Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (II)

“You were interested in Ilaaf Laashari, more than usual.” The silence that was present in the car just was broken by Kamran Ali. Hamza Shahid turned his head and looked him.

“Tell me one thing, Kamran.” Unusually he was serious.

“Yes, please ask, sir.”

“How long Qandeel and Ilaaf know each other?”

“I have no idea because Qandeel never mentioned about Ilaaf. I know the names of her all friends; she keeps talking about Rohail also but Ilaaf……I was surprised to see him there today. My personal opinion is that Ilaaf just came as a friend of Rohail.”

“Hmmmm” He kept thinking for a while then said, “How do you see the association and relationship between Qandeel and Ilaaf, right now or in coming days?”

Kamran Ali shuddered for a moment then smiled thinking something.

“I can’t say it with authority as well but idea is that neither the relationship is good right now nor it can be in coming days, however, if we talk about the future then God knows better about it.” Hamza Shahid had looked his intelligent student.

“Give me some explaination. How can you say that?”

“How many times Qandeel looked Ilaaf in front of my eyes, there was an unpleasant and disgust feeling on her face. I know her very well so that at least I can recognize her behavior and attitude in a better way.”

“And Ilaaf……” Hamza Shahid left the question incomplete.

“Perhaps, Qandeel was the only reason for Ilaaf to be there because how long he kept sitting there, the center of his eyes was Qandeel. By looking her, the shine that was appearing in his eyes and the smile that was coming on his lips, was very much surprising.”

“What name you will give to that shining and smile?” He was asking questions continuously. Before having a conclusive opinion, he wanted to discuss each and every thought that he had in his mind.

“Desire.” The smile of Kamran Ali was mysterious this time, “He has a desire for Qandeel.”

“Hmmm” The answer was just what he was expecting, “One can just reach the Love when he travels on the way of desire, Kamran. Then how can you say that in coming days, the relationship between Qandeel and Ilaaf wouldn’t be better than before.”

“I am just saying according to my experience, sir. It’s not necessary that it would be true but I feel like that. Even in my opinion, if it happened and they would have an excellent association then it wouldn’t be earlier. This unhappening, to happen will need so many days, so much time; two stars shining on two different skies have to travel a lot in order to shine at the same sky in the same galaxy; have to go far and wide.” Hamza Shahid somehow was convinced from these words of Kamran Ali. The storm of thoughts that was surging inside him, its limit was also going to be end on this conclusion.

“You have learned a lot, Kamran, perhaps what even I haven’t taught you.” Kamran Ali smiled.

“I want to know your opinion as well in this case, sir.”

“My opinion.” He thought that what to tell Kamran and what not, “I am so old now, Kamran. I don’t think about anything so deeply so that my brain can’t be out of action.” He laughed on his own words.

There was silence for a while then he decided that how much detail Kamran needs to know. “You remember, Kamran. I had told you about a dream of mine few days ago.” Kamran Ali shook his head.

“I remember; it was a strange dream, you told me very slight details about it.”

“Whatever I had told you, that’s enough for you, Kamran. Further details won’t be useful for you. However, I can tell you that who the two persons were, I watched in the dream, that’s what I didn’t tell you earlier.”

“Yes, sir. And you said that you will tell me later on.”

“I had seen Qandeel and Ilaaf in the dream.” Kamran Ali was badly surprised, and that’s why he slowed down the speed of the car. “I would have told you that moment but there were some mystifications which were necessary to solve out.” Kamran Ali turned his head and looked him, “Today those mystifications have been solved.” Involuntarily he had breathed deeply. Each time when a mystery was solved, he used to feel himself tired and satisfied like this.

“What was the mystery and how did it being solved out?” Perhaps Kamran Ali wasn’t fully satisfied.

There was silence for a while.

“Do you know Omer Laashari?” Kamran Ali smiled.

“If didn’t know him earlier then now I know him very well, sir; the younger brother of Qaiser Laashari who was a student of Saima Yousuf as well and was martyred at Battal sector near line of control.” He had shaken his head.

“Yes, younger and disobedient son of Aadil Laashari; younger but an insurgent brother of Qaiser Laashari; intelligent and beloved prince of Fatima Laashari and Ilaaf Laashari’s Chachaa.” He kept saying under an impression, “He was a very strange boy; different from his other family members; wilful in every matter and that’s why joined Pak Army despite of all resistance he faced from his father and elder brother; couldn’t find a better solution than it to save himself from feudalism and politics. And Saima…..actually she had clearified it to Omer that Army shouldn’t be joined just to bring a change in life and to keep ourself away from a field we don’t like, instead, being a soldier is a religious and professional responsibility and one has to be aware with its importance and significance in any case.” He stopped to take a breath.

“I want to ask many other things as well about Saima Yousuf and Omer Laashari, sir. On asking, sir Yousuf just said to ask from you.” Kamran Ali perhaps couldn’t stop his tongue.

“There are many things that can be told and heard about Saima and Omer, Kamran. In a very short period of their lives, there are as much to know which perhaps wouldn’t be in the longer period of mine and Yousuf’s lives, but we will talk about it someday later on.” Kamran Ali shook his head.

“Ilaaf is just like Omer in features and that’s why when I saw him in the dream then considered him Omer and remained confused that Omer is not in this world now then what could this dream mean? And today after looking and meeting Ilaaf, I understood that meaning.” The curiosity and interest of Kamran Ali was increased too much that he parked the car at the side of the road and ceased the engine. He wanted to hear everything with full concentration.

“The one I considered Omer is actually Ilaaf, and Qandeel…..I can recognize her very well. According to that dream there is a very strange very strong relationship between Qandeel and Ilaaf; to have an idea about the nature of which is impossible for me and perhaps would be for you as well.” He again breathed deeply.

“So it means, sir, that in your opinion Qandeel and Ilaaf……” Hamza Shahid raised his hand and made him to be quiet.

“You tell, Kamran. What do you think about it? If Ilaaf has a desire for Qandeel then where could this desire take Ilaaf?” Kamran Ali thought for a while.

“I can’t say anything for sure, sir. Ilaaf is the only heir of two big states, two political families; it’s not necessary that his desire would take him to the way of Love, if this desire further intensified then even can misled him towards the wrong way as well.” The guess of the genius student of Hamza Shahid was not wrong by the way; was quite right.

“Did you notice, Kamran? Ilaaf hasn’t in him haughtiness like his father, ego like his Daada and pride like his Naana.” Hamza Shahid was feeling nice to share this all to Kamran Ali. Perhaps he was the only one who could watch and understand the whole matter just like him.

“Yes sir, I felt it but……I even didn’t see any modesty, kindness, generosity, and courtesy in him.”

“I agree with this as well, Kamran. But did you look his eyes?” His tone was so odd that Kamran Ali was suddenly very surprised.

