Somebody, juddered his shoulder to wake him up, he thought bajwa is waking him up for work but he was wrong because he was dreaming. A middle aged woman was standing in front of him. As he opened his eyes she said, “Whom you want to see”.
Adam thought for a while that he is at some wrong address. He asked her curiously, “gee is this Khaqan sahib’s house”?
That lady thought that this gentleman is here for his personal matter. She said, “Yes he lives here but he will be back in the evening”.
Adam couldn’t stop himself and said, “Jee, i am his son, Adam khan chughtai. I am coming from England”.
She felt little mortification and chagrin and said, “Please forgive me my son, i didn’t recognise you”.
Adam understood the situation. So she was his father’s new wife. Adam didn’t like the word son from her mouth. He was looking at her enquiringly and pryingly than he asked, “where are my brother and sister, i don’t see them”.
That lady opened the lock, grabbed Adam’s hand and said, “come inside, i will tell you the whole story”. Adam took his suitcase and entered inside the house. It has been so long that he was re-entering in this house. Something like five or six years after. He had a glance at house. The plaster was coming off from walls. There were visible patches where there was no plaster on the walls. The curtains were in bad condition. The furniture was damaged. The house condition was fear-provoking. Adam didn’t cry but inwardly he was crying. His sixth sense was saying that there is something wrong. Adam asked her again, “where are my younger brother and sister”.
Adam assumed that this lady is hiding something from him. Anyway she started relating the story. “When you left home, your both brother and sister started behaving strangely. They used to live on their own. They were quite young when i came in this and i looked after them as much as i could but i am step mother” she took long breath and said, “alas, they thought i am their enemy. Ablaque khan chughtai, you younger brother started smoking heroin and nafeesa your younger sister who is only fifteen. She ran away with some guy and did court marriage. Ablaque, you will find him in the garden which is near to our house, he must be smoking heroine”.
Adam asked, “And Nafeesa, where she lives”?
Adam’s step mother said, “She lives in a servant quarter with her husband. Her husband works in kachery (court). He writes applications and that’s how make his living. They are all right and we help them sometime”.
Adam said, “You never stopped Ablaque, Khaqan sahib never said anything”.
That lady said, “My son he is always busy in his own affairs. He doesn’t find time for these matters, he is kind of philanderer. He really doesn’t care about his kids”.
Adam said mockingly and satirically, “how about you, you are newly married wife of my father. You don’t stop him doing this, going out with other women”.
She said, “I used to criticize him than i stopped because he never paid attention what i said so i surrendered”.
Adam had a bird eye view of his house and said, “I used to send you draft every month. What have you done with this house?”
That lady didn’t know what she should say. She said, “Your father change the draft and spend all money in one weeks time. He doesn’t even know that you are back”.
Adam didn’t want to ask her further question. He just said, “I am going outside to find Ablaque”
Adam feeling exactly like that his heart will burst out. He didn’t eat anything and came out and started looking for ablaque. Near to their house there was cigarette shop, kind of kiosk. It was used to be small and wasn’t in a good condition and now it was a proper shop and even bigger. You can say it was kind of provision store now. Adam asked the shop keeper about ablaque. He said, “Can you see that person in the corner. He is ablaque”.
Adam ran towards him and reached there where he was sitting. He didn’t aggravated or infuriated to see him but tears started coming out from his eyes. He was like a skeleton. Adam grabbed his hand and hugged him strongly and said, “What have you done with yourself my son. Let’s go home”.
Ablaque tried to recognize him and then said, “Bhae Jan (big brother) it’s you----------when you came?”
Adam said, “My son i came today”.
Ablaque said, “Bhae jan it’s too late. It wasn’t Nafeesa’s fault. You know step mother......... it’s..........it’s......... she used to treat her very badly. She forced her to marry his brother. She didn’t run away. She is has done nikah (religiously married). She beats me up as well but i don’t stay home”. He showed him the white plastic packet and said, “After having this medicine i forget everything. Bhae Jan you have some money. Mundri khan increased the rates. Now it’s very expensive”.
Adam said, “Let’s go home my son. You will get everything”.
Ablaque started crying, he sobbingly said, “no Bhae Jan I won’t go home. My mother will beat me up. When her guests comes to see her she doesn’t allow me to stay home”.
Adam raised his spirit and said, “You don’t need to be scare i am with you. Nobody will say anything to you”.
