Palanquin And Pall

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 25, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 25, 2017



How many times you would want to have one of your wishes come true; well we have a person here who had a wish and to his surprise it came true but he regretted when it came alive.

Well as for now Mr. Ashar is having his scheduled evening walk as he was going over the garden fences of the park near his house, where he saw the most peculiar site that didn’t suited the surrounding, which was neat and smooth; the site he saw was very weird, I mean how many times you would see a palanquin and obit being together at a place, it seemed that the wish Mr. Ashar had been asking for had came true and was now happening in front of him yeas indeed he, Ashar, was seeing both joy and sorrow at one place together he felt excited and remorseful at the same time, he couldn’t resist the thoughts that were coming to him Should I go and ask what happened? No let it be its their matter why should I go and ask? Well I couldn’t keep standing here as well. So he made his way towards the house, he had known the house was queer and has always kept away from it but couldn’t now when it fulfilled his wish he felt strangely attracted to it, he took fast steps so that he may reach there fast  on reaching he regretted more he wished to go back but couldn’t after looking what was going on everyone there seemed to be happy and yet seemed to regret the reason they were all happy for even the bride, well its usual for them but till her face seemed a bit blank as though she was not happy because she thought it was only this day of her life that took away everything from her. Ashar looked for someone who could tell him what’s going on, he founded an old woman and asked, ‘What is going on up here it seems all strange?’  its foolish to ask it all do seemed strange. But the women answered him, she was very old, ‘so what do you want to know?’ she asked. ‘the thing that’s goin’ around here’ he replied. ‘Then listen’, she said.

‘“There once a family a very good and nice family, which had the nicest of 4 the people you can find on this earth. Well the family had a mother, a father, a daughter and a son and the bond of love between them was the strongest and the purest. No bad thing could ever get close to them because they had the purest soul in the world.

‘I don’t wish to listen about a family tell me what’s going on here.’ But she didn’t seem to listen to him. He wished to leave yet stayed. He listened like a child and prompted like a child every now and then.

“Once that family decided to go on a picnic and made every arrangement for it; the other day they were off in a car for their destination, enjoying all the way.

“Alas that was the last journey of that family they had together. They were on the highway when a truck coming to them and ‘wham!’ the whole thing occurred so swiftly that they didn’t even had the time to think what to do and just after a couple of minute there was the crying sound of two children and the truck went away with just a dent on its front-”’

‘It’s really cruel that the truck driver didn’t stop there to help them. Had not the cries of the children affected his soul, his heart how could he be this much heartless.’

‘Such is this world and humans in this world my dear they only think of themselves’

‘And why only this happen Nani that only good people are taken by the death’

‘Suppose you are in garden full of flowers which ones would you pick?’

‘The best ones’

‘Exactly,’ she continued looking at the confused look at her face ‘The earth is like a garden full of flowers represented by the people and only the best ones are picked by the death.

‘So where were we… yes “the accident had taken place and the truck went away soon after the accident the people surrounded the car and it was found that the mother and father are dead a while the son and the daughter were alive but fainted. Someone informed the police and the police arrived there the corpses were lifted over and the children were taken by the police, afterwards they were given to an acquaintance of theirs who were the brother theirs mother for a few days they lived theirs uncle’s house and they were happy but the happiness lasted long. Soon their uncle went to Hajj and the children were left at the mercy of theirs aunt who treated them, after their uncle was gone, treated them like scum.

“They tolerated hers behavior for a 15 days but the limit crossed when their aunt Jameela slapped Alishba for just taking-”

‘Who’s Alishba?’

‘The daughter. So what I said yes… “She slapped for just taking a bit of chapatti without hers permission and abused her badly. Alishba was severely distressed after the incident and didn’t talk to anyone in the house not even to her brother who couldn’t see her like this. Something was to be done.

“In the night Alam woke up and packed all the things that they had owned in that place, after he was done he woke up Alishba and asked her not to say anything until they had reached out of the premises of the house. While they were tip toeing to the gates on the outside they heard someone talking on reaching close to the door from where the voice was coming they realized it was their aunt speaking, ‘it’s only a matter of a few more days once we get our hands on their property they both will be send to an orphanage…’ she said and they both were shocked to hear that well its indeed a shock when you hear such things about you in such an early age.

“They both were now more determined to leave the house and tiptoed to the outer gates with an increased pace and on reaching the door they opened it cautiously and stepped out on the street where a new chapter of their life awaited them for which they were not ready-”

‘Nani why are there such people who do not even take care of their own relation and are only acquainted to their relation only till their purpose from them is served.’

