Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Timkey | Part 7 | Power of Dead Saints


Proceed reading part 7 only if you agree with the following:

-------------------------
Terms and Conditions
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Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews. For permission requests, write to the author/publisher at the addresses below.

WARNING: Violation of any rules of RPL (Real Publications Larkana) is a criminal act, which will result in lawsuit and huge fines.

Disclaimer

All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the novel do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.

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Timkey | Part 7 | Power of Dead Saints
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Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

I constantly thought about Azeem’s philosophy, and it somehow gave me the confidence to fight for my rights. Aman Wadi was very happy to know that Aunt Fariha was pregnant again, and that her ultra-sound test confirmed that she was having another baby boy. “I gave birth to 14 children! Today’s women are using contraception even though they know it is a sin,” Aman Wadi said, pointing to my mother.

“Chachi, it is important. A mother must give proper attention to every child,” Mother replied to Aman Wadi.

“Weren’t those women who gave birth to 14 children?” Aman Wadi exclaimed in contempt.

Mother knew that if she replied, Aman Wadi would get angrier and she would make a mountain out of a molehill. While they were talking, I went to Azeem. “I’m confused about the conviction that you hold about choice and fate,” I said to him. “How do you feel about your mother? I mean, she’s going to give birth to her fourth baby boy. Is that written in her fate or is it her choice?”

“Hmm. It is her fate. I believe there are certain things that God deals with Himself. And some he leaves up to us. If our elders agree to send you to school, who could stop them?”

“Your answer is as unclear as my fate,” I replied, expressing my confusion.

“Please have a seat. To me, every human’s life is limited in some way. So the question seems strange. Mother didn’t have the choice to have a baby boy or a baby girl, but she could decide if she wanted to have a child. Your parents are doing family planning, so it is their choice, isn’t it? Teenage girls experience social repression in Sindh; is it a problem created by people here or God?”

I didn’t have answers for such complex questions. I stood silent for a minute and looked at his huge bookshelf. “Actually, both free will and determinism can coexist. In mathematics, chaos theory explains this. If you look at Mandelbrot sets you will see a good example: there is a degree of randomness, or ‘free will’ if you prefer that term. However, there are also limitations. For example, death is a certainty for every human. However, regarding the time and place and manner of death some degree of free will often exists.”

“I don’t understand your scientific examples,” I commented, wanting him to explain more.

“Let me give you another simple example,” he continued. “I usually win the races against my brothers, so I’ve collected almost 200 rupees from the bets. The other day, while running the race, I deliberately sat in the middle of the path. I wanted to lose the game and let them win. If I had run, I would have won.”

No sooner did he say that than Aman Wadi’s shouting silenced both of us. She had started arguing with my mother again. I left quickly and went to our room.

The next day, Aunt Fariha and Aman Wadi were preparing to go to Pir Saen’s grave. I had only heard about Pir Saen from them and some of our neighbors. They believed that he listens to their wishes and fulfills them. “Follow my advice. Go with us to Pir Saen and make a wish on his grave for a baby boy,” Aunt Fariha said to my mother. “His majesty has bestowed on me my fourth son!”

“Timkey’s father wouldn’t allow me. He has his own Murshid,” my mother replied to Aunt Fariha. Father believed that Pir Saeen was not the real saint. Father believed that Saen Shah was the true saint, so he sent Mother to Shah’s shrine. My uncle and father’s beliefs also differed in many other ways. On almost every street of our village, people’s religious ideas differed from one another even though they were all Muslims. 

As Father saw them going, he asked my mother to get ready to go to the shrine of Saen Shah. “I will sacrifice our best goat at his shrine and distribute all the meat among his Murids. I will also make a wish while prostrating before his grave. I am sure he will listen to our wishes,” Father said to Mother. People who are committed to a saint are called Murids; they often visit the saint to seek spiritual peace and guidance.

“I will go anywhere you will take me. I can go with you to Pir Saen too,” Mother said.

Azeem didn’t go to Pir Saen with his parents, nor did I go with mine. My siblings went with Mother, and my cousins went with their parents. 

I was cutting vegetables for lunch in the kitchen, and Azeem joined me. He took a knife and started to peel potatoes. “What’s your opinion about our elders’ beliefs in asking for sons from dead saints and offering them gifts and goats?” I asked Azeem.

