There was a lot of hustle and bustle in lal kurti bazaar. Adam was standing right in front of ansari sahib’s restaurant but he was unable to recognize it because now there was a big store over there instead of restaurant. There was still written at the front door of this building, “ansari manzil”.
An old man with long white beard was sitting on the store’s counter. He asked him, “May i help you”.
Adam said, “If i am not wrong, there used to be a restaurant and Ansari sahib was the owner of the restaurant”.
That white bearded man said, “I am sorry but Ansari sahib is no more, he is deceased. He has son called Daowd but he is Seth (landlord or rich man) daowd now. He doesn’t live here. He lives in Islamabad. By the way why are you asking”?
Adam said, “Ansari sahib was one of my well wisher. I was abroad; i came back few months ago”.
That white bearded man looked at Adam from head to toe. He didn’t believe him that Adam is telling him the truth.
Adam asked him again, “do you have Seth daowd’s telephone number or address”.
That white bearded man said, “I don’t have his telephone number but i think he lives in F-10 sector of Islamabad. Someone was saying that he brought all his money from Paris and invested in Islamabad. He was building plaza in blue area”.
Adam smiled and he said whisperingly, “at last daowd achieved his goal; he wanted to go to Europe than having European documents, than bubbly, than a lot of money, a house in Islamabad, expensive car, very nice”.
Adam asked, “who lives in there Lal Kurti’s house.
That gentleman said, “Daowd’s uncle lives there but doesn’t feel well these days”,
Adam said inquiringly, “daowd doesn’t look after him”.
That gentleman said wretchedly and sadly, “he comes every month and take house rent from his uncle and he spend every single penny here in lal kurti bazaar and then go”.
Adam said Allah Hafiz to that white bearded man and took his way.
In the middle belt of blue area lots of multi-storey plazas were constructed. Some of them were under construction. One of them was daowd plaza.
There was a booking office of the plaza but nobody allowed Adam to enter inside the office because he didn’t shave for many days clothes were worn and torn. Seth daowd came out from his office he shouted at worker loudly, “what’s the matter, what’s going on here”. He didn’t look at Adam and said, “Please go away baba”.
Adam got shocked to see daowd’s way of life. He knew some other daowd with whom he met in Anwar cafe twenty five years before. At that time he slim and smart guy but now he was fat and chubby. While Adam was leaving he asked chowkidar (door keeper), “your boss is very rich man. He doesn’t like to see poor people”.
Chowkidar said whisperingly, “Bazurgho, this money is useless. Seth daowd’s son died in car accident and daughter is handicap. The kids he has from gori, they want to live in Pakistan”.
Adam asked, “what about Seth sahib’s mother, brothers and sisters”.
Chowkidar said in a very low voice, “bazurgho qiyamat (judgement day) are very near now. Seth sahib’s father gave permission to one boy to stay with his family. He provided him complete support for studies and now he famous journalist of Islamabad. Everyone considered him family member than he started affair with Seth sahib’s sister. He spited in that in which he ate”.
Adam said inquiringly, “and now”.
Chowkidar said, “one day ansari sahib found in such a condition which i can’t tell you. He called maullawi sahib for their nikah. They got married. Ansari sahib was very nice man. He treated them nicely but when Seth sahib came back from Paris he kicked them out from his house. He asked her sister that if she wants to stay with family she will have to take divorce from this stupid gentleman otherwise she will be out of the family. Seth sahib’s sister supported his husband and she preferred to stay with him. That boy was very clever as well. He was very well aware of law. Now they live somewhere in saddar”.
Adam said, “Seth sahib doesn’t say anything to them now”.
Chowkidar said, “Bazurgho it’s ineffectual and futile. Now there kids are grown”.
Adam wanted to know more about Seth sahib so he said inquisitively, “your Seth sahib must be living very happy life”.
Chowkidar said, “No, not at all. He takes drugs to get some sleep. He is addict of tranquilizers and without them he can’t live even a single day”.
Adam got upset after hearing this. He left daowd plaza which wasn’t completed yet and started walking along the road. Suddenly something came in his mind and he decided to come back to Rawalpindi. He came to shah blot bagh and sat on a bench. He feeling very relaxed here. He made pillow of his clothes bag which were tied in a bed sheet and he laid down there. He started watching blue sky. The white and greyish clouds were floating on the sky. He slept there while he was watching clouds. When he woke up it was dark, he took his baggage and found a place in the corner of this bagh and decided to stay there.
Abr-e nisa placed the car key on the table and she laid herself on the couch which was in her drawing room. She didn’t even change her clothes. She was very fractious and crossed with Afrasiab but it was her mistake as well. She was so curious to see him so she went there. It was really strange and absurd because in her whole life nobody talked with her like this.
