DEVINE CHROMA Epi.2
Sajjid was a Bahawalpur native. His father was a famous lawyer. He was involved in local politics too. He was once elected president bar council. Sajjid has two brothers and a sister. He was the youngest.
Munib lived in hostel. His father was a journalist in a leading newspaper. He could not get admission in any big city so he was there in Bhawalpur. He was from a middle class family but being a journalist his father acquired access in people of authority. Tahir Bajwa was from feudal family. He was the only son of his parents so he was the sole heir of the property. They had a lot of land. The income was countless. Some years ago, Tahir`s father bought a lavish house in a posh area of the city. Whenever his father Sikandar Hayat Bajwa came to city, he used to stay in this house which he named Dera. Otherwise Tahir was living alone there with his servants including a watchman and a couple to take care of the house.
Tahir, Sajjid and Munib were friends for four years. Munib continued in M. Phil just because of their friendship. They were fast friends having no secrets among them. At day they were together at campus and in the evening at Dera. But at that day Tahir couldn`t understand Sajjid and Munib`s mysterious behaviour. He was sure that there was something behind that. It was a fact that Tahir was far more wealthy than the other two. He had a dashing personality. He was handsome and generous. Due to it despite their friendship Sajjid and Munib were dominated by Tahir. There was a clear social difference among them. Sometimes, the social ranking overcomes even our sub conscious.
Tahir returned home and thought while resting on his bed why did he put his status on stake. How can he do that? Aayat was needy. If he would have done to some other girl, it was sure that she was going to insult him. His father can forgive a murder by him but can`t forgive his insult by a girl. As he was realising the situation he was getting angry on himself and his friends. He was also thinking about Aayat who was entirely different from other girls. He was not impressed by her beauty because she was not Cleopatra for whom Anthony and Julius Caesar fought. She was not Razia Sultana who fought for herself and conquered Tahir. She was not Mera Bai that Tahir had to write romantic poems for her. She was not Noor Jahan who not only conquered Jahangir`s love but also ran the government affairs. She was not like Arjumand bano that a Taj Mahal might be constructed in her memory. She was a common girl whose behaviour had made her special.
Tahir was sure that Aayat had incredible confidence. Her appearance showed that she was from elite class. Then why did she sell her bracelet. Why did she not call her parents and asked for money? She didn’t want inform her parents about her need. Was she a drug addict? What kind of drugs she was taking? Wine, cocaine, heroin or any other drugs! Or she was not taking drugs. The questions were arising and he was totally confused. He was tired of thinking about Aayat. Now he started thinking about his friends` strange behaviour. Why did they do that? He could not doubt their sincerity but his mind was not satisfied. After a while he slept.
Aayat`s rickshaw stopped at the main gate of the most expensive an modern hospital of Bhawalpur. She was holding some shopping bags in her hands. She entered in the hospital lobby. She went straight to a corridor at the end of which there was a ward. She knocked at the door of a room and entered in it. There was a four year child sleeping on the bed. His face was pale. There was a weary young woman sitting beside him. Although she was very beautiful her facial expressions were showing a touch of fear. Her eyes were sad. When she saw Aayat, a ray of hope lit up in her eyes. Aayat put the shopping bags on a side table and asked, “Rabia, how is Sarmad now?”
“Not well,” she replied. The pain could be seen of her face. Aayat came near her and said, “Be brave. You are his mother. I can understand your grief. But you have to keep courage. Don’t worry, if Allah has granted him life, he will once again play in your lap. Insha Allah, he will be fine soon.”
Aayat sat on Sarmad`s bed. She started moving her fingers in his hair. Her touch was full of love.
Rabia informed, “The doctor came on round. He was saying that Sarmad might be operated.” She started to cry. Aayat held Rabia`s hand and said hopefully, “Let them do the surgery. He will be alright after it.”
Rabia said, “But money is needed for surgery.”
Aayat smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it.” She gave Rabia all money in her bag.
“Aayat you are just like an angel for me,” Rabia was grateful. Tears were constantly flowing of her eyes.
Aayat said, “I`m not an angel. Let me become a human. It`s better for me. I`m going to see doctor to discuss about Sarmad`s surgery.”
Aayat put money back in her bag and went out. It took some time to see the doctor.
She asked the doctor what would you say about Sarmad`s surgery. Was it very important?
Doctor explained, “The consultants and I advise you for immediate surgery. The tumor is at initial stage.”
“But I think in another way,” Aayat said seriously. The doctor looked at her and asked, “I can`t understand what do you mean?”
Aayat said, “I am sure he has no tumor. You consult the specialists and investigate again.” She was very confident.
