Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (VII)

She had knocked the door. Baba had opened the door.

Qandeel looked Yousuf Mairaj.

“Where were you, Qandeel? I was so worried. If you had to be late then at least you could inform me with a single phone call.” Perhaps he was so worried that had asked all questions in a single breath.

“I had not the idea.” Qandeel had tried to keep her tone normal.

Yousuf Mairaj stepped aside to let her come inside. She came inside and just then perhaps in the tubelight of the courtyard he had seen her face with a closer look.

“What happened, Qandeel? Why your face is so pale?” He had asked looking her pale face.

Each and every effort of Qandeel was gone in vain. How much she had tried that Baba could not know anything with her face expression but it had not worked. He was Yousuf Mairaj who was able to know each and every feeling of her from her face.

“Nothing, Baba. Nothing has happened.” Her tone was weak.

“I can not admit that everything is alright. Something has happened so that your face is so pale and your red eyes…..have you cried, Qandeel?” Speaking with a surprise he came near to her.

Didn’t know what had happened, she just felt; she couldn’t face Baba.

She took a side and came inside in a fast pace.

“Qandeel, stop. Where are you going?” She had neglected his words completely. Passing the courtyard she crossed the veranda and came in her room almost running.

Yousuf Mairaj had followed her and still calling, but before he could reach her room she had closed the door and fastened its bolt.

“Qandeel, what happened? Open the door. Tell me what has happened.” Throwing her bag on the bed she sat on the floor near the door and keeping both hands on the floor started controlling her breath. She could still hear Baba’s voice behind the door but she couldn’t face him right now. The insult that she had faced today due to Ilaaf Laashari, after that she didn’t know how would she react in front of Baba, therefore wanted to be alone for a while. Her body was trembling due to the extreme anger and she had wished by her heart to call Ilaaf Laashari with abuses, to do something that could lessen her anger.

But Baba was still calling her standing with the door outside. She knew he was worried; Qandeel had never done anything like this before.

“Qandeel, for God’s sake open the door. I am really worried. What has happened that you even can’t talk to me? My heart is drowning, Qandeel. Don’t test my patience, my child. I don’t have enough courage to bear the burden of a heavy pain.” Qandeel couldn’t test his patience more. She knew that Baba is very sensitive in her case; didn’t want to give him any pain.

She kept thinking for a while sitting there then stood and opened the door.

Yousuf Mairaj had gazed her. Qandeel looked him.

His restless eyes had the same questions, the questions that he was asking to her initially and now his silence even had the same questions hidden in it.

Qandeel’s heart, her eyes started filling with waters.

“Baba.” She said just one word and then keeping her head on his chest she started crying; like an innocent kid.

Yousuf Mairaj had taken her into his arms and kissed her head. “What happened, Qandeel? Tell me something.”

Qandeel raised her head while crying then allowed her anger to come out like her tears.

“Zaleel, Kamina. What he thinks he is and what he thinks I am?” Yousuf Mairaj had looked her with a surprise. For the first time in life, she was calling someone with an abuse.

“Who you are talking about, Qandeel?”

“Ilaaf Laashari, the spoiled richman who wants to buy me like a motionless thing, but he doesn’t know that neither a market has ever set in this world where Qandeel Yousuf can be sold out nor any buyer has yet been born who can buy Qandeel Yousuf.”

She was not in her senses so could feel what does that mean that she was saying; just wanted to bring her anger out. Yousuf Mairaj held her shoulders and let her to sit on a chair in veranda. Her tears were not shedding with the same speed now.

“What did Ilaaf do?” His tone had a surprise, “Tell me, Qandeel. What did Ilaaf do?”

“Was following me and then by stopping me in the super market was claiming that he loves me and thinking that perhaps I will believe that his acting was a truth and like a stupid girl would start believing that he has fallen in love with me in real, but I set his mind on the position. Woman is not a thing, whenever desired, claimed for her love and got her. I am just surprised on his stubbornness, how much I keep accusing him, his persistence increases to the same extent.” She had now controlled herself a bit.

“I thought he is a mature and decent boy, but I could never expect such an act from him.” She heard Baba saying.

“I am surprised Baba that now you have started making mistakes to understand people. I could never feel that he is good in anyway; the first number wicked guy and his eyes…..the madness that is always present in his eyes, makes me to feel angry.” Yousuf Mairaj didn’t answer her just kept thinking.

“If he ever came in front of me after today then I will make a mess of him so that he will remember it forever. What pride he has so that without thinking about anything, he came to have a false claim of love to me and put me on a show in front of so many people. What a single thing is found in Ilaaf Laashari due to which Qandeel Yousuf should trust him, which quality, which ability he has of his own, whatever he has is provided by others, what excellence is his own that he has, so that on the basis of which he had come to claim for love to a girl who is already engaged to someone else.” As she was talking, slowly and gradually feeling herself light.

And then didn’t know for how long she kept sitting there and kept accusing Ilaaf Laashari. Yousuf Mairaj commented very little on whatever she had said, he had kept hearing silently.

And at last when she went quiet then by kissing her forehead Yousuf Mairaj just said.

“Sometimes, many things happen in life, Qandeel. Many things which on thinking apparently, seem unusual but we have to accept that they happened. Whatever happened wasn’t good at all, and I hope that Ilaaf would also have learned a lesson from this and he wouldn’t do anything like this in future. You also shouldn’t get this incident on your nerves instead to try to forget this unpleasant event so that you could be able to give your full attention to your exams.” Saying in an eternal peaceful tone he had stood. Qandeel raised her head and looked him; there was tiredness on his face. She couldn’t know that what was the reason of that tiredness, of the reaction of that incident or of anything else?

“You had taken out my soul for a while, Qandeel. Acha I am going into my room, want to have a little rest then we will have dinner together.” He had gone into his room.

She had not any chat to Baba on this topic after that, she herself didn’t want to make him further upset by talking about this.

For next few days, she had kept thinking about the incident in short intervals and each time she got angry on Ilaaf and then on Rohail. Despite of the fact that Rohail wasn’t involved in the whole inceident anyway, didn’t know why she thought it was Rohail’s fault as well.

Just because of Rohail, she had met Ilaaf Laashari; neither she would have met him nor would had happened whatever had happened now.