“What happened beta, it seemed that you are very irritable”.
Abr-e-nisa turned around her face, her mother was standing behind her.
Abr-e-nisa said, “nothing mom, i went to see some sanyeen baba with Afrasiab. That sanyeen baba reproached and scolded me very badly. He said to Afrasiab that he should stay away from me”.
Her mother said, “I didn’t get you, could please tell me comprehensively, slowly and slowly”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “i think i haven’t told you that me and Afrasiab we study French together in Alliance Francaise. He is very cool guy. He is really a nice dude”.
Her mother Nadia Behram Kharal said, “Could you please tell something about him or you will just eulogize and praise him”.
Abr-e-nisa started telling her mother the story, “me and Afrasiab, we both went to a sanyeen baba”.
Her mother interrupted her and said, “Beta to get some amulet”.
Abr-e-nisa got annoyed and said, “Not mom not at all. You first listen what i want to tell you. He isn’t that kind of sanyeen baba. He is another kind of sanyeen baba. Afrasiab and his all friends call him sanyeen internet. Me and Afrasiab when we went to see him in shah blot bagh, he was in his hut. Afrasiab requested me to stay outside and he went inside his hut. I was hearing their conversation. He was talking about renowned philosophers and geneticists. As i entered in his hut, i don’t know what happened. I don’t what he has seen in my face. After seeing my face he started shouting at me. He said, “You came now, after ruining my life. He called me self centred and utopian girl. He said to Afrasiab, “beta stay away from her. She is fire”.
Her mother asked her, “Beta if i am not wrong, this shah blot bagh is in front of two cinemas called Odeon and Plaza”.
Abr-e-Nisa said, “Yes mom”.
Nadia, Abr-e-Nisa’s mom said aggressively, “Beta i would like to see Afrasiab and sanyeen baba as well. That sanyeen baba isn’t an ordinary person who shouted at you. After all you are daughter of this city’s deputy commissioner. Even though he doesn’t know but Afrasiab knows that”.
Abr-e-nisa said; mom Afrasiab got surprised as well when he shouted. He was telling me that sanyeen internet has knowledge about everything like lexicography, paintings, sculpture, anthropology and much more. He always tells informative things to youngsters. He has only one addiction that is drinking tea”.
Her mother said in insisting way, “tell Afrasiab that i want to see him”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “Okay mom”.
Her mom said, “Don’t need to worry”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “okay mom------- mom, where is dad”?
Nadia wobbled her shoulder and said, “as usual busy in making money. Now he gets customer from foreign countries”.
Abr-e-nisa knew very well about her mother and father that there was cold war them since very long so didn’t ask anything further. She said Allah Hafiz to her mom and went to her room. She switched on her personal computer and started looking at e-mails.
Afrasiab entered in Abr-e-Nisa’s home anxiously and said, “Abr-e-Nisa are you sure your mom won’t reproach me or rebuke me”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “Don’t worry, you shouldn’t be scarred of her, she is very sweet”.
Afrasiab said, “one has to be terrified after all she is the deputy commissioner of the city in other words she has the command of the city”.
Abr-e-nisa knew what he means to say because she knew the sense of humour of Afrasiab so she said, “come on, don’t you start again”.
Afrasiab said teasingly, “your father knows what people have in their hearts”.
Abr-e-nisa corrected his phrase and she rephrased the sentence, “he doesn’t know what is inside the heart but he operates them only”.
Afrasiab said, “So your Urdu language vocabulary is improved now”. He stressed on word janch and repeated it again, “janch” (control or examination).
Abr-e-nisa got irritated with this phrase so she said, “you always points me out that i should speak Urdu and when i speak Urdu it should be Urdu not Franglais”.
Afrasiab said, “Not Franglais its Urdanglais”.
Finally Abr-e-Nisa surrendered and said, “Whatever it is no more debate, mom is coming”.
Nadia behram kharal the deputy commissioner of Rawalpindi was coming from upstairs. She entered in drawing room and she was wearing beige colour shalwar qameez. Her brows were knitted and had very aggressive face and she has a lot of similarity with Abr-e-Nisa. The only difference between them was Abr-e-Nisa was little taller and slim and Nadia Behram Kharal was little shorter and very little chubbier than her daughter. When Afrasiab saw her, in her respect he stood up and said, “asalam-o-alaykum aunty”.
She responded him, “Wa alaykum asalam beta. Please sit down, so you are Afrasiab”.
She said this and then she sat on sofa.
Afrasiab responded her meekly and submissively, “well, i call myself Afrasiab khan chughtai”.