‘’Cause such is the world my dear. Allah send us to this world to spread love and harmony but the Satan had infiltrated our minds and had made us all to see the world as our own and not of all the people and creatures living up here. He had made us to use the people and even children’s innocence and their goodness.’


‘So where were we… “They were now on the streets they had done so but had no place to go at this time and were not able to think of a place too. Then Alishba spoke ‘bhai we have our own house just a few blocks away, I think we should go there, don’t you think so?’

“‘Yes. You are right.’ And they headed towards their own home after approximately 15 minutes they reached there and were happy to see that at least the house was in the proper condition not deteriorated a bit since they had left it. Its windows and its doors  were all the same and seemed to be calling them to come and live at the place where they had spend the most beautiful part of their childhood.

“But the problem was how they were going to reach within the house the main gate was locked and the walls were so high to cross. Yet they were so determined to reach their home that they crossed the walls the help of a climber that was there. And entered into the house through the backdoor as they knew the front one was locked.

“Once in they entered the hall and switched the light on at once the dead house flooded with life and the very walls seemed to be welcoming them. They reached the wall where the painting of Allah’s name was hung they both closed their eyes and prayed for their parents well being in the heaven and said to Him to take care of them. After this they both brought the sofa just below the painting and slept.

“next day they both got up early with the sound of Azaan and performed Salah after this they both were completely awake. ‘I promise Alishba that I won’t even let any bad thing touch you or even reach near you. ’Alam said.

“‘I know you won’t, she replied. And after this the brother were off to find some work he like last night climbed the climber and reached the street he knew that it was foolish to find work at this point of day but still he moved in search of work he went on and on till he reached a tea shop he asked the vendor whether he required a workman or not on his denial he wasn’t heartbroken; this was his specialty that whatever may be the condition he always followed this line of his father’s ‘whatever happens, happens for good.’

“He moved ahead. Walking on and on he reached a dingy alley where there were a few shops he asked to every vendor whether he required a workman or not, on everyone’s denial he was now feeling a bit sad though but still had hope that he would find work. Yet he moved forward, it was 8 now so he headed back for home. While going back he ran into a group of men standing at the corner of his street he said sorry and moved forward. And moved ahead when one of them called him he went to them and asked ‘why did you call me?’

“The man in the front replied, ‘we have some work will you do it we will give you a 100 rupees for it.’

“Alam immediately said yes for it, as it was the only thing he had been out from the house. They gave him a packet and said that he has to give it to the person who would be waiting at the end of this street. ‘How will I identify him?’ Alam asked.

“‘he would be the only one standing up there and after he will take the packet he would give you another packet bring it up here, ok.’ The man said. Alam agreed and started to go to the end of the street after he had given the packet, the man standing there in turn give him a packet which he faithfully returned to the people who asked him to fetch it. After taking his 100 rupees, they said to him ‘you shall come here regularly and we will give you the same work and 50 rupees for it daily.’ Alam found it quite a deal and agreed for it thinking it as a gift from Allah.

“he reached home it was 9 now Alishba came and hugged him saying ‘where have you been I have been so worried and…..’ she started crying, hugged her tightly to comfort her and said, ‘hey look I have got a job and have earned 100 rupees today too. I have got some bread & butter let’s eat the breakfast.’ And on the dining table he laid plates and was buttering the bread; while he was doing this Alishba asked ‘what kind of job are you doing?’

“‘I have to parcel something from one place to another.’

“‘What sort of thing?’

“‘I don’t know. But I know this that soon we’d be able to go to school.’


‘“Months passed by Alam everyday did the parceling and had enough money now to get Alishba admitted in a good school and did so was very happy to buy the accessories for her but she was a bit sad as they both were not going together to school she asked him about it but he said soon they both would be going to school just a few months.

Every day, after Alishba would go to school, he would go to the men at the corner of the street and would take the thing wherever they would ask him to. But one day they called him in the evening and asked him to deliver the thing tomorrow morning at the same time. So he brought it home and kept it at the table. Alishba took it from there, unaware of whose it was and also what it was she held it open and found something white in it she had a bit of confusion for she had not seen anything like that ever before she called her brother and asked him if he had an idea of what it was he was in a shocked state for he didn’t wanted her to see that and was in more in shock that she had it in her hands openly visible. ‘Why did you open it?’ he asked, ‘it’s not safe for you.’

“‘And why is it so? Bhai tell me?’

“‘I can’t tell you it’s just not safe for you mark it on your brain and never ever hold it.’