“So you don`t trust our investigations.”
“I`m not saying you are wrong. But if specialists re-check his reports, you may not have any objection. I`m sure it can`t be a tumor.” Aayat tried to convince him.
“I have no objection but you have to pay a lot of money for it. I will arrange the consultation again.”
“Don`t worry, I am depositing the initial amount. Till when will it be done?” She asked.
Doctor told, “Till tomorrow evening. Our most senior doctor Usman is coming from London tomorrow. It`s a delicate surgery so his advice is must and the surgery will be done by him. Now you want investigation again, so we shall consult other specialists too.”
“Investigation must be done again. Surgery will not be needed,” She talked with herself.
“I and Doctor Usman will deal with it. But why are you so sure about it.”
“I know but I can`t make you understand. As I can`t understand your medical terms,” she answered quite seriously.
“It`s strange but there must be some logic behind your belief,” doctor asked.
She remained silent for a few moment as she was deciding either to tell or not. Then she started to talk, “Passion (ishaq).”
Doctor didn`t like the answer. He said immediately, “Investigation will be done till tomorrow evening.”
She thanked doctor and paid money at counter. She went back to Sarmad`s room. She gave Rabia the receipt of payment. She told her about re-investigation. Rabia seemed happy.
“Thank you very much Aayat.”
“Please don`t say like this. It is my duty,” Aayat said. A great unknown emotion could be seen on her face.
“If you want you can go home. For a while,” Aayat offered.
“No, I will not go anywhere,” Rabia refused in a very bitter way.
“You have to awake whole night so it`s better for you to take some rest,” said Aayat.
Rabia did as Aayat said. Aayat sat on a chair near Sarmad`s bed. She was staring at Sarmad`s face. He was just like his father Waqar Hussain. Same eyes, nose, lips, face and hair everything was same. Waqar might have been the same in his childhood. By thinking that she felt Waqar`s aroma around her. She shut her eyes to feel Waqar Hussain. She imagined that he was somewhere near to her. He was talking. He was feeling her. She was lost in a new world. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door which brought her back to the reality. A nurse entered the room and gave her a card.
Nurse said, “This is Sarmad`s blood group. We need blood tomorrow during the surgery.”
“It will be done,” told Aayat.
Nurse started checking Sarmad. Rabia woke up due to the noise.
Rabia asked anxiously, “Blood?”
“Don’t worry, it will be done. Is your brother coming tonight? Aayat asked.
Rabia replied helplessly, “Yes, he promised me to come.”
“It`s fine. If he don`t come, just call me. Otherwise I shall come in the morning,” Aayat said.
She opened her hand bag and handed over all the money she had except few currency notes.
“I don`t need money. You are doing everything,” Rabia hesitated.
“Keep it. It is not enough. We need more money. But I shall arrange it,” Aayat replied seriously and went out of the room. She reached Farid Gate bus stop. The bus was ready to leave. The Sun had set. She left bus at the girls` hostel. She quickly reached at her room on the second floor where she had been staying since yesterday noon. As she entered the room, she found Ambreen there. They hugged each other.
Aayat asked, “When did you reach?”
“Just now,” replied Ambreen.
“Did you bring money?” Aayat asked.
“No, they didn`t give me,” Ambreen replied.
“What do you mean?” Asked Aayat
“I went grandfather`s office. As you know, he is not in Lahore. I talked with the manager. He told me that he could not arrange money right then. He took my bank account number. He will transfer money tomorrow. So, I came back,” Ambreen answered in detail.
Aayat was upset. She said, “I know, money will not be transferred even tomorrow.”
“If you need money, I can give you. I brought some from home,” Ambreen suggested quickly.
“Then what will you do? Your pocket money is so less. I need a lot of money. Anyhow do me a favour. I need blood. Please arrange it.”
She handed over the card. Ambreen looked at the card and asked, “You came here from Lahore in a hurl. Why do you come here? Who need the blood and so much money? What is this Aayat?”
Aayat start looking at Ambreen`s face. She took a deep breath. She was trying to control her emotions. Ambreen was watching her expressions. Suddenly Aayat broke the silence, “Waqar Hussain`s son Sarmad is seriously ill. Doctors are saying that he has a brain tumor. Doctors think _ _”
“Wait, wait, wait ___ Waqar Hussain! His son! How do you know?” Ambreen was utterly surprised. She was so much confused that she was not able to complete her sentence. Ambreen was feeling that Aayat was telling her tales of another world. The tales those were unbelievable. She was looking at her face with her eyes wide open.
