Jamila Part-104 mins 9.9K 4 mins 9.9K
Who could it be at this time of the night? I wondered and immediately heard him call out. "It is your Begum.”
I suddenly realized that I had not charged my mobile and it was dead. Azra must be so terribly worried, not having heard from me the whole day. I dashed down to answer the phone.
After speaking and assuaging her fears, I was hesitant to go back to my uncle’s room. There were too many memories and I was mentally disturbed. I asked Rahim Chacha to make the arrangements downstairs in the room which we occupied as children. He was reluctant earlier as it was in a bad state since it was shut for many years since Mami’s death. I, therefore, decided to sleep in the drawing room on the diwan. But sleep eluded me. There were too many questions troubling me about Jamila and the boy, which only Amin uncle could answer. Though it was quite late, I decided to walk up to Amin Uncle’s house which was just half a mile away from my own. It might be possible, that he was awake too.
Rahim Chacha didn’t think it was a good idea. He said, “It is nearly 11pm. The streets are deserted. Amin sahib must have gone to sleep. He must be tired .It has been a very busy day”. But I was anxious. “Yes. I am just taking a chance .Amin uncle used to keep late nights. You know how he and uncle both would be sitting around chatting and having tea late in the night.”
He nodded, and said, “Don’t be long.”
From a far away distance,I saw that there was light in Amin uncle’s house. His house was a posh bungalow which he had built a few years back. He shifted there from his earlier small and dilapidated house behind his shop in the Chowk area. He was quite successful at his law profession and there had been a significant improvement in his living style.
The light which was coming from was from Amin uncle’s study and his office had a separate entrance. So it meant that he was still at his work. He was however taken back to see me.
"What is it, Sami? Can't get sleep? “
“No. I am quite shaken after seeing Jamila and the boy.”
“Yes. It must have come as a shock to you. It did to me also."
"When did you come to know about it?"
"Actually I guessed it when I first saw the boy at Jamila’s father’s funeral. He was just about five and even then, the remarkable resemblance was striking. I was so startled to see the likeness that I mentioned it to Jamila . She was very upset, and accused me of maligning her character and her reputation. By then Jamila was a widow and was vulnerable to societal approbation.”
“So you presumed that she didn’t want uncle to know about it. But knowing the fact how desperate he and the family were for a child, you should have informed them – at least about the resemblance. “
“I didn’t presume anything. The next day when I was leaving, Jamila met me and made me promise that I would not mention the child to any one in the family. She broke down crying, saying that he was the only reason for her to live. She was afraid that the child would be taken away from her. I felt sorry for her. She had suffered so much .I didn’t wish to make matters worse. Moreover, I didn’t know what would be Sakina’s reaction? And then I had an uneasy feeling that your grandparents were aware of the existence of a child …”
“How did you arrive at that conclusion? “ I asked, touched to the quick at what I considered an insinuation to their being a party to deliberately concealing information.
Amin uncle got up, opened the cupboard and took out a wooden box, saying “There is something which I have to hand over to you.” From the box he took out two bracelets. I was surprised to see that these were the same bracelets which Jamila had returned to uncle through me!
To be continued.