Miracles in Daily Life – 6
Early next morning, all ran towards Araf’s room at the shouting and cry of Salma Begum.
She thought of meeting Araf early next morning and take some decision.
But what has happened! Araf has hanged himself from the ceiling fan. No worldly adjudication was applicable for him anymore.
What Araf has done! He ended everything!
The fun and frolicking light wind of Sarkar family got heavy with stifled pain. A truculent fact has fractured all the dreams of the family.
Sun peeked through the clearing of cloud now and then and the day elapsed into night. But the remorse heavy air of Sarkar family persisted.
Jamila did not disclose anything further. But she discarded all relation with her parents out of a deep sense of hatred towards them.
Sarkar family was totally paralyzed due to sudden stroke of hard fact. No one could even burst out crying to diffuse the agony, ‘lest the society confront them with unpleasant queries’.
But the time wheel rolled on regardless.
The seed of Araf kept growing in the womb of Jamila in nature’s way. Symptoms became apparent gradually in Jamila’s body. On seeing that Salma Begum got back to her normal sense.
-Mama, it’s all my fault, I’m going do something about it. None of you has to do anything.
Salama Begum got a shock as the words of Jamila rang in her ear.
Jamila thought of taking the step first but Araf did not allow her to do so.
Jamila really did not know the true nature of love. She also did not grow any feeling for the child of Araf in her womb. Only a deep sense of gratitude to Salma Begum and prestige of Sarkar family dissuaded her from taking any final action.
Jamila very well appreciated that one more incident in quick succession would deliver a mortal blow to Sarkar family as they were trying to reconcile with the shock of Araf’s death. Neighbors and relatives condoled the incident of losing a son like Araf without putting any query.
In fact, other than the family members none else knew the real cause of Araf’s suicide.
Totally subdued in pain of losing a son, Salma Begum got to her sense. For a bit of late decision, she already incurred a heavy loss, now she realized that any more delay would cause another irreparable loss.
Araf’s seed was still thriving in Jamila’s body, she realized.
She tried to become normal without wasting any more time. She quickly had a wash and spruced up by changing her dress.
She called Jamila for a cup of tea.
-How disheveled have you kept yourself Jamila, haven’t you noticed that? Go take a bath and change your dress as I sip from the cup of tea.
Salma urged on Jamila while taking the cup from her hand.
Jamila got a bit startled at the sudden change of Salma Begum.
As she came out after bath, she saw Salma Begum standing in the room.
She got confused.
Salma Begum has placed her own wedding dress on the bed.
-Go and put on all those.
Jamila’s eyes got moist.
-Mama, please don’t be so cruel, I promise I’ll punish myself.
Jamila burst into tears and fell on Salma Begum’s feet.
Salma Begum wiped her own eyes, lifted up Jamila and clasped her in her own bosom and tried to console her by rolling her palm on her hair.
-No my darling, Araf did not allow me any time, I wanted to do the same that day.
Salma Begum paused a bit to regain control over herself. She made Jamila sit on the bed.
-Listen I know that I won’t get back what I lost. She gulped a sob.
-Nobody would realize the pang of losing a child until of his own. Araf, my son is alive in your body, I can’t afford to lose that. Please give me word that you would do whatever it takes to take care of Araf’s seed in your womb and present me the child.
Salma Begum was crying. Jamila did neither budge nor answer.
-No, please don’t keep quiet, give me word.
Salma Begum became desperate.
-I give my word mama.
It seemed that the promise came out of a stone statue. There was no emotion.
Salma Begum started dreaming afresh. The nonchalance of Jamila evaded her notice.
Gradually the seed of Araf in Jamila’s body was becoming more apparent. Jamila obeyed all the dos and don’ts as advised by Salma Begum.
But a new aspect of social ruling stood on the way. The possibility of dazing the new founded dream reappeared.
-Social identity of the incoming baby!
Arif remained totally shocked and puzzled at the sudden loss of friend like brother. He did not know the reason of his suicide and he neither knew all other things happening since then.
At dead night that day, his bereaved father and mother came to his room. Arif was dumbfound listening what they said.
Arif lost all his strength to keep standing and thumped on the bed, as his mother clasped him in her bosom crying profusely and said, “My son, that’s the last sign of Araf, your brother, for social requirement we want you to just marry Jamila. I promise that after the baby is born we will arrange for the divorce”.
Wailing mother flanked by bewildered and shock petrified father. What a spectacle!
They could not even wail openly in apprehension of social ruling.
It was not difficult for Arif to fathom the extent of their helplessness.
-We’ll feel the existence of Araf in that incoming baby. We will also be saved from social damnation. Araf committed sin, he was an un-thoughtful bum, but he was our blood, your brother. He atoned for his own sin by taking his own life.
Salma Begum broke down wailing. Salam Sarkar sat like a statue. Jamila stood by the door fossilized.
Social ordinance and obligation is above all, which is bereft of any emotion. It does not know any adjustment or deviation. To live in society, one has to bow down to it.
Nature runs as per its own yardstick.
Jamila gave birth to a baby boy in time.