(Bay Rang Peyya By Amjad Javeed)
Abdul Hnnan Ch.
She became entangled about what Shakeel had said. She could not understand her behaviour but she knew that he was passing through a difficult time. She was satisfied about him by realising his mental condition. Then she started to think about Sarmad and felt uneasy. The evening approached in that strife and the darkness prevailed.
She sat in the lounge after dinner. She was imagining that Tahir was going to come with Sarmad. Dadu came there too. They talked about various issues while watching T.V. Dadu went to his room but she was still sitting there. Apparently, she was watching T.V. but her mind was thinking about Sarmad. She presumed at every voice that Sarmad was there. She wanted to call Tahir but she had no courage to do that. The fourth quarter of the night passed but she was still waiting for Sarmad. She went to her bedroom. She was thinking how Sarmad might have slept without his mother. He might have insisted to go to Bari Mama before sleeping.
Sarmad wore his uniform and combing his hair in front of the mirror. Tahir was standing with Sarmad`s coat in his hand. When Sarmad combed his hair, he handed over his coat. He wore the coat. Tahir said, “That`s like a good boy. Let`s have breakfast.”
Sarmad said obediently, “Ok Papa,”
They went to lounge. Balqees Begum was already sitting there. She was sitting in a sofa and looking at them proudly. Tahir walked towards her and greeted her. Sarmad followed him. She answered his greeting. Sarmad also greeted her but she stared at Sarmad in an angry way as she didn`t like that. She didn`t answer his greetings and said, “Your servants have told me that you are taking care of that boy like a woman. Balqees Begum`s tone was full of hatred and disgrace. He neglected his mother`s tone and said, “Amaan, take breakfast with us.”
She said, “No, I have taken breakfast. I came here to talk with you.”
He said obediently, “Yes please.”
She signaled with her eye towards Sarmad and said, “Send him out first.”
Tahir said, “You have to wait. We shall take breakfast, after that I shall drop Sarmad at school then I shall be able to hear you.”
Balqees Begum burnt with envy and rage. She said abhorrently, “You are preferring this boy on your mother whose father is not even known.”
Tahir said, “Amaan, you will not say a single word now. He held Sarmad`s hand and turned back. Balqees Begum stood up and said, “I was thinking that you might have changed. But now, I think that my son is lost forever.”
Tahir said politely, “If you can return that child`s mother, your son will be with you.”
She looked at her languidly and asked, “Till now, only your father was against you, do you want your mother also to be against you?”
He said softly, “I don`t believe in these things.”
“You can`t understand that your father may disinherit you due to your disobedience and obstinacy. You are M.N.A. just because of your father. Your honour and respect is due to your father. People respect you because your family not due to this low cast boy whose father is unknown,” she was shivering in anger.
“Amaan, we shall talk later. I have to drop Sarmad. We are getting late. I shall be there soon,” Tahir said.
“It means that you have no effect of whatever I have said,” she said weirdly. Tahir signaled a servant who was standing away and said, “Give him breakfast, I`m coming.”
He took Sarmad. Tahir saw her mother and said, “You shouldn`t talk like that in front of a child. There will be a bad effect on him. She said, “You are thinking about that child but you have no respect for your mother.”
“I sent him out because I respect you. Otherwise, he may have come to know that Baba is his mother`s murder,” Tahir tried to control himself.
She said, “Whoever will come in our way, we shall ruin him or her.”
“Amaan, don`t say like this. This is arrogance and Allah doesn`t like it. If I`m M.N.A. because of Baba, I shall resign today. If he can make me M.N.A. why he could not make his M.P.A.? Respect and honour is not in worldly status and grandeur. The life is not permanent. Only Allah can grant us respect when we link ourselves with his creatures. Only Allah can decide about the life and death of his creatures. We should always ask Him for forgiveness. We should be afraid of any testing time,” he said.
Balqees Begum said, “You are gone mad. You have no respect for your parents.”
Tahir said emotionally, “I respect you. I do care about you. But you killed that innocent child`s mother. What is his crime? I have to expiate for your mistake.”
Balqees Begum asked haughtily, “What is your demand? What do you want us to give that boy? Give him and get rid of him.”
Tahir said calmly, “I want to give him my life.”
She asked angrily, “You can`t understand. What do you want that we forget you?”
He was going to answer but he heard Sarmad saying, “Papa, please hurry up. I`m getting late.”
Tahir said, “I`m coming my son.”
He said to his mother, “You stay here, I`m coming.”
She said, “I shall not stay here.” She stood up, stared at him and went out. Tahir saw her going in her car from the window. Tahir took a deep breath and walked towards Sarmad who was waiting for him. He had not taken the breakfast. When Tahir reached at the table he started to eat.
Syed Zeeshan Rasool Bukhari was in a pleasant mood that day. Tahir and the young man were sitting in front of him. They often met Shah Sab together. They understood that their destination or problem was the same that`s why they were given time together otherwise a lot of people were there who were seeking for Shah Sab`s appointment. They discussed issues regarding the current situation in the country then the young man asked, “What is the relation between the human and the universe?”
The system with which our Earth is attached is an obituary system. There is no right and left in it. If we talk about right or left, it will be by remaining in the orbit. The Earth is the centre in that obituary system. You may raise the point that the Sun is its centre because every planet is revolving around it. The sunlight is falling on the Earth and Moon equally, but when it reaches on the Earth it changes into energy while it makes no difference on the Moon. The Earth has the quality to decode that light. What is the secret in it? The secret is that the Earth maintains its central position. It remains on its position in that obituary system. It never leaves its centre. When a human adjusts himself with nature just as the Earth, he is also linked with that energy.”
“Can you explain it in relatively easy words?” the young man said.
Shah Sab smiled and said, “System in a home comprises of father, mother and children. The father arranges all the resources for the home. He is responsible to do that. But the common observation is that whenever there is some problem all the children stand with their mother. Why does it happen? Because the mother keeps the central position in the home. Whenever the mother decides the children backs her decision. Centricity is the real energy. We recite the blessing upon our Holy prophet (PBUH). It is given the status of worshiping. It is given that status due to the central position of Muhammed (PBUH)”
“What is the status of passion (ishq)?” the young man asked.