Ablaque said, “are you sure Bhae Jan”.
Adam said him believably, “of course, believe me. All you need is to become a good boy”.
Ablaque squeezed his whole body and said, “Bhae Jan i am lacking energy, something is pinching me. Can you get me some heroine”?
Adam took ablaque home in a very dramatic way. His step mother saw his expression and understood everything that ablaque has told him everything. She was cautious and alert. She said, “Doesn’t believe him my son whatever he told you. He says whatever he likes when he smoke heroine. When he wants heroine and he doesn’t find it. He doesn’t care of anybody. He sold my gold jewellery”.
Adam didn’t pay any attention what she saying. He said, “is there anything to eat in this house or i have to get something from restaurant”.
Adam’s step mother said, “There isn’t anything to cook in the house. Your father doesn’t give me money”.
Adam forgot everything that he was being deported. He was traumatized to see his home environment. His head was down; suddenly he heard the sound, somebody opened the door. It was Adam’s father, Khaqan Khan Chughtai. As he entered inside hugged Adam and said, “You brought some ties for, shirts and suits”.
Adam opened his suit case and threw everything on the floor. There were Adam’s dirty clothes, shaving kit and twenty of twenty five books that’s all what he had in his suit case.
After seeing these things his father said, “what i this. You haven’t done shopping for me, no problem; we will buy everything from here. There are some designer stores in Islamabad like CandA, next, marks and Spencer. They know me very well. We will buy from there, they accept credit card as well”
Adam was crying inwardly. He said irritatingly, “and what we will eat tonight”?
Khaqan sahib didn’t care what he said. He responded, “I had something in office. There was meeting in our office”.
Adam asked, “And what about your wife and son. What you think about them”
Khaqan sahib responded him serenely, “i gave twenty rupees this morning. She should have cooked something. I can do only one thing either i work or i look after the house”.
Adam decided not to continue this debate and he took ablaque with him and went to small kiosk which was now a small store and he bought certain food stuff and showed shopkeeper pound. He told him that i don’t accept pounds so he said soon i will change the money and i will clear all your debts. He came home and kneaded flour than he made curry and finally he took rolling pin to make chapatti, at that specific moment, Adam’s step intervened and said, “puttar (son) let me do this for you”.
Adam said in ironical way, “no a there is no need of this. You will join us for dinner and second this is that you shouldn’t call me puttar (son) because you are my father’s wife but not my mother”. Adam was thinking that now he is some foreign country. This was the same place and country which he left five or six years before. It was the same as he left. His father didn’t ask. Where are you coming from? How are you? What about the papers? How have you been? How you passed your life in Europe. The only thing he asked was about his suits and ties.
After dinner Adam took ablaque and both of them went to see nafeesa. She was living nearby close to a school. At the back of the school there were some servant quarters and they were not proper houses they were kind of shacks, she was living there with her husband. Adam saw his step sister’s shack kind of house. There was worn and torn jute curtain on the door, he hold the curtain in his hand and knocked the door. Someone opened the door after a little while and somebody peeped outside because after knocking the door they were waiting a little away from house. He was young boy. Adam had a glance of this gentleman from head to toe. He must be twenty or twenty two years old. His colour was fair, thick and heavy beard even he had hair close to his eyes. He wasn’t very tall. He looked like people of muree or had some Kashmiris look. As he came out he said, “Whom do you want to see”?
Adam smiled because his brother in law was talking to him.
He said again in a very bad tone, “whom do you want to see”?
Adam responded him serenely, “well actually i came to see you”.
He said in a very egotistical way, “but i don’t do anything at home. You should come to kachery (court) tomorrow morning”.
Adam introduced himself, “well actually i am nafeesa’s brother, Adam khan chughtai. I came this morning from London. Can i see my sister if you don’t mind”.
Ablaque was ashamed of all this because he was standing away while he was talking to this gentleman. That gentleman hasn’t seen him otherwise it wouldn’t have been that difficult to understand the situation. That gentleman got all the answer of his questions which were raised in his mind at this small moment. He welcomed them wholeheartedly and said, “Why you are standing outside Bhae Jan, come inside”. He said in a loud voice, “Look Nafeesa, who has come to our house, your Bhae Jan. You used to talk about him”.
