(Bay Rang Peyya By Amjad Javeed)
Abdul Hnnan Ch
Rabia was confused that morning. Tahir had to go Islam Abad in emergency. There was an urgent party meeting. He had taken Sajjid with him. She had no concern about that party meeting but she knew that she had to drop Sarmad that day. She recited Quran after offering morning prayers. When the Sun started to spread its light, she went to Sarmad`s room to wake him up. Sarmad was already awoken. She asked him to get ready and went to kitchen. After breakfast, she came out in the porch with Sarmad`s bag. Driver was ready to go. When she sat on the back seat with Sarmad he said, “Mama, I shall go school with Bashir Uncle, you can stay home.”
“It`s ok my son. In that way I shall visit your school. The driver started to drive the car on its way to school. As they reached near school gate, another car stopped extremely near to their car. The driver stopped the car in time to avoid an accident. As their car stopped, few man came out of that car and surrounded their car. One of them put a pistol on the driver`s head and said, “Don`t try to be smart.” Another man moved towards the door where Sarmad was sitting. Rabia shouted, “Bashir, drive the car fast.” But he couldn`t. The man dragged Sarmad out of the car. Rabia came out of the car and cried, “Leave my son.”
“Get back if you want to see your son alive,” the man with pistol said.
“You can`t take kidnap my son,” she roared like a lioness. She clutched Sarmad tightly. They were dragging Sarmad towards them. Rabia was also being dragged with Sarmad. The man with pistol shouted, “We shall take him with us even we have to kill you.”
Rabia begged, “You can kill me but I shall not allow you to take my son. Tell Sikandar Hayat I shall do whatever he says but leave my son.”
He pushed Rabia and said, “Shut up!”
She fell down on the road. The other person threw Sarmad in the car. Rabia ran towards Sarmad. The man hit the pistol on her head. A fountain of blood ran out of her head. She fell down unconscious.
Sarmad shouted, “Mama!”
But the next moment he was made unable to talk. They drove their car away. The driver came out and saw Rabia. He dialed Tahir`s number. The incident happened near the school so the people who came to drop their children gathered around Rabia. Some of them drove her to the hospital. Aayat reached hospital. Rabia was taken to the operation theatre. Aayat kept her mind in control. She called different people. After two hours doctors came out of the operation theatre. The senior doctor said to Aayat, “The wound is not much deep but a lot of blood is lost.”
She asked, “Is anything serious?”
“Two hours are important. If she remained unconscious then we can`t say anything,” doctor said and walked towards his room. Meanwhile, Aayat`s phone rang. It was Tahir. Aayat told him the situation. He said, “You stay there in hospital and take care of Rabia. I shall not come without Sarmad.”
“Do you know who the kidnapper is?” she tried to ask but the line was disconnected.
Rabia was shifted to I.C.U.
Tahir reached Lahore quickly. He remained in touch with police and his men. Driver Bashir told him about the incident in detail. He didn`t take much time to understand who was the kidnapper. He believed his guess was hundred percent correct when he came to know that his Baba was in Lahore since last evening. Sajjid was busy in contacting different people separately. Tahir didn`t go farmhouse, he reached straight to their house in Lahore which was called dera. He parked the car in porch and went to the lounge. His Baba Sikandar was sitting there alone. He smiled to see Tahir and said arrogantly, “I knew that you would come to me.”
He said obediently, “Obviously Baba, I have to come to you.”
Sikandar Hayat asked contemptuously, “What do you want?”
Tahir begged, “I need Sarmad now. Promise me, you will not hurt him.”
“My son was lion but due to a woman he has become coward like a mouse. I feel ashamed to say you my son,” he said.
He begged again, “I want Sarmad.”
“You must be angry on me. Roar at me like a lion. Free him from my custody then I shall accept that you are my son whom I was proud of,” he shouted emotionally.
Tahir said obediently, “You are my father. How can I shout in front of you? I need Sarmad only.”
Sikandar Hayat said with haughtiness, “What do you think I have kidnapped him without purpose. You will come to me and say give me Sarmad, I shall hand him over.”