“The passion (ishq) has the central position. If somebody is in the circle of passion (ishq), he has to remain in that circle. He has to solve all his problems and deal all his problem by remaining in that circle. He can`t go towards right or left. He can`t involve himself in positive and negative. Whatever he will do, he has to remain in that circle. If he want to do something which is out of that circle then his passion (ishq) is impure, crude or raw.”
The young man asked, “Does that obituary system retrain humans?”
Shah Sab said seriously, “This system declares independence for the humans. It is the system of independence. The circle doesn`t make him slave, it gives him more independence and security. Because it is possible to achieve something by remaining in the circle, otherwise it is impossible. The Sun is shining. Its rays are reaching at the Earth. The effect of these rays is good at the Earth but if we cross the atmosphere these rays becomes harmful ultraviolet rays. The energy of colourlessness benefits the other humans and the colourless person links himself with the universe.”
“What a man has to do after linking himself with the universe?” he asked.
Shah Sab replied, “The man has to balance his personality. The balance is built in every human but the society creates imbalance in him.”
He asked quickly, “How that balance can be created?”
Shah Sab looked at Tahir and said, “The success of intention and desire depends upon their balance. When the intention and desire balance each other, the intention and desire become successful. If the intention and desire negate each other, they can`t be successful. As the intention and desire achieve success by being harmonious, the apparent and inner-self can achieve success by being harmonious. The most surprising aspect of the harmony of the intention and desire is that the wisdom has no role in it. Because the passion (ishq) has always remained above the wisdom. When person loves another person, he can`t understand many things. That is vacuum where the Devil (Satan) plays his role. He shows the man his apparent success. He traps him. He becomes unable to listen his heart. When he travels on the Devil`s path, he realises his mistake. He realises that his wisdom is responsible of his astray. If you have intention and desire, always keep the wisdom behind them. If the wisdom overcomes the intention and desire, success can never be achieved.”
The young man asked, “What is the thing that disturbs the balance?”
Shah Sab explained, “The person who has ego, he will always try to prove that he is on the right path. When two persons are indulged in a dispute, both of them say that he is right. They go to court and try to prove that they are right. In fact who is right? Their ego is right. If everybody neglects his ego, he will get whatever he desires. The Devil or lust attacks on the human by the armory of ego. The human fights the war of ego for his whole life. He can`t achieve the real happiness. He lives his life without any purpose. The door of passion (ishq) remains close for him. Because the passion (ishq) and ego are enemies of each other. The passion (ishq) kills ego. It makes changes in him. Then the human achieves whatever he desires. The passion (ishq) is a change. If there is passion (ishq) then there is no place for ego. Ego`s centre is lust and passion`s centre is the universe.”
He asked, “Why does the ego overpower a human?”
“Many people are there who have many resources but can`t enjoy their lives because of ego. They are the greatest hurdle between them and the real happiness. They arrange resources for their future. They don`t depend upon their own resources, they want to utalise other`s resources too. Their ego stands in the way of their happiness. The power of passion (ishq) doesn`t emerge in front of them. The passion gives independence but the ego entrenches in front of it. The ego teaches him the lesson of his rights, positivity and negativity. He breaks his link with the universe while fighting between right or wrong,” Shah Sab said.
He asked thoughtfully, “There is a phase of ego and a phase is of passion (ishq). There must be a switch which can enable the phase of passion (ishq).”
Shah Sab replied in detail, “There is passion (ishq) or there is no passion (ishq). There is no way in between. When a human links himself with the power who has created him and who is saying to link with Him and He shall make you an example for others, he achieves self-reliance on the Earth. This is the real independence. You can say it immortality or colourlessness. The interesting thing is that the source of linking with his Creator is present inside him. When the inner source links with the greatest source of power, passion (ishq) is activated. This is another argument how can the energy created and how to use it.”
“What is the format of passion?” he asked. Shah Sab smiled and said, “The format of passion (ishq) is colourlessness.”
He asked, “How this process occurs?”
“The inventions were done after the discoveries. For example, iron was discovered and the humans made uncountable things from it. After the discovery of petrol and electricity, the cars and computers were invented. All the discoveries were made from the Earth. In other words, all the sources of the inventions were founded from the Earth. Similarly, all the sources in human are the sources of passion (ishq). The condition is colourlessness. The colourlessness will take him to the uniqueness. Like the human will link the universe. In the other words, a link between Allah and his slaves will be generated,” Shah Sab looked at the wall clock after saying that. The young man and Tahir realised that it was time to go.
Aayat called Ambreen immediately after reaching her office. She asked about Sarmad as usual. Ambreen told her that there was holiday in school the next day. A strong desire of spending day with Sarmad emerged in Aayat`s heart. She disconnected the line and started to make plans. She would go to farmhouse and bring Sarmad at her home or she would call Tahir to drop Sarmad after the school. She asked Tahir`s staff if he was in office. They informed her that he had not come yet. She got busy in her routine work. After two hours she was told that Tahir was in his office. She went to his office.
Tahir Bajwa was typing something on his laptop. He looked up and saw Aayat standing in front of him. Aayat noticed that his face blossomed to see her. His expression was free of any fabrication and falsification. His face was glittering like a lamp. Aayat was affected by that expression. A kind of pleasant feeling emerged in her inner-self, just like the law that every action has its reaction. Tahir put his laptop on a side, smiled in a lively way and said, “I`m so fortunate that you come to my office.”
Aayat said while sitting in a sofa, “It is an honour or sarcasm.”
“Ask your heart,” he stared at her face and said.
Aayat asked pleasantly, “So, you are studying poetry now a days or you have become poet.”
“I am studying the face which is source of all fine arts,” Tahir said. Aayat remained silent for few moments then asked, “What are you doing in the evening today?”
Tahir replied, “Nothing special.”
“Can Sarmad and you come my home? I have come to know that Sarmad has holiday tomorrow,” she asked hesitantly.
“We have no programme today so we shall come,” he said calmly.
“If you are busy I can pick Sarmad. You may come to my home after office,” she asked as she wanted a permission.
Tahir smiled and said, “As you like but pick him in time.”
“I shall take him in time. In fact, I shall go little early so I can talk with Ambreen for some time,” she told her plan.
Tahir said, “Ok!”
She stood up. Tahir said quickly, “Sit down and have a cup of tea.”
“No, I have to wind up my office work,” she said and went out of his office. Tahir smiled to see her going.
It was noon when Aayat`s phone rang. Dadu was on the other side. He said, “Do you know Shakeel is in hospital?”