In the mean while Adam and Ablaque entered inside the house. The floor was made of red bricks but most of the bricks were broken, at one corner there was big tin drum to preserve water. Underneath the drum there were unclean dishes and house flies were around these dishes. Nafeesa clutched her dopatta and came towards them and she hugged strongly elder brother and said, “Bhae jan please forgive me. I haven’t such a thing which brings disgrace for family. I haven’t disgraced my father and mother and you. Abbassi sahib is a very nice man. He cares about me. You didn’t contact us. Look at ablaque. He becomes drug addict”. Nafeesa was crying and saying all this and at last she was unable to say anything.
Adam said, “Please stop crying my little sister”.
She wiped her tears with her dopatta and said, “bhae Jan i prepare dinner for you”.
Adam said, “No, we had our dinner”.
Then nafeesa said, “So i make tea for you”.
Adam said, “There is no need of anything. You and Mr. Abbassi come with us. We will discuss everything there and we will have tea as well and as long as i am in Pakistan you people will stay with us”.
Abbassi and nafeesa were looking each other faces. Adam studied their faces and after reading them he said, “You needn’t to worry about anything. You haven’t committed any crime; you have done nikah (Islamic way of marriage). Islam doesn’t allow anyone to marry someone by force and you have done this nikah willingly and in any marriage the most important thing is the boy and girl are agreed and happy to do this”.
Four of them, when they arrived home, Adam’s step mother and his father were knocked for six.
Next day after breakfast Adam took his little brother ablaque khan with him to money changer to change pounds. Somebody told him go to mall plaza, most of the money changers of saddar are transferred there, there you will get got exchange rate. Adam changed his money and started walking on Kashmir road. He came to bank road. He was observing that everything was same, there was no change, same shops, same light poles, rubbish and trash was everywhere. This type of scenes he has seen in London’s west end and Paris’s Chatalet area during weekend, like bottles, tins and trash.
There was no friend of Adam in this city. There wasn’t understanding between Ablaque and him. Both of them were walking and they came to Anwar cafe. Where there was a small restaurant. This was the restaurant where daowd and Adam were first met. Here he decided to leave Pakistan because of his family problems, now it was converted in to a big restaurant. Adam and ablaque took tea from this restaurant and they took their way to home.
After lunch Adam said to Ablaque, “we will go to Lal Kurti. A good friend of mine lives there”.
Ablaque said, “Okay Bhae Jan”.
Since nafeesa came home, everyone was delighted except Adam’s step mother. She wasn’t happy at all because she didn’t get success in her plans and she wasn’t entertaining her visitors as well. There was no change in Adam’s father’s life. All he needed lunch and dinner on time, ironed clothes and polished shoes. He never even thought that nafeesa was his real legitimate child; his son has been deported from Europe, what are his plans? Shall i ask him for marriage? He talked about his ties, suits and shirts. During his stay in Europe Adam met with different kind of people so now it wasn’t peculiar and weird for him.
Adam and ablaque both of them wore nice and clean clothes and went to Lal Kurti. In taxi Adam was advising Ablaque, what he should do. How he can make his future safe. During conversation they didn’t realise that they were in lal kurti. Adam has never been to daowd’s home before. He thought that he will go to some dahi bhallay hawker and ask him, it must be theirs. There was a pan (beetle) shop in lal kurti. The speciality of this shop was that, it has large variety of pans (beetles) and their names were written on the board. The shop was very small and there was hardly space for one person to sit inside but there were long queue of customers who were waiting for their turn.
Adam asked that gentleman about daowd’s father stall. He said, “Can you see that restaurant across the road that is their restaurant”. Adam was thinking there a stall on the road or in the street but it was a three storey building. Adam and ablaque started walking swiftly. As they arrived near they entered in restaurant. At restaurants counter an old man sitting. He has light brown complexion and mouth was red after having many pans (beetles) he was still chewing pan (beetle). It was very easy to see the small pieces of chaliya (grains of beetle nut) were fixed in spaces of his teeth and he was trying to remove them with his tongue so like this Adam observed so deeply. He was wearing karakuly cap (Kara means black and Kula means cap. This cap is made of small sheep of six months old and they slaughter this small sheep for making caps even though Islamic law doesn’t allow kill animal at this age until unless it’s dangerous for others or sick). If this old man knew the story how they make these caps, he should have thrown this cap on the road. He was wearing very neat and clean white shalwar qameez above all he has long white beard which made him very graceful and charming. The thing was bad in his personality was chewing beetle. Daowd once told Adam, my father started chewing or eating pan (beetle) when he was very young. The reason was that when he used to stand outside till late, this was the pan (beetle) and tea was only thing which used to give him energy. He had a mission and to fulfil his mission he punished his body but worked very hard.