Tahir asked, “Why did you do like that? What do you want?”
“I know that you have created all that drama for that boy. I can hand him over to you on only one condition,” he said as he was talking to a stranger.
Tahir asked, “Baba what is it?”
“Don`t say me Baba till you accept my suggestion,” he said angrily, “Divorce Rabia and take the boy with you.”
“Baba, don`t say like that. I shall neither divorce her nor bear any harm to Sarmad. Don`t argue on the demand that I can`t fulfill,” Tahir requested.
Sikandar Hayat said contemptuously, “I shall not spare the son of the woman who had separated my son from me.”
Tahir was stunned to hear that. He shudder to listen his father`s threat. Rude, stubborn and fearless Tahir was going to arise in him but he controlled himself and said, “As you do with Sarmad, your son will face. I can`t say anymore.”
He saw his father`s face. His expressions changed for a moment but haughtiness again took place of love. He said harshly, “But my son is not mine now.”
“Baba, my life depends on Sarmad. If I can`t protect Sarmad, I shall die. Think before taking any action,” he tried to keep his tone full of obedience.
Sikandar Hayat shouted in anger, “I have thought before taking that extreme action. I shall imagine that I had no son. You have to divorce Rabia. I am giving you time till evening. Now you can go.”
Tahir looked at his father. He wanted to say something but Sardar Sikandar signaled him to go. He stopped for a while and then went out. The conditions were hopeless. He knew who was the kidnapper but he couldn`t tell anybody. He couldn`t expose his father`s crime. On the other hand the condition to free Sarmad was just like losing his life. He was unable to decide that it was a test or something else.
Rabia was in I.C.U. She was unconscious for more than three hours. Aayat was controlling herself but she was feeling that her nerves were no more under her control. She was continuously asking doctors why Rabia was still unconscious. Senior doctor was also surprised. According to his opinion it was not a good sign. They were trying to find out the cause of her unconsciousness. Aayat wasn`t alone there, Tahir`s and Aayat`s senior staff was with her. Dadu also reached there but he was not with Aayat. He was trying to contact different people to find Sarmad. She was sitting in the corridor but her attention was towards Rabia. Although she was worried about Sarmad but she had left that issue on Tahir. She knew who was innocent Sarmad`s enemy. She could have forced Sikandar Hayat to return Sarmad but Tahir had taken the responsibility. But she was not hopeless.
Aayat was getting more worried with the passage of time. Rabia was still unconscious. She went to senior doctor`s room. Two elderly men and a lady doctor were sitting there. They kept quite when she went there. The senior doctor asked her to sit. She sat down in a chair and asked why Rabia was still unconscious. The doctor told her that they were focusing on her head injury but it was not as much serious. They had taken some more test but the results were not much hopeful. She asked worriedly, “What happened to her?”
Doctor said, “That head injury is not the reason of her unconsciousness. She had high blood pressure. She couldn`t bear that incident. She had a disease which causes extraordinary pressure on veins in brain.”
She asked, “She will recover or _____________,”
“We can`t tell you anything certain at that moment. They are our senior doctors. We are going take some more test like C.T. Scan and angiography,” doctor explained.
“I want her speedy recovery. Please, try to your best,” she requested.
“This a matter of concern for us also. Pray for her,” doctor tried to console her. She went out of the room. The situation was very delicate.
Tahir was sitting on the back seat of his car. He was going towards hospital. He was well informed with the efforts to recover Sarmad. When a man don`t know the facts, he moves in every direction. But when he knows everything, he makes his way. Before his marriage with Rabia he was also involved in the activities that his father was doing. He was near the hospital when Sajjid called him. He said, “Sarmad is recovered.”
He asked very quickly, “Where is he?”
“He is with me. I am coming to you. He is alright,” Sajjid informed.
“I`m going to hospital, bring him there,” Tahir instructed.
“Ok,” Sajjid said and disconnected the line.
Sajjid was continuously in his contact. Sajjid reached hospital in an hour or so. As Tahir saw Sarmad, his heart felt longing for him. There was a ray of pain. He was feeling ashamed that he couldn`t protect Sarmad. For a moment, he felt that he was not in that world. He came back to his senses when Sarmad came and hugged him.