“His eyes are exactly like Omer; so that each and every impression in those eyes is just like him. There is a strange restlessness, a mysterious affection in his eyes, which can only be found in the eyes of a true lover. I wish I could make you to see that lunacy, that passion in his eyes that I looked. Agitation, curiosity, search, desire, don’t know how many things I have seen, at one time, in his eyes.” Kamran Ali squeezed his lips.

Then like Hamza Shahid was back from that state.

“Leave this all, as much as the time will be passed, everything will be clearified and we will be able to understand things in a better way.” He had smiled.

“But now I believe sir, that whatever you have observed and looked with your insight that will be true and that will happen actually.” Kamran Ali was always an admirer of his insight.

Hamza Shahid had laughed in a cracking voice.

“I haven’t said this all to you, Kamran, so that you start shaking your head and validate my words.” Kamran Ali was also laughing. “Instead, the reason to share everything with you is that you always show your personal opinion whether good or bad and due to which, sometimes I get new insights to think about; which are initially hidden and can be useful on the right time.”

“You think so much and even then use to say that I have become old and don’t think deeply so brain can’t be out of order.” Kamran Ali said laughing and then sitting in a linear manner started the engine.

“Kamran, I want to say something to you.” Hearing the voice of Hamza Shahid drowned in a thought, he moved back his foot from accelerator and then by turning his head looked Hamza Shahid.

“Yes, sir. Please say.”

“I am very old now, in real; Yousuf is also a heart patient, and used to be unwell often; after both of us, you will have to take many responsibilities and accomplish our incomplete projects, therefore, I want to instruct you something.”

“Please say, I am listening.” Kamran Ali had seen Hamza Shahid very few times, talking in such a serious tone and that’s why he had an idea about the importance of this instruction.

“If, at any point in life, Ilaaf comes to you and asks for any kind of help then don’t refuse him; whatever is the situation, just do it, whether he would be doing right or wrong, whether good or bad; whether he would have committed the most terrible crime or would have been recognized as the biggest sinner of the world; whatever it would be, just guide him; help him in each possible righteous way; never deny him, just trust him; never reject him, don’t try to stay away from him; whether whole world curses you, being annoyed from you, just be on side of Ilaaf and whatever you would be able to do for him legally and ethically, do it in any case.” His tone had something very mysterious.

Kamran Ali had heard each and every word very keenly.

“Trust me, sir. I will do so.” Saying with obedience, he had brought the car on the road once again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (I)

“Chotey Saaiyen, wake up.” Perhaps Fazal had shaken him but he was so much sleepy at the moment that just said ‘Hmmm’ in reply. Then perhaps Fazal had shaken him second time, just then he opened his eyes a bit. The room had so much light at the moment. Rubbing his eyes he turned his side and straightened himself.

“What’s wrong with you, Fazal? Why have you got me up so early in the morning?” He cursed Fazal having a yawn.

“It’s not morning Chotey Saaiyen. It’s half past one in the afternoon.” His eyes were burning. Rubbing his eyes with both hands he got up and sat. “You have a call from Bari Bibi.” Fazal gave him the cordless phone.

“Call from Daadi Maa….” He took the cordless with a surprise.

Fazal was pulling the curtains back from the windows. The bright sunlight was smashed to his body. Holding the cordless with his ear, he stood.

“How are you?” After Salam he had asked.

“Leave me, my child. How are you? When will visit the village? My eyes are anxious to see you.” She had said everything in one sentence.

“I am perfectly fine, Daadi Maa; will visit in a week or so; you are feeling well naa? Has the ulcer again bothered you?”

“I am fine; ordinary pains walk along in this age, Ilaaf. Never be worry for me; just take care of yourself and your health.” Like a routine she had started to advice him for his good health.

“Fine, Daadi Maa; will take care of my health. Tell me how is Maa? She never calls me and whenever I call her even then doesn’t talk to me. I never could understand this habit of Maa, Daadi Maa. How much she loves me I know it very well but then why she doesn’t talk to me on phone?” He suddenly remembered Maa.

“She doesn’t talk to you Ilaaf, due to the fact that after talking to you on phone she starts to feel your absence so much, cries for a long time by taking your name and even I myself tire to try to satisfy her, Ilaaf. Talk to her how much you want to, when you will visit Sukkur; she won’t talk to you now.” Ilaaf knew that will get this answer in reply.

He kept the phone down having a yawn.

Even after taking shower he was feeling himself little bit lazy. Coming in lounge he sat on the sofa and kept his both legs on the central table. Eyes were still burning.

“Saaiyen, breakfast.” Fazal having the trolly with him came near and Ilaaf changed his position by rubbing his eyes.

“What happened, Saaiyen? Haven’t you had a complete rest?” Fazal offered the glass of juice to him.

“I have had a complete rest; just eyes are burning don’t know why?” He replied taking the sip of juice.

“You would have seen a dream, Saaiyen. Sometimes dreams affect the eyes too much.” Fazal showing his opinion went back with the trolly.

Ilaaf kept the glass on table.

“Dream.” A word had occupied his senses.

Yes, it was a dream due to which his eyes were still burning.

He tried to rewind his mind and thought about the dream.

One after the other, he remembered each and every image of that dream; had seen this dream at night, even then the images in his mind were so strongly stored that Ilaaf had remembered the whole dream.

He had not seen a strange dream like this for the first time. Ilaaf remembered the dream he had seen a month ago and which had kept his sleep restless for many days. This dream at least wasn’t like that one.

For a while he kept thinking then jerking his head had his breakfast.

He was Ilaaf Laashari who hadn’t given importance even to so important things in his life and then it was just a dream. These days if he was giving importance to something then it was just the thought about Qandeel Yousuf which wasn’t leaving his mind for a single moment.

He had passed that whole day like a restless soul and just found the peace when at night Rohail called and informed him that he is going to the hospital to see Qandeel’s father the very next day and Ilaaf is allowed to go with him.

That moment Ilaaf felt like somebody has given a hope of water to his thirsty lips.

He had perhaps passed that night just by changing his sides on the bed; didn’t know why he was so anxious to see that girl, to meet her.

Next day he reached Rohail’s home before the time. Rohail was perhaps surprised but he could expect anything from him in a situation like this.

“Didn’t you sleep at night, Ilaaf?” He guessed by looking his red eyes.

“Yeah, perhaps.” Ilaaf replied shortly.

Rohail didn’t try to talk to him on their way to the hospital. Ilaaf kept driving quietly and Rohail kept trying to understand his condition himself. Ilaaf wasn’t surprised; he could expect it fromRohail; he was used to look every matter with his own perception.

Following Rohail, he came upstairs and now was passing the long corridor. There were private rooms on both sides of the corridor.

Don’t know why with each step, his heartbeat was faster than before. She was present somewhere here in a room at a distance of few steps, and this feeling was providing an unknown happiness to Ilaaf; a strange, nameless and contented joy.

Then Rohail stopped at the door of a room. After reading the room number on the plate, he was now knocking the door. Ilaaf felt his heart stopped beating.

The next moment Rohail entered the room and in follow, Ilaaf also moved his feet inside.