Aayat asked worriedly, “No, what happened to him.”
“I have come to know just now. His family found him unconscious in his clinic. He was taken to the hospital. He is still in the hospital,” Dadu told her details and the name of the hospital.
Aayat asked, “Are you going to visit him?”
He said, “No, I am not in the city. If you can go otherwise I shall visit him tomorrow.”
“I am going to visit him,” she said.
“You must go at once,” Dadu said quickly and disconnected the line.
Aayat left her office to go to hospital. She called Tahir and told him the situation. He said calmly, “Don`t worry, I shall pick Sarmad.”
She was confused. From her office to the hospital she kept on thinking why there were so many hurdles in meeting and spending time with Sarmad. She reached the hospital room. Shakeel was on the bed. His eyes were shut. His mother was sitting with him. She was not looking much worried. That meant that his condition was not critical. Aayat greeted her and asked, “What happened?”
She told that he fell unconscious and they took him to the hospital. Aayat asked, “What do doctors say?”
“Nothing but they are treating him,” she told.
“Is he unconscious since morning?” Aayat asked.
“No, he was conscious before you come. He talked with us but now he is sleeping due the effect of medicine,” she said calmly.
“I shall ask the doctor,” she said.
Shakeel`s mother told her how she managed to bring him hospital because no male member was at home. She brought him here with the help of driver. Meanwhile Shakeel`s younger brother came in the room. Shakeel opened his eyes after some time. He said, “Mom, I am alright. You should go home now.”
She asked, “How can I leave you in this condition and go home?”
He said, “You don`t worry. Aayat is sitting with me. Aqeel will come back after dropping you.”
She stood up to go after hearing that. When they went, Aayat said, “I`m going to ask the doctor what happened to you.”
Shakeel said, “You can ask him when he will come there. I know what happened to me.”
“Tell me, what did happen?” Aayat asked
“I got education in psychology. I know about myself what happened to me. I know which things affect a human. As a doctor knows what disease and what is its treatment, he falls ill. I am thinking about myself till I came here. I think it was a stroke of depression. I was not happy from inside. I tried to control myself but couldn`t and now I am the hospital bed,” he said.
“Can you tell me what you have done to control yourself?” she asked
“First of all I tried to believe whatever I have done is right. Sherlyn and I were separated, she took my son and I came here. Secondly, I tried to explain myself that I am right and every step I have taken is correct. I tried to get rid of my loneliness. I thought that I would find a new companion and forget everything. I was in that phase when you met me. Aayat, I accept that my love for you doesn`t match the standards of your concept about love. I thought that I loved Sherlyn but that relation was unsuccessful. I tried to marry you,” he said. He was confused.
“Can you get rid of your loneliness?” asked Aayat.
“I couldn`t love you but you shook my inner-self and conscience. You were not my love but you became the centre of my attraction. I was attracted by your theory of love to link with the inner-self but I couldn`t act upon it. That feeling affected me a great deal. I gradually lost control on myself. Awareness is sometimes quite painful. I`m a psychiatrist so I understood your logic and reached to that condition,” he said. He was hopeless.
Aayat said calmly, “If there are problems in this world, there are solutions also. If someone is not willing to solve his problem what can we do? Your problem is not as big. You are the only hurdle in the way of solving your problem.”
Shakeel asked, “How can you say that?”
“Every moment of life is full of happiness. Life is the name of living every moment of life. If somebody is passionate (aashiq) then all his happiness is under the effect of his passion. We have several examples of the people who had many problems but they showed us how to live. They lived like that they are alive even today. The secret of their life was their internal love. Internal love has so much power that it shadows the apparent. The power of patience is provided by the inner-self,” she explained.
“What will happen by linking the inner-self?” he asked as he was fed up of her philosophy.
“You must try to achieve the power of life. If the apparent and inner-self are not on the same page there will be no uniqueness. They give energy to each other. When they balance each other, a new power is emerged. It can only be done by the passion (ishq). For example, we have a seed and soil. We think that we sow the seed and it will grow. The seed is imagining if it will go in the soil it will become a tree. The soil knows as the seed will be sown, I shall give it growth. It is hypothesis and theory till now. Hypothesis and theory have no power of creation. The creation can be achieved by passing through the action phase. Action is power which brings a seed to life,” she said.
“I understand both apparent and inner-self. Is this the only solution of my problem? He asked.
Aayat said, “Remove the hurdle which are preventing you to create harmony with your inner-self. Link with your inner-self. Passion (ishq) is the source of power. Not only make yourself a power but become a source of power for others. Don`t run before the wealth, make the wealth to run after you. Passion (ishq) is power, the man changes it into energy. Then he can do anything he wants. Whatever he thinks, he gets.”
“If I link with the inner-self what will happen to my personality? I shall be ruined,” he said like that his inner stubbornness is talking.
Aayat smiled and said, “The uniqueness of inner-self helps to glorify the apparent. There is a balance between them. If any of them disturbs the balance, it can create a disaster. The personality will be destroyed. Passion (ishq) presents its uniqueness and it also makes the passionate (aashiq) unique. He presents his uniqueness in his passion (ishq).”
“I accept you are right. I understand your point of view but if I link with my inner-self what will be its effect on Sherlyn? She is far away,” he asked another question after understanding Aayat.
“Whatever I am asking you to is not a gamble, risk, trap or brain washing. This is nature`s demand. This is reality. This is the real philosophy of passion (ishq). You are confused with the concepts of positive-negative and profit-loss. Where is positive-negative in the circle of the universe. When a human relates with another human then positive-negative, complaints, anger, kindness and love emerge. But if there is no relation then there is no importance of negativity or positivity,” she answered.
Shakeel asked, “I love Sherlyn. Suppose, I make the circle but where is she?”
She replied, “You don`t love Sherlyn. Do you provide her whatever she wanted?”
He asked, “What do you mean by whatever?”
Aayat said, “Wealth, time, behaviour and her wishes.”
“No, I couldn`t provide her all these things,” he accepted.
“Then you are not in that circle. Where is uniqueness of your passion (ishq)? You haven`t even drawn the circle in which she can be given the central position. You are in a hospital. If you die here, can your wealth and time provide the real happiness to her? When a human links with another human, it creates the real happiness but for that a man has to link his apparent and inner-self,” Aayat said. He was stunned to hear that.
“How can I do that? I am ready to do that all,” he questioned.