“They beat Mama and me,” Sarmad was weeping bitterly.
There was a deep sorrow, complain and trust in his words. His sigh had shaken Tahir. He was unable to control himself. His eyes were full of tears. He wanted to console Sarmad but he couldn`t say a single word. He was standing still.
“Let`s go in,” he was startled to hear Sajjid. He went in with Sarmad. Many people from his office were standing in the lawn. Aayat was standing with Dadu in the corridor. Dadu saw them suddenly and told Aayat. She turned towards them. Sarmad looked at her and ran towards her. She hugged Sarmad and start weeping bitterly. She was unable to understand either she was weeping in happiness or sorrow is flowing out of her eyes. Tahir reached near them. Sarmad was crying and telling what happened with him, “Bari Mama, they took me to their house. It was big house. The pushed me into a room and locked the door. When I asked them that I want to go to Mama, they beat me. Bari Mama, they beat me very hard.”
Aayat said, “You are my brave son. Don`t cry.
“Where is Mama? Her head was bleeding,” Sarmad sighed.
“Son, listen to me. She is not able hear or speak anything. Pray for her and don`t tease her,” Aayat tried to make him aware of the situation. Dadu took Sarmad with him. He held him high that he could see Rabia from the glass.
Aayat asked Tahir, “Who kidnapped him?”
He was looking ashamed and said in a low voice, “Baba`s men.”
“Who brought him back?” she asked.
“Sajjid brought him back. He had a doubt so, he contacted some people. They confirmed that they were Baba`s men. The men who kidnapped him didn`t know who is Sarmad and what is his relation with me. As they knew about it, they handed him over to Sajjid,” he told her in detail.
Aayat said categorically, “So, you couldn`t protect Sarmad and Rabia.”
“I`m your culprit,” he said.
She stated, “Rabia`s condition is not good.”
He asked surprisingly, “Is she still unconscious?”
Aayat told him details and said, “She must recover.”
Tahir felt it was a warning. Tahir found himself crushed between two heavy weights. Sajjid put his hand on his shoulder. Tahir started weeping bitterly. Sajjid tried to comfort him by saying, “Hope for the best. Insha Allah (by the grace of Allah) everything will be fine.”
Tahir held his hand and said, “Ask Aayat to take Sarmad home. He is already in shock. Only she can calm him down.”
Sajjid walked towards Aayat who was standing with Sarmad. The Sun was set. The people from office had gone. Dadu was there. Aayat was sent home. Doctors were trying their best. They have consulted some local and foreign specialist on Tahir`s request. Tahir was trying his best to save her life. Aayat`s warning was echoing in his mind. Meanwhile his phone rang, Baba was on the other side. He kept on looking the screen for a while and then attended the call. He wanted to say so many things but controlled himself. He said, “Hello!”
Sikandar Hayat said, “Did you divorce Rabia?”
“Baba, pray for her life. If she dies you will be considered her murderer,” Tahir said.
“If Sarmad is with you it doesn`t mean that you have won. Divorce her or Sarmad will have to die,” he threatened.
“You can`t get your son by killing somebody other`s son. Don`t be cruel,” Tahir said.
“You will tell me what to do,” he said.
“I don`t want to argue but listen, my life is linked with Sarmad`s life,” he said and dropped the line. He realised that his father reached to the peak of stubbornness.
The Sun had not arose. Aayat was sitting on the prayer mat. Usually she went for the morning walk at that time but she was praying for a long time. That she forgot to go for a walk. She looked at sleeping Sarmad and got up. She looked out of the window. Dadu was walking in the lawn. She knew that he had come home late at night. She couldn`t sleep for a moment. Aayat was preparing to go out. She reached porch and saw Dadu reading newspaper. He saw Aayat and folded the paper. Aayat asked, “How is Rabia?”
“She is still unconscious,” said Dadu.
“I am going hospital. Take care of Sarmad,” she said seriously.
