I was born in a remote and backward city Dera Ghazi Khan. During partition my family migrated from Patiala to Jhang. My father Abdul Ghafoor was an unknown hero of the independence. He scarified his father, uncle, aunt, wife, son, and two daughters. He was the only adult alive in his family. He gathered all the relatives who were survived and helped them to settle. He married my mother who was younger sister of my first mother. My mother supported him in his noble cause. He had to shift to Dera Ghazi Khan because of his job. They gathered all the orphans of the family and took their responsibility. They were once more than fifty. He was a dispenser and had limited sources but he supported all the orphans. He was an education loving person and educated them all.
When I was born, my family was quite poor because of my real life hero my father`s cause. We used to eat meat only on the occasion of Eid – ul – Adha. But most of the orphans were settled now and my father`s resources were being used on us. Our financial condition was improving. I am from an education loving family. I have seven brothers and two sisters. Six of us have master degree. Even my sister has master degree. She is my inspiration after my mother.
I was not very intelligent or smart. Everything except studies was my priority. I loved to play cricket but was not a good player. Specially, I was a worst fielder. I was fond of watching movies. I used to study because of my father`s and elder brothers` fear. I was good in mathematics. I passed matriculation in grade – B. The worst decision of my life was to opt pre – engineering in F.Sc. I was failed in the first attempt. I passed in third attempt in grade – C. I left studies and started a shop but my brother Abdul Saboor forced me to get admission in college again. He promised me to support me to study and he financially supported me till my masters and even after that. I joined college but appeared in B.A. as a private student and passed in second division. Everyone in my community failed in English during that exam but I passed. I wanted to do my masters in Economics but couldn`t get admission and done masters in Mass Communication.
I was a very shy and silly fellow but hostel life in university totally changed my personality. The main reason behind was the confidence given by my friends Tanveer Khalid, Amjad Javeed, Tauqeer Akram and Sayed Irfan Shah. There was a subject of English Journalistic Language in our master’s degree. I was among the five students in my class who passed that paper in the first attempt. I was good in English because of the basics taught by my teachers Mustafa Khan Babar and Professor Mumtaz Ahmed.
I joined journalism after the master`s degree but soon realized that was not my cup of tea. I worked as Medical Representative for a short period of time before my marriage. I taught private tuitions and worked for several educational academies during that time. In 2008, I moved to Jeddah Saudi Arabia to work as an English Language Teacher. I lived there for ten years and learnt a lot.
Amjad Javeed, author of Bay rang Piyya and several other books who is my university era friend came to perform Umrah. He was finding an appropriate person to translate his novel Bay rang Piyya in English. I offered him to do so. He showed his confidence on me and I did that work. I had done several translations from English to Urdu during my journalistic life but it was my first experience to translate from Urdu to English. I already knew the technique of translation but it was relatively a difficult book to translate. It is full of Philosophy about love. I had to translate typical Urdu terms about love. I had to think for hours to choose an appropriate word in English. But by the grace of Allah (SWT), I completed that work in a period on approximately one month.
Abdul Hanan ch.
(Bay Rang Peyya By Amjad Javeed)
Abdul Hnnan Ch
“Tahir! What kind of girl do you like?” asked Sajjid.
The three friends were chit chatting as usual at campus canteen. The question was not about the topic they were discussing. Tahir thought that the question was quite personal and ridiculous. He did not answer it immediately. Actually, he couldn`t understand why the question was asked. He lit up a cigarette. Munib joined the conversation too. He said, “Tahir have never told about his liking about any girl.”
“The girl he is dreaming about! The girl, who is living in his heart” Sajjid said cheerfully.
“That won`t be a big bang” Tahir said reluctantly.
Sajjid winked wickedly and insisted, “At least give us a clue.”
Ignoring their conversation Tahir focused on smoking. He didn`t like the way his friends were asking him the questions. He spread the smoke in the air. But Sajjid and Munib were still gazing at him curiously.
It was noon. That was their routine to sit at canteen. They were not the only three who were sitting there, many other boys like them used to sit there. The reason was quite simple. Campus’s main bus stop was right in front of the canteen. There was a great hustle and bustle especially in the morning and at noon. The boys liked to stay there to stare at the girls. In the beginning, Tahir, Sajjid and Munib started to come at canteen for that sole purpose. After some weeks, they were fed up of girl watching. But the canteen had become their permanent routine after classes.
