Just Bliss

Archive for July 2012

Mamu was looking out of the window. Cool breeze on his face refreshed his mood. Punjab is very fertile. Clean clear environment, bright sunny day, children playing, women carrying water pitchers on head, cattle grazing in the lush green fields with snow clad mountains in the background, enlightened him. He remembered lines from William Wordsworth’s:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

But it lasted very soon. The fear of black tom cat, overshadowed, his dreamy feel.

He fearing of, some forthcoming, catastrophe was lost in profound thinking.

Finally, the train came to a halt at the Lahore station.  A number of people had come to receive them. They all boarded the awaited bus, cheerfully. The bus proceeded, to Samanabad.

None of them had the least idea, that, the black tomcat was also going to Samanabad with them. No one saw him on the station or platform. No one remembered him, or whatever happened in the train.

Creeping out from somewhere, he managed somehow, to, jump and sit on the roof, of the same bus. Now, he was very much there.

When they reached Samanabad, the black tomcat sneaked into the house, unnoticed, before anyone else. 

 

 

 

 

Kulsoom’s mother said to her, “You played the flute, so well Kulsoom.  Will you please, play it again for us?”

Smiling shyly, Kulsoom replied, “Come on, mother, you also make fun of me.”

Kulsoom was unaware, of her mother’s agony. She didn’t know that her mother veiled her tears, in her smile. She was, going through the ghastly, period of her life. She was so helpless.  Since Kulsoom, was already, engaged to Dada.   Her mother desired that her daughter, get married, and go to her husband’s. She thought she’ll be safe there.  She couldn’t think of, any other, better way, than this.

Dadi remained absolutely normal, for days, having no influence of jinns. It seemed, as if nothing odd, ever happened. She behaved normal with everyone. Chatted, laughed, played and enjoyed life with her sisters and friends. Everyone felt relief. Living looked attractive again. Rain and rainbow filled hearts with joy again.

So let your light guide you,

Look up at the rain,

For the clouds will fly by you,

You will feel the sun again.

Sometimes, she changed to a weird being again. She acted stubborn, inflexible, and rude, unlike her temperament with everyone who came across.

She was under treatment of a spiritual healer. The treatment proved fruitful. So she was married and sent with Dada. She never experienced anything like before, after marriage. Her marriage proved the best and permanent remedy.

Kulsoom’s parents told every minute detail about Kulsoom, to her husband. So her husband, (Dada) took great care of her. He used to say jokingly that, “no, jinn will ever bother Kulsoom, as she’s under the influence of greater jinn now!”  They both led a happy married life. She was a caring and loving wife.

Whenever dada discussed the interactions of jinns, with her, she left that place. If anyone asked her, about it, she would just give a sweet smile avoiding to share.

Actually, she was afraid, so avoided to talk about it. She was a very decent lady.

She loved her husband dearly. She gave birth to a son, Furqan’s father. Dadi passed away, to rest in heaven eternally. Furqan was raised by his father.

Furqan’s father was a civil servant. He was a busy man, always traveling.

Furqan was only a teenager of 14, 15 years of age, when his dada passed away. It was a great, unbearable loss for Furqan. Furqan felt like a wretched orphan, after his dada’s demise.  He was more close to his dada than his father.

The train was moving at very high speed. Station after station passed by swiftly, getting closer to Lahore.

FACTS ABOUT ONIONS!. interesting info about onions 🙂

Kulsoom came out of the room smiling, after two or three hours. “Kulsoom, what happened to you my dear?”  Mother, concerned and confused, at the same time, asked her. Kulsoom innocently relied, “What could happen to me mother. I was sleeping, you know it.”

“Don’t you remember anything Kulsoom?” mother asked her. Kulsoom seeing her mother upset, asked her, “Do tell me, mother please, what happened to me? Why are you so upset?”

“Don’t you remember anything, Kulsoom? You pushed me out of the room. Where did you get such power from? It’s terrible. I’m worried.”

“How can I push you mother? You think I can be so offensive and disobedient?”  Kulsoom felt very uncomfortable. She held her mother close, hugging her, with eyes filled with tears. Kulsoom was a very sweet natured and modest girl. She felt ashamed and awfully guilty, to know that she misbehaved with her mother. She kept asking for forgiveness repeatedly.

