Qandeel had called Yousuf Mairaj a while ago and told that she would be late, the reason that she told was that she had to go somewhere outside due to an office issue. So, therefore he was not waiting for Qandeel on tea, instead after coming back from Asar prayer he was seated in the courtyard and having his tea besides the reading of a book.
The door was knocked after a while. He kept the book on the table then looked the wrist watch. Qandeel could have not come so early, then who could be on the door at this hour of the day….while thinking he stood and moved towards the door.
He opened the door, then looking the person standing at the door, for a moment he was just shocked.
She was looking him and smiling.
“Have you remembered me, Yousuf Bhai?” Yousuf Mairaj just came out of the shock. How could he forget her, she had a very precious thing of his for many years, and now she was the only memory of the most beautiful period of his life for him, how could he forget that innocent girl who was now a graceful woman.
“How can I forget you, Ayesha?” She smiled. “I just was shocked due to surprise, looking you at my home after so many years. You suddenly left visiting us, although I had thought that Qandeel would be able to get your guidance in the young age, but don’t know where did you disappear? No information, no knowledge, no address….” This time the smile of Ayesha grew deeper.
“Now would you invite me inside or would ask all questions standing here?” Yousuf Mairaj smiled.
“Come inside.” He stepped aside to let her come in.
She came inside then stopped and started looking the house. Shutting the door Yousuf Mairaj looked her.
“Come here, let’s sit here and then we talk, instead first I should bring tea for you.” Leaving Ayesha there he went into the kitchen.
When he came back with tea, she was still standing near the stairs.
“You are still standing here.” He gave her tea smiling.
There was a strange impression on her face.
“I still remember very well, the day when I first time came here with Omer to meet Miss Saima then don’t know how long all three of us had kept talking sitting here on stairs. I kept complaining to Miss Saima about Omer and she kept scolding Omer for each and every complain, and Omer….” She just stopped saying something. Yousuf Mairaj saw her; she was taking breath in an old moment. “Omer, who always used to fight, and argue with me, that day how quietly he kept hearing my complains and scolds of Miss Saima.” Then she turned towards him. “These stairs are just the same and this house….each and every thing of this house is just the same. Nothing has been changed, the position of these plants, the length of this floral plant, this tubelight, this courtyard, those pillars, that veranda and those three rooms. Everything is just the same how it was; it doesn’t feel that twenty six years have been passed; both I and you have got old, it seems like just in a moment Miss Saima will be appeared from the kitchen having a tray of Samosas in her hand, and while eating those me and Omer will fight. I will say to Omer that you will be over weight eating too much and he will answer that you are already over weight even then have attacked Samosas like you have got nothing to eat before. And then you and Miss Saima will reproach Omer.” Yousuf Mairaj had seen some water flowing in her eyes which was waving like an ocean in her blue eyes.
For a while both of them kept standing there silently then were seated on the chairs in the courtyard. Ayesha was once agin normal now.
“I can not see Qandeel, isn’t she at home? I especially came here to meet her.” While having tea Ayesha Asked.
“Normally she comes back till this time, but today she had to go to somewhere important after the office that’s why she will be late.” Yousuf Mairaj explained.
“Doesn’t matter, I will wait for her and will go after meeting her. Yesterday I had been to graveyard to meet Omer and just there met Ilaaf as well; felt very good and was happy to see him after so many years. He has been grown much and…..” She stopped for a moment.
“And…?” Yousuf Mairaj looked Ayesha with questioning sight.
“And that he is just like Omer and his eyes are exactly the same, I just took one moment to recognize him.”
“Did you tell him that who are you?”
“Nope….didn’t feel the need. He would have not known me; I know nobody would have told him. In any case he has to know slowly and gradually. I have entrusted a very precious thing of his and Qandeel each, to collect that someday he would have to come to me. That day he will know himself that who I am?”
“Where did you disappear suddenly, Ayesha? I had thought that you will keep visiting and Qandeel would get a kind friend whom she would be able to share everything, even those that she can not share with me. Shama is in
“I don’t think so that she would have ever needed the love and kindness of a woman, Yousuf Bhai. The girl who has a father like you, she doesn’t need anyone else.” Yousuf Mairaj smiled. “As far as the question raises of my disappearance then there is a reason.” She suddenly went serious.