As Adam and Ablaque entered in the restaurant this elegant old man said in a very stylish Urdu accent, “may i know how can i help you”?
Adam got stunned and mesmerized of this old man’s personality. He asked them again, “my son, how can i help you”?
Adam came back to normal and said, “Jee, i am Adam Khan Chughtai and he is my little brother ablaque khan chughtai and you must be Daowd Ansari’s father. You are exactly the same as he told me about you”.
If it would have been someone else, he would have been very glad of this flattery but daowd’s father Mr. Ansari asked him humbly and modestly, “where you come from. Are you from lal kurti”?
Adam understood the situation and said, “Actually you didn’t recognise me. Me and daowd, we travelled together from Pakistan to Iran, Turkey, Greece, Italy and up to France. Daowd decided to stay in France and i went to England”.
As daowd’s father heard this he came out from the counter where he was sitting and hugged Adam strongly and said, “I am sorry my son, i didn’t recognise you because everyday someone guy come and asked about daowd’s address. Everyone wants to go to abroad. I was totally against daowd’s this decision of living abroad but he liked it. You tell me, you got the documents. Daowd always talks about you. Your parents are very lucky that they have son like you. You met with daowd before coming to Pakistan”.
Adam said, “No, he lives in Paris and i live in London. Since i left France i didn’t speak with him. I tried to phone him many times but nobody responded i think his telephone number has been changed. What shall tell you bazurgho? To cut a long story short, the British government deported me. From last two days i ma in Pakistan i don’t know what should i do”.
Ansari sahib supported him morally, encouraged him and said, “You needn’t to worry about it. You are educated person. You will find some job. If not, you manage this restaurant. This is yours; god has given me a lot”.
Adam said, “I am thinking that i should start some small business”.
Ansari sahib had a quick look of ablaque and said, “Your younger brother is very weak. Is he suffering of some malady”?
Adam said, “There isn’t anything. He doesn’t eat properly, something wrong with his appetite”.
Adam sahib said, “When you are giving us chance to entertain you”.
Adam said, “What do you mean”?
Ansari sahib said, “I mean to say you bring your family. We will eat together and we will chat as well”.
Adam said, “Off course, why not. You phone us when it will be suitable for you. We will be there”.
Ansari sahib said, “My son this isn’t Europe. You can come whenever you like. This is your own house, note down the address”.
Adam said, “Jee, there is no need of this. I have your home address and phone number as well. Okay uncle, Allah hafiz”.
Ansari sahib said, “Have a cup of tea at least, my son”.
Adam said, “We will have dinner and tea, when we will come”.
Ansari said, “As you wish”.
Adam was thinking on the way back that my father didn’t ask me why i came back. Either i have documents or not. What are the further plans? Either i want to marry or start some business. He was worried about his ties, suits and shirts.
Since Adam came to Pakistan his home was like a little paradise and at the same i was inferno for certain people. Nadia behram kharal knew about Adam that he is back because she has seen him couple of times. It was beyond imagination that she could have come for date, they haven’t spoken on the telephone either. Adam, as he came he kept himself busy in solving family problems. After great effort he got success in reconnecting his home telephone. As the he got connected, he dialled Nadia’s number. Her telephone number was written on his heart. Adam’s heart was beating very fast. He got surprised someone said hello. He recognised her voice and said, “It’s me Adam”.
Nadia said, “So what, at last you found time to phone. You came back after such a long time and it has been many days that you are here in Rawalpindi and you are phoning me today”.
Adam teased her and said, “You would have phoned me”.
Nadia said, i tried many times but there was something wrong with your telephone”.
Adam said, “They fixed it today”.
Nadia said to Adam in teasing way, “what have you brought for me”?
Adam got her what she wanted to know and he responded her in a witty way, “i have same thing what a man can give to a woman”.
Nadia responded him in a scolding way, “stupid, fool don’t talk rubbish otherwise i will beat you up with stick. Europe spoiled you”.