Exams were started from the next week. Qandeel and her all friends used to have a combined study in the last week before the exams, Seema and Ameen had called her this time too. They had called Qandeel thrice in one week for the combined study but this time she had not gone to University even on their call intentionally, and kept refusing by making some excuses, while it was always difficult for her to study at the individual level; she had liked combined study, but she didn’t want to face Rohail. She was extremely angry to him and didn’t want to even look his face at the moment and due to which she would remember the face of Ilaaf Laashari. Right now she just wanted to concentrate on her studies and she had the idea that anything related to that incident can affect her studies badly, so it was a precautionary measure for Qandeel.

Even she had kept trying during the exams that could talk to Rohail as minimum as possible, and during the frist three papers she used to leave immediately after finishing her paper. All four of them even hadn’t come out of the lecture hall when she had left silently for home and later when had talked to someone on phone then had made some false excuses. Papers were also going alright but not that much excellent as always had.

Then that day when they had the paper of Dr. Kamal then Qandeel got late collecting her belongings. Handing over the paper and the answer script to Dr. Kamal when she came out from the lecture hall, all four of them were completely ready to reproach her.

“Listen, we acknowledge that you have done an internship in a well reputed newspaper and Dr. Saeed has liked your project so much that he has highly exaggerated praising you in the whole department, but that doesn’t mean that you should become proud enough so that you don’t even want to look our faces.” Ameen had said without caring about anything, Qandeel had involuntarily laughed on his criticism.

“And if we hadn’t planned already to catch you at any case then perhaps you would have run away today as well.” Humaira had said, and then Seema had also said something and she just kept laughing on their critical comments. Rohail at the other hand had neither taunted her nor had asked the reason for avoiding them; just smiled to see Qandeel laughing and his smile had the same friendly gesture that always had. But then didn’t know why, looking Rohail smiling she had remembered Ilaaf Laashari. The man whom she had hated most was the friend of Rohail and just because of Rohail Qandeel had to face so much disgust that day.

She kept talking for a long to all four of them standing there. They were not ready to forgive her at any condition and then Rohail had reminded them that Qandeel’s birthday is coming in the next week. As soon as he reminded them, Seema and Ameen started to shout and asking Qandeel for a treat. At last she had to be agreed for that, it was just a coincidence that they have their last paper on the same day Qandeel’s birthday was that’s why the plan of treat was after the exam. After the end of the paper, Qandeel had to give them a treat at a place of their own choice, it was decided that Qandeel will also call Maryam at University after the paper because she couldn’t be able to give two treats in one single day, and from there all of them would go to a restaurant to celebrate Qandeel’s birthday.

“Now, let me go. Baba will be waiting for me. May Allah never give friends like you people even to an enemy; just are satisfied if the other has the same opinion and the problem of friend has no means to you people.” At last she spoke laughing.

All of them came out talking. Ameen used to drop Seema, that day Humaira was also going with him.

“Let’s go. I will drop you at home.” Rohail said and for the first time Qandeel had an uneasy feeling; she didn’t want to go with Rohail.

“No, I will go myself.” She had replied in an expressionless tone.

All four of them were surprised on her answer.

“But you normally use to go with Rohail. Then what happened today?” Seema asked surprisingly.

Rohail was quiet; he just had observed the gestures of Qandeel’s face. Qandeel changed the direction of her eyes. She wanted to avoid Rohail.

“Yes, but today I have to go at Maryam’s place. Rohail’s route is different and I will go myself. You drop me at the gate two; I will take a rickshaw from there.”

“Then let die. Come with us.” Ameen replied with an odd look and she smiled.

This false excuse of Qandeel wasn’t caught because there wasn’t any rumple in her lie. She oftenly used to go with Ameen to the gate two whenever she had to go Maryam’s home as Rohail used to go through gate three.

Rohail hadn’t commented. She moved ahead with three of them. However, she had felt as Rohail wasn’t satisfied with her attitude. He was still standing at his place.

She didn’t want to think about anything at the moment because she didn’t want to think about Ilaaf Laashari.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (VI)

She had left, and while leaving had taken away the rest of the peace of Ilaaf with her.

Embarrassment, guilt, shame and meaninglessness; he just had these feelings left behind. Ilaaf felt as he had lost everything in just a single moment; wasn’t able to decide whom he should to blame for it; to situation, Adnan or himself.

“You will ruin the situation more, Ilaaf. To wait is better than to be impatient; having the patience sometimes effect to solve even the most complicated matters.” He remembered what Rohail had said.

He had ruined the situation in real.

Standing in the departmental store, he was taking himself into account like the biggest sinner of the world. He wished by heart to sit on the floor and cry loudly like a child, cry so much so that the meaninglessness could be washed out or at least his heart went somewhat light, but he couldn’t do anything. He was a man, couldn’t cry in front of so many people. Why couldn’t cry? Men are also the human being; can’t their hearts fill with waters? Don’t they get the pain? Or do they possess stones instead of hearts in their chests? Why this world expects from men that they would never let their tears to be shed?

He kept standing at the same place where she had left him with foggy face then he somehow collected his rest of the courage and called the salesman.

“Yes sir.” Salesman said coming near; perhaps he was still scared.

Ilaaf looked at the things that have come out from the fallen basket, Qandeel was holding.

“Pack them all, and bring the bill.” He said indicating about the things.

“Yes sir.” He started collecting the things from the floor.

Ilaaf came towards the counter. Adnan was still standing there. His lips were compressed and showing that he had hardly controlled his anger, and he had just done it because of Ilaaf otherwise he wasn’t used to hear so much from someone neither he used to talk unnecessarily. Instead his tongue, he had better considered to talk from his hands and feet. And therefore, for him it was hard even to imagine that a girl went after saying so much to Ilaaf in front of him and he couldn’t do anything.

It wasn’t Adnan’s fault, it was his fault. When he was already well aware with the nature of Adnan then in any case he should haven’t taken Adnan with him even on his insistence.

Very quietly he came and stood besides Adnan. Both of them didn’t talk.

He collected the shopping bag, paid the bill. Both of them came out silently.

There was complete silence in the car. Adnan was looking him in short intervals by turning his head.