“I don’t impose my beliefs on others, so I avoid talking about religious matters,” Azeem said.

“These questions arise in my mind, and I want some answers,” I replied.

“Well, I personally don’t really believe in the power of the dead. I don’t think a dead man can give you anything. I haven’t read any verse in the Qur’an about such saints and their power. Maybe it is my ignorance. When I pray, it is to God, not His saints. I guess many sacred texts from other places say contradictory things.”

“Do you think Pir Saen can change my fate? I mean, if I go to his grave and make a wish for an education, can he fulfill that?”

“That doesn’t make sense to me. You’d ask for education from a dead person! Our living elders have stopped your education, so how can a dead man do what living ones can’t!

I felt that my question was silly. I collected the potatoes and put them on the plate to wash them. “Also, the majority of people are not scholars, so they don’t know the sacred texts in depth.” Azeem added.  “They just claim to know, which is actually arrogant. There are 6,236 verses in the Qur’an, right? How many of those verses do ordinary people actually know?”

“Hmm. Your arguments are valid. I feel that our elders have resigned themselves to hopeless submission. I wonder what those so-called religious scholars would say if I asked them questions such as, "Is it easier for boys to follow Islam than girls?" or "Why are the rules for boys and girls so different?"

“People call them saints because some aspects of their behavior were congruent with some parts of the sacred text. However, other parts of their behavior might not have been. I cannot understand why people misguide others. The retention of knowledge for every human being is limited. Human beings cannot learn anything completely in their limited lifespan. Only God is "all knowing and unlimited". Also, to me it seems arrogant for mere humans to say what God wants. Who really knows the answer? However, the older I get, the more I believe in the Qur’an.”

My mind was unable to understand the ideas we proposed. Perhaps Azeem was also unable to figure out the reality. I agreed with him when he said “Only God is ‘unlimited and all-knowing’.” I felt that the human mind cannot understand these concepts fully.

“I’ll certainly do anything to help you achieve your goals,” said Azeem. “You should think about it. In many ways, we’re grown-ups now and we can think for ourselves.”

"What can you do?" I asked quickly, my lips and brows drooping from sadness.

Confidently he replied, “We’ll find many alternatives if we’re determined to find a solution to this problem. First decide whether you want to be a doctor or not?” With youthful zeal, he urged, “If you really want to, no one can stop you!”

Listening to his confident, uplifting statement, my own confidence rose. I looked at Azeem with my mouth wide open. “You must decide now!” he pleaded.

“I will do anything to achieve my goal of becoming a doctor!” I exclaimed.

“All right! Let’s see what happens next,” he said before he left the kitchen.

Although I was not quite sure what the next steps would be, or what Azeem had in store, I just knew that whatever it was, he would be supporting me in every way. I needed to finish preparing dinner by the time our elders returned, so I went back to cutting vegetables.



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Timkey | Part 6 | Age of Philosophy


Proceed reading part 6 only if you agree with the following:
-------------------------
Terms and Conditions
-------------------------
Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews. For permission requests, write to the author/publisher at the addresses below.

WARNING: Violation of any rules of RPL (Real Publications Larkana) is a criminal act, which will result in lawsuit and huge fines.

Disclaimer

All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the novel do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.
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Timkey | Part 6 | Age of Philosophy
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Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

One day, my cousin Azeem came to me and said, “I’m going to complete the 10th grade and then enroll in college.”

“Good for you. I am happy to hear that,” I replied.

“But I’m not happy for you,” he said while looking at me with downcast eyes.

“And why is that?” I asked him while washing the dishes.

“I wish we could go to college together. How much fun it would be!” Azeem said with a tinge of regret, realizing it was an unrealistic dream.

I became mute as he talked about my education. “I cannot go, because I am a girl. I have been told that God wants girls to live a limited, subservient life,” I said to Azeem.

“No. It is us who choose what we do and what we do not do,” he replied with conviction.

“Are you implying that I don’t want to study?” I asked with a sour-bitter expression on my face.

“No, of course not. It is our elders who don’t want you to study. Isn’t that so?”

