‘INNA LILAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJI’UN
If my memory is still loyal to me, this is exactly what was written on my son Faraz’s grave, and the words were somewhat shining by the glittering sunrays coming directly at my head. I still remember that day, when I was weeping, with my hands smothering my face, and my wife, Mumtaz, was sitting silently, staring at the grave with no expression on her face. Faraz’s departure seemed the end of the world for me.
I am Anwar Malik, have crossed my fifty, and now only the sole purpose of my life is perhaps to ponder where did it go wrong? Why Faraz is not with us?
Today, exactly a month after Faraz’s death, I’m thinking about him.
Faraz Malik, age 17, brown eyes, wavy hair, sharp nose, was slim and six feet tall. He was in love with someone. Yes, this is the reason why he was KILLED, because he loved someone. How could he do that? Didn’t he know it’s a crime? But he was innocent, though at that time he was still a teenager, but he had to pay for his sin. But whom did he love? Why did he commit this crime? It all happened last month.
* * *
‘Dad? Where are you? Dad’, Faraz shouts.
‘I’m coming’, I run as fast as I can. ‘What’s the matter?’
‘You haven’t signed my report card yet’, Faraz is frustrated.
‘Calm down, calm down’, I borrow pen from Faraz and place my signature at the bottom of the report card.
‘Thank you’, Faraz almost jumps and runs away.
‘WAIT’, I shout.
‘Be ready tomorrow, Anjum khala will come here with her family.’
‘Anjum khala?’ Faraz smiles, with his eyes sparkling like pearls.
‘Yes’, I smile back.
Faraz was close to Anjum. He loved her very much. Anjum did a lot for our family. It was because of her that Faraz got admission in one of the finest schools of this city. I think, it was after this only that Faraz began liking her. Okay, sorry for disgression. Let’s move back to the story.
Faraz is sitting on the floor in the night. Mumtaz is sitting beside him, stitching the torn bedsheet, and I am sleeping on the bed.
‘Ammi! Anjum khala will come tomorrow with her family. Who all will come along with her?’ Faraz is curious.
‘Wait’, Mumtaz stops stitching and keeps the bedsheet, thread and needle aside. She then comes closer to Faraz and resumes, ‘Only her son, Saqib.’
‘Saqib? Who’s he? And what about the rest of the family?’
‘They don’t want to come.’
‘I don’t know’, Mumtaz takes a pause, then resumes, ‘Didn’t you meet Saqib last month?’
‘Why?’ Mumtaz almost glares. ‘Why you avoid meeting your cousins?’
‘It’s not like that’, Faraz clears his throat. ‘I was ill.’
‘Okay sorry’, Mumtaz chuckles. ‘I forgot.’
‘Will meet him tomorrow’, Faraz says it as if he’s making some promise.
The next day, in the afternoon, the walls are shining and the aroma of delicious eatables is coming from the kitchen. Mumtaz is readying the dishes to be served, while Faraz and I are readying ourselves. I choose my favourite kurta while Faraz chooses his, pairing it with blue jeans. I suggest him to wear pyjama, but he would never listen to me.
Anjum did a lot for our family. It was because of her that Faraz got admission in one of the finest schools of this city.