Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dear Departed

In smoky & foggy weather outside I was trying to read Daily Dawn. From economic turmoil to political instability my eyes were rolling from one story to another in anticipation of some good news but every eye ball move was giving me despair and gut of pessimism. The cold was also playing winning shots against my cardigan & lowe (Chaddar) covered body and I was feeling chilly weather with chattering teeth.

Today was the last day of my younger sister at home and she was giving final touches to luggage packing for her way back to far flung corner of the world i.e. California, USA. The carrier in cost cutting drive indicated maximum luggage weight capacity per passenger which was making my sister hysterical to weigh the baggage again & again to keep it in prescribed limits.

My sister’s words interrupted my skimming the newspaper, “Bhai! I want to keep this souvenir with me”. I took the souvenir in my hand which was earlier a zeenat of our drawing room’s wooden rack. The souvenir’s metal was shinning in praise of the daily cleaning of our maid. For the last many years the souvenir had stayed at the central wooden rack of the drawing room among other antique items and show pieces in order to get attention of the visiting guests. I nodded in affirmation with sound “Sure, why not!”

In moments time she came again with a set of books, “Bhai! I am taking these too”, “You can take anyone you like”. The front book lying above had a clear title of ‘Pervaaz’ by Shafique ur Rehman. My sister pointed out our childhood albums, “I am also taking these with me”. This time the verdict was announced before I gave my consent. “Leave them here” I murmured. “O come on Bhai! What will you do of these childhood albums, after all, these are all mine”. “Acha! As you may please”.

Dine out session was memorable, we shared gossips, laughed at cross nouk-jhonk- crackers. At the last moment we exchanged duaiya gestures, prayed for each other. I finally gave my elderly symbolic hand rest on my sister’s head. The car started with little cold coughs and finally started to move. I remained standing outside the house into the street. I was not sure if it was my tear watered eyes or the distance, which dimmed the car back lights enough to be invisible.