I remained silent. With an air of surprising confidence, he continued, “I believe people should write their own destinies. For instance, I have decided that I will do my intermediate studies in medicine, rather than commerce or engineering. Isn’t that writing my own fate?”

I looked at Azeem in amazement and asked, “Hasn’t God already written your fate?”

“I sometimes think that what we ascribe to as ‘God’ is merely our own narrow thinking.” Azeem said without hesitation. I bit my tongue, trying not to show my surprise, and sought forgiveness from God. Inwardly I pondered, “How dare he say such a thing!”

He continued, “To me, all humans should have the choice to either limit or broaden their lives in many ways. There is no ‘God’ that determines our fate, it is left up to us to create our futures based on the choices that we make.”

“Do you know what you are saying? If Aman Wadi heard this, she would call you an unbeliever!” I sternly warned him.

“I’m not afraid of her like you are. I believe you have the choice to be either a victim or a survivor. God has nothing to do with it. Either you write your fate yourself or let the elders of this house write it for you!” With that, Azeem left the kitchen. Water kept pouring from the sink and the soap slipped into it. I became lost in thought, trying to process what I had just heard, with a plate in my hands.

After a minute or two, Azeem came back to the kitchen holding some books. “Timkey, the soap is dissolving!” he said. I felt embarrassed and quickly took the soap out of the water, then turned the tap off. “I know you love reading books. Now that I’m about to start the 11th grade, I don’t need these books. If you like, you can have these. I’ll be glad to help you read them.”

“But… Aman Wadi, she wouldn’t approve of it if she found out,” I said.

“We must fear only God. Aman Wadi is not your creator,” he said boldly. “Okay. I have to go now. I have to race my brothers. We have a bet of 50 rupees today.” Azeem quickly put the books on the cupboard and left me alone with thoughts.

I remembered how Azeem and I sometimes used to race to the bank of the River Indus when Father used to take us out. We didn’t have any bets, but the intense, euphoric feelings of freedom and fun that we experienced were incredible. I had never felt that happy ever since I was made aware of the harsh realities of our culture. The cold, wet sand on the bank was like dew on grass. It had been many months since I breathed the fresh air of the open ground, heard the sweet music of bells around the cows’ necks, played in the street in the puddles of a refreshing summer rain, and swung on the swing-set at Popri’s home. “I would never have chosen to be a victim,” I thought, “But now that I am a victim, I can’t change anything,” I sighed. “I’ve let our elders decide my fate, especially Aman Wadi.” I whispered to myself. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Timkey | Part 5 | Stifling Bondage

Proceed reading part 5 only if you agree with the following:
-------------------------
Terms and Conditions
-------------------------
Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews. For permission requests, write to the author/publisher at the addresses below.
WARNING: Violation of any rules of RPL (Real Publications Larkana) is a criminal act, which will result in lawsuit and huge fines.
Disclaimer

All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the novel do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.
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Timkey | Part 5 | Stifling Bondage
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Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

As the years passed, and without us realizing it, we gradually matured from giddy, impetuous youngsters into insightful teenagers, now using reason and logic to solve our daily problems. Most importantly, my cousins earned the right to make their own choices about what to study, what to eat, and what to wear. My cousins were growing even more independent and selective with each new day. On the other hand, Pinkey and I were the scapegoats, whenever the situation merited one.

Pinkey was excited to reach the 8th grade. She told me that she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. In spite of knowing that our elders would soon halt her formal education, she had a burning desire to succeed and make her life meaningful, if it was God’s will. I was sure that Pinkey's age of reasoning and decision making would be restricted in place, as mine had been. The culture’s stifling of our growth and development was like trampling a young flower under one’s feet before it had the chance to mature and blossom. People in our culture crushed many such young flowers every day, instead of providing them shelter and fertilizer.

Our stubborn elders, still chained to the past, hadn’t changed their minds about women’s rights at all. They remained traditional and narrow-minded; their limited, myopic view that could only imagine heaven and hell placed us in stifling bondage. We were made to forever live in the past, fearing hell and wishing for the paradise of the Hereafter. Our elders felt that they were acting according to the teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith by limiting our potential, subjecting us to a life of servitude.

