravely by using all capabilities and powers without caring about the outcome. At least you will be respected in your own eyes in this way.”

He believed that Kiran would not be able to beat Qandeel.

“The person who doesn’t have any fear of losing something after the defeat, to beat a person like this is so difficult, Ilaaf, because the person puts a stake and plays on his life then.” The words of Yuang Lee were echoing in his ears suddenly.

“Ok, leave it. As per my condition, now hear ghazal of Iqbal at the same time.” Qandeel had said to Kiran like she is sitting in a Mushaairaa rather than an arm wrestling.

Ilaaf really had seen a girl like this for the first time in his life.

“Dil soz sey khaali hai, nigeh pak nahi hai,

Phir is men ajab kya key tu bebaak nahi hai.”

She read the first couplet of ghazal smiling.

Ameen and Seema started conjugating Waah Waah; this made Kiran further confused.

“Hai zauq e tajalli bhi isi khak men pinhan,

Ghafil tu nira, sahib e idraak nahi hai.”

Her tone had a grace; she was looking directly into Kiran’s eyes.

Ilaaf never felt an attraction like this in any girl.

“Kya sufi o mulla ko khabar merey junoon ki,

Unka sir e daman bhi abhi chaak nahi hai.”

The hand of Kiran, was not able to bear the power of Qandeel’s wrist further.

“Kab tak rahey mehkoomi e anjum men meri khak,

Ya men nahi ya gardish e aflaak nahi hai.”

Defeat was grasping its claws on the face of Kiran, slowly and gradually.

“Bijli hun nazar koh o bayaban pey hai meri,

Merey liye shayan khas o khashak nahi hai.”

Ilaaf was looking at her lips moving slowly, and each word that was coming out of those lips was responsible to penetrate a strange feeling into his ears. To give a name to that feeling was not possible for Ilaaf.

“Aalam hai faqat momin e janbaaz ki meeraas,

Momin nahi jo sahib e Lolaak nahi hai.”

Kiran was not capable to defend herself more. Her grasp was lost just for a moment and just the next second her hand was on table and Qandeel’s hand was over it.

The uproars were reaching the skies.

In the slogans of Ameen and Rohail and the screaming of Seema, everything else was inaudible.

Qandeel stood smiling.

Kiran was still sitting at her place and her head was down.

Qandeel came at the other side of the table and stopped reaching near Kiran. Then she kept her hand on Kiran’s shoulder.

Kiran raised her head and looked her.

Qandeel held her both hands and made her to stand, then said smiling.

“If you are hurt just because of me then I apologise for that. I had no intention to hurt you or making you embarrass. My victory is your victory and your defeat is my defeat. The patience of the loser is more respectable than the pride of the winner, Kiran. If you are hurt due to my victory then I don’t want to be happy for that victory.”

Kiran smiled.

“It’s not like that, yaar. Whoever wins? In friendship it doesn’t matter at all.” Qandeel had a smile on her face like the flowing water.

“Then give me a hug and celebrate the victory of the friendship.” Qandeel spread her arms.

Kiran hugged her.

For a while they kept celebrating by raising slogans.

Qandeel after hugging Kiran, turned back smiling.

Ilaaf’s eyes were on her every moment. Qandeel suddenly had her eyes on Ilaaf; Ilaaf looked, the smile was vanished from her face as soon as she looked him.

He couldn’t understand, either it happened intentionally or unintentionally.

Qandeel turned and making space between the girls, moved back to the place where she was sitting just a while ago.

Sitting with the wall she again kept the laptop on her legs and started the work.

Ilaaf also came back and sat on the chair he was sitting earlier.

He looked; the soles of the feet of Qandeel were now dusty due to walking bare feet on the floor.

In a while the environment of the get together changed again.

Ameen had played the songs on the stereo.

All of them were chatting in the form of small groups.

Rohail, Ameen, Seema and Humaira were sitting along with Ilaaf on that table.

All four of them were talking to Ilaaf with so much interest; she was the only one who was sitting at some distance and had made herself totally unconcerned about him.

An agitation had grasped Ilaaf inside. Doesn’t she even consider him worth talking for a while or worth looking just for a moment?

“Perhaps her attitude would be like this.” He satisfied himself inside.

Ameen and Rohail were time to time asking Qandeel to come on table but she was refusing continuously.

Then perhaps Ameen’s patience reached at the edge.

He stood suddenly and went towards Qandeel.

