Monday, May 30, 2011

Chapter no. 8: Love.......A Reality (III)

In Love, even hope and wait have some peace in them; it has a pain and pierce but a hope that can not be died, a belief that can not be ended and gives courage to wait for the love. Ilaaf had never found any emotion so strong. He, who had thought that, can not live without looking Qandeel, now after meeting Yousuf Mairaj was feeling so much hope and courage inside him that even without looking Qandeel had loved to this love. Now, he was not trying to forget her nor was dying like a fish out of the water. The painful feeling of her hatred, the misery of the distance, the jealousy of her being engaged with someone else, everything was same just a belief was added. Didn’t know why but he had now an unknown confidence on the lunacy of his love, a trust on the purity of his emotion and that’s why this faith was deepened inside him that one day he will be successful to melt Qandeel with the intensity of his love; would be successful to make Qandeel to feel that he loves her truly, unconditionally and with purity.

What he should do in the future, could not decide and make a line of action for that even after thinking for many days. And when he couldn’t decide anything for thinking so many days then being tired he ceased this continuation of thoughts for few days. Now there was silence, were sadness and her love which was penetrated in his breath like a fragrance and with each heartbeat, was making his soul addicted for this love.

Ilaaf used to surprise whenever had thought that what an unaware life he had kept living before this, how easily he spent his twenty four years without this desire, in what an ignorance and unawareness and now…..he had felt like desire for Qandeel was always inside him just he was not aware of that, and that’s why for the first time in life he had an idea that what blessings the ignorance and unawareness are, and how fortunate the people are who spend their entire lives peacefully with this unawareness.

Daily after waking up in the morning, he had to think that what he has to do in order to spend his day, everyday he used to arrange his activities from the beginning, purpose was to pass the day, to pass these endless moments of wait which were written in his fate.

Whatever had happened that day in her home, he had already informed Rohail with that and Rohail like Yousuf Mairaj had adviced him to be careful. Rohail had told him that what efforts he had made to give the clarification to Qandeel from his side and satisfy her and therefore asked Ilaaf not to go in front of her right now in any case.

What a cruelty, what an injustice of fate it was? Everybody could see Qandeel Yousuf, people around her who were her relatives, strangers walking on the roads, Moon, Sun, Wind, Stars, Trees, Flowers everyone could see her, if this right was taken away from someone then it was Ilaaf Laashari.

He had never felt himself so much powerless; he had an idea that the thing which world perceives as power is a mere powerlessness which comes due to the presence of few materials, the truth is that as soon as a storm comes then these materials due to the inability to be proven as a wall in front of that storm, lose importance and man who keeps showing power on the basis of those things, is being swept away in the storm like a weightless grain of sand.

So, he was passing his days, like an ungiven punishment; what else he could do except this?

And then that day, didn’t know why he was very passionate to draw a sketch of Qandeel. Sitting in the lawn, keeping few pictures of Qandeel in front of him, he started to draw her sketches on papers.

Bending himself forward, his half of the body was over the table and keeping papers under his arms, he was making strokes with pencil using his right hand. This was his fourth sketch.

Completing the sketch he stopped his hand then straightened himself and started looking the sketch.

Then keeping with other sketches which were dispersed on the table, started comparing all of them. This sketch was better than all previous ones but even then was not how he wanted to make it. He picked the note book that was kept on the corner of the table, took out the picture of Qandeel and kept with the sketches.

“No matter how much work hard I do, can not draw your single feature on paper what God has made you in real.” He kept looking her without blinking his eyes and exactly that moment he surprised to hear the noise of car horn outside the main gate.

In the wide porch, first Rohail’s and then Adnan’s car came inside and parked exactly behind his white fairy.

Ilaaf kept the picture back inside the note book and hid the sketches in between blank papers.

Both of them came straight towards the lawn looking him sitting there.

He smiled; didn’t know why he was pleased to see them together coming to meet him.

“Oho, I am surprised to see east and west together.” He said in a flourishing tone when they reached near him.

“I didn’t know that Adnan would also come at your place otherwise I would have visited some other time.” Shaking hands with Ilaaf, Rohail had said in such a way being very straight forward that both Ilaaf and Adnan laughed.

“Adnan visits me daily at the same time, you just have visited today.” Ilaaf explained.

“Why do you have creases on your forehead all the time like women, Rohail? Be a man and while you have come, just leave each and every old complain.” This time Rohail had laughed on the typical criticism of Adnan.

Moving ahead Adnan gave a buck up on his shoulder and how heavy that buck up was, Ilaaf had an idea by looking expressions of Rohail’s face.

Then like Adnan remembered something.

“Where is Fazal? My car is getting hot, have to pour some water.” Adnan moved inside calling Fazal.

Rohail got a chair and sat there with Ilaaf.

“What’s up these days?” Ilaaf’s smile was fainted.

“Have started some routine activities again and nothing important.”

“For example” Rohail looked him with a questioning sight.

“Martial art practice, Yoga, swimming, sketching etc.” His tone was very ordinary.

Fazal went towards the porch along with Adnan having a bottle of water in his hand.

“Did you get any success preventing yourself thinking about Qandeel?” Rohail asked after a while.

“It is not possible in this life, however, am not sure about the life after death.” Ilaaf said in strange tone revolving the pencil between his fingers.

Rohail had squeezed his lips for a moment.

“But it’s a good sign that your lunacy has been lessen. You have controlled yourself.” Ilaaf smiled on his wrong perception.

“My lunacy hasn’t been lessen, Rohail. Her thought is my lunacy and that’s what with me every moment, like the flowing blood in my veins. Among people or being alone, in smile, in seriousness, whether I talk to someone or look someone, her thought, her reflection, her eyes are always with me. Don’t consider my quietness and the apparent peace as the sign of decrease in my lunacy. I myself don’t know what strange condition is this? It might be the silence that spreads before the arrival of the storm, and if the storm arrived then would sweep away much more along with this quietness.”

Rohail hadn’t answered just looked him.

There was not any further conversation between them.

Adnan was standing opening the bonnet of the car and Fazal was pouring the water in the radiator.

At the same moment, an old villager came inside the gate. Looking the man, Fazal kept the water bottle down, ran and hugged him.

Both Rohail and Ilaaf had seen.

“Who is he?” Rohail had asked.

Ilaaf was collecting the things from the table, didn’t want that anybody either Rohail or Adnan could see the sketches of Qandeel.

“Hussain Bakhsh, Fazal’s father. Have come to Karachi these days, would have come to see Fazal.” Ilaaf answered carelessly.

And just then Fazal had said something to his father indicating towards Ilaaf with his finger, then he turned and started pouring water in Adnan’s car.

Both of them got to go inside. Ilaaf had collected all his belongings and was about to move inside when stopped by looking Hussain Bakhsh coming towards him.

The slim and weak oldman, whose all hairs of beard and head were white, had reached there being very active.

“Salam Chotey Saaiyen.” Controlling his irregular breath he said as soon as he reached near.

Ilaaf while arranging the papers in his hand had a slight look on him and then answered his Salam.

“Saaiyen, I have especially come here to meet you.” Ilaaf looked him surprisingly.

“Why?” In an expressionless tone, without any hesitation he had asked.

“Saaiyen, you like to eat Gurr naa, I have brought the especial gift of Gurr from the village.” Ilaaf had seen him like he has said something impossible.