As soon as Pinkey’s 7th grade exams were over, Uncle Arbaaz discussed stopping her from going to school with Father and Aman Wadi. Pinkey was forced to leave school, as had been I. She sulked for many days and secretly tried to go to school by circumventing the prohibition – using various ruses. Her feeble protests brought about no change in the thinking of our elders; rather, they would become angry and severely scold her. Once, as Mother was counseling her, Pinkey swore harsh and blasphemous words out of anger, “I don’t like such a biased God who treats women like a step-mother treats her step-children.”

Mother tried to silence her, but she refused to keep quiet. “Nor do I like this Sindhi culture and land where the rights of women are violated, where women are treated like beasts of burden.”

That night, I talked to Pinkey. “We’re not alone. There are hundreds of women that share the same destiny. I believe they don’t think like us. Rather, they are happy with their lives. We should be happy too,” I said, trying to help her feel better.

She looked at me silently. “Once, Father told me that disrespect towards one’s parents is one of the greatest sins,” I said to her.

After a few weeks, she finally gave in to the traditions of our culture. She grudgingly accepted the cage of the prevailing belief that girls over 14 were supposed to stay at home and help with household chores. My brother and I felt sorry for her, but all the elders felt that it was the right decision. They believed in the old Sindhi saying that Aman Wadi often quoted, “Rann ruly ta bhuly, mard ruly ta khuly. (If a woman wanders, she will go astray. If a man wanders, he will gain experience.)”

Pinkey once said to me, “I thought that by the time I reached the 8th grade, our elders would have changed their minds about girls’ education. But I was wrong. I thought my world would be bright, but I was wrong. I feel that the sun of my world, having ever so slightly peeked over the horizon to spread its radiance into the thick, wild darkness, is suddenly imprisoned in the sky before it could ascend any higher.” Pinkey felt so miserable. Our formal education was stopped, but we kept learning from the university of life. Each day brought new lessons for us to learn.

My fiery indignation at local traditions and beliefs still simmered beneath the surface, refusing to diminish. Every day I thought about my education and the restrictions imposed on my life. This obsession was often at the forefront of my thoughts. I wondered why women in rural areas of Pakistan were so caged in by society. Why couldn’t we have the same level of freedom as men?

One evening Pinkey and I discussed it. “In an Islamic society there will always be restrictions on women,” said Pinkey.

“I believe that many of the rules restricting women are not part of the Qur’an, but instead are local traditions dictated by overbearing, controlling men. For example, we are supposed to cover almost our entire body by putting on a white or black veil. I have heard that women do not cover their faces in Saudi Arabia; however, they do cover other parts of their body. I believe God commands women to cover their body with a veil; the color is not important. Wearing a white burka is something man-made,” I replied. “Also, I have heard that women sell goods in the bazaar in Medina, but here we can’t even go outside!”

“You’re right. People like our elders are often misguided by Murshids, Imams, and other religious scholars,” said Pinkey. “They don’t read the Qur’an with translation themselves nor do they go through the Hadiths of the Prophet. I suspect many religious people exploit naive people like our father, who acts like a sheep following every advice.”

“Exactly. Such naive people don’t know the actual Islamic principles,” I added. “I’ve read about the days before the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). At that time, Arabs used to bury their daughters alive until the Prophet told them that it was against Islam. The Prophet of God respected women and preached about their rights. God is kind and prohibits any kind of oppression or injustice.”

“If our elders and people in our society really feared God and believed in the Hereafter, they wouldn’t treat women like this, nor sell their daughters, nor make them slaves of domineering husbands for their entire lives,” concluded Pinkey. 

We talked low, barely above a whisper, so that nobody could hear us. We dared not raise our voices against such issues even if we knew the truth. Women are considered far less intelligent than men in our culture, and changing that mindset would be a seemingly impossible task.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Timkey | Part 4 | Blind Obedience

Recap of part 3: Timkey’s elders stopped her from going outside the home. She was given a white burka to wear if she ever needed to go out. Timkey was becoming increasingly sadder as the restrictions on her life grew more and more each day. One evening, it started to rain and Timkey couldn’t help herself and joined the children who were playing in the puddles on the ground. She closed her eyes and twirled around with her arms spread out.