The attack was so unexpected that Qandeel could not think or understand anything and the very next moment, Ameen picked the laptop along with adaptor and came back at the table.

“Ameen, what’s this rubbish? Give me the laptop.” Qandeel stood.

“It’s not your laptop.” Ameen replied in a teased manner.

“Neither is your, its Rohail’s. Rohail, ask him to return me the laptop, I have to work.” She was now addressing Rohail.

Rohail didn’t give any answer.

Qandeel came ahead but Ameen was standing like a wall between her and the laptop.

“Ameen, you kid. Return me the laptop.” There was anger in her tone but it had no effect on Ameen’s satisfaction.

Ilaaf was looking all situations with a deep interest.

“If you want to get back the laptop then you will have to prove that you haven’t come in the get together just to make us feeling bore, instead you know how to enjoy and how to save others from idleness.” Ilaaf couldn’t understand either Ameen was indicating about him or any other person.

“And what will I have to do to prove this?” She said like chewing each word.

A wide smile was appeared on Ameen’s face.

“You will have to have a bhangra dance.” Qandeel looked like she didn’t understand anything.

“Are you gone out of your mind, Ameen?”

“What’s that unusual thing in this that you say I am gone out of my mind, Qandeel? I haven’t talked about an impossible thing. When you can have bhangra in your home why can’t you do here? Seema had told me that you dance in bhangra style very well.”

“Seema, I couldn’t expect it from you.” The guns of Qandeel were now towards Seema.

“I am sorry, Qandeel. Ameen is just….. in any case he knows how to use a way that I am always supposed to tell him everything.” Seema was a little embarrassed.

Qandeel couldn’t say anything for a moment then she looked towards Ameen.

“Look, Ameen. In home a person can do everything so independently but it’s not necessary that whatever we do in our homes, we can do it outside the home also.” She had seriousness in her tone.

“I am not talking about everything, Qandeel. I am just talking about bhangra.” Qandeel squeezed her lips.

“Look, Ameen. I am just like your sister. Will I be looking good having a bhangra dance in front of so many people?”

Ameen smiled.

“And what if we all have a bhangra dance, I think you won’t be looking bad then dancing a bhangra.” Qandeel couldn’t answer him; he had made her silenced.

“But why are you thinking about all these odd and nonsense things?” She took a deep breath.

“Because this is our last semester and I want to make each and every moment memorable. I had already decided that all students of final year will have a bhangra together once, just was afraid that you will refuse but now you will have to agree for it. Don’t refuse please.”

She kept thinking for a while then smiled.

“Alright, you people will start first, and then I will join you all.”

“Agreed.” Ameen said happily and went towards the stereo.

Qandeel shaking her head pulled a chair and sat; dragged the laptop near her.

Ameen had played a Punjabi song on stereo; its music was perfect for bhangra. And then within few minutes the research lab of Dr. Kamal was presenting a view of the outer courtyard of a shrine where many frenzied ones were dancing in their own different ways.

Qandeel for a while kept standing outside the circle and clapping then she said something in the ear of Humaira. Ilaaf couldn’t have any idea that what she would have said.

Then he looked Qandeel coiling and tying up the Ajrak around her waist. The next moment she joined the circle with Seema and then Ilaaf didn’t believe on his eyes.

She was dancing like lunatic, like a dervish with closed eyes. Hands were somewhere else and feet were somewhere else but she was dancing unconcerned about anything around her. Her hairs were untied now but no change came in her dance.

Ilaaf just kept standing at his place unmoved.

He had seen first time in his life, a girl whose every form was unique, whose every style was totally different from the other style; to understand whom was a query for Ilaaf; who was felt to Ilaaf entirely like a secret; a secret which can be discover or search; a query, one can dedicate his whole life to solve. She was really a question, the desire of searching whose answer, was rising inside him.

Ilaaf jerked his head and tried to bring his deluded thoughts on their original position.

Suddenly, Humaira reduced the volume of the stereo, immediately after it she pulled Qandeel outside the circle holding her hand.

Qandeel had opened her eyes with a jerk like she was reached in the world from another world.

Rohail turned off the stereo. They all were tired very badly and no one had any further plans for fun.

Asif and Raheem went for the lunch arrangement.

Qandeel had rolled up her hairs dispersed on her shoulders and tied them again in a ponytail form and was laughing. Then she came towards the table and without looking at Ilaaf pulled the chair and sat.

Ilaaf couldn’t understand; why is she ignoring him?

Rohail and Ameen also came there.