Days passed. Kulsoom went through the same situation, on and off. But she never remembered all that happened to her.

One day, Kulsoom was sitting near the flaming stove, cooking when she started behaving in the odd manner.  Her mother fearing she might not catch fire, while shaking and twitching, she tried to pull her away. Just then she heard the same coarse voice, “get your dirty hands away, from her. Don’t you see we have come here?”  Mother said, “I know very well, but with due respect, it’s better if you get inside the room. I fear she might not burn herself.” “Rest assured! Nothing can harm her, when we are with her.”  Her mother heard again, “would you to hear flute being played?”

“The flute? Yes why not, but, there’s no flute here.” Mother said.  Kulsoom, pointing to a small iron pipe making mockingly said, “Here’s the flute.”

The pipe turned into a snake charmer’s flute. Kulsoom, who was not Kulsoom, but a transformed being, played that flute, nonstop, for hours. Neighbors, hearing the melodious flute also gathered in their home. Kulsoom didn’t care for anything. She kept playing. The playing for so long, she got tired, fainted and fell on the floor. When she came back to normal, she didn’t remember anything.


She saw herself lying, on her bed, when came to consciousness.

Her mother sat on her bedside, watching her, and waiting for her, to come to senses.  When Kulsoom was fully conscious, then her mother told her, “That when it took very long and you didn’t come down, from the roof, I called you many times. But, when, I failed to get back any reply, getting worried, I ran upwards to find out the reason.”  She further continued, “I was shocked to see you lying unconscious.  Thus called your sisters, Rafiqa and Sultana, and with their help brought you down.  Tell me what happened to you? I asked you so many times, not to play and bathe on the roof, especially in afternoons. But you damn care.”  Dadi then told her mother, all what she saw.

Few days passed smoothly. Nothing unusual happened. Everyone forgot that unpleasant incident.

Then, one day, Dadi started doing queer things, like vigorously moving her head.

She had very long, soft and silky hair that touched her knees. She had weaved them, into a long braid. But with constant moving of her head, her braid, swiftly opening covered her face.

Children got scared to see this, ran away from that room. Her younger sister, Rafiqa, couldn’t tolerate to see it either, so she left the room too. However her other sister, Sultana stayed there in the room with their mother. No male member was   present at home, that time. Even, if anyone was there, what could he do?

There seemed to be no break, so mother went near, and tried to take her in her arms, but….Dadi, pushed her away forcefully, and furiously said, “What the hell are you doing?  Can’t you see we have come here?”  It wasn’t Dadi’s voice. It was a male’s coarse voice. It was not Dadi’s voice only, that changed, but her face looked weird too, with her eyes red as blood and mouth wide open. All this was enough to scare her sister, Sultana too. She left the room, running. It was only Dadi’s (Kulsoom) mother in the room with her. “Why are you here? Leave the room at once, and don’t enter as long as we are here!”

Dadi’s mother called her by her name, “Kulsoom!”  Hearing her own name, Kulsoom; she turned around, and frowned at her mother.

Dadi broke into sweat to see her daughter. It was not, her. It was a horrible face.

Seeing Dadi’s mother frightened, Kulsoom laughed violently. “Old lady, go away, and leave us alone.”  Though Dadi’s mother was very scared, she didn’t leave the room. So Kulsoom wildly held her, by hair, pushing her so hard that poor lady fell on the ground.

Kulsoom was a dainty young girl.  Her mother, however, was large and stronger than her.   The way Kulsoom pushed her mother, with ease, was sufficient to realize the strength she had at that moment.

As her mother rose to her feet, to call her other daughters, Kulsoom closed the door behind her, without delay. Kulsoom’s mother and sisters knocked the door several times but….there was no sound, no noise, nothing….just, complete silence in the room!

He was fond of throwing parties, at home frequently. Sufis were invited for spiritual reunion. Qawwals enlightened the situation.  Spiritual healers met, to treat victims under magic influence. Then they all shared their experiences among themselves. Furqan, though small for all those activities, he, watched them eagerly. People with queer get up, like, wearing strange type of clothes, bracelets, rings with big stones, earrings, garlands, colored droplet necklaces, robes, anklets, wooden slippers, caps and head covers of different styles, all, delighted him with their unusual doings.  Furqan developed interest in them subconsciously.