Proceed reading part 4 only if you agree with the following:
------------------------
Terms and Conditions
------------------------
Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews. For permission requests, write to the author/publisher at the addresses below.
www.RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com

WARNING: Violation of any rules of RPL (Real Publications Larkana) is a criminal act, which will result in lawsuit and huge fines. 
Disclaimer

All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the novel do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.

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Timkey | Part 4 | Blind Obedience
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Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Engulfed by a cloak of torrential rain, the grime, heat, anxieties, and tension that had encrusted themselves on my body like a layer of pollution were finally washed away. In that moment, while being held by rainwater, I was enshrined in a sanctuary that hid me from my burdens. The rain had soaked my hair and was pouring from my braids, and my dupatta had become heavy and was pushed to the earth. My mind and my senses, having been entranced by the deluge of heavenly water falling down on me, were utterly unaware that my cousins had become fixated on staring at my body through my white, cotton kamiz, which was becoming ever more diaphanous. “Timkey!” shouted Aman Wadi. “Don’t be immodest! Cover yourself with your dupatta properly!”

I couldn't ignore Aman Wadi's voice. It was like a quake, collapsing my watery sanctuary, cracking my heart, and cutting it with deep jagged crevices. As my senses returned to the world outside my brief respite, I noticed that my teenage cousins were staring at my body curiously. I took my dupatta and covered my body, feeling embarrassed and ashamed. “Timkey, go to your room and change your clothes,” my mother ordered me.

I worried about what Aman Wadi would say to me. After changing my clothes, I took the broom and went to the kitchen to sweep the floor and wash the dishes. No sooner had I finished my cleaning chores, when Aman Wadi came with the wet dress that I had removed a few minutes ago. “Aman Wadi, I will put them in the laundry myself; I just hung them out to dry,” I said to her.

“These clothes are too thin and tight for you! Let me get rid of them,” Aman Wadi said angrily. “We are Muslims and Muslim women must cover their bodies properly.”

I lowered my head and became silent. She approached the kitchen fireplace, where a small fire was feeding off of some cow dung. “Are you going to burn them?” I asked with trepidation, latching onto the dress.

“Take your hands off, Timkey!” my grandmother ordered.

“No, Aman Wadi. I promise I won’t wear them ever again. Please don’t burn them,” I begged.

She pushed me and I crashed into the plates that were piled up for washing. The stack of the plates fell to the floor and many of them shattered. My mother ran to the kitchen after hearing the sudden crash. Aman Wadi took the dress, which she had wrapped up tightly into a ball, and thrust it resolutely into the fire. My breath stopped, and I silently hoped that the protective waters that had been sent from the heavens earlier would be able to preserve the kamiz as it experienced its terrible, fiery test. My hopes amounted to nothing. My favorite dress was burning right before my eyes. My heart too was aflame. As my dress shrunk in the flames, gradually withering into a blackened, worthless mass of a garment, the once living flesh of my heart was burning and shrinking into a hardened clump of despair and simmering, silent outrage. Although thick, heavy, monstrous tears fell from my quivering eyes, not even their combined weight would be enough to smother the flames.

Mother came in the kitchen and said to Aman Wadi, “You shouldn’t have done that.”

“If I don’t teach her, who will?” said Aman Wadi obstinately. “You must not spoil her so much.” Aman Wadi warned, putting her hands on her waist.

Aman Wadi defiantly left the kitchen. Shouting at my mother, I uttered, “Why does God want girls to live a limited life, Mother?”

“Stop, Timkey!” my mother said, in a low voice.
Shouting at my mother, I uttered, “I can’t play outside! I can’t go to school! I can’t watch Indian or English channels! I can’t wear my favorite clothes…Argh!”

Mother looked at me in astonishment. I shouted at Mother.  “Why can’t I live my life the way I want to, Mother?”

Mother’s eyes widened in amazement. Women never spoke like that; it simply was not accepted behavior. Mother didn’t have an answer. She looked at me for a moment. I felt I was too angry and unconcerned about being rude and disrespectful to my mother. I lowered my tone and asked to her, “Mother, don’t girls have the same hearts and feelings as boys?”