“I understand what Sikandar Hayat had done isn`t good but you shouldn`t worry, I shall do something. I`m arranging more security for Sarmad,” Dadu said. He was understanding the delicacy of the moment.
She reached hospital, parked her car and walked towards I.C.U. Sajjid was sitting out. She walked towards him and asked about Rabia. Sajjid told that she was still unconscious. She peeped into the glass to see Rabia. Two doctors and nurses were standing in the room. Tahir was also there. Aayat felt that something was wrong. She entered I.C.U. She saw dissatisfaction on the doctors` face. They were observing the machines attached with Rabia. Aayat started to pray for her. The machines became silent. Doctors looked at Tahir quickly. He understood and looked at Aayat. Tahir`s eyes were full of tears. The doctor examined Rabia again and put a white piece of cloth on her.
“Bari Mama, the people whom go to Allah where do they live?” Sarmad asked Aayat.
She knew that she had to answer Sarmad`s question with patience. She said, “There is a beautiful place where there is peace and calmness. The people who are loved by Allah, they live there.”
He asked, “Mama is living peacefully but she doesn`t know that you and I are here. We miss her. Papa doesn`t talk much now.”
“Allah loves the people who are good. When He sees his creatures in pain, he calls them to Him and blesses them with peace. Your Mama was in great pain so Allah called her to Him and blessed her with peace,” Aayat said calmly. She was trying her best to control herself.
He said sadly, “She was trying to save me.”
“If you will weep or remember Mama, she has to come back here and feel the same pain again. Do you want to see her in pain?” Aayat asked.
He said quickly, “No, I don`t want to see her in pain.”
“Very good, you are a brave boy. Papa, Dadu and I are with you,” she said.
Sarmad might have understood so he didn`t ask any more question. Sarmad had been living with Aayat for a week. Sarmad was taken to the graveyard to see Rabia for the last time before burying her. Tahir doesn`t want to take him there, but Aayat insisted that he must know the reality. She had mentally prepared him before going to the graveyard. The people were coming to farmhouse for condolence but Sarmad was with Aayat. She knew that Sarmad had been deprived of a great blessing. She realised that her responsibility had increased.
Life doesn`t stop by the death of someone. The worldly business goes on. She decided to send Sarmad`s school again. Nobody was coming to the farmhouse for condolence. She took Sarmad to farmhouse. She stopped her car in the porch. The farmhouse was looking desolate. The hustle bustle there was gone with Rabia. She came to the lounge. Nobody was there. The servants came to see them. She asked the maid, “Where is Tahir?”
She said, “He sitting the lawn.
Aayat asked, “Did he not go to office?”
She answered, “He is not going anywhere now a days.”
“Take care of Sarmad, I shall see him,” Aayat said.
Aayat went out. She saw Tahir was wearing white clothes. He was sitting in a chair. His head was down. His hair were not combed. He was not aware of Aayat`s arrival. Aayat reached near him. When he felt her presence he sat straight. Aayat sat in a chair in front of him. She said after some moments of silence, “Why are you so discouraged?”
He looked at her face and said, “You have answered that question some days ago.”
She asked, “Can you repeat my answer?”
Tahir said sadly, “I am unable to protect Rabia and Sarmad.”
Aayat asked calmly, “What will you do now?”
He said seriously, “I shall punish myself.”
“What will be that punishment?” she asked.
He answered, “I am thinking about it.” He looked confused.
“It means that you haven`t even think about it. When you reach on a decision, please do tell me. Sarmad is there,” she told.
“Aayat, I am ashamed of myself. How can I face Sarmad and you?” he said. Aayat felt his sadness in herself. She asked, “You can`t think about life. Where is your claim about passion (ishq)?”
“I`m sitting here with patience just because of that passion (ishq),” he said.
“Otherwise, what have you done? Would you have taken revenge from your father?” she asked.
“Yes, I would have taken revenge by killing myself but my passion (ishq) doesn`t allow me to suicide. I have to bear the cruelty with patience without saying a single word. I can`t do anything,” he said like that he was talking with himself.
