• virtually_real 16w

    This is from the POV of Naghma, wife of a famous Urdu poet Faraz and the mother of Ziniya and Zareena. Let's go with her a decade back in time.


    Winds whistled to me all sounds of joy the day I got heartbroken. If some files are stored in a harddrive, as I learnt in college, they can be viewed or manipulated by the user when they wish, if the file format allows it. Nonetheless most files can be easily deleted. But never had I learnt that a piece of information sprung up on display out of nowhere while a user couldn't stop thinking about this new window as everything else ceased to exist in their mind. Viruses caused such a thing to pop up on display, or ransom-wares did but that wasn't very common. Something similar was happening to me that day. My beautiful 7 year old Ziniya and her cute little sister Zareena were almost lost in their own worlds and for a moment I thought it was best because I needn't explain them everything right then and there. It always feels like the questions they asked later on were never really answered the way they deserved to be answered. Especially the questions Ziniya asked. Our answers were never enough to end all her questions. She was searching answers herself. She was gonna do that for a long time.

    Faraz, my husband, had met with an accident. It took me a long time to register that in my memory. I was numb like a needle after hearing he had serious injuries and thinking of it now I feel as if the most probable emotion should've been sadness but for me it was utter emptiness that flowed through my veins. As if the most beautiful voice I had fell for just dissolved in the wind. Poems he wrote rose up in air and I could hear syllables ringing through my heart but that voice broke in the middle, as if those poems couldn't breathe anymore. I loved him because it was impossible not to love him. But just like that window which springs up out of blue over a desktop, I was having other thoughts. I remembered far back in time when our dastarkhan was the happiest place to sit around and gossip. Days went by like a beautiful dream one might have and remember some of it while forget the most. Ziniya fought Faraz over Seek Alfam and Zareena munched on all delicacies she had always enjoyed.

    Faraz had a special bond with Ziniya. He read to her his ghazals and she corrected him more than any professional editor of that time would dare do. Well, how could someone critique Faraz? He was the best of his time and if time had allowed it, he'd have been the best of all times. I swear to God, I had married and loved the best person I could ever find. Ziniya went with him to everywhere he'd go. She'd sit on the stage with him as he narrated his poems and sung the songs he wrote while she interacted with everyone she could find around. His friends called her Zaheen. "You're wrong, it's gotta be written this way" she'd tell Faraz, "no, you don't know how to do it. I know! I know!" And Faraz would smile and chuckle. Would sometimes even write just the way she dictated. Only that she couldn't write whole pieces until then. Faraz completed everything. From the half verses to the family that we were a part of. He tied everything together in a thread of love and poetry.

    Anyways, personal computers were not so common in my graduation days. But I have a more vivid memory for recalling experiences than a computer does. It's not blank 0s and 1s and colours that they create but an image that's engraved in my mind with all its emotions intact. I wish I had learnt something better than computer science. Something that could've helped me with what life was gonna make me go through. But regretting hardly helps, that much I know. This image is of the time when I first heard him narrate a poem.

    He was far younger back then and so was I. It came back to me when I read a poem in his journal and something inside be asked - Do you remember? And with all my heart I answered - Yes. I do! I went to tell him I had heard him for the first time when I was a 6th grader and he reacted a lil shocked but then smiled casually. Maybe a part of me fell right there in that hall all those years ago. And doesn't destiny have a way of connecting all our broken parts together? In Faraz I found what happiness looks like. It was his face. The touch of his beard on my fingertips and those eyes in which a shipful of hearts could drown. These modern day maniacs running behind stupid beauty standards can hardly understand how someone becomes attractive by their personality and not just their looks.

    He looked to me like a person hailed down from heaven, just for me. Not to blame these kids, coz we were kids too once. But maybe what I saw in Faraz nobody else can ever see. I saw my definition of beauty getting personified in every breath that he took. I miss him a lot. And I know somewhere beyond this universe where Allah will only bestow peace, I'll meet him soon. He's still with us. Just not the way I remember him. Yet the old Faraz is still visible when I look into his eyes. He's still there, just as hopeful as me that we'll see one another the way we did for the first time. We used to have a lot of small arguments and also a few fights but it was always Faraz's heartfelt way of showing his love that made all parts of our relationship beautiful. Not just beautiful but memorable.

    Ziniya, Zareena, Yusuf and Habiba, all grew up. But a part of me is still left there in that day when everything changed. Some parts of Ziniya too are left there. A few of everyone else as well. But destiny has a way of tying broken threads together. I believe Allah has something better in store. I was told a lot of times to move on but people don't understand how love never leaves you once it truly begins. Faraz will always be for me the love of my life and it's impossible to think beyond that. Whatever life throws at me, I'll smile and read aloud - Aye sirfiri hawa tu bujha ke dikha usse. Wo nanha sa Chirag jo jugnu ke par me hai.

    If you can still hear me before I speak, my dearest Faraz, I'd say,

    "Let's dream for us a life so lovely,
    That nothing on earth could make us unhappy."

    That day when he left saying, "It's already too late! I must leave."

    I should've uttered, "My love, it's too late to let you go." But everything happens for a reason. I've loved a different side of him in all these years and I can't believe myself how much I loved him. It's beautiful. He's beautiful. And so are all the lives we created together. There's a poet in Ziniya, blooming just like her father. There's something of Faraz in all of our children. I find my love when I'm with them. They're all so lovely.

    - Zaid Khan


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    You'll always be with me
    In my eyes and in my heart