Ilaaf’s face had an impression of exhaustion. A strange pain, strange tiredness it was which was even felt by the least emotional person like Adnan. He could never see Ilaaf sad like this. He just wanted Ilaaf to laugh forever and get whatever he desires. But the problem was that Qandeel Yousuf wasn’t a thing so that he could bought it and presented to Ilaaf, this was another thing that Adnan hadn’t given importance to a woman more than a motionless thing.

“An ordinary girl insulted you in front of so many people and simply went away, and you did nothing, Ilaaf.” Perhaps he had said finally, giving up to his habit.

“So, what should I have done when she wasn’t agreed to hear and understand anything? She rightly had said; what could I have done? Except making request, what could I have done?” His tone was like a losing gambler.

“You should have kidnapped her; when would have lived away from home two four days, then would come on line like an arrow; the pride would have gone and she would have heard and understood everything you say.” Ilaaf had kept his foot on the brakes with full power. Land cruiser had a sudden powerful jerk. Both of them hardly controlled themselves.

“What are you doing, Ilaaf? Drive the car carefully.” He parked the car at the side of the road then turned towards Adnan.

“You have gone mad. Keep your cheap advices to yourself.” For the first time the tone of Ilaaf went hard unwillingly. “Would have kidnapped her and would have proved her all accuses true; would have proved that this is lust not love.”

“Like she has now awarded you the medal of gentleness.” Adnan criticized.

“She said right, those who love, don’t disrespect others like this. Whatever I did, I did wrong; dropped myself down in her and mine eyes; ruined everything due to this lunacy.” He spoke while looking outside the windscreen, then he looked Adnan. “And who asked you to show your weapon and power there. I had clearly asked you not to interfere in anything there, but you didn’t took my words seriously; you just know talking to people in a single language and that is the language of the criminals. You will never learn the manners to talk to common people, Adnan.” Adnan had heard everything quietly. Ilaaf was the only one in this world whose sweet, sour words; he could hear everything without a single crease on his forehead.

“If this is happened because of me then I am ready to apologize to her.”

“What would happen by this? Her arrogance will be elevated. The fault is mine; I should haven’t taken you with me.”

“Stop it, Ilaaf.” Adnan was perhaps irritated, “You have no experience in the case of girls, that’s why you don’t know anything. I know their psychae very well. These middle class girls….this is their hobby to imposture their piety and they trap boys in this way.”

Ilaaf never felt so much anger for Adnan in his whole life how he felt that moment.

“Shut your rubbish, Adnan. If you now spoke a single disgusting word for Qandeel then I will hold your hand and let you out of the car. I can’t bear a single insulting word for her. If you can’t talk about her with respect then keep your mouth shut.” Ilaaf really wanted to let Adnan out of the car.

“Acha, if she is really a different girl then why did she refuse you?”

“First thing is that she doesn’t like me….and now perhaps would have hated me. And the second thing is that she has been engaged, and my proposal would not be important for her.” Adnan had looked him surprisingly for the first time.

“Do you want to marry her, Ilaaf?”

Ilaaf wished either to smash his head or Adnan’s.

“So, you are thinking that I am just flirting with her and for this reason, I have put me and her on a show in front of so many people. Do I seem so wicked to you?”

“No, it’s not like that.” Perhaps Adnan was embarrassed on his question, “If you want to marry her then propse her, Ilaaf. Why won’t she be agreeing? When she will come to know that you want to marry her then will immediately be agreed, and what a thing engagement is? It can be broken in a single moment. There is no imperfection in your personality then why would she refuse you?” Ilaaf had gazed him with a painful silence. He couldn’t explain it to Adnan.

“You are handsome. Wealth, fame, respect, what you don’t have; degrees from world’s best universities; Karate black belt holder, martial art specialist; swimming, riding, hunting what you haven’t learned; football, tennis, polo, golf which game you are unskilled; history, geography, engineering, philosophy, art, literature, which field is you don’t have any information about; then why would she refuse you?” Ilaaf kept looking Adnan with stony eyes. Perhaps for another girl these qualities could be interesting, but not for Qandeel Yousuf.

Ilaaf remembered, Rohail had also introduced him to Qandeel in the get together, almost in the same words, and she had kept hearing with expressionless face. Not for a single time, he could see any appreciating shine in her eyes. She wasn’t interested in any of his qualities.

“You captivate people with your words and tunes, whenever been to a party. Many girls still want to be your friend. One whom you look smiling, you conquer him or her forever.”

“Stop it, Adnan. For God’s sake, stop it.” Keeping his elbows on the steering, he hid his face into his hands. “I have to conquer no one.” Sitting straight he turned his head, “When in so many days, I couldn’t win the heart of Qandeel Yousuf, the girl who conquered me with a single gaze, then I have to conquer no one in this world, no one.” He felt his corners of eyes were wetting.

Adnan squeezed his lips.

There was silence for a while then Ilaaf started the car and brought on the road.

A miserable pain was getting height inside him so that he wasn’t able to concentrate on driving; speed of car was high as well. Just in a while, the patience of Adnan had given up.

“Drive the car slow, Ilaaf. You have broken two signals. For sure, your number plate and your name is enough to save you from legal invoice, but I don’t have any intention to hear admonishes of these mean policemen; don’t have courage to make a legal invoice so start advicing us like kids.” Ilaaf looked him turning his head. He felt as not Adnan but Qandeel is sitting there and asking to lower the speed in annoyed tone. He changed the gear and lowered the speed.

Perhaps Adnan was surprised. For the first time in life, Ilaaf had followed his instruction being quiet.

Dropping Adnan, he came home. Taking the shopping bag from the back seat, he came directly into his room.

The lights were off. He turned on the night bulb and closed the door. Turning on the side tables lamps, he sat onto bed. Next moment he inverted the shopping bag on the bed.

For a while he kept looking those three things, then he kept the time piece on the side table and rest of the two things on the dressing table.

And then in that dimmed light, he came and sat on study table. Turning on the laptop, he looked Qandeel.

“If you are powerful then why don’t you throw me out from your heart and mind? Why don’t you stop yourself following me? If you are powerful then stop your feet coming towards me.” Her voice and her words were like a spear for him and every moment his body was being wounded by their attack.