Aayat looked at her and said, “The life is not the name of escaping from the problems. It is name of facing them. Anyhow, I have told you that Sarmad has come with me.”
“If you are taking him back with you, I shall not meet him,” he said seriously.
Aayat said, “What are you saying?”
“If he has come to live here then I shall meet him,” he stated.
She asked, “What is this logic?”
Tahir explained, “I am thinking that my atonement is possible if I take care of Sarmad. Otherwise there is no use of my life. Leave me alone.”
“Sarmad needs me,” she said.
“I`m not trying to force you. It is my request,” he said humbly.
Aayat thought for a while and said, “Ok, he will live with you.”
He became lively to hear that. He stood up and came to lounge. No one was there. The maid told them that Sarmad is in the bedroom. They went there and found him sleeping. Aayat came out, went to porch and drove her car out of the farmhouse.
Aayat tried to divert her attention from Sarmad till evening. She told herself that Tahir could take care of him. He had taken the responsibility. As the Sun started setting she became eager. She thought many times to talk with Tahir about Sarmad but stopped because Tahir would think that she didn`t trust him. She couldn`t understand how she would spend night. She took dinner and went to her room. There was bed in front of her but she preferred to sit in a sofa. She was trying to divert her attention but she was continuously thinking about Sarmad. She was thinking what he would be doing. Would he be able to sleep? Would he be crying to remember Rabia? She took her cell phone and was going to dial Tahir`s number but stopped. She decided to constraint herself. Sarmad would decide where he wanted to live. She went to bed. She wanted to sleep but her eyes were sleepless. The first quarter of the night was over and she was wide awake. Suddenly, her cell phone rang. Tahir was on the line. He said, “I`m at your porch.”
Aayat asked, “Everything is ok.”
“Sarmad wanted to sleep with you so I brought him here,” he said calmly.
She got up quickly and said, “I`m coming.”
When she reached porch Sarmad was standing with Tahir. She hugged Sarmad. Sarmad said, “I couldn`t sleep.”
She said with great affection, “You may sleep here.”
Tahir said, “I may leave now.”
Aayat said, “You can also sleep here.”
He said seriously, “No, I shall go to farmhouse.”
He turned back, waved his hand towards Sarmad and drove his car out. She went in after he crossed the gate. She was feeling that she had done something wrong. She didn`t even say him to come in. She was worried about Sarmad but she would not have ignored Tahir. She took Sarmad to her bedroom.
She slept calmly. When she was ready to go for a walk, Sarmad woke up. She cancelled her plan to go for a walk and prepared Sarmad. They started to take breakfast. Dadu had arrived after walk. He went to his room after reading newspaper.
Sarmad said, “Bari Mama, I have taken breakfast.”
Aayat`s cell phone rang. Tahir was on line. She received the call. Tahir said, “I`m standing out.”
Aayat asked, “Why are you out, come in?”
She remembered her behaviour at night. He said, “I come to take Sarmad, he has to go school.”
She asked him to come in. But he said that Sarmad would be late from school. She realised that she might not talk with him anymore. She took Sarmad to the gate. He was sitting in the car. She opened the front door for Sarmad but Tahir said, “Let Sarmad sit on the back seat. His uniform is there. He will change in the way. She wanted to go with them but she couldn`t do that. Tahir drove the car and went away. She stood there for a while. Her thoughts were freezed.
Aayat came home in the afternoon. She was thinking about Sarmad. She called Ambreen from the office. She asked about Sarmad and advised her to take care of him. She had nothing to do except thinking about Sarmad. She was sitting in the lawn. She saw Shakeel coming through the gate. He was wearing a black suit without a tie. Her hair were well combed but he was looking careless. He saw Aayat sitting in the lawn and walked towards her. He sat in a chair and asked, “How is everything?”
She asked instead of answering him, “Where were you?”
He replied, “I didn`t go anywhere. I was there. I feel that I`m standing between the two ways. When I met you last time I was uncertain. I felt that you don`t want to answer me.”
“Why do you feel like that?” she asked.
“When I expressed my feelings you said to me that your love was for everyone,” he said.
She said, “Then!”