“Yes, I am in touch with Waqar`s wife Rabia. She told me yesterday that Sarmad is admitted in government hospital. I took the first bus and reached here. I went to hospital. Rabia told me that Sarmad`s treatment is not possible there. I took them to the most expensive hospital of the city,”
“When you contacted me yesterday evening you were there in Bhawalpur,” Ambreen wanted the explanation.
“Yes, I was there. I could not stay in the hospital with Rabia. I contacted you. But you were not there. You were in Lahore. Your roommate is a nice girl. Where is she now?” Aayat said.
“She is shifted to another room. You were telling about Sarmad,” Ambreen inquired.
Aayat said rudely, “I brought some money with me but I realised it`s not enough. So I called you to bring some money. I called the manager but you know him. Grandfather is not in Lahore. I knew that manager would not give money.”
Ambreen asked, “What is Sarmad`s condition now?”
Aayat said, “Doctors are saying that there will be a surgery tomorrow. That`s why I need blood.”
“Don`t worry, I have the same blood group and I know two, three girls with same blood group. I shall arrange it.” Ambreen assured.
“Just relax, we are going for dinner soon,” said Ambreen.
Ambreen came from Lahore to study there. She was younger sister of Aayat`s class fellow Norin. Norin went to England after her marriage. She was Aayat`s only friend. They shared their secrets with each other. Ambreen was quite close to Norin so she knew many of them. The families of the girls knew each other. When Ambreen listened that Aayat was in Bhawalpur and why she was there, she was shocked. She was astonished that Aayat was there because of Waqar`s son. Why did she do that? That question was disturbing her a lot. But she knew that she could not get the answer until Sarmad is sick.
It was noon. Tahir was sitting alone at the canteen. Sajjid and Munib didn`t come to see him at his house. Tahir was sure that they have no excuse for the last day`s incident. He was very angry. He came to campus to talk with them and they were not there. He started thinking about Aayat. He was driven away unintentionally in the sweet memories of Aayat. What a girl she was. She saved him from a great embarrassment. If any other girl might have insulted him, he would have become a joke for the whole campus. He thought he didn`t paid for her bracelet. If she might asked a lot of money he would have given her. He knew that he was thinking emotionally. But when he thought about his father and his repute, he became more emotional. When he imagined that the rumor had spread all over that Sardar Sikandar Hayat`s son was insulted by a girl, his whole body was shaken like a leaf. He was struggling with his inner self, when he saw a hand waving in front of his eyes. He was surprised to see Aayat standing in front of him.
“I think you are always sitting here. You must attend your classes. You are here to study,” she asked charmingly.
“Please sit, so many questions can be answered while sitting peacefully,” Tahir requested.
Aayat sat down and said, “Answer now!”
“I don`t come here daily. Studies are finished. There are no more classes. Other students are preparing their thesis but I have paid somebody to write it for me,” Tahir replied.
Aayat didn’t comment on it. She thought for a while and suddenly demanded for breakfast. Tahir asked, “What would you like?”
“Anything which is good,” she replied.
Tahir went to the counter to order. They took their breakfast. After taking last sip of tea Aayat said, “Yesterday you took me to a jeweler. Can you take me to a jeweler again but not to the same jeweler.”
Tahir asked, “What do you want to sell today?”
She put her right hand on the table and said, “This diamond ring. It`s costly. We have to go to a big shop.”
“What is the price?” Tahir asked.
Aayat looked at him for a while and then said in a low voice, “The jeweler can tell.”
“Any guess,” Tahir insisted.
She said, “I don`t know.”
“Ok, fine, let`s go,” Tahir said and they moved towards the car park. Tahir drove her to a big jeweler`s shop. The young jeweler examined the ring and told them that he could not tell the price. They had to wait for Haji Sab. After about one hour an elderly person arrived. The ring was given to him. After examining, he told a price. Aayat smiled to listen the price. She thought something for a while and said that the price was too low. The jeweler replied that the diamond was costly but in the circumstances you came to sell it and the city where you wanted to sell it, the price was appropriate. In the other words jeweler was saying that he was aware of Ayat`s immediate need.
Aayat smiled and said, “If you change place, the price also changes.”
The jeweler understood what Aayat was saying. He said, “What can I say. If you want to sell it this is the price.”
Aayat said in a very sad way, “Ok, give me the money.”
Jeweler was going to open his safe when Tahir said, “Give me the ring. We need to talk with each other.”
Jeweler said, “As you wish.”
Tahir held Aayat`s hand firmly and dragged her out of the shop. Her hand was cool like ice. They sat in the car.
“I don`t know what are you doing and why are you doing. But please take the amount of money you need from the dash board.”
“Will you buy this diamond ring,” asked Aayat.