“You want me to take you out from my heart and mind; to keep myself away from you; to forget you. If you want this then I will try to do it as well, Qandeel Yousuf; to make your way comfortable, to save you from any pain any misery, in order to keep away the effect of my lunacy from your peaceful life, I will make this effort as well, while I know that it would be worthless but at least will try to forget you, will try to take you out from my heart.” With trembling lips, muttering himself, he had felt a sharp knife piercing his soul.

Ilaaf Laashari, silly boy, thought love as a round of Polo and agreed to play. He didn’t know that Love isn’t a dress, shoes or socks which can be detached from the body and throw away. Love is the color of the universe if penetrates into soul once then even death can’t detach and throw that color. Love is a tune when takes someone into its enclosure then in grief, happiness, crowd, loneliness, every moment every place this tune echoes in the ear; to forget or to try to forget it is just like betraying one’s ownself.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (V)

“Here is the file of articles.” She was quickly ending the things standing on Khalida’s table. “And these are the newspaper cuttings which were used during the project.” She handed over the folder to Khalida, “And this is the copy of the final report for which Asghar Sahib had asked, for the office record.”

“You have done everything in a managed and appropriate way. Sir likes your work.” Khalida said while collecting the things.

“Yes, I know. I enjoyed working here too; everybody is very courteous and helping.”

“We are good friends now but you are leaving.” She smiled.

“It may happen that I come back. But right now I am just happy about one thing that I have submitted my project on time, loads have been removed from my head.” She was herself very light. “And one thing is very true. How much you have helped me during the project, nobody else did.”

“Ok, ok, there is no need for the buttering otherwise I will be flattered.” Both of them started laughing.

Asghar Sahib walked through while talking to Tanveer and stopped after looking Qandeel. She was collecting her bag and other things; just smiled looking him.

“So, you are leaving, Qandeel?” She shook her head. “Did you think about my offer?” He tried to explore her expressions behind his glasses.

“Sir, my exams are going to be start from next week that’s why right now I don’t wanna think about anything else. Yes but after my exams when I will have lots of things to decide for my future then surely will think about your offer as well.” She used to speak everything very clearly so that nobody could be misunderstood in any case.

“So, should I hope that you will join us?”

“The world survives on hope, sir.” She replied immediately and due to which Khalida and Asghar Sahib both had laughed. “Anyhow, whatever I will decide, will surely inform you.”

Shaking hands with Khalida and saying bye to Asghar Sahib, she started giving her farewell regards to everyone in the office.

Leaving the office when she came outside on the main road, fortunately she found a rickshaw there; otherwise usually she used to walk to some distance. She was surprised and pleased. This road had been closed for Public transport for a long time and therefore sometimes she had to face problems in order to reach home.

She was going to have her exams from next week and due to the busy schedule for last few days, the list of necessities required for the home went long, and so she had decided this morning that will directly go to the market after office so that could be able to give her full attention to her studies during exams and nothing to be worried about. She had always naturally considered shopping as the most unpleasant thing to do in this world but for last few years, this responsibility had been come onto her shoulders and that’s why she wanted to finish it today and feel free. There were many things of her personal use which she had to buy but due to the lack of time, couldn’t buy yet.

So, she came to the market directly.

Departmental store was less crowded at the moment and therefore, she kept walking calmly in different lanes having a shopping basket with her. Firstly, she wanted to shopping for herself because most of the time she used to forget many things later on.

First of all, she had chosen a perfume; she was all time sensitive in the case of perfumes, wherever had seen a new enchanting smelled perfume, had picked without thinking about anything although the other thing was that she often used to forget to use those perfumes. Then she thought to take shampoo as well. Third one which she chosen was a small time piece; the time piece of her side table had stopped giving alarm a long ago and everyday she was waked up by Baba, that’s why this idea to buy a time piece, was quite useful.

And then while she was thinking about further things that she had to take for herself, just then somebody came and stood behind her and she even didn’t feel about it.

Then suddenly, thinking about something, she turned back and if she would have turned a step back then probably her head would have hit Ilaaf’s chest.

“You” The surprise and the anger were appeared together in her eyes.

He kept looking her without giving any answer.

“What are you doing here?” Her tone went hard this time.

“I went your office but you had already left. I saw you on the road but before I could reach you, you were in rickshaw, and therefore I was supposed to come here. I just want to talk to you for two minutes, Qandeel.” His tone on the other hand was soft.

“You….you were following me.” She felt like her face went red due to the anger, “When I had clearified it to Rohail that neither I want to meet you nor want to talk to you then why are you following me?”

“Can you just hear me, once? Believe me I won’t hurt you at all.” This time she had looked directly into his eyes.

“You can’t hurt me, Ilaaf Laashari.” Anything like fear and panic had never touched her in life.

“I am so worried, Qandeel. Every moment I look your face in front of my eyes, I think about you all the time; am feeling myself so much powerless. Just try to think that if something is not in our control, how can you blame me for that? Nobody loves with his own wish; nobody makes himself the travellor of this painful way with his desire.” There was restlessness in his tone but Qandeel had nothing to do with it; for her every word said by Ilaaf was worthless.

Qandeel turned her head and looked at her right and left side. There were different people standing at the both ends of the narrow lane loaded with shopping stuff, and were just looking her and Ilaaf. Then she looked Ilaaf standing in front of her.

“Please, don’t take my emotions and my love negatively.” For the first time, just for a moment she was scared from the lunacy of Ilaaf; involuntarily she wished to run away.

“You have said, now I am going.” Without looking at him, she walked towards the right side in a fast pace; wanted to go away as soon as possible. But at the end of the narrow lane, she had to stop suddenly. A tall and healthy boy came and stood in front of her, exactly at the corner. He had a pistol of ash gray color in his hand.

“You can’t go anywhere until and unless you hear everything Ilaaf wants to say to you.” He had a grave and commanding voice.

That was a spark which had snatched the patience of Qandeel in a single moment.

She turned back and looked Ilaaf. “I could never expect such a cheap thing from your side.” Ilaaf came there walking.

