A Poor Evaluation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: English Literature


On a winter night at Lahore in Bahria town, a glorious shiny car enters a house and the driver, Maqsood opens the door of his master, Mr. Tallat. Maqsood is a black-skinned poor fellow who is
humble and loyal to his duties. Whereas his master, Mr. Tallat, is an aristocrat, wearing expensive branded clothing. Maqsood asks to take his master’s luggage from him on which Mr. Tallat pushed
him fiercely and he falls down but does not considers wrong. Mr. Tallat forbids him from going into the house, as he is a poor black person. After he leaves, Maqsood goes to the gatekeeper Baba
Fazal, an old man, who advises Maqsood to leave the house because of being maltreated by his master but Maqsood changes the discussion topic and asks for Baba Fazal’s son Azeem’s health, on which
Baba Fazal talks about his helplessness because of being poor. At this, both become sad. After few minutes, Mr. Tallat’s son, Jamal orders Maqsood to drop him at the Mall. Maqsood takes him but on
the way, Jamal asks to stop at his friend’s mansion and Maqsood is left alone to wait for Jamal’s return. Being dizzy, Maqsood sleeps at once and when he opens his eyes, he hears people murmuring.
At first, he thinks of Jamal but by looking through the side and rear mirrors, he sees few veiled people who approach near him. Secretly, Maqsood calls the police and asks them just to listen as he
will reveal the address within his confrontation with the robbers. He does the same but the thieves steal the car and other belongings and elope. Maqsood is left helpless with his wounded body. In
the morning a passerby takes him to hospital where his family including Razia, his wife and Azeem, his only child are summoned. Mr. Tallat also comes but remains standing silently. As he opens his
eyes, Maqsood sees everyone and Razia comments about the cruel world and for some chore, Razia and Azeem leave. Mr. Tallat comes near Maqsood and treats him severely threatening regarding calling
the police and leaves. Maqsood realizes Baba Fazal’s truth regarding his master’s brutal nature and starts to cry. In the meanwhile his family comes but is not able to stay longer due to Hospital
rules and they leave the room for the time being. The next day, the police officers come whom Maqsood had contacted but on seeing Maqsood asleep, they leave while discussing the tragedies that
befallen upon Maqsood, which Mr. Tallat hears and repents his wrongdoings with Maqsood. He rushes to Maqsood’s room and at once, kisses his forehead but finds his body too cold and calls the
doctors. The doctors reveal the harsh reality of life i.e. of ‘Death’ saying that: ‘He is no more’

Submitted: February 28, 2018

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Submitted: February 28, 2018

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 Short-Story: A Poor Evaluation

Author: Muhammad Murad

 

The winter had confined most of the people of Lahore. Many a street was empty except for the persons returning from mosques after the prayers to their homes. Stray cats quarrelled for their territories, overthrowing the intruders. The owls were growling and looking with keen eyes in the streets, adding to the horror. A magnificent shiny car reached outside a house in the highborn Bahria town. The gatekeeper opened the grand blue-coloured gate of the house and the splendid black-coloured car entered with dignity. The driver stopped the car, came out, opened the door of the backseat and his boss placed his steps outside the car while talking to someone on his expensive cellphone. The boss had an elegant personality. 

“Hand it over to me Sahab G, I’ll take it inside”

The driver moved further his hands to take the luggage from his master with his humble, demanding eyes. 

“Hold on for a minute, I’ll call you later”

The boss quit his call, turned to his driver in a rage and thrust him to the ground.  “Don’t you have manners Maqsood? I was busy in an urgent dealing. And who gave you permission to go inside the house? Never act smartly next time and there is no need to overreact, I have just touched you!” Mr Talal’s tyrannical conduct had its own charm for Maqsood; after all, he was his boss. Maqsood gathered himself and stood up to clean his tidy clothes. He then advanced towards the gatekeeper, Baba Fazal. 

“Puttar G, I suggest you leave this job because despite working honestly hard, you face criticism!”

Baba Fazal motivated Maqsood to leave the ruthless master, showing affection through his bent head. His watery eyes were a proof for his awoken conscience but he had no authority to teach people like Mr Tallat, a life-changing lesson and maybe he thought himself inappropriate for that humble purpose. Maqsood had his eyes centred to the ground and his hands in the armpits. 

“Let it go Chacha G, I am working for him so he is my master! Tell me how are you? How is your sick son, Azeem?”

Maqsood changed the topic with his wide open and grinning bright face.

“Let that go Puttar, I don’t have money enough to take him to Hospital and no one is going to help a mediocre like me. Talal sahib has already refused in clear words blaming me to be in a lust for money”

Baba Fazal’s eyes had deep sorrow in them. They narrated some untold stories of his lifetime miseries and his worsening present. The watery eyes had their worth much more than the materialistic wealth. 