Ameen was still out of his breath.

“We admire you, Qandeel. Really there is no alternative for you, whatever you do, you do very well.” Ameen said with irregular breaths.

Qandeel looked moving her head up.

Ameen had a glass of water in his hand. The next moment she pounced like a tigress.

Ameen was just kept looking. Qandeel had poured the water from the glass inside her throat just in a minute, and just then Ilaaf looked the chain around her neck very keenly. Chain was long and the locket in it had “Allah” written on it. The shape of the locket was beautiful. This was the only jewel she was wearing.

She kept the glass and took a deep breath.

Ameen looked the empty glass with an odd look and then sat while sighed.

“I am sorry, Ameen. I deserved this reward for having bhangra on your wish.” Her tone was naughty.

“So dangerous girl you are, the one you will bite whom won’t even ask for water.”

“Then be happy, because the one whom you will bite will ask for water certainly.” Everybody laughed on her answer.

“Nobody can win against you in the case of words.” Ameen remarked.

“And nobody can win against you in cheap things.” This time Ameen had to be silent.

Qandeel was now working on the laptop kept on the table.

Rohail started telling Ilaaf the activities of Ameen which were responsible for his infamy in the department. Wherever he was showing some sympathy and was trying to be careful, Ameen there was adding each and every detail with a pride.

Then lunch was ready.

Both Asif and Raheem announced for the lunch or had opened the door of the lab for a flood.

Rohail, Ameen and Seema went to take lunch for their table.

Ilaaf looked Qandeel again. Below her right eye, above her cheek there was a faint mole; was not visible from a distance and now because she was sitting at the same table Ilaaf was sitting so he could see this mole very clearly.

Full attention of Qandeel was towards the laptop and she even didn’t look Ilaaf just once as he was not sitting there.

They had brought the lunch and kept on the table.

Everybody had started lunch. Qandeel even was working while having lunch therefore she was eating bit slowly.

Ameen asked her twice that she should take pizza in her plate but when Qandeel didn’t show much interest then he left asking.

They were eating like they haven’t eaten anything for centuries. Till now Qandeel just had taken some salad and a single piece pf pizza.

And when she was again concerned about the lunch, the pizza was nowhere.

“That’s why I was saying to leave the laptop for a while and take proper lunch but you don’t take effect of anything we say. Now sit calmly and eat anything else. The person who doesn’t give importance to meal, then the meal also doesn’t give importance to that person.” Ameen as usual didn’t miss the chance to criticize her.

Qandeel looked Ameen smiling then took a piece of garlic bread, dipped it in the glass of coke and started eating it.

Ilaaf was once agin looking her actions with an interest.

She was eating garlic bread by dipping it in the coke like she had never eaten anything tastier than this.

Seema and Humaira went to take sweet for all of them and were laughing.

“Ameen, do you know? The wedding date of Humaira has been fixed.” Rohail remembered suddenly.

Qandeel was like she hadn’t heard words of Rohail; she was still hanged in laptop.

“When did it happen? Humaira didn’t tell me anything.” Ameen was surprised.

“I thought Humaira would have told you. Yaar, her fiancé is coming from Dubai in December that’s why date has been fixed. I am forgetting his name; what a good name he has?” Roahil tried to remind himself then turned towards Qandeel.


“Hmmm” She said with her eyes on the laptop.

“What’s the name of Humaira’s fiancé?”

“Lara Nicolson.”

“What….” Rohail’s mouth got opened.

“Laa haula wala qooet.” Ameen muttered.

“Qandeel, you have gone out of your mind.” Rohail sighed.

“Why, what happened?” Qandeel asked satisfactorily while taking the sip of the coke.

“I am asking something else and you are answering something else.”

“What did you ask from me?” She took a second sip.

“That what is the name of Humaira’s fiancé?” Rohail said.

“And what have I answered?” She was taking the third sip.

“Lara Nicolson.” Rohail replied with an odd look.

Qandeel kept the glass on the table with a jerk and keeping her right hand on her mouth took the sip into her throat with difficulty; the next moment she coughed heavily. She had got a knot in her throat and she was coughing continuously.

Ilaaf looked; in a while her face went red.

Then she started laughing. She was coughing and laughing; all of them also started laughing.

She kept laughing and then perhaps she had an attack of laugh. Ilaaf kept looking her without blinking his eyes.

She stood and while laughing went towards the window, and then started rubbing her eyes, still laughing.

Perhaps was wiping the water from her eyes that came due to laughing too much.