“When I last time had met Ilaaf, he was just eight, I used to visit his school to meet him because my entry in the house and the mansion was prohibited. Those days I also met Qandeel, if you remember….perhaps Qandeel was six. Few days after that, Papa had become seriously ill; his condition was so pathetic that I had to take him to
“Then what happened?” He asked.
“Then one night everything was changed. He, whom after his martyrdom in the desire to see in my dream, I prayed for many years, many years I asked to God even then could never see him a single time in my dream, the same Omer Laashari that night came into my dream and like he was with me in real. Sitting besides me, holding my hand he kept talking to me, I felt his sense of touch, I saw his fragrance penetrating into my breathing, he kissed my forehead, and then talked to me a lot.” She was crying; tears were slipping on her cheeks and shedding down her neck and she was just crying like a child.
“He said, Ayesha, you were never so much hopeless, you were always the hope of life for me, then what has happened that you are running away from life? Why are you doing all this to you? Why are you hurting me? I want to see you happy. You had said, you will help me, you will accomplish my incomplete tasks whether I will be alive or not then why are you living this motionless life leaving everything? I am with you, you can feel me every moment, whenever you want to see me, just stand in front of mirror and look yourself, you will see me. Whenever you want to touch me, touch your eyes, you will feel my touch, touch your cheeks, you will find me smiling, touch your lips, my lips would be there. You have to do many things, all those things which I wanted to do, now you have to. Come back to
“That morning when I woke up, in my room, on my bed, there was his fragrance everywhere, the same fragrance which was the part of his body and which always used to spread in my room whenever Omer had been with me. And that day I came to know that martyrs never die, to remove their presence is not possible for any power of this world. They spread in air like a perfume and nobody is ever able to catch or remove the perfume. I immediately came back
“I am very happy that you decided to live your life so purposefully, Ayesha. Love is very strange, if we will enclose it inside the heart then like a poison it eats our body and soul and if we will allow it to spread in body, soul and the air outside then it makes not only us but our world beautiful as well.” She smiled.
“I am starting a school, the same what Omer wanted to make. Last few years I did hard work for this purpose and now its construction has been started MashAllah. Visit my school along with Qandeel, someday. I will need your guidance everywhere.” Yousuf Mairaj felt glad to know it.
“I am very happy, and surely will visit and helping you regarding anything would be pleasurable for me, Ayesha. You don’t know how pleasing it is for me to see the fulfillment of any of Saima and Omer’s dream?” Ayesha suddenly remembered something.
“You also wanted to form an academy? Once you told me, what happened then?”
“Its proper documentation and paper work is nearly completed, construction will be started in some time, InshAllah, just pray.”
“If I can do anything for this project then it would be an honor for me.” Yousuf Mairaj shook his head.
“How is Zainab Laashari? I couldn’t make any contact for so many years.”
“You know it very well, the rules and regulations of
There was silence for a while then at last, Yousuf Mairaj asked what he wanted to ask to her.
“Have you brought that entrust of Qandeel with you?” Ayesha smiled.
“I knew, you will ask this question to me. I have taken that entrust of Qandeel with me here, but I will take it back with me as usual, I am bound due to my vow.” Yousuf Mairaj nodded his head.
“Can I see that?”
Ayesha while shaking her head took her shoulder bag which she had kept on the table, and taking out a medium sized black diary handed over to Yousuf Mairaj.
The heartbeat of Yousuf Mairaj was suddenly very fast. With trembling hands he held the diary in his hands then, bringing it near to his face looked it keenly. That was pretty old but he was sure that the words inside that diary would be as fresh and lively as it were always. Touching the diary he was grasped in some strange feelings, for a moment he felt like with diary Saima also came and stood besides him.
With love and respect he touched that diary with his eyes, just in a way he used to touch Saima’a hands to his eyes, and then he opened the diary.
On the very first page the name of Saima Yousuf was glowing; the name, whose ink had been dried a bit, was still illuminating as the face of Saima Yousuf used to illuminate always.
That was the diary of the woman with whom his first meeting was the most beautiful moment of his life, her love in which he fell without any reason was the most powerful strength of his life, and every moment which was being passed with her had brought the complete life for him, in whose presence he never felt life less than an eternal bliss. Who despite of being absent in his life was still present in his life like she was always and in whose love he had found each and every face around beautiful.