She was there inside. Standing few steps away from the door she was smiling looking Rohail.

Looking her smiling, Ilaaf felt like he was breathing for the first time in life and before this he even didn’t know what actually breathing is?

Next moment she looked Ilaaf. Ilaaf felt a smile was appearing on his face but the smile of Qandeel was disappeared immediately and a sadness grasped Ilaaf’s heart inside.

“Close the door.” The tone of Qandeel was cold.

Ilaaf shut the door quietly. Qandeel had gone to the other end of the room.

Ilaaf was attentive towards Rohail who was presenting a bouquet of flowers to Qandeel’s father, lying on the bed. Ilaaf came towards the bed.

And just then, Rohail introduced him to Qandeel’s father. Ilaaf shook hands with him and asked about his health.

“I am perfectly fine, now. Thanks Allah.” He said smiling and don’t know why Ilaaf had felt like his smile had some strange impression that moment; an impression of familiarity, but it was impossible that he would already be familiar to him; he was meeting him for the first time in life.

Both of them sat on the chairs near the bed.

Yousuf Mairaj started talking to him and Rohail. Beside this, he was observing Ilaaf very keenly as well. Ilaaf had no problem with this at all. That moment if he had a problem then it was just that Qandeel hadn’t looked him once.

She had kept herself busy in small things, willingly. Firstly, she kept collecting the books and newspaper from the table and then started changing the positions of things on the side table; many times she changed the position of the same thing twice or thrice. Ilaaf had kept a sight on her each and every action; he could feel it; she was avoiding him. Why was she doing so? It was difficult to decide.

“Qandeel! Won’t you entertain the guests?” Perhaps Yousuf Mairaj felt it necessary to have an objection looking her busy like this. “Your friends have come and leaving them, you have kept yourself busy in other things.” Qandeel stopped for a moment and looked Yousuf Mairaj. Then she looked towards Rohail and Ilaaf across the bed.

She had some anger in her eyes for Rohail and Ilaaf…..for Ilaaf she had nothing in her eyes; no impression, no other feeling.

Ilaaf felt his heart was being incised.

“Jee Baba.” She said in a serious tone.

“No, Uncle! We had just come to see you, will leave now.” Perhaps Rohail had an idea about her anger.

“Sit down. I am making the tea. Go after having it.” Her expressionless tone was decisive.

Rohail remained silent.

Qandeel started making tea.

Throughout this, for the first time Ilaaf looked that even in this room of the hospital, she was walking bare feet. Perhaps to put on sandel or shoes was a mess for her. In a light green dress of cotton chicken, the color of her face was also felt light greenish to Ilaaf. The carelessly bound hairs on back were already dispersed on her shoulders.

Ilaaf kept looking her, like a travellor standing at the first step and looking towards his destiny standing upstairs on the last step.

Giving them tea, she sat besides Yousuf Mairaj on the bed and just then the door was knocked. Qandeel went to open the door.

Then Ilaaf looked her smiling and saying Salam to someone.

“If there is a guest then we can wait outside.” He heard the voice of a stranger.

“No, sir. Just Rohail and his friend are here. You can come; no problem at all.” Qandeel didn’t even feel to mention his name.

They were two, who entered in the room just the next moment.

He and Rohail stood.

Qandeel introduced both of them to Rohail. And now Rohail was introducing both of them to Ilaaf. One of them, who wasn’t much older in age, was Kamran Ali and the other, who was friend of Yousuf Mairaj, was Hamza Shahid.

“Sir, I already know you people abesntially. Qandeel often keeps telling.” Rohail had said with affection. “He is my friend. Ilaaf, Ilaaf Laashari.” Kamran Ali and Hamza Shahid had looked him.

Ilaaf shook hands with Kamran Ali.

“Ilaaf Laashari, son of Qaiser Laashari. Am I right?” He asked looking in his eyes.

“Yes, sir. You are right.”

“Nice to meet you, young man.” Said smiling he moved ahead and now was talking to Yousuf Mairaj.

Hamza Shahid on the other hand just shook his hand with Ilaaf and observed him carefully.

Ilaaf looked. His eyes were shiny and beautiful. For a moment he remembered the dream he had day before yesterday. His eyes were felt like the Alchemist to Ilaaf.

Hamza Shahid had also moved towards Yousuf Mairaj now.

Ilaaf jerking his head sat back on his position.

“Hmmm” After talking to Yousuf Mairaj, Hamza Shahid turned towards Qandeel.

“Qandeel Yousuf.” She smiled. “Will we have a cup of tea?”

She was puzzled for a moment. “Why not, sir? Infact I should have asked you myself but I forgot to. Actually………” She stopped saying something.

Ilaaf looked, she was nervous. So, there was someone in the world whom with talking had made Qandeel Yousuf to be nervous. This was a new discovery for Ilaaf.

“Actually you forgot everything by looking us. Isn’t it?” Qandeel shook her head. “We can never understand why people forget everything by looking us.” Hamza Shahid sat besides Kamran Ali on sofa laughing.

Yousuf Mairaj was also smiling.

Qandeel was making tea for them.

“A gentleman met us many times and on each meeting he kept saying that he doesn’t remember where he had looked us first time because looking us makes him to forget everything. See what need of thinking in this matter is? We said that Sahib you would have seen us somewhere or anywhere but the important thing is that have you seen us either with closed or opened eyes?” The laughs were roared in the room.

Qandeel was laughing on Hamza Shahid’s words. Stirring the spoon in tea mugs, she was laughing without any control.

Ilaaf kept looking her red face involuntarily.

Qandeel after giving tea to Kamran Ali, Hamza Shahid and Yousuf Mairaj went and stood besides the window.

And during this for the first time, she looked towards Ilaaf. Eyes of Ilaaf met with hers and the next moment Ilaaf looked an unpleasant impression on her face. Her body language suddenly was rigid and disinterest in her eyes was quite visible.

Ilaaf felt a shooting pain inside. He couldn’t understand why never there was a single kind impression in her eyes for Ilaaf? Was Rohail right in his saying? She had disliked Ilaaf. But if it was true then why it was like that? He wanted to have a nice communication to her; wanted to be a friend of her and therefore this behavior of Qandeel was teasing him very much.

For a while they kept talking. Hamza Shahid and his funny sayings were enjoyed by everyone except Ilaaf. Ilaaf in this room neither could see anything except Qandeel nor did he want to.

Then Hamza Shahid and Kamran Ali got to go.

“We have taken so much time, Yousuf. Now take a rest otherwise Dr. Lodhi will charge us that we have made his patient to laugh and to be ill again.”

Rohail and Ilaaf also got up and decided to leave.

Ilaaf looked; Hamza Shahid shook hands with Yousuf Mairaj and then went towards Qandeel.

“The tea was well prepared, Qandeel Yousuf.” His tone had everlasting shine. “By the way, I remembered your name.” He said like a whisper smiling and Ilaaf just could hear it because he was standing near Qandeel.