Nadia behram the mother of Abr-e-Nisa said; you speak very good Urdu. Where you live by the way”?
Afrasiab said innocently, “in Rawalpindi”.
Nadia behram said, “it’s a big city, where about in Rawalpindi”.
Afrasiab said, “next to mall road there is customer service of T&T. I live close to that office”.
Nadia inquired further and said, “What your father does”?
Afrasiab said, “Jee, he is journalist. You must have heard about him, chughtai, A. K. Chughtai”.
Nadia nodded her head and said, “As a matter of fact we are new is Islamabad but i know Mr. Chughtai. He is very intelligent person”.
She wanted to change the topic because she wanted to know something else. She said, “Beta why you decided to learn French”?
Afrasiab responded, “To be very honest with you i am fond of literature even though i am studying cognitive science, especially French literature of nineteenth and twentieth century. In this period there literature was at its peak”.
Nadia behram took interest in conversation and said, “What you think about Maupassant and Zola”.
Afrasiab said, “Both of them are my favourite but sanyeen internet says that Calvino, Marquez and Günter Grass are brilliant”.
Nadia got shocked, when she heard the name of sanyeen internet and she said, “Oh yes beta, i remember now, the reason i invited you was, who this sanyeen internet is. My daughter was very upset other day. What he said to my daughter. I would like to see him, may i can help him if he is really someone very special”.
Afrasiab got amazed and stunned and said, “you aunty”.
She understood very well why Afrasiab was flabbergasted so she said, “yes me, ------why can’t i”?
Afrasiab said, “You are----------?”
He didn’t completed his sentence and Nadia behram interrupted him and said, “what me, i know i am deputy commissioner, it doesn’t mean that i am not allowed to see people. I am a normal person like everyone”.
Afrasiab was ashamed so he said, “Sorry aunty, i didn’t mean to hurt you”.
Nadia behram said, “Just forget about these formalities, tell me when we can go to see him”.
Afrasiab wanted to change the topic so he said, “aunty my uncle lives here as well in this sector F-10. He has owns a plaza in blue area. It’s not completed yet”.
Nadia behram said, “I don’t know about this, i didn’t notice about plazas in Blue Area”.
Afrasiab said, “It isn’t very important anyway. Our foreign policy doesn’t match with them”.
Nadia got shocked and said, “with whom beta”.
Afrasiab said innocently, “with our uncle”.
Nadia said, “beta why is this”?
Afrasiab said, “There are many reasons but i can understand only two of them. One of them is, my father married to her sister and the second reason is that that my father writes true stories”.
Nadia said, “Okay beta, it was nice meeting you, i should go now because i am invited on dinner. You stay here and talk to Abr-e-Nisa. Don’t go without tea, i won’t be happy if you go without tea”.
She left them on their own.
Afrasiab was waiting for this. His sense of humour pinched him as she left the room he addressed Abr-e-Nisa, “Abr-e-Nisa, you and your mother are very much similar. If i am not mistaking i think sanyeen internet, when he saw you, he thought it’s wasn’t you it was your mom. Your mom was taking a lot interest in sanyeen internet’s personality. I changed the topic otherwise”. He just said this Abr-e-nisa came to hit him but Afrasiab dodged her and completed his sentence, “oh my god i was just guessing, i didn’t mean to hurt you”.
Abr-e-nisa said “i think these days you read a lot of thriller and mystery novels. I think you want to join some detective agency”.
Afrasiab said, “It’s not like that but it’s possible that there could be some relation between sanyeen internet and Rawalpindi’s deputy commissioner”.
Again he hasn’t completed his sentence and Abr-e-Nisa put her hand on his mouth and said, “Stupid fool you are very naughty, he is dirty, filthy, loafer”.
Afrasiab wasn’t one of them who accept defeat easily he said, “and aunty is very neat and clean and ruler of the city”.
Abr-e-nisa wanted to change the subject so she said, “stop bantering, and tell me when you will take my mom to sanyeen internet”.
Afrasiab thought i teased her enough so he said innocently, “you will have to decide that, when Khala Jan will have time i mean when aunty will be free”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “Okay than i will ask her”.
Afrasiab said, “Well i should go now my dear Abr-e-Nisa sahiba, mohtarma, aziza, jamella, farzana because i don’t like this city of clerks and bureaucrats. I feel suffocation here”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “I won’t let you go without having tea”.
Afrasiab said; i don’t want to drink your skirt kind of tea. I like having shalwar qameez and dhoti tea”.
Abr-e-nisa curiously asked, “What is this skirt tea and shalwar qameez tea”?