“That thing couldn`t satisfy me. I reached on two conclusions: I am not understanding your concept of love or you are trying to get rid of me. The biggest question was why you wanted me to meet Sherlyn. Our relation has ended. I want to marry again and you have no objection on it. On the other hand you say that I must forget everything and love Sherlyn whole heartedly and colourlessly.”
Aayat said, “I accept it is a bit difficult for you but it is not impossible.”
He asked, “Aayat, what is this? I can`t understand if you want some time or love somebody else.”
“I love everybody. Tell me when you started thinking like that and now __________,” she tried to say but he ignored her and said, “I must have neglected these thoughts but when I contacted Sherlyn _________, he said.
Aayat interrupted, “So, you tried to contact her. How was that experience?”
He said, “I didn`t receive any positive response.”
She said thoughtfully, “So, there was no response.”
“After that contact, I realised that I have called somebody in space. I requested my friends to convey my message to her. I thought it was an effective and sober way. If there was a hint of love in her heart, she might have answered. None of my friends told me about anything positive,” he said.
“It means you got no answer till now,” Aayat asked.
“I was going to talk with you but due to your friend Rabia`s death I didn`t say anything. During that span of time I came to know about your affection about Rabia. On the other hand, I came to know about your relation with Tahir Bajwa. Tahir wanted to marry you but you convinced him to marry Rabia. What is this?” he asked.
Aayat asked him instead on answering, “What do you understand?”
He said, “I thought that you are a psychological patient. If your concept of love is right then why are you avoiding marriage?”
She asked, “Do you ask me something?”
“No, I want to tell you something because you have changed my angel of thinking,” he said.
She asked, “How?”
He said, “I started thinking, may I stick to my theory of love or believe yours. I thought to experiment your theory of love. I kept on thinking that before experimenting I must confirm either I love somebody or not. Did I love Sherlyn? Do I love Aayat? If I didn`t love Sherlyn how I claimed it? Sherlyn was faultless in that regard. Her decision was right. If I don`t love her why should I force her to live with me? If I love Aayat like I loved Sherlyn then the result of that marriage will be the same. It means that I am wrong somewhere. I should analyse myself. You showed me the way of colourlessness. You advised me to love Sherlyn colourlessly. Do my ego is forcing me not to be colourless?”
Aayat asked calmly, “What are your findings?”
“I decided to forget, forgive everything, contacted Sherlyn and tried my level best. The first effect of that decision was that I analysed myself. I looked into the past. Many incidents which I was thinking as very important seemed needless, useless and ridiculous. I thought about them for last three four days. I realised that I was wrong in many matters of disputes,” he answered.
“That`s good that you looked into the past and realised your mistakes but what do you want to tell me? And why are you asking me such questions?” she asked.
“Nothing, I don`t want to tell you anything. I don`t want to ask anything I don`t want to tell you anything. I only ______________,” he wanted to say but couldn`t complete his sentence. He was looking much confused.
Aayat asked, “What is your plan about talking with Sherlyn?”
“I talked with her last evening,” he stated calmly.
She asked, “What did she say?”
“The mistakes I made in the past were on their place but she put many other crimes in my account like: why did I run away and what was the need to tell friends about our relation? She said that I was wasting my time by contacting her,” he told sadly.
Aayat asked, “Did she talk with you properly?”
He replied, “Her behaviour was contemptuous.”
She said, “It means that she didn`t agree.”
“No, I guess that much time is passed. Her thoughts might have changed a great deal,” he said.
“You say that you talked with her colourlessly but many snakes of colours are still coiled in your heart,” she said.
“I can`t understand how I am not colourless?” he asked.
“You still have evil presumptions about her. Colourlessness is not achieved like that. I told you that it was difficult for you but not impossible. You must continue your efforts,” she advised.
Shakeel looked at her like he is understanding what she was saying but he was not ready to accept it. He put his head down, sat for few minutes like that and then started to walk towards the gate. His behaviour was like that he didn`t like whatever Aayat said. Aayat didn`t stop him. She saw him going out of the main gate.
To be continue ….