“I had explained it to you Adnan that you won’t interfere in anything.” That moment Ilaaf Laashari was seemed to be a renowned actor to Qandeel; was acting to be worried very successfully, otherwise she was pretty sure that his instruction would be the part of that cheap act.

“Leave it, just feel free and talk to Qandeel, let me manage other things.” He turned and went back from where he had come.

Ilaaf looked Qandeel coming near; Qandeel felt a fire was emitting from her eyes.

“I am sorry, Qandeel. I had asked Adnan not to interfere but…..” Qandeel interrupted him.

“Shut your rubbish, what do you think that you will get your purpose by frightening me like this?”

“It’s wrong. I don’t want to get my purpose by frightening you; just want to explain that don’t take me wrong. I love you, and just want you to believe it.” Qandeel looked him coming more close to her.

She didn’t step back because now the fire of the hatred was spread inside her everywhere and she wanted to face Ilaaf.

From all corners of the store, people were looking both of them standing on their tiptoes. Adnan was sitting on the counter top. The pistol revolving in his hands was enough to prevent the store staff to interfere the whole matter.

“Don’t disrespect the love by taking its name with your dirty tongue, Ilaaf. Do you even know what does Love mean?”

“I don’t know that either I know the meaning of the love or not. I just know one thing that I love you and that’s enough for me to know.” He was looking her without blinking his eyes.

Qandeel just felt aversion to him.

“Stay away from me. You are smelled.” Perhaps she had reached the top of the arrogance.

“Smell….which smell?” She felt Ilaaf was surprised.

“Are you asking to me? Ask yourself; smell would probably be of alcohol.” This time her strict tone had an extra impression of criticism.

“I don’t take alcohol, Qandeel.” Once again, perhaps Ilaaf acted to be surprised.

“Oh really? Then write down your name in the list of the gentlemen.” She threw an arrow dipped in the poison, “If not alcohol then something else like bhang (hemp), Chars (hemp extract) or heroin.” Qandeel spoke each word like chewing, “I really hate boys like you who being intoxicated even don’t remember that what a sparrow whose name is civilization?” She hadn’t lied; that moment the eyes of Ilaaf were so much intoxicated that Qandeel was sure that he had drunk. And just then she had observed a glimpse of anger in his drunken eyes; she felt a strange peace.

Adnan got down from the counter. Ilaaf turned his head and looked Adnan.

“Just stand where you are. Don’t come here.” Instructing him in a serious tone he had again looked Qandeel.

“I am talking to you with so much courtesy, Qandeel. But that doesn’t mean that you start accusing me and to call me whatever you want to.” This time his tone was a bit dry.

Qandeel felt a poisonous pleasure.

“Acha, and if I accuse you more than this then what will you do? What can you do, Ilaaf Laashari?” More disgust was included in her tone.

“What I can do and what not, you know it very well. You can guess about my power more than me, but I won’t do anything because I can’t hurt you.”

“Power? Do you have the power?” The anger of Qandeel was reaching skies, “If you do have the power then use it to control your heart and your senses Ilaaf, not to frighten a girl in front of so many people like this. If you do have the power then, show it by bridling your unbridled body.” Ilaaf couldn’t answer her.

“If you are powerful then why don’t you throw me out from your heart and mind? Why don’t you stop yourself following me? If you are powerful then stop your feet coming towards me. Tell me, can you do it?” Undoubtedly, she knew the skill to make people answerless and that moment she had made Ilaaf Laashari answerless.

“I just want to talk to you, Qandeel. Can’t you even hear me for two minutes?” His tone had again that lunacy.

“Why should I hear you? Why should I hear a man who even doesn’t know that at how much distance one should stand in order to talk to a girl?” And again, Ilaaf Laashari acting successfully reacted like he hadn’t any idea that how close he is standing to Qandeel. He stepped back but the anger of Qandeel couldn’t be decreased by this.

“Why should I hear a man who just put me on a show in front of so many people? Those who love don’t disrespect others like this. Don’t disgust the love by using its name; don’t call your lust as love.” Saying the last sentence she felt as her voice was quenched in the throat.

“Qandeel, it is not lust. Please do believe me.” Qandeel had neglected his words completely.

“Just leave my way. Let me go.” She looked Ilaaf.

“Qandeel, listen to me…..” Qandeel didn’t give him the time to complete his sentence.

“Just leave.” She had held the basket in her left hand; pushed Ilaaf back with the same hand. He was pushed with such a power that if would haven’t held the side stand then probably would have fallen down. The basket was also out of the grip from her hand, fallen down, and the things inside it were spread onto the floor.

She didn’t care; taking steps in a fast pace she came towards the entrance, but Adnan was standing at the door to stop her.

Ilaaf perhaps till then had gained his balance again.

Qandeel stared Adnan with flaming eyes then turned towards Ilaaf.

“Ask him to let me go. If anybody tried to stop me now then the result will be drastic. I am not scared from toys like this; understand it well, and explain it to your friend as well.” Perhaps the face of Adnan became rigid with annoyance.

She wasn’t sure but she heard Ilaaf saying to Adnan.

“Leave the way. Let her go, Adnan.” There was tiredness of centuries in the tone of Ilaaf.

Adnan unwillingly stepped a side.

Qandeel reaching the door stopped then she remembered something. She turned back and spoke.

“And one thing that you need to hear very clearly, Ilaaf Laashari, after this day, if ever you followed me or came on my way then you will be responsible for the outcome yourself.” Without looking any reaction, she came outside the door and then she didn’t stop for a single moment.

Without caring about the way, she was walking in a fast pace. She didn’t remember anything that moment; if remembered something then it was the hate worthy face of Ilaaf, his lustful eyes, intoxicated tone, piercing gazes of people around, their investigating faces. Didn’t know why but her eyes were filling with waters; not due to the sense of powerlessness but due to the sense of hatred. She felt herself trembling due to the extreme annoyance.

She had never felt so much hatred for anyone in the life, how much she was feeling that moment for Ilaaf Laashari. Infact, before this she even wasn’t aware with the real feeling of hatred and that day for the first time in life she was feeling so much hatred for someone that unintentionally she wished to go back and shoot him.

She kept walking like this for a long time and thinking. It was dark now; she knew that Baba would be worried for her; she decided to go home.