Afrasiab explained her thoroughly, “skirt tea is that which you people drink. You make qehwah separately than you add milk and then sugar, when you drink this skirt tea it not even warm. Shalwar qameez tea is mix tea which we drink. We put everything together and when it boils than we put it in cups and drink this hot tea. I think now you understand the difference. It’s very late so i should go now”.
Abr-e-nisa said, “I will drop you”.
Afrasiab said, “No i brought my father’s old fashioned car, Aurvoir, abientòt”.
Nadia behram lied to them that she has to go for dinner. When she left them she came out and asked the driver, “I would like to go to Rawalpindi”.
Driver was her humble servant. He took the road to Rawalpindi. She was very disturbed and distressed in the car but driver was driving the car. When their car came near to kachery and driver turned the car towards mall road, he said, “madam where you would like to go”.
So Nadia responded him, “You know there are two cinemas on the mall, Odeon and plaza, take me there”.
Driver thought she is going there for raid and search because these two cinemas show sometime hardcore pornographic movies. The driver parked the car in cinemas parking. Nadia’s heart started beating very fast. The driver got off from the car and he opened the door for her and asked, “Me-----madam”.
“You stay here”. She responded him.
Nadia was walking hurriedly. She entered in Shah Blot Bagh. Teddy masseur was massaging some guy. Nadia asked someone, “where is sanyeen internet’s hut”. That gentleman indicated her with his index finger and said, “That one”.
She walked quietly towards his hut and when she came outside his hut she said in a very mild voice, “Sanyeen jee i came to see you”.
Sanyeen internet muttered something and came out from his hut, “o ki ay konr ay”. (What happened, who is this) but when he saw her he got stunned and traumatized. He became a statue, breathless.
“Nadia it’s you”
Nadia said astonishingly and shockingly, “what have you done with yourself”.
Adam said ironically and sardonically, “you can see the 21st century’s ranjha. You deceived me”.
Nadia said, “since you left you didn’t phone or written any letter”.
“Ghazab kiya teray waday pay aitbar kiya
Tumam umar qiyamat ka intezar kiya
(I made mistake i believed what you said and waited for you all my life desperately)
Nadia said, “You still taunt, you are still sarcastic and ironic. You know i am the deputy commissioner of this city but i am your dassi (servant). I need some place in your feet”.
Adam laughed in a way like he didn’t believe what she said. So he said, “You haven’t forgotten making bogus promises. You built castles in the air and then destroy them. Don’t give me that much respect. I don’t trust anyone. I hardly settled myself”.
Nadia said, when my daughter told m that some sanyeen insulted and offended her, i knew it could be you because nobody dare to say something like this what you said to her. When Afrasiab talked about Günter Grass and Garcia Marquez than i was dam sure it’s definitely Adam Khan Chughtai”.
Adam said shockingly, “So you still remember my real and complete name. People call me sanyeen internet”.
Adam said affectionately and tenderly, “may i ask you one thing Nadia if you don’t mind”.
Nadia responded him lovingly, “yes why not”.
Adam said, “Afrasiab is your daughter’s boy friend”.
Nadia nodded her head in no and said, “I don’t know but they learn French together. He is some journalist’s son. His father’s name is chughtai”.
Adam said, “Ablaque Khan Chughtai”.
Nadia said, “Maybe”! ----------------------she got surprised and said, “Oh my god, so it means Afrasiab is your nephew”.
Adam said, “Yeh Ablaque is my younger brother. I recognized him once he was looking for Afrasiab and he came to restaurant where he was sitting”.
Beads were coming out from her eyes. She said is a heavy voice, “he is exactly like you. When he speaks Urdu it seems like that he is Baba-e- Urdu and when he speaks English it seems like that he is Russell”.
Adam said, “Forget about these things, tell me about your married life, how is your husband, my rival. He snatched you from me”.
Nadia said, “He is doctor. He is cardiologist, as long as concerned about married life”. She took cold breath and said, “So and so, it was compromise what every girl does in this society. He used to study with me and he was lover like many other boys”. She wiped her tears and said, “Did you marry”?
Adam said, “yes i did....................with circumstances, problems, the time which i had spend with you, with memories, with disgrace and humiliation............................ Nadia you never told me the reason, why you refused to marry with me. Could you please tell me now because I am for sure that I won’t survive”?