His old eyes were shining while looking Ilaaf.

“Who told you that I like to eat Gurr, I don’t like Gurr at all.” He answered in a disgusting tone, and it was true that neither he had tasted Gurr ever nor felt the need to taste. He was never fond of sweets very much.

The smile on the face of Hussain Bakhsh was disappeared just for a moment.

“You would never have tasted this Gurr, Saaiyen. If you would taste once, you will ask again and again.” Ilaaf hadn’t answered. He was surprised on the interest that the old villager was showing in his eating Gurr. “Just try it once, Saaiyen.” His eyes didn’t move from the face of Ilaaf for a single moment.

Ilaaf was amazed and felt pity for him as well; what a hope was there in his tone?

Fazal had reached there as well.

“Give this Gurr to Fazal, if I would have to then I will ask Fazal for.” He didn’t want to break his heart otherwise the truth was that he had no intention to taste that Gurr.

Without waiting for his answer, he moved inside along with Rohail and Adnan.

And just moving few steps he had heard the conversation between Fazal and Hussain Bakhsh.

“Abba, I had told you that Saaiyen never ate Gurr, but you were insisting. Now, give it to me.” Ilaaf looked turning back; Fazal had taken the small cloth bag from his father’s hand.

A pain was appeared on the oldman’s face.

“Acha, puttar, you take it. Saaiyen doesn’t eat now, the Gurr given by Hussain Bakhsh, but will eat one day, will eat by asking himself.” He muttered in a mysterious tone.

Ilaaf felt that moment like Hussain Bakhsh was a lunatic.

He came inside with long steps. Hussain Bakhsh was the old servant of Daada Saaiyen, working in Datepalms gardens. Ilaaf had met him once before this but that meeting was very formal and occurred in the presence of Daada Saaiyen. That time, he just had kept providing the information about the types of Datepalms grow in his gardens, but today this strange behavior of his was out of Ilaaf’s approach.

After Rohail and Adnan had left, when he asked about Hussain Bakhsh from Fazal in a formal way then he came to know that he had moved for the village immediately.

Ilaaf was all time careless, had forgotten Hussain Bakhsh in a while.

If there was something in his life which was unforgettable then it was the name of Qandeel Yousuf, her face, her eyes, and the life of Ilaaf which was now associated with her.

The very next week, he had suddenly decided to visit the village. Many months had been passed and Daadi was too much insisting.

In the afternoon, when he reached Sukkur, Baba and Daada Saaiyen were preparing to leave for Nawab Shah. He was rather not used to stay in the city so meeting both of them, he moved towards the village. Even in the village, nobody was surprised on his uninformed visit because he used to visit like this without informing anyone. Sending his luggage inside the mansion, he directly came towards the stable. Looking his horse after so long, he was very happy and the horse had even showed his love for his master by rubbing his head to Ilaaf’s chest. On coming back to Pakistan, Daada Saaiyen had given him this horse as a gift and immediately Ilaaf named it as Prince. Last time he just had ridden this horse for a week but that one week was proved to be enough for the familiarity and affection of that horse to Ilaaf.

He had taken out the horse and got onto him. Despite of his refusal, Shahnawaz had sent his two three horse riders along with him, but they could not compete Ilaaf in horse riding and speed therefore in a while Ilaaf went away moving his horse very fast. The men sent by Shahnawaz were left somewhere behind. He didn’t care, in any case he had liked the loneliness these days.

He used to have horse riding in the mountainous area after the vast fields since his childhood. He had a habit of horse riding at the narrow road between the two mountain series and in the forest across the road. Then when he was in Oxford and used to visit Pakistan in vacations then often had hunted birds in the forest, this was his habit due to the fact that he had spent his much time of childhood in the company of Daada Saaiyen. And there were many habits like this, which were seemed to be bad in childhood but later on Baba and Daada Saaiyen made him habitual of all these. He always had spent very little time with Maa and Daadi. One of the reasons was that he used to live abroad most of the time, but the truth was that whenever he would have come here even then Baba and Daada Saaiyen used to keep him engaged in different kind of activities. Ilaaf could never know either they always did it intentionally or, in real Ilaaf’s love had always forced them to take time from their busy schedule for him. But the result was that he neither could spend much time with Maa and Daadi nor could learn anything to them, but even then it was true that he loved very much both of these women.

The forest was ending and now his horse was running besides the second mountain. That narrow road was having a turn at the right side somewhat ahead. At this side of the mountain there were small rocks of different sizes and exactly near the road was a thick layer of grass. He slowed down the horse then stopping him aside got down. He left the horse, knew that he will come back after having some rest out there.

Walking on the grass, he came near the rocks and then sat over a slightly big rock. He could clearly hear the noise of the river that was flowing down the mountain. Across the river exactly at the middle of the mountain, the stream that was falling in the river in the form of a waterfall, he always had liked it. He kept looking the tiny waterfall, falling from the height and amalgamating in the water of the river.

Dr. Brendon had said in the class once, “The existence of everything in this world possesses some reason, not only by physical means but by spiritual means as well. That reason somehow remains hidden from the human eye, but that doesn’t mean that the reason has no existence at all. Everything in this Universe possesses the reason of its existence.” Teaching a course of Programme Mangament suddenly in the answer of a question he had said this and except Ilaaf all students of the class had showed some opinion about this idea of his. Ilaaf couldn’t understand this idea that moment then how the question of discussion or opinion could arise. And now after a long time, he had understood this theory.

Perhaps there was some reason of that lake falling in the river with which he was unaware. There was some relationship between that lake and the river which kept this bonding continue for many years.

The noise of water stream falling in the river and river flowing between the stones were combining together and like an instrument were dispersing tunes in the air.

Ilaaf felt like she is sitting besides him.

“Qandeel.” He turned his head. She was not there.

Either it was his imagination or illusion but every moment the feeling of Qandeel’s presence in his life was pulling him inside the marsh of the love.

Perhaps there was some reason behind this lunacy, this love and this situation, which was unknown and unfamiliar for him right now. But if there was some reason behind it even then Ilaaf was not interested in that. The woman whom he had loved most, the same woman had hated him most. Behind this entire situation the presence of a reason by fate or not, could not be pleasing for Ilaaf.

“Mohabbat dhun koi ban kar hawa men jhoom jati hai,

Dilon men ghoom jati hai,

Falak ko choom jati hai ”

He felt as she is still sitting besides him, keeping her head on his shoulder. This time he didn’t try to turn his head and look. He wanted to live with this feeling for a while, wanted to say to her in this illusion whatever he wanted to and could not say yet.

“Talab key sahilon per khwab key aanchal sajati hai,

Wafa ki roshni sey raat ko bhi din banati hai,

Ajal ko zindagi dey ker macha ye dhoom jati hai,

Dilon men ghoom jati hai,

Falak ko choom jati hai ”

Ilaaf stood and started walking over the rocks. She was walking besides him; was smiling on his words and on the tunes of the river.

“Kabhi lafzon men zinda hai, kabhi naghmon men rehti hai,

Kabhi khamoshion ko bhi saba ka geet kehti hai,

Kabhi saazon men basti hai, barha ye boom jati hai,

Dilon men ghoom jati hai,

Falak ko choom jati hai ”

The peace that he was feeling now, could not feel in last many days. Once again sitting on the rock, he fixed his palms over the rock and closing his eyes kept penetrating the fresh air inside. Hope, contentment, peace, everything was pleasing.