Dada told many tales of jinns to Furqan.  Once, he told a true story of jinn, to Furqan. It was about his real grandmother. Before she was married to Furqan’s dada she was under the spell of jinn. It started, with her washing and splashing in water, on the roof, in summer.  Surprisingly, all of a sudden, her vision blurred. She felt very upset. But just after few minutes, her vision was clear, like, before. Then, after a short while, she saw countless pigeons fluttering, over her head. They were so many in number that the sun hid behind them. It became all dark.  This made her so terrified that she fainted. She saw herself lying, on her bed, when came to consciousness

He lived a contented life. His aim of life was to render service, to any one in need.

Being a happy go lucky person was equally popular and respected, among children and people of all ages. He knew number of stories, especially of jinns. So in every social gathering people gathered around him.

According to him, the house in Aligarh where he lived was haunted too.

Aligarh has extreme climate having, very cold winters and sizzling summers.

The open air, stars and moonlight, fascinated Furqan Mamu. Hence he liked to sleep on the roof, of the top floor, of his mansion in summers. He often felt as if, someone was with him, or following him. It happened especially, in moonlit nights. One night when he was lying in his bed, watching the bejeweled sky, with twinkling stars, he heard fluttering of a pigeon around at 2 p.m.

The other members of his family mostly stayed, on the second floor. Family used the ground floor only, in summers, or if guests came, otherwise it remained closed.

Mamu often saw a tall strong, white bearded man, dressed in white, sitting on his bedside in summer afternoons. Mamu used to wake up, suddenly from his nap, by, feeling his presence. The man always, raised his right arm high with his fingers twisted in a manner, as if to twist, someone else’s wrist. He was always seen in the same posture.  The weird man never uttered a single word. Seeing him, Mamu felt a chill creeping in his spine. He felt his mouth dry. He was speechless and very weak, when he was back to normal. Mamu always saw him while, he was dozy. The moment Mamu felt normal, he opened the window to breathe in fresh air.  However that strange being never hurt him.

Besides that strange being, Mamu saw many dwarfs, in his ground floor portion.

He saw them, with his open eyes. The dwarfs hid themselves, here and there, when saw Mamu. Mamu, thus, made it sure that when he went to the ground floor, he waited for some time, for the dwarfs to be at their ease before, unlocking the doors. The house was very old. It was built by Mamu’s grandfather. It was said, that when this house was built, there were no other houses, only fields.

There was only an old graveyard just a few yards away. Gradually, Rasalgunj was colonized. All fields turned into lively milieu except for the graveyard.

Graveyard is vital for the alive to rest there, till the Day of Judgment.

Mamu was more emotionally involved with his grandpa, than his father. His father, being a civil servant remained outstation most of the time. Whereas his grandpa remained home mostly, by, enjoying retired life. He was also fond of his grandchild, Furqan. Wherever Dada    went, little Furqan was sure to go, like Mary’s little lamb followed her. Dada taught recitation of Quran to him.

Dada served Railway, as guard. In those days, a guard was considered a very respectable person. He met hundreds of people, from different backgrounds, every day. He was sociable and responsive by nature.  Above and beyond he was curious to know the unknown, so, Dada made many friends. Most of his friends were spiritualists, clairvoyant and mind readers.

 

He was sitting on the shank. Before Akbar could do anything, he, leaping straight on Akbar’s shoulder, jumped on the platform. Akbar barely balanced himself from falling. He sat on the floor for few moments to regain his judgment. It was so unexpected that they just looked at each other in confusion.  “What was it?” Akbar said puzzled rubbing his shoulder.

“It was nothing, but a tomcat Akbar.”  His cousin remarked in a mischievous tone. “Even though it’s a cat but trust me, I felt as if someone threw a sack of heavy load on me.” Akbar proclaimed. “Was it a cat, a dog, or a donkey Akbar? Was it really, so heavy?”  He gazed, with eyes bulging out of astonishment.  “Never saw such an unusual cat in my whole life.”

“Where has he disappeared?”  The cousin looked everywhere on the platform, but, he was nowhere to be seen. Closing the door of the compartment they went to share with Mamu in his cabin.