“Terminate all the things which are not allowing you to link you with yourself. Then watch what will be the reaction of that action,” Aayat replied. He started thinking. A long period of silence prevailed between them. Aayat knew that there was a storm inside him. It is very painful to separate ego from yourself. She remained silent. Meanwhile, the doctor came in the room. He smiled to see Shakeel conscious. He asked, “How are you?
He answered with a smile, “I`m feeling better now.”
Doctor examined him and said, “You are normal in my opinion.”
He asked, “Can I go home?”
The doctor said, “Let me take a few more tests then you can go home.”
The doctor wrote something in Shakeel`s file and went out. Shakeel said, “Call my mother, I`m alright and shall go home with you if you aren`t busy.”
“I shall take you home,” Aayat said quickly and picked up her cell phone.
When she came back her home after dropping Shakeel, it was evening. She was thinking about Sarmad. She had a regret that she has to meet Sarmad but couldn`t. She wanted to go farmhouse or call Tahir to drop Sarmad at her home but she couldn`t decide. She stopped her car in the porch and entered the lounge. She saw Sarmad was playing with a toy there. He saw her and ran towards her. She hugged him and asked with great affection, “When did you come?”
Sarmad told her happily, “Papa and I have come long time ago.”
She saw Dadu and Tahir were sitting and talking with each other. She asked Sarmad, “Sorry, I`m late. Did you feel bore?”
“No, Papa told me that you went to visit a sick. Visiting sick is a great virtue that`s why I did not feel bore,” he said.
“It means your Papa tells you good things,” she said and reached near Tahir and Dadu. After greetings, she informed them about Shakeel. Dadu said, “That`s good, you dropped him at his home.” Tahir stood up and said, “I have to leave now. I shall pick Sarmad tomorrow evening.”
Aayat said quickly, “Where are you going? Stay with us.”
“No, I have to do some important work,” he shook hand with Dadu, waved at Sarmad and went out.
Sarmad said, “Bari Mama, let`s take Dadu to the fast food restaurant.”
Dadu said, “Pardon me and take your Mama with you.”
Sarmad ran towards Dadu, sat in his lap and said, “No, you have to go with us.”
He nodded his head like a child and said, “No, no, I shall not go.”
Aayat insisted, “Dadu, please come Sarmad is saying.”
Dadu laughed and said, “Ok, get ready!”
Sarmad and Aayat laughed too.
Tahir was busy in his office when he received Sajjid`s call. He said, “How are you Sajjid?”
Sajjid said, “Can you answer me a question?”
He said, “Of course.”
Sajjid asked, “Rabia is not in this world now. Do you want to marry again?”
“Say clearly whatever you want to say,” he said.
“Your Baba is threating me to talk with you about your marriage. He wants me to go Lahore and not to come back till you agree to marry again. Otherwise _______,” Sajjid told.
“Otherwise,” Tahir asked.
“You know that your Baba can make my life difficult. If he launches a complaint against me in the local police station, the police will get the license to tease me,” he said.
“What are you talking about?” he said angrily.
“You are cut off from Bhawalpur. Your Baba has control of everything here. Police obeys his orders. I can`t take help from the newly elected M.P.A. because your father will take it as a conspiracy against him. My life has become a rotating body like a top,” he said with a deep grief.
Tahir said, “Nothing will happen. Tell him that I don`t listen you.”
“I am safe of your Baba`s wrath because he considers me your friend. If I shall say like that who will save me,” he said angrily.
Tahir laughed and said, “Ok, say what you want?”
He said, “You have to marry.”
Tahir said, “Come Lahore for two three days. I shall answer you.”
“In fact, he had seen a girl for you. He gave me task to _________,” Sajjid said.
Tahir was worried too to hear that.
He said emotionally, “That is a problem. He will not say anything to me but he will try to harm Sarmad. I shall not allow him to do so.”
“He doesn`t want to give you time because he thinks that if you are given time, the news of your marriage with Rabia can break and the girl`s parents can reject his proposal,” Sajjid said.
Tahir said worriedly, “Let me think about it.”
“You don`t say anything to your parents. They are teasing me. I have been putting off their demand for a week but they have decided now,” Sajjid said.
“Nothing will happen to you. I shall talk with local D.S.P. about you,” he tried to console him.
“In this way, your Baba will consider me as his opponent,” he protested.
Tahir said, “Be a man. I shall not allow anybody to harm you. You tell him that you have put their suggestion to me and I have asked for some time to think.”
He said, “I shall go your house today and tell them whatever you say.”
Tahir consoled him, “If there is something wrong, you will inform me.”
He said, “You have to take care of Sarmad more than earlier.”
Tahir was stunned. He was trembled to hear that somebody wants to harm Sarmad. He had borne the cruelty once but could he bear it for another time. The most important question was if he should talk with Aayat in that matter. That was another test for him.
Aayat was in a meeting that day. Top business persons were there. They were discussing about the government policies. Her mobile was in silent mood. She saw Ambreen calling. She sent him text that she was in meeting. She received Ambreen`s message. She read the message and went out of her senses. Sarmad was injured while playing. He had given first aid and there was nothing to worry about. Ambreen would haven`t told her in normal conditions but Aayat had instructed strictly to inform her even a minor issue regarding Sarmad. Although Ambreen had written that there was nothing serious but Aayat left that meeting and drove her car straight to Sarmad`s school.
Sarmad was sitting with Ambreen. He had a bandage on his head. There were stains of blood on his shirt and color. She sat near him and asked, “How did it happen?”
He said, “Mama, I was playing football with my friends. I tried to score a goal and struck in the pool. I`m alright now.”
“You didn`t believe me,” Ambreen asked angrily.
“I believed you but couldn`t stop myself from coming to see him,” Aayat said.
“I have given him milk and biscuits” she said and looked towards Sarmad, “Tell you Bari Mama.”
He smiled and asked innocently, “May I go to my class now!”
“Yes, you can go now,” Ambreen said. He was going towards the door but Aayat stopped him and said, “I shall take you to the hospital.”
“Ok Mama! May I bring my bag!” he asked.
Aayat allowed him to do so.
Ambreen said, “I feel good to see your love with him.”
Aayat said, “You even can`t imagine what he is for me.”
“What will you do when you have your own children,” Ambreen said.