“Saaiyen, you are here. We were worried for you.” He opened his eyes and turned his head.

Shahnawaz was standing with his men at some distance.

Ilaaf got up. It was late in the evening; he wanted to go home now.

“They searched you, and then being disappointed informed me. We were searching you for quite sometime.”

Walking on the rocks, Ilaaf got down.

“I can not search myself yet, how would you search me?” Shahnawaz had a faint smile on his face. That very simple and innocent villager used to be confused on Ilaaf’s words like this.

Ilaaf’s horse was there across the road near the trees. Reaching back to the mansion, it was dark everywhere.

The mansion was deserted. He came towards inside. Passing the courtyard, came in veranda and then crossing the long corridor when he came to the inside portion then unusual silence had surprised him.

All maids were busy in their usual routine works but he could not see Maa or Daadi anywhere. This had never happened before that he had come and either Maa or Daadi would not be present there to welcome him.

Finally Sakina came, welcomed him asked about the dinner. She was the old servant of the mansion.

“Bari Bibi and Choti Bibi have been to Ziarat, will be back till morning.” She answered in Sindhi when Ilaaf asked about Maa and Daadi.

Ilaaf remembered; it was Thursday. Maa and Daadi used to go on Ziarat.

After so many days, he had his dinner with a will to eat. When came in his room then, a strange feeling of familiarity spread around him. Changing the dress when got onto bed then felt his head heavy; was tired due to traveling then he had kept horse riding as well. The windows at the left opened towards the fields. He opened one of the windows. The village had never experienced intense winters but the nights always were cold and freezing. His comforter was hot and he had taken coffee as well, that’s why didn’t feel much cold. Changing his sides for a while, he fell asleep.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chapter no. 8: Love.......A Reality (II)

He had gone. The courtyard had the silence like a graveyard. Yousuf Mairaj like he was so tired went and sat on a chair in courtyard. Maryam very silently was looking both of them one by one. And Qandeel…..she was standing where she was, couldn’t move an inch from her place.

She hadn’t expected that Ilaaf Laashari will simply leave without saying anything, without threatening or defending himself. Perhaps, in order to prove himself righteous and his lies the truth in front of Baba, it was another drama, otherwise how could it possible that the proud and arrogant son of Qaiser Laashari who didn’t even talk to Wali Daad, just threatened him, had tolerated so many words of an ordinary girl like Qandeel Yousuf very silently and didn’t get angry even a little. She couldn’t believe or perhaps she hadn’t known what is right and what is wrong, what need she had to know when she had no concern with Ilaaf Laashari.

Qandeel moved ahead and shut the door then turned back and sat in front of Baba silently; took her bag from the shoulder and put it on the table.

Then she looked towards Baba. He was sitting quietly with his head down. Embarrassment, guilt, sadness didn’t know what else Qandeel had seen on his face at that moment.

“Baba” Very difficultly she had said this word.

He raised his head and gazed Qandeel.

“At least I could never expect it from you, Qandeel. I always felt like I have taught you much, but today I feel as I could never be able to teach you anything.” Somebody had given a slap on Qandeel’s face, perhaps she would haven’t felt the pain with a slap what pain she felt that moment because of these words of Baba.

“Even if the enemy visits the home then man gives him respect, shows hospitality, listens what he wants to say and you… you know how you have insulted him, in what a disrespective way you have treated him? You have kicked him out from your house, Qandeel. I still can not believe that even my daughter can fall down from a level of morality. My daughter who never sent back a beggar empty handed from her door, who never gave a single word in reply to her arrogant Phuppo, who always taken everyone’s pain like her own pain, who never hated anyone in her life, and today the same daughter of mine has sent back a gentleman empty handed, she cursed a man who was standing quiet, she even didn’t feel the need to hear or understand him, and showed so much hatred for the man that I feel hatred for myself.”

She was hearing him like a statue. Were they words or cutters which were cutting her body and she even wasn’t able to cry. With empty eyes she kept looking Yousuf Mairaj.

“He is either gentle or not I don’t know, true or false I don’t know it too. I just know one thing that he had visited my home and if he would be my enemy even then to give him respect was my job. He didn’t misbehave with me; I didn’t find any lies, falsehood, pride or arrogance in him. He told me everything and that he had right to do so, asked forgiveness for his wrong act of that day which is the proof of his magnitude, but the truth is that even if he would haven’t said all this even then being my guest, it was important for me to take care of his dignity and honor and I expected the same from my daughter as well but you spilled the water over my each and every expectation, Qandeel. You knocked me down in my own eyes.” The eyes of Qandeel were misted; the reflection of Baba was blurred. She felt her cheeks, her eye lashes were wetting.

“Just leave, go into your room. Right now neither I want to say anything to you nor want to hear. Neither you are in your senses nor I am emotionless at the moment, that’s why it’s better that we talk on this topic some other time.”

Qandeel rose like a machine. Then she turned and moved inside with lifeless steps. Maryam came behind her.

“Qandeel.” She stopped when Maryam called but didn’t turn back.

“Just leave, Maryam. I can’t talk to you right now.” She said hardly while having a sob.

Maryam had stopped there. Qandeel came inside her room, shut the door and with a jerk sat on the floor over her knees. Her feet hadn’t enough courage so that she could reach the bed. The next moment lying down on the floor and face downwords she was sobbing like a child, and then she was crying with convulsive sobbing like she had lost everything.

And this was true, whatever she had got in twenty two years, she lost everything in a single moment just because of her anger. The trust of her father, the confidence, the pride, the credit, she had lost everything. Her father, who always declared Qandeel the light of his eyes, today he asked her to leave, to go away. The man in whose presence she never felt the need to wipe her tears herself, today despite of his presence the tears of Qandeel were wiped by the floor on which she was lying by resting her cheeks over it.

Everloving Baba was so much angry to her that even didn’t want to look her face and she… she had forgotten the lesson of ethics and morality that Yousuf Mairaj used to give her since childhood and which she never forgot even in the most difficult phases of her life. How she had forgotten that Ilaaf Laashari, whether he was so wicked, was standing in her home like a guest that moment. She had every right not to believe him, to declare his love false, but she hadn’t any right in real, to disrespect him in such a way and kick him out of the house.

Didn’t know how long she kept lying on the floor and kept crying. Yousuf Mairaj had never been angry to Qandeel before this, the truth was that Qandeel had never imagined that someday she would have to face Baba’s anger like this, it was the reason so that a strange burden was put over her heart, and how much she was crying, and how much she was thinking the load was increasing. And then her eyes started burning, head started aching due to crying too much. Somehow she got the courage to stand and went to bed; was tired, the eyelids were swollen and due to burning, to keep the eyes open seeming difficult. Didn’t know what happened, she didn’t want to sleep, wanted to gather some courage, in order to ask forgiveness to Baba but she hadn’t the courage even to face him, how could she ask forgiveness she couldn’t understand. And then how her eyes were shut she couldn’t know.

That was a narrow street in which there was darkness everywhere and Qandeel was walking continuously in the darkness. It was felt that on this way where she kept walking only by the idea, would fell down by striking any moment and no hand would come to hold her. Then she stopped, it was a strange fear which didn’t let her to move ahead. By stopping she looked all around as she is waiting for a lamp. And then, her wait wasn’t disappointed, she had seen shining a light and kindling far a distance. And then slowly and gradually the light came near. She looked, that was an earthen lamp whose kindling was so intense and the earthen lamp……the woman who was holding that lamp was Qandeel’s own mother.

