By Mir Umar
Dawn has descended upon the village which is very far from towns and cities. It is a far flung village away from the noise of the city and held underneath the mountains and natural habitation. The people here, mostly tribal’s, are very humble and kind. The houses in the village have a similar pattern to that of the old haunted houses. This gives the sense of life in the village which is almost brooding. Among all, lives a couple namely Aijaz and Ateeqa who have married couple of years ago and have reached this far flung village after much trouble. They live in a house which is surrounded by some orchards and poplar trees around boundaries. An old wooden house stands in the middle of the scene. Its window panes are surfaced with holes and its old mirrors have turned milky. The house is held together by mud.
Aijaz , who is an educated man left his job in the town and moved to this village to live a peaceful life . He now works in a field of his. His wife Ateeqa is a home maker who is a very hardworking and loving wife. They now own a paddy field in the village which is the only source of income for them.
Ateeqa had sold all her jewelry to buy paddy land in the village. The couple had thought that it would be the backbone for their income but alas it was not to be. The village was under complete drought. It had turned watery paddy fields into barren lands where children played. It had left this couple in the state of hopelessness. All the villagers were in a state of deep worry and were praying for a rainfall which would bring some relief to their barren lands and to their traumatized lives.
Sun rays pierced the wooden window panes of Aijaz’s home. Half of the house is glowing under sunlight but the rest is in darkness. Birds outside are making musical notes, welcoming the new day. Ateeqa has turned up for prayers. Sun rays are directly piercing through the poplar trees and reflecting in Ateeqa’s face. When she is about to complete her morning prayers, her hands are held up towards the sky and her eyes have turned moist.
In the mean time Aijaz calls her wife while he has already prepared himself wearing white Kameez and Salwar. Ateeqa also prepared herself wearing Irani Burkha where only her eyes could be seen imperfectly. The journey for the couple is to a Sufi shrine in their village for special prayers held for the drought to end. The shrine is located among the confinements of the village. They leave with some drowned hope left in their hearts.
After walking a mile from their home, they reach the Sufi shrine. The shrine was already been in a form of festivity and large numbers of people were gathered there for special prayers. The assembly was so large that even they could not get a small space to come closer to the shrine. Aijaz went for prayers inside while Ateeqa sat under an old Chinar tree outside the shrine. Suddenly, she tore up her scarf and selected a small piece of it and knotted it with the grille of the shrine. This bought a sigh to her mind. Finally when prayers were ended, they left back for their home.
While walking back to home, through the muddy roads they decided to have a glimpse of their field. The sun was yet to set behind the mountains when there was a cold wind blowing in the fields. This was probably the evening time and kids were playing in the barren paddy fields. The couple looks traumatized now when seeing the condition of their field. Seeing it, Ateeqa’s eyes began to produce tears and Aijaz became too emotional while seeing his wife crying. Among the chaos of couple and wind, a cracking thunderous sound was heard in the sky, which drew the attention of the couple and children towards the sky. Clouds began to gather and the lightening had started. The thunder restricted the play of children.
It was probably the onset of rain. Men, women and children came out from their homes to further build up this moment of happiness for them. They saw their dream coming true when the small tiny silver droplets began to fall from the sky giving a slight touch to the barren fields. These were heaven’s tears which pierced through the skies and reached this village which bought happiness and hope with it. Children in the field were dancing over the music of the rain and old men’s turbans were held high in the sky. Ateeqa’s tears finally got companion which hide her emotions among all other things. Rain turned all broken souls back into symmetry and rejuvenated happiness back in their hearts. Actually, rain evolves life and life evolves rain…..
—The author is a student of Literature. He can be reached at: [email protected]