Adam changed the track because when you are talking on the phone you can’t see other so as he changed the track she was unable to his face expressions and it was difficult to guess what he was saying, what he meant to say, “you miss understood me. I was talking about heart. Anyway stop teasing and taunting, the reason i phoned you, i want to see you. Five years before you were a child and now you are grown girl. I haven’t seen your face since ages”.
Nadia said, “I am still the same”.
Adam said, “I am not talking about your habits and attitude”.
Nadia said, “Don’t start it again”.
Adam said in a enquiring way, “so when and where we can see each other”?
Nadia said, “I will tell you later”.
Adam was just joking and he wasn’t expecting this type of answer. He said, “what about your father”?
Nadia said, “I will take care of this. I will find some way to see you”.
Adam got mystified and perplexed, he said, “There is big change in your personality”.
Nadia said confidently, “i am grown child now, I am a graduate”.
Adam asked her, “What are you doing these days”?
Nadia said, “I go to Islamabad. I am completing my post graduation in computer sciences. Tell me about yourself, you studied there or just washed dishes for goras”.
Adam got annoyed and he responded sarcastically, “no i did dog sitting there”.
Nadia said swiftly, “i should go now, somebody rand the bell”.
So like this their conversation was disconnected. Somebody knocked the door. Adam opened the door what he saw, najma begum was standing in front of him. She became prettier than before since he left Pakistan. Only thing he noticed, she put on some weight. Adam said, “Why are you standing outside. Please come in”. Adam called his step mother and little sister as well. His mother welcomed Najma Begum whole heartedly. His mother started talking with najma begum and nafeesa entered in kitchen for making tea. Nafeesa gave tea to Adam for serving. When najma saw Adam that he was carrying tea tray which has tea and biscuits as well, she said, “find some compatible match this guy as well. When his wife will come, she will look after him”.
Adam step mother said, “the truth is that Adam doesn’t allow me to do anything and nafeesa”.
She was unable to invent and fabricate any phrase so she said, “he will find a girl on his own. He won’t accept our choice”.
Adam intervene in conversation and said, “it’s isn’t like that the way she is saying”.
Najma begum touched his wounded place and said, “Yeh of course, she should me very beautiful, some kind of Lolita or dolly”.
Adam responded her by the same token, “anyway, for me lady Chatterley or madam Bovary will be okay”.
What he meant to say, nobody knew. Najma begum didn’t want anybody see her face expressions. She changed the discourse and said, “Adam when you people are coming to us for dinner”?
Adam responded her courteously, “whenever you like”.
Najma begum said, “Why don’t you come for dinner tonight”.
Adam said, “today it’s little difficult what about tomorrow. We can have lunch together”.
Adam spoke with ablaque and nafeesa just have their opinion about this. He asked them, “What you think of it”.
Nafeesa said, “As you wish Bhae Jan. By the way tomorrow Abbassi sahib is free as well”.
Adam addressed najma begum and said, “So it’s done. Tomorrow at lunch we will be at your house”.
Najma begum was very happy. She said, “Okay, i should go now”.
Adam said, “Let’s go together. I will give you company up to door”.
Adam stood up and accompanied her up to her house. Where they were living, the people were broad minded. None of them were nosy and interfering in others matters. Everyone was living his own like even though there were quite few who were curious about others. The main person who was curious was that shop keeper. He knew about people. He knew about affairs of girls and boys as well.
While they were walking, Najma begum asked him, “Have you seen Lolita”.
Adam said, “not yet but she was telling me that she will find some way”.
Najma begum said, “I am telling you again, its mirage and illusion stop following it”.
Adam said, “I don’t mind. I love her”.
Najma begum teasingly said, “you love was on long holidays for five years like Out of sight out of mind”.
Adam said, “It’s not true. It’s a long story, i didn’t find time and I had many problems there”.
Najma begum said politely and softly, “come with me and stay there tonight”.
Adam said worryingly, “what about Qadous sahib and your son and your daughter”.
Najma begum tried to convince him. She said, “You needn’t to worry about them. Qadous sahib is busy in constructing his plaza in Islamabad, my son is studying in King Edwards’s Medical College. He lives in college’s hostel in Lahore and daughter doing graduation in fine arts. She is very busy in her fine arts”.
Adam was inventing excuses and najma begum was giving him answer equally. Adam asked her again, “what about servants”.
She said, “They stay in their servant quarter”. Both of them didn’t realise that they were close to her house.