Mamu was lost in a utopia of his own, pretending to be looking out of his window. Hearing Akbar’s voice, he composed himself, to know the latest about the queer black tomcat. He asked smiling, “Have you set free the cat, Akbar?”

“Mamu, I doubt it’s a cat.” Akbar said in a scared tone. Looking direct in Akbar’s eyes Mamu asked watchfully, “Why say so? What happened?”

“Though he looks like a tomcat, but, he’s size of a huge dog and his weight was not less than a donkey’s. My shoulders still pain.” Akbar saying this narrated the whole story. “Hmm, come here, Akbar. Sit beside me.” Mamu smelling his shoulder removed his shirt, to check his shoulder. There was a small scar there, like a nail’s scratch.

“Akbar, a cat can’t be, so heavy.   As you couldn’t keep your balance, so you think like that.” Mamu tried to pacify Akbar’s fear; otherwise, he himself, was very upset.

Mamu didn’t want Akbar to be disturbed, as it was his wedding ceremony; they were all going to attend in Lahore. Mamu had, now, realized the character, of that black tomcat. Mamu was however, relieved that, the tomcat left, without harming anyone. Though the boys beat and played pranks with him in so many undesirable ways.

Furqan Mamu was nearly 62 years of age. But, he sustained his health, and build, with balanced diet and exercise. So having a presentable personality, he, did not look more than fifty. He had something charismatic, in his persona.  Ladies got easily charmed, by his refined and cultured manners.

He was called Mamu by one and all. Be it a child, male, female or even elderly people. He was a jolly good fellow. Never felt ill, being called Mamu. He was very kind and considerate.  He was also a practicing Muslim. Besides that, was also a spiritual healer?  But he never disclosed or boasted of this trait. He was an experienced, matured and poised man.  When, he was in Aligarh, India, he had an industrial plant of making locks and keys.  He tried to continue with his lock and key business, when moved to Pakistan. But due to lack of skilled workmen, he had to change his way of earning. Hence he opened a small cloth shop.  His honesty and sincerity brought him laurels. His business flourished. He got, from one small shop, to four big cloth shops in famous markets of Karachi.

The presence of jinn had already terrified ladies, and now the violent shrill of Rashida and a black tomcat had goaded the situation. Ladies started reciting holy verses and covered themselves in their comforters.

Hearing of the tomcat being there, the boys from their cabins came also. Akbar bent down to see the tomcat under the berth. It was there. Akbar saw his fiery eyes. Akbar picked a high heel sandal from the floor and threw at him. It hit his head. Howling, the cat slipped under the seat in front. “Where is he?” Akbar having the other sandal in his asked.  His black tail was visible from under the seat so Akbar hit it. The tomcat ran towards the boys’ compartment in anguish. There was a chaos in the cabin. Everyone was agitated. He kept going from seat to another. Hearing, “where is he, where is he?” and hustle and bustle, Furqan Mamu came out too. He was shocked to see every boy with a sandal or slipper in hand.

“What’s the show all about?” asked Mamu. “A tomcat has disturbed us all.”

“He keeps running to and fro when we hit him.”  “Don’t hit him!”

“As the train is running very fast, he can’t go out so better lock him in the toilet and shut the door.” Mamu suggested.

Appreciating Mamu’s idea, Akbar, using tactics, made the evil spirit go into the toilet, with the help of his cousins. As the cat went in, the door was locked from outside without delay.  Every one heaved a sigh of relief. Each person was briefed to, not to unlock the toilet door if they want to travel peacefully. There was one more toilet, besides that could be used.  Everyone agreed delightfully.

Boys decided to turn the cat out from the train when the train stops at the next station. Since the night was spent in hurly-burly so many stations passed by, but, not one of them got up to get rid of the monster. Everyone drained, was sunk in deep slumber, in their cozy comforters.

 

The night was departing gradually, with new sunrise, replacing it. Akbar woke up with the jolt of the stopping train, at a station.  The sun was spreading its rays generously, regardless of any prejudice. It was a bright sunny day. People liked the warmth of the sun after a spending chilly and restless night. Some got down, having sip of hot tea and breakfast.  Some were walking on the platform, to stimulate blood circulation and to relax their limbs. Others just watched aimlessly here and there. Young boys refreshed themselves, by flipping over pages of magazines, having pictures of sexy models at the book stall.