She gazed the lightning face of Saima Yousuf in the light of the earthen lamp.

“Ammi.” She yelled involuntarily.

Saima Yousuf smiled. Qandeel went near to her. She wanted to see her, wanted to talk to her, wanted to feel the touch of motherhood by touching her, but then suddenly she stopped being shocked. She looked in the light of earthen lamp, just besides Ammi he was standing, and was holding the other hand of Saima Yousuf in his hand. The man whom she had extremely hated, Ilaaf Laashari, was standing near her mother, with so much credit like he would have a strong relationship to Saima Yousuf as compare to Qandeel.

She got angry, wished to displace the man from there, to send him far from her mother and to get all rights of her mother’s love herself. She anxiously desired for her mother’s love the entire life, and now she could not share her love with anyone else.

She gazed Ilaaf Laashari with a sight full of hatred then moving ahead tried to hold her mother’s hand so that she could bring her mother close to herself and away from Ilaaf Laashari, but she couldn’t do this.

As soon as she tried to hold her mother’s hand, everything was disappeared, that lamp, Ammi, Ilaaf Laashari, everyone went away and Qandeel was once again standing in the eternal darkness.

“Ammi.” She exclaimed. No answer at all; she yelled and started calling Ammi but there was no one to hear her in that darkness. She was alone in the darkness, extremely alone…….

She woke up in the morning very late, and she was surprised. She had kept sleeping in the same condition on the same place, and even didn’t feel hungry or thursty and the dream…..why even that strange and mysterious dream wasn’t successful to wake her up. And what she had seen in the dream? She had seen her mother, for the first time in life she had seen her mother in her dream, and that man jumped even in her dream.

Why didn’t he stop following her? Why was he behind her all the time? Why he had made her peaceful life a mess just in few days? What did he really want?

She kept thinking for a while, and then she thought about Baba. Opening the door of her room, when she came outside, Baba was reading a book sitting in the courtyard. Hearing the screaching of the door, he looked Qandeel for a moment then moving his head down started reading book once again, didn’t say anything. Qandeel felt to cry; had she done such a bad thing so that he even didn’t want to talk to her?

With her head down she came back in her room.

Next two days were passed in the same way. Yousuf Mairaj had talked to her very little, and whenever talked; shortly and seriously. This was very strange for Qandeel; Baba never did like this before. And she herself…..wanted to apologize to him, wanted to talk to him but didn’t know why she wasn’t feeling herself courageous to do so because of this cold attitude of Baba.

Third day it was the death anniversary of Ammi. Qandeel and Yousuf Mairaj both of them used to spend that day in different ways. Yousuf Mairaj used to remain in his room the whole day of the death anniversary of Saima, just used to come out of his room at night. What he used to do in his room the whole day, Qandeel could never know. Whenever she had asked, Yousuf Mairaj used to change the topic easily. While she used to keep the doors of her home opened that day and always waited so that any beggar could come and ask something, and she fulfill his need. She was always very open handed in this case, somebody spread his hand in front of her, and she refuse to fulfill his need it was very difficult for her to do. Baba used to say that even this habit of hers was just like her mother, and that’s why on death anniversary of Ammi she always waited that somebody could ask for everything that she has she could be able to see that what she had to give to someone, but nobody ever asked such a thing to her which could be difficult for her to give.

As usual, Yousuf Mairaj remained in his room from morning till evening and she kept fulfilling the needs of the beggars coming at her door. Then after the sunset, when she was sure that now nobody will come to ask anything then shutting the door she came inside. The night of Seventeen December was very cold. The dry and cool breezes were moving across her body; strange sadness was in the atmosphere.

For a while, sitting outside she kept looking the dark sky then came inside her room. And just then she picked up her chain from the dressing table. The silver chain and the locket with it which had Allah’s name written on it, she used to wear it since childhood, had kept at the dressing in the morning and now looking it she suddenly thought something.

The chain and the locket was her mother’s; of Saima Yousuf. The woman who gave birth to her, but Qandeel never could see her face in front of her eyes, never could touch her, never could get her love. She could never know that what a mother is? And what is the love of a mother? Why there is no parallel of a mother in this world? She didn’t know anything. For her, whoever it could be Baba was, whatever love she got, got from Baba and today……Baba was angry to her.

She was exhausted, felt suffocation inside the room. She wished by heart, to run outside and raising both hands in the air to scream loudly, to call God, to call her mother, to make a complain, to do something so that this strange emptiness could wash out.

In a mechanical way she opened the door and came outside. And keeping her steps in veranda, a cold breeze suddenly striked to her body with the full power, involuntarily she covered herself with the shawl all around and just then unintentionally her eyes went towards Baba’s room.

The door was opened; Yousuf Mairaj was not in his room. Qandeel looked all around, but couldn’t see him anywhere.

Out of the veranda she came in the courtyard and just then she knew where he was. She was able to hear his beautiful voice even from so much distance; sitting on the stairs he was reciting Quran.

Walking in a slow motion she came towards stairs. On the third step from down to up he was sitting by folding his legs and had kept Quran in his lap.

She went near but Yousuf Mairaj neither stopped for a moment nor looked towards her. Unconcerned from everything around him, he was reciting with full concentration and his enchanting voice was grasping Qandeel in some strange feelings.

Didn’t know what happened, she couldn’t stop herself. Covering her head with her shawl she went and sat a step below exactly near to the feet of Yousuf Mairaj and moving her head down looked at the page of Quran which he was reciting. Yousuf Mairaj gazed her for a moment, but continued his activity.

He was reciting the last rukoo of Surah-e-Yaseen. Qandeel kept listening silently.

Her heart was filling with waters, she wanted to cry.

Then he came on last ayaat.

Qandeel looked, from her downwords eyes a waterfall was falling over the Open Book.

Her tears were shedding and wetting the pages of Quran. Perhaps Yousuf Mairaj finished recitation, because she wasn’t hearing his voice now.

Then Qandeel felt the kind touch of his hand over her head.

Her sobbing got height, she kept crying.

“Qandeel, my dear daughter.” Qandeel felt like he was calling her name after years.

She didn’t raise her head, just kept crying.

Yousuf Mairaj had closed Quran; however he was still keeping the Book in his lap.

Without thinking anything, she kept her forehead and her head over Quran and kept sobbing. She thought that perhaps Baba would stop her to do this but she was surprised when she felt as he kept his head over her head. She could feel the touch of his head.

She could feel, whole body of Yousuf Mairaj was trembling. Following Qandeel, he also started crying. That silence, that sadness, that soundless moment, was very precious for both father and daughter. Both of them without saying anything were sharing their all pains with the Book of Truth.

Qandeel’s heart was getting light; burden was lessening. She was feeling herself careless and light like she always did.

Then she felt, Baba raised his head.

“Qandeel.” She heard his voice full of wet tears.

Qandeel raised her head and looked him.

That was a moment of Love, and that moment no anger, no complain, no curse could survive.

Yousuf Mairaj had an eternal love in his eyes, the love which was power of Qandeel.

“Baba, forgive me.” She just could say it then her tongue refused to help her.

He took Quran and folded It in his arm then slipped on the lower step besides her.