“Yes, I shall keep it, you take the money.”
Aayat kept on sitting for a while then she took a large amount of money without counting. She put the money in her purse and opened the door to get out of the car. Tahir offered her to drop wherever she wanted to go. Aayat refused to go with him and requested him not to chase her. She promised to meet him next day and went on her way. Tahir watched her going. He felt a pricking pain in his palm. It was the diamond ring. He threw it carelessly in the dashboard. Aayat crossed the road and hired a rickshaw. Tahir decided to follow her but then he decided to go on his own way.
It was noon when she reached the hospital. Ambreen was already there with her two roommates.
“Did you meet Sarmad? Did you see him?” Aayat asked.
Ambreen`s answer was no. They were just arrived and Ambreen did not know Rabia.
“Let`s see Sarmad first,” she said and started walking in the corridor towards Sarmad`s room. Sarmad was not sleeping. Rabia was sitting near Sarmad`s bed. She stood up. Aayat sat down and took Sarmad in her lap.
Aayat asked, “Did anybody come? I mean any doctor or_____?”
Rabia told her that only nurses came.
She introduced the girls with Rabia. Asked them to sit and went out. She went to Doctor`s room. A senior doctor with his team including two ladies was sitting there.
“Please come miss, this is Doctor Usman. We are discussing about your patient,” the doctor she met the previous day told her.
She sat with them in a chair. Doctor Usman told her that he was abroad. The doctors there had consulted him but he was not sure what to do.
According to Doctor Sarmad it was a chance that Sarmad might be cured without operation. They were investigating the case again. They would decide after seeing the reports.
Aayat understood that the decision might come the next day. She came back to Sarmad`s room. She told about the doctor`s opinion. She advised Rabia to sleep. She told Ambreen that she could leave because blood was not needed that day.
Ambreen told her that they would stay there till evening. They would have blood tests.
Aayat took a deep breath and said, “Let us see what happens.”
Ambreen took held her hand. They stayed in hospital till evening. Sarmad`s various tests were taken. Doctors told that they had to wait for the final reports till the next day. Then the girls decided to leave. Aayat also stood up with them. She gave money to Rabia.
Next day, Aayat got ready. Ambreen and her friends were also ready to go with her but she asked them to stay in the hostel. She would call them if needed. They took breakfast. When Aayat left hostel it was almost noon. She was standing on the bus stop. Naturally her eyes turned towards the canteen. She was happy to see that Tahir was sitting alone on a chair. Her heart was saying that she would meet Tahir at the canteen. Instead of going on the bus she came to him.
Aayat said, “I am sure now that you come here to sit in the canteen.”
Tahir replies, “And I was sure that you will come here again.”
“Why were you so sure?” Aayat asked.
“Tell me what you want to sell today?” he asked.
After hearing that the smile on Aayat`s face vanished. She was stunned. She could not even think that Tahir could say like that.
“What do you mean? I can`t understand” asked Aayat.
“There is nothing complicated that you could not understand. We shall have a cup of tea then you will take me to some jeweler`s shop. You will try to sell something. Today, we shall not do all this activity. You just give me the thing you want to sell and take money from the dashboard. But tell me only one thing,” Tahir said.
She understood a little bit what Tahir was saying about and asked, “What should I tell you?”
“What do you do with that money?” there was a bit of anger and surprise when Tahir asked that.
Aayat looked at his face for a while and said, “See my earrings; they are made of original pearls. Do you want to buy them? Otherwise take me to some jeweler`s shop.”
“This is not exact answer. You are taunting me. Are you trying to make fun of me?” he said angrily.
“I am answering you,” Aayat said in a polite manner.
“You don`t know that you have saved me from a great insult and embarrassment. That was my stupidity. I can give you much more money for that but _______”
Aayat interrupted him, “You are paying me money because of this. You paid me for my favour.”
“I don`t know but I feel happy to help you. But I don`t know where you are spending the money.”
Aayat said, “You bought these things. That is not your benevolence. I have to sell these, I sold them.”
“My family ____” Tahir tried to say something but Aayat intercepted him and said, “You belong to a good family that`s why you spent a lot of money to help me. I don`t want to know about your family. Do you want to buy these earrings? Otherwise take me to the jeweler`s shop.”
Tahir asked angrily, “What is the price?”
“How much can you pay?” She smiled but there was a grief on her face.
“Take all the money in my car. Agree!”
“Agree,” she said.
“There may be a risk,” he said seriously.
“It`s ok,” replied Aayat.
They walked towards the parking. Tahir opened the passenger door for her but she did not sit. She put her earrings in the dashboard and took a pack of currency notes.