Nadia placed her hand on his mouth and said, “It’s not like that Adam. You want to know so listen carefully, when i said to you that i want to marry with you. I never even thought of it that we have financial crises. That chand rat (when new moon comes. Literal meaning moon and night) when i promised you still i didn’t forget that chand rat. I can still feel the sweetness of your lips on my lips. My father knew the story and he told the family problems which i didn’t know. At one side there was my old father and on other side it was you. It’s was me who has to decide because my father said whatever you will decide i will accept it. You were young, good looking and well mannered. For you it was very easy to find any girl. You could have married her and you would have started your life. You know something about my father. He was very hard working man. He helped everyone but people looted him, betrayed him. I was his loving daughter and he trusted me more than anything else. Even weather was not allowed to give me harm. He protected me from hot and cold weather. He cared me a lot. He never refused anything if i asked for something. You think i was disloyal to you. I deceived you but on judgement day i won’t be ashamed of my decision. I sacrificed my love for my father and respected his desires. If something would have happened with my father because of me than it would have been impossible for me to forgive myself for my whole life. It wasn’t possible at one side i am getting marry and on other side there is my father’s funeral”. She took a small pause and said, “You know better than me how does it work. This is men’s world, even if i would have ran away with you, i am for sure one day our kids would have ask us why we did this. This society doesn’t give respect that woman who finds her husband on her own and run away with someone is even worse. You know god forgives his creation but people don’t. Whatever happened with you, it was your own fault. When you left Pakistan it was your own decision than you faced many problems. You were educated, God gave you everything. He showed you the right path and he gave you another chance but you selected the wrong path. I am agreed with you that i refused to marry with you but it doesn’t mean that that was the end of the world. Don’t you know you used to say that love isn’t like land or property that you can own it? Love doesn’t mean possession. It’s eternal thing. It’s immortal. I still love you. It’s not the meeting of two corpses or having sex with someone means love. It’s the meeting of two souls. Love is like perfume, its wind, its sadness, its happiness. I think love is god. Love isn’t tangible that you can touch it. It’s such a thing which you feel. When i refused your proposal i didn’t said that i don’t love. There were so many other solutions for you. God shows the right path to his people quite often but we are unable to understand and we don’t see. You know with your moral support and motivation i started studying for civil services but you didn’t use your wisdom and sage for yourself. You didn’t find any decent way. Will you believe me that i never thought that i am the deputy commissioner of this city. It’s not me; in fact you are the deputy commissioner of this city.
When you left us, you never phoned us, never wrote us any letter. Do you know that when my father died i wanted to see you badly, i wanted to write you and I wanted to phone you? I wanted to hug with you. I wanted to cry but i didn’t have your number or address.
My father was linked with stock exchange. He was share holder and one suddenly the shares he had there rates fell and he had severe heart attack and he left me with governess and his all assets were the debts he left. The only person who helped at that time was Jamshed. If he wouldn’t have helped me at that than i would have been, what you see m now”.
Tears were coming out continuously from Adam’s eyes. He was alive until yet to hear all this.
Nadia said, “come with me, i will settle everything for you”. She grabbed Adam’ hand but Adam squeezed his hand back and his hand went to his heart speedily, then he clutched his heart with both hand and he wasn’t breathing easily.
For a while Nadia forgot that she is deputy commissioner. She came out from Adam’s hut and shouted in a loud, “is there anybody, who can help. Call some ambulance”.
When driver heard the noise he came and said, “What happened madam”?
Nadia shouted, “Don’t ask me anything and call the ambulance. It’s the matter of life and death”.
Sanyeen internet had heart attack. Nadia phoned her husband and they brought him to Il Cuore.
The people who were standing around they were confused and perplexed that why this lady is so much upset for this mad sanyeen internet.
Doctor Jamshed was Pakistan’s renowned cardiologist but he couldn’t save Adam’s life and he came out from the operation theatre and said, “I am sorry” and he walked away.
Nadia Behram Kharal, she couldn’t control herself and she hugged with dead body and started crying madly. While she was crying she was saying, “Wake up Adam, paint my hands with henna, bring me some bangles. Look at this night this is so beautiful”.
During this span of time people gathered around her. She turned her face and she saw, Abr-e-Nisa, Afrasiab and famous journalist Ablaque Khan Chughtai were standing. Nadia controlled herself. Jamshed was watching this entire theatrical scene like a naive. Today he got the answers of many questions. He grabbed Nadia’s hand and took her in a corner and said, “may i ask you what is all this. Why are you crying madly for this mendicant”?
Nadia said, Jamshed sahib you will never understand what woman is. You mend hearts but you don’t know what they have inside. You can’t even dream about it that a how many things woman hide in her heart. A woman loves only one person in her whole life and love never dies”.
Adam Khan Chughtai’s dead body was given to his brother ablaque khan chughtai.
Shah blot bagh was called Adam Bagh with Nadia’s official order.
© Copyright 2016 sarfraz baig. All rights reserved.
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