Imran was in his fourth year of Medical College. He liked Aeysha from day one, when he had first met her. The four years of studying together, had brought them closer to each other. He had been to her home, several times during the past year. Aeysha’s mom always hugged him, and her father would chat and joke with him, like he was his own son.
Imran was waiting for them to graduate, before asking her parents permission for their marriage. He was also looking for an opportune time to talk with his father about Aeysha. He felt strangely bashful, discussing the topic of his marriage, with his own father. He kept putting off the talks.
The College closed for the summer vacations. He was home with his parents. His mother had prepared all his favorite dishes. His mother pampered him, being the only son. He had two older sisters, both married having their own family life.
As they were having their dinner, word came that his father’s close friend Tahir, (had been sick for a while) had taken a turn for the worse. They hurriedly finished their meal, and left for the friend’s house.
It was a dismal scene. The friend’s wife and daughter Lala had tears running down their faces
Imran’s father bent over his friend Tahir to hear his last wish. Imran heard his father saying, “It will be done, as you wish.”
With a look from his father, Imran’s mother took out a heavily worked, red, kamdar dopatta from her bag. She dropped it over Lala’s head. She hugged and kissed Lala with the announcement, that Lala was now betrothed to Imran.
Imran’s heart filled with anger at his parents’ high handedness. He had never thought that such a thing would happen to him. Nobody would ask his opinion. He unwillingly, subjected to Lala’s mother’s embrace. Inwardly, he was cursing himself.
A minute later, Tahir breathed his last. Sorrowful cries rent the air. He saw his father sobbing for the first time in his life. His own world had disintegrated, right before his eyes. (To be continued……)
Next Friday, 2nd part.
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You Belong With Me