“Tell me anything if I can do for you Chacha”

Maqsood claimed despite knowing the irony in his statement. All Baba Fazal needed to be was money to save his child from his worst health but Maqsood was there for any physical assistance. After few minutes of voiceless grief, Jamal, the elder son of Mr Tallat, came up to them.

“Maqsood, start the car and drop me at the Mall. Be quick, I don’t have much time”

Jamal’s face showed frustration. 

“Alright Chottay Sahab”

Adeel must be waiting for him as he had promised to bring home his favourite toy, a remote-control car, Maqsood thought.

‘Don’t let your personal life interfere in your work-time; it’s illegal Maqsood’ he murmured to himself.

Soon Jamal came up with his guitar around his shoulders, and a bag full of food and drink. 

“You are still in the house, I had said to be quick”

Jamal’s temperament had touched sky.

Maqsood nodded and hurriedly started the car and they left for the mall. On the way, Jamal asked to stop the car in front of a huge mansion and went inside. Maqsood was asked to wait for him, he knew that place very well as he often took Jamal here. It was half-past twelve at night and slumber prevailed Maqsood. He was fast asleep in no time. The dogs were barking and the donkeys were braying. Only now and then, the rustling of dry leaves was heard. About an hour or two before the dawn, the murmuring of a few people was heard. Fortunately, Maqsood woke up at that time. The sound drew near. Maqsood was excited to hear the sounds partly because of homesickness. In the side mirrors, he had the slightest glimpse of a few veiled men coming towards the car.

Maqsood dialled the nearby police station’s number and turned on the speaker of the mobile. He placed his mobile in his pocket and spoke the officer to remain silent and just listen to the ruffians.

The veiled persons came near and opened the door of the car. Maqsood sat comfortably. 

“Yes, how can I help you near the Pearl Continental Hotel?” Maqsood cleverly revealed the address and prolonged the debate. 

“Don’t act smart, and leave all your belongings silently or else you’ll be deprived of your life!”

After listening to the threat, Maqsood smiled.

“Brother, take everything from me apart from this car because this is my master’s car and I cannot hand over it to strangers.

Take everything else”

Maqsood spoke confidently showing his loyalty to Mr Talal.

The group started to beat Maqsood and stole the car. His head was severely damaged and the fountain of blood came out. There were no signs of the police. It was by chance in the morning that someone going to the mosque for Dawn prayer saw Maqsood lying helpless and he took him to the hospital.

A few hours later, Maqsood opened his overburdened eyes; he had no courage to tell Mr Tallat that he could not protect his expensive car and personal documents. While he was busy thinking, his family and Mr Tallat arrived in the hospital. Razia and Azeem could not help crying as they saw Maqsood. 

“How cruel are people in this world. We don’t have any enemies, who it could be then?”

Razia was crying helplessly but Mr Tallat was standing aside in the room. His eyes had strange things in them. Maqsood cannot testify whether he was worried for Maqsood or his lost belongings. After few minutes, when there was no one in the room except Maqsood and Mr Tallat, the latter came near former and shook Maqsood violently. Maqsood knew why.

“Where is my car?” 

On being asked, Maqsood rejected the question.

“How would you tell; criminals never reveal their crime. I must call the police immediately.”

Maqsood remained silent again.

After few jerks, Mr Tallat slapped him and left frustrated. 

Maqsood started to cry for the first time in his life. The words of Baba Fazal echoed in his mind. In the meanwhile, his family returned from the medical store.

‘Maybe Baba Fazal was right’  Maqsood murmured.

“What did you say?”

On being asked by his wife, Maqsood closed his eyes as if he was dreaming.

Razia and Adeel kissed Maqsood’s forehead one by one, leaving drops of tears on his forehead, and left the room as the Hospital didn’t permit persons with the patient to stay in the room more than five minutes.

The next morning, police visited Maqsood but he was sleeping.  They decided to leave.

‘We’ll come later; I really feel sorry for Maqsood as I couldn’t save him from thieves. He was extremely worried about his master’s car as I heard him through the contact he made with the police station. His loyalty is of no use because still, he is helpless in the hospital.” 

Mr Tallat heard the comments of the officers by chance. 

He had no words to express his suddenly developed lamentation. Still, he thanked God for being informed in his lifetime. With his black wet eyes, Mr Tallat rushed towards Maqsood’s room at once, to seek forgiveness from him.

After reaching his room, Mr Tallat went near him and kissed his forehead. Maqsood’s body was cold. Mr Tallat called on the doctors, who immediately examined Maqsood and revealed a very cruel truth about life.

‘He is no more!” 

The doctors said and Mr Tallat fainted at once. He didn’t seek forgiveness from him so how will God forgive him?


© Copyright 2018 Muhammad Murad. All rights reserved.

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