Najma decorated her home very nicely. It was as clean as one can’t imagine. Adam thought it was some film scene. Najma begum gave them a lot of respect because she was madly in love with Adam. The society where she was living doesn’t allow her to take some step. Now her kids were grown as well but she her heart was still like a fifteen years old girl. If society would have given her permission, she would have left her kids and husband long time ago and would have married with Adam but it was only from her side. Adam was in love with someone else.
Adam was very curious to see najma begum’s daughter because she was studying fine arts. All of them were sitting in drawing room. They heard someone was coming down through stairs. Adam turn around, there was a very beautiful girl, she was wearing light sky blue shalwar qameez and she was coming down through steps and thought that a beautiful gazelle amusing himself in forest. She was like a glass of wine filled up to mouth, if someone will touch, the wine will come out. In flashback he was comparing this beautiful girl with Sara Barlas, Nadia Behram and Mehjabeen Qazalbash. Among all of them najma begum’s daughter was the prettiest. As she stepped in drawing room, she said Salam and Adab (it’s kind of salutation) everyone respectively. Then she said to Adam, “Sir Asalam-o-Alaykum”.
Adam said, “Wa-Alaykum Salam but for your kind information, i am no more your teacher. You by yourself and educated person”
Amra Qadous said, “but Sir, as you know what Hazrat Ali (R.A.T.U.) said. If someone has taught you even a single word. He is your teacher and you have taught us a lot”.
Adam said, “Now you are very sagacious and shrewd. I have heard that you are studying fine arts. After completing graduation in fine arts what are your further plans. Will you do M.F.A. (masters in fine arts) or”.
Adam haven’t completed his phrase and Amra interrupted him, “off course. I am planning to go to France of Italy for further studies. If i get admission in England that will be fine as well because to get admission in royal academy of fine arts in London is a little bit difficult. I am working very hard because in our country there is no value of fine arts. The only school of fine arts we have is national college of fine arts Lahore. There are very few seats and you need sifarish (approach or reference of some influential person) as a matter of fact specially for fine arts student should judged according to his credential and they should select student on merits basis. Art is god gifted thing, schools and colleges groom them”.
Adam liked talking with Amra. He said, “Which school of art you liked or preferred for further education, you like oil paintings, frescoes, abstract art, cubism, impressionism, surrealism, realism, cobra, Dadaism or symbolism”.
Amra said, “I personally like van Gogh school of art but Leonardo da Vinci impressed me as well”.
Adam said, “I have seen many paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, especially la Giaconda i mean Mona Lisa”.
Amra asked him curiously, “Sir what you think of that painting, is she smiling or she is sad”?
Adam wanted to clear his position, so he said, “i only like to see paintings. I don’t understand them. As well as concern as a critic i have no comments”.
Amra said, “Sir, i have read, Leonardo da Vinci made this painting for a noble Florentine. She was his wife and she wasn’t happy with this person. Just to please his wife he asked the famous painter of his time Leonardo da Vinci to make her painting just to bring back smile on her face again. People say that Mona Lisa is smiling but i think she is hiding lots of sadness behind her smile. She is expressing her unhappiness with her mysterious smile”.
Adam said, “I don’t know a lot but one thing i have noticed that Mona Lisa hasn’t got eye brows”.
Amra said, “Sir, i am painting something like this. In that painting i tried to explain the feeling of an unhappy woman. It’s not completed. You know there are many Mona Lisa’s in this society who smile when they see their husbands. Madam Bovary and lady Chatterley’s are one of them”.
Adam got her, what she was talking about. It’s same like that that parents know everything what their kids are doing and they ignore them and pay no attention just not to hurt their feelings. Similarly lots of time kids know what their parent to but they don’t say anything because of their respect. Sometime society doesn’t allow them, their culture, norms and tradition doesn’t permit them. So kids ignore their parent’s mistakes as well.
Najma knew how delicate situation was created. She said politely, “excuse me Adam; other people are sitting as well. Amra you can talk about paintings some other time”.
Amra didn’t like it so her mood was off so she said, “okay mama”.
After this Adam and Amra didn’t talk. Everyone started talking on different topics. After lunch they took permission to leave. Adam accompanied his family but najma begum called him, “Adam you stay with me. I show the second storey of my house. This was constructed when you weren’t here”. Adam stayed with najma begum and he told his family members, “i am coming after having a look of their second storey”.