Then she bowed down and keeping both hands on her knees was trying to normalize her breath.

“You are right, Rohail. I am really gone out of my mind, but how Dr. Saeed has overloaded me with work, if would have put this on you then you also would have gone out of your mind.” Saying in irregular breath she came back towards the table.

“I did a mistake by taking the project with Dr. Saeed. This project is just going to take my life.” She was still coughing in short intervals.

Then she started moving her eyes on the table.

Ilaaf felt like she is searching for water. Right now there was only one glass of water on the table which was kept in front of Ilaaf. Ilaaf hadn’t drunk water from it.

Unintentionally he took the glass and presented to Qandeel.

Qandeel hesitated for a moment then she took the glass from his hand.

Unknowingly, a feeling of peace was sustained in Ilaaf’s heart.

“Thank you.” Qandeel looked him with seriousness.

He felt that kindness was enough for him.

Rest of the time she was busy with the laptop and Ilaaf kept looking her in different intervals so that none of the others could feel it.

He had never taken so much interest in a girl in his entire life. He never became fond of looking so beautiful faces in a way like this, then don’t know what attraction that ordinary face had that unwillingly he was not able to change the direction of his eyes.

This state doubtlessly was very strange but Ilaaf didn’t want to think anything at the moment.

Then as soon girls and boys in the form of small groups started to go, they all decided to leave as well.

Seema and Humaira went with Ameen.

Qandeel turned off the laptop, detached its adaptor; put both of these into the bag and handed over the bag to Rohail. Then she collected some other things which were kept near the wall.

And just then she felt the need to put on her sandel.

All three of them came outside, then going downstairs.

Ilaaf wanted to talk to Qandeel; didn’t know what he wants to talk to her.

He surprised, why in last two and half hours he couldn’t try to to talk to her and now when it’s the time to depart and change his way from hers then he was feeling like he wants to stop Qandeel for some more time; wants to talk to her; wants to see her. But he couldn’t do anything.

Roahil and he were walking ahead. Qandeel was at the back.

They stopped by reaching the land cruiser of Ilaaf in the parking then he shook his hand with Rohail.

“I will come at night.” Rohail said while shaking hand with him.

Ilaaf smiled, and then he looked at Qandeel who perhaps had looked his car with just a careless look. Perhaps these things had no importance for her.

“Bye.” He at least didn’t want to say this word, but he had to.

“Bye.” Qandeel replied in a serious tone and turning her side went towards the car of Rohail.

Ilaaf had felt an agitation penetrating inside him; a nounless emptiness and giving a name to that feeling was not possible for him.


  1. Urooj I must say this is an excellent episode, full of action and drama, and the arm wrestling match between Kiran and Qandeel amid Iqbal’s poem was a class act. I enjoyed reading this post and loved the description of Qandeel’s persona which was beautifully narrated in this part.

  2. I second Mr Dar. A beautufully sketched-out episode, indeed!

  3. Sir Akhtar and Sadia, thank you for reading and commenting. Please keep coming.

  4. I completely 101% agree with Sir Akhtar! I loved this scene, showing arm wrestling + Qandeel's confident gestures + Iqbal's poetry + face of Kiran + expressions of Ilaaf, so much that i want to see it in a movie! (with pop corns of-course) :D

    "He never became fond of looking so beautiful faces in a way like this, then don’t know what attraction that ordinary face had"
    Well expressed! This piece shows that Ilaaf is trying to find reasons about why Qandeel is attracting him. He is wrestling with his own thoughts :)

    This post also shows that character of Qandeel is more dominating then Ilaaf... Err.. i think. Like she's "more" in control, or will remain more in control under such "lovely" situations :D, as compared to Ilaaf.

    For Ilaaf??(for this post only han): "Haye bechara!!" :p

  5. And yeah! Thanks for dragging her to some halla gulla activities! :D

    Oh and one more thing... I was expecting some solid bhangra! like it would've been given more time... :s
    i am saying this because i had not anything to imagine for that scene except Qandeel revolving "silently", bhangra has loads of shor-o-gul and craziness...

  6. riz, thanks for reading the post finally.

    And thanks for liking the post off course and yes, Ilaaf will try to find out the reason of that attraction that he had found in Qandeel.

    I can't comment about domination right now, let keep it some other time.

    You can call Ilaaf "Bechara" otherwise he is not like that.

    I kept the explanation about bhangra scene very short because thats what I want reader to imagine himself according to his bhangra style.