Tahir felt very upset when Sajjid asked him the question.
And he felt it worse when Munib joined him and insisted to answer. Tahir remained quiet, Munib became irritated.
“When he is asking about the girl you like, tell him. Why are you shying?”
“Suppose, if I tell you the kind of girl I like what difference it will make.” Tahir told in a firm manner.
“I`m not asking you that question without any reason. I have a purpose behind it.”
Tahir looked at him to judge his expressions, is he speaking truth.
He spoke suddenly, “You know that I`m a feudal. The girls are not my cup of tea. I have to join politics. I don`t want to be involved in such stupid activities. I can`t afford any scandal.”
Sajjid interrupted him, “For the God sake, we don`t want to hear your feudal background story. I know you can get anything including girls. I am inquiring about the girl you like.”
“Then listen, I have no idea because I didn`t even think about it,” he said.
And he was speaking truth.
Munib insisted, “Tahir! This is ridiculous. Every boy or girl has an idea about his or her ideal. That`s quite natural. How can you say I don`t like girls. Take your time, think and then answer.”
Munib was expecting something secret from the answer.
“You must have an ideal, your dream girl with whom you want to live your life,” Sajjid was not ready to lose.
Sajjid pretended to be serious but he could not control his smile.
Tahir thought they were mischievous and trying to make fun of him. He nodded his head and informed, “Neither an idea nor an ideal.”
Sajjid felt helpless. He started to look around. His eyes stopped at the bus stop. He tried to convince him again, ‘Look the girls standing at the bus stop. Watch them carefully. Which girl is more attractive?”
“What difference it will make?”
Munib almost begged seriously, “At least, we shall know about your like or dislike.”
Sajjid taunted, “We asked you a simple question and you are blushing like girls. But we know that you don’t even know what shyness is.”
Munib also joined him, “Seriousness, shyness and grace don’t even bother to come near you.”
Tahir realised if he won`t tell them they will start talking rubbish. So he decided to tell them.
“Ok, I`m going to answer your question but if I find anything stupid, you know what I can do with you.
“That`s like a good boy.” Sajjid was very happy.
Munib assured him, “I swear, there is something very serious. Just look at the girls standing. Just figure out the girl that attracted you the most.”
Tahir turned around and started looking at the girls. There were many girls among the boys. Everyone was beautiful and good looking. Then Tahir saw a girl who was unique having crumbly body, fair complexion, short hair and neat long neck. She had round face with sharp features. She was without make up. She didn’t even use a lipstick. She was wearing a Malaysian type shirt, blue jeans and black sleeper style shoes. Nobody could judge her body curves in the first sight though she was not wearing a veil. There was a tiny bag hanging on her shoulder.
Tahir looked at her for some time and thought a mischievous plan. He pointed at the girl and announced, “The girl who is wearing a Malaysian shirt, I found her the best.”
Sajjid was surprised, “That fat, clumsy girl!”
“That`s your choice! Oh man, I can`t believe.” Munib was despondent.
“You are talking like that you have some proposal for me. Why are you so disappointed?” Now it was Tahir`s turn to taunt.
Listening that Munib startled, “Yes, there is a proposal.”
Munib stopped realising that he should haven`t talk like that.
“Leave it! Let`s talk on any other topic.”
“Why do I leave it? Tell me why did you ask me that stupid question?” Tahir persist. He knew that there was something behind their proposition. Now, he wanted to observe what they will do.
Sajjid nodded his head and explained, “We had an option. But now it`s useless. Just bury this topic.”
Tahir realised that his friends were despaired by his answer. Actually, they were sad too. But now, he was not going to allow them to run away from the topic so easily.
“You are blathering. You have to tell me.” Tahir crushed the cigarette in the ashtray.
“Yes, there was something. But now that topic is dead. Leave it,” Munib was really upset.
He insisted stubbornly, “You have to tell me now.”
Sajjid tried to avoid the situation, “I shall tell you on one condition that you will ask your sweet heart angel to come, sit with us and eat or drink something.