Akbar suddenly remembered that, the cat was to be released from the toilet, and set free. So, assuming that with opening of the door, the cat will swiftly, dash out…but…..! There was no cat there! The toilet was empty!

“Where has he gone? Where can he go?” Akbar said shockingly to his cousin. His cousin was just about to say something, when they heard the cat’s snarl.

The police staff in the train searched every compartment carefully to find that man with a skin pale like a lizard but failed to find him.

The train sped like a bullet and the chilliness grew horrendous with every passing moment.  All the doors were properly shut so anyone who enters or exits could easily be identified.

When thinking of the jinn in the train quite a few passengers had no effect of chilly night on them rather they broke into sweat. Sometimes the fear of undetected being is very frightful. Boys stopped playing cards. They enfolded their comforters around them tightly.

The train was to come up to a big railway junction in just half an hour.

It was 3. A.M

Rashida was younger sister of the groom. She was a charming girl of 22 or 23 years of age. She felt scared to go to the toilet alone so requested her mother to accompany her.

“Don’t be silly Rashida.  What is there to be scared of? People have invaded the depths of the ocean and reached moon and other planets but we are still apprehensive of sprits and jinns. Follow me. Your Mamu Furqan always creates ecstasy by telling such unrealistic stories.”

Her mother said.

Rashida’s mother opening the door of the toilet for her said, “Now go in.”

“Fine.  Please mom, stay here and don’t go until I come out of the toilet.” Saying this Rashid went inside. It was less than a jiffy she had gone in when a deafening shrill was heard. Rashida rushed out of the toilet as if she had seen some ghastly ghost. She was staggering. Her mother getting annoyed with her childish behavior asked her to get away from her and share what happened to her in the toilet.

Rashida was very afraid of a lizard. Wherever and whenever she saw a lizard she would scream and ran off track terrifying the others around her too.  Her mother always got annoyed her for being so stupid and immature. She said, “Rashida when will you grow up. Why are you so scared of these harmless little creatures? Just pick up a broom and kill it or ask someone to do it instead of making a fuss around.”

“Please don’t go inside mother.” Rashida holding her mother‘s hand who was trying to go inside and see for herself the cause of her fright said, “There’s a huge and perilous black tomcat there.”

“I didn’t see anything when opened the door.” Mother said.

“It was hiding behind the door mother.” Rashida said with her parched lips and big terrified eyes.

“So now even the innocent cats scare you too. If you want to go to toilet go in otherwise let me go before I get dangerous for you.” Mather told Rashida.

Rashida’s heart thumped when she recalled the site of that furious tomcat. She said, “Mother it’s a very horrifying cat. It growled at me so dreadfully that I can’t explain in words.”

Her mother was known to be a brave lady in the family. So to prove her brevity she again tried to open the door. But she had only touched the door when a cat’s furious noise was heard. There was something in that tone which shook her mother and she stepped back to let the cat go out.

For a moment it stared furiously at the mother with his red fiery eyes. He was oversize and as black as coal. Rashida’s mother instantly moved from there looking away from him. Rashida stood trembling behind her mother. The tomcat cast a treacherous final look at the mother coming out of the toilet.

While going out the tomcat pressed its body against Rashida’s legs with intent.  Rashida felt iron piece hit her legs. Rashida’s mother saw the cat enter the train so she asked Rashida to use toilet. But she was so alarmed that she asked her mother to stay near the toilet. Mother agreed to be there.

Rashida though went inside the toilet but did not fasten the door fearing the cat might not be there again.

She felt relieved to see her mother waiting outside when she came out.

“Let’s go mother,” she said with a forced smile.

They both sat wrapped in the same blanket.  Other blanket lay crumpled on the berth. When Rashida tried to pick it up, she screamed so madly that she was heard all over. She moved back in such a fanatical way that her mother could have fallen if didn’t hold the berth’s handle. The tomcat jumping on the floor crept below the berth.

“What happened?” Akbar the groom asked impatiently. He jumped down from his berth and came running from the men’s compartment.

There’s a tomcat. God knows from where he came. He was in the toilet. From there he sat in our blanket and now he’s sitting underneath the berth


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