Mother avoided my eyes and left the kitchen. I knew I shouldn’t have spoken to Mother that way. I felt really sorry. I wiped my tears and gathered the broken dishes. Uncle Arbaaz came to the kitchen walking with his hands folded behind his back, shoulders slouched forward. He looked around at the mess of dishes and the burnt clothes. He gave me a stern look as always, disapproving of most things.

At night, Pinkey said, “You have put your doll in the box for so long, Timkey.” I didn’t say anything to her.

“You are treating your doll like your elders are treating you,” Pinkey said to me, while fixing her doll’s hair. I looked at her and said, “No, I just didn’t have time.” I brought my doll box and removed my doll from it.

“She still looks sad and heartbroken,” Pinkey said.

I was about to do my doll’s hair when my mother came into our room. “Timkey, your father has come back from the mosque, so go and make a cup of tea for him.”

After I made a cup of tea, I went to my parents’ room. As soon as I reached the door, I eavesdropped. Mother said to Father, “When I was a young teenager, I never dared to even speak loudly to my parents. But Timkey, she is beginning to question and think!”

“Question? Question what?” Father asked her.

“Why the girls are treated the way they are!” my mother replied.

“What do you mean? All of us should be assertive about our core beliefs. I will talk to Timkey,” Father said to her.

“One part of her felt really sorry. However, there was another part that felt glad for finally standing up as a young adult wanting to make her own choices. From her childhood, she has always wanted to become the author of her own life. But, this is not easy for most women in our traditional society,” Mother added.

The tea was getting cold, so I went into the room and served Father the cup of tea. Father looked at me strangely, but he didn’t say anything.

The next day, the clouds had cleared up. It was a warm day. When Father was going outside, he said to me, “Timkey, girls mustn’t talk to their parents like that. God says in the Qur’an to treat your parents well. In Islam, treating your parents disrespectfully is one of the biggest sins.”

“I am really sorry, Father. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

I hesitated to say anything to Father, but mentally I was bitterly complaining about the harsh treatment I had received. To me it seemed as if Father followed the religious beliefs that the Imam of the mosque taught him with a blind faith, never questioning or thinking for himself or in front of others. How he reacted and behaved would always be in accordance with the tenets of his Murshid Saeen, the scholar in our village, who was followed by many people like Father. I thought that God was kind and he loved all human beings, including girls.

I decided that I would never again speak harshly to my parents, no matter how badly they treated me. I thought that whatever I was going through God knew about it; maybe he had written my fate to be no different than the millions of other girls in Pakistan, who were deprived of their rights.



Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Timkey | Part 3 | Caged Heart


Recap of part 2: As Timkey was leaving for school, Aman Wadi stopped her at the door and told her that she was too old to go to school. Aman Wadi snatched Timkey’s school bag from her and told her to stay at home and learn the household chores.

Proceed reading chapter 3 only if you agree with the following:
-------------------------
Terms and Conditions
-------------------------
Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews. For permission requests, write to the author/publisher at the address below.
WARNING: Violation of any rules of RPL (Real Publications Larkana) is a criminal, which will result in lawsuit and huge fines.
Disclaimer

All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the coming chapters do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.
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Timkey | Part 3 | Caged Heart
-------------------------------------------
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

The next day, early in the morning, it started to drizzle lightly. As usual, Uncle Arbaaz didn’t go to morning prayer, but instead he watched Indian channels on his colorful 19” TV while drinking his favorite hot tea. Since my parents were religious, we didn’t have a TV nor a satellite dish, so we could not watch Indian movies or listen to our favorite songs. Father sometimes listened to his old radio. We sometimes watched TV with our cousins when Aman Wadi wasn’t home. Father came home from the mosque, partially soaked from the rain. He came into the kitchen, dripping all over the floor, and sat on the low divan. “I think it will rain heavily today. It’ll be good for the crops,” Father said matter-of-factly to Mother.

“Yes, we must be thankful to God,” Mother dutifully replied.

“Timkey, go to the mosque for your Qur’an lesson. All the neighbourhood girls had arrived as I left the mosque,” Father said.

“Yes, Father.” Pinkey and Waseem arrived on time with their Qur’ans covered in white linens in their hands. All three of us headed to the mosque for our lessons.