“It is pleasurable for me, sir.” He looked Qandeel smiling.

“Indeed. It’s pleasurable for me as well, Qandeel.” He breathed deeply. “A big confusion has been finished today.” Qandeel and Ilaaf both had looked him surprisingly.

“What confusion, sir?” Qandeel asked.

Perhaps he wasn’t satisifed with his saying, “Oh, leave it; will talk someday later on. Right now take care of your father.” Patting Qandeel’s head he moved ahead.

Before leaving the room with Rohail, he looked Qandeel by turning back for the last time.

Her face was bright as usual. Ilaaf wished by heart not to go outside instead to hid somewhere in the room and to look Qandeel until he could be able to find the secret of the light on her face. But he couldn’t do anything; wasn’t able to fulfill a single desire out of those unlimited desires that were born inside him that moment.

All four of them passing the corridor came downstairs and then towards the hospital gate.

“Ok, sir. We must go now.” Rohail was shaking hands with them. Ilaaf moved his hand as well.

Kamran Ali had looked him smiling. His smile had something very strange.

Then he shook hand with Hamza Shahid. His hand was cold but Hamza Shahid’s hand was extremely hot that moment like he would be in fever.

“You watch lot of dreams, Ilaaf.” After shaking hands Hamza Shahid said looking him.

Ilaaf felt his feet were embedded in the ground.

“How did you come to know?” He asked unwillingly.

“By looking your eyes.” His strange smile grew deeper.

“Are those all dreams true…..which I see?” He asked the question.

“What can I say, Ilaaf?” Hamza Shahid jerked his shoulders. “Ask your heart.” He stroked Ilaaf’s chest with his Indus finger. “Only your heart can give a correct answer for this question.” Leaving him surprised, he went downstairs and disappeared in the parking along with Kamran Ali.

“Let’s go, Ilaaf.” Rohail had called him. He was like come out of the trance.

Sitting in the car, for a while the meaningful smile of Hamza Shahid was in his mind then her laughter started echoing in his ears and he forgot everything except that laugh.

This time Rohail was driving.

“When will you talk to Qandeel?” He heard himself saying.

“For what?” Rohail was fully attentive towards the driving.

“I have told you, Rohail. I want to have a friendship with her.”

“I can’t understand that what actually you want, Ilaaf.”

“I myself can’t understand it either.” He replied being so straight forward.

“You were looking her like a lunatic; how your eyes were revolving around her face with so much restlessness, I felt many times like you are in love with her.”

“Love.” Ilaaf looked him with a surprise. “I don’t know Rohail that what Love is? I just know one thing that now days I can’t think anything else except Qandeel; no other voice echoes in my ear except her laugh; can’t see anything else except her eyes. If this is love then it’s fine.”

“It is Love, Ilaaf. Man never thinks like this under any other feeling.”

“Perhaps, it would be like this, Rohail. Your idea can be right but I just want one thing that if in any case it wouldn’t be love and just the temporary affection, even then Qandeel shouldn’t get any harm by this. Do you understand what I mean? I don’t want to claim, claim about something and then being unsuccessful to prove that. You know very well that sometimes this inconsistency of mine produces lot of problems for me. I don’t want that in any way this inconsistency may produce problems for Qandeel as well. Friendship is a relation I can manage forever. To decide something about any other relationship right now is not possible for me.”

Rohail had breathed deeply.

“Sometimes, I am not able to understand you, Ilaaf. Anyhow, I will talk to Qandeel at some suitable time, but if she refused then…….” Rohail left the sentence incomplete.

“I am afraid she will refuse. Today in the hospital the coldness that she had in her attitude for me, after that I feel that she will refuse.” Ilaaf had brought his apprehensions out. “But what else should I do, Rohail? I am not able to understand anything. Everything is as strange for me as much it can be for you and Qandeel but the truth is that it’s a reality. I am feeling myself so much helpless in this case. The extent to which she is rude to me, my heart is attracted towards her with the same extent all the time. She just needs to meet me and hear once, everything that I want to say to her. I am sure she will understand my problem. And then perhaps, she would be agreed to become my friend. Try to talk to her once, whatever will be the outcome I will see it.” Rohail shook his head.

“Alright. Once Yousuf uncle discharges and comes home, and Qandeel when will join the university then I will talk to her. You will have to wait.”

“Yes, I will have to wait.” Ilaaf said under an impression and then he suddenly remembered something. “Rohail! I had taken few snaps of Qandeel with your handycam on the day of get together. Can I have those pictures?” Rohail turned his neck this time and looked him. Ilaaf felt an embarrassment.

“So, it was your hand’s art. At home by looking those pictures I was thinking that this thought to take pictures of Qandeel so elegantly, can’t reach Ameen’s mind then who can do this? I could never imagine that this could be done by you.” Ilaaf just smiled. “You can have those pictures just due to the reason that I believe that there is no specific intention or purpose for you to get those pictures.”

“You are right, Roahil. I just wanna see Qandeel in those pictures with a closer look. I want to know the secret of the light on her face, shining of her eyes due to which her thoughts don’t leave my heart and mind.” Ilaaf explained to him.

“Ok, I will give those pictures to you.” There was silence for a while then Rohail had said.

“When Adnan is going to come back from Lahore?”

“Next week.” Ilaaf gave the shortest possible answer. He didn’t want to talk about anything else right now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chapter no. 6: The Second Meeting (III)

It was a very long road at one side of which, were thick and shady trees. At this hour of night, the shade of those trees was making the dark night darker, and if those street light poles with dimmed orange light, would haven’t been present at the other side of the road then perhaps it would have been difficult for him to walk on that darker road. The road was wide and deserted.

He was walking quietly; unaware of destiny, both hands in the pockets of his pants, like his only purpose would be to walk on that long road.

For a while he kept walking like this then as soon as he turned his neck on the right side, saw a human shadow walking parallel to him. He stopped and tried to see the man who was walking under the shade of the trees and that’s why it was difficult for him to guess who he is? He kept looking him with a surprise standing at his place.

That human outline had moved somewhat ahead by walking but then he looked that shadow stopping and turning back and the style of his turning was like as he would be looking him.

“Why did you stop, Ilaaf? Come.” He heard a grave, commanding and little bit kind tone of an old man. On an unknown way, hearing his name from a stranger was certainly surprising for him.

He walked and came ahead in a mechanical fashion.

“Who are you? And how do you know me?” The man moved towards him and just after his few steps, Ilaaf was able to look him because the man was coming out from the shade in the light of street poles. Ilaaf looked, he was an old man but his health was admirable; age would probably be between sixties and seventees, had softness on his face but his white hairs, white eye brows and white beard was enhancing his looks as a commanding one.

Ilaaf kept looking his mysterious personality for a while. The man was wearing long blue color robes and had a girdle around his waist of the same color; had a turban like cap on his head whose color was like his robes.