Both of them went upstairs hurriedly to see second floor. Najma begum showed Adam her bedroom. The najma begum and Qadous sahib’s bedroom was decorated very nicely. He thought of Anna with whom in environs of Paris, he spent beautiful night in her bedroom. This bedroom wasn’t bad at all.
Najma begum invented this excuse to stop Adam. Her main intentions were to tell him the plan how he can come to her house at night. Which door will be open and what time he has to come. She explained him everything. Adam came back home after having a look of her second floor.
Adam was at najma begum’s house at exact time what she told him. He entered in bedroom. Najma begum was ready, as she saw Adam she took off her clothes. She was completely naked and she was standing in front of Adam. For a while Adam thought somebody mesmerized him, he took off all his clothes as well. They made love more than enough. When they were tired and exhausted they left each other and lay on bed in still position. Then they started talking on different subjects and topics till late. Najma Begum said, “I know that my daughter hasn’t got good opinion about me. She doesn’t suspect she is sure about me. That’s why she was saying that there are lots of Mona Lisas in this society”. During discussion they slept.
Adam has been many days that Adam was in Pakistan he was unable to decide that what he should do. Whoever he met, someone said there isn’t anything in this country. You would have married there or should have done paper marriage or would have applied for political stay. Why you came back. People pay five six lack rupees (half million rupees) to go to Europe and America’s rate is nearly fifteen lack (one and a half million rupees). In the beginning people used to pay money to go Canada without passport than most of the airlines had to pay penalty so now they don’t do this.
After living in Europe Adam felt that his life style has been change. In Europe if you pay for basic needs they provide you good service like, electricity, gas and water? On the other hand in Pakistan we have load shedding of electricity and gas as well. We lack basic needs. We judge the people moneywise. Since Adam left Pakistan, a new culture was born here that was Klashanikof, Pajero, Protocol and Status.
His home environment was good at all. None of his family member was commendable. His sister married with someone on her own. His so called step mother was a strange personality. His father was worried about his ties, shirts and suits. House’s condition wasn’t mentionable even though he used to send them money regularly. Adam knew that his brother wasn’t perpetrator or wrong doer and his sister was innocent as well because nobody stopped them. There wasn’t anyone who could speak politely with them. Their father was busy in his love affairs and they had step mother. The money he had, he thought it’s a lot of money but the people who used to talk about lakhs (hundred thousand) now they were talking about crores (ten million) the good will’s of shops were very high and property prices were doubled. There was only one way to live comfortable and luxurious life in Pakistan that one should earn money by unfair means. This was the only way because it was difficult to earn a lot of money legally or honestly. There were so many big fishes in Pakistan. The rich people were becoming richer and poor people were becoming poorer. This unequal distribution of money created lots of problems. People were upset.
According to Adam’s point of view ansari sahib was the best person for suggestion and consultancy so he thought i should discuss with him. Anyway they were invited for dinner at ansari sahib’s home. In these days Adam was on the horns of dilemma and on the other hand due to Adam there was positive change in his family. His younger brother nearly stopped smoking heroine and his brother in law Abbassi sahib started helping people to sort out their property problem in kachery, (court) and he was writing applications for the people as well. Nafeesa was looking better than before. He was messiah for everyone. The only people who weren’t happy due to Adam’s presence were his father and step mother because now Adam was managing the budget. He stopped giving them money. His father asked him couple of time that when he is going back but he gave them an unsatisfactory answer.
They were at ansari sahib’s house at exact time. They welcomed them like V.I.P.’s. Adam introduced everybody one by one; “my father, mother, younger sister, my brother in law and my younger brother”.
Usually ansari’s have strict pardha system (pardha means a woman wear veil and doesn’t come in front of a person who isn’t relative. There are different terms and conditions). As Adam came from Europe so none of their woman hided and they came in front of him. Their faces were uncovered. Adam was curious to see babbly because daowd praised her beauty madly during their travel from turkey to France. Adam couldn’t stop himself and finally he asked, “Unlce last year daowd was talking about coming to Pakistan. What about his marriage”.
Adam knew that daowd was married but he said this purposely because he was pretending that he don’t know nothing.