“If you ever followed me after today, Ilaaf Laashari, then you would remember for the rest of your life that a girl had hated you and extremely hated you.” Muttering in a dry and hard tone, she had rubbed her eyes with her stole very roughly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Chapter no. 7: Desire or Lust (IV)

If it was Love then the first time in life, Ilaaf had an idea that what actually Love is? Why from the beginning till the present day, Love was given the highest rank in every era of history, why the writers had blackened the pages of thousands and millions of books just to write about Love and why in all of those books, despite of having similar patterns something was different and unique due to which they had got the attention of the readers at every period of time, why despite of the fact that more or less every Love story was similar to others, each one of them looks new and even today they had kept attracting the readers? Why all encomiums that are being written in the praise of beloved, despite of having exaggeration and artificiality, looks to be near the reality. Somewhere there was a reason, there was a reality so that even today the poets, novelists, short-story writers, dramatists of the world, were grasped by an enclosure of the Love and in literature the most of the work was going on the same topic. And perhaps…….the reason was that in this world every human being, somewhere in his life starts to consider himself as a fictitious character of a love story, starts to feel the changes very intensively that are brought by the Love in his life and so he starts believing all those love stories and hence, there a person is added in the list of those who believe on the existence of Love. Every departing day, every departing moment is going to increase this number.

Whether the fire of hatred would be spread in the whole world, whether thousands of bodies would be burning every moment in the war of weapon, blood and ego, whether in the sacrifice for personal benefits, number of lovers would be losing their lives, the total number of lovers in the world will never be lessen. The word “Love” will never be disappeared from the world, because in order to wipe the love from the world, firstly, one will have to remove this seed which is sown in the hearts just with a gaze of someone, with a smile of someone and like a completely grown tree, extends its roots from heart to soul within a short span. And this seed can only be removed from the world when the Sun will stop giving its light and heat, moon will leave appearing on the sky along with the shining stars in the dark nights, when the flowers will refuse to appear on the flower-buds in spring and the dry leaves will refuse to drop from the trees in autumn. When the lake will refuse to fall in river and river in the sea, when the drops of rain will refuse to satisfy the thirst of the earth, when the innocent kids will leave laughing and the mothers will leave smiling on their laughters then perhaps this seed will be removed from the world but till now, neither a such day has been risen in the world history nor has come any night like this, that’s why this question that Love can be vanished from the world or not, and the discussion on this question is just a ridiculous thing.

Slowly and gradually, Ilaaf was also going to be included in the list of people who believe Love. It was restlessness, an agitation and the emptiness which was settled inside him permanently. Even today, after eight days the state of his lunacy was the same as it was eight days before when he had seen Qandeel in the hospital. When he used to close his eyes, her face; when he used to open his eyes, her eyes; thoughts about her every moment, wish to see her, aspiration to hear her voice, desire to be with her, Ilaaf wasn’t able to decide what to do? Neither he had cared about days nor nights; hours being passed and he used to sit at the same place thinking about her. When will be able to see Qandeel? When could be able to talk to her? When would be able to hear her voice, her laughter? When could be able to set the reflection of her eyes on his own eyes? Except these all matters, he hadn’t cared about anything else these days.

Right now, he was sitting on the bed tilting his back with the crown. Didn’t know it was his third or fourth cigarette, but he hadn’t cared about the number. Fazal had called him for the dinner hour ago but Ilaaf was still sitting in the same position. Fazal came again and this time Ilaaf replied him that he isn’t feeling hungry. Fazal went back having a deep sigh.

A strange smile was spread on his face after looking this impression of Fazal; how much pain this smile had, only Ilaaf knew it.

This cigarette was going to be reach its edge, Ilaaf moved his hand and had taken out few pictures from the drawer of the side table. These were the pictures of Qandeel other than those pictures which Ilaaf had snapped in the get together and Rohail had given him being very kind; the pictures of the get together were already stored in his laptop forever.

Ilaaf looked each of them one by one, how many times he had looked those pictures in last eight days, he didn’t know. After throwing the cigarette in the ash tray, he brought a picture close to his face and then he kept looking the shiny eyes of Qandeel for a while; then a thought had surged a shine in his own eyes. He kept those all pictures below his pillow then went to the dressing room. He came out in some time and then while collecting the keys of the car, mobile and wallet his eyes moved towards the laptop that was kept on the study table.

Coming towards the study table, he turned on the laptop and then as soon as the desktop appeared on the screen, his eyes were stopped on the smile of Qandeel. It was the same conquering smile which had played a great role for defeat of Kiran and which had occupied Ilaaf’s heart in a single moment.

Ilaaf moved his hand ahead but then reaching near the screen his hand was stopped involuntarily. He wanted to touch her eyes but couldn’t touch.

It was an unethical act and already he had done an unethical act by taking Qandeel’s pictures from Rohail without bringing into her knowledge, now doing another act like this was equal to go down from the status of humanity.

“I will touch your eyes with your consent.” Muttering to himself he went out of the room.

He wanted to take the answer of his question from Rohail in any case today.

While driving he was just thinking whether Rohail would have talked to her or not? And if had talked then don’t know how Qandeel would have reacted?

On the signal after stopping the car, he started to look out from the side window and during this he had looked a beggar sitting on foot path. Don’t know why but looking that beggar, Ilaaf reminded the beggar outside the night club and just then he remembered all those words which he had said that day.

“Complete beauty, careless and unconcerned beauty.” Unwillingly a smile was appeared on his lips.

Qandeel Yousuf was a complete beauty. She was an outstanding illustration of complete beauty, at least for Ilaaf Laashari; illustration of careless and unconcerned beauty who herself was unaware from her beauty. The beauty which had left Ilaaf of no senses, Qandeel Yousuf hadn’t any pride on that beauty nor had she cared. And this unconcernness and carelessness of her had intensified the lunacy of Ilaaf. In the quest of this beauty, the heart of Ilaaf was become the heart of a lover.

Signal was green. Ilaaf drove the car ahead.

Rohail was at home, perhaps just had come back from somewhere; was surprised to see Ilaaf but couldn’t say anything. Both of them came in Rohail’s room.