“Stupid girl, nobody becomes angry with daughters. I am not angry with you and you don’t need to apologize.” The shawl was slipped from her head and her hairs were unbound, but she hadn’t cared. She was still crying.

Yousuf Mairaj embraced her with his chest using his other arm.

Hiding her face into his chest, she was badly crying.

“Stop it, Qandeel. Why are you exhausting yourself by crying so much?” He was patting her head.

“You are lying, you were angry with me.”

“You know, I don’t tell lies.”

“If you were not angry, then why were not you talking to me?”

“Because I wanted you to get a chance to think with cool mind yourself and without the need of my advices, you could find a solution for the problem. For me, now you are enough capable so that you can judge your weaknesses yourself and correct them, and truly speaking I won’t live with you for the entire life. Someday I will have to go from your life, and that’s why it is better for you to make a habit to think each matter yourself and to take decisions.”

“Baba, you are not going anywhere. You have to live with me forever, I don’t know anything else.” She spoke in a stubborn manner like a child.

“I will be near you, Qandeel; would be with you or not what difference does it make? And I am not saying that I will die. I mean you will get married. And then you will have to leave me and go away.”

“Baba, why are you talking like this? You know, I don’t like these things for you to talk.”

“Ok, I don’t say it now. Sometimes, man despite of being aware from the truth, doesn’t like to hear the truth that’s why it is my duty to take care of your liking and disliking.” He laughed and unwillingly Qandeel had laughed too.

“Ok, leave everything. We haven’t a meal together for three days. Saima would feel bad if we won’t have a meal together even today.” Qandeel smiled, “Go, and set the dinner. I am just coming after having Duaa.” Qandeel rose.

She rolled up her hairs, set the shawl on her shoulders and just then Yousuf Mairaj held her hand.

Qandeel looked; he was keeping her right hand on his eyes. She smiled, Yousuf Mairaj used to show his love in such a way very rarely. Then he gazed Qandeel.

“Whatever you did with Ilaaf, you did wrong.”

“I admit.”

“This is a good thing that you have an idea about your mistake.”

“But it doesn’t mean that I believe his words.”

“For, this can be thought later.”

“What is the need to think, I am sure he lies.”

“He is not a liar, Qandeel.”

“How can you say, Baba?”

“Because my heart witnesses that he is true in his words.” Yousuf Mairaj left her hand.

This time Qandeel couldn’t answer him, just kept looking a mysterious impression in his eyes.

“We will talk on this topic, later on. Just go inside. I am having Duaa, then I will come and we will have dinner together.”

She kept standing for few moments then turned and came inside. Before stepping into veranda, she turned back and looked Yousuf Mairaj. Once again keeping Quran in his lap, he had rasied his hands for Duaa.

She didn’t know, what was he praying for? She could not know because she was Qandeel Yousuf, could not be aware from her fate so early.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chapter no. 8: Love.......A Reality (I)

If you do have the powers then use it to control your heart and your senses Ilaaf, not to frighten a girl in front of so many people like this.” He was sitting on the bench at the corner of the lawn.

The voice of Qandeel was striking his mind like a hammer. “If you do have the power then, show it by bridling your unbridled body.” For last eighteen days, these words were penetrating into his ears like the ice and making his brain senseless.

For last eighteen days he was utilizing his whole power to take her remembrance out of his mind and to forget her; and in this effort his heart and mind were now tired by fighting each other. Fighting one’s own self is probably the most difficult thing to do in this world and it had devastated him in just few days.

He didn’t know that either he had become a frenzied or not but when Adnan used to see him in a state like this everyday then had become worried himself, had cursed Qandeel and taunt Ilaaf that he had become a frenzied. And Ilaaf……he hadn’t cared about night or days; who is saying what, either he couldn’t hear or couldn’t understand. He didn’t know that where he is; either he is present in the world or not? It was a coldness which had grasped his whole body and didn’t let him to think or understand anything. What he cared, what Adnan is saying; he had nothing to do with anything in this world now; if could have something to be considered then it was one which was prohibited for him even to think about then what had left now in his hands for which he should have cared, and Adnan could not be able to do anything for him even if he wanted to.

He felt his left hand burning; he turned his neck and looked his hand. Cigarette that was held between the fingers was burning to ash and now was burning his hand also. He threw the cigarette and held his left hand with the right hand; was feeling so much pain, but that pain was less compare to the misery he was suffering with.

The weather was changing. It was the last week of November; the temperature used to decrease at night. Cold breezes were blowing; piercing the body, the dry and cold breezes, but he had no affect of any change in weather. The weather inside him was overcoming all other weathers inside out and what that weather was, he even didn’t know himself.

“Ilaaf, where are you?” He heard a voice from a distance, somebody was calling his name but he didn’t try to look at the direction of the voice. And then after a while he heard that voice somewhat near.

“Ilaaf, you are sitting here, and I am searching you in the entire house.” Aleeshah had said coming in front of him.

Ilaaf hadn’t answered, just looked her.

She kept looking his empty eyes for a while then came and sat besides him on the bench.

“What have you done with yourself? See, you are looking so weak.” She came near to him and started combing his hairs with her hands.

Ilaaf turned his head and had a quick sight on her.

“I just had been to Islamabad for two months and you left taking care yourself.” She was sitting very close to him. Ilaaf fixed his red eyes on her face.

“Why are you looking at me like this? I have visited you after so many days therefore you look angry as well but I will patch up with you like I always do.”

Ilaaf looked; her eyes were beautiful; and were looking more enchanting due to kajal, liner and mascara. Her smile, her hairs, her milky white complexion, rosy cheeks, soft and smooth lips everything was proving her beautiful…..even then she was not Qandeel Yousuf.

“Am I looking very pretty so you are staring me like this?” She was all time over optimist in case of Ilaaf.

Ilaaf could now see Qandeel’s eyes in place of her eyes; without kajal, eyes that were unaware of liner and mascara and were the most beautiful eyes in the world for Ilaaf.

Perhaps, Aleeshah felt it the right time to say what she wanted to say to Ilaaf by heart, because normally Ilaaf wasn’t used to look her like this.

She had kept her head on his shoulder smiling.

“Now I am back and soon the shine of your face will be back as well.” Ilaaf hadn’t liked the weight of her head on his shoulder.

“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?” Aleeshah was saying something perhaps was showing her love as usual but Ilaaf wasn’t able to hear anything she was saying. “If you are powerful then stop your feet coming towards me.” He felt his body was burning.

Aleeshah had now kept her hand on his chest, but the movement of her hand on his body was like the swarming of insects for Ilaaf.

“Tum hi ho deewangi, beykhudi ho meri

Tum hi ho dil ki lagi, bandagi ho meri”

He had stood with a sudden jerk.


Aleeshah was about to fall down.

“It is not possible.”

Aleeshah looked him surprisingly by standing.

“What happened, Ilaaf?” Aleeshah came ahead and asked by holding his arm being worried.

Ilaaf felt very bad about her touch.

“Nothing happened.” He let his arm free from her hold and said by stepping back, “Actually…..I m not feeling well.” He held his head intentionally, “Its very late night now, I have to take rest. Just leave right now, we will meet later.” Aleeshah had surprise in her eyes because Ilaaf had never treated her like that before.

Without waiting for her answer, he moved inside.

Aleeshah hadn’t followed him.