Ilaaf really had seen him from head to toe. The man was not felt to him of his city or country; neither from his clothes and perhaps nor from his features. His eyes were big and shiny whose color was unrecognizable for Ilaaf in the orange light. His complexion was a mixture of white and red.

“I am your friend.” The oldman said smiling.

“But I don’t know who you are. I am meeting you first time today then how can you be my friend?” He was puzzled.

“When a child is born into the world, he doesn’t know anyone but then he starts recognizing everyone. You too are born in this world just now therefore don’t know anyone but there is nothing to be worried about it, you will know everyone slowly and gradually like as you are knowing me right now.” He smiled in a very meaningful way and started walking on the road again.

Ilaaf was so confused, but was not able to understand anything so he had no other option except to walk along with him.

Then while walking he said again.

“What is your name?” Perhaps he was supposed to say due to his nature.

He turned his head and looked Ilaaf smiling.

“I have no name or if had even then now I don’t have any name. Some people call me guide, some call alchemist. You can call me whatever you like to.” He was talking to Ilaaf just like a friend.

“Are you really an alchemist? Do you really have capability to transform the metal into gold, water into elixir of life and stone into gem?” The smile of the man grew deeper.

“This can’t be decided by me. This has to be decided by you, Ilaaf. Stay with me in this journey and decide yourself that do I possess the quality of an alchemist or not?” For a while, Ilaaf couldn’t say anything then another question came from somewhere.

“What’s this place? Where are we right now?”

“This is a city, Ilaaf. A city every man has to visit at least once in his life, however somebody spends many years out here while somebody can’t stay just for few moments. Everybody here is in search for something, the wish to get or acquire something or anything brings everyone here. Here everybody will found to be in search of answer of a question. Questions, whose answers can’t be found in books, can’t be searched in words of a scholar, can’t be filtered from the lesson given by a speaker, just are found on having a quest for them. Sometimes even after searching hard the books for the entire life, man remains unsuccessful to find the answers of some questions, and those answers are found in a unique way again and again on the roads, on the paths, on the round-abouts, on street corners, on the house tops of this city and open a gate of awareness on man which was hidden earlier. The right to ask question is given to those, who are blessed with the courage to find their answers, Ilaaf.” He became silent.

The road was turning towards the right side somewhat ahead. Ahead from that turning, there was a lake at the left side. He was moving towards the lake.

Ilaaf was quiet and in a deep thinking. He understood half of the words of the alchemist while half of them passed above of his head.

There was a bunch of trees near the lake. One after other both of them crossed the bunch and came out, there was a road and across the road there were many houses in a series. All of those houses were double story and were completely identical; somebody could be just able find a difference among them with so much difficulty.

Ilaaf with alchemist kept walking between the streets of the city being so much amazed and kept praising the architect who had designed the city. It was a piece of architectural beauty. Ilaaf had never seen so much organized and amazing infrastructure in his life like this. Streets were wide; houses were the outstanding evidences of the art of construction. The doors and windows made up of elegantly cut wood and polished artistically, and the piece of art engraved on them. The airy balconies that were opening towards the road and charming floral plants hanging with them; the chimnies of red bricks and the gloomy lighting of colorful bulbs set on the walls, spreading in the form of the patches; on round-abouts the fountains bathing in blue lights; the endless series of trees on both sides of the roads; the big marble pillars on both sides of the street corner, and the arch that was connecting those pillars with each other.

Ilaaf kept looking everything being stunt. The city was deserted at this hour of night; perhaps it was a resting time for everyone.

Both of them came out of a street and then sat on a wooden bench that was set near the marble pillar, and just then Ilaaf remembered that he should ask another question.

“Alchemist! I want to ask a question from you?”

“Ask.” He looked Ilaaf smiling.

“The city is so beautiful but neither I saw this city before nor heard anything about this city. Where is this city? I mean where is it situated?” He looked the smile of the alchemist grew deeper on this question.

“Inside you.” The voice of the alchemist went strange and the tone was mysterious.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chapter no. 6: The Second Meeting (II)

He kept the mug of the coffee on the railing of the terrace and then folded his arms on his chest. The cool breeze was blowing and he found the breathing refreshing.

He moved his head up and looked the sky; felt the light of the moon very intensified. He kept looking the moon for few moments without blinking his eyes then the image of the moon was started to become unclear in his eyes. Those eyes came from somewhere and their image was fixed on his vision.

Ilaaf had seen so many beautiful girls in his life but he was found to be all time bored in this matter. Except Aleeshah, in these so many years, none of the other girls could become his friend and even in this friendship the more part was of Aleeshah. She was his class fellow and friend in convent, when he had been to London to get education of architect engineering Aleeshah also got admission in London school of Economics and hence they had kept meeting there time to time. She was well aware with Ilaaf’s nature and knew that Ilaaf only have friendship with girls when the limitations of this friendship would already be settled. Due to this behavior of Ilaaf, in London girls had always considered him as proud and rude and used to stay away from him while those who tried to be frank with him unnecessarily, Ilaaf had kept him away from them. Aleeshah loved Ilaaf and despite of knowing that Ilaaf has no such emotions in his heart for her, she was used to express her emotions time to time; was an old friend of Ilaaf and Ilaaf didn’t want to end this friendship but he had clearified it to Aleeshah that she is just like a good friend of his and nothing else….but Aleeshah knew that no other girl is present in Ilaaf’s life and therefore was still trying to get his attention while Ilaaf….he sometimes laughed on this thought of Aleeshah.

Love is not a civil service examination if not cleared in first attempt then one keeps trying again and again with a hope to pass it in a second or third attempt but then what actually love is, he could never know this because he had never experienced love. In these so many years, Ilaaf could never feel any affection towards Aleeshah so that he could be able to feel the need of any relationship with her. He had always thought that no girl could be able to get his attention.

And now for the first time in his life, he was thinking just about that girl for last three hours; was thinking about Qandeel Yousuf. Ha had felt a liking for her, in the get together that day as well; was different, having her own logic for everything. But how she had grabbed his heart and mind today, nobody did like this before.

“Tum hee ho deewangi, bekhudi ho meri

Tum hi ho dil ki lagi, zindagi ho meri”

Before today, nobody’s words nobody’s voice had set an enclosure around him like this. A smile was appearing on his lips just by thinking about that smile, the eyes whose light had scattered the illumination around him in this darkness. He was not able to think anything else and this state was so strange, he was not able to give a name to this condition. Could it be love, or perhaps no, love does not happen like this in just one meeting. It just could be his temporary affection for Qandeel then how could give a name to his state due to this reason. He had needed some time in order to give a name to this state and this feeling of his, and during this, meeting Qandeel regularly was necessary for him.

Taking the last sip of the coffee, he kept the mug on the small table behind and then keeping both of his palms on the railing, he took a deep breath.

Everything happened today was being revised in his mind in the same sequence. The confused eyes of Qandeel, her angry face, her words, her taunts. Ilaaf had teased her very much willingly; to open the layers of her personality, to understand her. He started laughing. He was become so much incapable as soon as she came in front of him and then everything had happened without any break.