“You will see when that time will come, you have to teach them too,” Ambreen laughed to listen that. Aayat instructed her to allocate a room for dispensary and arrange an on call doctor. Ambreen`s answer was positive. She dialed Tahir`s number and said, “I`m in Sarmad`s school.”
Tahir asked in a trembling way, “Is everything fine there?”
She said calmly, “Sarmad fell down while playing. There is a minor injury.”
Tahir said, “Ooh!”
There was a fear in his tone. Even Aayat felt it. She asked, “Are you ok, Tahir?”
He answered quickly, “Yes, I`m alright. Where is Sarmad now?”
“I`m taking him to hospital for fresh bandage,” Aayat said in a normal way.
“Which hospital are you going?” He asked. Aayat told the name. Meanwhile, Sarmad came with his bag. He gave him the phone and asked him to talk with Tahir. She turned the cell phone on the speaker mood. Sarmad came near the phone and said, “Papa, I am fine.”
Tahir said, “Go with your Mama, I`m coming.”
“Ok, Papa,” Sarmad said. She took Sarmad with her and went towards her car. Doctor opened his bandage and saw the wound. It was not much deep but the skin around it turned blue. Aayat asked the doctor, “Is anything serious?”
“No, I am changing the bandage. There is nothing to worry but if he feels continuous pain then you can bring him for further checkup, he said.
“Ok!” she said but she was trembled to remember the incident of bringing Sarmad to the hospital some years ago. She was in Bhawalpur then. Tahir Bajwa met him there. A nurse started to bandage Sarmad. Tahir came there and asked quickly, “How is he?”
“It`s a minor injury. You can see it,” Aayat said.
“But there are blood stains on his shirt,” he said.
Sarmad said, “I am alright. Mama and you have no need to worry.”
Tahir kept on looking the nurse who was bandaging Sarmad. They came out of the hospital after some time. Aayat looked at Tahir. She was thinking with whom Sarmad would go. She was thinking but Tahir asked the same question. A sense of silence prevailed but Sarmad broke the silence and said, “Papa, let`s go farmhouse I have to change the dress.” He had made the decision. Aayat smiled and said, “Ok, you can go but if you feel pain in your head call me immediately.”
“I shall bring him in the evening,” Tahir said.
Aayat went home. Dadu was sitting in the lounge. She didn`t use to come home so early. Dadu asked him, “Aayat, are you ok? You come early today.”
She said to him that she was alright and told everything about Sarmad`s injury. Dadu asked, “How is he now?”
She said, “He is fine. He will be there in the evening.” She stopped for a while and said, “I have to talk with you. It is very important.” Dadu said, “Go ahead.”
“Dadu, I want to marry Tahir,” she said in an ordinary tone. Dadu looked at her surprisingly. He controlled himself and said, “I know you want to marry him just because of Sarmad. I don`t know the feelings you have for Tahir. I don`t know what Tahir wants or what is your understanding with him. That matter was different when Tahir`s parents brought that proposal but now the situation is not the same.”
Aayat asked, “What is the situation now?”
“Shakeel`s parents and I have decided everything about your marriage with him. Shakeel insisted to postpone the marriage for some days and now he is sick. The delay is because of Shakeel. Otherwise his parents and I wanted you to marry with Shakeel as soon as possible,” Dadu told her the details.
Aayat said calmly, “We have not married yet, you can still say no to them.”
“How can I say them no? We have been negotiating for two months. What reason will I give?” he asked.
She said calmly again, “The reason is that I am marrying Tahir.”
“Dadu, as you can`t live without me, I can`t live without Sarmad. Rabia`s marriage was another issue but now I can`t leave Sarmad,” she said as she was going to cry.
“I can`t do anything immediately. I shall tell them your decision after a few days. During that period of time, I shall talk with Tahir also. His parents may create problems. Please, give me some time to think,” he said.
“Ok but please do it quickly. Sarmad needs _____________,” she was saying but Dadu interrupted her and said, “Ok, I have understood.”
When Aayat came back home after walk, Dadu was reading the newspaper as usual. When she reached near him, he looked towards her and asked, “What is your programme today?”
“It`s off day today. After breakfast, I shall go farmhouse to see Sarmad. What is your plan?” she asked.
“Nothing, go and you ask the maid to arrange the breakfast,” he said.
She went inside. She knew that he would not tell what was in his mind. She got ready to go to the farmhouse after breakfast. When she came in the lounge, she saw an American young girl sitting with Dadu. She had black curly hair, sharp features and dark blue eyes. She was slim and smart. She was wearing white paints, brown shirt and black shoes. She looked at Aayat and stood up. Dadu introduced her as Sherlyn Shakeel. Aayat exclaimed joyfully, “What a pleasant surprise!”
She hugged Sherlyn and ask, “How are you, Sherlyn?”
“I`m fine,” she said. Aayat smiled and said, “Please, have a seat.”
“You may chit chat with each other,” Dadu said and went out.
“Sherlyn, how do you come here suddenly?” Aayat asked.
“Yes, I came here suddenly. I didn`t even think about coming Pakistan few days ago. I reached there last evening. Shakeel himself received me at airport,” she replied seriously.
“I came to know that Shakeel and you ________,” Aayat said.
“I was going to divorce Shakeel. I had planned for it. I decided that when I came to know that Shakeel is going to marry you,” she said. Aayat replied with patience, “Oh, you came to know that he was going to marry me.”
She told, “Shakeel sent your picture to his friend. He sent it to his son Haider too. He asked Haider how is your new Mom. I thought when he had finished everything, I should also use my legal right.”
Aayat asked, “Then, why do you come here?”
She said quickly, “I have come to take Shakeel with me. All the problems between us are solved.”
“That`s good. May I know how ____________,” Aayat tried to ask but she said quickly, “You solved our problems and now you are asking how?”
“I can`t understand,” Aayat really didn`t understand what she was saying.
She told, “I shall tell you everything from the beginning. Shakeel and I had understanding between us. That understanding prevailed for two years. I liked him because he had a good personality and was a hard worker. He was well educated and knew how to earn money. We remained friends for two years and then decided to marry. We married and our son Haider was born after one year of our marriage.”
Aayat asked, “When were the problems emerged?”