They talked about few things. Ilaaf felt as Rohail is trying to diverge his attention from the real issue willingly therefore after few moments he asked from Rohail straight forwardly.

“Did you talk to Qandeel or not?” Rohail had just looked his face.

“I am asking about something, Rohail.” Rohail bent his head down and started putting off his shoes.

“Yeah, I talked to her yesterday.” The answer was short and given in a lower tone.

“What did Qandeel answer?” Ilaaf felt restlessness in his tone.

Rohail looked him by raising his head then started telling him about the whole conversation.

Ilaaf was hearing like a statue. He knew that the reaction would be severe but will be intense like this he hadn’t any idea.

Finishing the whole story, Rohail had looked him.

Ilaaf was like, if being cut then no drop of blood will be found anywhere in his body.

“It’s impossible. Qandeel can’t say this.” Ilaaf felt like his voice was coming from a long distance.

“Everything is said by Qandeel, word to word.” Rohail had breathed deeply.

“She has wrongly perceived my restlessness, agitation and my lunacy. She is respectable for me. My Love is not lust, Rohail.” He had said these words with so much difficulty.

“So you have finally admitted that you are in love with her, otherwise you weren’t agreed to admit it earlier.” Ilaaf didn’t answer just looked his face.

“I know, Ilaaf, that this is Love not lust because I know you for many years, but Qandeel just knows you for three weeks. Whatever is her opinion about you, it’s not the fault of her perception, it is your fault. You lose your senses in front of her, neither your heart remains in your control nor eyes or feet. And just due to these odd actions, your image has been gone down in her eyes and now, if you don’t want let yourself further down then you should leave her way, Ilaaf.” Ilaaf felt as somebody had scrolled down a burning coal in his throat.

“What did you say, Rohail?” Ilaaf rose, “I should leave her way; I should leave the way of Qandeel Yousuf, I should leave the way of my life.” Rohail just kept looking him surprisingly. “She has become my life and nobody leaves the way of his life like this. Eight days….do you know how many hours, how many minutes, how many seconds are there in eight days? No, you don’t know. I know because I have passed my last eight days like eight centuries. Her face doesn’t go away from my sight; her laughter, her voice doesn’t leave my ear. Every moment she lives in my heart and mind, her thoughts don’t let me to be calm for a single moment. I will go mad, Rohail; if I wouldn’t meet her then probably I will go mad.” Ilaaf had taken his head into his hands sitting on the bed.

Rohail kept his hand on Ilaaf’s shoulder. Ilaaf raised his head and looked him. “I want to marry her.” Rohail couldn’t answer him.

“But I can’t marry her today, now and this moment. There are many things to be settled for marrying someone and they need some time and till then, don’t I have the right even to look her, to talk to her just for a moment? And till then, will I have to burn myself in the fire of the Love like this?” Rohail was quiet, his forehead was creased. “I am asking you something, Rohail. Why don’t you answer me?” Ilaaf had shaken his arm by standing.

“This is another big problem, Ilaaf. You want to marry her but not necessary that whatever you are thinking, things would be the same.”

“What do you mean?” Ilaaf couldn’t understand anything.

“Qandeel has been engaged.” Ilaaf felt like the sky would have fallen over his head. Somebody had snatched the courage from his feet to stand.

With a jerk, he had sat on the carpet on his knees. Rohail held him. Keeping both palms on the carpet, he had somehow controlled himself; the floral designs of the carpet were felt to be revolving in front of his eyes.

“Ilaaf, control yourself. You will actually lose your senses in this way.” Rohail with his support let Ilaaf to be seated on couch. Then he immediately went to side table and brought the water in the glass. “Drink some water.” He put the glass to his lips. Ilaaf somehow had taken few sips then moved glass away from his lips and started breathing deeply like he would have come running from a long distance.

Rohail came back after keeping glass at the side table till then Ilaaf had controlled him enough.

“Qandeel has been engaged.” He muttered to himself then he looked Rohail.

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier, Rohail? Why did you hide this thing? Why did you do this cruelty to me?” His tone was so painful which had taken the power to speak from Rohail for a moment.

“Ilaaf, listen to me with peace. She has been engaged for five years. Even if I would have told you this earlier then what could have been changed? Could this intensity in your Love for her be diminished by telling this to you? Could you be able to stop your heart loving her? Could this lunacy and madness be decreased? No, Ilaaf. It could have happened. Whenever Love discovers a new prey for it, then it just takes him into its enclosure; no reason, no excuse, no elucidation can be proved as a wall to stop Love. Even if I would have told you then you would have fallen into her love in any case.” Ilaaf couldn’t declare him wrong.

“But what will happen now? What will happen, Rohail? Somebdoy else wouldn’t get her; I can’t see let somebody else get her. I will die or will go mad.”

“Wait, Ilaaf. You will have to wait a bit. In coming few days, I will go at her home to meet Yousuf Uncle in the absence of Qandeel and will talk to him. He has a very different nature; is a cold minded man. If felt better then I will try to take his opinion by bringing everything into his knowledge. Qandeel is engaged with her cousin, he is the nephew of Yousuf Uncle. It looks odd and difficult but I will talk to him once, he won’t be angry like Qandeel, at least will hear everything in this case I hope so.”

“And till then neither can I meet Qandeel nor can see her?” Rohail shook his head.

Ilaaf stood.

“It’s not like this, I can’t wait too much. I will talk to Qandeel myself; will try to explain it to her.” He had said in a bewildered manner.

“You will ruin the situation more, Ilaaf. To wait is better than to be impatient; having the patience sometimes effect to solve even the most complicated matters.”

“If I would be among the patient ones, would never be then Ilaaf Laashari.” He came towards the door in a fast pace.

“You are gone out of your mind, Ilaaf. God may give you some brain.” He heard at his back Rohail muttering himself.

That night was the most miserable night of his life. Talking about sleep is quite away, he even forgot to blink his eyes. He was feeling everything around stony like his eyes.

If the name of Qandeel Yousuf was written with someone else five years back then…was it necessary for her to come in the life of Ilaaf like this and then to go back after damaging everything? And Ilaaf….was it necessary for him to go in the get together that day, and after looking Qandeel, to destroy his peaceful world inside him with his own hands?