The moment he came inside, he had looked through the glass window of the lounge Aleeshah’s car was leaving the porch.

“Fazal Hussain, Fazal Hussain.” Ilaaf very few times had called his complete name like this.

Didn’t know from where, Fazal had come running on his call.

“Where is the key of my room?” Ilaaf asked like a madman.

Perhaps, Fazal had become worried looking this condition of his.

“Actually Saaiyen……I have the key.” He answered in a panic.

“Bring the key, immediately.” He barked.

Fazal went back.

Ilaaf sat on the couch in lounge.

For last eighteen days, he had been evicted himself from his room; leaving in the room her all pictures, her memories, his laptop and guitar, and locking the door he had made a vow not to open the room ever, but just after eighteen days that vow was broken; every decision was proved to be a wall of sand. He had forgotten that things are just like souvenirs, keeping them with could be able to guard the memory about someone, but leaving them away is never be helpful to erase the thought of someone from the mind. Remembrance belongs to heart and one can not detach the heart from the body by tearing the chest.

Fazal had brought the key and handed over to Ilaaf.

“Are you alright naa, Saaiyen?” Fazal had asked in a fretful tone.

“Yes, I am fine. Just go and do what was you doing, infact its late night, go and take rest.” Ilaaf was very merciful on Fazal that moment.

Fazal was about to leave.

“Listen” Ilaaf stopped him.

“Jee Saaiyen.”

“Do you have the number of Azhar Khalid?” Ilaaf asked.

“Azhar Khalid, the photographer….?” Fazal asked.

Ilaaf shook his head.

“Jee Saaiyen, I have his number.” He smiled.

“Call him in the morning, I have an urgent work.”

“Alright, Saaiyen.” Fazal went away.

Ilaaf came upstairs, unlocked the door and came inside. Turning on the lights, he turned on the A.C. The room was used to remain closed all day just in the morning Fazal used to look after the cleaning of room.

Ilaaf had stepped in his room after eighteen days.

Coming near the bed, he took out the pictures of Qandeel that were kept under the pillow.

“I am not powerful, Qandeel. If power is the name of keeping love away from the self then I am not the powerful, I am a feeble because I can not forget you neither can take you out from my heart.” She was smiling on his powerlessness.

“My lunacy has become madness. At least don’t take this right from me; you can give me the right just to love you.” Didn’t know how long he kept looking her then came in the washroom.

He looked himself in the mirror of the wash basin; that moment by looking his condition anybody without hesitation could declare him mad.

Who are the lovers? Except the madness, lunacy and an endless thurst what else they possess which someone could be able to see.

And what need he had to hide this madness from the world. He just had to satisfy his thurst and for that he was ready to do anything which could provide him a little peace.

Next five days, he remained busy with Azhar Khalid. Selecting few pictures of Qandeel he made their editing by Azhar in front of him, included the graphic designing and back effects of his own choice and then had ordered the expensive frames for those pictures and just after five days, the walls of his room were packed with the jumbo size pictures of Qandeel.

Fazal was surprised but remained silent, perhaps he had an idea that for every man a time comes in his life when he does all this for the satisfaction of his love, this is another thing that some people get chance to show their love in front of whole world like Ilaaf where as some have to limit their feelings to their hearts.

Ilaaf didn’t know why he is doing all this,he just wanted that walking, sitting, coming, going, how long he is present in the room, Qandeel’s face should be there just at a distance of a single sight.

And then that day, when Rohail had come to meet him, Ilaaf was making a tune on guitar and permitting a pain to come out in the form of some words. Rohail was visiting after a whole month due to exams and didn’t know that what has happened during this one month.

“Talab kya hai, talab kya hai,

Is ki her saans men balaa hai”

The moment Rohail came inside, Ilaaf was singing with closing his eyes. Looking him drowned in the tunes like this, Rohail remained silent, then he was about to sit on the couch when badly surprised looking the walls of Ilaaf’s room; with bursting eyes he kept looking the pictures of Qandeel.

“Ya ik lamha, ya kaeen sadiyaan

Hai koshish, aur chalna hai

Talab kya hai, talab kya hai

Is ki her saans men balaa hai”

His tone had so much pain. Rohail kept listening sitting aside.

“Hai us ka shauq hi deewana pan

To is parwaney, ko jalna hai

Talab kya hai, talab kya hai

Is ki her saans men balaa hai”

Rohail was scared from his lunacy and surprised as well. He could never imagine that a careless and willful person like Ilaaf would be fallen in someone’s love like this.

“Tajassus men, is raaz key

Ye dil aik ghoont, mangta hai

Talab kya hai, talab kya hai

Is ki her saans men balaa hai

Jo mil jaye zara ye jam

Do aalam ko bhulana hai

Talab kya hai, talab kya hai

Is ki her saans men balaa hai

Men pyasa hi naa, kyun mer jaoon

Bta dey rooh ger, talab kya hai

Talab kya hai, talab kya hai

Is ki her saans men balaa hai”

Stopping the hand Ilaaf opened his eyes, raised his head and then surprised to see Rohail.

“When did you reach? I couldn’t know.” He asked with a surprise.

“You have no concern about things around you, Ilaaf, how can you know this then?” Ilaaf smiled.

“Lunatics don’t know about themselves, Rohail, how can they know about things going on around?” Perhaps Rohail was surprised because Ilaaf had said something having a deeper meaning.

“If she ever comes to know, Ilaaf, that you have filled your room walls with her pictures and I am responsible for that then she will kill me and you both. I had not a slight idea that you will do this with these pictures otherwise I would have thought thousand times before even giving them to you.”

Ilaaf hadn’t answered and keeping guitar aside went and stood in front of the picture of Qandeel that was hanging on the front wall.

She was looking him and smiling.

“If someday you look at me in real like this smiling then perhaps I will go mad due to the extreme happiness, Qandeel.” Rohail looked him with a surprise.

He was talking to her picture, not to Rohail.

For a while, he kept standing there near her picture and turned back and addressed Rohail.

“I need the address of Qandeel’s home. I want to meet her father.”

Rohail looked him seriously.

“You don’t need to talk to Yousuf uncle yourself, leave it on me. Papers are going to be finished, after that I will talk to him at some suitable time.”

“No, if you want that your and Qandeel’s friendship should be continued then you will have to keep yourself away from this matter, perhaps it is better for you.”

“What do you mean?” Rohail looked him surprisingly.

Ilaaf went on terrace. Rohail followed him.

“After the incident of that day, if you now even said a single word in my favor in front of her or her father then this could also lead to an end of your friendship, Rohail.”

“Which incident you are talking about? Which day you are referring, Ilaaf?” He was confused.

Ilaaf looked him with a surprise. “She really hadn’t told anything to you?” He asked surprisingly.

“No, exams have been started and we don’t have enough time to talk and she…..” Rohail stopped and started thinking something. Ilaaf looked as he didn’t understand anything.

“She doesn’t talk to me much and we couldn’t meet much during the papers. But the truth is that she is avoiding me and I even couldn’t feel that why is she doing so.” Ilaaf squeezing his lips gazed him. “What has happened, Ilaaf? What did you do? What that even she is angry to me and me….how stupid I am that I couldn’t have the idea.” Ilaaf turned and spread his both arms over the railing, and bent his head down. “I have asked something to you, Ilaaf. Tell me, what’s happened?” Rohail had shaken his arm.