After the Qur’an lessons, Waseem suggested that we go to our favorite shop and buy some berfi. He had five rupees that Mother had given him. Upon arriving at the shop, we noticed that Uncle Arbaaz was standing in the shop with his desi rooster on his left arm. He looked at me with stern eyes and a frown on his face. We quickly left the shop after buying berfi and took a short-cut home.

A few minutes later Uncle Arbaaz came home and said to Father, “Molana, your daughter roams around the street. People stare at her with dirty intentions.”

Father looked at me and him. “You must not let your girl go out and if she has to, she must wear a burka. By the way, she has also completed her Qur’an long ago,” Uncle said.

Fearing the outcome, I left the room and went into the kitchen. “You are right. Timkey shouldn’t go out. She has grown up now,” Father said to him, with a deep sense of recognition.

That very day, Father went to the city and bought a black burka for me. “Timkey, come here,” Mother called me. “Try on this burka to see if it’s your size.”

I couldn’t refuse her, or say anything to her because Father was standing there. I didn’t want to wear a burka. Hardly had I put the burka on, than Aman Wadi came. “Arbaab, would you give your daughter a black burka? It is against my rules.”

“Chachi, Timkey is a young girl, so a black burka suits her,” my mother said to my grandmother.

“Neither I nor my granddaughters wore a black burka. We all wore white burkas. And so shall Timkey!”

“But, Mother,” Father wanted to say something, but he couldn’t.

“People don’t take their eyes away from a woman wearing a black burka on the street,” Aman Wadi added.

Father became silent and said, “You are right, Mother. I’m going to return this and will buy a white burka for her.”

Azeem was listening to them and looked at me. I had put my head down and was not looking at anybody. It was my life, but I hadn’t any chance to decide anything for myself. I was like my doll who couldn’t say a word.

From that day on, I wasn’t allowed to go outside. I felt that I was put in a cage whose iron bars were too hard for me to break. My days had become empty and my heart didn’t seem to beat. Pinkey and Azeem felt sad for me. It was inevitable for most of the girls in my society.

It had been a month since I had seen my friend Popri. I had become very sad, and morose. One evening, all of a sudden, it started to rain. All the children of our house were standing on the floor of our house playing in the puddles. I couldn’t help myself, so I joined them. I spread my arms with my face up to the sky. I closed my eyes and let the raindrops fall on my face. Uncle was listening to a sad song on his TV at a full volume. I opened my eyes for a moment and saw the sky was crowded with dark, grey clouds, and there were only a few lines of light that vanished in no time. I closed my eyes again, and twirled around with my arms spread. I felt that the rain was washing away all my sadness.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Timkey | Part 2 | Colorless World

Recap:
As Azeem saw his father Arbaaz arguing with his uncle, Arbaab, he went to call Timkey and Pinkey, who were playing with their dolls in the street with their friend, Popri. Azeem told Timkey that their grandmother, Aman Wadi, was very angry at Timkey’s mother. Arbaab asked his father to divide their property, but he refused. Arbaaz was getting angrier, so Timkey’s father left to avoid the arguments.

Proceed reading Part 2 only if you agree with the following:
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Copyright © 2018
by RizwanAhmedMemon.blogspot.com / Real Publications Larkana
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All the ideas and scenes contained in this novel are the products of the author’s creativity and imagination. The religious concepts discussed in the coming chapters do not represent the author’s personal or any other particular person’s views. These chapters are uploaded by the author himself on his Facebook wall and his blog exclusively for his fans and readers. The author has the right to remove them any time. If these chapters are saved or distributed by any person other than the author, it is considered violation of the rules of the author’s publication company, RPL.
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Timkey | Episode 2 | Colorless World
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Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

The day came to an end, and the twilight faded into darkness, but Father still hadn’t come home. I was sure he must have been at the mosque. As usual, Father returned late at night after Uncle Arbaaz had gone to sleep. Pinkey and Waseem had fallen asleep, without listening to a bedtime story from Father. Father often told them stories of the prophets or other Islamic stories. They loved the story of prophet Joseph. I saw Father and put my dupatta on my head. “Abu, you are very late. I mean… Shall I bring you a meal?” I asked hesitantly.

“No, thanks. Tension has killed my hunger,” he replied. Mother heard his voice and woke up.