Ansari sahib got shocked and said, “Adam beta (son) you don’t know, i thought he should have told you. He came last year and got married with my little brother’s daughter. She is my niece. (Ansari sahib was telling him properly because he was for sure that Adam is unaware of all this) he stayed in Pakistan for two months. Everyone had fun. He was telling us he has to prepare some important documents that he will call Bubbly to France. He doesn’t say anything to me. Still he doesn’t eat in front of me. Forget about daowd, tell me about yourself. What have you decided? It’s your turn now”.
He addressed Adam’s father, “have you seen any compatible match for your son”?
Khaqan sahib said, “Ansari sahib this isn’t our time, marry someone without seeing. Whoever he will select, for us it will be okay. Anyway, according to my point of view he should go back to Europe. There isn’t anything in our country”.
As ansari sahib heard this phrase it was like that that some scorpion bites him. He said aggressively, “why chughtai sahib, what we haven’t got, our religion, language, vestments, our identity, culture and civilisation. What’s so special in Europe? They can’t hear even azan (its call for prayer like in churches they ring bells for vespers and masses). They don’t find halal meat and other things are doubtful as well. Anyway a normal chapatti of your country is thousand time better than paratha (chapatti made with a lot of oil or butter) of foreign country. I still ask daowd to come back but he has great passion to become rich man. He says that i want to buy a big house in Islamabad”.
Khaqan sahib said modestly, “you are very right ansari sahib but unemployment in increasing in our country day by day. I see lots of educated young men when they don’t find jobs they become vagabonds”.
This time ansari sahib said politely, “they should do some petty job, labour work until they don’t find decent job. It’s useless walking to and fro on the roads. What i had when i came? When i started this business of dahi bhallay, i hadn’t had anything. The person to whom i used to pay rent for pitch, first of all i bought that pitch than his shop. God helped me a lot. My persistency and constancy brought me this success. This is all because of god’s beneficence and mercifulness”.
Khaqan sahib didn’t change his point of view and said, “Its true ansari sahib but now a days to start a small business even on some small pitch you need a lot of money”. There unfinished discussion was on peak. In the mean while daowd’s mother waved which means she was calling Adam. Adam took permission and went to listen to her she wanted to say him. He said, “Yes ma jee”.
She said, “Beta (my son) she is my daughter in law. You wanted to see you. As long as daowd stayed in Pakistan he praised your personality in front of her”
Adam raised his head and said, “Adab urz hay” (a kind of salutation in a very respectable manner). Daowd’s dream girl was standing in front of him.
In return daowd’s wife, bubbly said, “Wa alaykum asalam bhae jan”.
She was pretending to a little bashful in front of him she said again, “bhae jan, Daowd admire you a lot. He says that people like are very rare in this world”.
Adam responded her humbly and diffidently, “that’s his greatness. He admires you as well a lot. From Iran to France as long as we stayed together he talked about you a lot”.
When she heard this the colours on her face were changed.
Adam asked daowd’s mother, “it’s like a miracle. How does it happen, as Daowd told me Bubbly was a very proud girl and Daowd’s chacha’s (uncle) attitude was very bad with you people?
Daowd’s mother said, “Beta (my son) this is all because of Allah. He can give respect if he wants and he can disrespect if he wants. This is all in his control. He is almighty. Forget about daowd, you tell me about yourself. What have you think about yourself? I mean your marriage. It’s your age of marrying”.
Adam said with a lot of simplicity, “i don’t understand ma gee. What should i do”?
Daowd’s mother said, “I know everything. If you want, I will talk to her father. If he doesn’t accept our proposal than i will find you some other girl, there isn’t shortage of girls for you”.
Adam said, “You are very right but at the moment i don’t have anything. No house, no business, i have little brother. I don’t see the right path”.
Daowd’s mother said with a lot of affection and love, “beta once you will be married, rest of the problems will be solved on their own”.
Adam said, “to be very honest with you. I am not in a situation o marrying someone. I don’t think it’s the right time for this”.
They heard a piercing and deafening voice of ansari sahib, “come everybody. Food has been served. Where is Adam, call him as well”?
Everybody came to dasterkhawan (it’s a kind of dinning place where you sit on the floor in squatting position) one by one. During dinner they discussed all topics. Ansari sahib and Chughtai sahib didn’t found any conclusion of their infinite debate. After dinner ansari sahib asked them to stay at their home but Adam refused their proposal politely and graciously. Ansari didn’t force them so daowd’s younger gave them lift up to their house in his Suzuki carry.
© Copyright 2016 sarfraz baig. All rights reserved.
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