No matter it is good or bad but time has a quality of moving on, and in this moving time the past left so many memories behind and the time yet to come have lots of hopes attached to it. It is true that yesterday is a memory and tomorrow is a hope. Aamir was there in Lahore with memories of past and hope to collect sweet memories from the future.
Lahore in 1995 was not as busy as it is today. However, it has always been vibrant and lively. Cup of tea at a nice place and aimlessly walking by the Mall Road had a charm of its own in those days. Mall Road used to be calmer and cleaner due to lesser number of cars. The canal of Lahore had cleaner water that trees could see their clear shadow in the water. Fortress Stadium became an “open for all” place, the charm of Anarkali was alive and fresh even in the presence of established “Panorama” and newly arrived “Pace”. There was no “food street” back then therefore awesome food spots were scattered in the city.
Aamir was enjoying all these things, he was open to change and he let the city teach him all the things that he could not know in Faisalabad. October turned into December the best time to see winter of Lahore. Time has changed the city a lot even the winters are not as cold and clean today as they used to be.
Wedding preparations were going on with full swing and Aamir was there to experience both Lahore and wedding preparations very closely. House was renovated and whitewashed and on the evening of 20 December, street was decorated with temporary lampposts, let alone the decoration of the house.
Guests from other cities arrived and functions of Shahab’s wedding were about to start. Shahab was in his late twenties, nearly six feet tall man with large and athletic build. After joining government job he could not carry on his first love – cricket. He was very ambitious about his cricket career, but playing for Lahore Blues was his biggest achievement. Shahab was the youngest among the four sons of Zenab Begam. He was lively and energetic; he had the charisma to give life to any ordinary and boring gathering with his presence.
Now he was getting ready for his big day, Shahab and Aamir were busy in talking random stuff suddenly phone rang. Shahab answered it and as soon as the phone call was over Aamir sarcastically said, ‘so that was last and final good bye’.
‘Okay so now you start it’, Shahab replied and opened his cupboard with flick of his hand.
‘So when are you going to remove these posters from your cupboard Shahab bhai?’ Aamir grinned.
‘Why on earth shall I remove them it is my room after all’ said Shahab.
‘My? Let me correct you bhai you are sole owner of this room for maximum 72 hours more or something’.
‘Chachu! Mamu! you guys are still talking grandma is on her way to take Chachu out so that event can start’, Hamid broke the news while breathing heavily, he and his 6 years old asthma.
Hamid was the first kid of the third generation of the both families therefore both Aamir and Shahab mostly treated him as a younger brother rather than a nephew.
‘Where is your pump? Use it stupid’, said Aamir.
‘Who asked you to run like the flash?’ Shahab scolded Hamid for his carelessness.
Hamid digged his right hand in his trousers pocket and took his asthma pump out. ‘I am alight now dont worry’, said Hamid after using his pump.
Meanwhile, Zenab Begam along with her three daughters in law entered the room to take Shahab with her so that function can be started. As soon as Shahab saw his mother he broke into tears as he was missing his father who died a year before. He tried to control himself but he failed at doing it. Zahid who was passing by the room saw the situation and entered the room to control the whole situation. ‘Ladies! all of you go to the venue and check the things Shahab is tough guy he will come with me, right Shahab?’, Zahid tried to play the role that an elder brother was supposed to play during such situations.
Mayun (the turmeric function) begun at the rooftop of the house. According to ritual everyone was supposed to put some turmeric on the currency note that was spread on bridegroom’s hand and forcing him to eat some sweets. Like most of the rituals, this function is almost meaningless and illogical but still rituals are important to survive in the eastern society where one is answerable to almost everyone around.
Aamir was enjoying the event he was looking around and he saw happiness on every face God knows either it was real or fake but everyone seems to be happy. The yellow light of high-powered bulbs illuminated the venue as if it is still sun outside. Songs were sung when few ladies tried their hands on dholki and there vocal cords to produce sound that is meant to be a song.
While Aamir’s eyes were running around, he saw her, for the first time in many years but this time something was changed and this unknown change left a mark on Aamir. (Continue)