“After our son was born, I realised that he didn`t love me anymore. I had lost my attraction. He devoted himself for earning money. He wanted me to stay at home and he would work. I am a fashion designer and can earn a lot of money. I demanded him if he wanted me to stay at home, he must make me owner of everything. I knew that he wouldn`t leave me, I had to leave him. It was because of the laws there. I realised that he wanted to make me a house wife who would always depend upon him. We were living under the same roof but we were living like strangers. I didn`t want to live such life. The bitterness in our relation was increasing day by day. We didn`t even see each other for many days. I joined a firm and our differences increased. Then we were separated and he came Pakistan after few days.”
Aayat asked, “You didn`t try to improve your relation. Did you try to persuade him?”
She said categorically, “No, because I was right.”
Aayat smiled and said, “And Shakeel was thinking that he was right. You were away from each other when you were living with each other but you came near to each other when you were away from each other. How did in happen?”
Sherlyn said in a pleasant way, “I must thank you for that. You guided him to that path. He told me everything.”
Aayat questioned, “Can you tell me what he told you?”
“He was trying to contact me for many days. When he sent your picture, I thought he wanted to end our marriage but he wanted to bargain to save himself from the complication caused by the laws there. A few days before, I came to know that he was in hospital. One of his friends told me that. After some days, that friend came to me with a lawyer. He had transferred everything including his wealth, car, house and business on my name. I contacted him to ask why he did that. He said that all those things were mine. If love is the name of giving all the things then believe me I loved you,” she told emotionally.
“You came here after listening that,” Aayat said.
“No, I know Shakeel very well. That was a big change. So big that I couldn`t even believe it. The question in my mind was how he had changed,” she said.
“Did you find the answer?” Aayat asked.
“Yes, Shakeel told me that the girl whom he wanted to marry explained him that what love was. We regularly talked with each other. He explained me your theory of love. He told me to take all those things. He could start his life in Pakistan. He didn`t need them. He said that he wanted to tell me that he loved me,” she said.
“Did he say that he wanted to start a new life with you?” Aayat asked.
“No, he said that I had right to live my own life and I was free to take any decision. He gave me that right if I would allow him to meet his son he would meet him otherwise he would not force me to do so,” she said in a voice full of emotions.
Aayat said, “And then.”
“There was no problem between us. He is my love and father of my son. I thought that I myself would bring him back and came here,” she said.
“That was a good decision, otherwise I was going to marry him,” Aayat said and laughed out loudly.
“I know that the person who has such thoughts can`t be cruel to others. You not only hold a theory but you act upon it too. You are too good. You didn`t try to break the relation, you have joined the broken relations,” Sherlyn said.
Aayat smiled and said, “Only a woman can give love to a man. It is your wise decision to come here. You have showed your greatness which is a quality of a woman.”
Sherlyn held Aayat`s both hands in her hands and said affectionately, “Thank you very much. You took care of him and saved him to astray.”
“Let`s go out,” Aayat said.
She was thinking about Sarmad who was waiting for her. Sherlyn stood up and said, “Today is devoted to you.”
The car was standing in the porch. They sat in the car and Aayat drove the car towards farmhouse.
Dadu and Tahir were sitting in a corner of an open air restaurant. They had already decided to meet there. As Aayat and Sherlyn reached farmhouse, he came out to meet Dadu. After exchange of some pleasantries, Dadu asked him, “Tahir, do you know why I have called you here.”
“You can tell better. But I realise that it must be something important,” he said obediently.
“Aayat wanted to marry you,” Dadu said.
“I knew that it would happen because Aayat can`t live without Sarmad.
Dadu asked, “What do you say?”
“As she wish,” Tahir said.
“I couldn`t understand. It is her wish. Do you not want to marry her? Do you have any pressure?” Dadu asked calmly.
“I married Rabia on her will and you know that very well. If you are asking about my wish, even I can`t live without Sarmad now. Now there are no wishes and wills, there is Sarmad between us,” Tahir explained his point of view.
“I can understand that but there is one more thing,” he said.
Tahir questioned, “What is that?”
“I know your parents` reaction on your marriage with Rabia and what they have done with her. What do you think what will be their reaction on that marriage?” he asked.
Tahir said, “I don`t know what will be their reaction because I haven`t met them but I am more careful now.”
“Your political carrier is in Bhawalpur. Aayat have also started business there. If you marry I have no objection on your political and business affairs but _____________,” Dadu said but Tahir interrupted him quickly, “I have no concern with politics. That is a strange life. In Rabia`s case I was a little careless but I take the responsibility to protect Aayat.”
“Will you invite them in this marriage?” he asked.
“No, because they don`t want to see Sarmad in my life. They are my parents. I must obey them but I can`t bear their cruelty anymore,” Tahir said.
“I have concerns about your parents. You know that I can stop them easily but you yourself have to deal with your family matters,” Dadu said calmly.
Tahir said, “I know and understand too. I shall talk with them in a day or two.”
“Ok, Aayat and you decide what to do,” he said.
“I shall talk with her,” Tahir said obediently.
“I think we have talked,” he said.
“But now you have to tell what to eat,” Tahir said and laughed.
He said, “I have called you so I am the host.”
Tahir said, “You are both the host and the guest.”
It was afternoon. Many people of business community were gathered in Aayat`s house. Most of them were women. The lounge was full of people. Shakeel was welcoming the guests with Dadu. Tahir`s car stopped in the porch. Sarmad was on the front seat while Tahir and Sajjid were on the back seat. Munib`s car was after Tahir`s car. Some women from Munib`s family were with him. Tahir was wearing an expensive designer suit. Sarmad was also wearing the same suit. Tahir entered the lounge and met with the people gathered there. Then he sat in a sofa specially designated for him. Marriage registrar came near him and asked Dadu to start the ceremony. Dadu allowed him. The stage of proposal and consent was done. All the people there started to congratulate Tahir and Dadu. After a brief address from the registrar and prayer, Aayat was brought in the lounge. Sherlyn was on her right side. She was looking so beautiful. She was wearing dark green bridal dress. Everybody was watching her in make up for the first time. Tahir was smiling. He was looking satisfied. He hadn`t invited his parents. The guests stayed there till sunset. Then they started to go. Ambreen took care of Sarmad during the ceremony.
Dadu did the ritual of formal departure of Aayat with Tahir. Tahir`s car was standing in the porch. When Dadu hugged Aayat, tears came out of her eyes. Both started to weep bitterly. Everybody realised that Dadu was alone now so there were tears in everybody`s eyes. It is an Eastern tradition to pay farewell to the bride with tears because she is leaving her parents` home forever.