“She came running towards him and held that thing close to her and sniffed it. And as she did so he slapped her she stood there looking at him in shock, ‘are you mad or what, you shouldn’t have done it these are poisonous you should never have done that it will affect more severely than you could ever think.’

“ ‘I just wished to confirm it I had a faint idea of what it was it was doing in our house  but wanted to confirm it. These are drugs and you didn’t have had any idea of what you were transferring all these months. Go and inform the police now I don’t want my brother to be a drug mafia please go now Alam.’

“ ‘I won’t go because it is the only way we are earning and if I would leave it everything of ours would be gone and we won’t be having a single penny.’

“She slapped Alam, ‘you said you wouldn’t let any bad come near me how by becoming bad yourself. You are no brother of mine.’ She ran and closed up herself in her room. Alam stood there looking after her he couldn’t think of what to do, he was distressed, and so he went out.

“Time passed and Alishba came out of her room and searched for her brother but couldn’t find him. She went out and saw him coming in through the main gate. ‘ I informed the police and they are now behind the bars,’ he smiled, ‘but you increased my work from tomorrow I have to go from shop to shop to find work and earn.’

“‘But at least you won’t learn something illegal now.’ She smiled and went to hug him.


Next day Alam woke up early and went out in search up for the job but this time he didn’t ran in to some drug mafias and like earlier he couldn’t muster to get a job. And looking at the time he started to retrace his steps towards his house and on the way back he found a purse lying on the road he opened it at least has 5000 Rs. He at once have a surge to take throw the purse away and have the amount. But then the face of his sister came in front of him.” ‘clearly love can make you to be away from all the bad that is there in this world’ “he couldn’t take the money along with him now so he searched for something that would give him the clue about the owner of that and he found it, there was a visiting card in that and he knew the address since it was quite near to his house. And without wasting any time he went to that address. It was a really big house that he had reached and luxurious too he rang the bell and a guard came out asked what he wanted, he replied that he wished to see Mr. Ayub, as that was the name written on the card, the guard again asked what work did he had from him, the guard said, ‘whatever might be the work tell it to me I will tell sir about it.’

“‘No I will see him myself and who are you to stop me to talk to him.’ Alam said it in a very irritable manner. The guard got tired of him and took him in. After he reached in he opened the door and called his sir. Mr. Ayub came out he won’t be older than 45 but looked really young and was a really pleasant ma who had a really cool temper and he looked as he would never had lost his temper. He came out he didn’t have any shock about losing his wallet instead he was happy that it would be his money that would be helping someone, ‘there wasn’t,’ he was saying, ‘any need about giving it back it would have been better if you would have used it what would I have done with these they were probably more useful to you than to m, am I right?’

“‘how do you know, I mean how can you say that I haven’t told you anything about myself.’ Alam said it in a very childish manner.

‘one can easily, make out what are the problems of others and of course of children, as it is on their face,’ he said and smiled at the confused look on Alam’s face, now tell me what are your problem, might be the person destined for helping you by Him, now don’t hesitate and tell me of course I am not going to kidnap you or do something bad to you.’

“‘Well if you would have wished you could have done something like that earlier.’ Alam said and he delved in his and his sister’s tragic story. After he was done Mr. Ayub kept a hand on his shoulder to comfort him, and it felt Alam like his father was again with him, ‘you have suffered a lot perhaps, no matter, well you wish to have a job eh, then do one thing you can be a bookkeeper at my shop and I will give you 100 Rs.-’

“‘but I don’t know anything about it and you think I must do it, that’s not right it think’ Alam cut across him.’

“‘What if I don’t need a person who is eligible for the job and only wish to have a person who is honest, you are honest Alam and that is your biggest strength which would always help you in this world.’ He said and even after Alam’s denial he kept him as a bookkeeper in his shop.

“Alam was really thankful to him and couldn’t find a way to express his gratitude, even if he felt that his decision of keeping him at his shop wasn’t right. He was really happy and he went back to his house very happily and told this great news to Alishba who was as happy as he was and perhaps a bit more.


“Many years passed and the children who ran from their aunt’s and uncle’s house were not children any more but are grown up in a man and a woman who were really kind and good. All these years Alam went to the shop of Mr. Ayub and has now become part of their family not only he but his sister too was the part of their family. Alishba had cleared her school and college with distinction marks and was topper in every year’s session. And now was teaching and was preparing too for higher studies, all because of her brother. Now there a big responsibility on Alam’s shoulder to get Alishba married but how to do it, finding a good and proper man for her was posing a big problem in his this responsibility. He always asked about Alishba’s choice and would ask her whether she felt bad that he was getting her marry. For having hers permission in it was the biggest thing for he didn’t wish her to get married against her wish for it is considered a sin by him. He asked her about this and after she agreed he set out on his quest to find a perfect man for her who would keep her happy and would help her to persue her dreams and allow her to study.