It was late night. Coming inside he was just going to sleep when Rohail had called him. Perhaps he had got time now.

“You can call at morning, Rohail. I was going to sleep.” He said while having a yawn.

“You can sleep later on; first tell me what had happened to you in the party today? What were you doing there?” Rohail had anger in his tone.

“What thing are you talking about? What have I done?” He sat on the bed with a surprise.

“Should I tell you Ilaaf that what have you done?” Rohail perhaps was trying to diminish his anger. “Why were you starring Qandeel? Why were you continuously following her in the party? Initially I couldn’t feel it but later on during the dinner by looking Qandeel being worried, I got an idea about it and then I felt that probably you had asked those strange questions to her just to tease her. Isnt it like this? I was very busy even then I felt this all then perhaps rest of the people would have noticed it too.” Ilaaf breathed deeply.

“I didn’t know that everyone there is just watching me that whom I am looking and whom I am following.” This time Ilaaf replied very carelessly.

“If you will give an opportunity to people yourself then surely everybody will watch you, Ilaaf. I am just thinking about Qandeel, how worried she was just due to this action of yours and that’s why she was hesitating to go along with you.”

“I don’t know Rohail what had happened to me. I wanted not to look her face but was not able to change the direction of my eyes and that’s why kept following her all the time.” He couldn’t tell a lie.

“Yeah, I was also surprised because normally your nature is not like this. Anyway, I will go to the hospital tomorrow or day after tomorrow in order to see her father so will excuse to her for your odd attitude.” He was now behaving normally.

“Listen, Rohail. Can I go with you to the hospital in order to see her father? I want to meet Qandeel; would get a chance to meet her in this way.” He said involuntarily.

“Ilaaf……” The voice of Rohail perhaps quenched in the throat due to surprise. “What happened to you? You never became crazy for a girl like this.” He couldn’t say anything more than this due to surprise.

“I like her. She is different from other girls, there is nothing else.” Ilaaf replied with a satisfaction.

“Are you serious in this matter?” He couldn’t understand Rohail’s question that was asked very suddenly.

“What do you mean?”

“Do you want to marry her?” Rohail was proved to be very straight forward in this case.

“Marry……no, not.” He was puzzled on this sudden question.

“Then…..what’s all this?” Rohail had got a raise in his tone.

“Rohail, you are not trying to understand. For the first time I got attracted towards a girl but it doesn’t mean that I should marry her without thinking and understanding anything. Marrying someone is a very different thing for which we have first to understand the other person very well. I don’t know anything about the nature of this feeling neither I am aware that whether this affection of mine for Qandeel is the temporarily liking or it is everlasting. I just want to meet her and to understand her; want to be a friend of her. I want to give a name to this state of mine and take a decision, and just after then I would be able to decide that which relationship with Qandeel I want to have.” He explained it in detail.

“I can’t understand anything. This is not so easy you are thinking it, Ilaaf. Qandeel is so careful in the case of having friendship with boys. Every guy can’t maintain the standard of friendship that she has. If I and Ameen are her friends then the reason is not just that we are her class fellows but that we give her the respect and honor that she expects from us as friends. Jokes and frankness are at their place but actually we have never let her trust down.”

“What do you think that I don’t know how to respect the girls or I can’t respect Qandeel like you. Infact, I can give her a trust more than what you give, Rohail.” His tone was confident.

“But why would she make you her friend? I know her very well. Directly you don’t have any connection or relation to her and Qandeel will never make you her friend because neither are you her colleague nor class fellow. And whatever you did today, I don’t think so that she will have some good opinion about you.” Rohail was defending his point of view.

“What’s wrong if we try once, Roahil?”

“Ilaaf, you are so stubborn. Whatever you decide by heart, can’t sit calmly before fulfilling it.” Rohail replied being much teased.

“You know me, and even then are arguing with me.” He said laughing. “Acha tell me, you will take me with you to the hospital naa?” Ilaaf insisted like a stubborn child.

“Yes, will take you because convincing you is impossible.” He laughed on Roahil’s remarks.

He closed his eyes turning off the light. Before going into hands of sleep, he was still thinking about Qandeel.

Note: Special thanks to rIZ for the beautiful photograph of the coffee mug.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chapter no. 6: The Second Meeting (I)

“Qandeel, you will never learn how to dress yourself formally?” Seema said in a teased manner.

Both of them were standing in Qandeel’s room in front of the dressing table.

“Oh yes, like this is the only thing in this world for me to learn.” Qandeel replied laughing.

Ameen and Humaira were outside.

“Ok, just apply something on your face.” Seema insisted.

“Already have lipstick.” Her satisfaction was still the same.

“That has been on lips; apply some blush-on to your face.”

“Come on Seema, I am going into Rohail’s birthday not in his wedding.” Qandeel said very carelessly.

“Fine, then let me apply the kajal in your eyes; will look beautiful.”

“No gain at all. I am used to rub my eyes; kajal will spread and will be looking odd.” Qandeel had answer for each and everything.

Perhaps Seema had wished to beat her head. Qandeel had felt like this by looking her facial expressions.

“Do whatever you want, to argue with you is like striking one’s head to the stone.” Qandeel smiled.

“Ok please don’t be angry. Let’s go, Ameen and Humaira are waiting outside.” Qandeel had put on her sandel and they came outside the room.

Ameen and Humaira were standing in the courtyard.

“Good that you have come otherwise I was thinking that perhaps now I will have to call you. Rohail just called; was asking that when we are going to reach. I think we should leave now, we are already late.”

Qandeel took the keys and put into her shoulder bag then they came towards the door.

“Qandeel, black color always suits you very much.” She was locking the door when heard Humaira saying.

“Yeah, and that’s why the lady doesn’t feel the need to do any other preparations. Wherever she has to go; just puts on the black color dress and goes. I have said hundred times that at least apply kajal in your eyes; thunders would have fallen on everyone today.” Qandeel smiled.

“I don’t have to drop the thunders on anyone.” Saying very carelessly she moved ahead besides Ameen.

There was a place for parking at the road in front of Rohail’s house. Ameen parked the car and all four of them got down.

Qandeel held her stole and settled it on her shoulders once again.

Ameen was taking out the gifts from the car.

Qandeel suddenly looked on her left side. At some distance the white land cruiser had just been parked. Then she looked Ilaaf getting down from the car.

An unpleasant feeling grasped her.

Ilaaf took out the guitar and gift from the car; then he closed the door and turned back and then had stopped. Perhaps he had also seen them.

Qandeel looked; he was looking her.

Even in the dimmed light of street bulbs, Qandeel was able to see a strange impression in his eyes.

Ameen waved his hand looking Ilaaf. He was now coming towards them.

He shook his hand with Ameen coming near and then they moved towards the gate.

Qandeel wished to run away; to go somewhere else, anywhere but not the place where that person was going.