Tahir became furious. He said angrily, “Enough is enough. That`s ridiculous. You are behaving like stupid. What kind of condition is this? If you don`t like that girl, it`s your own thinking. There was no condition in your question that I shall call her here and offer her tea, coffee. Get lost or I shall smash your head.”
Tahir went berserk. He was feeling that his friends were playing with his emotions.
Munib was looking ashamed. He said apologetically, “Tahir! Please, don’t be angry. I shall tell you later when you will be in good mood.”
“Just forget about my mood. Tell me and be repelled.”
“Ok! Fine! But call her here first.”
Tahir went mad on Sajjid`s obstinacy. Without thinking he claimed, “I can do it this too. But if you have nothing serious to tell me then I shall smash your head and you know very well that nobody can stop me from doing it.”
Sajjid interrupted quickly, “If there is nothing, then you are free to do with us whatever you want. We are ready for any punishment.”
“Ok! Done,” he stared into Sajjid`s eyes.
“Done,” Sajjid was frenzy.
Without wasting a single moment, Tahir stood up. He was thinking that they will stop him. But it didn’t happen. After walking a few steps towards the girl, he realised what he was going to do. His friends made him angry and he was going to invite the girl like a stupid. He was aware of the consequences. If a stranger invites a girl for tea, the result will be insult and humiliation. That`s woman`s nature that they never trust a stranger though she is extremely bold and confident. He was thinking to avoid the situation but he could not find any way. He was confused. Although, he was aware of the fact that she was a modern girl. She won`t be rude. If she would accept his invitation, it was well and good otherwise she wouldn`t create a scene. She would listen him with patience. He controlled himself and reached near the girl and greeted her politely. She answered him in a very soft voice. Tahir gained some confidence.
He said, “I know, we are not familiar to each other. We are strangers. If you don`t mind, I want to discuss with you a serious matter. If you are not in a hurry ….”
The girl looked at Tahir and said, “What do you want say, tell me.”
“It doesn`t seem good to talk here at the bus stop. There is a canteen. We can sit and talk there.”
Tahir felt that the girl was looking at his face and smiling. The girl`s face was calm and peaceful. Her smile was like when a mature reacted to a child. After a moment, she said, “Let`s go.”
Tahir was not only relieved but happy also. He didn`t think that she would accept his invitation so easily. He saw an empty table and asked her in a respectful manner, “What will you take; tea or something cold?”
“Whatever you want,” the girl said.
Tahir ordered fresh juice.
The girl asked maturely, “What do you want to say?”
“Let`s drink juice first. Then I shall tell you.”
“As you wish,” she said.
They didn`t talk until the waiter came. She took a sip and started looking at Tahir. He took some juice and said reluctantly, “I don`t know what is your name and who are you. I have seen you for the first time. I was sitting there with my friends. They are sitting there even now at our right side. I`m sure they will be looking at us.”
The girl smiled and said decently, “So you have a bet with your friends. Am I right?”
“How do you know?”
“These kinds of bets are routine mater in campus. Is that`s your first year?”
Tahir smiled, “No, second year M. Phil.”
“So, you are very senior,” she said.
“And you?” asked Tahir.
“That`s not important. Normally young students of first year do things like that,” she said.
Tahir replied, “I was trapped by them because of my anger. Anyway, I am really impressed by your kind behavior. Can we have lunch together?”
He immediately realized and explained quickly, “Please, don’t take me as usual men who just try to stick with girls. I am offering you with sincerity and respect just to thank you.”
“Its fine, I understand.” She took a sip. The smile on her face looked completely strange. It seemed that her smile was not real. It seemed that she was trying to hide her sorrow behind her forced smile. She took a few sips and thought for a while.
“So, when we are having lunch?” She asked.
Tahir replied, “Whenever you say. If you have no problem, we can have it now.”
She smiled and asked, “Are we having lunch in this canteen?”
Tahir felt that she was sarcastic. He was confounded. He said, “Till now only it is confirmed that we are having lunch. Where! It is not decided yet.”
The girl asked, “In which restaurant you want to take me?”
Tahir told her the name of the best restaurant in the city.
“I didn`t try any restaurant in the city yet. I have to go to city. So, we are leaving now?” she said in a frank way.
Tahir liked her informality. He said, “We shall go in my car. I am going to bring my car from parking. Please, wait for me here.” He stood up. He could take her to parking with him but he has to call Sajjid and Munib. He took his mobile phone out of his pocket and dialed Sajjid`s number. Sajjid immediately picked up the phone.