“And after a month with a lot of labor he was able to find a perfect groom for her and was really happy to find that Alishba was too ready to marry him. And now he started to do shopping for her marriage, he called his aunt and the misunderstanding was clear the lines they heard her speaking the night they left the house she was actually reading a book in which there was that line and now the whole thing was clear that the reason for her to behave like that was just her anxiety that she had when someone goes away from her,” ‘I don’t think she had been completely truthful to them but yet,’ “they now had their family back and all as going well they were completely happy. The days passed and the families of both the groom and the bride met each other and the date of marriage was fixed after a month. The preparations started and the plans were all made the bride gown was bought their Aunt chose it by herself and the jewelry was the best one that he could afford. also all this was done by themselves only they didn’t took help from somewhere nor did they took loan it was completely out of the labour of Alam that the marriage was taking place. It was the determination, honesty and concentration that he had won the heart of Mr. Ayub in all these years and that was the reason that he had believed him so much, but soon that believe was to be ruptured.

“The wedding day arrived and all the arrangements were done there was no lag in the arrangement it looked like it was the marriage of a princess, Alam’s labor clearly paid him, as it was almost ’cause of him that marriage was taking place. The guests were looking all around at the arrangements and were impressed by it; it was Alam wanted it to be a great hall having two stages: one for his sister and the other for his brother in law, the background of the stage was golden and was shaded with roses and was very lovely looking. The outside had a very good look with the entire tables there with the night sky. The barat arrived with the groom’s car in the front and with his arrival he sent for his sister who came out in her red bride gown looking beautiful and princess to him. She arrived and sat on her stage, he attended the barat hugged the bridegroom, led him to his stage. He sat there with him served him with the starters, but Syed, the bridegroom, was busy in looking at the bride he couldn’t take her eyes off her. Alam took his leave and went to Alishba’s stage, he hugged her tightly and the tears sparkled in his eyes but he didn’t show them.

“His phone rang suddenly, though he had informed everyone that he would be busy in his sister’s marriage, then who would be calling he checked his phone and found that the call was from Mr. Ayub he picked up the call. ‘Alam come here at once, we need to discuss something’ he was saying, his voice was furious.

“‘But sir I told you it’s my sister’s marriage today I can’t come now, even the barat has arrived sir I can’t come now, it would be difficult sir.’

“‘I don’t know that you have to come, it’s very important, come here fast, I don’t want to hear excuses.’ He said yet more furiously.

“Alam didn’t know what to do he couldn’t leave the wedding neither he could deny Ayub sir who had helped him a lot, who had helped him in finding Syed for Alishba and who had made him feel like his father was there with them, he couldn’t deny them. So he said to Alishba that he was going to Ayub’s house and asked her to wait. He departed for Mr. Ayub’s house. He reached there and entered the house, the atmosphere of the house seemed to be tensed as he knocked the opened door to gain attention of everyone, he received a tight slap from the son of Mr. Ayub, ‘how dare you to do steal from our shop how dare you to cheat that person who believed you, did you ever think what he will think of you?’ he said after he slapped Alam in front of the whole house.

“Alam didn’t expect such a welcome and did feel bad but could not show it he said very calmly, as though nothing happened, ‘what happened Ayub sir will you tell me why you have summoned me here when my sister’s marriage was going on?’

“‘Alam answer me truly whatever I’ll ask,’ Alam nodded so he continued, ‘tell me whether you took any money from the shop yesterday?’

“‘No sir, why is there a problem-’

“‘So you don’t know that yesterday 50000 Rs was stolen by you from our shop.’ Said the son of Ayub.

“‘Hang on sir you are imposing a sticker of thief on me, while I am completely innocent in this case, I have not done anything.’

“‘So what do you mean I or someone else from the house stole it from the shop, and you are completely innocent?’

“‘Yes. For sure I am innocent in this case, you believe me Ayub sir you do sir, don’t you?’

“‘Alam look I don’t know what to say but please if you know something about the stolen money do tell us we are all worried from the morning.’

“‘You too sir, I don’t believe it, you were the one who didn’t cared whether the money was lost or gain and I have worked with you these many years and you still think that I could do any such thing.’

“‘I don’t know that but I think there is checking needed for confirmation, but still Alam if you know anything then do tell me.’

