I had no plan of getting married. I was a little choosy and wanted to be loved rather. There was a block of quarters under construction in Saidu Sharif on the roadside. Behind this block were a great number of old mud houses in which multi class people lived.
One day, as the Incharge Overseer was engaged somewhere else and roof concreting of some portion of these quarters was due that day, my officer asked me to supervise the process. I went there at the exact time set for the concreting. I was wearing a blue paint with a yellow T.Shirt and thought myself top class lady killer.
The labour were making great noise during the process. I was looking at the surrounding houses, wondering what type of people were living inside these small houses. Suddenly I saw a face in a circular opening in a mud wall. The face looked like a picture framed in that hole. My eyes refused to look away and fixed on a pair of large blue eyes. I felt as if my search had come to end. This was the face, I wanted to see from the very first breath of life.
Then suddenly it disappeared. I felt as if the sun had lost its light. I stood fixed unable to move. Then as if centuries passed, but actually less the twenty minutes, the face again appeared. This time the eyes were smiling, talking, conveying messages, encouragement and a lot of unspoken words.
As I did not know her name, I invented one myself, Roshi. I would call her so if I ever met her. That project was not in my jurisdiction and that slab supervision just a substitute job, I had no excuse to go there anymore.
My younger brother Fazli Mabood was then F.Sc student in Jahanzeb College. He asked me to write something on his behalf for College Magazine, Elum. I wrote a fiction in Urdu under the title, Roshi. It appeared in the magazine with my brother’s name.
One day I decided to go there on some or other pretext, if I could see that blue eyed face again. Oldies may remember a Pakistani film actress in the late 50s. Her name was Meena. This girl reminded me of that artist, specially her round face, eyes and nose.
So I went through that narrow street in the hope of meeting her but there was no sign of her. I returned dejected, disappointed and dishearted.
Next day, I tried my luck on the main road and as I looked up to that round gape in the wall, I stopped for a while and there her lovely face appeared. She had so many questions in her blue eyes, that I had no answers. She signaled as if she wanted me to come to the other side of her house. I did so, finding her standing in her door. That was our first direct contact but I was overwhelmed so much, I could not utter a word. We stood there looking at each other. She was called from inside the house and she vanished in hurry.
I returned to my home with heavy heart as I now knew who was her father. Our union was almost unthinkable. But I did not give up hope and we met now and then for a few minutes.R
(The Picture is of Actress Meena Shorey.)
To Be Continued…