Walking in the Moonlight

Reads: 131  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
it's a story of an old man who is being neglected by his family.

Submitted: June 26, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 26, 2017

A A A

A A A


‘Walking in the moonlight’

It was a cold moonlight of winters where a man in his early seventies wanted to cross the road. Nights these days must be enjoyed within a room having a nice fireplace, putting on wool blanket over the body with a cup of tea and a family around you. He thought of the reason of his being out late at this hour. Clouds covered the sky like a caring mother. He could hear the people gossiping and bargaining nearby. ‘What’s the time beta?’ A young man stopped turning around. There were moustaches which seemed to be placed in a very classic way.  ‘What a great hero he was, Sultaan Raai wasn’t he? It was just yesterday when I have seen his horse.’ He smiled, a painful smile but it was full of life. ‘Babaji, it’s 9.15 of night.

The man was stopped Do you feel cold here?’ the old man smiled and came a step towards him. ‘I’m not surprised, you just said the thing I wanted to hear from someone for so long but you see son, I’m an old man of three scores and ten. How can I be a lawyer and say that I feel not cold anymore?’…. oh, the man was lost somewhere in his mind and after a moment broke the ice.

He inquired,

 ‘Who are you? Where you came from? Where you were going? I can drop you there. Can’t I?

The old man smiled but this time the young man could see no sign of teeth in his mouth, babaji was almost laughing.

‘I am Zia ur Rehman, I lived somewhere near the graveyard in my house, it’s me and a silence me. We both spend time with each other by chatting, cursing, praying, teasing, playing. When one smiles, the other cry. It takes two hundred and fourteen footsteps from the nearby mosque to my house. I came here when the sun was saying goodbye. But I don’t like goodbyes, ammm…. Not all goodbyes can be a good mornings in few time.’  His faint smile appears which reduced the glow on his face.

Akram could feel the shivering of the old man now. ‘You said, means you have no family.’ He was curious and surprised on his act. ‘I never feel that I’m alone. I said me and a silence me. They are with me in every silence, I feel them always. My only son, his sweet wife and my beloved grandson.’

‘And your life partner? Your wife babaji, what about her? Is she….?’

‘Oh, yes. Sad isn’t? It was indeed a tragedy, you hear me right boy…. Hey what name you just said you have?’ He was preoccupied. ‘When did he say who he was?’ He remembered that he never mentioned it before him. ‘Babaji, I’m Akram…. Akram Chaudary. So how tragedy it was?’ His curiosity arises as he started walking beside old man. ‘My boy, it was always been a tragedy for me whenever I lost someone. But you see my boy, we despise what belongs to us. She died just after when maano wrote her third letter from abroad in eighteen years. ‘Maano??’ The sweetest lady of my boy of course.  I see, you are thinking that what dreadful stuff it was in the letter as she died. NO… absolutely NO on this account as she always wrote with her sweet and sugar coated pen with some tears of hers and cries of her only child… he, my son demanded nothing much but a separate house. We agreed thinking that they were here with us always in our world but they went where…. Where? I don’t know. Perhaps, we didn’t bother to ask or they didn’t bother to tell. But they all were in the funeral. Then they left with a note which says,

‘You will be in peace while we are away, don’t worry at all,

Stay happy and remember us in your prayers.

YOU’RE FAMILY STILL WITH YOU’

The old man’s smiled appeared and he seemed talking to himself.

‘Is that all? End of yours story babaji?’

‘I’m afraid, some stories remain forever in this world. Some are bigger stories, some are stories with big heart and big hurts.’

Akram was totally mesmerized by the old man by that time. He waited him to say something when he was smiling again. Oh, again that smile full of life, like he still wanted to catch the stars, he still wanted to run a marathon or to become world best stuntman. There was a glow in his eyes, the grave yard was almost near when he touched a fence and stood still silently. There were some muttering of leaves and some of him, reciting perhaps for someone. There was someone there whom he cared, whom he missed, whom he loved. It was his soul mate who left his soul in this world all alone with this smile. Soul is what? Soul is tangible or non-tangible? What to ask or what to be asked? Is the feeling of love and care was in between the souls then why he never died with his beloved. If not, then why he was praying that his prayers do matter and she would be forgiven. God is ‘Raheem o Kareem’ indeed who give and take. We forget when we get and can’t forget when we lose.

There was something tingling inside him. So many questions. Or so many answers whom he never questioned.

‘Babaji, is she there?’

‘Yes, she is here’, pointing his walking stick to the left side of the fence. He prayed to God, having a liberal father and religious mother. He prayed like this never before. ‘’Oh Creator, either release the pain of this old humble man now or let his family see him here smiling and crying, watering his white beard with shedding of these tears which are like pearls to me.’’

He wiped his tears with his branded handkerchief. Just as he did, the man smiled and placed his hand on his head. He felt he was blessed. He thought he could not move his steps, he thought he couldn’t smoke his next cigarette, an old man’s hand just touched the inner of his heart and he felt a sensation like a poetry, it was neither heard nor read by him before.

And when the time would come,

Feel not, when the pain is some,

Welcome like a martyred after war

Few have got such reward so far

No more walking in the moonlights

When your life get its rights

The old man was lying beside a grave. Akram stood next to him silently. He just seen a grave beside him. She was Khadijaa bibi died on Aug 23rd, He could not read more. It was the very same year, his father travelled from Pakistan to England, UK. It was the same month. ‘It’s a coincidence, might be. Yes it might be.’ He thought.

‘Mum, when we shifted there….when I was four? Mean, the MONTH….?’ She replied without looking at him still knitting her new sweeter. ‘It was 23rd August son.’ Suddenly there was a bell outside the door and then at the same time there was someone’s calling. He was at the door, his father was full of tears filled eyes for the time he ever seen him so much exhausted with his black coat on.

‘Son, last night you’re grandfather died. In the grave yard next door. We’re sorry, we never told you about him, he was a wonderful person. I know, we know that you will have so many stuff to ask….’ He interrupted him, again first time he acted like this, ‘But I’m known much more than you, dad. We despise what belongs to us indeed.’  He was smiling with a smile similar to his grandfather and there was a shriek behind the door when Mamoona appeared and said,

‘God, what we have done.’

‘SHAFIQUE, WE MURDERD HIM, HOW WE WOULD FACE HIM, I TRIED THREE TIMES AND YOU REMAINED A FAITHFUL SERVANT AND AN EVER CURSED SON….’

He rushed towards Masjid. Throwing his black coat away. Akram was hugging her mother and saying, ‘it was a story which have been taking place every day mum with new characters always.’  Mamoona left the house and was walking beside his only son.

‘I was confused Akbar, Whom I am…? What? … I was a sweet daughter to him or a disloyal wife to him?’ he smiled.

 ‘A sweet daughter, rather lady’. He narrated the entire incident and felt himself crying now, silently like a small child by placing his head on her mother’s weak shoulder in a hug full of love and despair.

‘I pray for your forgiveness before Him mum, for you both… you too do the same. You know mum, when you said when I was six to pray for new toys, I never did. But now I know He listen, There is someone who replies always. People call him God out there mum’.

 May that God bless you son.’

 She kissed him on his forehead and placed his hand over his head and the window of pain opened into the same moonlight, nobody could say he was alive or dead, smiling or crying.

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 Sarmad Salar. All rights reserved.

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Sarmad Salar

Walking in the Moonlight

Short Story / Other