“Was it necessary for him to come here today? Could not be any problem come in his way? Couldn’t he be busy today somewhere else?” With strange thoughts she kept standing at her place.

“Qandeel, let’s go. Why are you standing there? Won’t you go inside?” Humaira called her and she moved slowly unwillingly.

Ilaaf and Ameen were ahead.

She was not feeling good but once they went inside everything was fine. Ilaaf was lost among so many people around and she started talking with her friends sitting aside.

Rohail was very happy; he paid special thanks to Qandeel for coming; Qandeel was embarrassed. He was her friend and their paying thanks always had made her embarrassed.

Everything was excellent. Rohail introduced them with his convent friends. She started feeling better in a while. In a crowd like this, the presence of Ilaaf Laashari was not bothering her. And what need she had to give importance to a person like him or to consider his presence bothering for her.

And then Qandeel was just attentive towards Ilaaf when some friends of Rohail asked him to sing a song but Ilaaf didn’t give importance to their request.

He was sitting on a chair at some distance to the piano that was kept in the hall and was making random tunes on guitar. He kept making tunes on a note for sometime and as soon as people were attracted towards the melody, he stopped his hand; he kept doing this.

Qandeel was listening those haphazard tunes of guitar. She just surprised how a person like Ilaaf Laashari can make so soft and beautiful tunes like this?

“Everything is possible in this world.” The last thought that came into her mind was this.

“It’s enough. Now stop playing with guitar and sing a song for us.” Everybody was attentive hearing Rohail’s words.

“I am out of my mood.” Ilaaf replied without moving his head up.

“Will be in mood; just try to begin.”

Qandeel having the glass of juice in her hand sat aside.

“What would you like to listen?” She heard Ilaaf saying.

“Some wonderful tunes and a beautiful song.” A friend of Rohail asked.

“Beautiful song.” Ilaaf repeated the words, “Beauty, charm, magnificence, what are these all words?” He was like talking to himself. Qandeel gazed him with strange look.

“Which is the most beautiful thing of the world?” Ilaaf looked all of them with a questioning sight.

Nobody could say anything.

Qandeel stood.

“We have asked you to sing a song and you are asking the question.” Somebody remarked.

“You have made a request and in order to make me fulfilling the request you have to answer my question.” His determined tone was the proof that he won’t sing without knowing the answer.

There was silence for a while.

Ilaaf moved his head up and looked them again.

“Which is the most beautiful thing of the world?”

“Woman.” Perhaps the first answer that Ameen could have was this.

“You consider woman as a thing, Ameen.” Qandeel said while looking Ameen.

The laughs were echoed in the hall.

“At least I couldn’t expect it from you.” Qandeel came somewhat ahead.

“Then answer this question, Qandeel. Only you can answer this very strange question.” Ameen replied with an embarrassing smile.

Qandeel didn’t reply; she didn’t want to talk to Ilaaf.

Ilaaf kept the guitar aside and stood. “Among so many intelligent people, not a single one has the answer for my question.” Saying in a very strange manner his moving eyes were stopped on Qandeel.

“Qandeel Yousuf, Don’t you have answer for my question too?” He came ahead.

This time Qandeel couldn’t control her tongue.

“I have; I have answers for your each and every question.” Her tone was contented as usual.

“Which is the most beautiful thing of the world?” His eyes were still at her face.

“Love.” Ilaaf couldn’t say anything in reply; even he could not because Qandeel knew he can’t refuse the answer; nobody can.

Rohail appreciated Qandeel with clapping and applause.

“If you wanna ask any other question then you can. I can answer each and every question.” Don’t know why Qandeel said looking into his eyes being so fearless that moment.

Both of them were standing in the middle of the hall.

“Which is the ugliest thing of the world?”

“Haughtiness.” She was having some fun playing this game; was feeling good while giving the exam of her knowledge and awareness and that’s why for a while she had forgotten that who is asking those questions.

“The most precious blessing of the world?”


“The most worthless thing?”


“What is life?”

“The mirror of reality.”


“The other name of life.”

“The difference between these two?”

“A single breath.”

“If death is the other name of life then why man runs away from death?”

“Whoever runs away from death is the one who doesn’t know the skill to remain faithful with the life.”

“To whom one Loves?”

“One he should Love”

“Does it happen once?”

“No doubt.”

“And if this heart is dying for every flower like a beetle, what’s this then?”

“The sign of heart disorder.”

“Its cure?”

“Just, Love.”

“How Love happens?”

“By having desire, one who finds the desire, reaches to Love as well.”

“One who doesn’t love?”

“He should wish to love.”

“And one who doesn’t want to wish to love?”

“He has no right to call himself alive.”

There was silence for few moments. The questions were finished.

Ilaaf moved few steps back.

“You really have answer for each and every question.” He looked Qandeel smiling.

Qandeel didn’t try to smile.

Ilaaf went and sat on his previous place; took the guitar into his hands and then looked towards Qandeel.

“Rohail had told me that you play keyboard very well.”

“You too play the guitar very well.” She knew her tone was expressionless.

“Yes, but today tunes and words both have been lost. Perhaps I wouldn’t be able to sing anything. Why don’t you sing something today? Their request will also be fulfilled in this way.” With so much brilliance, he had pitched the ball into her court.

“Yes Qandeel, please sing something. Don’t know what is happened to Ilaaf today?” Rohail said and she smiled.

“To grasp tunes and words, one has to lose himself, Ilaaf Laashari.” The smile was vanished from the face of Ilaaf. “Today is Rohail’s birthday and I will fulfill Rohail’s request.” She was Qandeel Yousuf who knew the skill to play the each ball pitched into her court very well.

She came and sat with the piano kept at the left side of Ilaaf.

For a moment she gazed everyone standing in front of her. Before this she had never played the piano nor had sung any song in front of so many people but she had to do it that day.

She passed a look full of Love at piano and a smile was spread on her lips. She moved her fingers; it was a light and sweet melody which was penetrated into the hall coming out beneath her fingers.

“Merey dil men aur rooh men tum basey ban kr khushi,

Jaisey aankhon men khwaab hon, saans men ho taazgi,

Tum jo aye, na zindagi men rahi koi kami,

They andherey rahon men tum ban gaye meri roshni,

Tum hi ho deewangi, bekhudi ho meri,

Tum hi ho dil ki lagi, zindagi ho meri.”

Perhaps Ilaaf had grasped all tunes of the melody because now he was playing guitar on the same tune.

“Tum hi geeton ki khwahish, tum hi her dhun ki arzoo,

Tum hi ho dukh men rahat, tum mohabbat ki khushboo,

Ye koi Junoon hai kya,

Ye koi Fusoon hai kya,

Ye dhanak jo chahat ki hai, mujh pey ab chayi hui,

Saat rangon ki ye talab, dil men ab samayi hui,

Tum hi ho deewangi, bekhudi ho meri,

Tum hi ho dil ki lagi, zindagi ho meri.”