“You have come home,” Mother said to Father. “Were you in the mosque?”

“Yes. I don’t have a moment of peace in this house. Father’s stubbornness and Arbaaz’s greed, wanting to own all the land, has snatched the comfort of my heart and mind,” Father said to Mother.

I brought his food, put it before him on his cot, and started doing my homework. I often read books late at night. “We shall give them everything and leave this house,” Mother said to Father.

“I am also his son. At least, he must give us some land to build a house on,” Father replied with a sigh.

“Yes, but your Father won’t do that. And your brother, he wants to hoard all the property without sharing anything! As if he will take it to the grave,” Mother said with scorn.

“Father just doesn’t want us to be separated. It is Arbaaz and his wife who can’t get along with us. Father understands us, but Mother—she just cares too much for Arbaaz.”

“Let’s leave it to God. I fell asleep waiting for you and didn’t offer the night prayer,” Mother said to Father and went to take ablution.

“Timkey, how is your school coming along?” Father asked me, slowly eating his food. He didn’t normally ask about my education. I doubted that he even knew what grade I was in.

“Very well, Abu. I got an A on a math test. Next year, I will be in the 9th grade.”

“If you need anything, let me know,” said Father.

“Abu, my uniform has become worn out. I was wondering if you could purchase fabric for my uniform and Mother will sew it as usual.”

“Okay. I will buy it for you tomorrow.”

“Abu, I also need a box of crayons. I want to color my drawings.” Father agreed to buy me crayons, too. He finished his meal, and I finished my homework, so we both went to sleep. Mother was still praying as I was closing my eyes.

The next day, Pinkey, Waseem, my three cousins, and I prepared for school. When we were all about to leave together, Aman Wadi asked us to wait at the door of our house. “Timkey, how old are you?” she asked me, rubbing her chin.

“I am 13, Aman Wadi.” I replied. “And I am in grade 8,” I proudly told her.

“Aren’t you too old to go to school now?” she asked. I remained silent. She approached me and snatched my bag from me. “Children, you go to school. Timkey won’t go to school.”

The earth shook under my feet as I heard this. She was going to do with me what most people do to their girls in rural areas of Pakistan: Stopping them from attending school. “No, Aman Wadi. Please give me my bag.” I protested. “I have to go. I am going to be late.”

“You won’t be doing a job or anything like that when you grow up. You are a girl. You must learn what girls need to learn,” she replied. Mother saw us and ran to me.

“Chachi, please give the bag back to Timkey,” my mother implored my grandmother.

Aman Wadi refused to give the bag to me and shouted at my mother. “Who are you to send her to school?! I am still alive, and in this house my rules are followed.” Father came out of the room when he heard Aman Wadi shouting. Father asked us to go into our bedroom.

My cousins all looked at us. I started to cry. Pinkey took her bag off from her shoulder and put it in front of Aman Wadi. Pinkey feared she might scold her, too. Aman Wadi looked at her and didn’t say a word. Aunt Fariha sneered at us.

All the boys in our home went to school, but I was forced to stay home. That day Pinkey also didn’t go to school out of fear. From that day on, I wasn’t allowed to attend school. Aman Wadi insisted that I learn cooking, sewing, and various forms of needle work. I wished that there was a rule in Pakistani government to send all girls to school and not stop them until they get at least a Masters degree. Father sent Pinkey to school because she was still in grade 5, and Aman Wadi didn’t mind.

Mother taught me how to cook wheat meals and make some puddings. One day, I went into Aman Wadi’s room to retrieve my school bag back. At night, I looked at each of my books one by one. Each book was my unfinished dream. Aman Wadi had not snatched mere papers which were in my schoolbag, but in fact, she had snatched my heart’s dreams and songs. When I took my drawing book and saw that some sketches needed coloring, I felt that my world was grey, like the drawings in my book.

My world had become colorless and routine. Now I was one of those millions Pakistani girls who couldn’t finish even grade 10. I looked at the sky which was grey and cloudy. The moon struggled to shine through them. I felt lost in my grey world like the moon. That day and moment when Aman Wadi snatched my school bag from me would never be erased from my memory, and my dream to get an education will always remain alive.