“How quietly, you have shattered my inside world, Qandeel? This method to commit a crime would never be used by anybody; even not a professional thief would have done a house-breaking like this.”

He muttered; was lying on the bed face downward and at some distance the pictures of Qandeel were scattered randomly. He was looking those pictures but his thirst couldn’t be overcomed by looking them. He wanted to look a living Qandeel; wanted to talk to her, to say everything to her which he couldn’t say ever but how…….he wasn’t able to decide it.

Just before the dawn, had a little slumber and when he waked up in the late morning, his eyes were burning and just a single craze had occupied him inside out.

“I have to see Qandeel and nobody can take back this right to me.” Taking shower he had his breakfast and then left the home in car; didn’t know where she could be found just madness that in any case he will see Qandeel today, whether from a distance but just could see her face, even it was enough for Ilaaf.

Having a look on his wrist watch, came to University just by guess; wasn’t sure that she would be found there but it was a hope and that moment this hope was the only anticipation for his breathing.

Parking his car in the shade of the trees at some distance from the department, he had set his eyes on the way of people leaving and arriving. Then didn’t know for how much time, fixing his sight on the department gate like a tramp, he kept sitting in the car.

But that day perhaps, Nature was merciful for his lunacy. About two o’clock in the afternoon he had seen a shadow coming out of the gate and she was Qandeel. He had just met the girl thrice even then could be able to identify her among the millions. He just could see a single glimpse of her face because immediately coming outside the gate, she had covered her head and face with her white stole to save her from the heat of scorching sunlight. In white dress, with the sunlight all around, she was felt like a part of this sunlight to him; there was light inside Ilaaf after looking her.

She was all time careless; unconcerned from anything around her started walking at one side of the road.

Ilaaf started following her having enough distance to her. He was afraid if Qandeel just looked his car once then he will be identified. From there to the gate, Ilaaf followed her being so much careful but the carelessness of Qandeel was at its peak. She kept walking just concerned about herself due to which Ilaaf was able to follow her easily.

He had the idea about heat of the sunlight; despite of cooling of the air condition in the car, he could be able to have idea due to the intensity of the light.

“She is walking in scorching sunlight. Her hands, her feet, her face, her eyes, everything will be burning due to the hot environment. Her throat will be dried due to the thirst; sweat flowing from her head and temples will be bothering her.” Strange thoughts were making Ilaaf worried, but he was helpless, couldn’t do anything for her. He didn’t want to close this only door of some peace for him by bringing himself out in front of her at this moment.

If he would be capable then would have brought the shade in Qandeel’s way by hiding the Sun behind the clouds but he was a human, hadn’t any rule over the Sun.

Then Qandeel hired a rickshaw from the University gate. Ilaaf still was following her. Then he looked Qandeel getting down from the rickshaw at the press club road, in front of a newspaper building. He had breathed deeply. He remembered Rohail had talked about it; she was doing an internship. Coming in the shade, Qandeel had put off her stole from her head and set it on the shoulder with so much carelessness. Ilaaf felt like his restless heart had some peace by having a look on her. In white dress with red face, she was felt like a fairy that moment to Ilaaf. Then Ilaaf looked her going inside the building.

Ilaaf read the name of the newspaper written on the building. He remembered he knew the chief editor of this newspaper. Asghar siddiqui was a good friend of Qaiser Laashari.

He kept standing there for a while then came back home.

Next two days, he had kept following Qandeel in the same way. A strange peace it was which he had got even by looking her from a distance, but how long it could be going on like this?

There was something which still was bothering Ilaaf. She was the fiancée of someone else, and at any moment this peace that has come in Ilaaf’s life could be transformed into restlessness again. He had to do something before that moment; had to talk to Qandeel.

Third day he had decided that in any case he will talk to her today.

And just when he was going to leave the home, Adnan had arrived without informing him.

“I am going somewhere important. Come in the evening.” Adnan was surprised.

“I have come from Lahore after so many days and you are asking me to come in the evening.” He had some anger in his tone.

“I just meant that you shouldn’t wait otherwise you will have to.” Ilaaf replied smiling.

“Where are you going? I am coming with you.”

“What will you do there? There is nothing for you to do.” Ilaaf didn’t want to take Adnan with him at any condition.

“I go everywhere with you. Then what is this place where I can’t go with you?” For a while Ilaaf kept thinking that either to tell him or not then finally he was supposed to tell because Adnan wasn’t leaving his way.

“I have to meet a girl.” Adnan had seen him like he had got horns over his head.

“Girl….and you. So it happened with you as well, Ilaaf. Now I will go with you in any case. Let’s have a look on pretty woman who had made Ilaaf a man and taught him to live like a man.” He replied laughing.

“Adnan, I want you to talk about her with respect. She is different from all those girls whom you call pretty women.”

“Ilaaf, you are really gone. Ok I talk about her with respect but definitely will go with you to see the girl whom you have given place in your heart.”

“But I can’t take you with me now, Adnan. Right now the matters between us are not well and I am going to have a solution for them. Your idea to go with me is not better right now.”

“What happened with the matters?”

“She doesn’t like me; doesn’t want to meet me. I want to change her opinion about me by convincing her, after that, things could be better.” Adnan had gazed him again with a surprising look.

“She dislikes you; doesn’t want to meet you. Is her eyesight fine or…..” Ilaaf interrupted him.

“I will tell you everything but right now I am getting late. I have to go.”

“I have said Ilaaf that I am coming with you and now definitely I will, whether you say anything, you will have to take me with you.” Ilaaf kept thinking for a while squeezing his lips. His mind wasn’t working at all; to get rid of Adnan was always impossible in a situation like this.

“You can go at one condition. You will not interfere in anything there and will keep yourself away from me and Qandeel.” Adnan smiled.

“I accept. I accept your every condition.” Didn’t know why but Ilaaf wasn’t feeling good by taking Adnan with him. Adnan was moody, sometimes had reacted in very strange ways.

“Let’s go.” Replying shortly Ilaaf moved towards the car.

“By the way, it’s a sweet name….Qandeel.” Adnan commented.

Ilaaf had taken the driving seat quietly.

While starting the car he had a look at the watch. He was already late.

Having a deep sigh, he had decided to go at the newspaper office.