Tahir said, “I`m taking her for lunch. I shall see you after that. And you told me any rubbish, you will face the music.”
Tahir told him the name of restaurant and cut the line without listening him. Tahir drove his car in front of canteen. The girl saw him in the car and moved towards him. He opened the front door of the car. She sat in the car. Sajjid and Munib watched them keenly. The car was full of fragrance due to her expensive perfume. He drove the car out of campus. He introduced himself, “I am Tahir Hayat Bajwa. I study in Media Department.”
She said watching straight, “My name is Aayat un Nisa. Everybody call me Aayat.”
“Your name is unique,” Tahir really felt that it was a strange name.
“My grandfather gave me this name. He loved me a lot. I like my name. It`s an Arabic name which means pride and symbol of the women.”
Your grandfather suggested the name so it is meant to be a beautiful name.” Tahir admired.
They took lunch in the most expensive restaurant of the city. As Tahir paid the bill, Munib and Sajjid arrived. They wanted to check if Tahir was speaking truth. They didn`t come to Tahir. They sat on an empty table. Tahir ignored them and thanked Aayat again, “I am really thankful to you once again. You saved me from embarrassment.”
She replied, “Its fine. There is no need to thank.” She was quite calm and composed but it seemed that she was talking with Tahir but thinking about something else.
Tahir said, “You know it`s very awkward to say some lady to take lunch. You are mature and you understood me otherwise I might have been insulted.”
“If you are really thankful to me then you have to help me,” Aayat urged.
“My pleasure,” Tahir said.
“I have a work to do, can you drop me their?” She inquired.
“Why not, let us go,” he said.
Aayat took her purse and stood up. They wandered on the roads. Tahir assumed that she did not know where she had to go but he did not ask her. When she saw a jewelers shop she requested Tahir to stop. She took him to the shop. She sat in front of the jeweler and gave him a gold bracelet.
“I want to sell it,” she said.
The jeweler checked it in detail and weighed it. When he told her the price of the bracelet, an expression of sadness shadowed her face. Tahir perceived that she didn’t want to sell the bracelet but she was doing this because of some need. He didn’t know what kind of need it was but he knew that he could help her. When Aayat asked the jeweler to pay, Tahir said, “Wait a minute. We need to talk.”
Aayat took the bracelet and they came out of the shop.
Tahir broke the silence, “He was offering less price.”
“Yes, he was,” Aayat replied. She was looking very sad.
“How much do you expect?” Tahir interrogated.
The price Aayat disclosed was not as much.
Tahir asked him to open the dashboard and take as much money she wanted. Aayat looked at him, thought for a while and opened the dash board. There were a lot of currency notes. She took the amount of money which was told by the jeweler and carefully placed the bracelet in the dash board.
Tahir offered her to take the money as loan and take the bracelet.
She said, “I don’t like the way you want to help me. I have to sell the bracelet. So, I sold it.”
After a while she charmingly declared that Tahir could keep it as mortgage.
“As you wish, but you have to take some more money,” Tahir insisted.
She took some more money and said, “Drop me here.”
Tahir asked if she would not go campus.
She informed, “I have to go somewhere else.”
Tahir stopped the car. She said before getting out of the car, “There is no need to thank me and I shall not say you thanks to you because we didn’t meet by chance.”
“What do you mean, it was planned,” Tahir was confused.
Aayat replied, “You cannot understand it. It was will of someone. It can`t be by chance.”
“I think it was by chance. How can you say ……”
Aayat interrupted, “No, actually it`s not as look like. I accepted your offer to take juice and lunch, you might be thinking it`s my boldness or something else but it is not a fact.”
Tahir was totally confused.
“Please, tell me how it happened?”
“If you insist then listen, I had no money to eat. I didn`t take breakfast. I was hungry. I had to sell my gold bracelet. I didn’t take more money from the dashboard because I was thinking it was enough for my needs. Good bye!” She sat in a nearby standing rickshaw and went away.
Tahir was absolutely stunned. He kept on looking at rickshaw till it was out of site. He took a deep breath and moved his car. Aayat was quite mysterious. He completely forgot his friends who were the cause of everything that happened.