The song was ended; Qandeel left the piano; her effort was paid by the clapping and applause. Rohail had appreciated her especially.

She came back towards her friends.

After a while the cake was cut and then the dinner was ready.

She was having dinner sitting with Seema and Ameen and just then the heat of his eyesight had disturbed her completely. He was starring her continuously sitting aside.

Qandeel had felt herself angry very few times like how she was feeling now. She was feeling either to kick him out of the hall or to leave the hall herself.

After the dinner when she was talking to Rohail and Humaira just then Maryam called her on the cell phone.

Maryam had worries in her tone.

“What happened, Maryam? Why are you worried?” Ameen and Seema also had come there.

“What happened? Is everything alright? Tell me?” She was worried too.

“Yousuf Uncle has a heart attack, try to reach hospital as soon as possible.” For a moment Qandeel couldn’t understand anything.

“What are you saying, Maryam?” She felt her tone being quenched in the throat.

Perhaps all of them had an idea with her expressions that Maryam has told her some bad news.

“What happened, Qandeel?” Rohail had asked.

She couldn’t answer him just looked his face.

“He is much better now, just try to reach hospital.” Maryam said and just then Rohail had taken mobile from her hand.

She stood silently; was just thinking about Baba right now.

“I am Rohail, Maryam. What happened?” He was talking to Maryam on phone.

“Ok, don’t be worry. I am sending Qandeel to the hospital.” Rohail after asking the address of the hospital turned off the phone.

“Uncle is fine. Don’t be worry. Just be ready to go to the hospital.” Qandeel shook her head positively and went to take her bag.

“Ameen, I think you won’t be able to go defence right now.” Rohail looked Ameen. Ameen shook his head.

Ilaaf had come having his guitar and coat in his hand.

“I think I must go now.” He said to Rohail. Rohail had suddenly thought something by looking Ilaaf.

Qandeel came back having her bag on her shoulder.

“Ilaaf, you are going home naa.” Ilaaf shook his head like he didn’t understand anything.

“Qandeel’s father has a heart attack; hospital is in defence. Can you drop Qandeel there?” Rohail told him the name and address of the hospital.

“Ok, I will drop her.” Qandeel looked Rohail and shook her head negatively.

“I will go myself, Rohail. Don’t bother anyone.”

“There is nothing in it that can bother me; that hospital is on the way to my home.” Ilaaf replied Qandeel in a serious tone. Qandeel couldn’t say anything.

“I bring my car out of the parking, you come outside.” Saying in a decisive tone he went outside.

“I won’t go with Ilaaf.” She said to Rohail.

“This is not the right time to talk these things, Qandeel. I can’t drop you at the hospital myself, that’s why asked to Ilaaf. He is my friend; is a little bit crazy but overall he is a gentleman. I am sending you with him because I trust him otherwise I can never send you with an untrustworthy person.” Qandeel didn’t want to argue too. She was worried for Baba, so was now silent and thinking something.

She came outside with Rohail.

Ilaaf had brought his car out of the parking. Very silently, she went and sat besides him on the front seat. Ilaaf moved the car ahead.

Qandeel was silent. She had come with Ilaaf because she had no choice but she was not feeling good right now. He was looking her again and again by turning his head in short intervals. Qandeel’s eyes were on windscreen but she was able to feel; the heat of his eyes, a very strange impression spilling from his eyes.

There was silence for a while then she heard Ilaaf saying.

“Nothing could be changed just being worried, so one should not be worried. Nothing will happen to your father, he will be alright.” Qandeel didn’t answer him; she was just thinking about Baba.

As soon as the car came on the main road, Ilaaf increased its speed. He was driving the car so fast even in the traffic load and this was very dangerous. Perhaps he would be used to drive always like this but right now Qandeel was sitting besides him and she couldn’t bear it. She could never like this way to put their and others’ lives in danger.

“Drive the car slow, Ilaaf.” Qandeel said.

This time Ilaaf like didn’t hear what she had said.

Qandeel got angry. “Didn’t you hear; what I have said, drive the car slow?” Her tone was raised this time.

Ilaaf turned his head and looked her.

“Can I ask a question?” He had not slowed down the speed; was showing extreme carelessness in the case of driving.

Qandeel looked him silently; she was feeling herself very angry.

“Do you fear from death?” The question was absolutely stupid for Qandeel.

“I don’t fear to die, Ilaaf Laashari but I have no intention to die with you right now.” She answered looking into his eyes.

Ilaaf had a smile on his face like he was expecting the same answer.

“You were worried and I thought that I should drop you at the hospital as soon as possible.” He was presenting the reason. Qandeel didn’t need his reason.

“Yes I am worried for Baba but that doesn’t mean that I should consider rest of the people of the world unimportant just due to my father. How many people are walking on the road and how many are sitting in other cars, all of them are human beings like us. So, I will never wish to put their lives in danger in order to reach hospital as soon as possible.” She squeezed her lips and tilted her back with the seat.

Ilaaf changed the gear and slowed down the speed.

Rest of the way was passed very silently.

Ilaaf stopped the car at the gate of the hospital then said to Qandeel.

“Give my regards to your father for his health.” Unwillingly Qandeel shook her head.

“Bye; will see you later.” Qandeel opened the door but then stopped hearing his words.

“To meet someone, there must be a reason, Ilaaf Laashari, and I think so that there is not any reason for us to meet again.” She looked the color of his face was changed.

Very few times in her life, she used to behave in such a straight forward manner but it was true that she didn’t want to meet Ilaaf Laashari and that’s why she had replied like this without caring about anything.

Before Ilaaf could say anything in reply, she got down and came inside the gate.

And coming inside just in a while she had totally forgotten Ilaaf Laashari; if was thinking about someone then he was Baba.

She was worried and her worries just were overcomed when she discussed Baba’s condition with Dr. Lodhi, otherwise before this she was not satisfied even on the explanation given by Maryam, Kawish, Hamza Shahid and Kamran Ali.

It was a minor heart attack. Yousuf Mairaj was now shifted in the room.

And when she came out of Dr. Lodhi’s room towards the room where Baba was shifted, Hamza Shahid patting her head had said.

“Now you are satisfied, good girl, that your father is perfectly fine.” She shook her head smiling.

It was very late in night. Qandeel asked everybody to go home decided to stay herself with Baba although Dr. Lodhi had said that she can go home as well and meet Yousuf Mairaj in the morning but she didn’t want to leave Baba.

Yousuf Mairaj was sleeping now due to the injection of sleep inducing drugs.

“We will come early in the morning; take good care of Uncle and whatever would be the situation call me without hesitation.” Maryam instructed her before leaving. Then in a while everbody left one by one.

She came inside the room. Yousuf Mairaj was sleeping.

Qandeel kept looking him for a while then she bent herself little and kissed his forehead.

Sitting on the sofa at some distance to the bed, she spread her legs and closed her eyes.

Worries were overcomed and now she was feeling herself tired although she didn’t want to sleep but she was fell asleep in a while.