A short reflection from our patriarchal society.
She phoned her friend, Sahil, and told him about the chemist, who during packing had slid his phone number into the packet of potions. Her eyes closed but a ray of hope, that the friend will do something convincing kept them from bursting. â€śYou should have told it to your mother so that she would have taken a mature reaction against the chemistâ€ť, replied the friend. He added, â€śWomen are naturally weak and their best protectors are their parents, not friends because society is negative and friends take decisions based on impulse, which most-probably proves counterproductive. But if you insist, I will batter him down after the examsâ€ť. The unaccustomed answer convinced her and she calmed down.
Some days later, while she was sitting in the porch with her grandfather, who was in late sixties, hosted a white blanket-like beard, pale and wrinkled skin, square jawed face,pug nose and grey eyes, someone shouted, â€śShazia! Shazia!â€ťÂ The moment she responded to the call, she received an unsolicited slap. Shazia was startled and her cheek became so red and hot that butter could have melted on it. After ten seconds, her grandfather mumbled to himself that it is not a proper etiquette for an adult girl to answer loudly.
Again, she complained to Sahil about the matter. He replied that old people have their inherited unavoidable principles, so try to behave before them as they wish you to. Shazia again calmed down but this time, half satisfied. She began to think that if her brother would have done the same, he would not have been slapped but warned. Moreover, the mistake was not hers but the callerâ€™s inside the house who shouted loudly.
During the call, her mobile signaled that due to low balance, the conversation was stopped half-way. Sahil on the other hand had no balance because in college hostels, everyone remains hungry all the time. Shazia dared to ask her little brother to lend her his phone for a while. He was ill- tempered and speculative about her sisters. He was antagonized by it, so he became violent and yelled at her, â€śwho the hell do you have to call? How many boyfriends do you have? Damn!!â€ť This allegation devastated her. She left the room and smoothly capitalizing tear cloud busted out like a damaged fire hydrant. She was continuously weeping and this time, the friend was also not there to console her.
After an hour of weeping, poor Shazia was dead tired. Her mother, oblivious about what was going on because she was engrossed in dinner making, announced that dinner was ready. Shazia quietly gulped down her food, pretending to be okay. Her mother saw her red eyes and enquired whether she had a headache? Shazia nodded but didnâ€™t arch her eyebrows. Her brother, watching all this didnâ€™t thaw a bit. Shazia didnâ€™t have any boyfriend, as alleged by her brother but she was an extrovert with all her female and male friends. This allegation was reeling in her mind. On the other hand, consistent complaining had made her a bit of a burden for Sahil. He sometimes eluded her. The mental disturbance was perturbing Sahil but he tackled with it by his virtuous character. He proved his friendship even during exams. Her affliction continued gradually, meanwhile she realized that Sahil was the only sensible and compassionate person towards her.
Shazia joined college as she wished to, but her parents wanted her to qualify for a professional course because of the demonstration effect of her cousins. Shazia met her old school mates in college and their company gave her an after-paracetemol relief. Her mother was contemplating only about the professional course. As she stayed idle in home, new thoughts swirled her mind about convincing Shazia. Shazia was respectfully refusing every offer and leaving the aisle briskly to and fro college. Shazia had remained isolated from family matters throughout her life and whenever something happened she evacuated herself to her room and lost her ample tears. Shazia was regularly conferring with Sahil about all her matters. This consort, bit by bit, made her smitten of him. She had found a shoulder to shed her emotions on.
Sahil was a kind and polite person, always preoccupied in thinking about others. Shazia, bored with sleepless nights, manipulated his kindness by calling him during late night and then apologizing, as every girl does; commits an act intentionally and then confesses non-seriously. Boys are buffoons, who still forgive them with a grinning face. This constant adherence to Sahil and his careful reactions made Shazia seductive to write him a note:
â€śHi Sahil! How are you? Hope you are fine. I donâ€™t know how you will react but I think you are the only person who knows me and takes much care of me. I love you and want to live the rest of my life with you. Take care. Yours Shazu.â€ť
She folded the note and promised to herself that if Sahil refuses the proposal, she had no reason to live further.
Khalid Fayaz Mir. Umar Lateef Misgar