“‘now I won’t speak but my honesty would let’s go to the shop and check out if I am guilty or not.’

“‘Dad do you still think that any checking is needed, any proof is still needed when I have checked the whole shop myself, tell me Dad you don’t believe me.’

“‘Why not, it is needed, we can’t blame Alam or anyone like that, no a full checking is needed.’ Ayub replied, and he headed out of the door for the shop while Alam and his son behind him. Alam still could not believe it that Ayub would ever doubt on him. Alam, however, thanked him, for he at least believed that a thorough checking is needed and initiated it.

“however at the wedding every one waited for Alam as the time for nikah was coming nearer Alishba called for him but couldn’t connect to him for his mobile’s battery died. After 10 more minutes the time for nikah had started and now everyone was persuading he to have it done otherwise it would be too late, but she denied saying that when her brother would come then only she would marry. More minutes passed but no Alam could not be seen anywhere round. On the other side Alam and his shop partners were turning the whole shop upside down to find the money but were almost unable to find the money but couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally he decided to look up at the shelf when Ayub’s son shouted, ‘what are you trying to find up there?’ he ignored him and looked at the shelf he found a packet up there and a watch too. He opened the packet and found at least 50000 Rs. within it. He took the packet and the watch and turned to Mr. Ayub he handed him the packet and said ‘I can’t work anymore with you sir, for I don’t think I joined at the person’s shop who valued honesty and was only on that account that he believed me, I didn’t join at the person who was materialistic,’ he turned to Ayub’s son, ‘perhaps you lost something up the shelf or perhaps it slipped from your hand.’

“‘what was yours watch doing up there Shazeb answer me, what was it doing up there? Why are you silent my son?’ but even to his father’s words he remained deaf. Alam didn’t stay there to hear Mr. Ayub and Shazeb’s conversation, he left and headed towards his house, he didn’t feel bad at all for he knew whatever happens happens for good, though he couldn’t find out what good was there in it but still he hoped for best ahead. Well, he thought, better it all happened now after Alishba’s marriage not before it for it would be problematic then

“On the other side Alishba agreed to everyone’s advice of doing nikah for she also knew that it was the wish of her brother and he wouldn’t be happy if she delayed it for him. After the marriage was done and greetings was exchanged she sat at the entrance with Syed to wait for her brother.

“Almost an hour passed no sign of Alam could be seen. It was nearly a quarter after 10 that he could be seen at the end of street, he moved with a fast pace. He looked at his sister and his brother-in-law, was very happy to see them together. He looked at both of and got momentarily lost, he started daydreaming about their family, about his nieces and nephews how he would be playing them; and then he heard, perhaps the last thing of his life, Alishba screaming for him and then ‘WHAM!’ a motorbike smashed into him and went away, he couldn’t make out what happened just now. He was lying on the floor could feel some hot liquid around his head and hands, and could feel a stream of footsteps around him and heard Alishba’s voice in the middle of all these chaos. His head was swimming, now every sound seem to be an echo, the surroundings were now turning blur, yet he could make out what Alishba said, ‘You will be alright Alam bhai, don’t worry we’ll take you to the hospital now, you will be alright!’ he didn’t know how he mustered up the strength to do this but he raised his hand to hold Alishba’s, he held her hand, looked at her and said, ‘you are the most beautiful bride and sister in the whole world.’ And with the end of the sentence his hands too fell on the ground and something in his warm black eyes left, now he lay dead on the ground with no sign of moment in his whole body. Alishba led out a horrible cry for her brother and clasped to the body of his and didn’t leave it lying there like that neither she allowed anyone to come near him. It was only when her husband said to her that they should take the body inside the house for a protection of it. She followed his instruction and took her brother’s body inside the house. Her husband made her understood that it was done now neither he nor she or anyone else in this world could turn it back, it is all very natural, he asked her one question, “tell me if you were in a garden which flowers you would pick?’

“‘The best ones’ she replied.

 “‘Exactly! Your brother was really the best flower on this world that is the reason he had been plucked by death and taken to the place where no tension no problem could ever reach him, he is in the best place for now away from all the chaos…’

“it took a while for Alishba to understand this all but she agreed on the point that Alam’s body must be sent for the cemetery, but on one condition that she would be leaving with the body for her new home. And it was like this at the time of fajar that the Palanquin and Pall left together from the same destination for two different destinations, one to start a new life and the other to start a new peaceful ‘life’.”

‘That’s it my dear we are finish with the story, ’said the old woman looking at his face, which had expression somewhere between regret and  anguish……..






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