Tahir was sitting on the front seat. Aayat and Ambreen were sitting on the back seat. Sarmad was sitting between them. Sarmad was quite. He looked upset. Aayat looked at Sarmad and asked why he was so quite. He questioned innocently, “Bari Mama, why were you crying?”
Ambreen asked, “You don`t like to see your Mama weeping.”
“I never saw you weeping. Why you are weeping today?” he asked. Aayat realised that he was shocked to see her crying. She tried to explain, “Do you know that I shall live forever with you?”
“Yes, Papa has told me but why were you crying?” his mind was stuck on that point.
Aayat explained, “Dadu will be alone in his home. Who will take care of him? I wept when I thought about him.”
“Oh, we shall bring Dadu to our home,” he gave an innocent solution.
Aayat said, “I think he will not leave his home. It`s your duty now to bring him.
“No problem, I shall insist him to come,” he said happily.
When their car stopped in the farmhouse`s porch, Sajjid and Munib were standing there with their families. Sherlyn and Shakeel were also there. Sherlyn said when she saw Aayat, “I don`t know the Eastern traditions but I shall say you welcome in your own home.”
“We are here to welcome them traditionally,” said Munib. He asked his wife to move forward and perform the rituals. The women took her to the lounge. After dinner all the guest went. Sarmad slept with Ambreen. Aayat was waiting for Tahir in Rabia`s bedroom. She hadn`t change anything there. He had said to Tahir, “I never want to forget Rabia.” Aayat was lost in these thoughts when Tahir entered in the room. He went towards a cupboard and took a packet out of it.
“Aayat, we are starting a new journey today. Our happiness, sorrows and every other thing will be same. I had started the similar journey with Rabia. I brought two diaries that night. I kept one of them and I gave her the other. I told her if she would have any negative thought about him, she would write in it,” he said. He took out both diaries out of the packet. He put them in front of her, opened them and said, “See, both of them are blank. We didn`t write anything. I am showing you the diaries because it was your will to marry Rabia. But I am ashamed of myself because my parents didn`t accept her.” He was looking very dejected.
Aayat said, “The decisions of life and death are made by Allah (SWT). The man is helpless in this matter. The men are tested by these decisions. I shall try to be with you in any testing time.”
“Aayat, you were right. You told me that we would be married one day if the nature permitted and we are married today,” Tahir said.
“Courage, patience and tolerance are blessings of the passion (ishq). We will live with each other with passion (ishq),” Aayat said. He smiled and said, “I never thought that Sarmad would be passion (ishq) between us.
“We have to pass the both phases of passion (ishq): the lover and the beloved to reach its peak. The journey of passion is never ending. The person who says that the journey of passion (ishq) is fruitless, he has not reached at the status of passion (ishq). He must see first how his passion (ishq) is. The person with the impure passion (ishq) doesn`t even enter in the orbit of it. It is impossible that the passion (ishq) is fruitless. If it doesn`t make you colourless then it is not passion,” Aayat said. Tahir nodded his head as he agrees her point of view and said. “Our marriage is a great gift for us but this is a gift for you.” He gave her a packet. Aayat opened that packet and was simply amazed to see her bracelet, diamond ring and earrings of real pearls. The happiness was emerging from her face. Her eyes and lips both were smiling. Aayat said with a pleasant surprise, “You still have these things.”
Tahir said happily, “I have kept them safe and sound.” He was looking very emotional. He said, “Why are you behaving so formally.”
She said, “You are my husband.”
He said, “And you are my life partner.”
Tahir suggested to thank and pray in front of Allah (SWT). They wore simple dress and stood in front of Allah (SWT) to thank him.
Farmhouse was decorated with colourful lights from the gate to the lawn. A lavish reception dinner was arranged in the lawn. Aayat and Tahir had decided that there marriage ceremony would be simple but they would arrange a reception dinner. An expensive restaurant was given the responsibility to arrange the dinner. The guests were coming. Tahir, Sajjid and Munib were welcoming the guests. Many people have surrounded him. Tahir had invited his political friends also. Tahir`s office staff, business community, political workers from Bhawalpur and member parliament from Islam Abad, all were there. Aayat was in the ladies portion. Sarmad was sitting with her. Sherlyn and Ambreen were sitting on each side of her.
Both portions were crowded. The dinner was not served yet. A car stopped in the porch. Tahir saw that his Baba Sikandar Hayat was there. Tahir knew what he had to do. Sajjid knew that Tahir had not invited him but he was there. Tahir signaled him with his eye and he walked towards him with Munib. Balqees Begum was also in the car. Sajjid and Munib guided her towards the ladies portion and Sardar Sikandar came towards Tahir. Tahir moved forward and hugged his father. Sikandar Hayat kissed his forehead and came where Dadu was sitting. They met each other. Sajjid asked the hotel manager to start the feast.
After one hour when the guests started to go, Sardar Sikandar too stood up. Sajjid went towards him quickly. When he reached near him he said haughtily, “Call Balqees Begum.” Sajjid asked, “Why are you going so early?”
An expression of anger emerged on his face but he said in a moderate tone, “Tell Tahir that we would come to meet them in the morning. I have to discuss some important matters with him.”
Sajjid said obediently, “Ok, sir.”
After few minutes Sikandar Hayat and Balqees Begum sat in their car and went. Sajjid conveyed Sardar Sikandar`s message to Tahir. He thought about for a moment and then nodded his head. There was peace in the farmhouse late at night. He went to bedroom, Aayat was waiting for him. Sarmad was sleeping sound on the bed. He sat on the bed carefully. He didn`t want to disturb Sarmad. Aayat asked him, “Is everything fine?”
He asked, “Did you invite Baba and Amaan?”
“No, I didn`t invite them,” Aayat said.
“It means they came by themselves,” he said as he was talking to himself. He told Aayat about Sikandar Hayat`s message. Aayat said, “Let them come.”
He was confused. He said, “I`m feeling awkward.”
Aayat said, “Don`t worry. Everything will be alright. You may be tired, it`s better to sleep now.”
Aayat turned off the light.
They were taking breakfast the next morning. Sarmad asked them how they would spend that day.
Aayat said, “You will tell us.”
“Papa and I used to play in the lawn on holiday. Will you play with us,” he asked.
Tahir said quickly, “Your Mama is not a good player so she will watch us playing.”
“Ok,” he agreed immediately.