Ilaaf had a deep sigh and then he told everything to Rohail in short, and then both of them came inside the room one after other.

“Oh My God, what have you done, Ilaaf?” Rohail held his head in his hands sitting on the bed.

Ilaaf very silently stood tilting his back with the wall.

“You have left nothing. What would she be thinking about you….and what would she be thinking about me because I am the real source of this incident. And Adnan…..why did you take him with you? He doesn’t know how to talk with the gentle ones. He is better with talking to criminals.” Ilaaf hadn’t answered, let him to take out his anger.

I am really not able even to stand in front of her; talking about your marriage to her is far enough now, if I just could manage to continue my friendship it would be enough for me. I can not afford to lose a friend like Qandeel, I will just ask her forgiveness for me; don’t have courage to talk about you or to try to give the clarification from your side now.”

Ilaaf sat besides him.

“The mistake which is mine let me to see its result. She and her father whether forgive me or curse me; I take its responsibility on myself. Just give me her address; I will go to meet her father and try to solve out the issues myself; won’t include you now in any matter. If you want then you can declare yourself unconcerned from this incident.”

Roahil kept thinking for a while then having a deep sigh said.

“Alright, I will give you her address but in my opinion, you should go in the absence of Qandeel there. Yousuf uncle would give your words more importance as compare to Qandeel and at least you will get a chance to justify yourself.”

“Yes, I hope so….” The tone of Ilaaf had tiredness.

“Infact, do one thing. Go at her home this Monday in order to meet Yousuf uncle. Qandeel has her birthday this Monday; she is giving all of us a treat after the paper. She won’t be at home and you would be able to talk to Yousuf uncle in detail.”

Ilaaf had looked Rohail as he had told him some news.

“What is the date this Monday?” He asked.

Rohail told the date, it was the first week of December. Qandeel’s birthday was coming in the next week.

Ilaaf kept thinking for a while then asked.

“How old she would be this Monday?”

“Twenty two.” Rohail replied in short.

The brain of Ilaaf had started the calculations.

“She is two years, four months and eight days younger than me.” He felt his voice was coming from a cage.

Rohail had looked him surprisingly.

“Ilaaf, why are you doing these calculations?”

Ilaaf looked Rohail with a painful smile.

“What else lovers have except these calculations?”

Rohail had seen many candles kindling and quenching in his eyes at the same time.

Next few days, he had just kept thinking that the day of Qandeels’ birthday used to come and leave very silently in his life for last twenty two years, had ever he imagined that this ordinary day at sometime in life would become so important for him? No, he had never thought, he was Ilaaf Laashari who never used to give importance to anything, any day, any moment in his life. His own birthday was never was so important for him, how much importance had got this ordinary day, and how powerless he was that could not be able to celebrate anything that day, could not be able to see Qandeel, could not be able to wish her birthday. Had anyone else got this powerlessness at his credit like this? He was sure; No.

On midnight of Sunday and Monday, when perhaps a silent breeze of December was wishing Qandeel her birthday, Ilaaf while breathing on the roads of the city was trying to convey his feelings to Qandeel, perhaps on the peak of powerlessness he just could do it. He had parked his car somewhere, and then he had kept walking at the roadside for a long time, kept saying to the silence the sadness what was in his heart, kept telling them that how much he loves Qandeel. At this hour of the night, the cool and dry wind of December, kept telling him by striking to his body that they could understand his pain. Before this, Ilaaf had never felt December so sad, so quiet, so desolated, and so deserted during his entire life, perhaps December has the quality to understand the inside weather of man more than all other weathers and that’s why in the moments of pain and grief, December seems to be very kind to every man.

The next day, he came to Qandeel’s home at the time told by Rohail. He parked his car intentionally out of the street, didn’t want that even Qandeel’s spirits could know his presence there but the truth was that Ilaaf’s own spirits didn’t know that what is going to happen with him today.

The door was opened by Yousuf Mairaj as was expected and he wasn’t surprised to see him which he should be according to the idea of Ilaaf.

Unexpectedly he behaved very pleasantly, Ilaaf felt like he was unaware of that incident otherwise at least he wouldn’t have reacted like this.

“Come inside.” He stepped aside and gave space to Ilaaf.

Ilaaf came inside. Yousuf Mairaj was about to shut the door when had seen somebody in the street.

“Son, be seated there. I am just coming back in five minutes, and then will talk to you in detail.” Saying in a rush he opened the door and went out.

Ilaaf moved few steps ahead then stopped and started looking the house.

The courtyard was wide and there were three rooms across the veranda.

He came somewhat ahead and now was looking everything very intensely.

The doors of the rooms were opened. At the right corner of veranda there was kitchen and at the right corner of the courtyard there were stairs which perhaps were going towards the house top. He looked keenly, at the fourth step from down to up kept there was a keyboard which was most probably of Qandeel.

The small house was unknowingly felt to be attractive for Ilaaf. Ilaaf wasn’t feeling as he had come there first time in his life, he felt as he had kept living there for centuries. He felt a strange affection to each and everything of that house, perhaps the reason was that it was the home of Qandeel Yousuf; the home of the woman whom he had loved most.

Standing quietly there he kept penetrating that peace inside his body.

Yousuf Miaraj was back after a while.

“Sorry, you had to wait. Kaleem Sahib is my old friend, lives in the neighbouring street; sometimes stays on the way and comes to meet me; just talking for few minutes standing in the street and then goes back.” Ilaaf liked his simplicity.

“No, I hadn’t to wait much.” He said smiling.

“Qandeel is not home. Today was her paper and after that she had to go somewhere with her friends that’s why is not back yet.” The details that he told, Ilaaf was already aware from that.

“I have come to meet you.” Ilaaf had surprised on his straight forwardness.

“Then it is very good. Come sit here and then we talk.” He sat on the chair in the courtyard in front of him.

Ilaaf asked about his health. Yousuf Mairaj aked few formal questions as well. Didn’t know why whatever he had come to say, couldn’t find courage to say all this.

“You have to say something very important, Ilaaf.” Perhaps he had noticed his uneasiness.

Ilaaf shook his head.

“Then say, whatever you want to say you can without any hesitation. I will hear you with attention and calmness.” His tone had something very kind and his personality had something very attractive.

For a while with his head down, he kept thinking then raised his head and said.

“I like Qandeel and I want to marry her.” He was surprised because on this sentence of his, he had not seen the expressions of Yousuf Mairaj’s face changing. His courage went high and got strength to say more, “I know that she is already engaged but I am powerless in this case, and have come here giving up in front of my heart. I can not see anyone else except her these days, she is everywhere around me, I can not take her love out of my heart, its impossible for me. I admit, I am not a good person, I have many weaknesses, bad habits as well but I am not a liar. My each and every word is a truth but she doesn’t want to believe. She even doesn’t want to look my face, hates me but the reality is that with how much hatred she refuses me, her love inside me catches the fire with the same extent. I don’t know what are you thinking about me but I just know one thing that I couldn’t see any other way and hence came here to meet you.” He was tired by saying and then was quiet.

