By Ibn-e Eusuf
Father was like that. Eager to have us learn everything, oblivious to details. Busy, busy. Shunting trains by day, learning French by night. Mother never said much, went along mostly.
Handed over to a music teacher or somesuch. Eight or thereabouts. No Sa Re Ga. Right away on to aye maalik tere bandey ham tuu ne zarrey se keeRaa banaya or somesuch. Closet evolutionist. Wept. Mother gently requested change of tune. Merey maalik bulaa le madeenay mujhe. About death and dying. Final requests, etc. Nothing doing. End of music hall career.
Still, thanks and all. Never forgot the bulaa le madeenay bit. Coming in so handy now. Understand all about politics. Aatii umrah jaatii umrah. Farsighted bastard. Somepeople know it all. Should have stayed with him. Might have been PM now. Other way blocked. Father said only duffers went into forces. Mother agreed. Said we had only one in entire family.
Handed over to very short Maulvi saab. Nine or thereabouts. Went through the text twice. Didn’t understand anything. Quarreled every day. Molly saab said duad mother said zuad. Molly saab fed up with food. Me fed up with duad-zuad. Third time got bored. Gave up halfway. Never went back. End of religious career. Could have killed some heathens. Earned hasanas. Hosannas? Gone to heaven early. No bukbuk of longmarch to Islamabad. Tantrums of Imran Khan. Missing Aunt Jemima. Pancake.
Handed over to Mohd Shafi painter. Ten or thereabouts. Lived in servant quarters. Carrying on with Bitya next door. Accompany to Friday prayers. Garhi Shahu mosque. First time new shoes stolen. Never went back. End of second chance of religious career. Heathens saved again. Mohd Shafi made wooden box with name painted on top. Kept all secret stuff in it. Now lost.
Handed over to Ijaz sahib. Real artist. Eleven or thereabouts. Bad at art. Failing at school. Art teacher Choosy mad yelling caning. Six of the best. Takhti wala skool me jaenga darakht ke neechey baithenga. Ijaz sahib trying all. Nothing works. Lines all crooked. Everyone resigned. End of art career. Picasso made crooked lines. Crooked lines not bad. Crooked good. More crooked the better. Things one learns too late. Life.
Handed over to Mehtab. Caddy. Twelve or thereabouts. Picked up fast. Excellent on fairway. Excellent on green. Daily practice. Hitting long. Lost father’s favorite red ball. Big fight. End of golf. End of golfing career. Forest for trees. Wood. Wooden headed. Live and learn. Don’t fight over little things. Little things seem big when little. Big folks mostly little. Live and learn.
Not handed over anymore. Given up. Teens or thereabouts. Did alright. Passed school passed college. Read Wilde stayed sober. Read Russell Why I am not a Christian etc. I doubt therefore I am. Mother read Ghalib Mir Sauda. More doubt. No more same I. Faiz. PostmenoN ke naam. Girlfriend gifted origins of family and private property. World turned upside down. Things not what they seem. Hain kawakib kuch nazar aatey haiN kuch. Bogey shunted to branch line. 786 Down.
End of college. Big fight. Want to study literature. Write poetry. Mother’s dream CSP. Commissioner. King of the district. Orderlies etc. Father MA English from GC. Only duffers study arts. Handed over to father’s best GC buddy. CSP. Secretary of somethingortheother. Writer as well. Big pow-wow. Verdict. Hath meiN hunar hona zuroori hai. Bad times. Bhutto idiot. Screwing up civil service. Lateral entry. Duffers.
Entered engineering university on high merit. Everyone proud. Many duffers defence nominees. Real rulers. Hell on earth. Voted best writer in English. Wrote blasphemous poem for magazine. Turned down. Wrote obscene poem for magazine. Turned down. Wrote angry poem for magazine. Turned down. End of writing career. Obscenity ok. Manto. Ismat. Lihaaf. Before Zia. No more. Obscenity everywhere. Not much smut. Plain obscenity.
Frustrated. Selfhanded over to female. Life’s lesson. Never be frustrated. Too late as ever. End of career. Dead end. End dead.