Aayat said, “We must go to Dadu. We shall be back till evening.”
“We shall play first then go to Dadu,” Sarmad said. They all laughed. Meanwhile a car stopped in the porch. Sardar Sikandar and Balqees Begum came in after a minute or so. Tahir stood up to see them. Aayat did the same. After exchange of greetings they sat in the sofas. Sarmad sat between Tahir and Aayat. Sikandar Hayat said, “You stood up in our respect, seeing this I hope that you will understand what I am going to say.”
Tahir asked, “What do you want to say?”
He said, “We should forget estrangements and complaints against each other. Aayat has become our daughter in law. You must come back home and live in Bhawalpur now. You may start your new life with your family. That is a respectable way.”
“It felt great when you have said that but for your kind information we are not two, we are three,” Tahir tried to say but Sardar Sikandar said quickly, “That is good that you are taking care of an orphan but you can`t keep him with you for your entire life. We shall make some arrangement for him too.”
Aayat felt grief to hear that but she kept quiet. Tahir said in a thoughtful way, “Baba, he is not orphan. I`m his father, Aayat is his mother. This is his farmhouse. We live here with him.”
“You can`t keep that child with you. He has his family. His uncles are there. They can take his legal custody,” Sikandar Hayat smiled.
“What are you saying?” Tahir asked worriedly.
“They came to me and demanded that they want their nephew back. I told them I would talk with Tahir. They wanted to come with me but I stopped them to do so,” Sikandar Hayat said as he was threating them.
Tahir said emotionally, “Baba, you will not do anything like that.”
“If I will be silent they will go to court then we shall not be able to defend in court and public. Media will also give it a hike. There will be a tumult. Why do you want to take so much pain for a child? Your new life has just started, why you are destroying your life for him,” Sikandar Hayat said. There was a bit anger in his tone. Tahir looked at Aayat. Her face had turned red. When she saw Tahir was looking at her, she said to him, “I have solution for this problem.”
“What is it?” Tahir asked.
“I am telling,” she called her maid after saying that. She advised her to say chief chef to prepare tea for our guest. Take Sarmad out and ask chief security personnel to take care of him. The maid took Sarmad with her. When they went out of the lounge, she said, “Respected Sikandar Hayat! I`m a business woman. I invest one rupee when I am sure that I shall get two rupees back. I spend 30% of my income on Sarmad`s security. Courts don`t matter, I shall spend my whole wealth to fight in the court. I knew that one day I had to go to court in Sarmad`s case.”
“You are threatening me,” Sardar Sikandar said.
“You have to listen me,” she said.
“Go ahead,” said Sardar Sikandar angrily.
“Rabia murder case can reopen. That is my apparent solution but you are our parents, as you showed a good behaviour to come to our home similarly allow us to live our own life,” she said.
Sardar Sikandar said angrily, “Listen girl, these courts and murder cases are not new for us. If you want to go to the court it`s your choice but I am not ready to tolerate that boy.”
Aayat controlled herself and said, “Don`t tolerate him. Tahir and I have our business here. Sarmad`s school is here also. You live your life and let us live here peacefully.”
Balqees Begum intervened, “Aayat, I`m a mother. You are anxious about the boy who is not your real son. Can you imagine my restlessness about Tahir? I gave him birth.”
Tahir said emotionally, “You might have thought about Rabia in the same manner. You have killed an innocent child`s mother. Why did you do that with him? You have lost your son by killing a mother. Amaan, you have to provide him his mother to get me. Can you give him his mother back?”
Sikandar Hayat said, “Balqees Begum, accept that great burden of sorrow. You can`t get your son back.” He looked at Tahir and said in great anger, “I shall disinherit you. Then I shall see how you will deal with your politics and public.”
“Baba, I am going to quit politics. Bungalow, villa and hut are same for me now. You can take everything from me. I shall build a new house.” He requested with folded hands, “You are my parents that`s why I heard so much about Sarmad. I don`t want to be presumptuous with you. Please, don`t interfere in my life. You can live happily in your life style.” He stood up and went in. Sardar Sikandar and Balqees Begum saw him going. Balqees Begum shouted furiously, “Aayat, you have destroyed my home. You are the bone of contention. I shall not forgive you for that.”
“I know how to save my home. I can`t tyrannize with anybody. Sarmad is my life. Please, let us live our own life,” Aayat said and stood up.
“Aayat, you will regret for that,” Balqees Begum said and went out of the lounge. Sardar Sikandar followed her. They sat in their car and drove it out of the farmhouse.
Aayat knew how they would try to get Sarmad away from her life. She had made all the arrangements for that situation. She had prepared all necessary child adoption documents in Rabia`s life. She had all necessary documentary proofs to keep Sarmad with her. She took a deep breath and went in.
Aayat, Tahir and Sarmad didn`t feel how two months passed. They took breakfast together in the morning, dropped Sarmad at his school and went to their respective offices. They came back before Sarmad`s home time and picked him from the school. If there was some work in the office, Tahir went back but Aayat stayed at home. She helped Sarmad to do his homework, talked with him, walked in the lawn and helped to prepare dinner. That was her routine. The life was good and pleasant.
Aayat attended a business meeting and was sitting in her office. She was trying to involve herself in the work but couldn`t. Meanwhile she felt dizziness and nausea. She ran towards the washroom. She vomited and became normal. She realised what had happened with her. A ray of happiness pass through her whole body. She picked up the phone and dialed Tahir`s number. Tahir attended the call and asked, “Yes, my dear wife how do you remember me?”
“Come immediately,” she said and disconnected the line.
Tahir`s office was in the same building. He reached at once. Aayat stood up to see him. He asked, “Aayat, are you ok?”
“I`m fine, come with me,” she said and they came out. After a moment they were going towards the hospital. Tahir didn`t ask anything, he concentrated on driving. They reached hospital and Aayat went to a lady doctor. Doctor Almas Habib was a little obese. She had fair complexion and sharp features. She was a cheerful lady. Doctor Almas saw her and said, “So, you are here.”
Aayat said, “I felt as you have said.”
She asked Tahir to sit down and took Aayat to an internal room. When they came back after half an hour, Aayat`s face was glowing like a rose. The happiness can also be observed in her eyes. She sat with Tahir. Doctor took her seat and said to Tahir with a smiling face, “There is a good news for you. You are going to be a father.”
Tahir thanked Allah (SWT).
to be …………………….