Written by: Ishtiaq Ahmad
Translated By: Hafsa bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani Class IX Govt. Girls’ High School Tando Qaiser
The story until now:
As soon as someone picked up the phone from the other side Mamoon Kabuliwala said, "Operator, connect me to Mr. Arif Jolani."
"Who… who are you? You... you sound just like my boss. But… but that can’t be. He died three years ago."
"Didn’t you hear me? I want to talk to Arif Jolani," he said angrily.
“But… but… who are you?”
“You will find out soon enough. Now let me talk to him."
"Ok sir,” he said in a trembling voice.
The story continues:
A heavy voice was heard from the other side. "Arif Jolani speaking. Who are you?"
"What?" came the incredulous cry.
"You heard me. I am Maamoon Kabuliwala. Listen to me Arif. By the grace of Allah سبحانہ وتعالی I am alive. Someone else was murdered in my place. I am coming to the factory. I am telling you in advance so that the employees may not be frightened. Tell all of them that I am coming with some people."
“No, Sir," Mr. Arif's strict voice came from the other side.
"What do you mean, ‘no Sir’?”
"I mean that you can’t come here. I am calling the police. You are some kind of a fraud trying to trick me into thinking that you are Mamoon Kabuliwala. I am calling the police."
"You don't need to call the police. I am coming with Inspector Jamshed and his subordinates from the Intelligence Department and my sons are with me too."
“I am still calling the police. This is some kind of a conspiracy because Kabuliwala Sahib passed away a long time ago."
"Call the police if you like but we are coming. Inspector sahib will deal with the police himself." "That will be just fine."
All of them set off in their spacious van. Khan Rahman and Professor Daud had joined them by now. As they neared the factory gate they saw a lot of people gathered there. There was a Sub Inspector with his subordinates on one side and Inspector Jamshed walked towards him, briefed him about the whole affair and asked him to go back. The party left instantly.
"This is Arif Jolani," Mamoon Kabuliwala introduced him.
"You… you really seem to be Mamoon Kabuliwala!"
"This is too much! Of course I am Mamoon Kabuliwala."
"Is that true?" Arif Jolani looked at Inspector Jamshed interrogatively.
"For the time being let us say that he is. We are still investigating."
"Ok. If you say so."
At last they entered the factory. The workers looked at them as if they couldn’t believe their eyes.
"Mamoon Kabuliwala," Inspector Jamshed called him. He turned around, surprised.
"Lead the way. You have to go to your office."
“And that means you want to see whether I know where my office is or not?"
“Don’t worry about our motives. Just lead the way," Farooq said quickly. Inspector Jamshed nodded and Mamoon Kabuliwala started walking in front of them. Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, his eyes wide with shock, his body turned to stone.
"What happened, Sir? Are you all right?" Mahmood asked him. Mahmood's voice startled him and he came back to his senses. He looked here and there and then spoke, "Nothing. I felt a bit dizzy."
"You felt dizzy? You stood rooted to the ground, you couldn’t have felt dizzy,” Farooq wasn’t ready to believe him.
"I don't know what happened to me. Anyway, forget it," saying so he walked on and then stopped before a room. "This is my office. It is the same office, isn't it Arif?" he asked.
"Yes, it is. But I refuse to believe that you are Mamoon Kabuliwala. You simply cannot be Mamoon Kabuliwala," said Arif Jolani.
"I am Mamoon Kabuliwala and it doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. Inspector Sahib has checked me properly and he has confirmed that I am none other than what I claim to be.”
"Is that true, Sir?" Arif looked at inspector Jamshed.
"Yes, according to our investigations, he really is Mamoon Kabuliwala."
"If you say so but we’ll soon find out who he truly is. A fake Mamoon Kabuliwala will not succeed in his plan," Arif Jolani said angrily.
"Be careful Arif. Think before you say anything insulting. I told you I am Mamoon Kabuliwala and so dod Inspector Jamshed."
"Mamoon Kabuliwala was killed and he was buried before thousands of people."
"Arif Sahib, please! Let it go. We have checked him thoroughly. He is 90% Mamoon Kabuliwala. The man who was killed was someone else. Either he was his duplicate or he was in disguise. We are still investigating that and we shall find it out. At present, just go along with what we say and believe in us," Inspector Jamshed said.
"Ok" Arif Jolany said, making a face.
"Bring us some files. We shall put them before him and ask him some questions. You will hear the answers and then tell us whether they are wrong or correct."
"Just a minute, Inspector,” Mamoon Kabuliwala broke in. “I am not feeling well. I need some rest. I also need a doctor. I don't know what is happening to me. l must go home. I shall call the doctor there. My sons, take me home. Inspector Sahib can easily continue his investigations without me and you. What do you say?" he asked the Inspector nervously.
"What can we say? You can go home if you want to. If we need you, we shall come to your house.”
“By all means. I just can’t answer your questions just now."
And then he left his office with his sons.
They looked each other. Then inspector Jamshed said to Arif Jolani, "We shall also come here some other time. We are leaving too. And yes, will you give us Mamoon's home phone number?" Arif Jolani did so and he noted them down. Inspector Jasmshed left the factory. Once outside, he called Ikram, gave some instructions, turned to the others and said, "Come, let's go home too.”
( to be continued)