Mushtaque B Barq


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Illiteracy and education, poverty and luxury, suffering and sacrifice has scripted Zamrooda’s tale of anguish.  The worst wave that whirl pooled  the hut occupied by a widow along with four daughters was the death of her husband, the only support, fighting with fate till the destiny conquered the fort of life, leaving the hut in the direct charge of a widow with iron will.  Time and tide both slowly but surely supported their ship to move along with intermittent tornadoes and tsunamis. Zamrooda stood unwavering to endow with, hardly surrendered her will and like a mountain stood firm to educate her daughters in spite of limitations and laments. The daughters not only helped the family by earning but also kept the dream of mother alive like burning candle amidst darkness.

Literary a candle used to blaze on the shelf up to mid-night to inspire the family to meet the basic requirements. The family was determined to raise the social status for Zamrooda had a clear cut dream to craft jewels out of the stones. As the time passed so passed their agony but the misfortune again knocked the door of hut, breaking its already fractured planks, stretching the crevices beyond repair. One of the daughters developed a tumor. The family was shattered beyond recognition, but once again Zamrooda’s patience and penetration overpowered the cruelty of time. The family doubled the hard work; so often the mid-night candle was replaced with another like it to meet the medical requirements to beat the tumor from approaching fast before engulfing the prey.

The living room lost its glory for the walls were suffering along with the creeping tumor, the windows and doors suffer, for bolts jammed their movement, the occasional laughter died for Zamrooda was too desperate to let the wind of education to whizz by.  Determined Zamrooda cut short the already tormented budget to make her daughters learn the lessons of life that was never in their class books, for she was an open book before them with scattered pages, unpunctuated headings, strange comparisons and raw passages of life and loyalty. She knew love and patience can only win the battle so she continued to feed her instincts with the nourishment of love.

The suffering was the teacher at the hut, the struggle was their class mate, and the voiceless pain was a acting like a morning gush to inspire them. Amid compromised breakfast and challenged dinner, not to talk of lunch, the flame of the candle never suffered for it seemed that the candle light was symbolic to the enlightenment which Zamrooda was dreaming of. Education, love, support and fellow feelings were the guests served generously in the hut of Zamrooda and for the girls their mother gradually was an epitome of care and motherhood.

Zamrooda was touched by this Lal Vakh for the reason known to her only, for she never unfolded this mystery to her daughters.

 ami panu sodras navi chhas lamann

kati bazi day mayon me ti diyi tar

amyan takyan pony zan shraman

zua chhum braman garu gatshuha

Education at the hut served as beckon light and as such lifeless walls of the room displayed a new look of hope. The fearless confidence of self-sufficiency of Zamrooda stood out not only among silent cries, but among the daughters as a mystic lesson. The light of true knowledge occupied her  consciousness, in the way the flame blazes into life as the bellows, administrating life into it. It is this Inner light that illuminated Zamrooda to seek the guidance from some unknown powers, making her a role model mother with both stringent and simple teachings, contrary to contemporary  ministers who promote their off springs by virtue of power and possession, leaving them to into the luxurious world wherein, corruption is the only language they know and rest is French to them.

A gentle man once knocked the door. Zamrooda received him. The girls tried to clear the mess in the living room, he stopped them.

“I have come to see your mother,” he informed.

A gentle smile passed across their barren cheeks. The eldest one offered him a place to sit, he touched her head covered with a tattered shawl.

“What made you come to us,” she asked

Zamrooda had a firm faith that the man in the room is not just a frame like them but an angel to wipe off their pain. She kept looking at him on one hand and yet on the other there was nothing in his hand to offer. Between hope and despair she had for sure taken hold of hope.

“I need your hut,” he informed.

Zamrooda smiled.

“Why you need this hut,” she asked.

The man stood up, slipped his hand in and took out a pouch.

Before the eldest daughter could reach for it, Zamrooda stopped her.

“Where can I take my daughters?” she asked

“One to hospital and rest to my home”, he suggested.

Zamrooda had all the through her life spun Pashmina on her spinning wheel to feed her family but had no idea who the gentle man was.

The gentle man thus informed: “I am Zahoor whom you breast feed for four months when the canopy of her mother was blown up by the wind of fate.”

“No one ever can pay the price of ‘Milk’, but then it is my duty to support you like you supported me when I was in need”, the gentle man said.

Zamrooda denied but the girls accepted Zahoor as their brother.

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