“Why are you not sitting?” asked Tahir.
“I hope that we are meeting for the last time,” said Aayat and moved towards the bus stop. She stood at the bus stop among the other girls. She didn`t even looked back at Tahir. Bus came and she rode in the bus.
As she reached hospital Rabia told her that doctor had called her twice.
“Don`t worry, I`m going to meet him.” she went out.
Doctor Usman was reading something in his room. He saw Aayat, put the report down and said, “Please come, I was studying Sarmad`s reports.”
Aayat asked, “What have you decided?”
“I think surgery can be avoided. The problem can be solved by the medicine,” Doctor Usman said with a firm belief.
Aayat asked, “Can the disease be cured for ever with the medicine?”
“Yes, surgery is the last option. Latest researches have provided us with some great medicine. You take care of him and he will be alright.” Doctor Usman confirmed.
She asked, “Will you keep him in the hospital for further treatment?”
“No, you can take him home,” doctor smiled.
“Thank you doctor,”
She quickly reached Sarmad`s room. She kissed his forehead and told Rabia everything doctor said. Rabia thanked God. She was very happy. Aayat gave Rabia all the money and advised her to hide it and spend on Sarmad`s medicine and care.
“I have nothing to give you in return of your favours,” said Rabia.
Aayat looked into Rabia`s eyes and said, “You can do it by taking care of Sarmad.”
“Don`t worry about money, I am going to Lahore today. I shall contact you. Everything will be fine.” said Aayat.
“As you wish,” said Rabia.
Aayat wiped her tears and said, “Don`t cry, it will have a bad effect on Sarmad.”
Rabia said, “I shall not cry now.”
She took out her cell phone, dialed Ambreen`s number and informed her about the current situation. She sat for a while with Sarmad and then moved out of the room. She was going to Lahore.
It was evening. Tahir was in his bedroom. He was sad as he had lost anything very precious. He was thinking about Aayat un Nisa. He could not understand her. But he was sure that she had a unique personality. He was regretting about his anger over her. He was thinking her as his benefactor but he had hurt her. He was thinking all the aspects of his brief relation with Aayat. His servant knocked at the door and said, “Sajjid and Munib are here and sitting in lounge.”
He was surprised. He was angry with them but he controlled his emotions. He walked towards the lounge. They were sitting on the same sofa. He sat in front of them on another sofa and asked them, “Why do you come?”
“We know you are angry. We would have told you the real matter but the situation_______,” Munib tried to explain but Tahir interrupted them and said, “You may have designed a new plan to insult me. You are not my friends. You are my enemies.”
“Ok, if you don’t want to keep us friend any more, you can. But for the last time listen us, then decide,” Sajjid said emotionally.
“Say whatever you want in a moment, I`m tired of this bullshit,” Tahir said.
“A girl requested me to ask you about your liking. Our way of asking this simple question was not good,” Sajjid admitted. He looked ashamed of himself.
Tahir got angry and said, “Even now you are not talking in a straightway. Who is that girl your sister or cousin?”
Sajjid`s face turned red with anger but he tolerated his anger and said, “Jaweria Inam ul Haq, the girl whom you are taking to restaurants now a days. You have a good understanding with her.
Tahir was perplexed. “She said like that!”
Munib said angrily, “She wanted to talk with her parents regarding marrying you. She wanted to check are you serious with her.”
“You are again telling lie. She is a bold girl. She may ask me.” Tahir said.
“You can ask Jaweria____,” Sajjid tried to say something but Tahir intercepted him and said, “On that you trapped me like that. Thanks God Aayat saved me from embarrassment and insult.”
Munib said, “We were thinking wrong about her. She is a kind hearted girl.”
Tahir asked surprisingly, “What do you mean?”
“When she took you from the canteen, we chased you. We were thinking that she is a fraud and cheating you because we have not seen here earlier. When you reached the jeweler`s shop, she became more suspected. We decided to know about her,” Munib told him in detail.
Tahir asked impatiently, “What do you come to know?”
“We followed her. She reached a hospital. She went to a room straight away. We bribed a ward boy, he told us everything. There was a sick child. She sold her jewelry to save his life. She was staying there with some other girls. In fact, she is from Lahore. What is her relation with that boy we cannot figure out,” Munib said.
“What do you mean? She sold all her jewelry to treat a child. How is that child now? Is he still in the same hospital? Where is Aayat? We have to help her,” Tahir said anxiously and stood up. He forgot about his anger.
Sajjid asked, “Where are you going?”
Tahir replied, “The hospital, the hostel, any where we can find her.”
He ordered his servant to bring his car`s key. He was thinking that only Aayat can give him peace of mind.