“I have thought about you, Ilaaf, what I should think about you.” Ilaaf gazed him. “Love is just like water, wherever goes finds its own way. Nobody gives place to love with his own wish, if this right of selection would be given to man then perhaps the beauty and magnificence will be vanished from the world and no place would be more ugly to live other than the world. As far as Qandeel’s engagement is concerned then actually in this relationship the more part was of Sami and Qandeel rather than I because I think kids have to spend their lives together, and they should have full right to take the most important decision of their lives on their own and I have given this right to Qandeel. If she takes a decision today to marry you and not Sami then I will not have any issue that Sami is my nephew, I will accept her decision by heart. If you convince Qandeel, and successful to win her heart then it would be as pleasing for me as it could be if she marries Sami. But do you know Ilaaf, there is just a single way to win one’s heart and that is awarding……with respect, unconditional love and trust, considering one’s grief like own grief, one’s pain as own pain and one’s happiness as own happiness. It is the only way to conquer someone’s heart; Nature has created no other way for this purpose.” Hearing him Ilaaf was getting a strange satisfaction, peace and belief. He was amazed; his words had some magic in them.

“You are saying the truth, sir. This is the only way to conquer someone’s heart and no other way is possible.” He felt his tone was weak.

“So, should I expect that what you did that day with Qandeel, you won’t repeat anything like that again?” Ilaaf gazed him in a surprise then squeezed his lips and bent his head down. So, he knew everything; Ilaaf’s idea was not right.

“Qandeel told you everything?” He asked with embarrassment after a while.

He smiled. The embarrassment of Ilaaf was enhanced.

“She tells me everything, Ilaaf. She hides nothing, and the truth is that she can not hide anything to me, she is my daughter Ilaaf, I have brought up her. I can feel each and every color of her face, can read her each and every expression. After the guidance that she had got from me, I know she is capable to see and analyze life with her own style, and that’s why whatever decision she will take, it would be best for me to accept even if in reality the decision would be so wrong to take.” He just had seen his face.

“How strange and different Qandeel is, you are even more strange and different. I can not believe that despite of knowing everything about my cheap act, you are hearing me like nothing has happened. No warning, no complain, no reaction I could see nothing in your behavior.” The smile of Yousuf Mairaj grew deeper.

“When a person is already embarrassed on his wrong act and has already decided not to repeat that act again then cursing or accusing him is equivalent to force him to do another wrong act.” Ilaaf had smiled willingly for the first time. “I am sure that now you will take each and every step carefully and will try a right way to win Qandeel’s heart. Normally Qandeel is very soft kind in nature but don’t know why this time her behavior is very different; doesn’t like even to hear your name. You will have to struggle hard in this case being very careful.” Ilaaf shook his head.

“I think she is about to reach now, your staying here is not good. Her anger has still not been ceased and to face her right now can make the situation worse.” He was advicing Ilaaf like a closed friend.

Ilaaf stood smiling. Both of them had shaken hands and then moved towards the door.

They were somewhat away from the door when the door was opened and Qandeel along with Maryam entered laughing.

Yousuf Mairaj and Ilaaf stopped suddenly.

Ilaaf had seen her or either had seen his life standing few steps away to him.

Qandeel and Maryam had looked him and the smiles were disappeared from their faces.

Entire body of Qandeel was rigid as she had never moved an inch in her life.

Ilaaf kept looking her without blinking his eyes.

“You…..I had told you that day that if you followed me now then the outcome will be worst and you have reached my home.” Qandeel barked.

Ilaaf hadn’t answered, he didn’t want to answer. Infact, he hadn’t any answer to give her and that moment he didn’t want to waste his time in search of the words to give the answer; how many moments he had got, wanted to see Qandeel.

“You are not aware of any kind of word like shame, humanity and self respect, Ilaaf Laashari. Even after acting in such a cheap manner, how fearlessly and without any hesitation you have reached my home, and by the way why have you come? Which lie do you want to tell now to get your purpose?” She was throwing the burning coals with her eyes.

Ilaaf kept looking her; was looking her after whole thirty six days.

Today was her birthday; she was twenty two now.

Ilaaf’s life had been living into the world for twenty two years and Ilaaf… unaware he was that had kept living unaware from the existence of his life.

“How dare you to step inside my home?” She had asked by scolding.

“Qandeel, listen to me, my daughter! Ilaaf was just……” Qandeel interrupted Yousuf Mairaj.

“Just a minute, Baba. You don’t say anything in this case. You don’t know this man. Perhaps you would have believed on his greasy lies, but I am well aware of his reality.” Then she turned towards Ilaaf.

“Get out of my home, now and this moment. Otherwise I will kick you out.” Ilaaf’s feet were embedded in the ground. She was ordering him to go away from his life.

And perhaps this silence of Ilaaf had made Qandeel’s anger to touch the skies.

“Didn’t you understand what did I say, Ilaaf Laashari. Didn’t you hear, I have said that get out of my home.” Qandeel pulled his left arm and pushed him forward towards the door.

“Qandeel, what are you doing?” Maryam had interrupted the entire matter for the first time. Yousuf Mairaj also said something but Ilaaf…..he had not resisted a bit.

“Go, just get lost from here. And if you come again here then I will treat you in a more bad way.”

Ilaaf kept looking her for a while then with his head down and tired feet moved towards the door and came outside. And then he didn’t stop in the street; kept moving with lifeless steps.

Angry face of Qandeel, her beautiful eyes full of hatred, poison emitting from melodious tone and her shooting touch; that moment he was just in an enclosure of these feelings.

How he reached his car and how he reached home by driving, he didn’t remember anything. But when his senses started working then he found himself in front of his home, and just then he felt that he hadn’t the courage to go inside home. There was a great suffocation inside him and he didn’t want to go inside home with this suffocation.

Starting the car he came on the road again, and then moved towards the sea.

Habitual to live in splendors, Ilaaf Laashari wanted complete loneliness that day. Parking the car in a desolated corner, he came down and sitting on a big rock looked the sea.

Why the time of dusk presents a sad view always, he could never know and today this view seemed to be sharing his grief like a kind and loving friend for him.

And after a long gap, now he thought deeply about each and every moment that passed a while ago and just then he was surprised on himself for the first time. He was all time proud and arrogant that ordinary jokes of many people were taken in a bad way. People used to be careful while making slight jokes to him and she was Qandeel…….who always used to talk to him in a rough and strict tone, but don’t know why he never got angry on her. How she had treated Ilaaf today, how she misbehaved, Ilaaf was surprised why didn’t he get angry even a little on her?

“Does love take out the arrogance of arrogant ones in this way? Does it break the strong person into pieces like this? Does it melt the stones like wax in this way? Does it snatches every power from the powerful and makes him powerless in the same way?”

How much he was thinking was feeling something inside him getting height.

It was dark now. Didn’t know how long he kept sitting there and looking the sea waves striking their head to the sea shore.

“Beyqarar hai dil mera, beyqarar hum men

Apney jism o jaan per hi beyikhtiar hun men”

The agitation was so much that words were emitting even without guitar. He started singing; on the tune of the blows of the cool breeze he was feeling a strange peace singing these words.

“Jadoo ye mujh pey tum ney, jaaney kaisa kiya

Saarey zamaney sey ab to, beygaana sa kiya,

Rooh men jo ajab si kasak hai, us pey nisaar hun men

Beyqarar hai dil mera, beyqarar hun men”

He stood.

“If love demands patience and wait then I can wait centuries for you, Qandeel Yousuf, but can not withdraw from your love. I won’t step back, won’t lose the courage, will fight this war of the love till my last breath with my heart and soul.” Touching his left arm with his right hand, he tried to find the touch of Qandeel.